July 2022


Final Thoughts before Retirement


By Phillip, Associate Vice President for Research

I appreciate the invitation from Dr. Cifuentes to share some final thoughts before my retirement. As I stated in my letter to him, “I have enjoyed a long and very rewarding career at NMSU filled with professional growth as an engineering educator and researcher. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to join the faculty as a newly-minted PhD and earn tenure and promotion. Undoubtedly, my greatest source of pride lies among the 1000+ students I taught over my 26 1/2 year career and the delight I had in doing it.” I was really lucky to have been a part of this great institution because being a professor was what I wanted to be even though I had no idea what that even meant or what it took.

As a young Mexican-American student, I was fortunate enough to take courses at the University of Texas at San Antonio (my hometown) and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during high school summers. I thought my professors were the coolest people I ever met and college campuses were exciting places. I took a route never seen in my family: earning a STEM degree, earning a masters degree and PhD, pursuing research, and applying to a university for an academic post. NMSU gave me the opportunity to live out my dream and essentially do what I grew to love: teaching (although I had never taught a course before I joined NMSU) and research. “Really lucky” does even come close! I believe stories like mine are everywhere at NMSU and I’m proud to be among the faculty that help propel our students forward.

It would be untruthful if I wrote that it was always a honeymoon with NMSU administrators, bureaucracy, and policies. A great deal of these not-so-happy times, involved externally-funded research. In 2016, (new) Dean Lakshmi Reddi opened up the Associate Dean of Research position while I was on sabbatical. I applied, and he offered me the position. I suspect the sabbatical bliss was the perfect antidote to my insistence that I would never be an administrator. However, at some point along the journey, I believed I should at least try to work on making the academic and research environments more productive for faculty as others tried/did for us. In 2019, (new) Vice President for Research Cifuentes opened up the AVPR position, I applied, and he offered me the position. I believed this was an opportunity to work beyond the College of Engineering for all NMSU faculty and I was happy to do so. In some sense, I’m the accidental administrator and it will be up to my colleagues, to decide whether I made a positive contribution to the research enterprise and the academy. One thing I do know, being an administrator allowed me my second greatest source of pride while at NMSU: serving my colleagues.

I must finally acknowledge the research and administrative communities coming together in a way I estimate I have never seen at this level before: committing to a state-of-the-art enterprise system Streamlyne, to support the entire chain of research support from proposal development to post-award and everything in between. The faculty, administrative, and technical (ICT) teams were truly outstanding and I am proud to have been a part of it.

Our mission statement reads: “The Office of the Vice President for Research advances University success in research, scholarship, and creative activity through exemplary service to the faculty, staff, and student corps.” Having been deeply embedded in research administration for the last six years, I am convinced the teams in place in the OVPR and college research offices are committed to exemplary service and demonstrate this daily. Despite what other colleagues may opine, I truly believe NMSU has momentum and is on the right trajectory to achieving R1 status. I look forward to reading about it and celebrating with you when it happens. Go Aggies!





Dr. Phillip De Leon, Associate
Vice President, NMSU

NSF Invites NRGCC to Submit "Type 2" Regional Innovation Engine Full Proposal


By Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist

NSF Regional Innovation Engines program invites NRGCC team to submit full proposal in response to the NSF Engines program.

The Northern Rio Grande Corridor Collaborative (NRGCC) is a research partnership dedicated to collectively advancing discovery and its application in the areas of climate change resilience, water, and clean energy. The collaborative members are University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), NMSU, NM Institute of Mining and Technology (NM Tech), University of New Mexico (UNM), Navajo Technical University (Navajo Tech), Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL), and Sandia National Laboratory (SNL).

NSF Regional Innovation Engines is a recently developed program aimed at positively impacting economy within geographic regions, addressing societal challenges, and advancing national competitiveness. Released in May 2022, the program’s broad agency announcement (BAA) invited concept papers to create regional-scale innovation ecosystems, which was a great opportunity for NRGCC members. After weeks of regular meetings, we submitted a short concept paper under Type 2 option of the BAA that provides up to $160 million for up to 10 years. We are uniquely qualified to address the Type 2 option as it is meant for regions with more established components ready to launch the engine upon selection for funding. Type 1 option would provide the awardees with $1 million to develop groundwork to submit a Type 2 proposal.

This NRGCC NSF Engines effort is led by Ms. Sandra Begay, a member of the Navajo community, a UNM Regent, and a principal member of the technical staff at SNL. Ms. Begay is also the Chair of UNM Rainforest Innovations Board of Directors.

Representing NMSU in this effort are Dr. Lara Prihodko, College Associate Professor of Animal and Range Sciences and Interim Associate Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station, and Ms. Patricia M. Knighten, Director of Arrowhead Center’s Innovation Commercialization. Other collaborators on this proposal include Drs. Wafa Hozien (Dean, Diné and Graduate Studies, Navajo Tech) and Alex Mayer (Professor of Civil Engineering, UTEP), as well as Mr. Jim Manatt, Blue Sierra Power, LLC and Diode Ventures, LLC.

