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The Monday Memo is a weekly electronic newsletter published for the faculty and staff of Eastern New Mexico University.
Statistics Professor is from Sri Lanka
photo and story by Shantiana White
“ENMU is run differently from Texas Tech, but day by day I’m getting used to it.” – Dr. Indika P. Wickramasinghe
|Dr. Indika P. Wickramasinghe|
Dr. Indika P. Wickramasinghe has joined Eastern New Mexico University as an assistant professor of statistics. This semester he is teaching one graduate course and two undergraduate courses.
ENMU was one of the places that gave Dr. Wickramasinghe an offer to teach. He liked Portales because it was close to Lubbock, Texas, and heard it was a good, quiet community. When he came to ENMU for the interview, he realized that the people in ENMU are really nice and helpful. That helped him to come to ENMU.
Dr. Wickramasinghe has a family of four, which consists of his wife, 5-year-old daughter who recently started kindergarten and a 2-year-old son.
His wife received her master’s in nutrition at Texas Tech University and he is trying to help her find a job. Dr. Wickramasinghe, who received his undergraduate degree at the University of Kelaniya and master’s degree at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka. He was an instructor and graduated with another MS degree and with a Ph.D. in concentration statistics at Texas Tech.
“ENMU is run differently from Texas Tech, but day by day I’m getting used to it,” said the Sri Lanka native.
Sri Lanka is completely different from Portales. It is a tropical island surrounded by the Indian Ocean and offers a variety of entertainment, and varied wildlife. The culture in Sri Lanka is close knitted and everyone knows everyone personally, he says.
There was less of an opportunity to get a Ph.D. there and he applied to Texas Tech in 2006 where he switched from studying computer science to statistics.
If this statistics professor, who enjoys paying tennis, could go back in time, he would have taken more optional courses because he would have known earlier about his interests in teaching and that the optional courses outside of computer science were not a waste of time.
Since he has been here, Dr. Wickramasinghe has enjoyed the small classes because he can get an idea of who his students are. The researcher has also been working on a paper about “saddle-point approximation” where he tries "approximating distribution."
According to him, it’s important to have a good mathematical and practical background because it helps in understanding the theoretical side of statistics.
He thinks it’s hard for some students to deal with numbers, so the cricket player interacts with his students and asks for feedback from them.
Dr. Wickramasinghe hopes he can become a better person by helping his students and community in any way he can.
“It’s encouraging to see students value their studies because they want to learn to get a better life,” said Dr. Wickramasinghe.
Homecoming Set for September 28-29
Eastern New Mexico University will celebrate homecoming on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29.
The homecoming football opponent will be Angelo State University at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Greyhound Stadium. The parade starts at 10:30 that morning at the intersection of West 3rd and South Avenue C in Portales. The volleyball team will play Tarleton State University at 7 p.m. that night in Greyhound Arena.
Saturday activities begin with the ENMU Foundation Breakfast at 8 a.m. in the Campus Union Ballroom. There will be a buffet in the Campus Union Dining Hall from 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m. The ENMU Educator Hall of Honors Gala will be at 6 p.m. at the Yam Theatre in Portales.
Friday, Sept. 28, activities include a golf tournament, with tee times at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., at the Portales Country Club. The College of Education will host a carnival for kids from 3:30-7 p.m. by the College of Education Building.
The women’s soccer team will play the University of Incarnate Word at 4 p.m. at the ENMU Soccer Field. There will be an alumni cookout from 6-8 p.m. at 1401 W. 17th in Portales. The volleyball team will play Angelo State University at 7 p.m. in Greyhound Arena. The bonfire and pep rally will be at 8 p.m. at Greyhound Arena.
Also on Friday, the 50-Year Class Reunion Luncheon will begin at noon in the Campus Union Pecos Room, and the retired professors organization will host a reception from 3-5 p.m. at 1700 South Avenue I in Portales.
For a more information, call 575-562-2125 or visit www.enmu.edu\alumni.
