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NMSU Alumni Association will honor Spring 2010 Outstanding Seniors

For their outstanding academic performance, leadership, scholarship and participation in university and community activities, the New Mexico State University Alumni Association will honor the Outstanding Seniors for spring 2010.


An outstanding senior was chosen from each of NMSU's academic colleges, as well as one senior from the International and Border Programs, the American Indian Program and two graduate students. A dinner will be held to honor the seniors at 6 p.m. Friday, May 7, in Corbett Center Student Union.

The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will honor Logan Potts of Clovis, a major in animal and range sciences. Potts has a 3.85 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and is on the dean's list. He is a member of the International Honor Society, the Equine Science Society and he serves as treasurer of the Horsemen's Association. He has received the American FFA Degree Award and numerous scholarships, including the NMSU Regents Scholarship, the Horse Judging Scholarship, the Farm Bureau Scholarship, the New Mexico Dairy Association Scholarship, the Clovis and Portales Elks Club Scholarship and the New Mexico Education Foundation Scholarship. Potts has represented NMSU at events such as horse judging contests, an academic quadrathatlon, and he participated in the NMSU/AQHA International Horsemanship Clinics in Germany, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

The College of Arts and Sciences will honor Gregory Gonzales of Las Cruces, a major in government. Gonzales has a 3.89 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and is on the dean's list. He was a finalist for the 2009 Harry S. Truman Scholarship in Leadership and Public Service and he received the NMSU Department of Government's Nick Franklin Scholarship in 2007. He served as a senator in ASNMSU since fall 2009 and is the low bass section leader in the NMSU Pride Marching Band. Gonzales is also an active volunteer at Caring Bridge, a local nonprofit organization supporting adults with mental illness in Dona Ana County. He also co-organized the symposium "Los Comanches de los Ranchos de Taos: An Hispanicized Native American Cultural Tradition," addressing contemporary issues of "Genizaro" (Indo-Hispano) culture and identity in New Mexico.

The College of Business will honor Donald Darnell of Miamisburg, Ohio, a major in accounting. Darnell has a 4.0 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and is on the dean's list. He has received the President's Associates Scholarship and the BA and Econ Alumni Scholarship. He has served as a mentor in NMSU's Student Support Services, a community assistant for the NMSU Department of Housing and Residential Life and a tutor for the campus tutoring service. He is a spring 2010 pledge for Beta Alpha Psi and served a tax internship with Beasley, Mitchell and Co.

The College of Education will honor Jeannie Pearson of Deltona, Fla., a major in communication disorders. Pearson has a 3.86 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and is on the dean's list. She has received the Kenneth Leland Smith Scholarship, the Garrett-Owen Scholarship and the ASNMSU Leadership Scholarship. She serves as president of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA), a senator in ASNMSU for the College of Education and is an organizer and volunteer for the NMSU Therapeutic Riding Association. Pearson has worked at the College of Education Advising Center since Fall 2007 and she attended and volunteered at the 2008 and 2009 New Mexico Speech-Language and Hearing Association (NMSHA) Annual Conference.

The College of Engineering will honor Jeremy Bruggemann of Las Cruces, a major in mechanical engineering with minors in aerospace engineering and applied mathematics. Bruggemann has a 3.91 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and is on the dean's list. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma, and he has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. He received the first place award for his research proposal at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in 2010, and he has coordinated and conducted an "Introduction to Engineering" workshop series for middle school and high school MESA and SEMAA students since 2008. Bruggemann also coauthored three published research papers, one of which he presented at the 2008 ASME Congress Conference in Boston.

The College of Extended Learning will honor Karen McGeoghegan of Las Cruces, a major in individualized studies with minors in communication studies and linguistics. McGeoghegan has a 3.95 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and is in the International Honor Society. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Chi and the Golden Key International Society. She received the Army Emergency Relief Scholarship and has been secretary for the College of Extended Learning College Council for two years. She is certified as a volunteer teacher of English as a second language, has been on the Lincoln County Red Cross Disaster and Search and Rescue teams and is a member of the Ruidoso community chorus and community theater. For the last three years, she has volunteered with the Special Forces Chapter LXXX to assist in the annual Bataan Memorial March held at White Sands Missile Range.

The College of Health and Social Services will honor Kayla Hinkley of Gallup, a major in community health. Hinkley has a 3.8 GPA, is a Crimson Scholar and is on the dean's list. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and she has received the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship and the NMSU Regent Scholarship. She is the captain of the NMSU Sundancers and a section leader in the NMSU Pride Marching Band. She is also a member of Aggies for Christ and the Roadrunner Pep Band. She has volunteered in community activities such as the H1N1 vaccination pod in Corbett Center, Garcia Hall and the Myrna's Children's Village, NMSU Tough Enough to Wear Pink and she fundraised for the Jardin de los Ninos organization.

The International and Borders Program will honor Yan Yang of Taizhou, Jiangsu, China, a major in chemistry. Yang has a 3.82 GPA and is a Crimson Scholar. She is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. In 2006, she was the second prize winner in the speech competition of "Concept of Honor and Disgrace" at Sichuan University in China, and she was the third prize winner for the Excellent Student Scholarship from Sichuan University in 2008. While at Sichuan University, she also received the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award and the Excellent Student Leader Award twice. She has worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the NMSU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry since January 2009.

The American Indian Program will honor Dane Candelaria of San Felipe Pueblo, a major in criminal justice. Candelaria has a 3.0 GPA and is an active participant in the NMSU American Indian Program as a student mentor and employee. He served two consecutive years as president of the United Native American Organization, where he played a major role in facilitating the annual American Indian Week. Candelaria plans to return to NMSU as a graduate student to pursue a master's degree in criminal justice.

The Graduate School will honor Krystal Languell as the Outstanding Masters Graduate Student and Christine Dahlin as the Outstanding Ph.D. Graduate Student.

Languell will receive a Master of Fine Arts Degree in creative writing. She received the NMSU Outstanding Graduate Assistantship Award in 2009 and the NMSU English Department Research and Creative Activities Award in 2010. Languell has been the senior editor of Noemi Press since 2008, the editor in chief of Bone Bouquet: A Journal of Women's Poetry since 2009 and recently became senior editor of Puerto del Sol. She's had her poems published in 16 periodicals and has a forthcoming poetry chapbook, "The Mean Particle." She has taught four undergraduate English courses, in which her students enjoyed her ability to develop thought-provoking questions that pushed them to think beyond the course material.

Dahlin will receive a Ph.D. in biology and has a 4.0 GPA. She has received a three-year fellowship from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Museum of Natural History Chapman Award and the Watts Leadership Award from the NMSU Graduate School. She has also received Research in Excellence Award from the NMSU Department of Biology and a fellowship from the New Mexico Higher Education Department. She was president of the Biology Graduate Student Association in 2005. Dahlin has published with other scholars four peer review articles in journals, such as Ethology, Animal Behavior and Behavior. She has also given more than 12 oral and poster presentations on research concerning parrots. As a teaching assistant, she has assisted faculty in biology courses and labs, and she has become known in Las Cruces schools as the "Parrot Lady" because she brings live parrots into public school classrooms throughout New Mexico and Arizona.

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