ENMU Green & Silver Magazine - May 2017 issue


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ENMU Foundation magazine - May 2017 issue

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MAY 2017 Green&Silver MAGAZINE EASTERN NEW MEXICO UNIVERSITY CARIBBEAN QUEEN Karen Whitt Page 4-6 IN THIS ISSUE A special tribute to Dr. Gamble in his final months as University President!


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Green&Silver MAGAZINE EASTERN NEW MEXICO UNIVERSITY Features 04 Caribbean Queen 07 Bon Voyage x 100+ 08 The Gamble Years: President Gamble Calls Portales Home 10 Broadcasting from the Ocean Blue 11 Keep Climbing: Delta® Books Alumna as Marketing Manager 12 A Pit Stop at Evie Mae’s BBQ 12 An Exciting New Relationship with Four Seasons Santa Fe 13 Culinary Arts Program Provides Virtual Travel Experience 14 ENMU Athletics News Class Notes: 16 People You Know 18 In Memory Green & Silver Magazine | May 2017 Managing Editor Noelle Bartl Content and Design Editor Rachel Forrester Contributing Editor Robert Graham Writers and Contributors Dr. Charles Broz, Adam Pitterman, David P. Sanchez, Melissa Sena and Tia Urioste You can view all issues of the Green & Silver Magazine online at enmu.edu/magazine New address, questions, comments or story ideas? Contact us at 888.291.5524 or enmu.foundation@enmu.edu. 2 Green & Silver | May 2017


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From the President Dear ENMU Family, Wow! The 2016-17 school year was really something. Record enrollment in both the fall and spring semesters. Passage of the statewide General Obligation bond, which completed the $26 million needed to develop and construct the Golden Student Success Center. The inauguration of Greyhound Stadium featuring Al Whitehead Field that opened with a capacity crowd and fulfilled the dream of an on-campus, multi-purpose sports facility. Over 1,000 Greyhounds graduated with degrees that should change their lives. Perhaps most significantly, Eastern performed extraordinarily well during the 10-year reaccreditation visit by the Higher Learning Commission team. Yes, it has been a very good year. As for me, it will be my last year, the 16th as president of Eastern New Mexico University. On July 31 of this year, I turn the reins of the University over to my successor. The new president will inherit a wonderful school, whose students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters are second to none. I plan to remain in Portales and will still attend fine arts events, root for the Greyhounds at athletic contests, and help Eastern any way I can. I thank all of you for the patience and support you have given me and ENMU. I am truly grateful. Sincerely, Steven Gamble ENMU President Green & Silver | May 2017 3


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Caribbean Queen At the Helm of a Global Tourism Destination By: Robert Graham Karen (Gabhart) Whitt’s (BBA 85) first time back on Eastern New Mexico University’s campus was for the final game at Blackwater Draw Stadium, played on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. “It was a bit surreal, a place that was larger than life when I was a student, with so many amazing memories and experiences. I was very happy to be visiting and I was proud to see the familiar places and some of the faces I was always so fond of. The football game was amazing – I was a bit melancholy at the idea of the stadium being abandoned, but at the same time happy and proud for the new one. After serving as a cheerleader for three years at ENMU, one of my highlights was reminiscing what it was like being on the field with the squad,” says Whitt. In 30+ years, Karen has established herself as the world’s premiere professional in the hospitality and tourism management industry. Currently, Karen is the vice president of the Hartling Group, owning company of The Palms Turks and Caicos in Providenciales along with many other properties in Turks and Caicos Islands. Turks and Caicos Islands sit northwest of Cuba and north of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. “Turks and Caicos is a British overseas territory, affording me the opportunity to learn about different governments, economies and dynamic cultures,” says Whitt. “I have a strong pride for the USA, my home country, and I have learned that we as Americans take many things for granted. I believe if more persons had the opportunity to work abroad there would be a much greater sense of faith, gratitude and understanding for what we have.” everything changed for the better,” says Ignacio Maza, EVP of the Signature Travel Network. Karen garnered her credentials at the world’s top hospitality program, the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. In 2014, Luxury Travel Advisor recognized Karen as “Top General Manager Worldwide.” This year, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Palms Turks and Caicos as the sixth best resort in the Caribbean. Travel + Leisure also ranked the Shore Club, a property under Karen’s leadership, as one of the best new hotels in the world. “I am fortunate to have been surrounded by some extraordinary mentors and leaders, and I truly believe in being a leader first, manager second,” says Whitt. “Communication is the key, along with a level of understanding, compassion and trust for your team. It’s imperative to engage, encourage and invite participation from members of the organization, as well as share ideas, resources and best practices. Also, don’t forget to have fun. Without a great team you cannot survive.” Before Turks and Caicos, Karen managed the Sea Splash Resort in Negril, Jamaica and was very active with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association and the Jamaica Tourist Board. She also played an integral role in bringing the first Reggae Marathon to Jamaica, which is now one of the premiere sporting events in the country. “Jamaica is a vibrant country, and working in Negril was a perfect introduction for me to life in the Caribbean. I enjoyed learning about new cultures and reveled in the opportunity to adapt myself in a new environment,” says Whitt. Karen began her tenure with The Palms Turks and Caicos as general manager in Feb. of 2011. The 72-suite resort spans 12 acres and includes a 25,000 square foot spa and infinity pool. Under Karen’s leadership, The Palms Turks and Caicos regularly appears as a top resort on the leading luxury and lifestyle travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler. “Karen has done a remarkable job. When the property first opened, it’s fair to say that the resort did not meet the high expectations of its guests. As soon as Karen arrived as general manager, Karen’s commitment to exemplary leadership extends beyond her duties as vice president for the Hartling Group. Karen is the second vice president (2016-18) for the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), a non-profit organization charged with uniting Caribbean nations through advocacy, education, marketing and outreach programs. continued on next page... 4 Green & Silver | May 2017


