Departmental Committees

Promotion and Tenure Committee

The Promotion and Tenure (P&T) Committee is the most important committee of the department. The role of the committee is to: assess progress of each faculty member toward tenure, promotion, or both. The promotion and tenure committee consists of all professors with majority appointment in PES, without exception. The chair of the committee shall serve for up to two and one-half years to align with the promotion and tenure cycle. The outgoing Chair will complete the cycle for portfolios submitted the prior year, as well as any other unfinished business. The Chair, in consultation with the Department Head and faculty individual, will assign a member of the senior faculty to mentor each untenured professor. The P&T committee shall review packets submitted by Assistant Professors annually and submit recommendations concerning the renewal of annual contracts to the Dept. Head. The P&T committee will provide a review and comments to Assistant and Associate Professors who submit their packets for Spring review. Special attention will be provided to ensure adherence to college and university formatting and organizational guidelines. Decisions of this committee are made in compliance with Departmental, College, and University guidelines and policy.

2021-2022 Committee:

  • Jinfa Zhang, (Chair)
  • Members All majority appointed PES Professors

Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee reviews and makes recommendations to the department on course and curriculum proposals and revisions in the major and minor academic programs in the Department. The Curriculum Committee can appoint subcommittees to discuss Agronomy, Genetics, Horticulture, Soil, Turf, and Environmental Science programs. The chair of the committee serves on the College Curriculum Committee. All new courses, course changes (description, credit, prerequisite, etc.), and course deletions are approved by the Curriculum Committee and then the Associate Dean’s Academic Council, prior to being placed in the catalog or in the Schedule of Classes. Where appropriate the committee chair should interact with college and university committees that have similar charges. This committee will also assume the duties of the Outcomes Assessment Committee.

2021-2022 Committee:

  • April Ulery (Chair)
  • Members : Chris Cramer, Blair Stringam, Omar Holguin, Rachel Gioannini, Jinfa Zhang, Dennis Lozada, Michelle Hammitt

Graduate Studies Committee

The Graduate Studies Committee provides oversight for the graduate program and is responsible for recruitment of graduate students. It solicits nominations for teaching assistantships (TAs), and recommends assignment of TAs to classes and labs to the Department Head for review and approval. The committee will periodically review the Department’s graduate admission policies and procedures. It is also responsible for reviewing and encouraging normal progress of graduate students. Normal progress refers to timely completion of graduate exams and submission and completion of programs of study. It also helps to ensure consistency of procedure/policy/standards across doctoral committees, especially with regard to the conduct of Comprehensive Examinations. It reviews annual submissions to the Graduate Catalogue and, when needed, recommends graduate curriculum revisions. This committee may be called upon to review requests for reassignment of graduate advisors submitted by either faculty or graduate students, and to base its recommendations to the Department Head on pre-established policy. The Chair will send out an email on or about 15th October and 15th April to solicit the faculty regarding need for teaching assistantships to support course and lab offerings and graduate student teaching opportunities. The committee will solicit nominations for, and recommend, graduate students for the PES Outstanding Graduate Paper, and PES Teaching Assistantship Awards. Where appropriate, the committee chair should interact with college and university committees that have similar charges.

2021-2022 Committee:

  • Ian Ray (Chair)
  • Members : Manoj Shukla, Sangu Angadi, Ivette Guzman, Koffi Djaman, Julius Anchang, Nick Webb, Niall Hanan

Undergraduate Student Recruitment and Retention Committee

This body makes recommendations to the Department on recruiting activities, including dissemination of information to prospective students. It also recommends means of promoting academic progress. Members of this body are called upon to participate in and assist with coordination of New Student Orientations in cooperation with main office personnel. They also host school counselors.

2021-2022 Committee:

  • K.C. Carroll (Chair)
  • Members : Rajan Ghimire, Nicole Pietrasiak, Naveen Puppala (northeast), Koffi Djaman (northwest), Leonard Lauriault (northeast), Caiti Steele, Rachel Gioannini, Marisa Thompson, Blair Stringam, Shengrui Yao, Sabine Green, Laura Rodriguez

Scholarship Committee

The Department Scholarship Committee awards numerous departmental scholarships, as well as college scholarships, to students each year. Committee awards scholarships to students based upon the selection criteria established for each scholarship. It also coordinates the scholarship application process and works with the Associate Dean of Academic Programs to ensure that students have fair access to College and University scholarship programs. The scholarship committee will change membership in a manner that ensures faculty will consistently be able to evaluate and identify the most qualified students.

