Those present were (front-LR): Daniel Alaniz, Jerry Everhart, Jayni Flores, Joan Accardi, Trish Maguire, Sheryl Borden and Mike Nuckols; (back, L-R) Reta Neal, Michael Marshall, Cruz Parra, Nikki Howard, Lilah Gainey, Gerald Gies and Andy Nazario.

Not present were Sue Bracksieck, Vivian Coates, Jose Contreras, Debbie Grimes, Renee Neely, Steve Reuland and Janet Roehl.

Joan Accardi

Dr. Joan Accardi brings her career at Eastern New Mexico University to completion after 19 years of valuable service. In conjunction with her service at ENMU, Dr. Accardi has been principal at several schools in New Mexico including Valley View and Monterrey Elementary in Roswell, as well as Moriarty Elementary School.

In 1998 Dr. Accardi began as a lecturer in Special Education and remained as resource faculty for eight years. In 2012 she received appointment as assistant professor of Education Administration and remained in this capacity until 2014 when she became the director of Teacher Education. She received the Excellence in Education award from NMASCD, 2008-2009. Dr. Accardi considers being principal of Professional Development School – Partnership with ENMU from 2006-2011 among her special accomplishments while employed here.

Upon retirement, Dr. Accardi plans to move to Roaring Springs, TX where she will write books with her husband, quilt and further develop her music skills.

Daniel Alaniz

Mr. Daniel Alaniz has a background in electronics and worked several years in Roswell repairing televisions, stereos and small electronics. He began working for a computer company in 1983 and later relocated to Clovis. As chance would have it, Rick Bresler took some ENMU printers to Daniel for repair and a friendship was struck. Rick asked Daniel if he would be interested in working at Eastern, and the rest is history. Daniel came to work at ENMU in September of 1996 and has provided excellent customer service to the employees at ENMU for 21 years.

Everyone on campus knows Daniel and has been a recipient of his hardware expertise, has witnessed his dedication to his work and enjoyed his sense of humor. These are some of the reasons Daniel was awarded the Spirit of Eastern Award in 1999. Daniel says ENMU has been a great place to work. He has enjoyed meeting, getting to know and working with so many wonderful people.

Daniel looks forward to retiring in Myrtle Beach, SC. No more computer or TV repairs in his future, for now. He says he has no special hobbies, other than using his time to help others learn about the Bible's promise of a better future. The best reward of retirement is that he will be able to enjoy more time with his wife, daughters and especially his granddaughter.

Sheryl Borden

Ms. Sheryl Borden graduated from ENMU with a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in Home Economics in 1968 and completed her Masters of Education degree in 1972. She worked several years as an extension home economist before she began working at KENW-TV in 1975 as an independent contractor. Sheryl produced and hosted a local show titled "The Creative Woman" that was picked up by the other two New Mexico PBS stations, and the name was changed to "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden." The show is now carried by more than 118 PBS stations in over 40 states, as well as in Canada, Guam and Puerto Rico. During the 40 years she has produced and hosted the show, Sheryl has interviewed thousands of people who have come to Portales to be a guest on "Creative Living."

In addition to producing the show, Sheryl has served as director of Marketing for KENW since 1988 and has organized the annual on-air and online KENW auctions that help raise funds to cover programming costs. She has been involved with KENW fundraising for numerous events through the years such as the conversion of television from analog to digital and to assist with the purchase of equipment and other special projects. Sheryl's hard work was recognized when she received the Spirit of Eastern award in 2007.

Upon retirement, Sheryl plans to continue producing and hosting "Creative Living" and help the station in other ways when needed. KENW means a great deal to Sheryl, and she's proud to have played a role in the many accomplishments of the station during the past 40 years.

Sue Bracksieck (SueB)

Known on campus as SueB, Ms. Bracksieck started her career with Eastern in 1999 as the enrichment specialist and special events coordinator for the Gear Up grant. When that grant ended, she began working for the College Success Program as the career advisor and retired eleven years later in August 2016. During her years on campus, SueB worked with students, was a Panhellenic advisor and presented more workshops and training sessions than can be counted. She was awarded the Spirit of Eastern in 2010.

