Friday, February 13, 2015

Dr. Dyer Installed as President

By Marilee Petranovich

On Thursday, January 29, UNM-G Executive Director Dr. Christopher Dyer was installed as the first president of the Community College Affiliate Program (CCAP) of the National Council for Science and the Environment.  Centered in Washington, D.C., the CCAP promotes sustainability education and environmental science programs at institutions, such as UNM-Gallup, that grant Associate degrees.  
CCAP also supports student research, engagement and leadership opportunities and partnerships with other community colleges, four year institutions of higher education and federal agencies.  Under Dr. Dyer’s leadership CCAP will continue to advance the quality of interdisciplinary environmental and sustainability education and encourage the participation of administrators, faculty and staff in sustainability efforts.   Participating CCAP members promote careers in environmentally healthy and sustainable communities by providing diverse student populations with the knowledge and skills necessary.  
Congratulations to Dr. Dyer for achieving this great honor!

UNM-G Professor Contributes to Publication

Dr. Carmela Lanza, Assistant Professor of English and English Coordinator, is a contributor to a newly published book, Yin and Yang in the English Classroom: Teaching With Popular Culture Texts, edited by Sandra Eckard.  Dr. Lanza, in collaboration with the other contributing authors, discusses ways college professors and high school teachers can blend together curriculum that both motivates students with interesting material while still achieving important and mandated academic goals.  The authors address the challenge of combining “fun” work like projects and movie days with the demanding curriculum of English studies.  
This book presents a cohesive philosophy for successfully achieving this balance of teaching literature and writing skills, foundations based in theory and practical applications necessary for the modern classroom with activities and projects that can be easily brought into the classroom.  Dr. Lanza’s chapter, “ ‘Whose Side is He on?’:  Teaching Complex Characters with Novels and Films” appears in Part One: Literature Fundamentals and Pop Culture Connections.  The book is written as a teaching aid for both new teachers and experienced instructors.    Published by Rowman and Littlefield, the book is available on Amazon.

Welding Instructor Honored

The American Welding Society of New Mexico recently honored UNM-Gallup welding instructor Joe Sanchez as their Educator of the Year.  Joe was honored at an awards ceremony on January 22 where he was acknowledged for his teaching accomplishments as well as his contributions towards the success of the UNM-Gallup welding program.   Patrick Bauman, Chairperson, American Welding Society, Section 75, District 20 notes “It is the efforts of people like you that promote welding as a career and keep our society viable…thank you for your efforts and devotion to promoting welding in our section.”
“To be acknowledged by my peers as the Educator of the Year chosen from among many other welding colleges is quite an honor,” said Joe.  Nominations for this honor came from all Certified Welding Instructors within Section 75, District 20 of the American Welding Society.  District 20 includes all of New Mexico, Colorado and Montana, and Section 75 includes all of New Mexico.
Joe has been instructing welding classes at UNM-G for the past six years after restarting the program from hiatus status.  When he started, the program did not even have books and the first year he had just enough students to allow the program to run.  Currently there is a waiting list of students wanting to enter the welding program. Last year 18 of Joe’s students were immediately hired upon graduation which represents 75% of the class.  “I’ve gotten great feedback from employers.  My success is based on theirs.  If they get a job, I’m successful,” said Joe in a recent interview. 

Joe is very emphatic that he is teaching exactly what the other welding programs in the country are teaching and that our students are fully prepared to enter directly into the workforce.  “The Tulsa School of Welding might have 150 students in a class.  We have smaller classes which allows for more one-on-one instruction.  We have great instructors here, and we are meeting the industry standards.”
Joe’s next goal is to become a Certified Welding Instructor.  That will allow him to provide industry certification to our own students in-house.  Congratulations to Joe for this great accomplishment.