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New Mexico State University

New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation
College of Engineering

New Mexico AMP Reports and Publications

April 2012- Currents

Announcing the New Mexico AMP Student Research Conference For Fall 2012!!!
The New Mexico AMP Student Research Conference will be held on October 5, 2012, and we welcome student presentations in oral and poster formats. For more information on guidelines for poster and oral presentations for the conference and deadlines for abstracts and oral presentation PPT please visit The pre- and post-conference professional development workshops for community college students will take place on October 4 at 2:30-5:00 p.m. on the day before the conference and on October 6 from 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on the day after the conference. Eligible community college students who attend the three-day events and Institutional Coordinators (ICs) can apply for a conference stipend to defray conference costs. IC’s will be provided applications for students interested in applying for the workshops. The conference registration site is open and can be found by visiting and clicking on Registration. Institutional Coordinators, please disseminate conference information to your students.

Summer Community College Opportunity for Research Experience (SCCORE) Program Selects Participants for Summer 2012:The Summer Community College Opportunity for Research Experience (SCCORE) program selected sixteen (16) students from five (5) New Mexico partner institutions and one South Carolina institution in the South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation (SCAMP) program. The SCCORE program, which will be held from June 4-June 29 at NMSU, provides research opportunities, fosters student success, and assists students in the transition to four-year institutions. Selected for the 2012 SCCORE program are the following: Santa Fe Community College students Brandon Mee (pre-engineering), Erin Mavis (preengineering), and Theresa Garcia (biology); Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute student, Calvin Silas (pre-engineering); Luna Community College students, Justin Smith (engineering technology) and Rachel Ridgeway (physical science); NMSU-Carlsbad students, Priscilla Solis (biology) and Samantha Perez (unclassified with interests in STEM); Doña Ana Community College electronic technology majors, Kami Holguin, Carlos Lozano, Albert Mondragon, and Emmanuel Fonseca; and participants from Voorhees College, Dominique Hinson (biology), Monica Johnson (biology), Thomas Sumter (biology), and Antavius Jones (mathematics).

New Mexico AMP Student Awarded Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship:
Theresa Aragon,
former New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation (New Mexico AMP) student from NMSU, was recently awarded a prestigious fellowship from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). This is the second year in a row that a New Mexico AMP engineering major is a recipient of this competitive award. In April 2011, Gerardo Martinez, Mechanical Engineering major who graduated in May 2011 from NMSU, received the GRFP.

Theresa graduated in December 2011 and is currently enrolled in the Civil Engineering graduate program. Theresa served as a research assistant as an undergraduate to Dr. Brad Weldon, Asst. Professor of Civil Engineering at NMSU, with whom she continues her research in graduate school. In undergraduate school, Theresa was awarded the Civil Engineering Senior Award in Fall 2011, named to the Dean’s List, and recognized as a Crimson Scholar, in addition to receiving seven academic scholarships and participating in several student organizations. She also earned First Place in the Oral Presentation category at the New Mexico AMP 2011 Student Research Conference and presented her research at other national conferences.

Several Bridge to the Doctorate students from the University of New Mexico (UNM) received the GRFP in recent years, including Alex Nereson, Brandi Cron, Juanita Trevino, Angelica Sanchez, and Jeffrey Samson, who was recognized with an Honorable Mention.

New Mexico AMP Partner Institution News:
New Mexico AMP Students Transfer to 4-Year Institutions
Several New Mexico AMP community college students transferred in spring 2012, including two 2011 SCCORE participants, Julian Baeza (DACC to NMSU-Main) and Felipe Garcia (Luna CC to New Mexico 2 Tech). Other transfer students include Jaclyn Smith (NMSU-C to NMSU-Main); Julia Morgan (NMSU-A to NMSU-Main); and Alma Dagones (DACC to NMSU-Main).

UNM Faculty Member Shares On Mentoring and Diversity:
In the following segment, Dr. Diana Northrup, New Mexico AMP Mentor at UNM, shares her inspiring story. Dr. Northrup, Associate Professor of Biology, is mentor to Matt Garcia, who participates in the New Mexico AMP Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) program at UNM. Matt appears at the end of the segment:

Faculty Grant Awards at Northern New Mexico College (NNMC):
The Math Department was awarded a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Foundation grant that funds projects in math classes. The Principal Investigator (PI) is Dr. Claudia Aprea, Asst. Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Science and New Mexico AMP mentor.

