By Mesalands Community College

Paul Leonard, a native of Tucumcari, N.M., joins Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari as the faculty member of the Farrier Science Department.

Leonard holds an associate’s degree and has more than 20 years of experience as a farrier. He’s also a U.S. Navy veteran.

Leonard says his top concern is the importance of safety for his students, as well as the humane treatment of animals. Leonard says he has a good concept of animal health and well-being and recognizes sickness in cattle and horses. Leonard says he hopes his students will be able to take what they learn in class and use it in their future careers.

Eddy Mardis, a 9-year veteran faculty member, is leaving the Farrier Science Department to become the silversmithing faculty member at Mesalands.

Mardis has two bachelor’s degrees and more than 20 years of teaching experience. Mardis and Natalie Gillard, vice president of Academic Affairs, began the silversmithing program at Mesalands in 2008. This program offers hands-on creative experience in custom designing, fabricating and engraving. As a nationally recognized engraver and spur maker, Mardis understands the knowledge and hands-on welding skills students acquire in this program. He says these skills equip students for a variety of career opportunities.

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