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Music Instructor Loves Fishing, Flying and Fly-Fishing
by Jennifer Neilson
|Catcher of the Wry|
A brown trout that Kayla Paulk caught last summer on the San Juan River, near Farmington, N.M.
“I don’t believe I chose my field of study but, rather, it chose me.”
– Kayla Paulk
The fall semester greeted Kayla Paulk, ENMU instructor of music since 2005, with an unexpected surprise. For the previous six years Ms. Paulk was considered a three/quarter time instructor; but this semester she was promoted to a full-time, tenure-track instructor.
Before the promotion, Ms. Paulk took on what many would consider a full-time load; including supplemental accompanying she did in performing student, faculty and guest recitals during the academic year
“It was a good feeling for the administration to acknowledge my hard work with an increase in appointment,” said Ms. Paulk.
After her promotion, she sought out and accepted new responsibilities including 21 additional recitals, university committee work and new research opportunities.
“Once I experienced a change in my official status, I felt I should be giving back to the university even more in appreciation for their demonstration of commitment to me,” said Ms. Paulk.
The Paulks with professional golfer Ernie Els, whom they met at the same tournament.
The Paulks with professional golfer John Daly, whom they met at the Sony Open in Hawaii two years ago when she was hired to accompany a regional music competition at the University of Hawaii.
She grew up with music in her life; her mother is a pianist. Her love for music stems from her own piano studies and the excitement of playing what was in her mom's piano bench, a treasure trove of music to keep her busy.
In her youth, Ms. Paulk was also a soccer player; she was even awarded a scholarship to Yale for her athletic nature. Though she had juggled her two loves throughout her childhood, she ultimately chose music over soccer and earned her undergraduate degree in music from Stetson University in Florida. She then earned her master’s degree from Florida State University.
“I don’t believe I chose my field of study but, rather, it chose me,” said Ms. Paulk.
In her final semester of the master’s program at FSU, she received a call from the dean of the Stetson School of Music asking her if she was interested in a job at Stetson. Ms. Paulk didn’t even have to apply; she was accepted over the phone. She spent 10 years at Stetson as the director of accompanying.
Throughout her career, Ms. Paulk has had the privilege of traveling around the world. She has accompanied performances in Europe, China and Newfoundland, as well as opportunities in Norway, Hawaii, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney World, Vancouver, B.C., and various cities in the states. Her husband, music professor Dr. Jason Paulk, was able to travel with her.
Ms. Paulk spent three years working at the University of Oklahoma while her husband completed his doctorate degree. His job search is what led them both to Portales.
“It was an enormous blessing for us both to receive job offers from ENMU,” she said.
Ms. Paulk did not love Portales at first sight. “It was only after getting to know the friendly people and the ENMU community that I came to love--deeply love--Portales and ENMU,” she said.
“There are so many things I love about ENMU,” said Ms. Paulk. Of all these many things though, her music students have been the most enjoyable of her tenure. She learns something new from them every day and their enthusiasm for learning and commitment to excellence is inspiration for her to demand more of herself daily, according to Ms. Paulk.
Kayla with Sherril Milnes, a great Verdi baritone with whom she worked for a decade.
The biggest challenge Ms. Paulk faces at ENMU is simply time. There just aren’t enough hours.
Her responsibilities as an educator do not end at the door of the classroom. Her teaching load, 17 private students and co-teaching three major ensembles are only a portion of her accountabilities.
Because she is an accompanist, she is invited to accompany numerous recitals per semester. Each recital represents at least seven hours of collaboration and about 10 hours of individual preparation on her part. That's about 357 hours of work - close to 15 full days of preparation.
“Accompanying--collaborating with other musicians in performance--is my passion, so I do it even though it requires great sacrifices both at home and for me personally,” said Ms. Paulk.
She considers each day a gift for which she is thankful. “Each morning I'm granted, I make it my goal to love my family as fully as I possibly can,” she said.
“In my work, I hope that my students learn from me not only how to read, interpret and make music well, but also what it means to be a professional musician with integrity and compassion for other people,” said the music instructor. “If I am able to influence students to care about someone outside of themselves--to realize that good relationships are integral to happiness in the human experience--then I will feel like I have been a successful teacher.”
Kayla and Jason Paulk caught these redfish in the Atlantic Ocean four years ago. She says, "Of course, mine is larger than his!"
In addition to her busy life on campus, Ms. Paulk loves to fish; she is especially proud of two 10-pound largemouth bass and a 175-pound tarpon. She also loves to mow grass and is looking forward to completing her private pilot’s license, with just her flying hours remaining.
“For the time being, I live vicariously through aviation magazines,” said the future pilot.
Ag Prof Spent Summer as Card Dealer
story and top photo by Kaylee Peterson
“I was excited to get out of Texas and experience something new."
– Dr. Steven "Boot" Chumbley
Dr. Steven “Boot” Chumbley, assistant professor of agriculture education, spent a summer working as a card dealer on a cruise line with one of his high school buddies before beginning his teaching career.
Dr. Chumbley grew up around the San Antonio, Texas, area.
Before moving to Portales, Dr. Chumbley worked as a high school agriculture science teacher for five years in San Antonio.
