A Reflection on the 2020 STEM Advancement Program

STEM Advancement Program student Stormy Valenzuela NM EPSCoR, higher education, New Mexico, STEM
Sara Pichette August 26, 2020

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. Together, they focused on a smart grid-related topic that cumulated with online oral and poster presentations.

STEMAP supports students from higher education institutions, like 2- and 4-year colleges, across the state. The goal is to introduce students to research experience and opportunities in NM’s research institutions. The ultimate goal is to encourage baccalaureate degree completion and future graduate education. This summer's 12-student cohort was comprised of students from Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU), Navajo Technical University (NTU), New Mexico State University-Carlsbad (NMSU-Carlsbad), Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), and University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM-LA). Students received a stipend and three credits from NMSU for their work and participation in STEMAP.

Each week was themed with corresponding activities, webinars, and skills on the topic which included "How to Conduct Research," "Team Science," and "How to Read an Academic Paper," to name a few. Additional weekly programming included webinars with NM SMART Grid Center and private industry professionals and students, a virtual Python Software Carpentry workshop, Statistics and Probability workshops, and various mentor-directed tasks. Needless to say, our STEMAP students were very busy this summer.

Thank you to all who helped make STEMAP 2020 successful, it truly takes a village.

STEMAP Organizers:

Laura Boucheron, NMSU

Selena Connealy, NM EPSCoR

Sara Patricolo, NMSU

Sara Pichette, NM EPSCoR

Technical Mentors:

Ali Bidram, UNM

Huiping Cao, NMSU

Tuan Le, NMSU

Jay Misra, NMSU

Roopa Vishwanathan, NMSU

Jun Zheng, NMT

Python Software Carpentry Instructors:

Karl Benedict, UNM

Nitin Bhandari, UNM

Rita Kuo, NMT

Mark Servilla, UNM

Jon Wheeler, UNM

Seminar Speakers and Presenters:

Ada Ramoko, NMSU

Alex Marchi, LANL

Anne Jakle, NM EPSCoR

Ansel Blumenthal, UNM

Bill Gannon, UNM

Bill Kipnis, Siemens

Binod Poudel, UNM

Brittney Van Der Werff, NM EPSCoR

Chelsea Lester, NMSU

David Irvin, NMSU

David Mitchell, NMSU

Dimitrios Sikeridis, UNM

Heather Tylka, WSMR

Jacqueline Waite, NM EMNRD

Jesse Kaczmarski, UNM

Karen Sanchez, Exxon Mobil

Laura Tabor, NM EMNRD

Marcello Pomponi, Siemens

Rudy Montoya, UNM

Rusty Nail, NMSU

Tony Garcia, NMSU

Stay tuned! Applications for next year’s STEM Advancement Program will open early 2021.