Laura Crossey Receives WSE IMPACT! Award

Natalie Rogers October 23, 2015

At NM EPSCoR we were thrilled to hear the news that Dr. Laura Crossey was honored by the New Mexico Network for Women in Science & Engineering with the annual IMPACT! Award. Laura is the co-lead for our Geothermal component, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. Not only does Laura teach at UNM and do field research, she works as a mentor for students in both a university setting and for K-12 STEM programs around the state. She knows how to inspire non-traditional and underrepresented students to pursue STEM education and careers. Laura is often a friendly face at almost all our NM EPSCoR events since I started with the organization over 5 years ago. Her work in the Valles Caldera remains some of the most thorough, and her work in the Grand Canyon has received national attention. From all of us here at NM EPSCoR, congrats to you, Laura! No one deserves recognition for their hard work more than you.

The following is an excerpt from a press release by the NM Network for Women in Science & Engineering (NMNWSE). Read the full press release PDF here. For more information on NMNWSE, visit their website at

The New Mexico Network for Women in Science in Engineering (NMNWSE) is proud to honor Laura Crossey, Professor and Chair of the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque with the Ninth Annual IMPACT! Award. The award is given to a New Mexico woman for her extraordinary efforts in encouraging and helping women enter and succeed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as well as promoting networking and communication among women in these careers.

Laura is being recognized for her extraordinary 30-year mentoring effort encompassing directly mentoring over 100 undergraduate and graduate student mentees in her own discipline, as well as playing a leading role in local and statewide K-12 through graduate level STEM support programs, served on the NM Governor’s committee to establish Science Standards, and helping the University of New Mexico to develop policies and programs that support inclusive participation and success in STEM across the campus improving the college experience for thousands of students, not to mention volunteering her time as a Science Fair Judge, Coach, PTA President, and Soccer referee.

With a special focus on Hispanic and Native American students, Laura brings them into research by finding a project for them near where they grew up, “an incredibly smart and insightful approach” which allows the student (and their community) “to understand completely that science is right where they grew up, that they can study the dirt they played in, the rocks they found, and the mountains they climbed,” as noted by Maggie Werner-Washburne, past president of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

Brandi Cron Kamermans, one of the students Laura mentored, states: "In the last eight years I have become a scientist, and it would not have been possible without Dr. Crossey’s support”, adding that she is pursing a PhD because “Dr. Crossey’s mentoring inspired me and effectively prepared me for doctoral study. I saw her do this for many students – each one taking a unique path in their education.” Brandi adds that “Dr. Crossey helped me see that science and my Navajo tradition are not necessarily so separate, and that is one of many important wisdoms Dr. Crossey offers her students.” Laura has truly made an IMPACT!