Friday, June 28, 2013

The rock wall display

The rock wall display at the southwest entrance to Calvin Hall shows a cross-section of the eleven rock formations that occur between the center of the Zuni Mountains just southeast of Bluewater, and the Gallup area, with large representative samples of each rock type. The paint colors on the wall give an idea of how the different rock units are arranged underground.  The oldest rock displayed is the Zuni Mountains Granite, which is approximately 1.4 billion years old.  The youngest is the Crevasse Canyon Formation sandstone, about 86 million years old, which was deposited during the time dinosaurs lived in what is now New Mexico. This formation underlies the UNM-Gallup campus, and contains many leaf fossils of plants that are now extinct.  The rocks in between are younger than the granite, but older than the Crevasse Canyon, and formed predominantly from sediments deposited by rivers and sand dunes.  The Zuni Mountains formed when compressional forces about 70-50 million years ago pushed up a large, elongated dome of rock, with the ancient granite at its core, tilting the overlying, younger sedimentary rock layers, as shown on the wall.  This event created the hogback that marks the western side of the Zuni Mountains and runs through the eastern part of Gallup.

Dr. Paula Watt, Chair / Arts and Sciences Division


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

UNM-Gallup Students and Faculty Contribute to Red Mesa Review

The 2012 edition of the Red Mesa Review is now available and spotlights the talent of our UNM-Gallup students, as well as several faculty members.  The Review is a literary journal that is open to all students who have attended any branch of the University of New Mexico.  This year’s edition has a striking celestial image on the cover which was designed by UNM-Gallup DDM Professor Chad Adelhart.  This edition of the Red Mesa Review contains fiction by Emery McCabe, Candice Antonio, Lindsay Buffalohead, Rechelle Johnson, Henry Iris, Cindy Lee and Karla Mercando.  Of special interest is a story by Ron Wood with a Navajo translation provided by Dr. Jennifer Wheeler. 

The journal is available, free of charge, at the following locations:

  •         Lower floor of the UNM-Gallup Student Services Technology Center
  •         The UNM-Gallup Library
  •         The Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona
  •         The Octavia Fellin Library in downtown Gallup
  •         The Coffee House in downtown Gallup

The Red Mesa Review has won two awards from the Community  College Humanities Association.  The next deadline for Volume 18 will be January 30, 2014.  For further information, please contact Dr. Gloria Dyc, Chair of the Editorial Board at (505) 863-7566

TRIO Program Exceeds Predicted Attainment Rates

Under the leadership of Program Manager, Jayme McMahon, the UNM-Gallup TRIO Student Support Services Program exceeded rates of attainment, as predicted and approved by the US Department of Education, in almost every measurable area for the 2011-2012 academic year.  TRIO is a grant-funded program which provides personalized academic support services to qualified participants.  Currently, the TRIO program is working at full capacity as it serves 160 students, with a waiting list of 1.5 years.  Progress towards expected attainment rates is reviewed on an annual basis.  Based on the most recent assessment of the 2011-2012 academic year the UNM-Gallup TRIO program exceeded approved attainment rates in the following areas:

Category                                          Approved Rate                 UNM-G Attained Rate
Good Academic Standing                  80.00%                                  92.36%
Persistence                                        65.00%                                  82.50%
Graduation                                         15.0%                                    16.42%

Congratulations to Jayme and her staff and the excellent work they do in identifying the educational barriers that challenge the TRIO students and addressing those barriers in a professional manner.  As demonstrated by the successful attainment rates, the support and encouragement given the TRIO students works!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

UNM-Gallup goes to Hollywood!

Two instructors from the University of New Mexico-Gallup campus have found a unique way of bringing their own special brand of Native American culture to the Hollywood scene.  Joe Kee and Jennifer Wheeler, Assistant Professors, are working in conjunction with the Navajo Nation Museum, Navajo Parks and Recreation and Lucasfilm, Ltd to dub the classic space film “Star Wars” into the Navajo language.  Kee and Wheeler are two of five production assistants who have translated the script of the movie into Navajo.  Of the five translators, Kee and Wheeler are the only two who are not only fluent speakers, but can also write and read Navajo.

The partnering entities are planning on dubbing the movie into the Navajo language using a group of Navajo-speaking members of the tribe as voice-over actors.  Auditions were held and actors have been chosen for the roles of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Solo, C-3PO, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Grand Moff Tarkinwill.

Kee and Wheeler recently returned from Burbank, California where they recorded the translated script which will then be used as a tool for those actors who may not be able to read Navajo.  Actors will listen to the recordings to assist them in memorizing their lines.  The actors will then dub their voices into the original movie.  The next production step will be to sync the lip movements with the Navajo words which will be challenging for the dubbing director.  To ensure that the adaptation is done well, the director will collaborate closely with a team of Navajo linguists.   

The Navajo Nation plans on showing the Navajo “Star Wars” to area school children to promote interest in learning their native language.  Part of the inspiration for the translation is to encourage excitement about learning the Navajo language in an attempt to keep the language alive across generations.

The premiere of the Navajo version of “Star Wars” will be at the Fourth of July Celebration and PRCA ProRodeo in Window, Rock.  Both Joe Kee and Jennifer Wheeler will be in attendance to celebrate their contribution towards sharing and preserving the Navajo language and culture.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dyer Named Executive Director of UNM Gallup

Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico Pres­i­dent Robert Frank announced the appoint­ment of Christo­pher Dyer as exec­u­tive direc­tor of UNM Gallup. He assumes the posi­tion effec­tive July 1. 

Dyer cur­rently serves as dean of aca­d­e­mic affairs and is a tenured pro­fes­sor of anthro­pol­ogy at Mis­souri State Uni­ver­sity — West Plains. He received both his master’s and Ph.D. in anthro­pol­ogy from Ari­zona State Uni­ver­sity. He is a native of the south­west and a vet­eran of cross-cultural pro­gram­ming, assess­ment and eco­nomic devel­op­ment. His field research and com­mu­nity ser­vice includes work with Native Amer­i­cans in Alaska and with His­pan­ics in North Car­olina and Texas.
He has made sig­nif­i­cant accom­plish­ments at MSU — West Plains, includ­ing pro­mot­ing an empo­rium math pro­gram, which resulted in an increase in intro­duc­tory math course com­ple­tions from 34 per­cent to 67 per­cent in the first year of the program.
Dyer has more than 10 years of expe­ri­ence as an aca­d­e­mic admin­is­tra­tor and dean, hav­ing served at Our Lady of the Lake Uni­ver­sity, Mount Olive Col­lege and the School for Field Studies.

Media Con­tact: Car­olyn Gon­za­les (505) 277‑5920; email: