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New Mexico State University

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Six Leaders Made Honorary Members of NMSU's Sam Steel Society

LAS CRUCES - Six alumni and supporters have been named honorary members of the Sam Steel Society at New Mexico State University.

They are Bruce Carpenter, alumnus and livestock researcher; Bill Gorman, NMSU professor and author; Jennifer Hopper, director of New Mexico's Agriculture in the Classroom program; Mary Liesner, assistant to the associate dean and director in the Academic Programs office for the College of Agriculture and Home Economics; Rose Nakayama, supporter and scholarship donor; and Tom Simpson, Mesilla Valley farmer and NMSU research cooperator.

Jerry G. Schickedanz, dean and chief administrative officer for NMSU's College of Agriculture and Home Economics, presented the honorary memberships May 10.

The society honors the memory of Sam Steel, who would have been the university's first graduate had he not been killed just months before his graduation in 1893.

Carpenter, a 1983 graduate of NMSU, is an associate professor and Extension livestock specialist with Texas A&M University. He has written 44 Extension publications and conducted numerous artificial insemination and pregnancy determination schools. In 1991, he received the Texas Agricultural Extension Superior Service Award and was awarded the Texas A&M Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence.

Gorman has served as a professor in NMSU's agricultural economics and agricultural business department for more than 30 years. He co-founded the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association in 1991 and co-authored a textbook, Introduction to Food and Agribusiness Managment, published this year. He also advises the NMSU National Agri-Marketing Association.

Hopper works to promote agricultural literacy as director of the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau's Agriculture in the Classroom program. After earning her bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences and master's degree in agricultural and extension education from NMSU, Hopper worked briefly as an Extension home economist in Valencia County before taking her current job. In 2000, she received a Professional Recognition Award for her work with NMSU, Farm Bureau and the public schools.

Liesner serves as assistant to the associate dean and director of the Academic Programs office for the College of Agriculture and Home Economics. She oversees the college's tutoring program, serves as college athletic adviser and manages scholarships. She was the Outstanding 4-H Leader for New Mexico in 1989. She received the Fabian Garcia Founders' Award of Excellence in 1996 and an Honorary State FFA Degree in 1999. Before joining NMSU, she worked as a public school teacher in New Mexico for 20 years and headed the Business Education Department in Carlsbad for six years.

Nakayama is a continuing supporter of her late husband Roy Nakayama's chile pioneering endeavors. Known as "Mr. Chile," Roy developed chile varieties that greatly advanced the industry and helped make chile a commercial crop. She is the primary supporter of the Roy Nakayama scholarship for NMSU agronomy and horticulture students. She also supports the Branigan Public Library, Human Society, NMSU Choir and the Las Cruces Symphony Ensemble.

Simpson, a 1964 graduate of NMSU, has continued a three-generation legacy of farming in the Mesilla Valley. As an agricultural producer for nearly 40 years, he conducts cotton and alfalfa field trials at his farm to aid researchers in improving farm practices. Simpson serves as chairman for the Southwest Irrigated Cotton Growers and Mesilla Valley Hospice. He is a member of the Doņa Ana County Farm Bureau, Cotton Incorporated, National Cotton Board and the Las Cruces Rotary Club.