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Cox, Mims, Moore, Pankayatselvan, Wilson named NMSU President's Associates Scholars

Cassandra Cox, Tiffany Mims, Daniel Moore, Varayini Pankayatselvan and Denali Wilson, from Las Cruces, are five of only 14 New Mexico State University freshmen selected to receive the 2011 NMSU President's Associates Scholarship.

A group photo of NMSU PA Scholars from Las Cruces: Cassandra Cox, Tiffany Mims, Daniel Moore, Varayini Pankayatselvan and Denali Wilson.
Las Cruces President's Associates Scholars from left are Varayini Pankayatselvan, Daniel Moore, Cassandra Cox, Tiffany Mims and Denali Wilson. (NMSU photo by Kristina Medley)

The President's Associates Scholarship is NMSU's most prestigious scholarship. It is awarded to outstanding high school students from New Mexico who demonstrate academic excellence, community involvement and strong leadership potential.

Cox, daughter of Danny and Cathy Cox, graduated from Onate High School and is studying kinesiology at NMSU. She hopes to pursue a career in physical therapy and to get involved in a youth group to work with middle school and high school students.

Mims, daughter of Steve and Valerie Mims, graduated from Mayfield High School and is pursuing a degree in animal science at NMSU. Mims works as a technician at a veterinary office and hopes to pursue a career as a veterinarian.

Moore, son of Michael and Sue Moore, graduated from Onate High School and is pursuing a degree in engineering physics at NMSU. He hopes to work at a national lab or similar institution. Moore also is involved in chess club, robotics and physics club.

Pankayatselvan, daughter of Ratna and Sinnathamby Pankayatselvan, graduated from Las Cruces High School and is pursuing a degree in chemical engineering at NMSU. She plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in medicine or chemical engineering. Her interests include tennis, volunteer work and picture puzzles.

Wilson, daughter of Lesa and Donald Wilson, graduated from Mayfield High School in Las Cruces. She achieved the Prudential Spirit of Community Award and Mayor's Citation and President's Award for excellence in community service. She is a member of the Safe Haven Project and participated in the Keep Las Cruces Beautiful project.

The President's Associates program is now in its 33rd year and is overseen by a volunteer board of directors, which includes several NMSU alumni who also received the scholarship as students. The board helps raise the funds for the generous stipend each student receives and organizes a variety of mentoring and career development activities for the scholars.

"Congratulations to these outstanding students," said Denni Cheney, president of the President's Associates Board. "We are proud that the best and brightest high school students in Las Cruces have chosen to attend NMSU. I am confident that the time spent as a President's Associates Scholar will lead these students to a successful and rewarding future."

Since the creation of the scholarship in 1978, it has been awarded to more than 300 students, representing every academic discipline and every community in New Mexico.