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Many College of Education alumni continue their journey at NMSU

Date: 03/11/2013

Graduation for New Mexico State University students is not the end, but it is the beginning. These words could not be any truer for College of Education alumni who work at NMSU.

This is a photo of the exterior of O'Donnell Hall, the home of the NMSU College of Education.
More than 3,000 current NMSU employees started their professional journeys as students at NMSU. More than 250 College of Education alums are currently employed by NMSU. (Photo by Samuel Horstman)

There are about 250 College of Education graduates employed in the NMSU system. Many of the alumni earned their masters and doctoral degrees are now in leadership positions at NMSU.

"We are extremely proud to assist in the professional development of the present and future Aggie leaders at NMSU," said Michael Morehead, NMSU College of Education dean. "The university encourages faculty and staff to enhance their careers and education."

NMSU alumni not only work at the Las Cruces campus but all campuses around the state.

"My education has enhanced my passion in education," said Bertha Jasso, Adult Basic Education CC manager. "I enjoy working with people, especially students who are actively seeking a way to fulfill their educational dreams."

Jasso, a first generation graduate, began working at NMSU Carlsbad in 1995 as a GED part-time instructor in the adult basic education program. Jasso has worked in various departments throughout NMSU and in 2006 she earned her masters in education. Shortly after her graduation, Jasso returned to the adult basic education program as the coordinator.

"Attending NMSU was an exciting experience and a privilege,' she said. "Yes, there are many challenges, however, as my grandmother shared with me, 'pasito a pasito se llega lejos' which means 'little steps will take you far.'"

Bernard Pina, division dean of general studies at DACC, attended NMSU in 1979 and earned his doctorate degree in education in 2005. After five years working at Gadsden Independent School District as a math teacher, Pina accepted a teaching position at DACC.

"My mother inspired all my brothers and sisters to attend NMSU," Pina said. "I have had positive learning experiences here at NMSU as a student."

Debra Knapp, director of dance at NMSU, is just one of the many graduates who work at the Las Cruces campus. Knapp began working NMSU in the fall of 2001 and earned her doctorate in education in 2008.

"It was a very challenging time, working and going to school full time," Knapp said. "Anytime you pursue a degree at any level it transforms who you are. I think having an Ed.D. degree has supported my leadership of the dance program."

In 2012, Knapp was named the University Dance Educator of the Year by the National Dance Association.

The number of alumni, from all academic colleges, employed in the NMSU system in 2012 is 3,217.

The College of Education offers a variety of academic leadership programs that fit a working person's schedule.

Written by Samuel Horstman



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