March 2024


Research and Creativity Week Redux


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

Research and Creativity Week (RCW) 2024 was a vibrant showcase of diverse content, demonstrating a significant increase in attendance compared to previous years and affirming its integral role in the tapestry of NMSU's research and creativity culture. While celebrating these accomplishments is important, it is equally crucial to prioritize the sustainability of RCW and ensure it continues to offer a welcoming, enriching, and fulfilling experience for faculty, students, and staff alike.

I had the pleasure of attending numerous events throughout the week, commencing with an inspiring keynote by artist Celia Alvarez Muñoz. The musical performances on Tuesday and Thursday highlighted the exceptional talent within our community. Additionally, the critical dialogues sparked pivotal conversations that are imperative as we progress towards Carnegie R1 status and embrace new leadership. The recognition of University Research Council awardees and the faculty plenary speaker at the Bobbly Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine underscored the importance of honoring our outstanding faculty and staff. I made sure to attend the Poetry Reading at Grounded Coffee, where I witnessed the delightful fusion of academic discourse and community engagement. These examples exemplified the caliber of offerings at RCW 2024.

A noteworthy highlight of this year's proceedings was the submission of an abstract for oral presentation by a student from Grants Community College, a rarity for our branch campuses. Encouraging such participation in the future is a priority, and concerted efforts were made to support and facilitate the student's involvement. After the acceptance of their abstract, funding was secured to alleviate travel expenses. This marked the student's inaugural presentation, and despite initial nerves, they delivered a compelling narrative with courage and poise. It was heartening to witness the support of the student's friend and a faculty member from Grants Community College, seated in the front row, exemplifying solidarity and encouragement.

Gratitude is extended to the generous sponsors, dedicated steering committee members, esteemed University Research Council members, presenters, performers, judges, attendees, tech support personnel, and the diligent staff from Research, Creativity, and Economic Development (RCED). Special recognition is owed to Diana Sandoval within RCED, as well as Professor Marshall Taylor, Chair of the University Research Council, whose contributions were instrumental in making RCW 2024 a resounding success. Here's to reconvening in 2025 for yet another inspiring and fulfilling experience!








News from Research Administration


By Ms. Alisha Giron, Associate Vice President for Research

With NMSU’s growing research portfolio come additional responsibilities. The obligations from externally-funded grants and contracts are simultaneously expanding for university research, public service, and outreach across the country. This is a gentle reminder to be mindful of NMSU’s responsibilities as they relate to these funds. If there is any concern about questionable activity on a grant or contract, please communicate with your supervisor. The entire NMSU community plays a role in ensuring our prestigious work is not inadvertently impacted by a lack of communication before a scenario, or perceived scenario, develops. Lastly, as NMSU’s Authorized Organizational Representative and grant/contract signatory, I am also available to help review potential concerns directly at




Ms. Alisha Giron, NMSU


News from Infrastructure and Partnerships: Research Computing: HPC Usage and Forecast Survey


By Drs. Tanner Schaub, Assistant Vice President for Research and Lizely Madrigal, Director, Instructional and Research Support, ICT 

The Research Computing Advisory Council continues efforts to improve our computing infrastructure and the Vision Team (with additional faculty joining) is working hard on an NSF CC* proposal for data storage hardware that will go out in April. The Team has committed to NSF proposal submissions on a recurring cycle that will request data storage hardware/compute hardware/major instrumentation. The team is also formulating efforts around HPC student training programs. Vision Team member Dr. Lizely Madrigal (NMSU Director of Instructional & Research Support at ICT) has prepared a short survey to collect your ideas on potential projects, funding avenues, partnerships, and strategies for success.

Please spare a few minutes to complete the survey by Tuesday, March 19: 






News from Workforce and Strategic Engagement


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

Building on NMSU’s participation in the Permian Energy Development Laboratory(PEDL)'s NSF Innovation Engine Type I grant, the NMSU Office of Workforce and Strategic Engagement joined other PEDL partners at the 2024 South by Southwest (SXSW) event in Austin, TX. With a focus on the convergence of technology, education, and culture, the PEDL team focused their time at SXSW on building regional collaborations through ecosystem mapping and meetings with industry and government officials. The PEDL team was also partnered with counterparts from Northern Sweden to share similar challenges and opportunities and “lessons learned” for revisioning regional economies in communities undergoing transition from traditional extractive industries to new and advanced energy economies.  As a lead on community engagement and workforce development on the PEDL NSF Innovation Engines grant, NMSU will continue to develop innovative and community-engaged strategies to support the energy transition within the Permian.