SueB taught high school early in her career, then spent almost 20 years presenting seminars around the world before working at Eastern. She said that her job at Eastern was an ideal fit as she has always been a teacher at heart and she loves training, whether it's training students or adults.

Retirement includes caring for her mom and spending time with family. At some point, SueB will settle outside of Cripple Creek, CO, where she will join her son and his family who operate an aquaponics farm, and she will continue one of her favorite things—training.

Vivian Coates

Mrs. Vivian Coates' ties to Eastern began years ago when she enrolled in the BSN program and was a proud member of that program's first graduating class in 1994. During that time, she worked as a school nurse in Tucumcari and later as the Health Services coordinator for RCC7 in Clovis. She began as an adjunct instructor for ENMU in 2003 and became a full-time instructor in 2005. She served as interim director and full-time instructor in the Nursing Program in 2007.

Mrs. Coates was active in the redesign of the BSN capstone courses as well as the accreditation process for the MSN program. She has brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the program specifically with attention to community health nursing. Vivian has been a stabilizing force for the program because of her expertise and her gentle and deliberate approach to teaching and student advising.

Completing 14 years at Eastern, Mrs. Coates states that working for Eastern has been a great experience, and she will treasure her memories of her students forever. We wish her a well-deserved retirement.

Jose "Vitelio" Contreras

Dr. Jose Contreras concludes his career at Eastern New Mexico University after 19 years of continued service. He began in 1998 as instructor of Spanish and was promoted to assistant professor the next year. In 2004 he received the rank of associate professor and was granted tenure. In conjunction with his teaching commitment on the Portales campus, he was also appointed as part-time instructor of Spanish at ENMU-Ruidoso.

Dr. Contreras has served on various committees, including the Golden Library and Faculty Senate. He also received the Faculty Member of the Year Award from Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Dr. Contreras states that he considers being the director of Festival Romanico for the past 17 years among his special accomplishments.

In retirement, Dr. Contreras plans to spend time with family, travel, take care of his beloved Border Collies and farm in Guatemala.

Jerry Everhart

Dr. Jerry Everhart is completing a 22 year career at ENMU. He came to Eastern in 1995 as assistant professor of Elementary Education and in 2000 was awarded tenure and became the graduate coordinator for that program. He became department chair of Curriculum and Instruction in 2003 for a three-year term and received the rank of professor in 2009.

During Dr. Everhart's tenure at ENMU, he has served on many committees and has held numerous offices. He has served on the Title V Advisory Committee, HLC Criterion II sub-committee and University Distance Education Roadmap Committee for Strategic Planning, and he also served as the alternative licensure advisor for Elementary Education. Dr. Everhart was an invited lecturer for the Graduate School Research Series in spring 2014. He was Faculty Sponsor of the Year for Students for Equality in 2003 and recipient of the Spirit of Eastern Award in 2003. One particularly special accomplishment, according to Dr. Everhart, was serving on the New Mexico Science Teachers Associate board for ten years and as an officer for six years, including president.

Dr. Everhart's retirement plans include moving to Tularosa, NM and starting new art projects in jewelry, printmaking and watercolors. He plans to volunteer at the local senior center and zoo and most certainly will add hiking and exploring southern New Mexico to his list of things to do.

Laura "Jayni" Flores

Ms. Laura "Jayni" Flores accepted a temporary appointment as an Instructor of Bilingual Education at Eastern New Mexico University in 2014. Prior to this, Mrs. Flores was an associate professor of Elementary and Bilingual Education at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM and also worked as office manager at La Casa Family Health Center in Roswell, NM where she translated for patients and physicians.

Reflecting on her time at ENMU, Jayni states that she has learned so much working in the TESOL program and seeing how much students learned from one semester to the next. She stated that she is happy to have been part of a program where students grow in their use of the English language.

Mrs. Flores's retirement plans include traveling, baking and trying new recipes, and reading books for pleasure instead of necessity. She is also considering joining Foster Grandparents and tutoring public school children.

