Russian language representatives coming to UNM to begin collaboration

According to a UNM Newsroom press release, delegates from The Pushkin State Institute of Russian Language in Moscow will sign an agreement with UNM, which creates a teaching and research collaboration between the two organizations.

The event will be from 5 – 8 p.m. in the in the Reading Room of Ortega Hall, according to the press release.

According to the press release, the Pushkin State Institute is recognized as one of the country’s top language schools for foreigners and was originally established so native Russians could obtain bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in teaching Russian as a foreign language.

Since last fall, faculty members of the Russian program at the UNM Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures have been working on an agreement between UNM and the Pushkin Institute, according to the press release. Their efforts are finally coming to fruition in an agreement that will have unique benefits for UNM students.

According to the press release, the partnership will create a space for students to learn about the culture of Russia and create professional contacts. Such learning opportunities will help defuse some of the tension rising from the ideologically-charged and highly politicized relations between the two countries.

“We want our students to be able to understand and appreciate the rich cultural tradition of Russia through the medium of the Russian language,” Tanya Ivanova-Sullivan, director of the UNM Russian program, was quoted as saying in the press release. “They can meet Russian specialists in the field of second language acquisition and freely engage in a meaningful dialogue with them without political overtones.”

According to the press release, Russian is among the high priority languages for various federal agencies including the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security and Department of State.

The Russian program at UNM is the only one that offers Russian major and minor in New Mexico, according to the press release, with program faculty teaching courses in the language as well as a range of classes in Russian culture in translation.

According to the press release, the degree emphasizes language proficiency and in-depth understanding of Russian culture and literature, it also prepares students for careers in such diverse areas as government service, business, education, translation and health services.

UNM selects local architects to design Johnson Center Expansion and Renovation Project

According to a UNM Newsroom press release, UNM has selected local firm FBT Architects, teamed with Hastings+Chivetta Architects, to design the Johnson Center Expansion and Renovation Project.

After a competitive process, attracting architectural teams from across the country, UNM selected the FBT/Hastings+Chivetta team to design the project, according to the press release.

This will be the first phase in an all-encompassing program to renovate and expand the Johnson Center, previously known as Johnson Gym.

According to the press release, the overarching goal of the recreation center revitalization is to allow the University to achieve its long-term goal of providing the students, faculty and staff with 21st century recreation facilities and create a new destination for UNM’s campus.

“I’m very excited to be working with FBT/Hasting+Chivetta and Jaynes on this long awaited recreation project,” Amy Coburn, University Architect and Director of Planning, Design & Construction, was quoted as saying in the press release.

UNM began the planning effort in November, and had previously sought input from students and campus employees, according to the press release, and found that students expressed a desire for facilities that support an active lifestyle while on campus.

According to the press release, some ideas that came out of the process include a new Multi-Activity Court, a rock climbing and bouldering wall, racquetball/handball courts, an expanded Outdoor/Bike shop and an indoor running/walking track.

The FBT/Hastings+Chivetta team is currently designing the new facility and is working closely with Johnson Center and University personnel throughout the process, according to the press release. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018 with a target date for completion in December 2019.

According to the press release, FBT Architects has a 20-year relationship with UNM and has completed 24 projects across all of UNM’s campuses including the recent renovation and addition to Castetter Hall and the new McKinnon Center at Anderson School that is currently under construction.

“FBT has a deep understanding of UNM and their campus and a successful track record for delivering and managing large, complex projects,” Susan Johnson, principal and director of Higher Education for FBT Architects, is quoted as saying in the press release.

“What excites me about this project is the contribution the facility is going to make towards creating healthy lifestyles on UNM’s campus.”

Human Research Protections Program at UNM receives full AAHRPP accreditation

According to a UNM Newsroom press release, the UNM Human Research Protections Program, UNM’s provider of regulatory and ethical review services for human research at Main & branch campuses, announced it will receive full accreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protections Programs, effective March 20, 2017.

They join eight other organizations in earning AAHRPP accreditation this quarter, bringing the total to 238 accredited organizations overall, according to the press release. AAHRPP serves to protect the rights and welfare of research participants, and also to build public trust and confidence in research.

According to the press release, the HRPP, which includes the UNM Institutional Review Board, the University and the researchers, provides oversight for all research activities involving human participants at UNM. The HRPP is not an office, but rather a collective effort of all who participate in the conduct, review, approval and facilitation of human research at UNM.

“Undertaking the process of national accreditation was a way to show that UNM has a tremendous interest in the protection and safety of participants in human research,” HRPP Director Linda Petree was quoted as saying in the press release. “I am very proud to have been a part of this significant achievement and to work with UNM’s amazing research community.”

To earn AAHRPP accreditation, organizations must demonstrate that they have built extensive safeguards into every level of their research operation and that they adhere to high standards for research, according to the press release. In today’s global, collaborative research enterprise, organizations increasingly rely on AAHRPP accreditation status to help identify trusted research partners.

A nonprofit organization, AAHRPP provides accreditation for organizations that conduct or review human research and can demonstrate that their protections exceed the safeguards required by the U.S. government. To learn more, visit

-Compiled by Matthew Reisen