2017-04-19, Cornell Menking, NMSU International and Border Programs

President Christopher called the meeting to order at 12:11 p.m.  Mary Ellen gave the invocation.  Pres. Christopher then led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  In recognition of Bill Harty’s many years of dedicated service to our community and his recent retirement from NMSU, Jim Maxon led us in singing “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” and “Happy Days Are Here Again!”  Meet and greet followed the music.  President Christopher introduced visiting Rotarian Lorenzo Alba, President of the Mesilla Valley Club and the high school student guests.  Rotarians who brought guests were asked to introduce them. 

Happy $$: Charles – cancer free!!  Greg – paid for the privilege of telling a corny joke;

Announcements:  John Pickett announced a recognition luncheon for the Picacho Middle School principal and teachers on Friday, May 5, from 11 am to about 1 pm.  All Rotarians are invited.  President Christopher asked us to support NMSU’s new basketball coach.  John Pickett seconded that.  President Christopher reminded us that EREY cruise tickets are due today.  With much fanfare and hoopla, Wendy and Fran were presented their BLUE Badges!!  Mary Ellen announced an evening golf tournament and dinner fund raiser for the Las Cruces Symphony at the Red Hawk golf course.  She will have more details next week.  Richelle announced that she was on autopilot and paid her taxes as single rather than married.  Lya assured her that the IRS will still take her money.

The Program

The program presenter was our own Rotarian, Cornell Menking, who needed no introduction.  Cornell’s program was a comprehensive slide presentation of the current status of International and Border Programs at NMSU.  Cornell introduced his wife Mona who is also an International Programs professional.  Arguably, NMSU has the most active and comprehensive set of International and Border Programs in New Mexico.  In recent years, however, the University of New Mexico has stepped up their activities considerably.  NMSU has approximately 1200 international students compared to UNM’s 1300.  Considering that the total number of students at UNM is over twice that of NMSU, their percentage of international students is less than 4% with NMSU at over 8%.  NMSU typically sends approximately 400 students to study abroad each year.  

Representing a trend that has steadily increased every year during the past several years, many students travel in small study groups with a professor and receive university credit for their international experiences.  A common misconception is that “international students drain the State’s resources.”  Actually, the exact opposite is true:  the economic impact of international students nationally is $32 billion; in New Mexico, the impact is over $91 million.  These students pay full out-of-state tuition.  Over 300 of our international students are fully sponsored by their country’s government.  At NMSU, the country providing the largest number of international students is Kuwait (over 300), followed by China, India and Saudi Arabia.  Nationally, the country providing the largest number of international students is China, followed by India.  NMSU is actively recruiting more Chinese and Indian students.  NMSU has a number of programs that unique:  “Aggies Go Global” provides a means for students to accomplish things that are generally not considered part of the typical international experience, such as internships and practicums oriented towards their majors.  The office has revamped the Center for English Language Programs so that it actually generates revenue by providing English as a second language to various international professionals.  Many members of the staff are supported by external grant and contract funding.  This helps isolate the unit from State funding “ups and downs!”  Mona pointed out a number of other benefits provided by the programs and noted that many of the participating international students are impressed by the warm and friendly nature of the people of Las Cruces and the local community.

After the Program

Patty announced that the can had raised $133 for our exchange student.  Visiting Rotarian Lorenzo had the winning number, but did not draw the joker.  Pres. Christopher could not resist asking: “How many UTEPers’ are required to change a light bulb?”  He got several corny answers, none worthy of mentioning in this “esteemed” publication.  He then led us in reciting the 4-Way Test.

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



Katelin Ponder

Richelle Ponder

Silvia Avila

Elaine Szalay

Mona Menking

Cornell Menking

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club

Lorenzo Alba

Mesilla Valley (President)

Student Guests



Haily Palacios


Antonia Zamora


Brighton Turner




Date Club




Submitted by Jay JordanJay Jordan