January 2024


Kickstart 2024: Mark Your Calendars for Research and Creativity Week


By Dr. Luis Cifuentes, Vice President for Research, Creativity, and Economic Development

About five years ago, the LEADS 2025 Strategic Plan was crafted with a vision to excel in student success and social mobility for our diverse student populations, achieve the highest Carnegie research status (R1), and maintain our Carnegie Community Engagement classification.

As 2024 commences, I am delighted to share our significant progress toward realizing the vision of LEADS 2025. The latest Social Mobility Index (2023) from CollegeNET ranks NMSU 25th in the nation for advancing the social mobility of our students. Additionally, we received news last fall that the Carnegie ranking system metrics will be revised, positioning NMSU as one of the 168 Carnegie R1 universities in 2025. NMSU is committed to re-applying for the elective classification of Carnegie Community Engagement in the 2026 cycle, a key focus of the LEADS 2025 Goal 3 team this year.

I am also thrilled to highlight Research and Creativity Week 2024 (#RCW2024), taking place on the NMSU campus from February 26 through March 1. This year's event has set a record with 198 abstract submissions, encompassing oral presentations, poster presentations, media installations, and short performance submissions. The University Research Council, in collaboration with 14 dedicated RCW 2025 planning committee members, has crafted an outstanding schedule of events.

Research and Creativity Week 2024 kicks off Monday evening, February 26, with a keynote speech by renowned Chicana artist, Celia Álvarez Muñoz, at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts followed by a reception sponsored by Regent Ammu Devasthali at the NMSU University Museum. Over the next six weeks, we will post schedule details and updates through NMSU Hotline, social media, or through email.

I would like to draw your attention to three exclusive events with limited seating – Critical Conversations on the future of NMSU’s Research and Creativity Enterprise – all held at Corbett Center Senate Chambers from noon to 1:30 pm. Registration is required for attendance, and these events will be open to the community. Lunch will be provided, offering an excellent opportunity to make the most of your lunch hour.

  • February 27, HSIs and Artificial Intelligence: Challenges, Opportunities, Ideas moderated by Dr. Enrico Pontelli, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences. Click here to register.
  • February 29, Creating a Robust and Intersectional EID Framework to Strengthen STEAM Grant Proposals moderated Dr. Teresa Maria "Linda" Scholz, Vice President of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity. Click here to register.
  • March 1, What Kind of R1 does NMSU Want to be? moderated by Dr. Alan Shoho, Provost and Chief Academic Officer. Click here to register.

Finally, the University Research Council, in collaboration with my office, is tasked with bestowing the annual Awards for Exceptional Achievements in Creative Scholarly Activity. The list of this year's awardees is truly outstanding, and for Research and Creativity Week 2024, we have introduced an innovative way to honor them. We invite you to join us, hear from, and acknowledge your esteemed colleagues at a reception, taking place at the Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine on Thursday, February 29, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.

Wishing you a Happy New Year and a fantastic Spring semester!











News from Research Administration


By Ms. Alisha Giron, Associate Vice President for Research

I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to remind NMSU researchers about limited submission funding opportunities. The proposal development team in Research Administration Services (RAS) aggressively tries to locate funding opportunities that restrict us regarding the number of proposals we are allowed to submit as an institution. The team lists these opportunities on a Sharepoint site accessible to NMSU domain only. Researchers are encouraged to visit the site regularly and if interested in any of the opportunities, to communicate their interest by sending an email message to ras@nmsu.edu, subject line Limited Submission, and the title of the funding opportunity in the body of the email. Upon submission of the intent, a member of the proposal development team will contact the applicant about the opportunity and discuss further actions needed. It is important to send the intent email to ras@nmsu.edu and not to an individual in RAS. This way, the notice of intent is viewed by those in charge of oversight and is registered. To view NMSU's Limited Submission procedures click here. For more information, please send an email message to hamid@nmsu.edu.


News from Infrastructure and Partnerships: Advisory Council on NMSU Research Computing


By Dr. Tanner Schaub, Assistant Vice President for Research

I am excited to share the latest developments from RCED's Infrastructure and Partnerships unit, where RCED is assembling an advisory council to inform us of our next steps in campus research computing. This effort is led by an agile Vision Team reaching out to campus researchers to assess needs and ensure no faculty voices are overlooked. The Vision Team is supported by the rest of the Council (see below), and we thank this group for their time and input.

This initiative marks a significant stride towards enhancing our research computing capabilities, and we invite all interested individuals to participate and contribute to this collaborative effort actively.