2021-2022 Committee:

  • April Ulery (Chair)
  • Members : Nicole Pietrasiak, Murali Darapuneni, Blair Stringam, Kulbhushan Grover, Rachel Gioannini

Safety Committee

The role of this committee is to strongly promote safe working environments for employees and students. All laboratory space under department management must have representation on this committee. Committee meetings are held periodically to review safety standards and procedures established by governmental agencies and the University Safety Officer. This committee encourages safety compliance by information sharing, by calling attention to items of potential risk, and by recommending procedures to reduce or eliminate risk. A departmental faculty member serving as laboratory Safety Liaison meets with the Committee and reports its progress and concerns to departmental faculty. The Chair meets with the Department Head to discuss Committee progress and administrative assistance that may be needed to address items of concern. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has the authority in matters related to fire safety and emergencies such as fire, medical, hazardous material, confined space rescue including providing emergency medical services at special events.

2021-2022 Committee:

  • Vacant (Chair)

  • Omar Holguin (Lab Safety Liaison)

  • Members : Lab representatives from Skeen Hall and Gerald Thomas Hall.

Awards Committee

The Awards Committee is tasked with developing the nominating packets for the departmental Faculty and Staff awards, and awards outside the department. These include but are not limited to: the ACES awards, University teaching, research, and service awards (Ft. Bliss, Burlington Northern, Christmore, Westhafer), NACTA Teaching, STAR awards, and Fellows in the professional societies. The Department Head, as an ad hoc member of the committee, may provide information and write supporting letter(s) of recommendation where appropriate. The Faculty/Staff award consists of a plaque recognizing extraordinary effort in a particular area, and a gift certificate. Students will nominate worthy candidates at the end of each semester. Previous award recipients, and other interested faculty, should be willing to serve on the committee and play a leadership role in nominating and supporting new nominations. The awards committee chair will maintain a list of possible candidates for awards and record the successful and unsuccessful nominations for the benefit of the incoming Chair.

2021-2022 Committee:

  • Shengrui Yao (Chair)
  • Members : Kevin Lombard, Ivette Guzman, Koffi Djaman, Brandon Edwards, Rajan Ghimire, Jinfa Zhang, Geno Picchioni, Nicole Pietrasiak, Qiuyan Yu

Student Assessment Committee

The Student Assessment Committee conducts, reviews, recommends and responds to assessment of student learning related items. The primary role is to develop, conduct, analyze and report assessment activities for the annual academic departmental assessment (ADA) cycle. Reporting will be directed to the Office of Assessment, ACES Academic Dean, PES Department Head, and PES faculty through regular faculty meetings. The chair of the committee serves on the ACES Student Assessment Committee. The committee chair should interact with college and university committees that have similar charges.

2021-2022 Committee:

  • Ryan Goss (Chair)
  • Members : Colby Brungard, Rachel Gioannini, Kulbhushan Grover, Kevin Lombard, Manoj Shukla, April Ulery

Special Assignments

Subject to change on an annual basis per faculty request and needs of the department. Requests for reassignment should be submitted in a timely fashion to allow time to select a suitable replacement.

Student Clubs

Environmental Science Student Organization (ESSO)– Advisor, April Ulery, Blair Stringam

HortForum Student Organization: Advisors – Geno Picchioni and Rachel Gioannini

Floral Judging Team – Advisor, Sabine Green

NMSU Turf Club – Advisor, Ryan Goss

Graduate Student Organization (GSO) – Advisor, Ivette Guzman


Faculty Senate – Elected College Representative; Sangu Angadi

MOLB Admission Committee: Jinfa Zhang, Nicole Pietrasiak


Plant and Environmental Sciences Endowments –Rolston St. Hilaire

NM Chile Conference – Stephanie Walker, Chair

Plant Variety Release Committee – Stephanie Walker (Chair), Chris Cramer, Ian Ray, Rich Pratt, Jinfa Zhang, Rolston St. Hilaire, Naveen Puppala, Shengrui Yao, Dennis Lozada

Greenhouse Committee – Geno Picchioni (Chair), Jose Ortega, Rachel Gioannini, Rebecca Creamer, Derrik Wootton

Water Resources Management Degree Advisory Committee – KC Carroll

ACES P&T Committee, PES representative, Niall Hanan

Central Advising Liaison – April Ulery, Rachel Gioannini

Library Liaison –Richard Pratt

Chemical Hygiene Officer

NMSU Water Initiative Committee – KC Carroll

ACES Global Initiatives - Manoj Shukla

ACES Paul D. Coverdell Fellow Program – Kevin Lombard