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New Mexico State University

New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation
College of Engineering

New Mexico AMP Reports and Publications

May 2010 - Currents

Institutional Coordinator Profile: Karla Melendez Bush is the Institutional Coordinator at Albuquerque’s Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), formerly known as Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute (TVI). CNM is the largest postsecondary institution in the state of New Mexico in terms of enrollment. Karla has been the Institutional Coordinator (IC) at CNM for the past four (4) years and has taught biology at CNM for six (6) years. In addition to her classes at CNM, she teaches chemistry and physics at Cibola High School and serves as Adjunct Faculty at UNM-Valencia. Karla earned the B.S. degree in biology and the B.A. in chemistry from the University of New Mexico in 1997, where she also earned the Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences in 2003. Her research interests are in the area of breast cancer. In addition to Karla’s busy teaching schedule, she is working on a Master’s in Secondary Education at UNM in the Dept. of Education. For recreation (when time allows!!), Karla enjoys reading novels, and she is currently training to run in the Duke City Marathon in September 2010, which will be her fifth marathon!! Her husband, Gary Bush, is a teaching laboratory supervisor in the Department of Chemistry at UNM. They have a son who will be celebrating his first birthday this month and a sixteen year-old daughter who is currently on a mission trip with Operation Smile. In previous years, Karla has selected some of our most outstanding STEM students for the Summer Community College Opportunity for Research Experience (SCCORE) program as well as the New Mexico AMP Student Research Conference, and she consistently disseminates STEM opportunities to faculty and students. We appreciate your hard work and service to students at CNM, Karla. Your diligence and willingness to serve New Mexico AMP in the midst of such a demanding schedule is inspiring!!

Kimberly Hall of Western New Mexico University (WMNU) will participate in an intensive, 10-week summer research experience in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Training in the Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease (MBID) program at the University of Texas at Houston. In the program, each student is given his/her own project, working alongside graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, and faculty. Dr. Hung Ton- That, Kimberly’s assigned mentor in the program, has research interests in the molecular assembly on the cell surface of Gram-positive bacteria, bacterial pathogenesis, and host-pathogen interactions. The program trains three Ph.D. students and eight undergraduate summer research students per year. We congratulate Kimberly on this accomplishment and forward to hearing about her research experience when she returns!.

Sequoia Romero, Luna Community College (Luna CC) STEM student, recently built a tornado machine run from a 2.5 horsepower engine that is helping students at the Luna Community College understand the forces one would see in a real tornado. Sequoia, who has an electronic engineering degree from ITT Tech in Albuquerque, is taking pre-requisite classes in computer engineering at Luna CC. His work experience includes a position with Boeing Research Labs, and his career goal is to teach science and engineering at Luna CC someday.

Four New Mexico State University-Doña Ana Community College (NMSU-DACC) students and one faculty member attended the National Security Technology Conference hosted by NMSU's Arrowhead Center on March 2- 4, 2010. The students learned a great deal from the conference and reaffirmed their intent to pursue their Bachelor's degree in the STEM fields. In addition, on March 19th and 20th, DACC Computer and Information Technology faculty and students participated in a two-day Cyber Security Awareness training presented by Texas A & M's Engineering Extension Service. As a stakeholder in A & M's V-Tech grant, DACC will be providing their students with remote-access Firewall training using A & M's case scenario curriculum and equipment.

NMSU Undergraduate Research Assistants (URA) Program Coordinator Carolyn Cadena and URAs Austin Chavez and S-STEM-URA Stephen Garland joined the NMSU Associated Students of NMSU, ROJO Apparel, Feed My Starving Children, and other volunteer groups in the "Big Meal Packing Event" to assist with the feeding of victims of the Haitian earthquake. In the effort, participants packaged more than 100,000 meals. Volunteers worked in shifts to package the life-saving meals that contained rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables, vitamins, and minerals and cost 17 cents each. Ms. Cadena added the service-learning module to the URA workshop schedule to encourage students to think more broadly about ways they can use their talents and abilities as an outreach to serve others. Before the event, URAs were provided a presentation by Jose Rodriquez, NMSU graduate and owner of ROJO Apparel, a charitable-based business with a mission of helping those facing extreme poverty. After Rodriguez graduated from NMSU in Dec. 2008 with degrees in finance and economics, he moved to northern New Mexico to pursue a career at Los Alamos National Laboratory. However, he decided to abandon the security of a government job and pursue his dream of owning his own business. ROJO Apparel offers clothing for sale through its online shop, and with each sale, 50 nutritionally-based meals are distributed to impoverished communities in Zimbabwe, with more than 4,100 meals distributed already.

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