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NMSU offers a variety of summer courses to students and community members

From dance to food and wine to online public health classes, there is something for everyone at New Mexico State University during the summer.

Man (left) sits a table and talks to students (right).
New Mexico State University Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management professor and chef Maurice Zeck, left, talks with students at the Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine located inside Gerald Thomas Hall. Zeck is teaching Foods and Wines of France during the summer at NMSU. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

The NMSU summer session spans from May 22 until Aug. 1. NMSU offers two five-week sessions, from May 22 to June 26 and from June 27 to Aug. 1, and an eight-week session from May 22-July 18. Early registration ends May 21 and late registration is from May 22-29.

?I think a lot of students take courses because it gives them an opportunity to catch up on credits,? said Terry Cook, assistant vice president for student engagement. ?There were maybe courses they weren?t able to take in the fall or spring semesters, so it?s an opportunity to continue with their degree progress.?

With only a one-week break from classes, Hannah Cole, dance assistant professor in the College of Education, will begin teaching her DanceSport Certification Preparation course May. 19. Her class spans six hours each day for two-weeks.

?At the end of the intensive course, students will be given the opportunity to gain national certification in eight dances,? she said. ?I think it?s a much more relaxed environment in which to learn especially in terms of a certification intensive. We just couldn?t offer this type of class at any other time during the year. Summer session allows us to offer classes that we can?t fit into the actual school year.?

Ariel Freilich, DanceSport graduate student, will take Cole?s class and then will teach Introduction to Latin Social Dance during the second summer session.

?I love Latin,? she said. ?It?s really spicy and there?s great self-expression.?

Freilich said she also is utilizing online education courses in the summer to pursue her master?s degree.

?You have far fewer distractions even though it?s summertime,? she said. ?Summer is beautiful and you get to have so much fun, but at the same time, I?m taking online classes so you can really have your own focus of when you are able to sit down and study.?

Satya Rao, public health sciences associate professor, agreed that online classes offer flexibility to both students and instructors.

?I think it gives the opportunity for students to actually be away from campus,? Rao said. ?So that?s a big advantage of having online courses. It also gives the faculty sort of a break to be some place else, but still be able to teach.?

Rao is slated to teach three online classes in the College of Health and Social Services, including Infectious and Noninfectious Disease Prevention, Cross-Cultural Aspects of Health and Theoretically-Based Interventions.

?I think people may think that summer courses may be easy or they may not learn as much because it?s a summer course, but I think most of the summer courses that I teach and others in my department and college teach are as rigorous as the other semesters are,? she said. ?I think it?s a good way of getting ahead of the curve and taking a couple more courses and graduating sooner than you might plan on.?

NMSU students aren?t the only ones that can take advantage of summer courses on campus. Chef Maurice Zeck, college assistant professor in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, is teaching Foods and Wines of France, which is open to community members for a fee that covers the cost of the food and wine.

?During the summertime, we have time to do this and there?s a lot of demand,? he said. ?A lot of people are interested in food and wine these days.?

With about an even split of students and community members, Zeck said he enjoys the class, which is during the second summer session from 5-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

?I get a great cross section of people,? he said. ?Some of the students are in their 60s and 70s and then we have 21 and 22-year-olds mixed in with them. The interaction is always very interesting.?

Zeck said an advantage of summer courses is often the smaller class size.

?When I have 12 students opposed to 25, I can drill down much deeper into the food, get the students more involved in the food, talk about the philosophy of French cooking, the method, the technique, is what the French call it,? he said. ?Once you learn the technique, you can cook anything.?

For a complete course listing at NMSU, visit www.nmsu.edu/course/.