Dr. Darren Pollock was interviewed in the Great Lakes Echo about "orphan beetles." – [Great Lakes Echo]
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Dr. Scott Johnson: Gone Fishing
story and office photo by Jennifer Conlee
"I’m heading to Mexico to visit with some fish." – Dr. Scott Johnson
Cozumel, Mexico (Dr. Johnson in front of creature)
Raised in Clovis, Doctor Scott Johnson made his way out into the world but found his way back to Eastern New Mexico.
“I’m a local boy,” Dr. Johnson said. “I went out into the world, did it all, and then came back with the prison riots.”
Going out into the world meant three universities. Dr. Johnson received his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma City University, his master’s from Oklahoma State University, and his Ph.D. from Iowa State University, majoring in psychology.
Following graduate school, Dr. Johnson made his way to the Department of Justice. He worked at the Kennedy Center as the director of mental health and was on the faculty at both the University of West Virginia and the University of West Virginia School of Medicine.
“At Kennedy we did show and tell for treating youthful offenders,” Dr. Johnson said. “It gave us the opportunity to work with correctional people from most states.”
From the Kennedy Center, Dr. Johnson made his way to the University of Miami – Coral Gables, Department of Applied Social Sciences where the program for correctional training was expanded nationally and internationally -- ranging over 46 or 47 states and from South Africa to Ireland.
After the University of Miami, the professor of psychology came to Portales to teach at ENMU.
“I came here following the prison riot at Santa Fe,” Dr. Johnson said. “The intention was to open a criminal justice program. We ultimately got one and it’s still here.”
He arrived in 1981 as an associate professor, and has since been promoted to full professorship. In his time here, he has served as chair of the psychology department and the Human Subjects Committee.
|Trailriders Wall, Pecos Baldy, Santa Fe National Forest|
In addition to instruction, he has also worked as faculty senator, graduate advisor, curriculum committee member, and faculty marshal for commencements throughout the years.
For Dr. Johnson, one thing he values is being able to walk into various human service departments and see the student that he trained working. His favorite part of being at ENMU, he said, was the students that he has taught over the years.
Now retired, the 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient has spent the last year instructing, but is looking to spend time with his family in the mountains of New Mexico and the oceans of Mexico.
Dr. Johnson making a house call to a Grand Caymon mermaid feeling
“I’m a diver,” Dr. Johnson said. “So I’m heading to Mexico to visit with some fish. My grandkids will be certified to dive in a couple of weeks. They, and a big black dog, are my hunting and fishing buddies.”
Julie Cathey Retiring from CDC
interview by Wendel Sloan
"I remember when several of the kids I have now were babies or toddlers during the time I taught their older brothers and sisters."
– Julie Cathey
|Julie Cathey with child at Child Development Center|
Q. What is your official title?
Head Teacher of the Child Development Center (CDC)
Q. When is your official retirement date?
July 1, 2012
Q. What were the main duties of your job?
I plan curriculum and teach preschoolers at the CDC, I am lab instructor for FCS 239 each fall and FCS 240 each spring semester, I supervise and schedule lab students, practicum students, work study and student hire. The first seven years at ENMU I also taught a class each fall and spring semester. In the summer I supervise practicum students and/or teach, plus do kitchen duty as I buy groceries, prepare the snacks, and make sure that lunch is set up every day.
Q. What did you enjoy most about your job, and what were the biggest challenges?
I have had the opportunity to get to know the children and their families better, for the most part, than when I taught kindergarten in the public schools. At the CDC we have most children two years and some for even three years. I've enjoyed getting to watch a lot of the children grow up as I've taught other family members also. I remember when several of the kids I have now were babies or toddlers during the time I taught their older brothers and sisters.
The biggest challenges have been teaching and supervising college students. However, I have also had the satisfaction of being able to see many of my college students grow and mature as human beings and as teachers.
Q. When did you arrive at ENMU, and what were the different positions you held?
I started at the CDC as Head Teacher in August 2001 (about a month before 9-11).
Q. Where were you born, and what was your life like growing up?
I was born in Portales at Miller Hospital, but grew up with my parents and two brothers on a farm down by Pep. My brothers and I went to school at Dora all twelve years.
Q. Where did you graduate high school from?
I graduated from Dora High School in 1976.
Q. Where did you attend college?
I started at ENMU in the fall of 1976. I worked at the CDC as a lab student and work study student while earning my bachelors degree. Dr. Francine Stuckey was already the director at that time. She was also my advisor and one of my instructors. At that time I never dreamed I'd come back to the CDC as Head Teacher some day.
In 1980 I graduated with my B.S. in Elementary Education, with minors in Early Childhood Education, Language Arts, and Home Economics. I received my M.Ed. in 1984, also in Elementary Education.
Q. What are some of the things you did before coming to ENMU?
My first job was teaching at Three Way ISD in Maple, Texas. I taught kindergarten and Head Start one year (1980-1981). Next I taught kindergarten in Muleshoe, Texas for four years (1981-1985). Then I moved back to New Mexico and taught Kindergarten in Portales for 16 years (1985-2001).
Q. What are your retirement plans?
I plan to work for a friend, Teri Blakeley, to help her run her home daycare. I will still get to work with children, but on a smaller scale.