Vision Team:

Council Members:

  • Charlotte Gard, Associate Professor, NMSU Department of Economics, Applied Statistics, and International Business
  • Jay Misra, Associate Dean for Research, NMSU College of Engineering
  • Carlo Mora-Monge, Associate Dean for Research, NMSU College of Business
  • Enrico Pontelli , Dean, NMSU College of Arts & Sciences
  • Lizely Madrigal, NMSU ICT, Director Instructional & Research Support
  • Marshall Taylor, Interim Associate Dean for Research, NMSU College of HEST
  • Lara Prihodko, Associate Director, NMSU Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Jason Jackiewicz, Professor and Department Head, NMSU Department of Astronomy
  • Shelley Lusetti, Professor and Department Head, NMSU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Director, NM INBRE
  • Laura Boucheron, Professor, NMSU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Thomas Manz, Associate Professor, NMSU Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Marat Talipov, Associate Professor, NMSU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry









News from Workforce and Strategic Engagement


By Dr. Patricia Sullivan, Director, Workforce and Strategic Engagements

NMSU was recently selected to lead a new Building Training and Assessment Center (BTAC) under a new award from DOE.  The new BTAC, funded at $900,000, will focus on broadening clean energy careers and providing on-site assistance to small businesses with energy efficiency strategies and operational practices.  Program leads are Drs. Samah
Ben-Ayed, Abdessattar Abdelkefi, Jalal Rastegary, and me. This work is complementary to ongoing grant funding from USDA to support clean energy adoption among NM small businesses.




News from the Arrowhead Center: The Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship housed at NMSU's Arrowhead Center Recently Announced the Appointment of Daniel J. Jones as Entrepreneur-in-Residence


By Carlos Murguia, Arrowhead Center

A distinguished NMSU graduate and a native of Las Cruces, Jones brings a wealth of experience as a multi-time founder, chief executive, and entrepreneur, specializing in building and scaling companies in complex, highly regulated industries with a focus on mission-driven companies seeking to make positive change in the world. Jones’ professional career has spanned nearly two decades in early-stage technology startups and venture capital. Jones studied academic and corporate innovation at Stanford Graduate School of Business and is a two-time LEAD program Intellectual Contributor Award winner for his work in design thinking and finance. Jones has worked closely with several academic institutions and corporations building programmatic approaches to entrepreneurship, innovation, and company-building, with multiple successful spinouts.

As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Jones will play a pivotal role in advancing the Hunt Center’s mission to grow entrepreneurial strength and diversity in the Borderplex region and throughout New Mexico. With a proven track record as a leader, executor, and value creator, Daniel is uniquely positioned to inspire and guide emerging entrepreneurs on their journey toward success.








Recognizing Large Proposal Submitters (December 2023)


By Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS 

Congratulations to Mr. Andrew Sedillo and Drs. Amanda Peel, Brook Milligan, and Monica Torres for each leading a proposal exceeding a million dollars in the month of December 2023.




Andrew Sedillo, the director of microcredentials instructional design for NMSU Global, led a $4 million proposal to the US Department of Justice. This collaborative proposal involves Drs. Dennis Giever, head of the Department of Criminal Justice; Marija Dimitrijevic, college associate professor of Criminal Justice; Ida D’Antonio-Hangen, associate professor of Criminal Justice; and Lauren Goldstein, strategy and development manager in the Office of the President. The proposed effort will develop virtual reality (VR) enhanced technologies to improve US law enforcement training programs by establishing VR-integrated microcredentials that complement existing community co-created VR simulations. The proposed program will serve as a framework for customized, bilingual Spanish/English multiparticipant VR training modules to be used by the law enforcement. Other partners on this proposal are the Metropolitan State University of Denver and Victory XR, an industry partner.



Andrew Sedillo, NMSU

Dr. Amanda Peel, assistant professor of Teacher Preparation, Administration, and Leadership, along with Dr. Paulett Vincent-Ruz, assistant professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry submitted a $3 million proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF). This proposal aims to help develop computational modeling tools for activities in high school science classrooms. As they describe it, in most high school science classrooms, especially in rural areas, students do not have the opportunity to engage in computational modeling. If selected for funding the project team will work with high school science teachers across multiple disciplines in rural Southern New Mexico to collaboratively design curricular units using computational modeling as a central mode of inquiry.


Dr. Amanda Peel, NMSU

Dr. Monica Torres, the Chancellor of NMSU System Community Colleges, led a multi-institutional collaborative proposal to the National Science Foundation. As the lead for this $1.4 million proposal, Dona Ana Community College partners with seven other institutions: Central New Mexico Community College, Luna Community College, NMSU Alamogordo, NMSU Grants, San Juan College, Santa Fe Community College, and the University of New Mexico at Valencia.  The goals of this proposal include increasing the retention of underrepresented minority (URM) undergraduate students pursuing degrees in STEM fields, increasing the number of community college URM students participating in mentoring and enrollment in STEM courses that provide undergraduate research experiences, and increasing the transfer rates of URM undergraduate students pursuing degrees in STEM. This Alliance partners with NMSU main campus as the four-year degree granting partner that leads the NSF funded Alliance for Minority Participation (NM AMP).

