Meeting “Mary Jane” was a lucky encounter

Story by Alejandra Ruiz

During our documentary photography trip to the village of  Doña Ana, we met a really interesting person.  I was walking with my two friends; they were waiting for me since I recently had knee surgery, and other students in the class were a lot of steps ahead of us.

Suddenly we saw a  woman coming from her house and hurrying toward us. We stopped to talk to her, but we didn’t know who she was. She introduced herself, her name is Maria de Jesus Garcia, most commonly known as “Mary Jane.”

Mary Jane Garcia, former state senator from southern New Mexico,  is standing outside her house and telling photojournalists the story of Doña Ana during field trip on April 2017. (Photo by Alejandra Ruiz)

Continue reading Meeting “Mary Jane” was a lucky encounter


Pump up your spirit

He’s the one we look to, to boost our spirits when the game isn’t quite going our way. Or the man we know will be cheering the loudest as our team shoots the win basket. Here at New Mexico State University, that man, that mascot, is our beloved Pistol Pete. Continue reading Pump up your spirit

Interwoven Lives

By: Kelsey Gentile

People are an important component to our lives. I know for my I probably would not have done as well in college without family and awesome friends and acquaintances. My book for this class is about my life, but rather focus on me it focuses on people in my life and what I learned from them or shared experiences with that were special.

Sunset Gazer
Sarah Pitassi watches the sun slowly set at White Sands on March 12, 2017.(Photo by Kelsey Gentile)

My friend Sarah Pitassi was one of the first people I met at RUF (Reformed University Fellowship). Sarah has been my faithful model for RUF trips as well as other spur the moment photo shoots. I’ve learned a lot and laughed a lot with this great friend, but mainly laughed. It’s actually interesting, we used to go to another organization together, but we never crossed paths there. I guess it’s kind of cool that if a person is meant to be in your life one way or another they will end up there.

Out in the Country
Carmen Sr., LaMoin Gentile and Cat #1 pose for a photo on the afternoon of March 20th, 2017 on a small farm near Belen, NM. (Photo by Kelsey Gentile)


My grandparents are two of the most hard working and caring people, I might be a little biased but it’s still true. Next year will be their 50th wedding anniversary. Some of my favorite memories are hearing their stories of living “back east” in Philadelphia. Granny would talk about going to the market to buy groceries and tell little stories of how my dad caused trouble or did something funny. My Papa would share stories of the best places to eat in town.  One of my favorite times was comparing photos of Paris. My Papa served in the Air Force and he was stationed in Paris for some time. It was fun to see photos he took of the same places I went and visited years later. Growing up my grandparents taught me several life skills to I am grateful to have today. Their support through life and especially college has meant so much to me.

An Adventure in the Desert
Carissa Trujillo smiles for the camera during a photo shoot one April afternoon at the end of Tellbrook Rd. (Photo by Kelsey Gentile)

Carissa was one of the first few people I met when I moved to Las Cruces as a freshmen. She was one of the first people to take me under their wing. Since I was meeting several people the first week I was in Las Cruces and was new to Christian Challenge it was difficult to recall everyone’s names. The second week I ran into Carissa and she asked me what her name was…I had no clue what it was. She said I could just call her “beautiful one,” which I remembered along with her actual name. Carissa has taught me a lot about life and also helped guide me spiritually. A characteristic I admire about Carissa is her commitment to people and making sure they have what they need. She was also there to help when I needed help or encouragement. She is one of the many blessings I came across in college.

Family, friends, and strangers are an important part of our lives. They always have stories to share, many of which are often very fascinating. I think getting to talk to people and hear their stories is my favorite part of photography.


Working Up the Courage

By: Kelsey Gentile

Sometimes I tell myself that I may have picked the wrong major. I am absolutely horrible at approaching people to interview them or take their picture. But then an opportunity comes up and I surprise myself.

People can be intimidating to approach, but from personal experience it’s one of the most rewarding acts I have done. That’s where you get some of the best stories and uncover bits of information about a person or place.

A Face From Mesilla
Phil Alatorre talks about his life teaching in the Las Cruces area on Feb. 16 while walking in Mesilla. Photo by Kelsey Gentile

Continue reading Working Up the Courage

Storytellers share their visual impressions of Mesilla

Picturesque Mesilla, N.M., known for its plaza that is a National Historic Landmark, was founded in the late 1840s as a colony of Mexico and became part of the United States in 1853. Its adobe architecture and stately church, the Basillica of San Albino, attract visitors – and photographers, including student photojournalists who documented it as part of the Small Village New Mexico project developed by professor Bruce Berman in conjunction with the NMSU archives.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Students will also photograph Doña Ana in late March, when former state Sen. Mary Jane Garcia will discuss the community’s history along the Camino Real and open the historic mission, the church of Our Lady de la Candelaria, for photography. Visit this website for student posts about that part of the project.

Bataan Memorial Death March remembers the fallen

Bataan Memorial Death Marchers, many carrying 50-pound packs, run and walk the strenuous course March 19 in memory of those who suffered and died during their ordeal that began in 1942. (Photos by Pamela Porter)

By Pamela Porter

Sgt. Harold Bregbower, one of the Bataan survivors, listens to the names of friends who died in the previous year during opening ceremonies.

As I park my car in the predawn darkness, I check my bearings in relation to the black silhouette of the Organ Mountains, just to make sure I can find my vehicle among the thousands of others. The Bataan Memorial Death March, the annual tribute to the New Mexicans and others who suffered and died in the Philippines during World War II,  attracted more than 7,000 runners and walkers – many completing the 26-mile marathon carrying heavy packs.

Spectators also flock to White Sands Missile Range for the chilly opening ceremonies and to cheer on the marchers during the 75th anniversary of the horrific forced march that claimed the lives of more than 800 New Mexicans and left almost 1,000 survivors from our state who endured not only the five-day march without food or water, but also suffered during their imprisonment until the end of the war.

Continue reading Bataan Memorial Death March remembers the fallen