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...continued from previous page “My role on the CHTA board is to represent the membership on a global scale, and to advance the association by representing regional private sector tourism interests. Additionally, as chairman of the CHTA Marketing Committee I must stay abreast of trends, threats and opportunities as it relates to generating business and advancing a sustainable and profitable industry,” says Whitt. Karen exhibited the same careful, deliberate leadership while editor-inchief for the Eastern Sun-Press (ESP) during her senior year at ENMU. ESP thrived under Karen’s command, as she focused on advertisement sales and expanded content. In 1985 Karen led 15 students to a Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Association Convention where ESP garnered 17 awards. “As a student I just wanted to be successful, to make a difference. I never settled for mediocracy and I was interested in being involved with as many initiatives as possible to set the stage for any opportunities that came my way,” says Whitt. In 2008, Karen conceptualized and spearheaded the now annual “In the Pink” fundraiser in Turks and Caicos. The fundraiser has become one of the largest events on the island and has raised over $175,000 for the National Cancer Society’s Turks & Caicos branch. The fundraiser links back to Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) Foundation’s Think Pink® initiative under which the sorority umbrellas all of its breast cancer activities. At ENMU Karen served as her chapter’s membership director and garnered the superlative ‘BEST Greek.’ For fun, Karen reverses roles from hospitality and tourism management executive to world traveler. Her passport book includes stamps from some of the most exotic destinations on the planet including Cannes, France, London, United Kingdom, Cape Town, South Africa, Istanbul, Turkey, Hong Kong, SAR, Berlin, Germany, Taipei, Taiwan, Shanghai, China and numerous spots throughout Spain, Mexico, Canada, the USA and nearly every Caribbean island. “Because I work so hard serving others on a daily basis, when I travel for leisure I really want to be pampered. It’s all about “service” for me and how a place makes you feel. I don’t necessarily need fancy or expensive, just to feel that wherever I am they genuinely care about ‘me’,” says Whitt. Originally from Lovington, New Mexico and Dallas, Texas, Karen appreciates the richness that her travels and international, professional success have afforded her, something Karen learned to embrace while at ENMU. “ENMU has a heartbeat that is not found in many places,” says Karen. “The diversity of students exposed me to different cultures and backgrounds, and the faculty take a personal interest in all students, guiding you to reach that full potential. There is a U.S. camaraderie among everyone that is extremely rare. I involved myself with many activities and organizations and I believe that made a difference in my ability to multi-task and expand outside the box in business and management.” Upper left: Karen Whitt, vice president of the Hartling Group, owning company of The Palms Turks and Caicos. Lower left: Karen was the Eastern Sun-Press Editor-in-Chief during her senior year in 1985. Right: Karen plays golf in South Africa’s wine country during a vacation. Far right: Karen does a flip stunt as she cheers for an ENMU game in 1984. 6 Green & Silver | May 2017


