URS Fall 2015 Student Profiles – NMSU

Photo of Andres Alvarez
Andres Alvarez
Major: Civil Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Douglas Cortes, Assistant Professor,Department of Civil Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

My major is Civil Engineering—I plan on specializing in structural or geotechnical engineering. I chose this major because in high school I worked for the school’s maintenance technician. Since then, I have been interested in construction. As of now, I am working on my Bachelor of Science (B.S.). My anticipated date of graduation is Fall 2016. I decided to come to New Mexico State University because of its high engineering programs. I have participated in the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation program as an Undergraduate Research Scholar (URS) since summer of 2014. This program has helped my academic and professional goals because I have worked in a lab alongside professionals in the geotechnical and environmental research fields.

Additionally, I am involved in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) by being the ASCE Vice-President of Operations, and the Steel Bridge Co-captain. The Steel Bridge Team has improved my structural engineering skills by allowing me to practice on designing and building different steel bridges. Looking toward the future, I will have a Bridge Inspection Co-op, which will allow me to utilize my skills and increase my experience in structural Civil Engineering. Furthermore, upon completion of my undergraduate studies, I plan to go to graduate school for a Master’s of Science (M.S.).

Photo of Luis A. Barrera
Luis A. Barrera
Major: Engineering Physics-Aerospace Faculty Mentor: Dr. Stefan Zollner, Department Head,Department of Physics, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I am currently double majoring in Physics and Engineering Physics with a concentration in Aerospace Engineering, and also pursuing a supplementary major in Mathematics and a minor in Materials. I am involved with SEPh (Society of Engineering Physicists), SPS (Society of Physics Students), and ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), and am an avid participant in intramural sports. I am also a President’s Associates’ Scholar and engineering ambassador.

Since I was a child, I have always taken joy in disassembling everyday things in order to learn how they work and brainstorm ways to make them better or more efficient. As I progressed in school, I found a love for math and physics that only strengthened my resolve to pursue research in which I could utilize my talents and work towards reaching my goal of working on cutting-edge technology. Through the New Mexico AMP Undergraduate Research Assistantship Program (URA) I have had the chance to further this goal by working with Dr. Zollner and gaining the experience necessary to be competitive in my pursuit of graduate school. I hope to continue with the AMP URA program for the rest of my undergraduate schooling and advance my knowledge and skills of materials science in order to get into graduate school and eventually work in research and development.

Photo of Joshua Catanach
Joshua Catanach
Major: Chemical Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Hongmei Luo, Associate Professor,Department of Chemical and Material Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

 As an undergraduate in the Chemical and Material Engineering (CHME) Department at New Mexico State University, I have had countless opportunities to challenge myself. Academically, I have put great effort into maintaining a 3.91 GPA, which has allowed me to be a member of The College of Engineering Dean’s List and a Crimson Scholar. Outside of academics, I have also had many opportunities to gain invaluable experience that I will be able to use throughout my career, including several semesters of research through the NM AMP URS program, two unique internships with ExxonMobil, and several leadership positions within the CHME Department. I hope to take the knowledge and experience that I have gained through these opportunities to solve challenging, real-world problems.

I plan to Graduate with my BS in Chemical Engineering in May 2016, and I have accepted a job with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering in Paulsboro, New Jersey. I am excited to utilize the skills and knowledge that I have acquired at New Mexico State University through my academics and through programs like the URS to succeed in the workplace.

Photo of Eduardo Davila
Eduardo Davila
Major: Civil Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Pei Xu, Assistant Professor,Department of Civil and Geological Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I was born in El Paso, Texas but I was raised in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. I am the only American citizen in my family so I had the opportunity of coming to New Mexico State University to study Civil Engineering. I became interested in engineering when I got this amazing summer job working at an adobe producing company. I liked the job so much that I decided to pursue a civil engineering degree. In addition to my studies, I am the chapter President of the Civil Engineering Honors Society, Chi Epsilon. My expected graduation date is December 2016 and after that, I plan to attend graduate school.

My current research is about the treatment of produced water and hydraulic fracturing flowback water using granular activated carbon biofilters. I find this research tremendously important due to the huge business of oil and natural gas extraction in this country. I am excited to discover if this research will help ease the treatment of produced water in such a way, that it will benefit industrial and agricultural purposes.

