Nicole E. Drake
LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State University recognizes and features staff members who demonstrate the core values of NMSU of leadership, excellence, access, diversity and inclusion, and those who are student-centered with the “A” mountain personnel award each year.
Due to the suspension of Founder’s Day and Employee Appreciation Picnic, two staff, Anna Nelson, Assistant Professor at the College of Social Work, and Kathryn Hansen, Director of the Arrowhead Center, have been named the recipients. 2020 of the “A” Mountain Staff Award in April.
“I feel incredibly honored to receive the ‘A’ Mountain award for 2020, especially during COVID-19,” Nelson said. “This time, as a university professor of social work, it was humbling to see both the important needs of our students and our communities and their collective resilience. I hope to continue building their strengths while honoring their struggles. “
“I am very honored to be one of this year’s ‘A’ Mountain Award recipients,” said Hansen. “I am grateful to the jury and those who nominated me for this award. NMSU has meant a lot to me, both personally and professionally, and I am proud to be part of its core values and play a role in its success. As we move forward and all strive to “be bold and shape the future”, I know that NMSU’s success will only grow stronger. “
Nelson has served students and members of the NMSU community for 12 years. She actively engages her students and community members and coordinates the programs. She has led the development of the NMSU-Online Master of Social Work program and remains active in the coordination and development of social work programs for undergraduates and graduates.
Additionally, Nelson is recognized as a national trainer and educator on issues such as critical trauma theory, alliance, and trauma-informed supervision. In her research, she uses participatory mixed-methods action research based on critical theories of race and intersectionality to understand cultural, cumulative and collective trauma, and to study its impact on communities with a focus on identity resilience and resistance. She is regularly invited to speak across the country.
Hansen runs the Arrowhead Center at NMSU and works to promote entrepreneurship and innovation, thereby creating economic opportunities. The Arrowhead Center’s programming reach, client population and network of partnerships have grown under her leadership as she is heavily involved in every initiative, program and project. Arrowhead Center is recognized as one of the state and region’s best resources for entrepreneurship and economic development. Hansen also works directly with the NMSU Foundation, the suite of funders and staff at the Arrowhead Center responsible for developing proposals to increase fundraising.
“These employees have shown that they support the education of all NMSU students while providing the highest level of education, research, outreach and service in their individual roles,” said Joseph Almaguer, Coordinator human resources in athletics and chairman of the employee council. “The selected employees are Aggies who have made the decision to ‘be bold and shape the future’ while encouraging our diverse student body to do the same. These employees continued to thrive despite a pandemic and brought pride to the NMSU community. We hope they really feel how appreciated they are for being exemplary employees.
Nicole E. Drake writes for Marketing and Communications at New Mexico State University and can be contacted at [email protected].