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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU announces outstanding seniors and graduate students for spring 2012

NMSU recently released the names of the eight graduating students named outstanding seniors and two names for outstanding graduate students. The awards recognize students for their leadership, participation in university and community events, honors received and grade point average.


The students will receive their awards at the Outstanding Senior/Graduate Luncheon held by NMSU's Alumni Association at noon May 11 at the Corbett Center West Ballroom. The Outstanding Seniors are: Roxanne Benally from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and from American Indian Programs; Adam Trejo from the College of Arts and Sciences; Jenae Golden from the College of Business; Velerian Billingsley-Garay from the College of Education; Alicia Salazar from the College of Engineering; Alex Turnello from the College of Extended Learning; Charles Wemple from the College of Health and Social Services and Luer Jin from International and Border Programs. The Outstanding Graduate Students are Amauri Gutierrez Coto and Elena Sevostianova.

Benally is an animal science major from Shiprock, N.M. Benally was recognized for her academic success by the American Society of Animal Science, served as a peer mentor for the American Indian Program and spent six weeks in Belize taking courses in wildlife and domestic animal veterinary medicine.

Trejo is a government major from Anthony, N.M. Trejo served as co-president for the photojournalism club in 2012 and helped produce a magazine and website called "Cultura Firme" that addresses issues of racial discrimination and cultural diversity. He also served as a student ambassador in Europe and volunteered with several local non-profit organizations.

Golden is a marketing major from Las Cruces. Golden served as president and activities chair for Zeta Tau Alpha women's fraternity. She has co-managed on and off campus community service events like "Keep State Great" and "The Big Event."

Billingsly-Garay is a communications disorders major from San Antonio, Texas. She works for the College of Education's Learning Resource Center and as a research assistant to Youkyung Bae, a professor of special education and communication disorders.

Salazar is a chemical engineering major from Alcalde, N.M. Salazar served as president of the NMSU student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and worked as a research intern for Los Alamos National Laboratory. Some of Salazar's work is included in the physic's journal Physica Status Solidi.

Wemple is a nursing major. Wemple will pursue a graduate degree in advanced education in psychiatric/mental health nursing and developed a proposal for research relating to homeless individuals with schizophrenia in India.

Jin is a hotel, restaurant and tourism management major from Sichuan province in China. Jin studied abroad in Japan. She is a member of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality and also worked with "Novembrew," the Las Cruces beer festival.

Gutierrez will graduate in May with a master of art in Spanish. Gutierrez was recruited to NMSU from the University of Havana where he was teaching classes in Hispanic literature. He has published eight books and 15 journal articles and is currently working under a grant from the Southwest and Border Cultures Institute to review and research approximately 2,700 books recently acquired by the NMSU Library.

Sevostianova is a Ph.D. candidate in the area of plant and environmental sciences. Her research focuses on adaptation of grasses to salinity stress. Sevostianova has written seven peer-reviewed journal articles, four conference proceeding papers and has presented papers at more than 12 conferences.

For more information about the outstanding seniors and graduate students program, contact Eva Hernandez of the NMSU Alumni Association at 575-646-7551 or evah@nmsu.edu. For more information about commencement, visit http://www.nmsu.edu/commencement/.