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NMSU Alumni Association announces outstanding graduates for fall 2013

  • By Dana Beasley
  • 575-646-7953
  • danab@nmsu.edu
  • Dec 10, 2013
Exterior of building

The New Mexico State University Alumni Association recently announced the university's fall 2013 Outstanding Graduates. The awards recognize students who excel in overall academic performance, active participation in leadership roles, and professionalism and social responsibility in the form of community involvement.

Honorees from New Mexico State University's Las Cruces campus will receive their awards at the Outstanding Graduate Luncheon at noon on Friday, Dec. 13, at the 3rd Floor Bistro at the Danny Villanueva Victory Club, located inside the NMSU Stan Fulton Athletic Center.

The Outstanding Graduates are: Taysha Ham from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Kevin Culver from the College of Arts and Sciences; Roger Lilly from the College of Business; Michael Leslie from the College of Education; Eric Reed from the College of Engineering; Ryan Garcia from the College of Health and Social Services; Aileen Cruz from the American Indian Program and Ugochukwu Ogbue (Ugo) from the Office of International and Border Programs. The two graduate students are Morgan Harding, who will receive her master's, and James Kilcrease, who will receive his Ph.D.

Ham will graduate with a bachelor's degree in agricultural and extension education and a minor in journalism and mass communications. During her time at NMSU, Ham has upheld her status as a Crimson Scholar, earned a spot on the College of ACES dean's list since 2010, and assisted in representing the university as a Presidential Ambassador and as an ACES College Ambassador.

Culver will graduate with a bachelor's degree in both philosophy and sociology. During his time on campus, he served as president of Sophia, NMSU's philosophy club, and held a section editor position for the campus newspaper, The Round Up. Culver, a Crimson Scholar and the Sociology Department's Outstanding Senior, plans to pursue a career as a lawyer.

Lilly, who will graduate with a bachelor's degree in accounting, has maintained a position on the College of Business' dean's list and was awarded as a 2013 Outstanding Auditing Student. A Crimson Scholar, Lilly has served as secretary for Beta Alpha Psi and volunteered to serve as an English/writing tutor at NMSU's Alamogordo campus.

Leslie will graduate with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology and plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine. Throughout his college career, Leslie has been awarded the Medical Auxiliary Scholarship provided by the Los Alamos Medical Center, and the College of Education Alumni Scholarship.

Reed, who will graduate with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, has earned multiple academic and extracurricular scholarships. He was also a member of the American Society's Civil Engineer's Concrete Canoe Team and has dedicated time to service projects all over the world, including two service trips to Africa, and performing low-income outreach in North Carolina.

Garcia, a member of Eta Sigma Gamma Honors Society and president of the Public Health Student Organization, will graduate with a bachelor's degree in community health. Garcia has volunteered for United Blood Services, Hope Centers, La Casa Women's Shelter, American Cancer Society and NMSU Suicide Prevention activities. His volunteer work has also extended globally with work as an international volunteer at an orphanage in Peru.

Cruz, an active member in the American Indian Program, will graduate with a bachelor's degree in business administration and management. During Cruz's 2010 appointment as Miss Native American NMSU, she helped advocate for NMSU diversity programs and recruited Native American students to the campus. The Crimson Scholar also serves as president for the Native American Business Student Association and plans pursue a Master of Business Administration and work for her tribal community.

Ogbue, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, will graduate with bachelor's degrees in both business administration and electrical and computer engineering. He is the National Society of Black Engineers Chevron International Study Scholar, the National Society Board of Corporate Affiliates Scholar and recipient of NMSU's Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Departmental Scholarship. Ogbue will also graduate as a Crimson Scholar.

Harding will graduate with a Master of Arts in special education with a specialization in autism. She is currently teaching Mayfield High School students with low incidence disabilities the necessary academic and functional skills needed to transition into adulthood. In 2012, Morgan was awarded the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Beginning Teacher of the Year Crystal Apple Award.

Kilcrease, who will graduate with his doctorate in plant and environmental sciences, has received the Deans Award of Superior Academic Performance and the Honor Scholar Academic Achievement Award, through the Honors Program. In 2011, James was diagnosed with cancer but maintained his responsibilities as a graduate student; he then established the Aggie Cancer Survivor Scholarship to help and support other NMSU cancer survivors.

For more information about the outstanding graduates program, contact NMSU Alumni Relations at 575-646-3616 or email alumni@nmsu.edu.