Lilah Gainey

Ms. Lilah Gainey came to Eastern New Mexico University in November 1996 as Systems and Public Services Librarian. Shortly after, she converted the online text catalog to the first graphic interface of the Golden Library's catalog. Lilah followed that by creating the library's first website. She also supervised the Instructional Resource Center, Acquisitions department, Serials department, library website and database management.

Interested in the whole ENMU experience Ms. Gainey served on the Professional Senate, Staff Development, Leadership ENMU, University Computer and Technology Committee and the Scholarship and Student Aid Committee. She currently serves on the Golden Library Student Success Center Alignment Committee. Ms. Gainey is a 20-year member of ENMU Women, serving in various capacities including secretary, Scholarship committee, and Meals-on-Wheels coordinator.   

In retirement, Ms. Gainey plans to spend time traveling to visit long-time friends and family, enjoying yard work, honing her cooking skills, refreshing her piano skills, and reading books in her library.

Gerald Gies

Dr. Gerald Gies has a longstanding history at Eastern New Mexico University as he began teaching as an instructor of History in 1995. In 2002 he was promoted to associate professor and awarded tenure, and in 2010 achieved rank of professor. Dr. Gies served two consecutive three-year terms as department chair for History. He completes his teaching career at ENMU with 22 years of continued service.

Dr. Gies has served on numerous committees and has represented ENMU as Fulbright Campus Representative, served as chairperson for the Scholarship and Financial Aid committee, served on the Curriculum Committee, and was a representative for New Mexico Town Hall on International Education. Dr. Gies has received various awards including Research Scholar for the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation in 2001 and the Father Maynard Geiger Scholarship for the Santa Barbara Mission Archive Library in 1988 and again in 2001. Additionally, he participated in the Bosque Redondo educational project from 2003 to 2006.

While working at Eastern, Dr. Gies conducted extensive research on Spanish Borderlands and plans to continue his research in retirement.

Debra Grimes

In July 1988, Ms. Debbie Grimes started her career at ENMU in Housekeeping. At that time, Housekeeping was connected with the department of Housing. Debbie spent her early days at ENMU working in DeBaca Hall from 1988-95. From 1995-96, she took a year off to help care for her dad, and then in 1996 she returned to Eastern as a reproduction operator in University Printing Services. She worked in the unit through the transition into Duplicating Services and retired in October 2016.

Debbie enjoyed her time in DeBaca Hall, getting to know the students. Many students would seek her out because she was always there with encouragement and a smile. While working at the campus print shop, she was dedicated to customer service in all ways possible. She love to cook and bake and would frequently share her goodies with co-workers. Debbie was awarded the Spirit of Eastern Award in 2015 because of her sweet spirit and can-do attitude, as she was always willing to go the extra mile to get things done. With her caring heart, she was a great addition to our University community and we will miss her (and eating her home baked goods!) at ENMU.

Debbie and her husband have moved to Texas, where her family roots are. She is enjoying retirement by spending more time with her family and has time to do more quilting and sewing.

Nikki Howard

Mrs. Nikki Howard completed her career at Eastern New Mexico University after 18 years of dedicated service. Nikki began working in Enrollment Services in 1999 and transferred to the College of Fine Arts as senior secretary in 2000. In 2005, she was promoted to executive secretary for Academic Affairs where she worked with three different vice presidents during her time there. One of her greatest accomplishments was helping to implement the Faculty Load Compensation (FLAC) system in Banner. This project took two years to refine and is now the primary system in which certain portions of faculty salaries are paid.

Nikki served on Support Senate, the Staff Development committee and the Medical Leave Bank committee. She received the Spirit of Eastern Award in 2003 for her work ethic and dedication to Eastern. Nikki enjoyed the interaction she had with faculty members and was a mentor to newer academic secretaries. She was always available to answer a question or to assist wherever needed.

Mrs. Howard's retirement plans include traveling to places she has always wanted to see, spending time in the mountains during summers, and enjoying time with her husband and family members and three grandchildren.

Trish Maguire

Mrs. Trish Maguire began her career at Eastern in 1990 in the capacity of lecturer of Health and Physical Education. From this time through 1993 she served as International Student Advisor and then became director of the College Success program through 1996. Mrs. Maguire achieved the rank of assistant professor of Information Systems in 1996 and added director of Distance Learning to her duties in 2006.

