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.
Event Category: Workforce Development
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.
New Mexico EPSCoR is committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion. We strive to establish an environment that exemplifies and promotes diversity of all types (individual, institutional, geographic, and disciplinary).
At last year's annual All Hands Meeting for the NM SMART Grid Center, we charged our team members to come up with ideas of what they could do personally to engage a wide diversity of students at their institutions. Here are a few more ideas that continue the overarching themes of “Involve. Encourage. Engage.”
Who has been a part of NM EPSCoR the longest? The answer may surprise you.
The NM SMART Grid Center is pleased to announce the most recent faculty hire for the project: Frank Currie, who is leading development of the Smart- and Micro-grid Training Center at Santa Fe Community College (SFCC). Within this role, Frank will spearhead development of the Distributed Energy Systems Program, an AAS and AS degree program specializing in smart grid and microgrid systems technician training.
“I am excited to build the program I wish had existed when I started school,” Frank said.
In 2012, I was working as Education Coordinator for the Valles Caldera Trust, a small experimental federal agency charged with managing the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP) in the Jemez Mountains. New in my position, I had taken it upon myself to overhaul VCNP education efforts and establish a tiered education program offering place-based STEM field trips to local k-12 students.
What do you get when you combine 19 education institutions, nearly 50 posters, and 150 attendees? The 2019 New Mexico Research Symposium hosted in collaboration with the New Mexico Academy of Science (NMAS)!