I hope to have more time to spend with my family and to be more involved at my church. I hope to do some hobbies I've put away for a long time (counted cross-stitch, ceramics, other arts and crafts).
I also want to be able to spend more time with my dog, a Welsh Corgi named Buddy.
Q. What gives your life meaning, and is there anything else you hope to accomplish?
My faith in God, being thankful for the blessings of life, spending time with family and friends.
Q. What have you valued most, and what will you miss most, about working at ENMU?
I'll miss getting to teach the children of some of the families I've worked with in the past.
I know I'll miss many of the people I've worked with and come to know over the years at ENMU. I would especially like to thank the many people who work so hard at the Physical Plant (grounds department, painters and carpenters, electricians and plumbers, maintenance men, custodians, and secretaries). The workers at the Physical Plant have always been very good to me and the CDC. I couldn't have done my job as well without their help!
Dr. Cynthia Orozco Named Fellow
of Texas State Historical Association
interview by Wendel Sloan
"Make a difference outside of your job in whatever it is you care about." – Dr. Cynthia Orozco
Editor's Note: Dr. Cynthia Orozco of ENMU-Ruidoso has been named a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association. In the interview below, she discusses how she came to receive the honor.
|Dr. Cynthia Orozco|
Q. How did you feel about being named a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association?
I am honored to have been selected. I am one of the youngest.
Q. What has been your involvement with the Texas State Historical Association over the years, and what does being named a Fellow mean?
I have a long history with TSHA. I worked as a Research Associate for the TSHA as a writer for the encyclopedia project, the New Handbook of Texas. I wrote eighty articles for the encyclopedia based on original and secondary sources. It is online. I have been a member for many years, helped organize a conference on Mexican American history, and co-edited the conference proceedings published by TSHA.
Q. What is your book, No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed, about, and what motivated you to write it?
My book is about the origins of LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the most important Latino civil rights organization in the country, which was founded in 1929. I wrote it because most Americans are not aware that Mexican Americans also had a civil rights movement dating back to World War I.
Q. How did you become interested in teaching and writing about historical issues, and what is your specialty?
I was a member of Future Teachers of America in high school but became interested in research too. I love to engage students in the classroom using the Socratic method. I was trained mostly in US history and trained myself in Western civilization and World Humanities.
Q. What is your official title at ENMU-Ruidoso?
I am chair of the History and Humanities department.
Q. What are the main duties of your job?
I am a teacher, researcher, and writer. Besides world history classes, I teach U.S. history and New Mexico history. I have taught about twenty-five different classes over the years in the classroom and online.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job, and what are the biggest challenges?
I enjoy the classroom. It is fun to meet a new group of students each semester; it is fun to conduct research; and it is fun to learn more technology along the way. The biggest challenge is to get students to read before they get to class. I make students write every week so they have to read. A recent challenge is spelling since students read less, text more, and pay less attention to writing.
Q. When did you arrive at ENMU-Ruidoso, and what are the different positions you've held?
I began teaching in Ruidoso as a summer adjunct in 1997 but became full time in 2000.
I was born in Cuero, Texas. I was born poor with immigrant parents. My mother graduated from high school in the 1930s and my father had a third grade education. Racism and alcohol
prevented more mobility for our family. Everything was about school. All six kids graduated from college. My mother is responsible for our education.
Q. Where were you born, and what was your life like growing up?
I graduated from Cuero High and was president of the student council.
Q. Where are your degrees from?
I graduated from UT Austin with a BA in history and from UCLA with an MA and Ph.D. in history.
Q. What are some of the things you did before coming to ENMU-Ruidoso?
I taught at UT San Antonio and UNM. I have also been a film and museum consultant including Cheech Marin’s exhibit on Latino art.
Q. What gives your life meaning, hobbies, family, religion, etc., and is there anything else you hope to accomplish?
I enjoy my life. I like travel, museums, exercise and meeting people. I have a few more articles and books planned.
Q. What are your thoughts about working for ENMU-Ruidoso?
I never planned to work for such a small college. However, working in Ruidoso has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of world history. I have also had the opportunity to teach humanities so I know more about art.
I have become a better teacher since Ruidoso asked me to broaden my teaching methods and I now use more diverse and fun methods in my teaching. And I have enjoyed international travel to places I would never have gone without my Ruidoso experience.
Q. Other thoughts?
I have numerous recommendations for students. Learn how to read a book, learn how to speak publically, learn how to write for media, learn about personal finance, and start your career as an undergrad.
I started when I was a sophomore. Also, make a difference in your community while in school, make a difference in your job, and make a difference outside of your job in whatever it is you care about.
|Friday's Teacher Fair/National Board
for Professional Teaching Standards Summit
(photos by Spencer O'Keefe and Wendel Sloan)
|ENMU Students Help with FFA Contest|
The ENMU FFA, in conjunction with NMSU, coordinated the state FFA Career Development Contests at New Mexico State University this weekend for over 400 students from around the state. High school agriculture science students competed in over 30 events over three days.
|Earth Day Presentation
(photos by Jim Dodson)
|Friday's 'Superstition' Reception in Runnels Gallery
(photos by Wendel Sloan)