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New Mexico State University

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New Mexico State University faculty, staff honored at convocation

New Mexico State University honored 12 of its faculty and staff at an opening convocation today (Thursday, Aug. 14).

New Mexico State University Interim President/Provost William Flores, second from right, honored fall convocation award winners from left: David Jauregui, Kevin McNelis, Eric Lopez, Yosef Lapid, Lisa Frehill, Heinz Nakotte, Jeanne Gleason, James Herndon,

a Christmore Faculty Teaching Awards of $500 were awarded to Kevin McNelis, an assistant professor in accounting and business computer systems, and Eric Lopez, an assistant professor in special education and communication disorders.

McNelis' students appreciate his ability to make accounting interesting and even fascinating, said Josie DeLeon, special assistant to the provost, who joined Interim President/Provost William Flores in presenting all of the awards.

DeLeon said Lopez's students are drawn to his classes, in part because his presentation is so poised and reassuring, in part because his knowledge is so comprehensive, but also because he makes every one of his students feel welcome.

University Research Council Awards for Exceptional Achievement in Scholarly Activity of $2,000 were presented to David Jauregui, an assistant professor in civil and geological engineering; Heinz Nakotte, an associate professor in physics; Jeanne Gleason, a professor in agricultural communications; and James Herndon, a professor in chemistry and biochemistry.

Jauregui teaches structural engineering specializing in bridge construction. In 2001 he collaborated with two NMSU colleagues to design a virtual reality bridge inspection system.

Nakotte's research, in the field of condensed-matter physics with an emphasis on magnetic materials, aims to increase understanding of the basic mechanisms responsible for many magnetic and related phenomena.

Gleason is a producer of computer and video technologies and an executive producer of more than 700 educational videos and 100 multimedia projects. Some of her documentaries have been featured at the Smithsonian Institution.

Herndon's research focuses in part on the impact that the field of synthetic organic chemistry has on human health. His goal is to figure out new, more efficient and effective ways to produce key ingredients for drugs that might be used to treat cancers of various kinds, or that might be effective anti-viral agents.

Six faculty and staff also received Fort Bliss Federal Credit Union Achievement Awards of $1,000 each.

A Fort Bliss FCU Faculty Service Award, for service to the university and community, went to Lisa Frehill, an associate professor in sociology and anthropology. Frehill serves on many different university committees and generates a hefty amount of grant funds for programs at the university, community and state levels. She is also deeply involved with the interdisciplinary Women's Studies Program.

The Fort Bliss FCU Faculty Research Award went to Yosef Lapid, a professor in government. A fluent speaker of five different languages, Lapid's research interests range from philosophy to social science to international relations theory, from security studies and terrorism to border studies and ethnic and national studies.

The Fort Bliss Professional Staff Achievement Award in Research went to Ancelmo "Sam" Encinias, assistant director of the Health and Social Services Research Center. Encinias currently administers $15 million in grants and contracts for the center.

The Fort Bliss Classified Staff Award was presented to Dolores Wilson, an administrative assistant in the Office of Admissions. Admissions Director Angela Mora-Riley said Wilson "is quick to jump in and assist in any area of the office where immediate help is needed."

Fort Bliss FCU also awarded the Fort Bliss FCU Professional Staff Award to Matilda Evaro, a fiscal specialist in the Arts and Sciences Research Center, and a Fort Bliss FCU Faculty Service Award to Jim Gallagher, an assistant professor of communication at NMSU-Alamogordo. Evaro and Gallagher could not be present at the ceremony.