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Bon Voyage x 100+ Alumna Sets Sail on Centennial Cruise By: Noelle Bartl While enjoying a vacation on the high seas may not be on everyone’s radar, Sandra Matteucci (BA 60) is closing in on her 100th cruise. Even as a student at Radford School for Girls in El Paso, Texas Sandra had dreams of seeing the world and wanted to study abroad but her father would not allow it. Instead, she and her friend took a summer bus tour and traveled all of the southern and eastern United States… but little did she know that the urge to travel had just begun. Sandra’s very first cruise was on her honeymoon, where she and her husband, Ralph, traveled from San Francisco to Honolulu on the Lurline… and so began their love for cruising. Some of her favorite destinations include the fjords of Norway, all of Italy, and the Panama Canal. Sandra commented on her least favorite destination that “one only needs to visit the Antarctic once.” After nearly 100 cruises with a variety of cruise line companies, Sandra discovered Crystal Cruises. The ships hold approximately 1,000 guests and are her favorite. According to Sandra, “midsize cruises have quality entertainment and fascinating guest speakers from around the world compared to what the smaller lines offer.” The first Crystal Cruise she and her family went on provided some incredible opportunities including a free upgrade to a penthouse room, a butler, and meeting the first officer “Otto”, who later became a captain and a close friend of the Matteucci family. Captain “Otto” has traveled to Phoenix to visit Sandra, and her family has traveled to Sweden to stay with his. This unique friendship comes with benefits, including going to Turku, Finland to tour the construction site of the Crystal Symphony cruise ship, on which Sandra has enjoyed many trips. Sandra’s children and their families love cruising too. Her daughter, Anna Maria Matteucci, has enjoyed more than 50 cruises, and her son, James Matteucci (BBA 89), has set sail 25 times. Her granddaughter Chelsi and husband Conrad are well on their way with more than five, and their two-year-old son Corbin has already set sail twice. Since being “crystalized”, as they call the passengers that have fallen in love with Crystal Cruises, Sandra is planning her 100th cruise. She is inviting all her friends and family to join her on July 31, 2018 from San Francisco to Monterey, Catalina Island, Cabo San Lucas, San Diego and back. Not only is this her 100th Crystal cruise but also a celebration of her 80th birthday. Bon voyage and happy birthday, Sandra, from all of us at ENMU! Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises Sandra and her husband Ralph (pictured above) joined Captain Otto to tour the Crystal Symphony when it was being built in 1994. The completed ship (left) holds 922 guests and is the one on which Sandra will be celebrating her 80th birthday. Green & Silver | May 2017 7


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The Gamble Years President Gamble Calls As a Thank You The ENMU Foundation has established a scholarship in Dr. Gamble’s honor. We invite you to contribute to ENMU’s 9th President Dr. Steven G. Gamble Endowed Scholarship using the envelope enclosed on the next page. By: Robert Graham Dr. Steven G. Gamble calls Portales “home” and has since ENMU’s Board of Regents hired him in 2001 as the University’s ninth president. “President Gamble provided ENMU many years of stability and leadership, which allowed us to thrive, even in recent years when state appropriations have been reduced,” says former ENMU Board of Regent President Terry Othick (MBA 70, BBA 68). “Dr. Gamble’s tireless work ethic, his honesty, integrity and respect for students, faculty, staff and community is evident. He works for ENMU all day, every day. He respects and appreciats the work done by our state legislators and works to ensure they know the value ENMU brings to our state. We are fortunate to have Dr. Gamble as our president and wish him the very best in his well-deserved retirement.” President Gamble will begin his retirement on August first from a role that he has known for a quarter of a century. He served as Southern Arkansas University’s (SAU) president from 1992-2001 before providing ENMU with 16 years of exemplary leadership. “Working with Dr. Gamble has been an amazing privilege. It is very rare to find a university president and a student body president working together on a consistent basis. I am fortunate to be able to know the legendary Dr. Gamble because he inspires me every day to become someone greater than myself,” says ENMU Student Body President Joshua Alvarez. President Gamble began his career as a director of admissions at Angelo State University (ASU) in 1976, a foundation that proved integral for Dr. Gamble, whose record for enrollment growth is remarkable. Under his leadership, ENMU reversed an eight-year decline in enrollment and initiated a 16-year period of growth of 67% from 3,583 students in 2001 to more than 6,000 in 2017. This consistent enrollment growth for ENMU occurred in the wake of the Great Recession of 2008 and its aftermath in the period from 2009-11 when the State of New Mexico cut ENMU’s funding by 21%. According to ENMU Vice President of Business Affairs Scott Smart, “Dr. Gamble is a fiscal conservative who has always looked to make decisions that would not put the financial condition of the University at risk. He has a saying, ‘you always fund your recurring expenses with recurring revenue.’” 8 Green & Silver | May 2017


