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Spring 2008 Outstanding Graduates announced

The New Mexico State University Alumni Association will honor the Spring 2008 Outstanding Graduates from 6:30-8 p.m. May 9 during a banquet in the Corbett Center Student Union Ballrooms.


Each semester the Alumni Association selects outstanding graduates from each of the university's seven colleges, two graduate students, one international student and one American Indian student based on outstanding scholarship, leadership and participation in university and community activities.

The College of Agriculture and Home Economics will honor Davena Norris of Cliff, N.M., an animal science major with a minor in chemistry. Norris has a 4.0 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and was on the Dean's List. She was president of the NMSU Animal and Range Science Judging Teams from 2006 to 2008 and treasurer of the NMSU Horsemen's Association from 2006 to 2007.

The College of Arts and Sciences will honor Marcia Mundt of Las Alamos, N.M., who is majoring in government, communications studies and Spanish. Mundt has a 4.0 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar, was on the Dean's List and was an Honors College Scholar in 2006. She has received the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship Alternate, the National Security Education Program Scholarship Alternate and the Donald Kreitzer Government Scholarship for Public Service.

The College of Business will honor Ziteihe Olivia Nwachukwu of Las Cruces, an accounting major. Nwachukwu has a 4.0 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and is on the Dean's List. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Impact Christian Organization and the Beta Alpha Psi accounting honor society.

The College of Education will honor Tyler McLaughlin of Bayfield, Colo., who is majoring in elementary education and Spanish. McLaughlin has a 3.87 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and is on the Dean's List. He was an officer for the NMSU Chile Rugby Club, was vice president for the NMSU cycling club and has participated in community services such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and Dress the Child.

The College of Engineering will honor Mohammad Ghassemi of Las Cruces, who is majoring in electrical engineering and applied mathematics. Ghassemi has a 3.97 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and is on the Dean's List. He has received the Goldwater Scholarship, the General Motors Engineering Excellence Award and the Presidential Service Award for more than 400 hours of community service.

The College of Extended Learning will honor Janet Julie Saucedo-Messer of La Luz, N.M., who majored in individualized studies. Saucedo-Messer has a 3.6 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and is on the National Dean's List. She has received the Monagle Scholarship, the Martin Degree Completion Scholarship and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

The College of Health and Social Services will honor Joy Alicia Bell of Las Cruces, a social work major. Bell has a 4.0 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and is on the Dean List. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and has participated in community service such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

The Graduate School will honor Santiago Utsumi of Las Cruces as the Outstanding Ph.D. Graduate Student and Brandon Winchester of Las Cruces as the Outstanding Masters Graduate Student.

Utsumi, who will receive a doctorate in philosophy, has received the Noble T. Jones Scholarship, the Lucille Graham Scholarship and the Joe D. Wallace Endowed Graduate Scholarship. He received the Loraine Schula Memorial Scholarship and also won second place in a Ph.D. level poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for Rangeland Management in January 2008.

Winchester will receive a master's degree in agricultural economics and has a 4.0 GPA. He was president of the Professional Organization of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business Graduate Students, vice president of NMSU College Democrats and served as a senator in student government in 2002 and 2003.

The Center for International Programs will honor Arely Torres of Chihuahua, Mexico, a chemical engineering major. Torres has a 4.0 GPA, is on the National Dean's List and has received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award. She has received the AIChE Minority Affairs Committee Scholarship, the AIChE Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer National Scholarship and the Dr. Edward Groth Jr. Endowed Memorial Scholarship.

The American Indian Program will honor Juanita Arguello of Grants, N.M., who is a secondary education in mathematics major and a Native American studies minor. Arguella has a 3.4 GPA, has been a Crimson Scholar and was on the National Dean's List. She is an ambassador for the American Indian Program, is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and has received the Dean Martin Completion Scholarship.

For more information contact the NMSU Alumni Association at (575) 646-3616.