Skip to main content

NMSU honors faculty for creative scholarly work at spring 2023 convocation


New Mexico State University bestowed several prestigious awards for creative scholarly work to six faculty members during its spring semester kick-off on the Las Cruces campus.

About 100 attendees gathered in NMSU’s Atkinson Recital Hall Tuesday, Jan. 17, for the university’s biannual convocation to celebrate the new semester and cheer on the award recipients.

“I always enjoy opportunities to celebrate the outstanding work done by our faculty and others at our university in support of our students and our land-grant mission,” NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu said. “I want to congratulate each of our award winners and extend a special thank-you to each of our faculty members for their outstanding efforts in teaching, research, creativity and outreach.”

The top honors went to Anna López and Elizabeth Horodowich.

López, an associate professor in the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department in the College of Health, Education and Social Transformation, received the Dennis Darnall Faculty Achievement Award – the highest honor bestowed by NMSU’s provost. Recipients of the award demonstrate remarkable, broad-based accomplishments in teaching, research and service to their profession, university and community.

López, who joined NMSU in 2012, currently serves as the clinical director of NMSU’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and teaches graduate-level courses on multicultural counseling. Her research focuses on advocacy and diversity issues in counseling, such as implications and recommendations for working with immigrants and Spanish-speaking clients.

Horodowich, a professor and head of NMSU’s Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the Westhafer Award for Excellence in Research. Horodowich’s research focuses on early modern Italy and Venice between 1400 and 1600. She has written five books, published by Cambridge University Press and Princeton University Press, and has received more than $500,000 in external grants to fund her research in the humanities.

Other award recipients included Bree Lamb, Joshua R. Clark and Stephen Ford Pate-Morales from the College of Arts and Sciences; Abdessattar Abdelkefi from the College of Engineering; and Marshall Taylor from the College of HEST.

Lamb, an assistant professor of photography, and Clark, an assistant professor of ceramics, both from the Art Department, won the Team Research Award. Their research comes from the Muscle Memory Collective, a mixed-media collaborative project that seeks to create surface visions bound in expectation, excess and desire, offering complex reflections of an American capitalist landscape.

Lamb’s photography centers around the complexities of modern-day image consumption and examines shared desires to identify, connect and indulge through images. Clark’s artwork focuses on the generation of meaning through object-making and concerns concepts of beauty, the collective unconscious and the associative potentials of materials.

Abdelkefi, an associate professor in NMSU’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Pate-Morales, a professor in NMSU’s Department of Physics, each received the Distinguished Career Award.

Abdelkefi’s research interests include energy harvesting, aeroelasticity, bio-inspired systems and smart materials. He has received about $4 million in external funding from the National Science Foundation, Army Research Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. With students and collaborators, Abdelkefi has published one book, one patent, 220 conference presentations and 225 journal articles.

For more than three decades, Pate-Morales has conducted cutting-edge experiments in nuclear and particle physics, exploring the internal structure of the proton and neutron. He uses energetic beams of electrons, protons and neutrinos to reveal the activities of the quarks and gluons that reside inside the proton and neutron.

Taylor, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, received the Early Career Award. His research focuses on questions of cognition and measurement in the sociology of culture. He studies how social contexts and cognitive structures interface to shape cultural knowledge and how to best measure cultural knowledge in natural language and survey data.

Tuesday’s convocation concluded with a solo piano performance by Laura Spitzer, a professor in NMSU’s Department of Music, who treated the audience and award winners to a rendition of Frédéric Chopin’s Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Opus 52 – widely considered a masterpiece of 19th-century piano music.

All award winners received a plaque and a stipend.