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Portales Home President Gamble is known to have an exceptional memory. The trained historian is a people person he remembers not only the person’s face but often personal stories of the people he meets. This skill has allowed Dr. Gamble to craft a presidency that prioritizes the personal touch. “Dr. Gamble has created a campus culture where students know the president, where faculty are not surprised to see him lean into their office doorway to say hello, and where staff as well as students and their parents are pleased but not surprised when the president knows their names and asks about their jobs or families,” says longtime friend Ronnie Birdsong. Understanding the importance of the personal touch has allowed President Gamble to create a campus that students want to attend, alumni want to return to and the community wants to utilize. He is ending his presidency having completed Greyhound Stadium’s return to campus. Gamble also oversaw the transformation of Golden Library into the Golden Student Success Center, the single largest construction project in ENMU’s history. Other projects have ranged from the construction of the Communication Building and Guadalupe Hall to the renovation of the Science Building, Music Building, Jack Williamson Liberal Arts Building, Art and Anthropology Building and other facilities. Since 2001, President Gamble has overseen renovations and construction projects of nearly $175 million. The external beautification of ENMU parallels the University’s internal strengthening through its core mission: high-quality, student-centered academic programs. During President Gamble’s administration, the school initiated six new undergraduate programs, two new graduate programs and three graduate alternative licensure programs. Early in Dr. Gamble’s tenure, ENMU embraced online education, which has allowed the University to amplify its presence throughout New Mexico and nationwide. On a personal note, Gamble grew up as an “Air Force brat,” attending high schools in Mississippi, Japan and Texas. After graduating from Texas Tech in 1967, he joined the military, retiring from the Air Force Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1995. He and his father Rupert will reside in Portales after Dr. Gamble’s retirement. To learn about the 10th president of Eastern, please visit www.enmu.edu Green & Silver | May 2017 9


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Broadcasting from the Ocean Blue By: David P. Sanchez After graduating from ENMU with a degree in communications and a minor in marketing, Scott Reed (BS 94) has amassed over 20 years of experience in the broadcast production profession. He is currently the manager of Technical Entertainment/Charters for Norwegian Cruise Line. Scott resides in Miami with his wife Valeria Saggiotto from Italy. The two met while working for Oceanic Cruises. While a student at ENMU, Scott accrued career experience training under Richard Rivera at KENW-TV. “I learned a lot in and out of class, but I feel I learned the most at KENW, especially on the ‘Sportslook’ segments and the program ‘Cultura,’” Scott reminisced. “Some of the challenges in media today stem from lack of history and law knowledge, and my ENMU education helped me be more aware of the current state of affairs.” Scott’s life was changed forever on the day he discovered TV broadcasting exists on cruise ships, and he realized how excellent a career opportunity it would be for him. He has obtained a plethora of unique life experiences while working abroad, including a time when he was able to assist in rescuing people stranded in the waters of Aruba. Photo by Shane Serieux He has also walked on floating ice, sailed to Malta, visited the Chilean fjords and the South Pacific near Tahiti and Rangiroa. He has been lucky enough to witness the beauty of 40-foot waves crashing over the bow of the cruise ship, as well as the natural majesty of glaciers collapsing. His favorite places he has toured while working are Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sydney, Australia and the glaciers in Alaska. Scott’s advice for anyone planning to take a cruise is “don’t miss the ship; the ship will never wait. Besides that, never miss a free meal.” After seeing the world, Scott still has fond memories of his time and the people at ENMU, including the amazing professors, excellent friends, the folks at KENW and his Sigma Nu fraternity brothers. Earlier this year, Scott worked on a cruise with performances by Train and Matthew Nathanson. The fringe benefits of his profession include being based out of Miami, cruising on various Norwegian Cruise Line ships, and enjoying headline bands like Train, Matthew Nathanson and others perform, all while “working”. 10 Green & Silver | May 2017


