Most Distinguished Members

2016 Yuliana Zaikman, Graduate Student, Psychology

Yuliana Zaikman is a second-year PhD student in the Psychology Department. She teaches Sexual Behavior and Introduction to Psychology both in-person and online. Her courses employ the use of Team-Based Learning as well as the application of course concepts to popular media such as Harry Potter novels and The Big Bang Theory. This past year, she participated in several Academy workshops including Teaching Students Through Writing. She also led two workshops of her own on Team-Based Learning and on using media to make your course come alive. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and watching TV.

Henrietta Williams Pichon, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Administration

Henrietta Williams Pichon, is an assistant professor in Educational Leadership and Administration (ELA). Her teaching focus is higher education administration and her research focus is the access and persistence of historically underrepresented groups in higher education.

As a faculty member in ELA, she has focused her professional development time on events that will make her a better teacher, scholar, and university citizen. Several that stand out are Team Mentoring; OCIP (online teaching); Teaching workshops on teaching difficult/sensitive topics, flipped classrooms, and so on; Managing diversity (with Prudence Carter, Stanford); and Writing groups.

She is especially thankful for the work in the writing groups because after receiving feedback on a manuscript, she was able to get three publications from it.

2015 Kefaya Diab, Graduate Student, English

Kefaya Diab is a PhD student of rhetoric and professional communication in the English Department. Her research focus is on new media literacy, digital media production, critical theory, and social identity. She teaches courses in composition and rhetoric in the English Department, and also serves as a writing program coordinator. Her past experience in IT and digital media inspires her pedagogy of filmmaking as a tool for advocacy and social change. Students in her classes produce short films of personal narratives, documentaries, and public service announcements to advocate for social issues. She hopes to promote this project across the curriculum at NMSU and nationwide.

Conni DeBlieck, Assistant Professor, Nursing

Conni DeBlieck, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, joined NMSU in 2012. Her research interests include stress reduction management using bioinformatics and guided implementation of nursing student success habits, a concept-based learning curriculum, and the health benefits of journaling within nursing simulations. Dr. DeBlieck has worked as a surgical nurse, clinical nurse educator, and is currently the RN-BSN coordinator at NMSU. She led a team of faculty members to implement nursing simulation and and academic electronic medical record system across the BSN curriculum. She is the co-developer of a mobile app, Student Success Keeper, that assists students in monitoring their study and health habits. She is a co-PI in a study related to anxiety and stress using an MetroNaps EnergyPod™

2014 Karen Trujillo, Graduate Student, English

Karen Trujillo earned the Most Distinguished Postdoctoral Award by virtue of participating in the most hours of professional development at the Teaching Academy of any graduate student in the past year. Karen will complete the Master of Arts program in English as an Honors Graduate this May. She teaches Rhetoric and Composition and Introduction to Education. Her commitment to teaching these courses has led her to the Teaching Academy to better serve her diverse students face-to-face and online. As a result of the growth she has realized at the Teaching Academy, Karen is certain that she has enhanced her students’ learning.

Mike McGonigle, College Associate Professor, Finance

Mike McGonigle earned the Most Distinguished Faculty Award by virtue of participating in the most hours of professional development at the Teaching Academy of any faculty in the past year. Mike has been a part of the Las Cruces community since the fifth grade. He went to high school at Mayfield and secured his bachelor’s degree from NMSU. He originally started as a film student. Shortly into his studies, Mike realized film wasn’t as exciting and fun as he had hoped, so he switched to the thrilling world of finance. Mike minored in insurance and risk management. While working for the family business, his father proved to him that insurance and risk management are not as boring as they are made out to be. Now Mike lives and breathes the industry and loves every minute of it. He reports that he is very proud and honored to be part of the NMSU family.

2013 Aleksandra Andic, Postdoc, Astronomy

Aleksandra Andic earned the Most Distinguished Postdoctoral Award by virtue of participating in the most hours of professional development at the Teaching Academy of any postdoctoral or graduate student in the past year. Dr. Andic is a hardworking postdoc in the Astronomy Department, where she studies the sun. She is from Bosnia, received her Ph.D. in Germany, and worked in the U.K. At the Teaching Academy, she completed a number of courses, including: Effective Teaching, Engaging Millennial Learners, Working with Diversity, Encouraging Excellence in Teamwork, Flipping your Classroom, and How to Evaluate Teaching. In addition, she participated in two longer courses: Team-Based Learning and Teaching Scholars: Excelling as a Teacher. In the Fall of 2012, Dr. Andic taught The Planets, Astronomy 105G, in which she applied all of her newly learned teaching methods to her students’ delight.