News from the Arrowhead Center


By Ms. Dana DeRego Catron, Deputy Director, Arrowhead Center

Arrowhead Center’s New Mexico University Center for Regional Commercialization and Resilience has partnered with the New Mexico Energy Technology Incubator – which focuses on novel fusion technology solutions – to provide internships for University Center students. This partnership will pave the way for unparalleled educational and professional development opportunities, encouraging students to immerse themselves in the cutting-edge world of fusion energy technology.

Through this partnership, students from diverse academic backgrounds will gain hands-on experience, working alongside researchers and innovators on projects that aim to reshape the future of energy. These internships will not only provide invaluable practical experience but will also play a critical role in fostering resilience and advancing commercialization efforts within the region's energy sector. The internships will not only enhance the employability and skills of the participating students but also position the New Mexico University Center for Regional Commercialization and Resilience and the New Mexico Energy Technology Incubator at the forefront of energy innovation and education.






Recognizing Large Proposal Submitters (February 2024)


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

Congratulations to Drs. Erika Gergerich, Monique Matute-Chavarria, and Betsy Stringam for each leading a large proposal in the month of February.




Dr. Erika Gergerich and her team for submitted a $4.9 million proposal to the Department of Health Resources and Administration. This five-year proposal aims to improve the gerontological knowledge and skills among master’s level social work graduates serving the border region in southern New Mexico. The broader impact of this proposed effort includes improved psychosocial support for the elderly and caregivers in the state of New Mexico and surrounding areas. Dr. Gergerich is an associate professor in the School of Social Work within the College of Health Education and Social Transformation at NMSU. Her collaborators on this proposal include Drs. Kimberly Knox, assistant professor and Maribel Tellez, college assistant professor in the same department.

For more information about this proposal please contact Dr. Erika Gergerich at


Dr. Erika Gergerich, NMSU

Dr. Monique Matute-Chavarria, assistant professor of Special Education, led a $1.25 million proposal to the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education. Titled, E2: Equity in Early Intervention/Equidad en Intervención Temprana, the proposed project will increase the number of undergraduate students from multilingual (English-Spanish) backgrounds who are highly qualified to provide early intervention services to multilingual families with infants and toddlers with delays or disabilities. If selected for funding, this five-year project will train16 multilingual early interventionists who, upon graduation, will be placed in agencies or government offices who serve high-need families with disabilities. In addition to Dr. Matute-Chavarria as the lead, this project will be supported by Drs. Anita Hernandez, professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture, the Don and Sarah Kidd Endowed Chair for Literacy, and Associate Dean of Research in the College of HEST; Minea Armijo-Romero, an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Preparation Administration (TPAL); Sarah Wiegand, assistant professor of Early Childhood and Special Education; Angela Owens, college assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction; and Violet Henderson, college assistant professor at TPAL.

For more information about this proposal please contact Dr. Matute-Chavarria at


Dr. Monique Matute-Chavarria, NMSU

Dr. Betsy Stringam, professor of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management, for leading a $1.199 million proposal to the USDA NIFA H.S.I. Education Grants Program titled Sowing Seeds for FANH Education with Farm-to-Table. In collaboration with peer scholars in California State University, Fresno, this proposal seeks to improve the quality of online food and agricultural courses by creating six courses following the farm-to-table framework, four for food and agriculture majors, and two for non-majors. The farm-to-table framework will connect current environmental and sustainability concerns of students to food and agriculture careers, attracting more students to these disciplines. Other NMSU collaborators on this project include Drs. Blair Stringam, Jean Hertzman, Christopher Cramer, Efren Delgado, Rachel Gioannini, Marisa Thompson, and Ms. Danielle Young, M.A.

For more information about this proposal please contact Dr. Betsy Stringam at

Dr. Betsy Stringam, NMSU

NSF CAREER Workshop on April 19, 2024


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

The Office of the Vice President for Research, Creativity, and Economic Development will hold a one-day workshop on developing effective NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) proposals on Friday April 19. To be eligible to apply for the NSF CAREER funding, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a doctoral degree in a field supported by NSF;
  • Be engaged in research in an area of science, engineering, or education supported by NSF;
  • Hold at least a 50% tenure-track (or tenure-track-equivalent) position as an assistant professor (or equivalent title);
  • Be untenured; and
  • Have not previously received a CAREER award. (Prior or concurrent Federal support for other types of awards for non-duplicative research does not preclude eligibility.)

Applicants may submit only one proposal in each cycle and only three proposals before obtaining tenure position.