Dr. Chumbley looked forward to working at Eastern after a friend spoke highly of the campus.
“I was excited to get out of Texas and experience something new by working with other teachers from the New Mexico area and begin to grow the program of agriculture in another state,” said Chumbley.
He has been married for a year and a half to Sarah, a graduate assistant in ENMU’s College of Education.
“We enjoy traveling together. We have been to Alaska and other various places,” explains Dr. Chumbley.
In Dr. Chumbley’s free time, he enjoys being an auctioneer and ringman for various charity events.
|Dr. Steven Chumbley and wife, Sarah|
|Dr. Chumbley and Sarah on honeymoon at Alaska's Mendenhal Glacier|
ENMU Students Attend Border Conference Workshop
by Alisa Boswell
photos by Dr. Sue Stockly and Si Trujillo of ENMU
(Editor's Note: Dr. Sue Stockly, associate professor of economics, recently took a group of ENMU students to a conference in Austin, Texas, on U.S./Mexico border relations. Dr. Stockly also presented at the conference. The following article about their experience was written by Alisa Boswell of the Portales News-Tribune.)
L-R) ENMU students Michael Martinez, Alan Kinlund, Shelby Ellis and Si Trujillo.
Michael Martinez’ group at a student workshop, which focused on problems along the U.S./Mexico border, created a drug awareness commercial with the slogan, “When you’re chillin’, you’re killin.’”
Each time the man in the commercial took a “drag” off his marijua na joint, the sounds of gunfire and explosions would go off.
“What we wanted to do was raise awareness,” said Martinez, one of four Eastern New Mexico University students who attended the Jornadas Fronterizas Border in Austin, Texas. “A lot of people here who use illegal drugs don’t understand the repercussions or what it’s funding in other countries.”
The purpose of the workshop, which included 40 students from U.S. universities and 40 students from Mexico universities, was to discuss problems occurring along the border and how it affects both countries, then to develop solutions to the problems in order to get young minds thinking about how they can help the drug problem in the U.S. and Mexico.
|Dr. Sue Stockly with fellow economist Dr. Salvador Contreras from UT-Pan American|
Among the other things ENMU students learned were many of negative stereotypes about violence in Mexico are untrue and that young teenagers are the most influenced by the drug cartels because they feel they have no other options. Also, that 40,000 people have died as a result of the U.S./Mexico border violence, most of which is drug related.
Martinez and fellow ENMU student Alan Kinlund asked the Mexican students in their group how much power they thought drug cartels had in Mexico on a scale from 1 to 10.
“Without hesitation, at least six or seven of them at once said, ‘11,’” Martinez said.
“Once we would come up with a solution of how to combat drugs, we would run into another problem, like corruption,” Kinlund added.
“What I liked was that we didn’t just come up with solutions as a whole but solutions for our own communities,” added ENMU student attendee Shelby Ellis.
|Shelby Ellis with her group|
Ellis said her group at the conference focused on illegal immigration and what makes people do it and how people can help with it.
“There was so much to discuss it was hard to condense it down into that amount of time,” Ellis said. “One of the best things I took from the situation was the meeting of diverse minds and seeing things from the point of view of a different country is really interesting and opens up your mind to things you wouldn’t have thought of before.”
|Michael Martinez and Si Trujillo in their group|
Martinez said his group was comprised mostly of students from Mexico and discussed border security and violence.
“The fact that we had so many bright minds together discussing problems and solutions was inspiring and I left feeling like we had actually accomplished something,” Martinez said. “There was so much to learn and I learned a lot. The Mexican friends I made shared a lot. But it’s not just that I learned a lot but it changed the way I think, too.”
|Dr. Sue Stockly at her alma mater, the University of Texas|
The four students said they are now in the process of planning a campaign to create drug awareness by creating a student organization devoted to the topic.
|Vic and Tory Help with Donations
for Military and Their Working Dogs
(photos by Jennifer Neilson)
ENMU Hound Handlers Demi Whitley and Aidan Holmes took Vic and Tory on Thursday to donate supplies to Hestands Floral in Portales for distribution to local military members and their working dogs who have been deployed overseas.
|Rose Richards of Hestands Floral|
|Michele Robertson (left) and child and Rose Richards of Hestands|
|See He's and She's Erect a Teepee
(photos and copy by Jim Dodson)
Sponsored by Multicultural Affairs for Native-American Affairs Week, Kenneth Geimausaddle from the Lakota Tribe of Oklahoma showed ENMU employees and students how to build a teepee last Tuesday.
Too Tense – A guy goes to a psychiatrist. "Doc, I keep having these dreams. First I'm a teepee; then I'm a wigwam; then I'm a teepee; then I'm a wigwam. It's driving me crazy. What's wrong with me?" The doctor replies, "You gotta relax. You're two tents."
|Thursday Teepee Presentation
(photos by Jennifer Neilson)
|Presentation on Teepees||Video Alert|
Watch a video of a Thursday presentation about teepees, sponsored by Multicultural Affairs. – [video]
(video by Minh Tran)
(photos by Scott Kendall and Multicultural Affairs)
Students from Multicultural Affairs, plus a lady transplant from Arkansas, paraded their respective flags around campus on Wednesday.