2019 Jumpstart Workshop Organizers, Speakers, Facilitators (DACC).
Meet the organizers, speakers and facilitators of our inaugural Jumpstart Grantsmanship Workshop in Las Cruces, NM.
Meet the organizers, speakers and facilitators of our inaugural Jumpstart Grantsmanship Workshop in Las Cruces, NM.
Dr. Bleu Knight has diversified STEM at New Mexico State University over the last four years through coordinating research education activities for the Student Training & Research through United Partnerships (STARTUP) component of the Minority Biomedical Research Support Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement program. Prior to that, she spent two years developing and teaching undergraduate curricula comprising professional development activities, scientific writing, and ethics training for underrepresented undergraduate students interested in neuroscience research careers (participants in the NIH BLUEPRINT_ENDURE Neuroscience Research Program) at NMSU. Her research uses transcriptomics to illuminate programs that underlie developmental and transformative biological processes.
Christine Velez is a Senior Evaluator with more than 23 years of experience in program evaluation. For most of her career, Christine’s work and interests have been focused on housing, education and work with vulnerable populations. As a first generation Latina and native Spanish speaker, Christine’s work with monolingual Spanish speaking communities is invaluable to ensuring evaluation is inclusive of the Latino experience. For the span of her career, she has conducted interviews and focus groups with a range of Spanish speaking stakeholders such as child care providers, parents, the business community and elected officials. Her areas of expertise also include designing and managing databases, synthesizing and analyzing quantitative data, geographic mapping and social network analysis.
Dr. Delia Valles-Rosales is Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at NMSU, where she received her Ph.D. She is originally from Mexico. Her research uses nature to inspire the development of innovative manufacturing processes, new processes of biomass utilization in the plastic industry, and models and algorithms for system optimization in agriculture, industry, and service areas. Dr. Valles-Rosales has been investigating various biomass resources as fibers to be coupled with polymers for fulfilling the need of new applications. Her research has studied the effect of materials and particle size on the mechanical properties represented by tensile, bending, impact resistance, and water absorption properties. Dr. Valles-Rosales is currently the NMSU Director of the Wheels of Change: A Consortium to Develop Champions in Agriculture in the Areas of Sustainable Energy and Natural Resource Management Program funded by USDA.
I’m Diana V.T. Dugas, NMSU’s CyberInfrastructure Architect and a trained plant geneticist, who shifted into bioinformatics. My first scientific loves were plant microRNAs, which were recognized the same year I started my PhD work at Rice University. They planted my love for all nucleotides, specifically RNA. Most recently, I worked with the plant species Leucaena to explore the transcriptome with Donovan Bailey here at NMSU. I have used various HPC/HTCs (High Performance Computer/High Throughput Computer), specifically Stampede and Bridges, both XSEDE resources. I am in the process of becoming an XSEDE Campus Champion, which means I can help familiarize you with the XSEDE resources and get you set up on the systems. My mission in this grant-funded position is to bring more attention and resources to the need for computational support for researchers on campus, and I answer directly to NMSU’s CIO. I am here to help researchers decrease technological and computational boundaries in their research, by improving access to both local and national HPC/HTCs, support granting activities, and being a general resource for campus researchers. My position was created to give researchers a louder voice on campus with regards to services and support to aid in research.
Dr. Donavan Bailey: As evolutionary biologists focused on plant systems, my students and I are actively engaged in researching the evolutionary relationships among taxa, patterns of speciation and diversification, and the development of informative classifications. Over the last ten years these interests have focused increasingly on homoploid and polyploid plant hybridization as important forms of plant-plant and plant-human evolutionary interactions in both wild and semi-domesticated plant species. The variety of topics researched in my lab are selected to engage graduate and undergraduate students in aspects of molecular biology, integrative evolutionary biology, and plant taxonomy, with primary focus on members of the mustard and legume plant families (Brassicaceae and Fabaceae). These systems include numerous western US and Mexican representatives, important semi-domesticated crop species, and endangered species that provide well-rounded projects involving studies derived from fieldwork, molecular biology, and morphology
Edmundo Medina is the Graduate Assistant of HSI STEM HUB.
