Thursday, November 12, 2015

Veterans Day at UNM-Gallup

By Marilee Petranovich

 The Student Veterans Association at UNM-Gallup honored local service members with a display case of military memorabilia and a presentation on Tuesday, November 10th.  As part of the ceremony, student veterans set a Missing Man’s Table, also known as a Fallen Comrade Table, to recognize the sacrifices of military personnel, many of whom have not yet returned home.  Nick Brokesholder, Veterans Resource Center Director, explained the meaning of the Missing Man’s Table to the audience as Student Veterans Association members solemnly placed symbolic objects on the table.  At the end of the ceremony, attendees raised glasses of sparkling cider to the memory of all veterans.  The following is taken directly from the script as read during the ceremony.

“The table is set for one symbolizing the fact that members of armed forces are missing from our ranks.

The table is small symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his/her suppressors.

The tablecloth is white which is symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.  

The single red rose signifies the blood they may have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of the beloved United States of America.  This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep faith while awaiting their return.

The red ribbon on the vase represents the red ribbon worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand with unyielding determination, a proper accounting of our comrades who are not among us.

A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate.

The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.

The glass is inverted – they cannot toast with us at this time.

The chair is empty.  They are not here.

The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home.

The American Flag reminds us that many of them may never return and have paid the supreme sacrifice to insure our freedom. “

Photos by John Van't Land

Monday, October 26, 2015

UNM-Gallup Offers On-Campus Mental Health Services

By Marilee Petranovich

Students at UNM-Gallup now have access to counseling services in a manner that brings together professional mental health experts, technology, confidentiality and recognition that many issues can complicate a student’s ability to be healthy and happy.  Through an agreement with UNM Student Health and Counseling (SHAC), UNM-Gallup is utilizing Zoom Technology to bring students “face-to-face” with trained mental health counselors from the main campus in Albuquerque.

Private and confidential meetings are now taking place via Zoom in a specially designated office on the UNM-Gallup campus.  Services began this week and according to Student Success Specialist Mary Lou Mraz, “It is now much easier for our students to access mental health services locally.  Professionals will be getting students immediately into counseling including emergency care if necessary.”  

The SHAC services went into operation last week giving UNM-G students the opportunity to schedule appointments of up to an hour and fifteen minutes at a time, Monday through Friday.  Mary Lou explained that she opens the door to the private office 45 minutes before a scheduled appointment to provide complete confidentiality to students when they arrive.  Instructions are on the desk so students can log on by themselves and begin their session with one of the SHAC professionals.  Mary Lou noted, “The most common issues students deal with are depression, anxiety, bullying and substance abuse issues.  Students sometimes struggle with academic issues, especially if they are not doing well in class, as well as excessive stress and sexual identity issues.”

Dr. Stephanie McIver, Director of Counseling Services at SHAC, is working directly with the UNM-G student services staff in bringing the availability of these coordinated and professional mental health services to the UNM-G campus to ensure that all university students have the tools they need to foster success.  Students who wish to schedule an appointment on the Gallup campus are asked to call (505) 277-3136 or access the UNM Health Portal at

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Staff & Faculty Mini-Grant Committee Some Notable Awards

By Yi-Wen Huang
So far, the Staff & Faculty Mini-Grant Committee has funded many projects that are innovative and have enriched students' learning experiences or benefited the faculty, staff, the institution, or the community at large.  These include Ms. Ann Jarvis' SkillsUSA Start-Up Project, Professor Thomas Kaus' Math Challenges for 5th Graders, Dr. Carmela Lanza's book club, Ms. Kathleen Head's project to enhance students' reading and comprehension of information using the Irlen method, Ms. Marilou Joson's Building Bridges for Learning workshop, Dr. Matt Mingus' National Library Week project, Dr. Carolyn Kuchera's Celebration of Student Writing, Ms. Laura Jijon's North Campus Mural project, Professor John Zimmerman's Ceramic Mold project, Professor Kristi Wilson's Rolling Mill project, and Dr. Lewis Gambill's Growing Up Wild Curriculum Workshop, among others.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

UNM-G students at the 2015 SNAG Conference

Visiting Assistant Professor Kristi Wilson travelled to Boston with 2 UNM-G students to exhibit artwork at the SNAG conference, titled Mass & Velocity.
SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmith) reviewed the exhibition through this video: 

Our UNM-G Students are about 7 minutes into the 12 minute video.  Congratulations to the UNM-G students for their great artwork and participation in the SNAG conference.

