May 2024


Who Are NMSU's Peers, Really?


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

In a recent Chronicle article, Hofstra University President, Dr. Susan Poser, wrote "In the hypercompetitive world of higher education, benchmarking against similar institutions could inform our strategic planning and help us think about our ambitions. It would provide us with a group of universities that we would get to know and to which we would consistently return to measure our own progress, and perhaps learn a few things."

Who are New Mexico State University’s reported peers, and are they similar enough to warrant benchmarking? According to the Office of Institutional Analysis, NMSU’s 15 university peers include 13 Land Grant institutions, 13 Carnegie R1, and 2 Carnegie R2 institutions, and 5 HSIs. Nine peers are from EPSCOR states, and only two are in the top 200 2023 Social Mobility Index.

Based on the Chronicle’s compiled list of peer institutions (nearly 1,500 institutions), 16 universities consider NMSU as one of their peers. Seven of these— Iowa State University, Montana State University, Texas Tech University, University of Idaho, University of Nevada Reno, University of Wyoming, and Utah State University—are NMSU peers.

The existing group (grey) of peers represents a range of 650 to 3084 full-time faculty (IPEDS 2023) and $105 million to $824 million annual R&D expenditures (NSF HERD 2022). At 769 full-time faculty and $121 million annual R&D expenditures, NMSU (crimson) is at the extreme lower end of existing peers. While similar in mission and geographical location, most of NMSU’s present peers do not reflect our student demographic and far exceed our research capacity and infrastructure.

The LEADS 2025 Goal Team 2.0 is examining NMSU’s research and creativity enterprise and revisiting our peer choices. The team is drafting a new list (blue) of 16 university peers that include 13 Land Grant institutions, 9 Carnegie R1, 7 Carnegie R2 institutions, one AAU institution, and 6 HSIs. Eleven peers are from EPSCOR states, six are in the top 200 2023 Social Mobility Index, and seven, though not all the same ones, list NMSU in their peer group. The peer group range of 547 to 1399 full-time faculty and $48 million to $203 million annual R&D expenditures, however, is much less expansive.

This is not the first effort at crafting a new list of peers I have been part of during my tenure at NMSU. The list is preliminary, and I look forward to meeting with NMSU stakeholders to get feedback. Bottom line, if we intend to realistically benchmark ourselves and measure progress, we must update our peer group.











Click to enlarge pictures [+]

Welcoming Back Dr. Susan Brown!


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

Dr. Susan Brown, who retired as interim dean of NMSU’s College of Education in November 2020, will serve as interim director of the STEM+ Education Research Institute (SERI). The impetus for creating the Institute came from the collaborative and successful model of the Gadsden Math Initiative, which began over 17 years ago in partnership with the Gadsden Independent School District. SERI has since grown, benefiting from the May 2022 Pete’s Patio brainstorming session on the benefits and opportunities for creating a university-level STEM education research center, and from this academic year’s cluster hire in STEM/STEM+ education research.

Prior to retirement, Dr. Brown served as the college’s associate dean of research and director of the STEM Outreach Center at NMSU, which she helped establish. As interim dean, Brown also oversaw the creation of an autism diagnostic clinic at the college and the Glass Family Research Institute for Early Childhood Studies, both of which are expected to have significant impacts on New Mexico’s K-12 education.

Dr. Brown will serve in an interim capacity while the institute searches for its founding director. Her primary focus will be on identifying and applying for other funding opportunities to sustain SERI, working with new STEM education research faculty to develop and submit proposals, submitting IRBs, and assisting them in becoming successful researchers in this field. She will also be responsible for organizing an annual “SERI Day” in the fall and promoting and communicating SERI to campus, community, and state stakeholders.

Welcome, Dr. Brown, and thank you to the triad of Dr. Michele Shuster, Dr. Wanda Bulger-Tamez, and Dr. Patricia Sullivan, who helped get SERI off the ground!