For more information please contact President Torres at mftorres@nmsu.edu.


Dr. Monica Torres, Chancellor, NMSU System Community Colleges

Dr. Brook Milligan, professor of Biology, submitted a $1.6 million collaborative proposal ($1.1 million for NMSU) to the NSF. This proposal aims to study the impact of extreme climate events, including heat waves, on species using Bombus huntii a species of bumble bee as a model for the study. The results of this research will enhance current species distribution models, especially in terrestrial ecosystems. Other collaborators on this research are Dr. Ashley Rhodes, a postdoctoral researcher at NMSU who will conduct the field experiments and guide students and field crews, and Dr. Jaime Strange from the Ohio State University.

For more information about this proposal, please contact Dr. Milligan at brook@nmsu.eu.




Dr. Brook Milligan, NMSU

National Endowment for the Humanities Campus Visit on February 28


By Dr. Allison Layfield, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS

Dr. Julia Nguyen, a program officer in the Division of Education Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities, will visit campus on February 28, as part of Research and Creativity Week 2024. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the NEH reviewing process, new initiatives at NEH, and to connect directly with a funding agency’s program officer. All faculty working in humanities fields or on interdisciplinary projects involving the humanities are encouraged to attend.

The NEH campus visit will include a presentation for faculty and staff and Q&A session. Dr. Nguyen will also provide consultations with individuals or groups to discuss ideas for potential grant applications.

Research Administration will be hosting a one-hour workshop, “Ace the NEH Campus Visit: Preparing for Consultations” to help faculty and staff prepare to make the most of Dr. Nguyen’s visit. Participants will learn about two grant programs in Dr. Nguyen’s division, practice analyzing NEH grant program guidelines, and learn tips for interacting with program officers.

The “Ace the NEH Campus Visit” workshop will be held on Zoom, 12:00 - 1:00pm on Friday, February 16. To register for the workshop, email me at layfield@nmsu.edu

More information about scheduling one-on-one consultations will be released with the Research and Creativity Week schedule.






Dr. Julia Nguyen, NEH

Critical Dialogues Series: Upcoming Events


By Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS 

The upcoming Critical Dialogue series include the following:






National Climate Change Roadmap


By Ms. Claire Montoya, Communications and Reporting Director, Agricultural Experiment Station Administration

Dr. Owen Burney, Professor and Research Director of the John T. Harrington Forestry Research Center in Mora, NM, recently participated in the development of the National Climate Change Roadmap.

The roadmap was released at the Association of Public Land Grant Universities Annual Meeting on November 13, 2023. It identifies national priorities for U.S. climate change research related to working lands over the next decade. With a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA), a Colorado State University (CSU) research team developed the Roadmap with support from Meridian Institute and 61 leading scientists. CSU and Meridian implemented a Horizon Scan methodology—a visioning process that synthesizes trends and knowledge gaps related to agricultural research and climate change—to project key focus areas for research, extension, and education. The horizon scan engaged 61 leading scientists from 51 institutions across the U.S. who contributed expertise in a wide range of disciplines and a broad diversity of perspectives to inform the Roadmap.

Guiding research principles and cross-cutting themes emerged, culminating in a framework for science and funding that is systems-based and highly participatory. The framework presented is not an endpoint but rather a starting place from which to evolve and refine to meet climate science challenges for the benefit of agriculture, working landscapes, and the communities that rely upon them. You can find more about the process, principles, and themes from the National Climate Change Roadmap here.





Dr. Owen Burney, NMSU


Limited Submission Funding Opportunities


By Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS

Research Administration Services maintains a list of limited submission funding opportunities for NMSU research community.  The list is accessible through a link on the Research website, through the Research Administration tab. NMSU users can also access the list directly on SharePoint.  We encourage NMSU researchers to periodically visit the site and if they are interested in any of the opportunities to please inform us by sending email to ras@nmsu.edu. 


Pivot Funding Opportunity Database


By Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS

This is a reminder that in order to assist NMSU faculty and staff in locating external funding opportunities, the RCSI has purchased a subscription to ProQuest’s Pivot available at https://pivot.proquest.com/session/login.  

To create an account with Pivot for the first time

Click on the Sign up link.DO NOT CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT!
Choose New Mexico State University from the Institution drop down menu.
You will be prompted to log in using your NMSU username and password.
Follow the process for NMSU's 2-Factor Authentication (2FA).

 To request a one-on-one or group Pivot training, send email to hamid@nmsu.edu





Graduate School

No news this month. 

Questions and comments regarding NMSU’s Research Digest should be directed to Hamid Mansouri Rad, Ph.D. at hamid@nmsu.edu, (575) 646-6429.