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Keynote Luncheon featuring Dr. Nancy Reichert (Corbett Ballroom)


Date(s) – Wednesday
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

NMSU’s Molecular Biology Program celebrates 30th-anniversary milestone

Nancy Reichert received a Bachelor of Science in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Nancy worked at the University of Wisconsin where she learned plant tissue culture techniques and then took a research role at a biotech company named Agrigenetics. While at Agrigenetics Nancy was part of a team that proved that genes from any source (other plants, bacteria, etc.) could be transferred into plants using Agrobacterium tumefaciens and this discovery began the application of genetic engineering plants. In regards to this study Nancy has said, Before this, people had only introduced genes from bacteria into plants. Our research showed that we could, potentially, take any gene from a plant or other organism and put it into another plant, and it could be expressed like in the original organism. It was very cool to be part of the first team that proved this potential.” (  After three years Nancy then moved to New Mexico State University where she worked in the Plant Genetic Engineering Lab as. Ph.D. student under the guidance of Dr. John Kemp. Nancy was the first student to earn a degree from the Molecular Biology Program in 1989. After completing her Ph.D. Nancy began her career at Mississippi State University and has remained. She is currently a professor in MSU’s Department of Biological Sciences, and she previously served as the department head for eight years. Nancy will give a seminar on Wednesday November 13th from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm where she will highlight the developments and advances in plant science in the last 30 years.

Registration is required for this Luncheon event.  Go here to register!  The deadline for registration is November 6, 2019.

The Devil’s Mistress Film Screening Rio Grande Theatre featuring Dr. Julia Smith


Contact: Julia Smith, (575) 680-0578,
First film shot entirely in Las Cruces to return to the Rio Grande Theatre
fifty-four years after its national premiere.
The Las Cruces International Film Festival and Film Las Cruces present, “The Devil’s Mistress” by director Orville “Buddy” Wanzer on Thursday, December 5th, 7pm at the Rio Grande Theatre. Wanzer’s 1965 cult classic was the first feature film created and produced in the Las Cruces area and premiered nationally at the Rio Grande Theater. The screening will draw friends, family, and former students of Wanzer’s to celebrate his legacy as an NMSU professor, and his artistic achievements as an artist and filmmaker in the Southwest.  Wanzer passed away in February this year, and was instrumental in growing an independent film scene in southern New Mexico through various foreign film series, special screenings, and student mentoring.
“The Devil’s Mistress” sought to transform the western into what Wanzer described as a “Modern Western, without the Cavalry and without the Indians.” The movie tells the story of four robbers on the lam, escaping toward the Organ Mountains when they happen upon the devil and his mistress, and meet their doom.  This special screening is a fundraiser with proceeds  going toward the completion of NMSU instructor Julia Smith’s documentary about Wanzer and his relevance to southern New Mexico film culture, with his contribution to the “acid western” subgenre.  Attendees will be invited to a reception after the screening.
Smith’s documentary titled, “The Birth of the Acid Western,” explores this variant of the revisionist western genre where there are no heroes and no enemies. Through the “The Devil’s Mistress” and Wanzer’s life and work, the documentary will consider the production of the film as an “acid western” subgenre, and in relation to New Mexico’s burgeoning film industry.
At the screening, Smith will present a promotional trailer for her film, including footage of Wanzer in his last days, interviews with his closest friends and relatives, and archival materials sourced from the Wanzer collections the Rio Grande Historical Collections at NMSU and the Institute of Historical Survey in Las Cruces.  The screening is set for Thursday, December 5th at 7:00 pm at the Rio Grande Theatre, 211 Main Street, in Downtown Las Cruces followed by a reception.
Tickets are $12.50 for general admission and $5.00 for students with ID, and can be purchased at the door or online at
RSVP on Facebook via the film webpage at

The Call for Films for the Fifth Annual Feminist Border Arts Film Festival Is Now Live

The 2020 season will be the fifth anniversary of the festival. To celebrate this, the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival is partnering with the newly-constructed University Art Museum (UAM) located in Devasthali Hall on the campus of New Mexico State University. It is doing so to participate in the inaugural exhibition to be mounted in the new premises: “Labor: Motherhood and Art in 2020,” co-curated by Marisa Sage (Director, UAM) and Laurel Nakadate (NY based photographer and filmmaker). “Labor: Motherhood and Art in 2020” addresses and challenges the documented human experiences of motherhood and the ways the mother and childrearing have been perceived and portrayed in art, both historically and in current popular culture. Building upon the multitudes of conversations happening in the contemporary art world “Labor” looks at motherhood through the lenses of empathy, intimacy, feminism, failure, dedication, and routine.