Photo of Daniel Delgado Camacho
Daniel Delgado Camacho
Major: Civil Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Brad D. Weldon, Assistant Professor,Department of Civil Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I will be graduating with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from New Mexico State University in December 2015. Becoming a Civil/Structural Engineer for me is an opportunity to be part of the engineers that will plan and build the future. I am also working on getting a minor in Business Administration and in Mathematics. Combining engineering design and analytical thinking with business decisions can create an innovative impact on society. I have been participating in the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation’s Undergraduate Research Scholar (URS) program since summer 2013. I enjoy doing research because of the amount of knowledge you gain outside of class. My previous work experience as a Bridge Inspector for the Department of Transportation, and Civil and Marine Terminal Engineer working for ExxonMobil has motivated me to continue the path of a technical career. I plan on pursuing a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering and possibly becoming a subject matter expert in the future. Graduate school will provide me competence and better understanding of the technical path I am choosing for the advancement of the engineering field. There is a need for engineers to provide a solution to the merging problems that society faces every day. Currently, I am motivated to reach and mentor others interested in the field of Civil Engineering.

Photo of Taylor Fresques
Taylor Fresques
Major: Mechanical Engineering Technology Faculty Mentor: Dr. Delia J. Valles-Rosales, Associate Professor, USDA- BGREEN-NMSU Director, SWE Faculty Advisor,Department of Industrial Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I have always been fascinated with mechanics and how things work. This, along with a passion for working with my hands, has lead me to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology. It is my hope to graduate with this degree in the spring of 2017 and pursue employment opportunities that will allow me to work towards a Master’s in Industrial Engineering. My education in engineering so far has been very enriching and has allowed me the opportunity to be a part of research at the undergraduate level. My first opportunity came in the summer of 2015 where I spent ten weeks at Tennessee Tech researching 3-D printed patterns for sand cast parts. This NSF-sponsored opportunity allowed me to further my education and resulted in the publication of my research. Upon returning to NMSU, I became an Alliance for Minority Participation student and have been participating with a wood and plastic composite research project. Besides my involvement in Alliance for Minority Participation, I am a student ambassador for the Mechanical Engineering Technology program. As a student ambassador, I spend extra time within the college helping out during events and speaking with perspective students. These experiences have made me appreciate my time in engineering and in return, I encourage others to become involved.

Photo of Israel Jaramillo
Israel Jaramillo
Major: Chemical and Materials Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Damian Reyes, Affiliate Staff,Department of Family & Consumer Science, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I started my college career at Dona Ana Community College in 2008 through my high school’s dual credit program. This allowed me to get an early start on my academic progress. Currently, I am pursuing Bachelor Degrees in Engineering Physics and Chemical Engineering—minor in Biochemistry. I chose these majors because math and chemistry are my passion. I expect to graduate with my Bachelor’s degrees in May 2016

I have been fortunate enough to participate in the Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) program since the summer of 2014. Through this program, I am able to perform academic research in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and hope this presents more opportunity for research. I am active in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Omega Chi Epsilon—the Chemical Engineering Honor Society, and the physics honor society—Sigma Pi Sigma. These organizations helped me develop my leadership skills. Currently, I am researching organic nanomaterials which are interesting because I am confident they will be paramount in a world that is shifting towards eco-friendly materials. I plan to pursue a doctorate in the sciences in order to discover and present new science and technology.

Photo of Mercedes Maldonado
Mercedes Maldonado
Major: Aerospace Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher Churchill, Professor,Department of Astronomy, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I will be graduating this coming December with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering along with minors in Astronomy and Math. This past summer I did an internship at the Apache Point Observatory and plan to return for the Spring. I will also be applying for jobs and graduate schools for the coming Fall semester. As long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated with astronomy and putting things together and learning how it works. Throughout my undergraduate career I have worked at Bath and the Mall as well as the Astronomy Department at NMSU. Aside from work, I have been part of the Society of Astronomy Students at NMSU and have been volunteering at after school programs. I have been part of the Astronomy Department conducting research for the last three years. Three summers ago I started my research working under Dr. Patrick Gaulme, a research astronomer in the Astronomy Department, on studying light curves from the Kepler Spacecraft in search for habitable exoplanets. For close to two years, I have been working with Dr. Christopher Churchill, who was granted telescope time with the Hubble Space Telescope, on studying galaxy evolution. Through my research I have also been part of the AMP program for those three years and have attended many conferences, which has opened my eyes to the world and how to be a professional. I look forward to graduating this December and seeing what is next for my life.

