Las Cruces – A 2007 graduate of the NMSU criminal justice program, Elise Larsen, was elected Grants Municipal Judge in the March 2 city election.
Larsen is the first Distance Education graduate from Cibola County to earn her bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
"Elise's accomplishment is a demonstration of her willingness to conscientiously engage her education and to couple the skills she honed in the Online Bachelor of Criminal Justice Program with her own work ethic," said James Maupin, criminal justice department head.
Larsen previously worked as a legal assistant in the 13th Judicial District Attorney's Office in Grants for eight years handling a case load in the felony division.
"She aspires to attend law school in the future, but for now, this is a wonderful step in her career," said her mother, Beth Armstead, who serves as vice president for Student Services on the NMSU-Grants campus. "I attribute her work experience and her degree from NMSU as two major factors of her winning this election."
Maupin said the faculty in the criminal justice department work hard to provide high-quality university education experiences to the online students. He said the goal is to provide the framework within which students can develop the knowledge base and critical thinking skills enabling them to attain their potential.
"What a wonderful example of the opportunities through Distance Education," Armstead said. "Thank you [Dr. Maupin] for your role in this degree program being obtainable through Distance Education."
Larsen will be sworn in at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 5.