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Keep Climbing Delta® Books Alum as Marketing Manager By: Rachel Forrester “Keep Climbing.” It’s the slogan for Delta Air Lines®, and it is one that alumna Roma Vivas Hurtado (MBA 13, MA 08) has exemplified over the years in both her personal travel and professional life. The current marketing manager for Delta Vacations®, one of Delta’s subsidiaries, Roma works with a small group of professionals to make sure all channels represent the company’s brand correctly. “Then, three years ago I took a leap of faith and moved to Atlanta—not knowing a soul—to work for a chain of Cancun hotels headquartered there.” The journey most recently led Roma to the Delta Vacations brand team, where she handles marketing plans for large travel agencies including AAA and AMEX Travel. Roma’s accounts are all U.S.-based, so she only travels for work a couple times a year. Since working for an international company does not necessarily mean work equals adventure, Roma makes sure to feed her travel bug as often as possible on her own time. “I make sure all the marketing tactics (e-mails, digital banners, magazine ads, etc.) are turned in on time,” explains Roma. “Every year I handle about 200 tactics, each with their own deadlines, offers and messages. Then, when an ad is launched, I can see if there was a shift in bookings coming from that specific publication. I can then analyze how the strategy performed and make necessary changes to boost performance.” “One perk with working for Delta Vacations is that I can fly standby anywhere Delta flies,” Roma explains. “It’s not guaranteed you will get on a flight though, and planning a trip is not that easy because I can only maybe predict if flying on standby is possible one week before. Outside of work I have been blessed to have been to St. Lucia, Jamaica, Panama, Switzerland, Spain, Seattle, San Francisco and Albuquerque to visit my mom.” A dual citizen of the U.S. and Venezuela, Roma was part of the International Club and Hispanic Club at Eastern. She realized her passion for working in the travel industry shortly after earning her second master’s degree. “I found myself in Panama City, Florida where I started work as a bilingual marketing manager for the online travel agency Bookit.com,” says Roma. Recently, Roma and her mom, ENMU Associate Professor of Bilingual Education Dr. Hurtado de Vivas, were able to take a trip together to Cancun. Roma has made a goal to go on one trip every month, and she’s been pretty successful. Last year she took 10 trips in 10 months, all on standby, and mostly during long weekends when she did not have to take time off of work. Green & Silver | May 2017 11


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An Exciting, New Relationship with Four Seasons Santa Fe The College of Business (COB) Dean, Dr. Janet Buzzard, accompanied faculty and 20 COB and Culinary Arts students to Four Seasons Santa Fe in April 2016 for a field trip and to start their summer internship application process. The purpose was to culminate a newly developed relationship between ENMU and Four Seasons Santa Fe in order to fill their temporary summer positions and provide valuable work experience to our students. Four Seasons Santa Fe hired 11 of our students as interns, and offered two to three of them full time positions. Two former Culinary Arts students are currently working in the main restaurant as Chefs des Parties. Four Seasons Santa Fe would like to hire 20 temporary summer employees from ENMU every year. This year is no different, and the two colleges will again be sending a group of their best and brightest on to Santa Fe. We wish them happy travels! A Pit Stop at Evie If you like eating barbecue and are ever in the Lubbock area, be sure to stop at Evie Mae’s Pit Barbecue in Wolfforth, Texas. Arnis and Mallory Robbins (BS 05) own the joint, dubbed Texas Monthly’s 2016 “Newcomer of the Year”, and the duo have turned their one-day-a-week hobby into a full-blown lifestyle. From L-R: Justin Banister (BBA 16), senior Lindsey Adcock and Jeffery Richeson (BBA 15) attended the field trip to Santa Fe to begin their internship application process last summer. 12 12GreeGnre&enSi&lvSeirlv| eMra|yM2a0y172017 Photo by Robert Jacob Lerma Mallory gets the menu ready for the day (above) and shows off a piece of barbecue (left). Pg 13 family photo: Arnis and Mallory Robbins with their two kids, Evie and Jack.


