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New Mexico State University

New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation
College of Engineering

New Mexico AMP Reports and Publications

January/February 2013 - Currents

Announcing the New Mexico AMP Student Research Conference For Fall 2013!!
The New Mexico AMP Student Research Conference will be held on October 4, 2013, and we welcome student
presentations in oral and poster formats. Registration for the conference will open on April , 1 2013. To register at
that time, please visit click on Registration. The pre- and post-conference professional development workshops for community college students will take place on Thursday, October 3
from 2:30-5:00 p.m. on the day before the conference and on Saturday, October 5 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
to distribute to students interested in applying for the workshops. Institutional Coordinators, please disseminate
conference information to your students

2013 Summer Community College Opportunity for Research Experience (SCCORE)
Applications are available for the 2013 Summer Community College Opportunity for Research
Experience (SCCORE) program. The program, which will be held from Monday, June 3-June 28 at NMSU,
provides research opportunities, fosters student success, and assists students in the transition to four-year institutions.
IC’s will be provided applications to disseminate to qualified students. For more information, contact Jeanne Garland
at 575.646.5212 or

New Mexico AMP Students Transfer to 4-Year Institutions, Three New Mexico AMP community college students
from Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) transferred in spring 2013, including one 2012 SCCORE participant, Calvin Silas, who transferred to New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Mechanical Engineering. Other SIPI transfers
include Joshua Begay, who transferred to the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Mechanical Engineering, and
Albert Cheama, who transferred to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) in Mechanical Engineering.

New Mexico AMP Partner Institution News:
Luna Community College:

Rachel Ridgeway, former SCCORE participant, was recognized and received an award for induction into the All-State Academic Team at the NM Legislature (Roundhouse) in Santa Fe on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, National Community College Day. She will receive a full transfer scholarship to any New Mexico four-year institution to finish out her undergraduate degree. Rachel will graduate from Luna Community College this coming May and plans to attend
NMSU in fall 2013.

New Mexico State University
Four New Mexico State University (NMSU) Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) program students presented posters at the 2013 Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in STEM from February 28th-March 2nd, 2013 in Washington, D.C., including Amber Medina (Physics), Michael Carlock (Industrial Engineering), Cristina Villa
(Industrial Engineering), and Mercedes Maldonado (Mechanical Engineering/Aerospace).
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Education and Human Resources Programs (EHR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are hosting this Conference. The objectives of the conference are to help undergraduate and graduate students to enhance their science communication skills and to better understand how to prepare for science careers in a global workforce.

New Mexico Technical Instiute of Mining and Technology:
The New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers (NMSPE) honored New Mexico AMP Undergraduate Research Assistant (URA) Miquela Trujillo as the Engineering Student of the Year on Friday, February 22, 2013 in Albuquerque. The NMSPE provides the award to engineering students from the three New Mexico research universities each year at its annual banquet. In addition, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and New Mexico AMP Faculty Mentor, Dr. Nadir Yilmaz, won the Young Engineer of the Year Award. Miquela, who is from Espanola, NM, completed two internships at Los Alamos National Laboratory and also participated in the competitive Summer Research Opportunity Program at the University of Michigan in the summer of 2012, where she conducted experiments on the performance of shapememory alloys. She has been accepted into three doctoral programs, including the University of Illinois. Her goal is to earn a Ph.D. one day, with focused research in thermal fluids.

Northern New Mexico College
Elisha Herrera, former NNMC URA, recently accepted a supervisory position as Department Manager at Los Alamos National Lab (LANL). Elisha earned the Associate’s in Applied Science in May 2000 from NNMC in Waste Resources Management, graduating Magna Cum Laude. As a URA at NNMC, Elisha focused on a project entitled "Nonlinear Dynamics and Chemical Chaos" in Spring 2003, with faculty mentor Dr. Ajit Hira. She earned the B.S. degree from the College of Santa Fe in 2007 and an M.S. in Health Physics, from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2010.

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
Wendi Cole and previous SCCORE participant, Calvin Silas, were recognized and received awards as they were inducted into the All-State Academic Team at the NM Legislature (Roundhouse) in Santa Fe on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, National Community College Day. For the award, they received full transfer scholarships to any New Mexico four-year institution to finish out their undergraduate degrees. Calvin graduated from SIPI in fall 2012 in the first graduating class of pre-engineering programs and transferred to NMSU in spring 2013. Wendi Cole was also nominated for the USA Today’s All USA Academic Team and will graduate from the SIPI pre-engineering program in fall 2013, with plans to transfer to UNM in engineering. Joshua Begay and Albert Cheama finished up their studies at SIPI and have transferred to New Mexico four-year institutions (see details in this issue of Currents).

Western New Mexico University
Dr. Manda Jost, Professor of Biology at Western New Mexico University (WNMU), is Principal Investigator (PI) of an NSF Research and Primary Undergraduate Institution (RUI) grant entitled “Exploring Unknown Diversity of Short Peptide Neurotoxins and Prey Targets of Provisioning Spider Wasps (Pompilidae) of New Mexico” ($273 K over 3 Yrs., from 2/1/12 to 1/31/15.). The grant will focus on animal neurotoxins, which are of broad interest due to their potential medical
value in treating human health conditions, including pain, epilepsy, stroke, and some cardiovascular disorders. Additional seminal discoveries in neuroscience emerged from structure/function studies of nervous system proteins, such as sodium channels, and how they are affected by natural neurotoxins. This project will enhance research infrastructure via partial
funding for shared-use molecular biology instrumentation and provide new opportunities for undergraduate participants to gain experience and training in research techniques used in molecular biology and analytical chemistry. Data generated by the project will be deposited into public databases, including NCBI/GenBank, UniProt, and PRIDE (EMBL-EBI).