Students, Faculty Honored at Annual Leadership Banquet

Las Vegas, N.M. — New Mexico Highlands University honored numerous outstanding students and faculty at the 15th annual Student Leadership Recognition Banquet April 3.

The Office of Campus life organizes the event each year.

“The Student Leadership Banquet is a great opportunity to recognize students, clubs, faculty and staff for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the university,” said Margaret Gonzales, director of Campus Life.

Student of the Year — Nicole Robinson is a special education graduate student who earned her music degree in vocal performance from Highlands in 2012. She is still active in the HU Singers and Madrigal Choir, and is president of the HU Singers and Performing Arts Club. Robinson also performs with the Canticum Novum Choir in Santa Fe.

Nicole Robinson

Nicole Robinson

Robinson, 23, works part-time in the university’s Office of Academic Support. David Esquibel, accessibility and testing coordinator, nominated Robinson for the award. He noted her exemplary devotion and commitment to working with students with disabilities, especially a blind student who is majoring in music. Robinson created a tactile music scale board for the student to use in class.

“As a special education teacher, I can use music to help my students connect with the world and express themselves,” Robinson said. “For example, a musical instrument can help an autistic child communicate. I think it will be very rewarding to see the joy students and adults feel when they grasp a concept or instrument.

“Both the music and education faculty at Highlands are so supportive and amazing. I’m getting an excellent education, and I’m also learning so much in academic support from David Esquibel,” Robinson said.  

Professor of the Year — Jennifer Lindline is a geology professor who coordinates the Environmental Geology Program. She joined the Highlands faculty in 2000 and is an internationally known petrologist. During her tenure, Lindline has garnered numerous research grants for the university, and provided outstanding field and lab research opportunities for her students.  

Outstanding English Student — Brett Phelps

Outstanding General Chemistry Student  — Katie Hamann

Outstanding Organic Chemistry Senior — Carlos Ordonez

Outstanding Graduating Chemistry Student — Jessica Gomez

Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society — Elena Rae Martinez, Leroy Sandoval, Deisy Hernandez-Lujan

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges

Undergraduate Students:  Jovanna Archuleta, Gabriella Hernandez, David Sanchez, Angelica Arellano, Guillermo Martinez, Bhupinder Sandhu, Jonathon Bacon, Pamela Martinez, Travis Saxon, Erik Carrasco, Jonathon Monte-Parker, Andrew Shepard,  Kemoy Christie, Daniel Perez, Kushum Shrestha, Rose Gallegos, Teresa Roybal, Cassandra Silva, Jillisa Grant, Thomas Saiz, Crystal Sione, Alan Griffin, Luisana Salcido, Matthew Threadgill, Daniel Hawkins, and Ismael Samano.

Graduate Students: Donna Abreau, Arcenio Garcia, Caitlin Syner, Lucinda Akers, Steven J. Gonzales, Jillian Trujillo, Frederick Cook, Nicaise Kazingo, Valentina White, Abibail Fajardo, and Sebastian Medina.

Club of the Year —  Highlands University Forestry Club.

Staff Member of the Year — Helene Boudreau, Student Support Services.

ARMAS (Achieving in Research, Math and Science)– Katie Hamann, supplemental instruction leader; Deisy Hernandez-Lujan, tutor; and Justin Stallworth, exemplary use of the ARMAS center.

Counseling Student Association — Laura Anderson and Beth Leitman.

Rehabilitation Counseling Club — Karen Anthony and Cortny Stark.

Society of American Foresters — Adele Ludi.

Student Support Services –  John Paul Martinez and Fernando Sarracino, peer mentoring; Prabesh Dahal, Julio Garcia, and Kassandra Jiron, tutoring; and Jaden Ruiz, academic advising.

Career Services Students– Juan Sanchez, III, student internship preparation; Juan Carlos Molinar and Lorenzo Herrera, optimal resume; and Samuel Bentum, student career preparation. 

Career Services Outstanding Faculty Ambassadors — Carol Linder, biology; David Hacker, forestry; and Jim Peters, business.