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Mae’s BBQ After Mallory graduated from ENMU, she and Arnis moved to Arizona where they ran a landscaping company. Arnis had always wanted to build a meat smoker, so it was during that time that the family started experimenting and selling barbecue one day a week. “We bought a little trailer and set up every Friday just to see how it would go. When we moved to Lubbock to be closer to home, we decided to do barbecue full-time.” And full-time it is. Last year the couple moved from their trailer to a full-sized restaurant, and they work six days most weeks even though they only serve barbecue Wednesday through Saturday. With all meat hand-trimmed and all sides made inhouse, the team starts preparing on Mondays and they fire up the pit on Tuesday to cook food for the following day. Arnis is the head chef, while Mallory, a full-time mother of two, helps at the restaurant when needed and handles all of their social media. “It’s hard and it’s exhausting and my husband works crazy 1620-hour days, but we’re able to feed people high quality food that we literally make with love. It sounds so cheesy, but we want to make sure people are happy. They come stand in line for an hour for our food on a Saturday so they better be super impressed.” With side dishes that are equally as impressive as the meat they offer, what may be the biggest surprise is that the family doesn’t use any special ingredients to make their delicious barbecue. “People ask us all the time if we sell our rubs but we don’t use anything fancy. It’s just salt and pepper, and smoke and time— that’s what my husband says. It takes a long time to get the product that we end up with. And we only use prime-grade beef, so we’re not the cheapest around but everything is homemade.” Never in a million years did Mallory think that they would be where they are now. From starting out in their trailer selling as much barbeque in one day as they felt they could accomplish, it turns out they have accomplished a whole lot. Evie Mae’s is now one of the top barbecue restaurants in Texas. “I just can’t believe we are here when, two years ago, we were on the side of the road in a trailer in a snow storm wondering ‘what were we thinking?’ It’s really cool to see how if you work hard and set your mind to something—it sounds so cliché—that you can do whatever you want to do. But it’s so true.” By: Tia Urioste and Rachel Forrester Culinary Arts Program Provides a Virtual Travel Experience It seems like everyone wants to travel. There are at least two cable channels devoted to nothing but this subject! When you ask someone what they’d do if they won the lottery, inevitably the subject comes up. But what about us regular working stiffs? Is traveling the globe only accessible to the wealthy? Well, I did some research, and I can say with some degree of certainty that, yes, travel really is only for the wealthy! But this doesn’t scare ENMU Culinary Arts students. In fact, several students from the program have been bitten by the travel bug. After doing their own research, they have plans to experience the excitement of travel, tourism, foreign culture and cuisine…and get paid for it! That’s right. There are currently three students (one senior, one junior, and one sophomore) who are seriously investigating careers with cruise lines. In fact, two former students who wanted their fair share of the tourism industry, are currently employed by large themed resorts (I won’t say which, but one rhymes with “Quisney”). Another group has found a welcoming culture at the Four Seasons Santa Fe, a major name in the travel and lodging industry. Of course, you don’t have to work in the hospitality industry just to experience other cultures. The Culinary Arts program has ample opportunities for everyone to come and take a class. You could learn the ancient cooking techniques of the far East in Cuisine of Asia. You could eat your way through Greece, Turkey and Italy in Mediterranean Cuisine. You could even try your hand at recipes of the European master chefs in Classical French Cuisine. It was a wise person who said: “wherever you go, there you are.” But just remember, traveling is a state of mind; and it is never farther away than your plate. By: Dr. Charles Broz Assistant Professor, Family and Consumer Science GreeGnre&eSni&lvSeril|vMera|yM2a0y172017 13 13


