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NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences names new assistant dean of development and alumni relations

The New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences has a new face in Gerald Thomas Hall. Cindy Gwaltney Nicholson has joined the college as assistant dean of development and alumni relations.

Woman standing next to cowboy boot painting
Cindy Gwaltney Nicholson is the assistant dean of development and alumni relations for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at NMSU. (NMSU photo by Kristie Garcia)

Nicholson replaces Terra V. Winter, who was recently named associate vice president for development in the Office of University Advancement.

?Cindy will pick up where Terra left off, and she?ll keep moving us forward,? College of ACES Interim Dean Jim Libbin said. ?Terra left great groundwork for the college. Cindy brings her own style and her own contacts, which will help in our efforts to increase funding for scholarships and faculty chair opportunities.?

While she may be new to the college, Nicholson is not new to Las Cruces or NMSU.

?I grew up in Las Cruces and was always an Aggie fan,? Nicholson said. ?Growing up, many of our friends were ranchers and farmers, and I?ve always had a passion for this college.?

Nicholson, who received a bachelor?s degree in consumer science and fashion merchandising from the University of Arkansas, has 34 years of fundraising experience with hundreds of schools and organizations.

Her fundraising company ? Nicholson Productions ? had sales representatives in nine states for 25 years. Nicholson also served on the national board of directors for the Association of Fundraising Distributers and Suppliers for six years.

Nicholson will focus on helping reduce student debt by bringing in new scholarship revenue. The College of ACES currently awards more than $500,000 in scholarship funding to more than 472 students. Additional scholarship funds could help more than 1,100 students in the college who are not already receiving scholarship support.

Another goal for Nicholson is to have first-generation college students attend NMSU as a result of receiving scholarships.

?I?m very excited about this opportunity, and I want to make a difference in the college,? Nicholson said. ?I?m ready to dig in and help with what we need most, which is funding for scholarships. I love hearing the stories about the wonderful students who have attended New Mexico State and achieved their educational goals due to the generosity of scholarships from our donors.?

Other fundraising goals for the college include continued financial support of faculty research and student programming, as well as capital projects such as the Heritage Farm. Nicholson will pursue additional endowments in the areas of research and academics, building on the 10 endowed professorships and chairs already in place in the college.

?There are so many great aspects of the college that people don?t know about,? Nicholson said. ?Students can choose from many different majors, and we also have the student-operated storefront Sam Steel Café, 100 West Café, Chile Pepper Institute, nationally-ranked rodeo team and extension offices in every county across the state.

?The College of ACES offers such a broad spectrum of educational choices,? she added. ?And it?s all about discovery here at NMSU.?