Pat Hoffman, College Associate Professor, Sociology

Pat Hoffman earned the Most Distinguished Faculty Award by virtue of participating in the most hours of professional development at the Teaching Academy of any faculty in the past year. Dr. Hoffman is college associate professor in the Department of Sociology. In 2003, Dr. Hoffman was hired at NMSU to develop an online degree in sociology. This bachelor’s degree was very successful and the master’s degree was added with funding from a grant co-authored by Pat. Her experience teaching in an inner city school in Detroit and on the border between Virginia and West Virginia in the Appalachian Mountains helped her develop a deep concern for students who just need a boost, not so different from many of our students here at NMSU. According to Dr. Hoffman, many students say if it were not for the online degree they would never have been able to get a degree.

2012 Menuka Karki, Graduate Student, Biology

Menuka Karki, a graduate teaching assistant at the Department of Biology, became so motivated by Teaching Academy workshops and events that she managed to find time to participate in many of them. Menuka was able to get productive comments on her teaching through Classroom Visitations and Peer Coaching and has developed learning objectives for each chapter of the class she teaches through Team-Based Learning. Similarly, throughTeam Mentoring, she was able to identify teaching techniques needed in her class and simultaneously honed her writing skills through Writing Groups and the Scholarly Writing Retreat. In spring 2012, Menuka received the Graduate Teaching Excellence Award from the Department of Biology and she credits the Teaching Academy and her mentors for the award. Menuka finds the Teaching Academy a great resource for graduate students and graduate assistants, and feels proud to have graduated from many training courses from the Academy.

Alla Kammerdiner, Assistant Professor, Industrial Engineering

Dr. Alla Kammerdiner is an assistant professor of industrial engineering in the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University. She joined NMSU in Fall 2010. Prior to that, she was a visiting faculty at Arizona State University and a National Research Council postdoctoral research associate for the Air Force Research Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base. Dr. Kammerdiner’s research interests are in applied statistics, data mining, and combinatorial optimization. She teaches courses in engineering economics, discrete event simulation, and multivariate statistical analysis. As a pre-tenure faculty who has a lot to learn, Dr. Kammerdiner is especially grateful to the Teaching Academy for offering so many unique opportunities for professional development, for learning from the best educators and researchers, for networking, and for fun. Dr. Kammerdiner benefitted tremendously from so many of these events, including the Scholarly Writing Retreat, Writing across the Curriculum, Team-Based Learning, Active Learning, Grant Writing, Safe Zone Training, Team Mentoring, ADVANCE Mentoring, and the Faculty Excursions with the Provost.

2011 David Teal, Graduate Student, Astronomy

David Teal attended the semester long Publish & Flourish in 2009. It was his first Teaching Academy workshop, and he was hooked. Last semester, he was fortunate enough to be able to participate in another semester long workshop, Teaching Scholars. Teaching Scholars was invaluable: there he developed his teaching philosophy, interacted in an online teaching setting, engaged in diversity training, and transformed his syllabus into a valuable resource for his students. This semester he returned to Publish & Flourish, which helped him finish his astronomy master’s thesis on the Martian atmosphere. Including interactive learning in the classroom was the topic of his last workshop, and he strongly encourages everyone to learn about and incorporate this technique in their teaching.

Yu-Feng “Winnie” Lee, Associate Professor, Economics & International Business

Yu-Feng “Winnie” Lee is a proud and active participant in the Teaching Academy! She is an associate professor of economics in the Department of Economics & International Business, College of Business. She enjoys teaching, research, and other academic activities—certainly including attending various Teaching Academy workshops. This past year, she was selected as one of the cohort fellows in the ChAMPION Program, concurrently a member in the ADVANCE Leadership Program, and many other workshops. To her, being a participant in these activities is rewarding and a great experience!

2010 Kiran Sapkota, Graduate Student, Biology

Kiran Sapkota is a biology graduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences. Kiran received his Master of Science in microbiology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and was involved in teaching and research before joining NMSU. Kiran has participated in several workshops from the Teaching Academy such as discussion as a way of teaching, becoming a critically reflective teacher, practical strategies for writing the thesis, writing groups, teaching portfolios and team mentoring for grad assistants who teach a class or lab, just to name a few. Kiran plans to remain in academia to do research and spread the gospel of biology.

