Filtering through grand windows, sunlight glided through Ann Goodman’s office, touching down on Aggie flags and illuminating diplomas mounted on the wall for all to see. Two of these diplomas, the new Dean of Students proudly said, came from New Mexico State University.
July 15, Goodman recalled, was the day she officially took up the position of Dean of Students and returned to the NMSU family that she said had helped shape who she is today.
Goodman explained how she wanted students to get involved as much as they can with the university.
“I want to empower our students to really become the drivers of activity on campus and involvement,” Goodman said. “I want our students to really embrace the fact that they have some great activities that they can promote. Not just promote, to tell people what we do and promote to encourage more students to come in, get involved.”
Goodman reflected on her own favorite activity she participated in while at NMSU.
“My favorite tradition was painting the ‘A’ on ‘A’ Mountain,” Goodman said. “Generally, the tradition was that the Greeks would paint ‘A’ Mountain every spring during your Greek week. But prior to that if I’m not mistaken, the freshmen would go up and paint it.”
This tradition is one that Goodman is looking to bring back once more as she believes all students should have the opportunity to paint the ‘A.’
Goodman jokingly said that while the director of admissions is tasked with convincing students to come to NMSU, her job is to keep students at NMSU and get them to the point of graduation.
“Somebody says the Dean of Students, you’re in a top leadership role,” Goodman said. “I see myself as, I’m just one of the many team players that makes sure that New Mexico State is successful and that our students are successful.”
To accomplish this, Goodman said she is focused on finding a way to have students gain whatever support group or resources they may need, such as she had.
During her time as a student, Goodman remarked how tight-knit the Greek community was and still is. She recalled how Pi Beta Phi members pushed her to improve herself, urging her to take on leadership roles despite her doubts.
The kind of support she experienced from her peers then is something she wishes for all students to experience during her time as Dean of Students. One way Goodman said she believed she would be able to accomplish this would be through a new program launched this year — the Aggie Stampede.
According to Goodman, Aggie Stampede is geared towards freshmen but all students are welcome to join. It is a student engagement program where students receive points by attending university events, eventually gaining enough points to earn free NMSU “swag.” Ultimately, the program will be run by students. Three undergraduates have already been tasked with assisting in the implementation of this program.
“Going to athletic events, spirit tradition activities — we want to promote that,” Goodman said. “All in the sense of we can create this synergy on campus, this spirit of Aggie Land. Spirit of tradition of what it means to be a New Mexico State Aggie.”