This workshop is led by Ms. Lucy Deckard, the founder of Academic Research Funding Strategies (ARFC), LLC. Before leading the ARFC consulting, Ms. Deckard was an Associate Director of Research Development at Texas A&M University for 8 years and prior to that worked as a research engineer in industry for 16 years.

To register, please send email to





Save the Date: Principal Investigator Training on April 5, 2024


By Ms. Rita C. Parra, Director of Pre-award Services, RAS 

Research Administration Services (RAS) will be offering Principal Investigator Training at 11:00am on April 5, 2024 via Zoom. The training is intended to provide a high-level overview to NMSU researchers and staff involved with proposal preparation and submission, as well as award negotiation/acceptance of externally-sponsored grants and contracts. The training is strongly encouraged for all prospective and current principal investigators who have yet to attend. Registration details will be forthcoming in NMSU’s Hotline. For more information, please email



Americans and the Holocaust Exhibition at NMSU in Fall 2026


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

Congratulations to Ms. Aubrey Iglesias and Mr. Dylan McDonald, assistant professors at NMSU Library, for securing competitive funds to host Americans and the Holocaust, A Traveling Exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum that examines the motives, pressures, and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war, and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.

“Dylan and I are so pleased that the NMSU Library has been chosen as one of a select group of libraries across the country to host the Americans and the Holocaust exhibition," states Ms. Iglesias.  "Partnering with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association is a real honor.  The exhibition’s themes will allow the library to engage the campus community and the Las Cruces region in dialogue regarding humanity’s responses to war, genocide, and refugees, topics still extremely relevant in national discussions.”

Americans and the Holocaust: A Traveling Exhibition for Libraries is made possible by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association.

For more information, please contact Ms. Aubrey Iglesias at  or Mr. Dylan McDonald at



Ms. Aubrey Iglesias and Mr. Dylan McDonald, NMSU Library

Congratulations to the 2024 Arts and Humanities Seed Grant Awardees


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

To support the work of faculty in the arts and humanities, the Office of Research, Creativity and Economic Development (RCED) created the Arts and Humanities seed grant program to support LEADS 2025, Goal 2: Elevate Research and Creativity. Currently in its third year, this multi-year commitment by  RCED provides up to $10,000 to NMSU faculty for proposal development efforts that seek external funding in the arts and humanities. Awards will provide faculty with the time and resources to conduct preliminary research and creative activities necessary to develop external funding proposals.

2024 awardees come from a wide range of artistic and humanistic approaches. Congratulations to this year’s cohort of awardees:

  • Jacob Dalager, Music
  • Jerry Wallace, History
  • Megan Metcalf, Art History
  • Eric House, English
  • Wil Kilroy, Theatre
  • Kendra Yapyapan, Animation
  • Justin Klocksiem, Philosophy
  • Bree Lamb, Art

To learn more about this program, contact me at





McNair Scholars Program: Help Our First Generation Students Earn their PhDs


By Mr. Marko Mohlenhoff, Director, TRiO McNair Scholars Program

NMSU’s McNair Scholars Program is now inviting applications for our next cohort. Please encourage your brightest first-generation, students who have the potential and interest in doing research and earning their PhDs to apply for the program. Qualified applicants will:

  • Be first-generation with financial need OR be from a background underrepresented in grad education.
  • have a minimum 3.0 GPA (recommended).
  • be sophomores graduating Spring 2026 or later.
  • be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents.

Students selected for the program will be immersed in premier, best-practice academic activities to prepare them for competitive application to graduate and PhD programs including, but not limited to:

  • Exclusive, free enrollment in the Engaged Scholars honors seminar each semester, resulting in an earned honors certificate after two years
  • A paid Summer Immersive Research Internship guided by a faculty mentor (summer after junior year)
  • Funds and travel opportunities to attend and present at research conferences and visit doctoral and graduate programs in their chosen field
  • Assistance preparing for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and applying to graduate programs
  • Inclusion and the support of a cohort of their peers to navigate the PhD-bound journey together.

Each year the McNair Program will accept only a small cohort of participants. If you have a student who you believe has the interest and potential to succeed in a Ph.D., and who would fully engage in this extremely valuable program, please encourage them to apply. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE APRIL 12.

You and your students can learn more and apply here. If you have questions or are willing to invite a representative of the McNair to present at a department, team, or class meeting, please contact with your request. Thank you!




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, subject line Limited Submission, and the name of the agency and the title of the funding opportunity in the body of the email.



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  

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





Questions and comments regarding NMSU’s Research Digest should be directed to Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad at, (575) 646-6429.