Photo of Lorenzo Martinez
Lorenzo Martinez
Major: Civil Engineering Faculty Mentors: Dr. Brad Weldon and Dr. Paola Bandini,Department of Civil Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I am currently a senior in the Civil Engineering Program at New Mexico State University. I am expected to graduate May 2016. After graduation, I plan on working for a couple years and then go back to school to acquire a Master’s in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Structural Engineering. I believe that Civil Engineering is one of the most essential types of engineering in today’s world. This is because Civil Engineers are constantly improving the society.

This semester I had the opportunity to participate in the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) program. I have also been involved with the Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society at NMSU. Since my freshman year, I have been attending summer and winter internships at the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (NAPI) in Farmington, NM.

The research I participated in this semester was testing the compressive strength of adobe bricks at various water contents and different scales. The project falls in the field of structural and geotechnical engineering. My mentors for my research are Dr. Brad Weldon and Dr. Paola Bandini.

 

Photo of Lenny Mendoza
Lenny Mendoza
Major: Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Douglas D. Cortes, Assistant Professor,Department of Civil and Geological Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement
Currently, I am a junior in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. I conduct research for the department of Civil Engineering. My research involves electronics, and now that I am experiencing everything hands on, I do not think of it as a “job” since I enjoy it so much. For me, everything is possible thanks to electronics. I enjoy challenges that make me think of solutions.

I have several short and long term goals—my immediate goal is to maintain academic excellence. I believe this will create more opportunities for my future. In the future, I hope to work with computer programming and microcontrollers. I developed interest is these areas during my time at NMSU. Additionally, these interests keep me updated in advanced methods of electronics, which I hope to specialize in. This way, I can be more prepared for my future in industry.

Photo of German Montes
German Montes
Major: Electrical Engineering Faculty Advisor: Dr. Charles Creusere, Professor,Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement
Since starting college in Fall 2010, I have had the great opportunity of receiving the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URS) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Scholarships. Through the assistance of New Mexico AMP, I was able to pick the right major for me (even though it took me three years to finally figure it out!)—I am majoring in Electrical. Although difficult, this is the right major for me because it has pushed me to achieve academic excellence. I enjoy and plan to continue to conduct research in the digital signal processing and electrical power fields.

Photo of Jaime Moya
Jaime Moya
Major: Engineering Physics-Aerospace Concentration Faculty Mentor: Dr. Stefan Zollner, Physics Department HeadNew Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I am a proud native New Mexican who is expected to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Physics in Spring 2017. After graduation, I plan to attend graduate school in Physics. My goal is to use my degrees to bridge the gap between science and technology.

I have had the opportunity to participate in the New Mexico AMP Undergraduate Research Scholars Program for Summer and Fall 2015. During my time in the program, I have learned about characterization techniques for materials, including taking x-ray reflectivity, x-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, and ellipsometry measurements. I am also now able to analyze the data.

In addition to the AMP Program, I am the Secretary for the Society of Engineering Students (SEPh). Our missions in SEPh is to spread awareness about the applicability of the Engineering Physics Degree and merge the engineering and physics cultures.

Photo of Rachel Ridgeway
Rachel Ridgeway
Major: Physics Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jacob Urquidi, Associate Professor,Department of Physics, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

As a college freshman, I was unsure of my major. I knew that I was interested in science, but I did not know where to start. As I progressed through my general education courses at Luna Community College, in my hometown of Las Vegas New Mexico, I excelled in all areas of my studies. During the summer of 2012 and 2013, I was selected by the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation (New Mexico AMP) for the Summer Community College Opportunity for Research Experience (SCCORE) program, where I worked as an intern in the XNS Physics Laboratory at NMSU. As an intern, I shadowed graduate students in the research lab, and worked on a segment of an ongoing research project. In school, I thoroughly enjoyed Physics, but getting into research opened my mind about opportunities in the field of Physics. I decided then that I loved Physics.

Now, that I have transferred to NMSU where I am studying Physics, I am still working as an Undergraduate Research Scholar (URS) in the XNS Laboratory. My passion for Physics grows more every day. I am now able to apply and challenge myself as a student and a scientist, in ways that I had not imagined.

