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NMSU Dean Catlett honored for public service to NM

Lowell Catlett, dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University, was honored this week with a New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award.


Three people show award for public service.
New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Dean Lowell Catlett, center, is recognized for his public service to the state by Gov. Susana Martinez and New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology President Daniel H. Lopez, chairman of the 2013 New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Awards. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

"This year's recipients represent the highest standards of excellence in public service," said Gov. Susana Martinez during a ceremony Nov. 12 in Albuquerque. "These hardworking individuals being honored tonight are making a difference in the core of the communities they serve. They are essential in our efforts to move New Mexico forward."

Catlett has a long and distinguished record of achievement at NMSU, including being a recipient of the university's highest award to a professor, the Westhafer Award.

"As leader of a college that has a tremendous statewide impact, it is especially rewarding to be recognized in this way," Catlett said. "I have been fortunate to be both a longtime faculty member as well as dean in the College of ACES, with many opportunities over many years to work with wonderful students and superb faculty members and staff to really do the important work of serving the state and beyond."

Catlett was among 13 leaders from across New Mexico honored by the governor at the annual event, now in its 44th year.

In addition to the Westhafer Award, Catlett has twice received NMSU's Don C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Burlington Foundation Faculty Achievement Award for Outstanding University Teaching. In 1994, he was one of two Western Regional recipients of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges "Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences Award."

Catlett was one of only six professors at NMSU selected in 2002 to be recognized as an NMSU Regents Professor. Catlett and the others formed the original class of six NMSU Regents Professors, a program that continues to honor the top senior faculty members at the university.

As a Regents Professor, Catlett serves as a distinguished academic whose leadership, critical thinking, and advice help guide all faculty of the university; serves as a role model and mentor for all associated with the university and its community colleges; helps NMSU to address important university needs, such as improving academic quality, outstanding teaching, research, service, or other issues of concern to the university; and serves on review committees for this award and other appropriate university-wide committees or advising groups.

As dean, Catlett began his tenure by guiding a "visioning" process for the college that included establishment of a Vision Team, surveys and open forums and a process that resulted in various steps forward, including a new name for the college that better reflected the diversity of the departments in the newly named College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

The college has made numerous advancements during his seven-year deanship, such as projects to help Iraq and Afghanistan rebuild agricultural systems following the model of the Cooperative Extension Service; advances in research activities through the Agricultural Experiment Station that range from a unique partnership with the City of Tucumcari's wastewater treatment system and a nearby college science center to examine potential uses of effluent water to the establishment of a new wine grape test vineyard near the Las Cruces campus; and academic advances such as the partnership with other colleges to develop doctorates in economic development and water science and management.

Catlett is an expert in marketing economics, futures markets and production economics. He is the author of books and articles and works nationally and internationally with corporations and organizations doing futuristic planning concerning the impacts of technology on careers, lifestyles and the economy. He has been a visiting professor or delivered invited presentations at more than 75 universities, including Harvard, MIT, Cornell and the University of Illinois.