Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Helena Rodriguez
PORTALES—Eastern New Mexico University ispart of an American Chemical Society (ACS) section that has beennominated for a prestigious ChemLuminary Award. Although the award isfor an original community hands-on activity or chemical demonstrationconducted by Texas Tech professors and students, Dr. Newton HilliardJr., an assistant professor of chemistry at ENMU, said the nominationis providing good visibility for Eastern as well.
The ACS section ENMU isinvolved with includes Texas Tech, Lubbock Christian University,Wayland Baptist University based in Plainview, Texas, and South PlainsCollege in Levelland, Texas.
"Through the ACS section ourfaculty and students are able to work with these institutions and,because of our close work with them, we are establishingcollaborations." Dr. Hilliard said. "We also have better studentaccessibility. We are trying to work out grants between our schools andto work together with students who transfer from one of our schools tothe other."
Most importantly, however, Dr.Hilliard, who is an alumnus of Texas Tech himself, said leadership forthe ACS section is split between Texas Tech and ENMU. Dr. Hilliard iscurrently serving as the chairman of the ACS section and last year'schair was Dr. Robert Long of ENMU.
The 6th annual ChemLuminaryAwards will be presented in December at the American Chemical Societymeeting in Austin, Texas.
Dr. Hilliard said there iscurrently a major push by the government to get more students into thesciences. "Jobs and careers of the future will be in biotechnology,"Dr. Hilliard said. "A lot of this is coming from President Bush'sagenda to go back to the moon and to Mars, and also to remaincompetitive in the global market."
Dr. Hilliard noted that ENMUstudents have access to Texas Tech facilities though the ACSpartnership. "Students can come here to ENMU and get the same qualityof education as if they went to a larger school. They have access tothe same, and sometimes even better, equipment here and they get to dotheir own lab work. They leave here with a resume that gets them jobsalmost immediately."
There are also severalcollaborations between ENMU and Texas Tech in terms of researchprojects. "Texas Tech is easy to work with," Dr. Hilliard said. "A lotof our faculty here are alumni of Tech. There is a long history betweenthe schools."
He also noted that ENMUstudents have also been spending a lot of time in public schools suchas in Hondo and Dora, assisting with science programs. "It is nice tobe recognized in a section that is heavily involved with outreach."