We are heartbroken to share the news that Luke Spangenburg, a valued member of the NM EPSCoR research and education team, passed away earlier this month.
Event Category: Workforce Development
The National Science Foundation has awarded researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM), New Mexico Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NM EPSCoR), and partner institutions a total of $739,619 in research grants to address the under-representation of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines and workforce.
Like most things, our annual summer undergraduate research program, STEM Advancement Program (STEMAP) shifted due to COVID-19 for summer 2020. Instead of placing students on campus to gain in-person research experience, STEMAP moved online and focused on professional development in addition to an online research experience. The 8-week program paired students with a SMART Grid mentor and another student.
We are delighted to announce this year’s NM EPSCoR Mentor Award recipients—Dr. Olga Lavrova and Dr. Ali Bidram. Nominated by their mentees, both of this year’s recipients stand out for their exceptional efforts to build strong professional and interpersonal relationships with students; advance their mentees’ academic, research, and professional goals; and create inclusive environments for diverse students. Please join us in recognizing Dr. Lavrova and Dr. Bidram for their outstanding work in mentoring the students who will define New Mexico’s diverse future workforce.
For ten weeks, University of New Mexico recent Law School graduate, Morgan Johnson, worked for the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) researching energy efficiency initiatives intended to support low-to-moderate income New Mexicans. At the end of her externship, she provided this 'report-out' describing her NM EPSCoR Externship experience. Enjoy!
When UNM ADVANCE announced their Women in STEM awards on June 17th, the NM EPSCoR team was elated to learn that three of the eight women have NM EPSCoR ties.
Ali Bidram, an Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico, is the recipient of the 2020 IEEE Albuquerque Section Outstanding Engineering Educator Award, which recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to the electrotechnology profession through teaching in industry, government or in an institution of higher learning.
In 2005, Heather Canavan was hired as an Assistant Professor by the University of New Mexico’s (UNM) Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering with support from NM EPSCoR through RII2 NM NEW – an award focused on developing nanoscience and hydrology capacity within the state. For Heather, EPSCoR functioned much like a wood brace does for a newly planted tree sapling.
All of our lives have changed in response to the latest pandemic. With respect to EPSCoR, most of us are working from home and are learning how to social-distance, video-conference with colleagues, and use Slack and other tools to maintain some semblance of normality in our workday. Upcoming EPSCoR meetings such as the All Hands Meeting, NSF Reverse Site Visit and, most likely, the New Mexico EPSCoR State Committee Meeting will become virtual—i.e., Zoom conference calls. In short, our way of life has changed, seemingly overnight and we do not yet see the light at the end of the tunnel.
There are roughly 140 team members on this project and ~56% are students. Based on new team member form data, roughly 20% of our students are parents and 47% are first-generation college students. Faculty and postdocs are the second largest group, representing ~26% and technical/non-technical support staff come in third at 18% of the total. Many of these individuals are also parents or caregivers.