Dr. Elba Serrano, NMSU Regent’s Professor, earned her Ph.D. in biological sciences from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Rochester. Her laboratory investigates brain therapeutics that target neuroglia cells, sensory disorders of hearing and balance, and neurogenetics. At the national level, Dr. Serrano is a prominent contributor to the development of policy for STEM research and workforce development. She has served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins and as co‐Chair of the NIH ACD Working Group on Diversity. Dr. Serrano is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and her achievements in promoting student success have been recognized with a SACNAS Distinguished Mentor Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Distinguished Mentor Award, and a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring in Science, Engineering, and Math.
Jon Juarez is a New Mexico State University Regents Professor and Chair of the Computer Information and Technology Department at Dona Ana Community College. He has authored eight database application textbooks published by McGraw-Hill. He serves as co-chair of the New Mexico Collegiate Business Articulation Consortium, board member of the New Mexico Association for Career and Technical Education, and member of NMSU College of Engineering Information Technology Degree Advisory Committee. He has served as the New Mexico Coordinator of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. His career spans 30 years as a faculty member including 15 years as Department Chair and 20 years as a Cisco Certified Networking Academy Instructor.
Dr. Jorge Iniguez earned a Ph.D. in Biological sciences from UC Irvine, and an undergraduate degree in cell and molecular biology from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). He has served as an instructor at CSUN and Pasadena City College (PCC). Dr. Iniguez is improving student success by providing research opportunities at PCC. His peer-reviewed publications facilitated a partnership with CSUN that brought the NIH BUILD PODER program to the biology department at PCC. He has received over $90,000 in scholarships and fellowships and plans to use his persuasive writing skills to provide additional funding for the project. He has experience working with students from diverse backgrounds and is committed to providing equitable access for all students to achieve personal development, critical thinking, information literacy and literacy competence.
Karen Garcia graduated from CSUN with her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology. During her last 2 years, she was accepted into the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) program and is where she met Dr. Zavala and became interested in research. She went on to work in a lab at CSUN and was accepted to the UCSD STARS Program twice as a summer intern. She just applied for her Masters in Clinical Psychology and hopes to get her Ph.D. in clinical health psychology and work with cancer patients in the Latino community.
NMSU Regents Professor Dr. Luis A. Vázquez served as interim vice president for research from 2016-2018. From 2007-2011, he served as associate dean of NMSU’s Graduate School. From 2001-2007, he served as department head in Counseling and Educational Psychology in the College of Education. In 2006, Vázquez was selected as a Regents Professor. He served as an associate professor in Counseling and Educational Psychology from 1999-2005, being promoted to full professor in 2005. Vázquez holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Illinois State, a master’s in counseling and human development from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, also from the University of Iowa. Vázquez served as an assistant professor for graduate programs in the Division of Counselor Education from 1993-1995 and was a senior staff psychologist in the University Counseling Service from 1990-1993 at the University of Iowa.
Dr. MariaElena Zavala has been a professor at CSUN for the last 30 years, where she has pioneered the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) and Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) diversity programs for STEM. She earned her undergraduate degree in Botany from Pomona College and her PhD in Botany from UC Berkeley. Dr. Zavala’s research focuses on the developmental regulation of plants. She served as president of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and was elected to the ASPB Executive Committee. Her achievements in research and mentoring have been recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering, the CSU Trustee Faculty award, and her societal appointments as a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society for Plant Biology, and American Society for Cell Biology.
Dr. Martha Desmond is a Regents Professor at NMSU in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology. She received her BA in Environmental Studies from Wells College and MS and PhD In wildlife ecology from the University of Nebraska where she studied burrowing owl population ecology. She completed an NSF International Postdoctoral Fellowship working with the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua and Texas A&M. Her avian ecology research focuses on birds in grassland and aridland systems as well as urban environments. While working in the border region, she became interested in educational programs for diverse communities. Educational programs that she has developed have mentored thousands of students locally and nationally across natural resource fields, working collaboratively with federal agencies on the development of diverse workforces.
