Diversity and inclusion are a key component of Energize New Mexico's success. In Year 4, the Diversity Team updated the Diversity Strategic Plan by revising goals to be more ambitious, having met two of the three primary diversity targets ahead of schedule. One of the main goals—50% representation by women and underrepresented minorities in all supported programs—was met for the third consecutive year, with 55% female or under-represented minority participants.
Recognizing the work of NM EPSCoR faculty & graduate students
The NM EPSCoR Mentoring Award is designed by the Diversity Team to recognize two NM EPSCoR participants who not only build relationships with students and support their academic, research, and career endeavors, but also work to create inclusive environments for our diverse students. NM EPSCoR believes mentors go over and beyond for their students. We know mentors are not only vital to student growth and development, but also essential to the retention of students in STEM fields. On Thursday, April 27th at our All Hands Meeting, we recognized two faculty members who exemplify these roles with the inaugural NM EPSCoR Mentoring Award.
Dr. José Cerrato is from the small country of Honduras where he shared that formal science wasn’t readily available for students. Now, he is the lead investigator of the Uranium research group at the University of New Mexico. He was nominated by his mentor Dr. Abdulmehdi Ali and students Sumant Avasarala and Carmen Adela Velasco Rivera.
Dr. Michael Heagy (bottom) hails from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and has been a New Mexican for 20 years. He is part of the Solar Energy Team at New Mexico Tech and a key reason for the success of our STEM Advancement Program. He was nominated by his student Hanqing Pan.
Reflecting New Mexico's general population in the STEM population
Natives in STEM is a program that was co-founded by NM EPSCoR and the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES) to increase the visibility and belonging of Native people in the STEM community. This year, Natives in STEM completed a website (www.nativesinstem.org) that hosts six professional profiles. An additional 11 profiles have been created and will be added to the site. Profile videos are also in the works for Year 5.
Additionally, project outreach has expanded. For the first time, Natives in STEM collaborated with the New Mexico Tribal Libraries Program, Explora Science Center, and the NASA Astrobiology Program to host STEM events in three Navajo communities. Read more impacts of Natives in STEM here.