Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Shelley Gilmore
PORTALES — A stint as a road construction worker convinced Ferron Lucero, a 1999 graduate of Clayton High School, that being more dedicated to his college studies might not be such a bad idea after all.
In his first semester at Eastern New Mexico University, Lucero wasn't attending classes. His low grade point average caused him to be put on academic probation and he dropped out of school his second semester. After getting a job in road construction, his three foremen convinced him that he needed and was obligated to go back to school.
Not only did Lucero go on to graduate from ENMU in 2004 with a degree in sports communication, he now works for the school as a recruiter for Enrollment Services. He said, "I believe in our motto in admissions: ‘Student success, that's what it is all about.'"
Lucero is demanding high goals for himself as a recruiter. If he can get more students to attend ENMU and see how "wonderful it is here," then he has met his goals. Lucero believes that, "Attitude is everything. The university is here to assist you in succeeding, but you have to be willing to overcome obstacles that get in the way of your success. Make sure that you aren't the one putting these obstacles in the way. There are no limits."
Lucero says he is excited about the opportunity to recruit students to ENMU. His recruiting area is northeastern and central New Mexico, as well as the Texas panhandle. He believes Eastern has a lot to offer, including successful sports teams, a new communication building being built, a strong agriculture department and, with the new Southwest cheese plant planning hiring, there are many job opportunities for students.
Lucero feels that ENMU is like a great big family. "The professors are approachable, and they listen and are helpful when students need guidance." Lucero singles out professors and staff members who have been especially helpful as Richard Rivera, producer and director at KENW-TV, Dr. Janet Roehl, department chair of communications, Mike Maguire, athletic director, and Dr. Christopher Stasheff, associate professor of communication.
In high school, Lucero was very active; he participated in basketball, track, FFA, and was on the Tri-State High School Rodeo Association, as well as the Texas High School Rodeo Association. He was a heeler in team roping. Lucero's senior year in high school he was named Mr. Clayton High School.
In 1999, he auditioned for a role in the movie "All The Pretty Horses," directed by Billy Bob Thornton and starring Matt Damon and Penelope Cruz. The casting director needed a Spanish man that could ride a horse. Lucero was extremely talented at that and traveled to Santa Fe and received a part as a federale (officer). Later, Lucero was shipped to San Antonio where he received a speaking role in the film.
After the movie, Lucero received an academic and a rodeo scholarship at ENMU. He competed in team roping with his partner, Tabor Smith.
Lucero began announcing in 2000, including the High Plains Junior Rodeos and was able to announce the High Plains Junior Rodeo finals in July. Stasheff, a professor in the communication department, encouraged Lucero to announce Eastern basketball games, and he completed his internship as the announcer.
This opportunity opened many doors for Lucero. He now announces rodeos everywhere, including the College Daze Rodeo at ENMU. He also announced the United States Team Roping Championships in Albuquerque N.M., Guthrie and Oklahoma City, Okla., San Angelo, San Antonio, and Waco, Texas, and Cheyenne, Wy.
Aside from his announcing activities, Lucero was a part of the Public Relations Club at ENMU his senior year. He worked at the Broadcasting Center under Richard Rivera as an editor, director, and technical director, and videographic designer for the show "Sports Look."
When Lucero arrived in Clayton in 1994, his 7th grade class voted him class president. His classmates said they wanted the new kid as their president. According to Lucero, he remained class president from then on and through his senior year.
Lucero wants to later become an event planner for athletics, and perhaps attend law school. Dreams of taking the road to law school is a long way from the roads he used to work on in his construction days.