LAS CRUCES, NM. -(Ammoland.com)– The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish announced five New Mexico State University students as recipients of its annual department scholarships.
The department gives the awards to promote and encourage future wildlife managers in New Mexico. Students must be enrolled in the department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology at New Mexico State University to be eligible.
“The department continues to fulfill its mission to conserve, regulate and protect the state’s wildlife for generations to come by continuing to grow these endowed scholarships and awarding them to deserving students,” Interim Director R.J. Kirkpatrick said.
Every year visitors to the department’s hatcheries help increase the endowed scholarships by buying fish feed pellets for the hatchery fish. The 25-cent handfuls of feed sold from vending machines add up. Hatchery guests contribute an average of $3,000 every year toward educating future wildlife managers.
Sophomore Travis Day of Truth or Consequence and sophomore Justin Hebert of Las Cruces are recipients of the prestigious William A. “Bill” Humphries Memorial Scholarship. The department awards the yearly scholarship to a freshman or sophomore in memory of Humphries, who moved up the ranks from a department officer to the assistant director over his 27-year career at the department.
Junior Rachel Bean of Albuquerque and senior Jacob Naranjo of Santa Fe are recipients of the Ocie Gray Memorial Wildlife Scholarship. The scholarship honors Gray, a New Mexico State University graduate who died in a plane crash while working for the department. Employees and friends established the scholarship in 1965 to be awarded annually to a deserving junior or senior.
Graduate student Krysten Zummo of Patchogue, N.Y., is the recipient of the Ladd S. Gordon Memorial Scholarship established in 1992. Gordon worked for the department for 26 years and served as director for more than 10 years. He was instrumental in the re-introduction of wild sheep and elk in the state and he helped secure funding to purchase wildlife habitat and construct fish hatcheries.
For more than 10 years the department has annually awarded a New Mexico State University graduate student the scholarship.
New Mexico State University Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology recognized the 2014 scholarship recipients during its 54th Annual Awards Banquet April 17 at the Las Cruces Convention Center. Interested students may apply for next year’s awards through the New Mexico State University online scholarship form. The deadline is Mach 1 every year.