Here is the detailed schedule:
Friday, September 28
The Homecoming Golf Experience — 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m.
The Department of Athletics invites you to participate in a day of golf. Due to popular demand and an overwhelming number of participants, this event will be split into morning and afternoon tee times. Advance registration is required. For more information, call the Department of Athletics at 575-562-2153.
Alumni Registration—Campus Union Lobby, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Office of Alumni Affairs will give out name tags, traditional homecoming buttons and other freebies. General admission tickets to the Greyhound Homecoming football game will be available for purchase in the lobby.
50-Year Class Reunion Luncheon—Campus Union Pecos Room, 12 p.m.
The weekend kicks off Friday with alumni registration in the Campus Union Lobby and a luncheon at noon in the Pecos Room. Steven Gamble, ENMU president, will stop by to visit and give an update on the University. Then golf carts will be boarded for a campus tour provided by the President’s Ambassadors.
COPE Reception—COPE Center, 1700 South Avenue I, 3-5 p.m.
The Council of Professors Emeriti will sponsor a special reception for emeritus and former faculty members. Current faculty, alumni, and members of the community are invited.
College of Education and Technology School Carnival—Education Building Lawn, 3:30-7 p.m.
A school carnival with all the traditional merriment of fun, food, games, entertainment, book fair and petting zoo will be hosted by the College of Education and Technology.
ENMU Zia Soccer—4 p.m.
The Zias face the University of Incarnate Word Cardinals at the ENMU Soccer Field.
Greyhound Grill—Casa del Sol, 1401 W. 17th St., 6-8 p.m.
Alumni and friends are invited to join us for a casual cookout located at Casa del Sol (across from the University tennis courts). Special guests will include recipients of the Alumni Association and ENMU Foundation Awards and the Education Hall of Honors and members of the 1962 reunion class.
ENMU Zia Volleyball Match —7 p.m.
Come support the Zia volleyball team as they match up against Angelo State University in Greyhound Arena.
Bonfire—Greyhound Arena, 8 p.m.
Student Government, ENMU cheerleaders, athletic teams, and Greyhound Sound invite you to attend a pep rally and the lighting of the bonfire. The 2012 Homecoming King and Queen will be announced.
Saturday, September 29
The ENMU Foundation 37th Annual Breakfast—Campus Union Ballroom, 8 a.m.
Homecoming 2012 marks the 37th ENMU Foundation Breakfast to honor donors. Everyone is invited to attend the breakfast. Invitations are mailed to donors and special guests to this annual event. For all other guests, it is $10 per person. Additional tickets can be requested by calling the ENMU Foundation toll free at 888-291-5524. Serving begins at 7:30 a.m. for early arrivals. During the breakfast program, ENMU Foundation and ENMU Alumni Association awards will be presented. Members of the Class of 1962, Educator Hall of Honor recipients, and the Distinguished Emeritus Faculty Award recipients will be recognized.
The Homecoming Parade—10:30 a.m.
The ENMU Homecoming parade has traditionally provided fun and entertainment for everyone. Contact the office of Alumni Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 575-562-2125 for entry information.
The parade will start at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29
The parade will begin at the intersection of 3rd street and Ave C.
The parade will travel southbound on Ave C.
The parade will turn westbound onto 18th Street.
The parade will end at south Ave J.
The parade will not go down 1st street toward ENMU, as the parade has in the past.
Sodexo Buffet—Crossroads, Campus Union, 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Immediately following the parade, join us for the traditional buffet in the Crossroads dining facility. This is a feast at its finest, and everyone is invited; no reservations are needed. Tickets will be available at the door for $8.25 per person.
The Homecoming Football Game—Greyhound Stadium, 2 p.m.
The Homecoming game will match the Greyhounds against Angelo State University. Halftime activities at the football game will include the presentation of the Homecoming King and Queen and their court. Winners of the 2012 ENMU hmecoming floats will be announced along with local business sponsors for this event.
ENMU Educator Hall of Honor Gala—Yam Theatre, 6 p.m.