Monday, July 27, 2015

UNM-Gallup to Benefit from Local Grant

          The Northwest New Mexico Regional Solid Waste Authority was recently awarded a grant from the New Mexico Environment Department Solid Waste Bureau that will make it easier for the citizens of McKinley County to have a convenient location to drop off their recyclable materials.  As a result of the successfully funded grant application, UNM-Gallup will be a designated recycling station.  Grant funds will be used to purchase bins for all buildings on campus as well as other supplies, such as wheeled carts, that will allow for a greater commitment to sustainability efforts.

            Pamela Stovall, Associate Professor of Communications and Journalism at UNM-Gallup, wrote the grant proposal in her capacity as a team member of the NWNMRSWA team.  This collaborative effort resulted in the $17,500.00 award which will be used to purchase bins and recycling materials.  Stovall notes, “This is a strong community-wide effort to lead the way in recycling.  In the long term it is hoped that staff will be available to support and encourage recycling.  UNM-Gallup did a test study earlier in the year and the students were amazing.  Students took the extra steps to separate recyclable materials with the help of individual staff members and departments.  Having such a strong student response led to the local organization choosing UNM-Gallup as a location for placement of the bins.”

            The paperwork is still in progress to place the bins, but once situated, community members will be invited to utilize the drop off site for all recyclable materials.

Monday, July 20, 2015

UNM-Gallup Awarded Department of Education Grant

The University of New Mexico-Gallup is proud to announce its receipt of a Student Support Services Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.  This award is for the TRIO Student Support Services program at UNM-Gallup and will be funded in the amount of $235,228.00 per year for a five year period for a total of $1,176,140.00 over the course of the grant cycle.

            The TRIO program provides customized support services to UNM-Gallup students who qualify based on income level, first generation status, or low academic preparedness.  Institutions of higher education are funded for Student Support Services programs to provide academic development opportunities and individualized assistance to students which is intended to motivate them towards successful completion of a certificate or degree program. 

            Jayme McMahon, Senior Program Manager for the UNM-Gallup Student Success Center and author of the TRIO grant proposal, received news of the award through a phone call from Senator Tom Udall’s office early this week.   Upon receipt of the award letter she stated, “We are very excited to have been awarded the TRIO/Student Support Services grant for the next five years, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue providing critical support services to students attending UNM-Gallup. This was a highly competitive grant cycle, and I am very proud that the submitted proposal, along with the proven record of success within the program, earned new funding for our institution. TRIO programs provide much needed support and services to first-generation, low-income students and students with disabilities who are often underrepresented and most at-risk for achieving success in their postsecondary endeavors.”

            The objectives of the grant-funded program directly address the academic needs of students and propose strategies to help students maintain good academic standing through a robust host of institutional means including academic and financial aid advising, career counselling, tutoring, supplemental instruction, coaching, and mentoring.  The Department of Education strictly monitors institutions utilizing Student Support Services funding to insure that students are progressing and graduating from their programs. 
            UNM-Gallup has maintained a strong TRIO program since 2001. The most recent grant ends August 31 of this year so the fate of the program remained uncertain until the new grant was awarded. 
            Jeannie Baca, Director of Student Affairs at UNM-Gallup spoke as to the benefits of the grant for students.  “We are very excited to be named as a recipient of the TRIO Student Support Services grant and are extremely thankful to the U.S. Department of Education for their confidence and support.  UNM-Gallup provides opportunities for students to earn a credential, transfer to a four-year university or receive job training.  This grant will provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, and motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education.  It will continue to enrich and strengthen the UNM-G community.”  

            Executive Director, Dr. Christopher Dyer, in adding his strong support of the TRIO program adds, “The TRIO program represents a critical part of services we provide to students by helping those who need additional support to achieve college success.  This program has had remarkable success in the past, and this present award is evidence of the excellent work done for our students who have academic needs.”