Monday, February 27, 2012

21 Inducted Into Honor Society

FOR RELEASE: Feb. 27, 2012
Twenty-one students of the University of New Mexico-Gallup were inducted into the Beta Tau Psi Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society on Friday, Feb. 24, in the Student Services and Technology Center.

Advisor Dougherty Tsalabutie welcomed the members and their families. The prospective members processed into the large smart classroom and sat at the front of the room while their names were announced and while each went up individually to sign the book noting their official induction. Executive Director Sylvia Andrew and Director of Student Services Zeke Garcia congratulated the students on their membership in the honor society. The students and their families were honored with a reception following the ceremony.

Tsalabutie says that the group will meet soon to decide what sort of events they will sponsor on the campus.

The inductees were: Jonathan Arthur, Sharon Brown, Britney Coonsis, Brian Curley, Gabriel Davis, Arlinda Fatty, El-Dino Henio, Adam Lee, Mercedes Lopez, Michael Madrid, Natalia Pete, Adrian Pioche, Tiffany Shetima, Judith Slade, Thomarita Stewart and Ardell Watchman.

Officers are Tracylyn Yellowhair, president; Marcus Yazzie, vice president; Tabitha Halloc, treasurer; Winterdawn Billie, secretary; and Lacee Romero, public relations secretary.                

Johnson Scholarships Awarded for Spring

FOR RELEASE: Feb. 17, 2012
GALLUP -- Awards from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation have been made to Business Technology students enrolled in the certificate or associate’s degree program at UNM-Gallup for the spring semester. The awards, totaling $10,000 for the semester, are given in support of the Rural Entrepreneur Institute of UNMG.

The awardees are Jonathan Arthur, Marshall Arviso, Fenessa Dayish, Magdalena Garcia, Genevieve Lee, Tiffany Toledo, Neil Montano and Kyle Notah.

JSF, of West Palm Beach, has been a supporter of the REI at UNM-Gallup since 2009. The foundation requires that the $20,000 award be split in half between fall and spring semesters. A selection committee chooses the recipients from a field of applicants.

The funds will be used for tuition, books, school supplies, transportation and other needs. The awardees must maintain a 2.0 grade point average to remain eligible for the scholarship.

“The Johnson Scholarship Foundation requires that students be committed and dedicated to business professions or careers, with the long-term goal of being business owners,” said Al Henderson, UNM-Gallup lecturer in Business Technology and coordinator of the Rural Entrepreneur Institute, adding that UNM-Gallup is required to track the students during the course of their study and after they graduate.

Students interested in the scholarship for the fall semester may contact Henderson at 863-7634, or

Monday, February 20, 2012

LOBO Trax Training Mandatory

FOR RELEASE--Feb. 20, 2012
University of New Mexico-Gallup academic advisors are scheduling trainings for students to use LOBO Trax degree audit, an advisement tool developed for all UNM students that has been in use since February 2010. LOBO Trax checks students’ credits as they progress toward graduation, and is accessible by students via their Loboweb accounts.

The academic advisors have scheduled training sessions on LOBO Trax on Wednesday evenings and on Thursdays. Advisement holds will be placed on students’ registration to make it mandatory for UNM-Gallup students to learn this process.

Students are required to sign up for the training sessions beginning Feb. 22 through April 27 by calling the Academic Advisement Department at 505.863.7706. Students who have already learned LOBO Trax should contact the department as well.

LOBO Trax produces a report when the student has listed a program or major. When students do not have a declared major, and are reported as unclassified or non-degree, then LOBO Trax will not produce a report.

“The report is a self-guidance tool that, when used correctly, will help them complete their degree objective at UNM and UNM-Gallup,” said Paula Sayers, advisor. By using this audit, students will not have to ask what courses they should take next because the report will present the information to the student, Sayers added.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mardi Gras Party Planned for Feb. 24

FOR RELEASE -- Feb. 17, 2012
The University of New Mexico-Gallup is planning a Mardi Gras part on Friday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m. in Gurley Hall Commons.

There will be music, refreshments, and mask-making for children. Student clubs will also be hosting tables with games.

