New Mexico State University recognizes and presents staff members who demonstrate the NMSU core values of leadership, excellence, access, diversity and inclusion, and those who are student-centered with the “A” Mountain Staff Award every year.
Due to the suspension of Founder’s Day and the Employee Appreciation Picnic, two staff members, Anna Nelson, social work college assistant professor, and Kathryn Hansen, director of Arrowhead Center, were named 2020 recipients of the “A” Mountain Staff Award in April.
“I feel incredibly honored to be awarded the ‘A’ Mountain Award for 2020, particularly during COVID-19,” Nelson said. “This time has been humbling as a social work college professor to see both significant need among our students and communities and their collective resilience. I hope to continue to uplift their strengths while honoring their struggles.”
“I am so honored to be one of the recipients of this year’s ‘A’ Mountain award,” Hansen said. “I am grateful to the panel and to those who nominated me for this award. NMSU has meant a lot to me both personally and professionally, and I am proud to be a part of its core values and to play a part in its success. As we move forward and all strive to ‘Be Bold and Shape the Future,’ I know NMSU’s success will only become stronger.”
Nelson has served students and NMSU community members for 12 years. She actively engages her students and community members and coordinates programs. She spearheaded the development of the NMSU-Online master’s degree in social work program and remains active in coordinating and developing social work programs for both undergraduates and graduates.
Additionally, Nelson is recognized as a national trainer and educator on issues such as critical trauma theory, allyship and trauma-informed supervision. In her research, she employs mixed-methods participatory action research grounded in critical race and intersectionality theories to understand cultural, cumulative and collective trauma, and study its impact on communities with a strong focus on identity-driven resilience and resistance. She is regularly invited to speak throughout the nation.
Hansen leads NMSU’s Arrowhead Center and works to promote entrepreneurship and innovation, creating economic opportunity. Arrowhead Center’s programming scope, client population and partnership network has expanded under her leadership as she has extensive involvement with each of the initiatives, programs and projects. Arrowhead Center is recognized as one of the state’s and the region’s finest resources for entrepreneurship and economic development. Hansen also works directly with the NMSU Foundation, Arrowhead Center’s suite of funders and staff members responsible for proposal development to increase fundraising.
“These employees have shown 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, Athletics Human Resources coordinator and Employee Council chair. “The employees selected are Aggies who have made the decision to ‘Be bold and Shape the Future’ while encouraging our diverse student population to do the same. These employees continued to thrive despite a pandemic and have made the NMSU community proud. We hope they truly feel how appreciated they are for being exemplary employees.”