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New Mexico State University

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NMSU marketing professor?s gifts establish student scholarship, fund teaching award

After nearly 25 years as a faculty member in New Mexico State University?s College of Business, numerous teaching awards and a focus on bringing innovative learning technologies to the classroom, you?d think Pookie Sautter would be satisfied with her legacy as an educator and supporter of student success.

Couple standing in front of NMSU building
New Mexico State University marketing professor Pookie Sautter and her husband, Michael, have given two $25,000 gifts to fund a scholarship for marketing students and a teaching award through the NMSU Teaching Academy. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

But Sautter wanted to do more. To that end, the marketing professor and her husband, Michael, also an educator, have given $25,000 to the college to establish the Sautter Scholarship for marketing students. For now, the gift will fund one $500 scholarship each to an undergraduate and a graduate student each year, but Sautter said she hopes that?s just the beginning.

?That $500 doesn?t go very far for a student,? she said. ?I was hoping that perhaps some former students, both graduate and undergraduate, might remember the name and consider increasing the endowment to make the awards more significant to the students.?

Sautter also said a relatively small number of scholarship funds are dedicated to the college?s marketing programs, and she hopes additional donors will help the fund do more to support students. She said she?d love to see NMSU explore boosting the fund through crowdsourcing platforms and other innovative resources, making her message more relevant and learning about the available tools for that in the process.

In addition to the scholarship, the Sautters contributed another $25,000 to endow the NMSU Teaching Academy?s annual Teaching Innovation Award in memory of Pookie?s parents, Harry and Jenny Truly, who encouraged the couple?s work as educators. Now designated the Truly Innovative Teaching Award, the $1,000 prize is presented to an NMSU educator who has made an innovation in teaching that has had a positive impact on student learning.

?I feel fortunate for my years at NMSU, so I wanted to leave something behind that would benefit students and our teaching mission,? Sautter said. ?My husband and I decided on two gifts that would be in honor of our parents, so the Sautter Scholarship uses his family name, while the endowment to the teaching academy honors my parents.?

College of Business Interim Dean Kathy Brook praised Sautter?s legacy with the college and her many teaching awards, including the 2005 New Mexico Professor of the Year from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Westhafer Award for Teaching Excellence, one of the highest recognitions NMSU gives faculty.

?Pookie has been a great contributor to the college, serving in turns as department head and an assistant dean,? Brook said. ?She?s a very popular teacher with a great research record and an innovative approach to teaching that includes online and blended teaching. It?s not surprising that she would look for yet another way to provide support to undergraduate and graduate students.?

Sautter earned her bachelor?s and doctoral degrees from Florida State University, where she met her husband. Michael Sautter is a teacher and volleyball coach at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces.

For information on contributing to the Sautter Scholarship for marketing students, contact Anthony Casaus at acasaus@nmsu.edu or 575-646-5817.