• West graduates launch solo music careers

    For years, singing siblings Fabian Montaño and Anita Lopez — both West Las Vegas grads — have enchanted listeners as members of Mariachi Paisano del Valle. Now both of them have launched solo careers, with a joint CD release dance set for 9 p.m. today, Sept. 9 at the Night Owl.

    Here is the Optic’s Q&A interview with the two:

    1. You've performed for years as part of mariachi groups. What made you decide to do a solo album?  

  • Program gets accreditation

    By Jesse Gallegos
    Luna Community College

    The Luna Community College Dental Assisting Program received national accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. It is the third Luna Community College Program to earn national accreditation or certification this summer.

  • Baldonado interns for state legislature

    By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    New Mexico Highlands University political science graduate Abenicio Baldonado is interning with the New Mexico Legislative Council Service. He is one of only two students chosen from six state universities for the competitive paid internship.

  • Highlands building wins gold

    By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    New Mexico Highlands University’s remodeled Felix Martinez building was certified as LEED Gold, a high-level measure of green building practices in areas like water conservation, energy efficiency, recycling construction debris, and using recycled materials for construction.

    LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The U.S. Green Building Council awards LEED certification to a building that qualifies based on data collected from a year of usage after it opens.

  • Honorary graduate
  • Mora native receives $40,000 scholarship

    By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    New Mexico Highlands University biology senior Sebastian Medina was awarded a $40,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture scholarship to continue his education at the graduate level after he completes his bachelor’s degree.

    In his three years at Highlands, the 21-year-old Medina has earned a 3.88 GPA, been named to the dean’s list, and honored as the Outstanding New Biology Major in 2010.

  • LCC nursing program receives accreditation

    Submitted to the Optic

    The Luna Community College Nursing Program learned late last month that it has earned national accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. It is the first time in the program’s history that it has this distinction.

    Luna Community College nursing graduates can now apply for employment at any health facility including government hospitals. 

  • Farewell gathering
  • Jean Hill new president of psychology association

    By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    Jean Hill, director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at New Mexico Highlands University, was elected president for the Society for Community Research and Action, an international organization for psychologists.

    Hill is  well-known in community psychology and co-authored Community Psychology: Linking Individuals and Communities, a college textbook published earlier this year.

  • Friends group connects local students with nature

    Submitted to the Optic

    During this past school year, Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge enabled 10 Las Vegas fourth and fifth grades to benefit from a field trip to LVNWR, with two more field trips to be scheduled for September.

    Friends’ volunteers conduct a pre-visit in student classrooms, in which each student dissects an owl pellet. These classroom activities are designed to prepare the students for their field trip.