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ENMU Athletics By: Adam Pitterman A Historic Season for Women’s Basketball The Greyhound women’s basketball team concluded a season for the ages. With a 20-9 record, the squad not only notched its first winning season since 2006-07, but also won its first Lone Star Conference title and reached the NCAA Tournament as conference “co-champions” for the first time in program history. The Hounds picked up their first road win over West Texas A&M in December, and it was clear that the program was in the midst of something special. That point was proven later with a 76-72 overtime road victory over regional finalist Angelo State. With a team-record 16 LSC wins, Eastern shared the league title with Angelo State and earned the top seed in the conference tournament. Just days later, the Hounds gathered in Greyhound Arena for the NCAA selection show and were informed they had received the sixth seed for the South Central Championships. Sophomore Dasia Johnson collected a career-best 18 points in the opening round game against University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, as the Hounds concluded the third 20-win season in program history. Junior Mikaehla Connor was named First Team All-LSC, LSC All-Defensive Team, and LSC All-Academic. Senior Kassandra Harris notched Second Team All-LSC honors, while junior Daeshi McCants made third team. Head Coach Josh Prock was chosen as the league’s Coach of the Year. Football Coach Josh Lynn Steps Down, ENMU Welcomes Kelley Lee as Head Coach ENMU Athletic Director Dr. Greg Waggoner announced in January that Josh Lynn (MS 07, BS 03) would be moving on from his position as head football coach to build a winning program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Lynn helped turn the ENMU football program around in his brief tenure, posting 27 wins since taking over in 2012. He led the Greyhounds to a 7-3 record in 2013, the school’s first winning record in nearly a decade, as well as the Lone Star Conference Championship that same season. Stepping in as the University’s 16th head coach is Kelley Lee (MS 03), who has served as the team’s assistant head coach and offensive coordinator since the 2012 season. “Lee has been key in academic oversight of the program for several years, which has resulted in high achievements by the ENMU players,” said Dr. Waggoner. “Kelley’s offenses have produced some of the best results in the NCAA Division II for the last several years and we are confident the program is in good hands moving forward.” For more news visit the OFFICIAL WEBSITE goeasternathletics.com Photo by Times Remembered Photography Gryschka Earns All-America Status as Indoor Track and Field Season Wraps The ENMU Track and Field team’s Melina Gryschka produced an eighth-place finish in the mile and a 12th- place finish in the 3K to wrap up the Hounds showing at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Gryschka is the first female athlete for the Green and Silver to compete in the finals at the championships.The Garbsen, Germany native ran the mile with a time of 4:47.25 and 9:45.36 in the 3K. In earlier races at the event, senior Klaudia Szych ran down a 10th-place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:10.85 while Omer Almog claimed a 14th-place finish in the mile with a time of 4:17.19. Marcus Parker, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., finished second in the first heat with a time of 21.59 and was the only freshman in the 200M to compete at the championships, finishing in 10th-place overall. Men’s Basketball Closes Strong After the men’s basketball team earned two wins in their first 12 Lone Star Conference games, few outside the team’s locker room expected them to contend for a spot in the league tournament. The Greyhounds disagreed and rallied around each other with a fourgame win streak, which included the first road win over Midwestern State since 2007, and the first road win over Cameron since 2004. The Hounds also earned a critical victory over West Texas A&M. The win streak put Eastern right back into the hotlycontested race for a playoff spot in Allen, Texas. Standing in their way was Texas A&M-Kingsville, a team that also enjoyed a successful second half of the season. The teams engaged in a wild game with 11 lead changes. ENMU narrowly missed qualifying for the tournament when a potential game-winning shot missed with two seconds left on the clock. The team showed great improvement over the course of the season and was edged from a tournament spot by a Javelina team, which upset LSC Champion University of Texas of the Permian Basin in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. For their efforts, juniors Lamarquis Thompson and Joe Clarke earned Honorable Mention All-LSC. 14 Green & Silver | May 2017


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News Softball Team Off to a Strong Start With a number of new faces in the lineup, the ENMU softball team is off to a good start. While it is only April as this story goes to print, the team has already surpassed season’s won total, which includes a perfect 7-0 record against in-state rivals Western New Mexico and New Mexico Highlands. Erikka Burke is leading the lineup with a .362 batting average, 12 homers, 22 walks and 35 runs batted in. Five regular starters are batting .300 or better. The team currently boasts the third-best on-base percentage in team history. Freshman pitcher Kaylee Rogers has compiled 12 wins, a 4.18 earned run average and a team-best 72 strikeouts over 145.2 innings of work. Kiana Zerr returned from last year and has a pair of wins. Baseball Also Off to a Big Start The ENMU baseball team is off to its best start ever. What started with a 14-1 record in February, followed with wins over top 10 teams such as Angelo State and West Texas A&M. The Hounds look to be much improved from last season. In Eastern’s win over fourth-ranked Angelo State, they scored 12 runs on 13 hits. The Hounds nearly won two other games against the Rams, falling by two runs in each of those games. Alex De La Cruz leads the Greyhound lineup with a .445 batting average, four homers and 27 runs batted in. Michael McNicholl has already driven in 45 runs. The Greyhound lineup features three hitters with batting averages of at least .380. Keenan Dodd leads the pitchers with a 4-1 record and 1.74 earned run average. Scott Klein also has four wins. SADthVAeTEE OCT. 2-8, 201 7 Photos from top to bottom: Junior Jasmine Hotchkins shoots a freethrow. Photo by Bill Sabo. The softball team celebrates their win against Tarleton. Photo by Claude Vigil. The baseball team takes a moment to pray before one of their games this season. Photo by Paul Tapia. Coach Josh Prock speaks with the women’s basketball team during the regional championship. Photo by Bill Sabo. Green & Silver | May 2017 15



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