Wiebke Boeing, Assistant Professor, Fish, Wildlife & Conservation Ecology

Wiebke Boeing is an assistant professor in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology. Ever since her arrival at NMSU, she has been an active member of the Teaching Academy. Wiebke was selected for the PRIMOS cohort and as such attended multiple workshops on teaching methods to improve student learning. Furthermore, she is participating in the ADVANCE faculty mentoring program. Last year she took a Teaching Portfolio workshop with Dr. Peter Seldin and her portfolio was selected to be published in the new edition of his book. Subsequently, Wiebke served as a teaching portfolio mentor for other faculty members.

2009 Joe Gladstone, Graduate Student, Management

Joe Gladstone is a management Ph.D. student in the College of Business. His area of research is management within, and management education for Native Americans and other indigenous societies and institutions, both public and private. Joe was very active at the Teaching Academy, participating in ITAL, Teaching Scholars and Team Mentoring for Graduate Students Who Teach. Joe intends to remain in academia to continue his research and teach management. He is the current president of the Management Doctoral Student Association of the Ph.D. Project. He earned his M.P.H. (Arizona, 1999) and B.S. in Health and Human Performance (Montana, 1990).

Anita Reinhardt, Assistant Professor, Nursing

Anita Reinhardt Ph.D., R.N., joined the faculty in the College of Health and Social Services, School of Nursing in March 2008. She comes to NMSU with an extensive background in nursing clinical practice, administration, and education from all parts of the United States, most recently Washington State. She also has some international experience having worked in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the oil company in the company health care facility. Dr. Reinhardt’s passion lies in management and leadership with an emphasis on work environment research. She and her husband Fred look forward to many happy and productive years in Las Cruces and at New Mexico State University. She is the most distinguished member of the Teaching Academy this year because she participated in 177 hours of training.

2008 Francis Rooker, Graduate Student, Family & Consumer Sciences and Public Health

Francis Rooker is a dual-degree grad student—MS in FCSC (Dietetics) and the MPH. His concentration is prevention and amelioration of hypertension in older persons. Fran, a 2008 Teaching Scholars cohort graduate and Teaching Academy member-Distinguished, is earning the Online Teaching and Learning Certificate (CEL–NMSU). He works on the NM Conference on Aging Committee, is a Healthy New Mexico Task Force nominee, presents at national and international conferences, conducts workshops across Southwestern NM, advocates “Community For All Ages” associations, and develops web-based health education for rural communities. He completed the MBA program (Pepperdine, 1980) and earned a BA in English Literature (Kings College, 1968).

Robert Paz, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering

Robert Paz is a native Las Crucen, and an alumnus of NMSU. After obtaining his graduate degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign, he was fortunate to obtain a faculty position in his hometown and at his Alma Mater. Dr. Paz has, from the beginning of his career, had a passion for teaching. However, this was passion without knowledge. The NMSU Teaching Academy has, and continues to fill the lacuna. He has gratefully participated in more than 170 hours of training this year, large chunks of which were obtained through the Boot Camp, ITAL and the Teaching Scholars programs.

2007 Susanna “Sana” Clason, Graduate Student, English

Susanna “Sana” Clason tied for the Teaching Academy’s most distinguished graduate student member for 2006–2007. Sana is a graduate assistant and Ph.D. candidate in the English Department’s Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. She plans to graduate May, 2008. Sana earned an MA in Technical and Professional Communication from NMSU, and BA in Journalism/Advertising from The University of Oklahoma. Sana has been co-editor of the English 111 curriculum textbook Paideia for four years, and is a former Writing Center Co-Coordinator. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Sana was a paralegal before returning to graduate school, and taught paralegal courses at DACC.

Nadezdha “Nadya” Shalamova, Graduate Student, English

Nadezhda “Nadya” Shalamova tied for the Teaching Academy’s most distinguished graduate student member for 2006–2007. Nadya is a Ph.D. student in the English Department. She also holds a graduate degree in linguistics from a Russian university. She has taught courses in technical and professional writing, linguistics, and English as a foreign language. Her area of research interest is in scientific and engineering writing. She is currently working on a dissertation project on self-study reports prepared by the NMSU College of Engineering for the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. She has received the Carnegie Foundation Research Fellowship, International Peace Scholarship, and NMSU Graduate Assistant Fellowship. She was nominated for the Chancellor’s List in 2005–2006.

