From the President’s Activity Report (August 14-20)

College of Health and Social Services, Dean Donna Wagner

Office of the Dean 

The Southern Area Health Education Center (SoAHEC) recently participated in a Lead Prevention tabling event in conjunction with the “National Day Out” event held at the Las Cruces Downtown Mall. The Lead Prevention initiative is geared toward educating parents and school-age children regarding the dangers of inadvertent lead exposure.

School of Nursing 

The School of Nursing hosted a White Coat Ceremony on August 16 at the Atkinson Recital Hall. The ceremony was designed to welcome new students into the nursing profession emphasize the importance of providing professional, compassionate and high-quality nursing care. NMSU is one of 100 schools nationwide, selected by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, to participate in hosting a White Coat Ceremony for incoming nursing students. Since its inception, incoming students have been cloaked with NMSU white lab coats every spring and fall semester.

School of Social Work        

Erika Gergerich, Assistant Professor, was honored with the Patricia Christmore Faculty Teaching Award at the University’s Fall Convocation. Selected by a student committee, the annual award acknowledges outstanding tenure-track faculty members for excellence in teaching. One of Gergerich’s students said of her, “Dr. Gergerich possesses a true social worker’s heart. She has displayed her passion for social issues with her involvement in social work conferences and her belief in ongoing research to improve social work practice.”

Department of Public Health 

Dean Wagner; Dr. Joe Tomaka, Professor; and Dylan Pell, graduate student, were recently recognized for their independent contributions to Doña Ana County’s (DAC) The Stepping Up Initiative created by the National Association of Counties, American Psychiatric Association, and the Justice Center of The Council of State Governments. The national program is designed to identify opportunities and resources to divert the mentally ill from the criminal justice system and into appropriate behavioral health services.  DAC Manager Julia T. Brown and DAC Health and Human Services Director Jamie Michael hosted the ceremony, while New Mexico Senator Mary Kay Papen opened and closed the ceremony and was signatory to the awards.

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