Mrs. Maguire served as a Dean's Council member, co-facilitator of ENMU HLC Steering Committee, ENMU Leadership Advisory Board member and a host of additional committee memberships. In addition, she was awarded the Spirit of Eastern in 2001.

In Mrs. Maguire's retirement letter she states, "Every day is a special accomplishment. My association with the students over the years has been the high point of my career. The many examples of their enthusiastic spirit, candor, dreams, aspirations, unbridled talents and accomplishments will forever serve as positive reminders of why I got into this field. I leave inspired by the many students I have met and served during my tenure at ENMU." Upon retirement Mrs. Maguire plans to join her husband and daughter in Albuquerque, and after a summer of rest, she will return to the work force.

Michael Marshall

Mr. Michael Marshall began working at ENMU in December 2004 as the ENMU Post Office Manager. He brought with him his love of technology and streamlined many of the ENMU Post Office procedures including the electronic tracking of student packages. He was professional in his dealings with the University staff, students and the public who utilized the services of the University's Post Office. Michael went out of his way to make sure that customer service was a priority.

Michael was a member of the Southwest Association of College and University Mail Services (SWACUMS) and was a presenter at the 2014 SWACUMS Symposium. He was also a member of the National Association of College and University Mail Services (NACUMS). He also participated in the ENMU Leadership program.

Mr. Marshall is completing 12½ years of service to ENMU. Michael says he plans to pursue his hobby of woodworking now that he is retiring. We wish him well.

Andy Nazario

Dr. Andy Nazario began his career at ENMU in 2009 as a temporary instructor of Sociology and became an assistant professor of Criminal Justice in 2011. He completes his career here after having taught for eight years. Prior to working at Eastern, Dr. Nazario taught law enforcement courses including criminal investigations, emergency management, organizational leadership and emergency planning at Technicon Training and Consulting Services, Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department and CNM Community College, all located Albuquerque, NM.

Dr. Nazario has served on numerous committees including Faculty Senate, the Sexual Assault and Prevention Committee, and the Student Research Conference Committee. He has been involved in the BAAS Program and served as Phi Kappa Phi president. He is happy to have been able to develop courses and to help students succeed in finding employment or moving on to graduate school.

Upon retirement Dr. Nazario plans to spend time with family, travel, write books, go camping and hunting and teach part-time.

Reta Neal

Ms. Reta Neal's career in education and non-profit organizations has spanned over 35 years. Over half of this time has been spent providing administrative support and teaching in higher education while following her husband during his military career. During her time in the non-profit arena, her grant-writing activities raised over $16,000,000 in social services funding for the eastern New Mexico area, primarily Curry and Roosevelt Counties. Reta has had the pleasure of working with all three ENMU TRIO programs—Talent Search (1981-85) in Eastern New Mexico high schools, as an instructor in Upward Bound (1980s) and Student Support Services (2007-17).

Reta, her husband and sons Scott and Neal have all received at least one degree from ENMU. Daughters-in-law Sarah and Martha have both attended ENMU, and Martha is currently working on her second degree. In addition, granddaughter Maddison began her college career at ENMU. The Neal/Weaver family is proud of ENMU and its role in their education. As a testament to their respect for education, all seven family members are dedicated to serving the generations to come.

In retirement, Reta plans to continue exploring the world by traveling extensively and revisiting a few of her favorites. Her first big trip is a cruise from Florida to California via the Panama Canal.

Renee Neely

Dr. Renee Neely brings her career at Eastern New Mexico University to a conclusion after a 42 year journey. She began in 1975 as assistant professor of Psychology. She received tenure in 1981, was promoted to associate professor in 1987 and received the rank of professor in 1990. From 1992 to present day, Dr. Neely has served as the assistant vice president for Academic Affairs, and sometimes included the additional roles of director of Extended Learning, dean of the Graduate School, director of Developmental Studies, assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and acting vice president for Academic Affairs (1993-1994).

