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NMSU Grants celebrates new scholarship to help returning students

A new scholarship has been established at New Mexico State University Grants with a special focus on supporting students who have returned to university studies after a gap in their education.


The John and Teresa Miers Current Use Scholarship was established with a gift to the NMSU Foundation by the family of John and Teresa Miers to honor the late John Miers’ service and dedication to the NMSU Grants community and his wife Teresa’s unwavering support of his mission to help students.

John Miers joined the faculty at NMSU Grants in December 2016 as the director of library services. He died June 7, 2019 from a rare form of myeloma.

“Research was John’s passion,” Teresa Miers said, “and he was dedicated to passing on that knowledge to the students at NMSU. John realized there was a great need for someone to serve underrepresented students, and NMSU Grants gave him that opportunity.”

In addition to his role as director, he also invested time in activities outside of his official position, including teaching computer literacy and organizing poetry slams for students and the public.

“John loved helping the students,” Teresa Miers said. “Whatever the need, he wanted to help.”

“We are very happy to receive this gift from the Miers family. Their generous donation will truly impact the lives of students at the NMSU Grants campus and help them return to the classroom,” said Leslie Cervantes, NMSU Foundation interim vice president.

George Miers, John’s brother, said the family wanted to ensure that Teresa Miers was also recognized in the scholarship to highlight that the impact on the college and community was a joint effort between the two.

The scholarship is designed to support students pursuing a non-traditional educational path, honoring and reflecting John Miers’s own experiences.

John Miers resumed his academic career at the University of Richmond after a long hiatus in his studies, graduating in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in knowledge management from the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. He then earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Florida in 2015.

“John never gave up, he stuck with it – not everyone does that,” explained George Miers. “He persevered and found something he loved doing. The scholarship will be of help to others like John who might have changed directions and need support.”

The scholarship was recently awarded for the first time to two returning students, Christopher Baca and Oshay Jaramillo.

Baca, a first-generation college student, is a senior pursuing his associate degree in creative media technology. He also serves his community as an advocate for cycling, teaching cycling safety courses, organizing races and volunteering with the Cibola Trail Alliance.

Jaramillo is a junior majoring in social services. She plans to continue her education at NMSU after earning her associate degree to pursue both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work.

This scholarship is one of two established to honor John Miers. His University of Richmond cohort, inspired by John Miers’s passion for research, created the John Miers Award for Excellence in Library Research in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies in October. The award, given annually, supports student excellence in library research at the University of Richmond.

NMSU Grants is a majority-minority institution where many students are low income and work while attending school. In 2017, 52 percent of the student population was 21 or older.

To learn more about making a gift to support NMSU students visit https://support.nmsu.edu/give/.