The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

ENMU honors 20 at retirement ceremony


May 2, 2018

PORTALES — With over 300 years of combined experience, the 20 honorees at Eastern New Mexico University's 2017-2018 retirement ceremony define the college, according to ENMU President Jeff Elwell.

For many of the outgoing veterans, however, their careers were defined by the students and faculty they worked with in their careers.

Art Professor Maureen Muhlbauer is leaving ENMU with 27 years under her belt, and said she will value her students the most.

"When you get right down to it, teaching is giving, and making art is taking, so what it does is it balances your life out. It's kind of a give and take," she said.

Muhlbauer said she will miss the camaraderie with her colleagues the most when she leaves for Santa Fe, where she plans to "put more art on this planet."

Another longtime fixture at the college, Media Relations Director Wendel Sloan, announced his retirement after 35 years; at the risk of sounding cliche, he also credited his ENMU family as the most valuable part of his career.

"I grew up in Texas, so your friends really do become your family. I know that's true anywhere, but people here just seem especially friendly," he said.

He recalled a crossroads in his career where he was asked to choose between staying on as sports information officer or media relations director. The choice he made, he said, ended up being one that made the rest of his time at ENMU a joy.

"I didn't even hesitate. I took the director of media relations. The main reason I did it is because I enjoy writing," he said.

Sloan wasn't sure about Portales when he first arrived, he said, but he noted that "once you get to know people, the scenery doesn't matter as much. No matter where you are, it's the people that matter more than the scenery."

Twenty-five years at ENMU was similarly pleasurable for Anthropology Professor Kathy Roler Durand, who said she has loved working at ENMU for the opportunities its given her to get to know her students and colleagues.

"I was able to pursue research that I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, at the rate and pace at which I wanted to do it, and I've published with students various articles, and that was a lot of fun," she said. "I've really loved the teaching here, definitely."

Durand said she plans to travel as much as she can in her retirement, as well as publish four research projects in the next several years.

The following ENMU faculty and staff members were honored at Tuesday's ceremony:

• Jacqueline Baker

• Deborah Bentley

• Shelly Best

• Larry Bryant

• Betty Dever

• Kathy Roler Durand

• Greg Erf

• Terry Ervin

• Jerry Harmon

• Jerri Kent

• Lonzo Lassiter

• Esther Morrison

• Maureen Muhlbauer

• Michael Ryan

• Patricia Salazar

• Patricia Saylor

• Wendel Sloan

• Deanna Teal

• Michele Wood

• Elizabeth Wooley


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