For more information about this concept please send email to Dr. Prihodko at prihodko@nmsu.edu, or Ms. Knighten at pmk@nmsu.edu

Questions about NRGCC should be directed to NRGCC Coordinator James Chavez at jimc@nmsu.edu.  


Ms. Sandra Begay, SNL, UNM


Dr. Lara Prihodko, NMSU


Ms. Patricia M. Knighten, NMSU

APLU Council on Research Annual Meeting


By Dr. Tanner Schaub, Director Research Cores Program

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Council on Research (CoR) held its annual meeting in Portland, Oregon the week of June 20th. The CoR provides an opportunity for vice presidents/chancellors for research and selected associates to share information and advice on common issues and university practices, as well as to develop understanding and strategy in response to government policies and regulations affecting research and innovation.

I was extremely fortunate to attend this year’s meeting. The opportunity to network and discuss hot topics with VPRs and AVPRs from major research institutions produced a clear picture of priority issues, policies, and solutions that can have major impact here at NMSU. The conference opened with a full-day “New and Future Senior Research Officer” workshop and some key issues discussed throughout the week included:

  • Research Security and Foreign Influence
  • Navigating institutional leadership transitions for the research office
  • Case studies in various institutional financial models
  • Valuing and advancing Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences scholarship in the VPR Office
  • Research Operations in a Virtual World

Without diving into detail, I will say that I am excited to bring some of these ideas home, for consideration by our faculty, staff and administration.

I look forward to the year ahead and hope everyone has a fantastic finish to their summer.

Photo description: Dr. Schaub at the Robertson Life Sciences Building, which uniquely combines resources of three nationally respected universities under one roof; OHSU, Oregon State University and Portland State University.




Dr. Tanner Schaub, NMSU 

Streamlyne Live!


By Ms. Alisha Giron, Assistant Vice President for Research

We are delighted to announce the Streamlyne electronic Research Administration (eRA) system had a successful go-live! Following releases of the Proposal Development Module on January 26, 2022 and the Compliance Module on May 16, 2022, the Award and Reporting Modules were released in the late evening hours of June 29, 2022. The Streamlyne implementation team set a very ambitious timeline of a full go-live by July 1, 2022, which happened! The team will be in the throes of a critical stabilization period for the next several weeks as we anticipate minor glitches to address. We thank you in advance for your feedback and patience. 

In July 2021, NMSU selected Streamlyne eRA to address researcher needs and shift us to a higher level of research activity. With this selection, NMSU has a single, cohesive system for all research administration needs. Streamlyne supports the NMSU research enterprise including several pre- and post-award processes like proposal submissions and approval routing, and areas of research compliance like Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocols and Conflict of Interest (COI) disclosures. 

A final NMSU Streamlyne Town Hall is slated for July 14, 2022. For several resources related to all Streamlyne Modules, as well as specifics relevant to the implementation of this eRA, please continue to visit the Streamlyne news page





Recognizing NMSU's Large Proposal Submitters


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


Congratulations to Drs. Curtis Monger, Karen Koper-Frye and John Harding, and Ms. Dana DeRego Catron for each submitting a proposal in excess of one million dollars in the month of June 2022.

Dr. Curtis Monger, Distinguished Achievement Professor and Professor of Pedology and Environmental Science at NMSU’s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences led a $4.7 million proposal to the US Department of Agriculture to conduct research in the area of carbon sequestration and soil health. More specifically the proposal aims to examine the efficacy of an enhanced weathering technique that involves adding basalt rock dust to agricultural soil which is reported to help removing atmospheric carbon significantly. Co-principal investigators on this proposal are:

  • Rajan Ghimire (Associate Professor, Clovis Agricultural Science Center)
  • Kevin Lombard (Professor, Farmington Agricultural Science Center)
  • Ian Ray (Professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences),
  • Christopher Pierce (Associate Research Scientist, Plant and Environmental Sciences),
  • John Idowu (Professor, Extension Plant Sciences),
  • Frank Ramos (Professor, Geological Sciences),
  • Manoj Shukla (Professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences),
  • Kenneth C. Carroll (Professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences),
  • Nicole Pietrasiak (Associate Professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences),
  • Colby Brungard (Associate Professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences),
  • April Ulery (Professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences)

For more information, please contact Dr. Monger at cmonger@nmsu.edu.    

Professor of Public Health Sciences, Dr. Karen Kopera-Frye led a $2.6 million proposal to Health Resources and Services Administration’s Community Health Worker Training Program. The proposal seeks to address gaps in public health and community needs in New Mexico by advancing skill development, training, credentialing, and certifications of new community health workers (CHW). More specifically the project will certify 170 trainees and helping them get recruited across the state. This proposal is in collaboration with National Latino Behavioral Health Association. Other NMSU investigators on this proposal are Drs. Jagdhish Khubchandani, Elizabeth England-Kennedy, Carrie Shaver. For more information, please contact Dr. Kopera-Frye at kfrye@nmsu.edu.

