By Bill Knief
The days are getting shorter and the fall semester at UNM-Taos is once again coming to a close. The winter holidays are already upon us, the new schedule of classes is on the streets and posted at http://taos.unm.edu. It’s time to start thinking about what courses you want to take for spring semester. But don’t wait till 2009—the registration office staff at 115 Civic Plaza Drive is ready to help you enroll right now. Advisors are easy to get in to see. Not a single class has filled. Isn’t this the perfect time to make some decisions about your future?
Friday, December 5 the UNM-Taos International Exchange Programs will be hosting a Multicultural Day at the Klauer campus. According to project coordinator Pearl Huang the purpose of the open house is to create an event where students who have studied abroad can share their experiences, tell their stories and show images of their travels. If you have ever thought about participating in the international program, this is a great opportunity to ask questions and see what the program has done for others. It’s all free, and it is open to students, faculty and the general public alike.
Starting at 2 p.m. and running through 6:30, some featured events of the open house will include a pot luck table with international foods and a showing of a program on the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies, along with power point and slide show presentations by students which illustrate the great learning experience that international travel provides. Dr. Bogenschild, Director of International Programs at main campus, will be on hand to talk about the new Rome Center in Italy which is now offering a full semester of learning in Rome for UNM students. Student Government has once again provided its support in the form of a cheerful bonfire outdoors complete with hot cider that will take the chill off a wintry day. If you haven’t been out to the campus south of town recently it will be a good opportunity to take a look around.
UNM-Taos students can take full advantage of the opportunity to live and study in a foreign country by signing up for course credit for trips to Peru, China, Mexico, Spain, Bali and Italy. This can be a tremendous learning experience, as UNM-Taos student Samuel Favero can attest—he was recently named the top foreign student at Northwest University at Xi’An, China.
“Xi’An University Northwest has one of the highest reputations in China,” Huang explained. “Like our Princeton, Cornell or Stanford, and their standards are very high. It is a great honor for our student to be recognized in this manner. Sam is pursuing a degree in International Studies, and he was concerned about his language capability at first, but when a student is willing and focused, he can achieve great things.”
To learn more about Samuel H. B. Favero and the International Programs, go to http://taos.unm.edu and click on international programs.
MONTES, VINCENT AND NIEMEYER
The sign outside the new office at 201 Cruz Alta Road, just across from Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, announces, “UNM-Taos Academy of Sciences and Environmental Studies”. It’s not only the new home of the Sciences Academy; it doubles as home base for Title V—the federal program for Hispanic serving institutions.
Juan Montes, along with Dean of Instruction Jim Gilroy, put together the grant proposal that brought the Title V money to Taos. He is now shepherding the whole Title V project along with Dr. Larry Vincent and Rich Niemeyer. According to Vincent, it’s a three part program.
“We call it the UNM-Taos Student Diversity Project, and it is made up of three parts. First, we have established a water information clearing house called the UNM-Taos Water Information Institute. Second—and this is what Juan Montes has been coordinating—is a recruitment program for 9th grade students through high school. We work at getting them prepared for college, getting them enrolled and keeping them in college. Then, hopefully, we move them on to four year universities. The third part, which runs hand in hand with the other two, is the intern program, and Rich Niemeyer handles that. He is getting kids involved in field work with the help of federal and state agencies.”
“Actually there are two parallel internship programs,” Niemeyer explained. “In the Park Service program, we recruit students to work for the summer in national parks. They’re paid salaries from 10-14 dollars per hour, depending on experience. Typically, we find they stay as long as they can, because once they get there they really love it.
“The other part of the program is new, and part of the Title V grant. These interns are focused on local agencies—Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Soil Conservation Service—any natural resource institution interested in working with an intern. The intent is for the students to gain STEM experience; that’s science, technology, engineering and math.”
Although Title V is set up to support Hispanic serving institutions, Niemeyer and Vincent were both adamant about welcoming a diverse clientele.
“Only Hispanics can apply? Absolutely not,” Niemeyer said. “The program is targeted toward diversity populations, but that does not preclude anybody from applying and participating in the internships. The emphasis is in trying to recruit students with diversity backgrounds. Any student who hears about this program is encouraged to apply.”
“The grant proposal itself says Hispanic and Native American,” Vincent added. “Diversity means everybody. It’s inclusive; we don’t want anybody to be left out.
“The Water Institute is the same way. Our purpose is to gather information, organize it and get it out to the public. We’re not involved in any sort of policy making, any sort of water planning. We’re not getting involved in any litigation that goes on. We’re simply providing information to any and all users in our target area: North Central New Mexico. And we operate this office with the help of Juan’s great team of students. They’ll greet you and direct you to who you need to talk to.”
Call 758-1581 if you are interested in learning more. Sign-up for these intern programs is happening now.