Felicia Rodriguez
Major: Chemical and Materials Engineering Mentor:

Personal Statement

I am currently a sophomore at New Mexico State University studying Chemical and Materials Engineering. During my senior year of high school, I was discovering my love of chemistry; my advanced placement chemistry teacher peaked my general interest and advised I look into a dual credit class at NMSU where I could further explore my interest in chemistry. Later that year, I enrolled in an Honor’s College journey of discovery class about plants, brains, and the senses. Dr. Serrano was the instructor of this class and she really inspired me to see and appreciate the chemistry in everyday life and biological functions. My freshman year of college I began doing research in Dr. Li’s lab from the department of chemistry. Under Dr. Li, I began synthesizing complexes to model enzymes with key biological functions. Once there is solid understanding of these enzymatic functions, we can develop synthetic versions or better inhibitors to these enzymes depending on the biological implications and importance. During 2016, I was accepted into the NM AMP Undergraduate Research Scholars program which would help fund my research in this area. I plan to continue conducting research under Dr. Li and hopefully, co-author a paper to be published on our findings before I graduate with my B.S. in Chemical Engineering. Then, I would like to go to graduate school to obtain a M.S. in Materials Engineering.

Photo of Jose Rodriguez
Jose Rodriguez
Major: Chemical & Materials Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Catherine Brewer, Assistant Professor,New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

My name is Jose Rodriguez and I am currently a junior in Chemical & Materials Engineering. At first I could not tell you why I chose Chemical Engineering as a major. I just knew that I enjoyed Chemistry and Math in high school. Now I can honestly say that I have learned what an engineer does and why I enjoy it so much. Engineering in my eyes, is not just having a raw material and converting it to something new (a product). Engineering is about helping people and trying to better their lives. I intend to graduate from NMSU with a Bachelors Degree in May 2017 and start my Masters at NMSU the fall of 2017. These dates are subjected to change if an internship or co-op opportunity arises within this time frame. I see myself working in industry managing a plant in the near future. With an open mind, smile, and friendly personality, I tend to better myself by learning something new every day.

Photo of Edward Rojas
Edward Rojas
Major: Mechanical Engineering/Aerospace Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Young Park, Associate Professor,New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

Enrolling into Mechanical Engineering was an easy decision for me; I had always wanted to work and create machines and be able to create new propulsion engines. Obtaining both a Mechanical Engineering degree and an Aerospace degree in December of two thousand and fifteen, should allow me to obtain a job at NASA or in a national laboratory. The AMP program has allowed me to travel for internships working alongside the USDA and has also allowed for my research to be critiqued by researchers from around the nation. I currently am the President of Research in Sustainable Technologies (RIST), a group that focuses on funding students to have their research presented in conferences around the nation. After graduating in December, I am hoping to go straight to graduate school and obtain a Masters in Mechanical and Aerospace engineering, and one day obtain my Ph.D, so that I may one day teach other students what I have learned.

Photo of Alejandra Bonilla Romero
Alejandra Bonilla Romero
Major: Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Young Ho Park, Associate Professor,Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I am currently a senior planning to graduate in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, along with a minor in Mathematics at New Mexico State University. Throughout my high school years, I harvested a strong interest in the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), which led me to choose engineering as my major. I have been involved in the NMSU society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES). Recently I joined the NMSU Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). In the summer of 2015, through the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation program, I received the opportunity to begin assisting Dr. Young Ho Park in a study focused on the molecular dynamic simulation of the lithium-ion battery. These programs have enabled me to grow as an engineering student, enhance my technical and communication skills, and network with other engineers from other departments. My research experience has allowed me to apply my knowledge in a tangible manner, thus reinforcing my decision in pursuing my career in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

Photo of Adam Sanchez
Adam Sanchez
Major: Civil Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Brad Weldon, Assistant Professor,Department of Civil Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

Engineering has been my passion long before I was accepted into NMSU as an undergraduate. Throughout my education, engineering opportunities were placed in front of me which I partook in. I briefly shifted my focus to Architecture before meeting Dr. Brad Weldon, a professor at NMSU. I worked with Dr. Weldon through EXCEL: Experience-based Career Education Learning while completing my junior and senior year of high school. Here, I shifted my career focus towards Civil Engineering. I have now gained a better understanding of the profession by working with Dr. Weldon with his research projects.

I am in my fourth year studying Civil Engineering with a Mathematics minor. My expected graduation date is May 2017, followed by the intention of entering the Master’s Program with either a structural or geotechnical emphasis. I have participated in organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and Alliance for Minority Participation. Research projects have consisted of soil cementation for the utilization in design and construction, under my mentor, Dr. Weldon. My main goal as a Civil Engineer is to enter the field with as much knowledge as possible in order to begin a successful Engineering career. I hope to end my Engineering career having made a difference in the world by improving the lives of individuals through my work.

