September 25, 2019

2019 NM EPSCoR Mentor Award Recipients Announced

Picture of Jay Misra and David Mitchell

Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Misra at 2019 NM EPSCoR SMART Grid Center All Hands Meeting


By Selena Connealy

We are pleased to announce the 2019 NM EPSCoR Mentor Award winners—Dr. David Mitchell and Dr. Satyajayant (Jay) Misra. Both were nominated by mentees and demonstrated characteristics of excellent mentors, including strong professional and interpersonal relationships; working to advance their mentees’ academic, research, and professional goals; and creating inclusive environments for diverse students.

Dr. Mitchell is an Assistant Professor in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at New Mexico State University and a member of the NM SMART Grid Center Networking Research Group. In his nomination letter, mentee and graduate student Andrew Cummins wrote:


His enthusiasm, support for his students and peers, and passion for solving the most difficult and pressing technical problems facing the state are the engine that drives our work toward excellence. Furthermore, his ability to communicate and reach across disciplinary boundaries ensures everyone involved in our project is utilized to the utmost of their abilities and a synergy between technical professionals is cultivated and maintained…. Dr. Mitchell’s research group is composed of individuals from disparate backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, and nationalities. Yet, I have never felt more at home, more welcomed, or more respected on any other team in my 15-year career. 

Dr. Misra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at New Mexico State University, and a co-lead of the NM SMART Grid Center Networking Research Group. Abderrahmen Mtibaa, a SMART Grid Center post doc, credited Dr. Misra for helping him to secure a tenure track position and described him as “a very talented researcher, a good listener, and a wise person.” He recounted how Dr. Misra created a supportive environment for all the students in his lab:


He helped me to reshape my skills, improve my teaching, research, and mentoring, and advised me to build and succeed in my career…. His lab has on average more than 10 students a year, including undergraduate, master, and doctorate students. He spends the time to meet all of them individually and in weekly group meeting and advises them on their research projects, coursework, and personal careers.

A hearty congratulations to these two excellent mentors! We are grateful for your contribution to the NM SMART Grid Center through both research and mentoring excellence.

Nominations for the 2020 NM EPSCoR Mentoring Award will open in Spring 2020.

Past recipients of the NM EPSCoR Mentor Award: Dr. Michael Heagy, Professor and Department Chair, Chemistry Department, New Mexico Tech; Dr. Jose Cerrato, Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, University of New Mexico; Martin Kirk, Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of New Mexico; Dr. Catherine Brewer, Assistant Professor, Chemical & Materials Engineering, New Mexico State University; and Dr. Juchao Yan, Professor of Chemistry, Physical Sciences Department, Eastern New Mexico University.