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New Mexico State University

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New Mexico State art student designs medallions for honors program

Eighteen New Mexico State University students will not only graduate with honors Saturday, May 11, but will be honored as the first to wear medallions designed for the Honors Program's graduates by art student Jennifer Hardcastle.



New Mexico State University senior Jennifer Hardcastle of Roswell shows off the medallions she designed for the University Honors Program. (New Mexico State University photo by Darren Phillips)

Hardcastle, a senior graphic design major, was recommended for the free-lance job by her metals and jewelry professor, Julia Barello, said William Eamon, director of the Honors Program.

"The shape of the medallion is taken from the YMCA emblem on the west side of the Conroy Honors Center," Eamon said. "The medallion includes a triangle that reads, 'Mind, Body, Spirit,' which is the YMCA motto and embodies the ideals of the University Honors Program."

The Honors Program moved into the university's newly restored 93-year-old YMCA building in March when it was dedicated as the William B. Conroy Honors Center.

Hardcastle, daughter of John and Diane Hardcastle of Roswell, said she knew that the program wanted to incorporate the YMCA emblem into the design and started by researching wreaths and leaves to surround the triangle element of the emblem. She is minoring in jewelry and metals and said that she enjoys working with all types of media.

"This was a chance to use my design skills to build something from start to finish," she said. "It is nice to hold a physical piece of something that you designed in your hand. You don't always get hands-on opportunities."

Hardcastle said a photo etching process was used to take the design from the computer to the metal. "I had never used a lot of the processes that I was able to try with this project," she said. "It was interesting to learn new techniques."

Hardcastle, a 1998 graduate of Goddard High School in Roswell, also is working with the University Communications office and fellow graphic design students on a design for the president's holiday card and is designing a logo for the Southwest Environmental Center, a non-profit organization in Las Cruces.

Eamon said 12 students will graduate with Distinction in University Honors and six with University Honors. He said all of the students completed at least 15 hours of honors courses and a thesis. University Honors graduates maintained a 3.5 GPA and Distinction in University Honors graduates a 3.75 GPA.

The honors students received their medallions at a ceremony Thursday, May 9, at the Conroy Honors Center, which is named for former university president William Conroy. They will wear the medallions as part of their graduation apparel Saturday.

The Honors Program provides undergraduate students with opportunities to broaden their academic experience, Eamon said. In small classes taught by master teachers, honors students engage in lively discussion and collaborative investigation of interdisciplinary topics and themes, he said. About 900 students enroll in honors courses each year. The program oversees Crimson Scholars and sponsors the University Fellowships Office and the University Speakers Series.

Photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/hardcastle_jennifer.jpg.
CUTLINE: New Mexico State University senior Jennifer Hardcastle of Roswell shows off the medallions she designed for the University Honors Program. (New Mexico State University photo by Darren Phillips)

Julie M. Hughes
May 9, 2002