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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New Mexico State University student group in the running for national title

When members of New Mexico State University's Hispanic Business Student Association (HBSA) walk into the National Hispanic Business Association (NHBA) Leadership Conference this year, people will stop and take notice.

t be because their attire will look the same -- khaki pants with an NMSU polo shirt -- but because their reputation follows them.

For the third consecutive year, New Mexico State's HBSA is in the running for the national Chapter of the Year Award from the NHBA, which is holding its annual conference in Washington, D.C., this week. The NMSU chapter has won the national award twice in the past five years, in 1999 and 2003.

"We have a really dynamite group," said Ben Matta, the group's faculty adviser and an associate professor of economics. "This group is very aggressive and articulate so they create an aura of leadership."

The NMSU chapter has a membership of about 15. Nationally, there are about 48 chapters ranging in size. HBSA president Berta Morales said it takes a lot of hard work and team effort to receive the title.

"The NHBA looks at everything we do throughout the fiscal year," said the junior management major. "You have to participate in a lot of community service. We were able to pull together $1,500 worth of items such as clothes for Jardin de los Ninos."

To participate in the conference, HBSA needed to raise funds. They organized garage and bake sales and washed cars. The biggest help came from the local company EMI Technologies, a mechanical and electrical engineering, consulting and fabrication services company, which provided a $4,000 gift.

"We are very excited and thankful to EMI Technologies," said Matta. "It's people like them who promote the goodness of this and other organizations."