Everyone is invited to attend the fifth annual ENMU Educator Hall of Honor Gala. The event begins at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. Free tickets will be mailed to honorees and special guests of this annual event. For all other guests, the cost is $15 per person. Advance tickets can be requested by calling the College of Education and Technology at 575-562-2443. The new ENMU Educator Hall of Honor Awards will be presented along with musical entertainment.
ENMU Zia Volleyball Match — 7 p.m.
The Zias play their second game of the weekend against Tarleton State University in Greyhound Arena.
|ENMU Foundation Announces 2012 Honors|
The Eastern New Mexico University Foundation awards for Business of the Year, Philanthropists of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year will be presented at the 37th annual ENMU Foundation Breakfast on Saturday, Sept. 29, during homecoming on the Portales campus.
For more information on the ENMU Foundation awards, call 562.2412.
The recipients are:
Business Environments -- Business of the Year
Established in 1973, Albuquerque-based Business Environments is coming up on their 40th anniversary. The company, originally Leasing Services, Inc., was purchased by I. B. Hoover and expanded from leasing to office furniture sales. Today, brothers Bruce Hoover and Scott Hoover are 50/50 owners of Albuquerque Business Environments, where Bruce serves as the CEO and Scott as president. The company continues to be a family business, where I.B. Hoover, their father, who is nearly 80, is still involved on a day-to-day basis, and Sharon Thorpe, their sister, also works at Business Environments.
The family’s philanthropic philosophy is about, “Giving back to the community that helped us as a family and in establishing the business,” Bruce Hoover explains. ENMU, and four other state institutions, have all benefitted from Business Environments generosity. The family is also a long-time supporter of United Way. Every place that Business Environments conduct business, they try to get involved with the community, either through schools or other philanthropic opportunities. Community involvement is also very important to the employees of Business Environments.
“Giving back is a win-win. It strengthens business relations and the overall community,” Bruce Hoover says. Bruce, who served on the Lobo Club for 10 years, is a member of the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, Albuquerque Economic Development, Executive Association of Greater Albuquerque, New Mexico Bowl Board of Directors, and US Bank advisory board.
Ed and Barbara Foreman -- Philanthropist of the Year
Alumnus Ed Foreman and his wife, Barbara, live a “terrific” life and have a philosophy of giving back to their communities. Foreman grew up on a sweet potato and peanut farm in Portales. He attended ENMU for two years before transferring to New Mexico State University to earn a degree in civil engineering. He holds an honorary Doctorate of Letters degree from NMSU and is a member of the Council of Peers Award for Excellence Speaker Hall of Fame.
As a petroleum engineer, he developed a technique for drilling wells safer, faster and more efficiently. Foreman became financially independent and was elected to the U.S. Congress, first from Texas, then from New Mexico, becoming the only person to be elected to the U.S. Congress from two different states in over 150 years.
Barbara has devoted her life to her family and to organizations such as Easter Seals, PTA, The Salvation Army, Chi Omega, and the Girl Scouts of America. The couple continue to be generous to numerous charities.
“We prefer to give to organizations that truly help people to help themselves,” explained Ed Foreman. “ENMU, NMSU, NMCCH (New Mexico Christian Children’s Home) and many other charities we support educate young people of America. Giving back is good for the people where we live and have lived.”
Glen O’Rear -- Volunteer of the Year
Born in Clovis, N.M., Glen O’Rear has lived in the area his entire life. He was a farmer, along with his family, before he started with Edward Jones 16 years ago. He graduated from ENMU with his bachelor’s in business administration and finance in 1990. All four members of the O’Rear family, which include his wife and two sons, have attended ENMU.
Edward Jones encourages its advisors to volunteer in community-based organizations. O’Rear is involved with the Portales Rotary Club, the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico, as well as the ENMU Foundation. Most recently, he was appointed president of the newly established Roosevelt General Hospital Foundation Board.
“There are a lot of people that have needs in the community. Sometimes they don’t have the expertise to do what they need to do, so it’s just nice to be able step in and help,” said O’Rear.