The public is invited.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

UNMG Student Wins Soroptimist Scholarship

FOR RELEASE: Feb. 16, 2012
Sophena Bebo has had her share of hard times, but over the last two years, she’s become cautiously optimistic that things may have turned around. Among other signs that life may be on the upswing: the University of New Mexico-Gallup student was recently notified that she was chosen by the Soroptimist Club to receive a $1000 scholarship as a result of an essay she wrote about overcoming a lifetime of difficulties.

Bebo, a student in the college’s TRiO program and the single mother of five children, took several stabs at getting an education over the last decade. For one reason or another she was unable to enroll at UNMG and as the years went by, she began to feel she was too old for school in her mid-30s and thus was reluctant to try again.

“Fear played a big part in keeping me from enrolling,” she said.

Finally in 2010, she got her courage up and she took a leap and enrolled in for the spring semester.

Bebo had previously attempted to study nursing as a reaction to the birth of her fifth child, who was born with a heart defect. In time, however, she realized she was not cut out for nursing, and this time around, decided she’d pursue studies in pre-elementary education.

“I always wanted to help children,” she says, adding that she has worked as a substitute teacher and done volunteer work in schools.

By the Fall of 2011, she was working on bringing up her skills through TRiO, a federally funded student support program that helps many of UNM-Gallup’s succeed at college.  Bebo worried about her grades, but by semester’s end, found to her delight that she had passed her classes. This semester, she is feeling a bit more encouraged that she can and will do well.

The struggles that Bebo relates are not unique; many UNMG students have had similar experiences.  She has had to contend with domestic violence and alcoholism, as well as overcoming a difficult home life as an adopted child. Although she got through high school successfully, she made some choices she now regrets, including partying and choosing the wrong partners. But it was writing about that life that helped win her the scholarship that now will boost her effort to be a successful student and eventually, a self-supporting citizen.

“What I wrote was meant to help other women going through domestic violence and difficult life situations, and overcoming,” she says.

These days, she is enlisting her eldest child to help look after the young ones while she is studying and going to class. The Pell Grant helps pay tuition and some living expenses, but she is aware that she must maintain her grades at a 2.0 to hold onto the grant and her dreams.

“I would like for other women to know that UNMG is here for the taking, but you have to put in the work,” Bebo says. She also adds, for those now caught up in the spiral of domestic violence and alcoholism, “The choices we make are important. You put yourself in your own situations. Being here has helped me keep my life going in a good direction, even though I did what so many young people are doing now.  I didn’t know how make the most of my opportunities.  But in time, I knew I wanted something better for me and my children. I want to do better for them.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

UNMG Announces Spring 2012 Enrollment Figures

The University of New Mexico-Gallup has released its enrollment figures for Spring 2012.

Headcount was officially recorded at 2764, as opposed to 2896 for Spring 2011. Credit hours were 26,760, compared to 28,446 for last Spring.

Zeke Garcia, director of Student Services, said part of the reason for the drop is that the college implemented the probation/suspension of students not making academic progress.

“Those students who did not make academic progress on their financial aid contracts were not re-instated on financial aid,” Garcia said.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


FOR RELEASE--February 7, 2012
The University of New Mexico-Gallup Financial Aid office will host a FAFSA Free-for-All on Wednesday, February 15, and Wednesday, March 7, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. UNMG is joining colleges statewide in offering students free professional assistance with their Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA) at statewide events through June 1. 

In addition to helping both college-bound seniors and degree-seeking students complete the annual federal form, FAFSA Free-for-All events will also supply students with information on other financial aid opportunities, statewide student services, and admission requirements.  Further, each of more than 60 event locations will provide one $500 scholarship to an attendee who completes a FAFSA at an event by March 1, 2012, and all students are eligible for prizes including laptops computers.  Students attending the UNMG events will be able to go online and register for the free prizes and the scholarship.

In the United States, 8.4 million students did not complete a FAFSA during 2007-08.  Of these, approximately 2.3 million students would have been eligible for a Pell Grant, free federal assistance that made it possible for over 8 million low-income students to afford college tuition in 2009-10. Although over $154 billion in federal aid is available every year, 41 percent of students still do not complete a FAFSA – the form that colleges, universities, and vocational schools use to determine a student’s complete financial aid package, which can include grants, scholarships, work-study awards, and federal loan assistance.  

For more information about the FAFSA Free-For-All call 863-7663 or go online at