Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday in New Mexico

The 2nd annual “Holiday in New Mexico” will be hosted on Monday, December 2nd complete with entertainment, posole, biscochitos, luminarias, a balloon glow, games and fun.  The holiday celebration will begin at 5:00 PM and continue until 8:00 PM.  Embedded within this year’s event is a special opera performance by students from the UNM College of Fine Arts who will be performing “The Bear Essentials of Opera” which is a family-friendly musical version of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”  Led by professors Leslie Umphrey and Sam Sheppardson, the fine arts students will also perform two school time performances of their show on Tuesday, December 2.
            Holiday in New Mexico is a way of celebrating with the Gallup community and thanking our students and their families for choosing UNM-Gallup. 

SkillsUSA Conference Hosted by UNM-Gallup

While the UNM-Gallup students were enjoying a much-deserved fall break, the UNM-G campus became the designated starting point for the SkillsUSA New Mexico 2014 Fall Service Learning and Leadership Conference.  The statewide conference took place from Saturday, October 11-Monday, October 13th.  Student delegates from every section of New Mexico convened to take part in leadership training seminars and perform service learning projects as part of “Project Helping Hands.” 
The gusty winds did little to dampen the enthusiasm of these future leaders who worked to make improvements at the following work sites:
1)    Playground of Dreams – participants sanded and sealed the individual wooden beams of the community-built playground and cleaned up the entire site to make it safer for children;
2)    Zuni Fairgrounds-the students disassembled the entire fairgrounds area to prepare the area for construction of a new community center.  Under the direction of welding instructor Joe Sanchez the crew battled the high winds that resulted in more than one episode of singed hair to completely tear down the bleachers and all surrounding fences; 
3)    Manuelito Children’s Home-the roof of the gymnasium was reinforced by the Skills USA students at this facility which specializes in the care of Native American children.
             All the participants exemplified the mission of Skills USA which is to “empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.”  Ann Jarvis, faculty sponsor for the UNM-Gallup SkillsUSA chapter notes that “the Service Learning and Leadership Conference allowed UNM-G students the opportunity see what was going on with other students around the state and allowed them to take a leadership role.”  Twenty-three UNM-G students participated in the conference.  Other faculty advisors for the UNM-G SkillsUSA group are Joe Sanchez and Robert Encinio.

Young Authors Conference

UNM-Gallup provided the space for the Gallup Young Authors’ Conference on Friday, October 24th.  Approximately 170 5th graders from the Gallup McKinley County School District attended the event where they were able to participate in a variety of writing workshops intended to improve and expand their writing abilities. 
            According to event organizer Toni Skalican, the goal of the conference was to have “each student leave the conference with generated pre-writing techniques for engaging an audience in stories, and ultimately, the intrinsic motivation to write for personal growth and fulfillment.  The conference, as a pilot, will serve as a sustainable model for writing initiatives in other school districts, carrying on annually for Gallup McKinley County students for years to come.” 
            Facilitators for the writing workshops were Carolyn Kuchera (UNM-Gallup), Carmela Lanza (UNM-Gallup), Sonya Burton (UNM-Gallup), Phil Neilson (JFK Middle School), Elizabeth Lawrence (Gallup Middle School), and Toni Skalican (Gallup Middle School).  Conference participants participated in workshops during the morning and early afternoon, enjoyed lunch in the Gurley Hall Commons and took a campus tour to round out their day at UNM-Gallup. 

UNM Gallup awarded TAACCCT Grant

UNM-Gallup is part of an 11 school consortium that was recently awarded the Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant.  The SUN PATH project was awarded to the New Mexico group as part of an application that emphasizes allied health care and cybersecurity career pathways.
The TAACCCT grant is intended to provide job training to veterans, employees who have lost their jobs due to work being outsourced internationally, and low-skilled adults.   TAACCCT grants are provided to community colleges and other institutions of higher education to expand and improve the delivery of career training programs that can be completed in two years or less and prepare participants of the program for employment in high skill and high wage occupations. 
            The Department of Labor is helping to ensure that community colleges help adults succeed in acquiring skills, industry credentials and degrees for employment in high paying jobs.  At the same time, the program helps institutions of higher education meet the needs of employers for high skilled workers.  Through partnerships with local employers, TAACCCT grant recipients are able to design curriculum, hire faculty and put programs in place to accelerate the rate at which students complete their certificate and degree requirements and enter into the workforce.
            UNM-Gallup, under the direction of Project Director Laura Blalock, will introduce a new curriculum that combines Health Information Technology and Information Technology into a new Electronic Health Records certificate.  This program will prepare graduates to enter into the medical technology field at a time when changing federal regulations are requiring a more advanced skill set than in the past.
            UNM-Gallup was awarded $867,000 over three years to roll out the EHR program.  Funds are available to hire needed faculty and staff to instruct in the program and provide support to student participants.  Also funded will be a new simulation lab for the nursing program.  Local industry partners include Rehoboth McKinley Christian Healthcare Services, the Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation and the Gallup McKinley County School District.
            Partnering institutions in the New Mexico consortium include:  Santa Fe Community College (lead institution), Central New Mexico Community College, UNM-Valencia, UNM-Taos, UNM-Los Alamos, San Juan Community College, Mesalands Community College, Eastern New Mexico-Roswell, NMSU-Alamogordo, ENMU-Ruidoso.
            The UNM-Gallup TAACCCT planning team worked closely with the other partnering institutions for several months to prepare the successful grant proposal.  Work has already begun to fill the grant-funded positions, submit new curriculum for approval and recruit students into the program. 
Insert picture of Laura Blalock

Medieval Brass Coffin Rubbings

UNM-Gallup instructor, Martin Link, will publicly exhibit his college of monumental brass coffin rubbings during the month of December in the display cases in the Gurley Hall Commons area.  This exquisite collection of medieval rubbings was given to Mr. Link by his friend and fellow historian Lee LeCaptain for use in Link’s “Medieval Mayhem” class this semester.
During the time known as the Medieval period from the 12th to 17th centuries many British families designed commemorative metal plates which were placed on the coffins of deceased family members.  Some of the plates were quite ornate, and many depict stories of the life of the deceased or events related to that time period.    The students of Mr. Link’s class are fortunate to benefit from these unique and historically significant artifacts and UNM-Gallup is lucky to have the opportunity to exhibit such a large and rare collection.

UNM-G Student awarded scholarship

          Gayle Woodcock, Director of Dental Assisting at UNM‐Gallup attended the Summer Camp 2014 convention of Dental Health Methods of Education, Inc. Attendees of the summer conference contributed to fund raising efforts and raised enough to award two $1,000 scholarships.
          A lottery was conducted to select the winners, and Gayle’s name was drawn for a student scholarship ticket.Faculty of the UNM‐G dental assisting program selected Geneva Williams to receive the award. According to Ms. Williams, “As you may know, applying to dental school is an expensive process and my search for employment has been challenging. Thankfully, I can continue with my plan to apply to dental school for the Fall 2015. This award has allowed me to take the Dental Admission Test, send in my college transcripts to the ADEA, AADSAS office and send my application to at least four dental schools.“