Dr. David Torres, Chair of Mathematics and Science and New Mexico AMP IC, is the PI of a NSF Noyce Grant which awards scholarships to STEM majors who also wish to pursue teaching in secondary education.

Dr. Ajit Hira, Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Science, received an appointment as a fellow in the 2012 Office of Naval Research-American Society of Engineering Education (ONRASEE) Summer Faculty Research Program in San Diego, CA in Summer 2012.

NNMC Student Accepted to Purdue University
Christella Lovato, from NNMC, has been accepted into a dual Doctor of Pharmacy/Doctor of Philosophy (PharmD/PhD) program at Purdue University. Christella plans to focus her research on molecular virology for the PhD degree.

Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso Achieves Status
New Mexico University – Ruidoso has achieved Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals, NSTISSI No. 4011 Risk Analysts, CNSSI No. 4016 Entry Level certifications. This makes ENMU-Ruidoso the first and only community college in New Mexico to receive this recognition. The only other institutions in New Mexico with the status are New Mexico Tech, NMSU, and UNM. This makes the institution eligible to submit for the Center of Excellence CAE-Y2, and part of the requirements include shared curriculum with universities and K-12. Achieving this status makes it possible for students to obtain a certification from ENMU-Ruidoso while they are working on their Associates, Bachelor, and or Master’s degree. A great advantage of the ENMU-Ruidoso Computer and Network Security Certification Program is that it will be offered 100% online, which means students will have access from any university they are attending. The INFOSEC certification opens the door for many government jobs.

University of New Mexico-Taos STEM Enrollment Continues to Increase
Dr. Brooke Zanetell, faculty in the Math and Sciences Department at University of New Mexico-Taos (UNM-Taos), reports that student enrollment in STEM courses continues to rise at UNM-Taos, with the Associate of Science the most popular degree program offered. Also, faculty continue to apply for grants to increase STEM recruitment and retention, and that they are actively developing student internships with local governmental agencies, such as the USFS, and organizations such as the Red Willow Sustainable Agriculture Project.

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute Students Gain Internships for Summer 2012
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) Engineering Programs students grabbed the highest number of the 2012 Summer Research Experience positions among the Tribal Colleges nationwide. So far, twelve students have been accepted for internship positions, including Carl Little (NASA AMES); Wallace Dale (NASA JSC); Cody Horne (NASA JSC); Vincent Watkins (NASA AMES and UNM Nano-Micro- Research Group); Keven Blackhorse (NASA KSC); Brandon Ray (USRA MicroBlackbox Transponder Project, AFRI, Albuquerque, NM); Calvin Silas (New Mexico AMP Summer Community College Opportunity for Research Experience (SCCORE) program for the second year); Joshua Begay (Harvard University REU), Albert Cheama, UNM Nano-photonics and ASU Photonics; Noah Billie (UNM Nanophotonics; Xander Horne (ASU Photonics Program); and Alexis Gonzales (National Atomic Museum Summer program). Wallace Dale and Calvin Silas presented at the 2011 New Mexico AMP Student Research Conference and attended the pre- and post-conference Professional Development Workshops.

University Of New Mexico-Los Alamos Offers Robotics Opportunities to STEM Students
University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) offers Robotics and Robotics II as dual-credit classes with Los Alamos High School. Instructor Don Davis helped to organize a team of current and former robotics students at Los Alamos High School to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition, and UNMLA is one of the team’s sponsors. The team traveled to Salt Lake City to the regional portion of the international competition in April. The team’s hoop-shooting robot made it through the quarter finals and on to the semi-finals, where they made it to final round before elimination. They finished 14th of 44, an amazing showing for a brand new team. The team and their robot garnered a number of prestigious awards at the competition.

Two new degree programs, Associate of Science in Robotic Engineering and Associate of Applied Science in Robotic Engineering are coming soon to UNM-LA. Degrees are currently in the approval process at UNM, with plans to begin offering degrees in Fall 2012 or Spring 2013. Topics in Robotics Engineering, a gateway class for the programs, will be offered this fall. With the addition of the two degree programs, students will be able to specialize in robotic engineering. State of the art equipment, including a robotic arm and an intelligent vision camera, are currently being ordered. Intelligent vision cameras allow robots to look at something and recognize what it is.

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