Dr. Monica Torres oversees the planning, development and implementation of educational programs at Dona Ana Community College. She works collaboratively with deans, division directors, department chairs and program directors to meet the needs of a diverse community of learners at the community college and the community at large. Dr. Torres has also previously served as an assistant professor, associate professor and department head at NMSU’s Department of English. There, she taught classes, advised graduate students and performed research. As department head she oversaw the operation of the department including curricular, teaching and administrative functions. Torres has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from NMSU. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in American Studies with an emphasis in Cultural Studies.
Dr. NeiI Harvey: I am PI on a NSF Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) grant from 2017 to 2020 focusing on the nature and impacts of immigration policy on migrants and residents of border communities in the southern NM, El Paso, Ciudad Juarez region.
Raena Cota received a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. She received an M.S. in Biology from Northern Arizona University. She has worked at New Mexico State University since 2012. Her first position at NMSU was in the Biology Department as the Outreach Scientist for the NMSU-HHMI Precollege Program. In August of 2014, she joined the Computer Science Department to become the GK-12 Program Coordinator. Since joining the CS department she has managed multiple K-12 outreach and professional development programs including DISSECT (Discover Science Through Computational Thinking), Young Women in Computing, Verizon Innovative Learning, and the CompThink! PD program for middle and high school teachers. She works to advocate CS education in the local community, including the Las Cruces Public School district, and statewide as part of the New Mexico Computer Science Teacher’s Association (NM-CSTA). She became the SW Connector for the Computing Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI) in February 2019.
Sarah MacCallum has worked as a Grants and Contracts Administrator for New Mexico State University for three years. She thrives on the deadline-driven pressure of submitting proposals and longs for Fridays where she can (hopefully) catch up from the chaos of the past week. As part of the Research Administration Services team, she plays an integral role in supporting the University’s goals and doing her best to make the PI’s job easier by helping them to garner funding and manage their awards. As an alumni of NMSU, she graduated with a Masters of Accountancy and worked as an Accountant in Denver, CO and Las Cruces for 14 years. A confirmed homebody, she enjoys reading, baking, and knitting for her friends and family.
Dr. Sonya Cooper is a Regents Professor and Interim Dean in the College of Health and Social Services (CHSS) at NMSU. She has been a member of the Engineering Colllege department over 25 years, serving as department head and associate dean before joining CHSS. In addition to the college academic administrative duties, she teaches courses in civil engineering topics and serves as co-advisor for student organizations. She is very active in the community and state as a board member of non-profit organizations and practicing engineer for structural and historic preservation projects across the country. Dr. Cooper has held officer positions in state and national professional societies and education committees, and has served as a national engineering accreditation commissioner and evaluator.
Susan Wood earned her BA in Russian from the University of Utah in 1988, her MA in Linguistics with an emphasis in TESOL in 1990, also from the University of Utah, and her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from NMSU in 2012. Susan directed ESL Programs at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts and at UTEP. She has worked at Doña Ana Community College since 1996 in various capacities: as an English faculty member, the college’s assessment coordinator, the self-study editor for the 2008 and 2014 HLC accreditation self-studies, and the chair of the English Department. Susan is currently serving as the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. Her permanent position is as the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs overseeing assessment and accreditation at DACC. Susan is also i the HLC Accreditation Liaison Officer. Dr. Wood has experience with the Higher Learning Commission as both a mentor in the HLC Persistence and Completion Academy and as a peer-reviewer. She has served on several HLC teams for both AQIP and Pathway reviews. Dr. Wood has been the conference chair of the New Mexico Higher Education Assessment Conference since 2014 and is a member of the New Mexico Education Assessment Association Board. She also served on the board for the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education from 2010 to 2013.
JoAnne Dupre is the Manager, Biosafety/Export Control at New Mexico State University.
Resource for Hispanic Serving Institutions that promotes collaborations for STEM research education, develops research capacity, and enhances STEM pedagogy.
Department of Biology | NMSU
PO Box 30001, MSC 3AF
Las Cruces, NM 88003
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