Photo of Anahi Soto
Anahi Soto
Major: Civil Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lambis Papelis, Associate Professor,Civil Engineering Department, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I am currently an undergraduate student at New Mexico State University (NMSU) seeking a B.S. in Civil Engineering. My expected graduation date is May 2016. I transferred from El Paso Community College (EPCC) in December 2013 to start my classes at NMSU in 2014. I transferred in order to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering after studying two years at EPCC. I am currently a member of the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation in the Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) program. The research project I participated was on the field of Environmental Engineering. I assisted Dr. Nirmala Khandan during the months of September to December in 2014. We worked with Galderia Sulphuraria, fresh water algae, in order to clean wastewater and produce biofuel. Since January 2015, I have being working with Dr. Lambis Papelis. The project consists of the use of zeolites to remove heavy metals from water at a lower cost. This field of study interests me because I want to protect the environment, and work in projects that include the new tendency of “green buildings.” My future plans are to get experience in the field and after a couple of years get a M.S. in Environmental Engineering.

Photo of Martin Teran
Martin Teran
Major: Wildlife Management Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alvaro Romero, Assistant Professor, Entomology,Plant Pathology and Weed Science, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I am in my final year at NMSU and my estimated date of graduation is spring 2016. I chose Wildlife Management because I grew up around people that work with conservation of animals and plants in areas where survivorship of native species are threatened by human activity. I intend to use my knowledge acquired during my career to help the conservation of natural resources and animals, as well as educating people to live in a community without damaging wildlife.

During the last year I have also been working in a project on bed bugs as part of the development of methods to prevent bed bugs. These activities are part of a scholarship granted me by The New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation (New Mexico AMP). I am also working in the Onion Breeding Program as an Agricultural Assistant. Given my training in various areas, my expectation after graduation is explore work possibilities in wildlife, agricultural or pest control areas. All these areas are very important to society, and I am confident that my work greatly contribute to the solutions of many problems of this area.

Photo of Arlenne Torres
Arlenne Torres
Major: Biology Faculty Mentor: Dr. Reza Foudazi, Assistant Professor,Chemical and Materials Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I am Arlenne Torres, born in El Paso, TX; but I was raised in Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua. Mexico. My parents raised me to be a hard-working woman and encouraged me to become the best I could be. Ever since I was a child, I always wanted to work at a laboratory along with knowledgeable people whom I would collaborate to create new ways of producing renewable energy. I went to school in Mexico and transferred to NMSU after I graduated high school. I was a very difficult transition since the cultures are vastly different, but I managed to adjust pretty well and keep my high GPA. I found this research opportunity through New Mexico AMP. The program has introduced me to research and new opportunities such as working in a group of achieving students that collaborate and help each other. Because of AMP and my mentor’s help, I was able to get land a co-op with the Johnson & Johnson Company for spring 2016. This opportunity will help me grow in a professional level, that I will apply to my future studies and research. My anticipated graduation date is May 2017, but I plan to get my M.S. by 2018 and pursue my Ph. D. in a renewable energy field.

Photo of Anneliese Trujiilo
Anneliese Trujiilo
Major: Chemical Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Champa Sengupta Gopalan, Professor,Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I am currently a junior at New Mexico State University (NMSU) majoring in Chemical Engineering and Pre-medicine. I anticipate graduating from NMSU in May of 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and the complete perquisites for medical school. My future long-term goals are to gain acceptance into a medical school preferably at the University of New Mexico (UNM). I am in the New Mexico AMP Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) program. This program made it possible for me to put more time into research. Academically I have gained greater knowledge on the techniques used while conducting research and an in-depth understanding on subjects that include biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, statistics, and biochemistry through hands on learning. Medical schools prefer for applicants to have research experience and would like to see around 40 hours. However, at the end of this Fall 2015 semester, I will have over 900 hours of research experience. I thoroughly enjoy my research and am incredibly thankful to have such a wonderful mentor who was originally my genetics professor, and introduced me to the art of genetic engineering.

Photo of Alyssa Trujillo
Alyssa Trujillo
Major: Civil Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Craig Newtson, Professor,Civil Engineering Department, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I am currently a senior studying Civil Engineering at New Mexico State University (NMSU). I expect to receive a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering in December 2015. I will also receive my Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree in Mathematical Sciences in May 2016. I have participated in the Society of Hispanic Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, and have become a member of the National Society of Colligate Scholars, Chi Epsilon (the Civil Engineering Honor Society), and Tau Beta Pi (the Engineering Honor Society). I have had internship opportunities at White Sands Missile Range (NM), the Army High-Performance Computing Research Center (CA), Aberdeen Proving Ground (MD), and participated in the NMSU Bridge Inspection Program.