Ms. Dana DeRego Catron, deputy director and SBIR program director at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center submitted a $2.3 million proposal to the Department of Commerce’s Build to Scale program. The proposed three-year project aims to address challenges New Mexico startups face with commercialization by providing population-focused (i.e. women, rural, and tribal communities), targeted support that includes trainings on customer discovery, market insight and validation, as well as more advanced programing to prepare startups for SBIR and STTR-funded activities. The proposal supports all of New Mexico and helps advance the economic strength of its communities. For more information, please contact Ms. DeRego Catron at dderego@nmsu.edu.

Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Dr. John Harding led a proposal to National Science Foundation to request $1.3 million funding to create a more effective means of creating a pipeline of highly qualified STEM personnel from mathematics departments at minority serving institutions. The proposed novel approach will integrate a cohort of undergraduate students, graduate students, a postdoctoral fellow, and faculty through a series of yearly thematic problems—topic areas where meaningful versions of problems exist at the undergraduate, graduate, and research levels. Co-principal investigators of this proposals are Drs. Guram Bezhanishvili, Patrick J. Morandi, and Ilya Shapirovskiy also from the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Questions about this proposal should be directed to Dr. Harding at jharding@nmsu.edu.  


Dr. Curtis Monger, NMSU


Dr. Karen Kopera-Frye, NMSU
Ms. Dana DeRego, NMSU


Dr. John Harding, NMSU


Writing NSF CAREER Proposals: A Recorded Webinar


By Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist 

The Office of the VP for Research, Creativity, and Strategic Initiatives (RCSI) offers a pre-recorded webinar on developing effective NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) proposals. 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 pre-recorded workshop is provided 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 eight years and prior to that worked as a research engineer in industry for 16 years.

To sign up, please send email to hamid@nmsu.edu

I would be delighted to review proposals to be submitted this year (due June 27, 2022) at least a week before the deadline. 





NMSU Library to Celebrate Prestigious NEH Award on September 9, 2022


By Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist

NMSU Library invites NMSU faculty, staff, and students to participate in celebrating their prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) award. The funding was provided competitively for the proposal submitted in summer of 2021 by a group of library staff led by Dr. Monika Glowacka-Musial to digitize and increase access to 15,000 pages of correspondence from the Amador family, a Mexican-American family of prominence in southern New Mexico and northern Chihuahua, Mexico during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Co-investigators of this project are Mr. Dennis Daily, Head of the Library Archives and Special Collections; and Ms. Jennifer Olguin, Rio Grande Historical Collection Archivist. Event will be held on September 9, 2022 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at NMSU Zuhl Library and will include refreshments, live music, and guest speakers. Download flyer here.

To learn more about this project send email to neh-amador@nmsu.edu


Funding Opportunity: DoD Minerva Research Initiative 


By Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist

This is to remind our colleagues that the DoD Minerva Initiative (a university-based social science research initiative that focuses on areas of strategic importance to the U.S. national security policy) has released its 2022 funding opportunity and research priorities. This year's topics are:

  • Topic 1: Social Implications of Environmental Change
  • Topic 2: Resource Competition, Social Cohesion, and Strategic Climate Resilience
  • Topic 3: Security Risks in Ungoverned, Semi-Governed, and Differently-Governed Spaces
  • Topic 4: Analysis of Foreign Influence Operations in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Topic 5: Community Studies on Online and Offline Influence
  • Topic 6: Computational Social Science Research on Difficult-to-Access Environments
  • Topic 7: Social and Cultural Implications of Artificial Intelligence
  • Topic 8: Humans and Outer Space
  • Topic 9: Management and Information in the Defense Environment 

Important dates:

  • August 18, 2022 - Last day for White Paper questions to Topic POCs
  • September 8, 2022- White Papers Due by 3:00 PM ET
  • October 10, 2022 (tentative) - Notification of initial evaluations of White Papers
  • November 8, 2022 - Last day for Full Proposal questions to Topic POCs
  • November 22, 2022 - Full Proposals Due by 3:00 PM ET
  • January 24, 2023 (tentative) - Notification of selection for award

For more information please vist the Minerva Initiative's website





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

  1. Click on the Sign up link.
    2. Choose New Mexico State University from the Institution drop down menu.
    3. You will be prompted to log in using your NMSU username and password.
    4. 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

Graduate Wellness Initiative Updates

By Maddison P. Carr, Graduate School

This month, the Graduate Wellness Initiative brought together leaders and students from each of the major diversity and student life groups on campus to discuss the future of graduate wellness. Representatives from LGBT + Programs, Black Programs, Chicano Programs, the American Indian Program, Aggie Health and Wellness, Student Success, Student Assistance Services, the Graduate Student Council, and more, joined the Graduate School in brainstorming how we as a university can begin to center grad students in our social events, academic support, and outreach. Our voices have begun to come together, but we want yours too! Keep an eye out for your chance to participate in our future needs assessments. This data will help us best direct our efforts into creating the kinds of programs that our Aggies most want and need. If you have specific ideas for events or resources you would like us to share in upcoming editions of the newsletter, please email to: mpcarr@nmsu.edu




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