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NMSU honors largest number of incoming National Scholars

The Honors College at New Mexico State University held a reception to welcome and celebrate the largest number of incoming National Scholars this week.

William Eamon, dean of the Honors College at New Mexico State University, welcomes the largest number of incoming National Scholars during a reception held at William Conroy Honors Center Commons Area. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

This year's incoming class included six National Merit Scholars, two National Merit Semifinalists and 25 National Hispanic Scholars. The students are from New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Kansas and South Dakota.

"NMSU is a great school," said William Kowalczky, a National Merit Scholar from Colorado Springs, Colo., and an engineering physics major. "There is a lot of emphasis on research, which really attracted me."

Other students chose NMSU because of its close location. Tamara Cortez, a civil engineering major, and Cassandra Belzer, a nursing major, both from El Paso and National Hispanic Scholars said NMSU allowed them to be close to home, but also be on their own and gain independence.

"It's a pretty campus, I like the trees," Beltzer said.

"I like the teachers here and everyone is nice and are trying to make the change easier," Cortez said.

Peter Gregware, associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences said the fact that so many National Scholars chose NMSU is a sign of the hard work put out by the Honors College and the University.

"I think it's a reflection of the energy that folks in the Honors College have put forth to get these people to NMSU and shows the worth of this institution to the community," Gregware said.

Tracy Miller-Tomlinson, associate dean of the Honors College and director of the Office of National Scholarships and International Education, also said this is the reflection of the programs at NMSU and looks forward to working with this group of students.

"There are so many positive impacts this will have," Miller-Tomlinson said. "It's good for the school, for the Honors program and for the students that are already attending."

During the reception, the students had an opportunity to meet faculty members and one another. William Eamon, dean of the Honors College, also spoke to the students and welcomed them to the university.

"We are very proud of you and are very proud to have you," Eamon said.