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Rising Named to Vacant Seat on NMJC Board

Rising Named to Vacant Seat on NMJC Board photo 11/17/2017 4:08:22 p.m. - Hobbs, NM.  

[Story by Dorothy Fowler, Hobbs News Sun]

At its regular meeting Tuesday New Mexico Junior College board members named Evelyn Rising to the district six seat vacated when Zeak Williams passed away July 31.

She will serve until March 31, 2021, when Williams’ term would have expired.

Rising was chosen by a committee composed of three mem bers of the board — Hector Baeza Pat Chappelle and Ron Black.

Chappelle said there were sev eral applicants, but the commit tee broadened its search beyond those applications by examining the voting lists from district six.

“We picked names we knew had close ties in the community and we chose four people we knew would be good board members to interview,” Black said.

Chappelle said, “All four of the people we interviewed were wonderful candidates, but Evelyn just seemed to be the best fit.”

Rising spent much of her childhood in Hobbs, but chose to graduate from high school near her grandmother’s home in California. She spent two years in college before dropping out to marry a firefighter in Hobbs.

“When he died, I realized I needed an education to be able to support myself and my son, so I went out to the junior college and then to University of the Southwest. I earned my Bachelors degree and my Masters degree there,” she said.

Rising has been employed by the University of New Mexico as a HERO for the past five years. HERO is an acronym for Health Extension Rural Officer. In that capacity she travels throughout rural New Mexico interviewing hospital administrators and other health professionals to try to help find solutions to the shortage of healthcare providers in this area.

“We are seeing some real progress,” Rising said in an interview Tuesday. “Both Nor-Lea and Lea Regional are recruiting physicians. We have medical students who are planning to come back to southeast New Mexico when they finish their education.”

Rising said she is honored to have been chosen to serve on the NMJC board.

“I am thrilled to serve on the board with the successful people already on the board,” she said.

The board also approved the appointment of Lea County Commissioner Don Jones to the New Horizons Foundation Board. Jones will fill the seat vacated when Mike Gallagher resigned. In his letter of resignation, Gallagher recommended the board appoint a member of the Lea County Commission to fill the vacancy.

Immediately following the board meeting, board members and guests toured the almost completed Entertainment and Technology facility created by extensive remodeling of the Bob and Bobbie Moran building on the NMJC campus.

Jerry Stoddard, who will head the entertainment technology department, described the facility as “world class.”

“It could just as well be in Dallas, Los Angeles or London,” he said. “When I first saw it, I just walked around in here for 35 minutes thinking, ‘Wow!’”

Stoddard said enough of the state of the art equipment will be fully installed by the beginning of the spring semester that he will be able to begin teaching a class he called, “Audio One.”

Dennis Atherton, vice-president of NMJC, said the entertainment and technology courses will be designed to prepare students to work in the technical fields of the entertainment industry.

“It’s not the same as performance courses. It’s preparing lighting and sound for performers in several different venues. And we have some incentives to encourage students to sign up for the courses and see whether they like them. They just need to call the college and ask about it,” Atherton said.

Dorothy N. Fowler can be reached at education@ .

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