Muhammad Dawood, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering

Muhammad Dawood is the Teaching Academy’s most distinguished member for 2006–2007. Muhammad has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, and serves as an Assistant Professor in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has taught both graduate and undergraduate classes in EE for more than ten years. He is also a recent recipient of NSF CCLI grant to enhance student learning in Electromagnetics. He participated in 101 hours of Teaching Academy events.

2006 Carlos Baca-Chacon, Graduate Student, Educational Management and Development

Carlos Baca-Chacon is the Teaching Academy’s most distinguished graduate student member for 2005-2006. Carlos is the holder of two masters degrees, Master of Arts in Geology and a Master of Arts in Education: Curriculum and Instruction. He is very proud of his three children: Al, B.A. Movie Director, University of California at Berkeley; Carl, B.S. Genetics, University of California at Davis; and Ralph, B.A. International Business Administration, University of Texas at El Paso. He is very proud to be a member of the Teaching Academy! We are proud of you, Carlos!

Amiya Bhattacharya, Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Amiya Bhattacharya is the Teaching Academy’s most distinguished member for 2005-2006. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington, where he was a recipient of the 2002 Outstanding Doctoral Research Award. Prior to joining NMSU, he conducted research at Nokia Research Center at Irving and at the Arizona State University. In 2005-2006, Amiya has participated in many hours of training at the Teaching Academy: 180 hours to be exact, which is an all-time record. Congratulations, Amiya!

2005 Alma Rodriguez, Ph. D. Candidate, Special Education/Communication Disorders

Alma Rodriguez is a Ph.D. Candidate specializing in Bilingual Special Education Education in the Special Education/Communication Disorders Department. Eldest child of Mexican-born parents, Alma is the first in her extended family to work towards a doctoral degree. Prior to becoming a full-time doctoral student, Alma worked as a school psychologist and as a school counselor. For the past two years she has taught a total of nine courses, both at the graduate and undergraduate level. Thankful to discover the wealth of information that is brought to professors of all levels and skills through the Teaching Academy, she quickly took advantage of workshops that could introduce her to successful teaching techniques. She has already incorporated various new approaches within her courses, including backwards course design, and looks forward to learning more.

Ereney Hadjigeorgalis, Assistant Professor, Agricultural Economics & Agricultural Business

Ereney (Rene) Hadjigeorgalis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business in the College of Agriculture. After receiving her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California in 1999, she spent three years as a visiting and assistant professor at the Universidad de Talca and the Catholic University of Chile. She came to New Mexico State University in January 2003. Rene teaches courses on international trade and world food problems. Her research interests lie in the areas of water resource management, international trade and development and public economics, with an emphasis on issues that impact women and children. She is grateful to the Teaching Academy for helping her be a better teacher, as well as giving her the opportunity to help other faculty members, particularly in the area of academic writing.

2004 Margaret Mendoza, Ph.D. Candidate, English

Margaret Mendoza is a Ph.D. Candidate in the English Department’s Rhetoric and Professional Communication Program. Her general area of interest is academic literacies focusing on mentoring, discourse acquisition, expository conversation, and research writing. Margaret will present her research this June at the Eleventh Annual International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning in Havana, Cuba. She coordinates the NMSU Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program, conducts workshops on graduate school admissions for the NMSU student community, and directs the Undergraduate Research and Creative Arts Symposium Poster Session. Margaret says she is indebted to the Teaching Academy for teaching her more about managing workshops, for trusting her to run a writers’ group, and for helping her get organized just when she needed it the most. She is particularly grateful for the “Please do not disturb me” sign from Meggin McIntosh’s time management workshop.

Inna Pivkina, Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Inna Pivkina grew up in Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberia, Russia. Her childhood passion of solving puzzles led to her deep interest in mathematics and later in Computer Science. In 1990 Inna received her diploma with honors in mathematics (an equivalent of a master’s degree) from Novosibirsk State University. After graduation she worked at the Institute of Mathematics in Novosibirsk developing educational software for an electronic textbook in mathematical logic. Inna then attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington where she did Artificial Intelligence research and received her doctorate in Computer Science in August 2001. She continued working at UK for one year as an instructor to get more teaching experience. In August 2002 she joined the Computer Science Department at New Mexico State University as Assistant Professor. Inna researches and teaches courses on Artificial Intelligence. During 2003-2004, Inna took advantage of great opportunities provided by the Teaching Academy to improve her teaching and other skills. Her activities included Boot Camp for Profs in Leadville, CO, Peer Coaching, a classroom observation program, Publish and Flourish, and other activities for a total of 110 hours of professional development events.