Dr. Susan Brown, NMSU

Dr. Susan Brown, NMSU 

News from Infrastructure and Partnerships: APLU CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program


By Dr. Tanner Schaub, Assistant Vice President for Research

I am excited to share a few experiences from the APLU CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program. As part of the sixth cohort, I recently had the privilege to join six VPRs and Associate VPRs in a week-long exploration of the UC Berkeley, San Jose State University, and UC Davis research offices. This was an exceptional opportunity to engage with research enterprise leaders at these powerful institutions and gain insight into their best practices, challenges, and innovative solutions. I brought back many ideas and am reaching out to faculty and unit leaders individually to socialize some of these concepts and see how they might be adapted successfully in the NMSU ecosystem. Those topics include core facilities, interdisciplinary research teaming, industry affiliate programs, messaging institutional research strengths, research animal programs, and the list goes on….

Among the most impactful statements I heard came from Dr. Rich Lyons, who is UC Berkeley’s Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer and just-named incoming Chancellor at Berkeley. He stopped mid-tour to introduce our group to the “Yes, if…” concept when responding to a request for support. This concept is a constructive approach used in discussions and problem-solving that encourages openness and flexibility. Instead of rejecting ideas outright, participants build on them by outlining specific conditions under which they could work, fostering collaboration and innovative solutions. Culture change starts small. I encourage you to execute a few of these in the coming month. I will do the same.

Photo: Left to right: APLU CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program “Cohort 6” fellows touring the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at UC Davis, with Vice Chancellor for Research Dr. Simon Atkinson (3rd from right). 







News from Workforce and Strategic Engagement


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

The Office of Workforce and Strategic Engagement continues to focus on building partnerships and coalitions that can collectively help communities thrive, economically and with associated workforce opportunities. Through the NMSU South-Central Environmental Resource Center, an EPA funded Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center (TCTAC), NMSU recently participated in the 27th Annual Tribal Environmental Summit in Tulsa, OK and a meeting of the Northern Indian Pueblo Inter-Agency Committee in Albuquerque, NM to expand engagement and partnerships among Tribal communities. Hosted by the Inter-Tribal Environmental Council (ITEC) and the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council, the events focused on advancing health, natural resources and the environment among Tribes from Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas, including pursuit of federal funding opportunities under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). NMSU presented work underway in the South-Central TCTAC to provide relevant outreach  and technical assistance resources for underserved communities and those in rural, remote, and Tribal communities to increase participation in BIL, IRA and other federal and state funding opportunities. The South-Central TCTAC also shared efforts underway to grow a network of technical assistance providers from academia, national laboratories, non-governmental entities, and governmental agencies across a multi-state region to collectively increase access to community-based technical assistance services.





Recognizing Large Award: New Mexico INBRE Program Receives $19.9 Million NIH Grant to Continue Biomedical Research Statewide


By Chantel Ibarra, Program Specialist, NM INBRE 

New Mexico IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research (INBRE) is housed at NMSU and collaborates with numerous partner institutions statewide, creating a dynamic network of scientists, educators, and students. Proudly, NM-INBRE announces the award of a substantial five-year, $19.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This funding allocation fortifies NM-INBRE's ongoing mission to strengthen biomedical research capabilities, enhancing understanding of diseases and treatments, and foster scientific progress across New Mexico. Notably, this grant marks the fifth renewal for the New Mexico INBRE program, which has yielded significant outcomes since its inception in 2001.

In April 2024, NM-INBRE launches cycle-5 with updates to the Developmental Research Project Program (DRPP) and introduces the New Mexico INBRE Research Faculty (NIRF) Program, providing training in grant writing and research lab management, with a particular focus on supporting Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUI) through the NIRF fellows’ program. INBRE-5 also welcomes two new partner institutions, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) and Dona Ana Community College (DACC). Furthermore, the Sequencing and Bioinformatics Core will transition into a Data Science Core, expanding services and securing funding for cloud-based computing.

Over the next five years, NM-INBRE aims to amplify funded biomedical research projects, nurture, and sustain a competitive research environment, and deliver integrated undergraduate and graduate training programs. This commitment reinforces NM-INBRE's dedication to advancing biomedical research excellence throughout New Mexico. Join us in commemorating this significant milestone and our unwavering dedication to propelling biomedical research in the state. 