I have been part of the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Undergraduate Research Scholar program for several semesters. From Fall 2012 to Spring 2014, I was assisting with research related to durability of ultra-high performance concrete in the Civil Engineering Department. In Summer 2014, I explored mathematical sciences. In my decision to go to graduate school in Civil Engineering, I decided to pursue research in sustainable structures. Since Summer 2015, I have been researching methods for a structure to generate and harvest energy from renewable energy sources. I am pursing my education so I may have the ability to provide the most sustainable facility for my community.

Photo of Amadeo Trujillo
Amadeo Trujillo
Major: Civil Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lambis Papelis, Associate Professor,Department of Civil and Geological Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

Since a young age, I have always pushed myself to be the best I possibly could be. Mathematics and sciences have always been a lot easier for me than English or History. I always enjoyed the perseverance and drive necessary to accomplish a scientific presentation. In high school I played basketball for my high school team where I learned not only how to work as a team for one common goal but also how hard work and dedication will earn you respect for your work. As I got older and left the small town where I grew up to come to NMSU, I had to find a new hobby to take up my time. The new hobby was engineering. The NMSU Civil Engineering Department has helped me develop my problem solving skills as well as my ability to provide a professional report. I have participated in the New Mexico AMP Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) program since Summer 2015. I have learned research skills from mentors, graduate students, and many others. I have learned to conduct a scientific experiment and to prove or disprove a research question. I also have learned to present the experiment in a professional presentation.

Photo of Alexandra Valdez
Alexandra Valdez
Major: Chemical Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. William Maio, Assistant Professor,Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement                   

I am studying to be the person who makes the innovative new foods you see on the market shelves. To do this, I chose to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering because of its broad applicability in many fields. I will be able to take the next step in my career after my graduation in May 2017. Thanks to the New Mexico AMP programs, I have a set career path.

I have participated in the Undergrad Research Scholars (URS) program through AMP since the summer of 2015. The experience through this program has given me the ability to get a taste of research without any monetary issues. I have now come to the conclusion that I really do enjoy conducting research and would like to look into pursing a higher degree so that I may have a career in research and development. My research interests have driven me in the right direction of finding what I enjoy most. I am currently very fascinated in doing research in product development. I also have my perseverance in my educational/career goals that have been driven a great deal due to my leadership roles as a College of Engineering Ambassador and by being an Officer in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Photo of Carlos Armando Vigil
Carlos Armando Vigil
Major: Civil Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Paola Bandini, Associate Professor,Department of Civil Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

Growing up in a Hispanic community there is one thing that all young males must do, and that is work. I grew up in northern New Mexico and at a young age I worked various construction jobs with my dad and uncles. I became very intrigued with not only how a house or road is constructed, but also the process and the materials used in the construction. Naturally I wanted to stick with what I knew, so I pursed a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. My expected date of graduation will be May 2016.

I have interned at a company for two summers out of Santa Fe, New Mexico called BSN Santa Fe. BSN Santa Fe is a New Mexico DBE and Service Disabled Veteran certified Professional Civil Engineering Firm with a Materials Testing (AASHTO and New Mexico State certified) Lab and is a business that provides services that deal with professional engineering services, construction management, engineering consultants, material testing analysis, surveying, training, SWPPP management, and drafting. This internship has given me a sense of enlightenment that I have chosen the right career path because I enjoy everything I do there and the experience is helpful with what I am learning at New Mexico State University.

Photo of Christian Wong
Christian Wong
Major: Civil Engineering Faculty Mentor: Dr. Douglas Cortes, Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Civil and Geological Engineering, New Mexico State University

Personal Statement

I am currently seeking my B.S. in Civil Engineering at New Mexico State University. I am expected to graduate in May 2016. I will be participating in the Bridge Co-Op Program directed by Dr. David Jauregui from January to the end of June of 2015. I am excited to have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience inspecting bridges for the New Mexico Department of Transportation. This is my second semester as an Undergraduate Research Scholar (URS) with the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) program. I am currently researching mineral dissolution in polymer-coated soils under the mentorship of Dr. Douglas Cortes. I greatly enjoy doing research because it is a more direct way of learning about specific civil engineering problems and finding solutions. Civil Engineering drives economies, industries, and nations. It is important to me to be able to contribute my knowledge and skills to improve infrastructures effectively and efficiently. The quality of design and construction is essential to public safety and workplace safety. After graduation, I plan to work as an engineer or construction manager designing and constructing cost-efficient, sustainable projects around the world.