For its part, the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival will feature a two-day event of public screenings of selected films that encompass and/or expand on artistic/critical explorations of mothering, mothers, the maternal, the divine feminine, queer family, queer or/and trans parenting, race and mothering/parenting, dis/ability and mothering/parenting, refugee and transnational mothering/parenting and more. In short, the festival seeks films that deal with notions of the mother, mothering, kinship bonds, parenting, or the family that intersect with topics of gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, indigeneity, class, dis/ability, transnationality and diaspora, migration, refugees and displaced persons, activisms, the environment, food/water/housing insecurity, and other social justice perspectives and experiences. Our selected films will be screened alongside video works by artists like Mickalene Thomas, Tierney Gearon, Ann Fessler, who are showcased in the “Labor” exhibition. See more here:

Dr. Julia Smith: Upcoming screening of The Devil’s Mistress at The Rio Grande Theatre

From Dr. Smith

I have exciting news about the documentary production and the upcoming screening of The Devil’s Mistress. The screening will now take place at the historical Rio Grande Theatre in downtown Las Cruces on December 5th at 7pm. This will be the first time The Devil’s Mistress has been to this theater in almost 55 years since it’s national premiere there in 1965! I’ve attached a picture of the original cast the night of the premiere that featured a red carpet, spotlights in front of the theater, and a police motorcade to escort the cast and crew in a limousine. The photos have been provided courtesy of Teddy Gregory who plays Frank, the *innocent* young cowboy in the film, who you can see circa 1962-3 in the attached photos, and will be in attendance at the screening.  

The fundraiser has now become sponsored by the Las Cruces International Film Festival and Film Las Cruces thanks to the advocacy and support of Mark Ross (thanks Ross!), and Jon Foley of Film Las Cruces. In the coming weeks, I’ll update you on press releases, interviews, news, and media around this exciting event. At the screening, where I’ll introduce The Devil’s Mistress and my research and contributions to the Wanzer archives at The Rio Grande Historical Collection at NMSU and the Institute of Historical Survey in Las Cruces, followed by a screening of a promo trailer for my work-in-progress documentary about Buddy and his contribution to film, art, and culture here in the southwest.

I have recently opened an LLC for the film that has taken longer to process that I’d like, but I’ll have updates on ticket sales as soon as it’s 100% secure if it is not already.  You can follow this link to get more info, where you will be able to purchase advanced tickets for this event, which we anticipate to sell out. If you have any trouble with the purchase or the link, please let me know, as you will be the first to have access to this information.  Please share this event with interested parties on by behalf. I’m so grateful for your support, and I look forward to seeing you at the screening, if not before. 

Save the date: December 5th, 7pm, @ The Rio Grande Theatre 

Dr. Hamzeh Named Dean’s Fellow of Diversity & Inclusion for College of A&S

A Dean’s Fellow position to work on issues of diversity and inclusion was created and advertised in early Spring 2019 for all interested faculty in the College.  

The College is fortunate to have several faculty members who exemplify the values of diversity and inclusion through their scholarship and social justice service and outreach. Our office was tasked with the difficult decision of selecting a Dean’s fellow out of an outstanding pool of applicants – and in fact we ended up selecting two fellows, both bringing a diverse set of skills and experiences to this position.

The Dean’s office selected Dr. Manal Hamzeh of Gender & Sexuality Studies and Dr. Spencer Herrera of Languages & Linguistics as this year’s Dean’s Fellows, whose letters of interest clearly showed an invested and continual commitment to various issues surrounding diversity and inclusion.  

The work that needs to be done to make our College a more diverse and inclusive place cannot be done overnight, nor should it be done in silos. As such, I have tasked Dr. Hamzeh and Dr. Herrera to help the College begin to understand what and how we need to work together toward creating a more diverse and inclusive College of Arts & Sciences. Their work will also provide important insights on shaping the LEADS 2025 plan for the College.

This process will take some time, collaboration, transparency, and a lot of listening and communicating. We are committed for the long haul to do the complex work of diversity and inclusion. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to Dr. Hamzeh ( and Dr. Herrera ( to share your ideas, data, and vision as related to this endeavor. They would be more than happy to meet with you, and I encourage every department to get to know them.  





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