For further information on NM-INBRE and its initiatives, please visit or connect with us on social media (@nminbre).





Advisory Council on Research Computing


By Dr. Lizely Madrigal, Director, NMSU ICT, Instructional and Research Support

Advisory Council on NMSU Research Computing

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

  • Hameed Badawy, Associate Professor, NMSU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Strahinja Trekakov, NMSU ICT/Manager Discovery HPC cluster
  • Carlos Hererra, Director, NMSU ACES IT
  • Gaurav Panwar, Assistant Professor, NMSU Department of Computer Science
  • David Montoya, President, Trenza Synergy, Inc. and Interim CIO, New Mexico Consortium
  • Nathan DeBardeleben, Co-Executive Director for Technical Operations, Los Alamos National. Lab Ultrascale Systems Research Center
  • Ex-officio: Tanner Schaub, NMSU Assistant Vice President for Research (Infrastructure and Partnerships),NMSU Research Cores Program, and Lizely Madrigal  NMSU ICT, Director Instructional & Research Support

Council Members

  • Charlotte Gard, Associate Professor, NMSU Dept. of Economics, Applied Statistics, and International Business
  • Jay Misra, Associate Dean for Research, NMSU College of Engineering
  • Carlo Mora-Monge, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, NMSU College of Business
  • Enrico Pontelli, Dean, NMSU College of Arts & Sciences
  • 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





 NMSU Lizely Madrigal

Dr. Lizely Madrigal, NMSU

Applicants Sought for NEH Summer Stipend Program Nominations


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

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipends program provides funding for individual humanities scholars to work full-time on their research for 2 months during the summer. Tenure-track, non-tenure track, independent scholars and non-teaching staff members are all eligible to apply.  

To be eligible for the NEH Summer Stipend program, scholars must:  

  • Propose work on a specific research project 
  • Be engaged in research in any area of the humanities or humanistic social sciences 
  • Work full-time on their research for two consecutive months (no teaching) 
  • Work on no other NEH projects during the grant period 

Interested tenure-track faculty must notify Research Administration Services of intent to apply by emailing by May 17, 2024.  Please include the words “Limited Submission” in the subject line and NEH Summer Stipend in the body of the email. Per NEH restrictions, NMSU is limited to nominating two tenure-track scholars for the program; there are no limitations on the number of staff and non-tenure faculty that may apply from NMSU. To learn more about the internal selection process, please visit NMSU’s Limited Submissions webpage, also available through the Office of Research, Creativity and Economic Development’s website.

Proposal writing resources can be found on the Arts and Humanities Funding MS Teams Site. 

All faculty and staff are welcome to reach out to Allison Layfield ( for information about the Summer Stipend program or for assistance in preparing a proposal.  

Congratulations to Dr. Jamie Bronstein, Department of History, on her 2024 NEH Summer Stipend award! Read the NMSU article about Dr. Bronstein’s project on New Mexico’s Territorial Insane Asylum.





Summer Chats via Zoom!


By Ms. Cindy Ramirez, Proposal Development Specialist, RAS

Grab your favorite morning beverage and join me for "Summer Chats" via Zoom. The summer chats will be from 9-10 am on June 6, July 11, and August 8.

June 6: Let’s look at and, how can they work for you?

July 11: Exploring the National Institutes of Health

August 8: Potential ways to organize a Specific Aims Page or Project Description

To register for the series, please email me at




Summer Chats Program



Summer Writing Groups


By Ms. Cindy Ramirez, Proposal Development Specialist, RAS

Have plans to work in some writing over the summer months? If so, consider taking part in the  Summer Writing Group. Group members will meet virtually weekly to form a community around accountability, feedback, and moral support. Your project could mean writing, editing, reading or any task to support your project. The benefits of the group keep one another accountable by writing and expecting others to do the same, but will also provide time to meet, catch up, and share how your writing session went.

Interested? Contact me at for more information.


Summer writing



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 RCED 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.