ASC honors retirees

(04-15-2010)

By 5:40 p.m., on April 6, the Adams State College Student Union Building banquet room was filling up. The buzz from retirees and current employees included burst of laughter, smiles, and shared remembrances, all gathering to honor 2010 retirees, including Dianne Machado, Dr. Ted McNeilsmith, and Ray Welch. The dinner is presented each spring by the Adams State Association of Retirees, through the Office of Alumni Relations.

President David Svaldi welcomed the gathered crowd and acknowledged former presidents in attendance Dr. Marv Motz, emeritus professor of psychology, and Dr. Tom Gilmore, emeritus professor of business. Svaldi said three "great people" were being honored. He said he appreciates Machado, McNeilsmith, and Welch for their dedication to the college.

Provost Michael Mumper spoke about Machado. "It is a great pleasure to say a few words and recap Di's amazing career." Machado started at the college in 1983 as an acquisition assistant and after receiving her Masters in Library Science in the early 90s accepted the position as director of Nielsen Library. "She has had an enormous positive impact on many people, the library and in many ways the college itself." He asked Machado's colleagues for their impression of her. "I heard almost the same thing from everyone," Mumper continued. "She treated me like family...if it weren't for Di...I can't believe how committed Di was to our students...Di was devoted to the library..."

Machado said she credits her parents for her success. "I am a product of them and their beliefs about being good to people, respectful and honest. They taught us good work ethics and all around I give them credit for my success."

Dr. Michael Martin, chair of sociology department, remembered when McNeilsmith first started teaching sociology classes at Adams State in 1992. "Ted told me he 'hated weekends' because he couldn't teach." Martin went on to say McNeilsmith was always a tireless advocate for the students and "pushed" the idea of a student centered learning environment.

Currently, McNeilsmith is a professor of rural sociology in the Agribusiness Program, a position he accepted two years ago. Dr. Kurt Keiser, chair of the School of Business, said McNeilsmith helped grow their agribusiness program and is always promoting the program and recruiting students.

From 2000 until 2005, McNeilsmith was the director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), a Title V-funded faculty development project. He called his teaching career "the best job in the world. Collectively, the students have touched my life more than I could have touched theirs." McNeilsmith thanked his colleagues, wife, family, and friends for their continued support.

Mike Nicholson, chief information officer, described Welch as having high moral ethical standards and a tremendous work ethic. Welch retires after 20 years with Adams State. "Ray played a key role in the evolution of technology on campus," Nicholson said. "I couldn't ask for a more perfect employee. No task was too big or too small. The way Ray looked at it, if it needs to be done, he did it. We could all learn from Ray's example."

Welch thanked everyone, saying, "We have a great crew."

Retirees unable to attend the dinner include Dr. Rafael Weston and Johnny Martinez.

By Linda Relyea