Dr. Neely has always maintained a commitment to the betterment of the ENMU campus and has served on numerous committees— Undergraduate Admissions and Standards Committee, Assessment Committee, Budget Committee and various search committees. She received the President's Award for Service in 1987. Dr. Neely perceives that her greatest accomplishments at ENMU include watching her students graduate and the implementation of CAPP.

When asked about retirement, Dr. Neely stated that she plans to spend more time with family, improve her guitar skills and learn Spanish. She also includes honing her cooking skills, doing some volunteer work and traveling.

Michael Nuckols

Mr. Mike Nuckols began working at Eastern in August 1998 and worked for the University for 18½ years until his retirement last November. Mike was raised on the Nuckols Ranch east of Elida and grew up looking after cattle. After Mike graduated from high school, he and his brother were in the contracting business for seven years here in the Portales area. He later moved to California where he worked at Culver Studios as a carpenter building movie sets and was able to meet several famous movie stars.

In 1998 Mike and his wife moved back to Portales where he began working in the Physical Plant paint shop. One year later, he transferred to the carpenter shop as a cabinet builder and the assistant carpenter shop manager. In Mike's 18½ years at Eastern he was a manager for 17½ of those years. He was a joy to work with, he was always professional in all of his dealings with the University staff and students and went out of his way to make sure that all of their needs were met in a timely, professional manner. Mike's dedication to his job was one of his greatest attributes. He received countless letters of appreciation from staff and students over his career. Reflecting his dedication and work ethic, Mike was awarded the Spirit of Eastern in 2005.

Anticipating retirement, Mike moved back to the family ranch east of Elida last fall. When we say Mike is retiring, he really is not—he will spend his time doing what he enjoys, working in the family property management business and spending time on the ranch.

Cruz Parra

Ms. Cruz Parra has been employed as a custodian at Eastern New Mexico University since September 1998. During her 19 years of service, she has worked a hard custodial shift—the night shift, which is from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Cruz has diligently worked at Eastern while caring for her grandchildren full-time.

Cruz has provided custodial services in the Administration, Music and SAS buildings for the past 13 years and probably has worked in every building on campus. She has been an asset to the custodial department and the University with her friendly demeanor, positive attitude and her desire to be the best employee and person she can be. Cruz won the 2017 Spirit of Eastern Award which validates what an exceptional employee she has been during the course of her career.

We wish Ms. Parra a well-deserved, restful retirement. She will be greatly missed.

Steve Reuland

Mr. Steve Reuland began his career at Eastern New Mexico University in November 2004 as the Campus Union technician for the Campus Life Department. Mr. Reuland has served both the University and the student community with a tireless effort for 13 years.

Over the years Steve received appreciation from students and staff for his kindness and for his reliability to the department. His attendance was exemplarily and his dedication, work ethic and jokes will be missed.

Since his retirement in January, Steve has taken time to relax, enjoy life, go fishing and enjoy his time with his grandchildren in T OR C, NM.

Janet Roehl

Dr. Janet Roehl completed her career at Eastern in January of this year. She has spent nearly 30 years serving in various capacities beginning in 1987 as director of University Outreach and Summer Session. From 1992 to 1997 she served as temporary assistant professor of Journalism and in 1997 was promoted to associate professor. In 2003, Dr. Roehl was promoted to professor of Communicative Arts and Sciences. In addition, she served as assistant dean in the College of Education and Technology from 2013 to 2016 and as department chair and assessment coordinator over the course of time.

Dr. Roehl served on an extensive list of committees while at ENMU—College Faculty Review Committee for COET, Higher Learning Commission steering committee, Faculty Grievance Committee, Faculty Evaluation Committee, Graduate Committee and many others. She also received a host of awards including first place for Student Publication Advisor from New Mexico Press Women. Dr. Roehl and was an invited participant for the "Ethics in the Workplace" sponsored by Josephson Institute of Ethics, for the "Journalism Educators Seminar" sponsored by American Press Institute, and the "Seminar for Professors" sponsored by C-SPAN.

Dr. Roehl said the students she has taught and the colleagues who have offered support during her years at ENMU are what she most celebrates and will remember. Her greatest plan for retirement is to spend time with her grandchildren, of course!