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Honors College to host Great Conversations Nov. 28

The New Mexico State University Honors College will launch a new communitywide event, "Great Conversations," at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.


"'Great Conversations' is a new, unique event in Southern New Mexico featuring prominent community leaders and NMSU professors hosting conversations on diverse, exciting and stimulating topics," said Bill Eamon, dean of the Honors College.

Arranged much like a dinner party, "Great Conversations" allows participants to select a topic they would like to discuss during a buffet dinner. The conversations will be hosted by Honors faculty and guest experts. Tables are set to seat 10, and a different conversation topic is assigned to each table in advance.

More than 40 topics are available on a variety of subjects, such as global warming, the Middle East crisis, stem cell research, as well as art, culture, the music industry in America, collecting antiques and many more.

Jason Ackleson, associate dean of the Honors College and assistant professor in the NMSU government department, will lead guests at his table in a conversation about border security in the age of terrorism.

"I selected this topic because of its relevance to this region and the country as a whole. The border, and what we do about it, is one of the central issues facing the U.S. right now," Ackleson said.

Ackleson said he sees the event as an opportunity for the community and the university to engage in mutual dialogue on interesting topics.

"This is a unique opportunity for members of the community to engage in a fun and thought-provoking way with the faculty of NMSU," he said.

Elise "Pookie" Sautter, a professor of marketing at NMSU, agreed.

"We are blessed to have many persons in our community that can bring diverse interests and perspectives to focus on topics of critical importance in today's society," she said. "The informal exchange gives university scholars an opportunity to dialogue and learn from others who have much to share from their own personal experiences."

Sautter will lead a conversation about the psychology of marketing at her table.

"I think it is useful for all consumers to be aware of what marketers are trying to do so they can make informed choices," she said.
Sautter indicated that the impact of technology will be a big focus of the conversation.

"This event increases public awareness about the important cultural and intellectual role that NMSU plays in the city of Las Cruces and the state of New Mexico," Eamon said. "Everybody loves dinner time conversation; it should be informative and fun."

Proceeds from the event will fund scholarships for NMSU Honors students and sponsorships are currently available to businesses and organizations ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 each.

"Sponsorship opportunities are a great way for the community to support scholarships for these outstanding students," Eamon said. "The community rarely gets to interact with faculty and students in an informal setting. This is an opportunity to meet with the community and let them know about vital teaching and research at NMSU and raise money for scholarships at the same time."

Tickets are $75 per person, $55 for recent NMSU graduates (2002-2007) or individuals can sponsor attendance of a current Honors student for $50.

To register for the event or for more information about sponsorships, call (575) 646-2005 or visit http://honors.nmsu.edu/gc/.