When he started at Edward Jones, a lot of people had helped him. Now, he has been helping the ENMU Foundation for over six years by providing advice on investments and the economy. Consulting with the ENMU Foundation is O’Rear’s favorite volunteer role, because of the research and planning that is involved. His other volunteer activities include Meals on Wheels, Dairy Fest and pumpkin giveaways. One cause that is especially meaningful to him is the Food Bank’s backpack program for in-need kids to take home on the weekends so that they have nutritious food. O’Rear hopes to set an example for both his and generations to come by volunteering in different organizations in hope they will do the same thing.
“People kind of get less involved within communities...We need to bring it back, especially in the smaller communities so that they’ll stay stronger,” O’Rear says. “If everybody would give a little bit of time to volunteering, it’s an easy, no-cost way to make our world a better place.”
|ENMU Announces 2012 Alumni Association Honors|
The Alumni Association at Eastern New Mexico University will present its Outstanding Alumni Awards at the 37th Annual ENMU Foundation Breakfast on Saturday, Sept. 29, in the Campus Union Ballroom during homecoming activities.
Receiving awards this year are Tommy Gonzalez, Paul A. Mapes, Richard T. Price and David F. Gregory. They represent the fields of city management, law, business and medicine, respectively.
For more information about the Outstanding Alumni Awards, call 562.2125.
Twenty-seven Homecomings ago in 1985, Tommy Gonzalez led the Greyhounds to an overtime victory on a fourth and goal pass to Alvin Harges against Texas Lutheran College. On that day, he threw for 243 yards, completing 20-38 passes. On the field, he showcased the leadership that has come to define his professional career today.
Off the field, Gonzalez demonstrates his managerial skills as city manager of Irving, Texas. Additionally, he served for 22 years in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Former city manager Rick Menchaca says, “Tommy is a trailblazer in the field of city management, known for his business-like approach to public management and commitment to getting the job done.”
Gonzalez oversaw the first successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma, a theory for cutting excess and optimizing resources in the workplace. Under Lean Six Sigma, the city of Irving has saved more than $38 million.
More important than his professional success is family success. Gonzalez is a devoted husband to his wife, Sandy, and an engaged father to his sons, Sagen and Sager.
Paul A. Mapes
Paul A. Mapes competed on ENMU’s debate team from 1965-1968 and served as a reporter and editor for The Chase. In 1968,he won ENMU’s Junior Year Abroad Scholarship and studied at Schiller College in Heidelburg, Germany.
Upon his return, Mapes’ classmates elected him to the Student Senate; he was instrumental in writing the new student body constitution.
In 1969, Mapes received the Root-Tilden Scholarship to New York University School of Law, a prestigious public service scholarship. From 1972-1975, he served as a Judge Advocate Corps (JAG) lawyer in Washington, D.C. Here, he received the National Defense Service Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal.
After serving as a JAG, Mapes worked as a federal antitrust prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. A large part of this job entailed evaluating proposed mergers.
In 1991, he relocated to San Francisco to undertake an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) post with the U.S. Department of Labor. Currently, Mapes lives with his wife, Maureen, in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Richard T. Price
Richard T. Price transferred to ENMU for his sophomore year in 1979, after attending New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) his freshman year. He golfed for the Greyhounds, joined the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, and served on the Inter- Fraternal Council while a student.
From 1982-89, Price served as general manager of National Video in Montgomery, Ala. In the early 1990s, he returned home to Artesia, N.M., where he was president of Take 2 Video. Price sold the successful chain, and in 1996 the Artesia Chamber of Commerce selected him as executive director, a post he held until becoming executive director of the Chase Foundation in 2006.
At the Chase Foundation, Price administers a scholarship program that has funded 700 Artesia High School graduates and committed $7.5 million dollars. In addition to providing scholarships to Artesia students, the foundation funds local non-profit organizations that help “good people do great things.”
