Mesalands’ new president talks goals

Thomas Newsom

Thomas Newsom

Thomas Newsom will become Mesalands Community College’s next president effective Aug 1.

The QCS asked Newsom what some of his short-term goals and long-term visions are for the college.

What would you like to accomplish in your first 100 days as president?

My first priority is to get to know the students, and the process and procedures of the college. I want to make sure they are serving the best interest of the students and using all of the resources available to make that possible. I plan to entrench myself in the institution, learning how the college operates, which will help me to make better decisions. I want to get to know the community and the role Mesalands Community College plays in that community and the role the community plays in the future and success of the institution.

Coming from an arts background how would you maintain the strength of Mesalands arts education programs?

What you have to do with the art programs is not only engage the students but give them a skill set they can use in a current or future career through what they learn in the arts programs. Mesalands has a strong art program with faculty that help students achieve new goals and improve their lives when they leave the college.

How has being named the new president of Mesalands impacted you life?

I am overwhelmed with the sense of pride I get from the faculty and staff and students of Mesalands. They have a level of dedication that shows their pride, a pride that I have come to share for the institution. I look forward to my task of finding the resources to help the faculty, staff and students continue to have that pride while giving back to the community of Tucumcari and Quay County. I have already had the pleasure of engaging people on the campus and look forward to working hand-in-hand with campus personnel and the community once I am there.

Are there any areas you would like to immediately address as president of Mesalands?

I have spoken to the board of trustees about some of the programs and services offered at Mesalands, but I would like to spend more time reviewing and identifying the needs of the institution. Before I make any decisions, I want to have a better sense of the college and the community. Having a complete understanding of the college will allow me to lay out a path and direction for the institution to take.

What do you feel is one of your key functions as Mesalands new president?

One of my key roles is to identify the strengths of the college and build upon them. Mesalands has a strong foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. Increased incorporation of STEM education into the entire curriculum at Mesalands will help students as they pursue higher education. Mesalands also has strong foundations in its specialized programs, such as the bronze program, wind energy and intercollegiate rodeo team. Identifying and building on those strengths will help to ensure a successful and strong future for Mesalands.

Your final thoughts on moving to Tucumcari assuming the role as Mesalands nest president.

I want to relay to the community my wife (Vicky) and I are extremely excited to be a part of a fantastic community. We are eager to make the transition and start calling Tucumcari our home. It is a tremendous honor and privilege to have been selected as president of Mesalands, which is a institution that is poised for future greatness. I am humbled and grateful to the board of trustees for putting their trust and faith in me as their new president.

— Compiled by QCS Senior Writer Thomas Garcia

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