Special Spotlight Insert
years ago Maryjane Giesler started teaching a late afternoon
class at UNM-Los Alamos. She squeezed it into an incredibly
hectic schedule. At the time her four children, three of whom
are triplets, were in junior high and all were involved in sports.
would run from a JV (Junior Varsity) basketball game to the
swimming pool to watch my son for his four second race. Then
I would run back to the basketball game, Giesler says.
One time we went to two track meets and two baseball games
in one day.
describes her children Giesler exudes her usual high energy,
probably the same energy that helped her get through an English
master's program at Michigan State in nine months.
told them I had enough money for nine months and you could do
that back then, she says. I was up all night, and
reading like a Shakespeare play a night.
she doesnt pull all-nighters anymore, or run from sports
event to another, Giesler still maintains a crazy schedule.
As her four athletes grew up and went on to have successful
careers, she took on more and more at UNM-LA.
my kids graduated from high school I felt like I should pay
my dues, so I taught late night classes. Other people had done
it when I was busy with the kids, says Giesler.
gradual, but she went from one class to two, then became core
faculty and took on three classes. Now, she not only teaches
a full load but is also curriculum coordinator for the Communications
Department and advisor to the Beta Zeta Chi chapter of the international
honor society, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK).
her fourth as PTKs advisor, she received the Distinguished
Advisor award and the Paragon award for outstanding advisors
at the International Convention. She also received the Horizon
award for new advisors in 2000.
Theta Kappa advisor she established an honors study class.
took the lead in making sure the class would be available to
UNM-LA students for honors credit at main campus,
says Heather Nordquist, vice president of Phi Theta Kappa. Our
group has improved tremendously over the past couple of years
under her tutelage. Maryjanes enthusiasm is contagious.
clearly inspires students. Last year, one of Gieslers
former students emailed to say she was finishing her Ph.D.
wanted to say thank you because she had failed English 101 and
then she took it with me. She said if she had failed it again
she may have just said to heck with it, Giesler says.
We dont educate thousands of students here, but
we see great results.