He and his wife, Cody, have six children: Taylor, Brian, Kevin, Connor, Caleb and Callie.
David F. Gregory
A co-valedictorian of Portales High School’s class of 1959, David F. Gregory, M.D., enrolled at Eastern New Mexico University the same year. He says, “I wouldn’t trade my ENMU degree for anyone else’s.”
He was president of Chi Sigma Alpha, a charter member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity (previously First Star and Crescent), and co-writer of ENMU’s new student-body constitution.
After ENMU, Dr. Gregory established himself as an expert in infectious diseases, building on this reputation through his work in the Indian Health Service (HIS). His work at the Santa Fe Indian Hospital focused on infectious and non-infectious diseases. At varying points, Dr. Gregory left the Indian Health Service only to return to it.
In 2006, Dr. Gregory won the IHS National Council of Clinical Directors Physician Dedicated Service Award. Many of his patients remember his Pueblo Village house calls while his colleagues revere his dedication to service and admire his intelligence.
He lives in Santa Fe, N.M., with his wife, Allison.
|ENMU Educator Hall of Honor Gala Set for Sept. 29 at Yam Theatre|
The public is invited to the fifth annual Eastern New Mexico University Educator Hall of Honor Gala at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, in the Yam Theatre in Portales.
The event begins at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. The cost is $15 per person. Advance tickets can be requested by calling the College of Education and Technology at 562.2443.
The new ENMU Educator Hall of Honor Awards will be presented along with musical entertainment.
Joe Aragon is a tribal member of the Pueblo of Acoma and a graduate of ENMU. He began his professional career at ENMU as coordinator of Native American Affairs and went on to teach science at the high school and collegiate levels. Aragon has received numerous awards, including New Mexico Distinguished High School Physics Teacher and outstanding teacher by Tandy Technology Scholars.
Ronald Bass has spent his entire professional career in education, from his ENMU graduation in 1965 until his retirement in 2011. He earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial education from ENMU. He was an industrial arts teacher in Hobbs, industrial education professor at Wichita State University, and served in various administrative positions at Austin Community College. Bass and his wife have established the Ron and Nell Bass Endowed Fund for ENMU students.
Scott Childress has a passion to encourage students, teachers, administrators, and school board members in their pursuit of building a better world through education. He earned his master’s and educational specialist degree from ENMU. He began his career teaching biology and coaching in the Albuquerque public schools. Later he served as superintendent in Gallup, Capitan and Animas. Additionally, Childress embraces innovative teaching strategies and creative problem solving.
Allen Cloud has dedicated his life to teaching in the classroom. He has spent most of his career as an elementary school teacher and administrator. He earned both his bachelor and master degrees at ENMU. He has worked in Midland, Odessa, Roswell, Las Cruces and Chaves County elementary schools. Cloud feels that elementary school is the most important part of a young person’s education.
Howard Conley has served education as a teacher, principal and superintendent. He earned two degrees from ENMU. He was selected as one of the top 50 superintendents in the U.S. and named superintendent of the year by the Arizona State Department of Education. Under his leadership, Chandler (Arizonia) High School was transformed from a school characterized by low achievement to one of the top 50 high schools in the U.S.
Darlene Klassen has the unique ability to convey mathematical concepts to students with a wide range of abilities. After a distinguished career in K-12 education, Klassen began teaching mathematics at ENMU-Roswell in 2004. She has a bachelor’s degree from ENMU. She has received the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Teaching Award, an honor bestowed on only a select number of faculty across the nation for their teaching, service and leadership.
Gracelia Sosa, the daughter of immigrants, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from ENMU. She has worked more than 40 years teaching mathematics in public schools and at the college level in both New Mexico and Texas.
|Carla Chacon Gets Nice Retirement Cake|
|Photo and probably cake courtesy of Sheryl Borden|
|Get Your Bond C Yard Sign|
If you would like a Bond C yard sign, stop by Room 218 in the Administration Building. For more information, contact Jim Dodson at 562.2133. (photo by Wendel Sloan)