Expansion in the works for college

By QCS Staff

Further development and expansion of existing programs is the focus of Mesalands Community College’s faculty and staff, said president Mildred Lovato.

“The colleges, faculty and staff are a cut above the rest,” Lovato said.

Lovato said taking over as president of the college has been everything she has expected and more.

“My tendency is to be very calm, methodical and thoughtful,” Lovato said. “There were times where I did hit the ground running. Though most of the times, I was able to slow down and give a situation the proper attention.”

Lovato took over as president on July 1, selected by the Mesalands Community College’s board of Trustees to replace the retiring Philip O. Barry.

Lovato said since her start, the curriculum and programs continue to develop and expand at the North American Wind Research and Training Center.

In September, the NAWRTC was awarded a Wind Center of Excellence Grant.

Lovato said the grant of $523,751 has been used to enhance the programing at the center to satisfy an urgent demand for workers in the renewable energy industry. She said Mesalands has developed certification programs designed to be completed in a short amount of time, including a 12 week occupational certificate program.

“We want to share the benefits of this facility with the entire state and country,” Lovato said.

Lovato said the program not only answers the demand for workers, but it also benefits the community.

“These program bring people into town,” Lovato said. “They will stay in our hotels and eat at our restaurants.”

Lovato said the college has always worked on ways to bring people into the community through their programs and curriculum. She said another portion of the college bringing people in to the community is the College’s Dinosaur Museum.

“I am very pleased with our paleontology departments and museum staff,” Lovato said. “The museum has contributed to the community for several years.”

In October, the museum was listed in the top 25 of New Mexico’s most visited museums in the New Mexico Business Weekly.

“It is quite an honor to be listed in the top 25 of the state,” Lovato said.

Lovato said Mesalands will soon be planning for the construction of a new science lab. She said the construction cost will be covered by money made available by a $3.8 million Stem Grant.

“We want to provide our students with the most current and advanced facilities,” Lovato said.

Lovato said she is also working with faculty and staff to further develop online courses offered at Mesalands. Lovato said she would like to make the Mesalands educational experience available online to those in the community and across the country.