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UNM Students to Present Research at Graduate Education Day at the New Mexico State Capitol

January 25, 2019

This year's New Mexico Graduate Education Day will be held February 11, 2019 at the New Mexico State Legislature. Graduate Education Day is a showcase of graduate student research from each of New Mexico's six universities with graduate programs. The event gives graduate students from across the state the opportunity to present their research to state legislators and demonstrate why graduate education matters. This year, eight graduate students from the University of New Mexico will participate at the event, held on February 12. These students were competitively selected from poster presenters at the 2018 Shared Knowledge Conference.

This year's graduate student presenters are:

amanda cowan

Amanda Cowan

Amanda is a master's student in Communication and Journalism. She previously graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from UNM. She is fascinated by how we talk about the media, and her research interests include mixed-race identity the politics of representation in New Mexico.

Click here to read Amanda's research abstract

Jon Golla

Jon Golla

Jon is a master's student in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science. He aspires to become a geoscientist capable of contributing to the exploratory and developmental stages of the water-energy nexus. His scientific interests stem from an unfamiliarity with potable water during the first eighteen years of my life and an early exposure to geothermal energy in the Philippines.

Cick here to read Jon's research abstract

Justice Miles

Justice Moriah Miles

Justice is a third year MFA choreography student, with a BA in Dance from Colorado College. As a biracial (African American and Norwegian American) choreographer, she explores the in-between spaces of binaries in relation to identity and dance vocabulary. In 2016, she choreographed Aceite en Agua: Oil in Water; its six solos explored the in-between spaces of flamenco, contemporary dance and African American identity. In August 2018, she choreographed her master's thesis work Ink on Cotton, which explores images, poetry and signs in African American history while interweaving influences from flamenco and contemporary dance.

Click here to read Justice's research abstract

Lauren Weiss

Lauren Weiss

Lauren is a Ph.D. Candidate in Special Education. She has provided services to students with learning differences and behavioral challenges across the United States and abroad. After obtaining her master's degree in Special Education from UNM in 2015, she continued doctoral studies with the goal of teaching higher education and engaging in research to improve the lives of diverse students, leading to a more inclusive society. Her current research focuses on empirical educational and behavioral practices that increase access to an effective and inclusive education for diverse students of underserved, misunderstood populations.

Click here to read Lauren's research abstract

Len Beke

Len Beké

Len is a doctoral student in Hispanic Linguistics. He began conducting research on New Mexico in 2011 and has engaged in fieldwork in bilingual communities from Albuquerque north to Abiquiú. His work centers on Nuevomexicano Spanish dialect and oral culture. He is currently preparing a dissertation on Nuevomexicano place names and their erasure from official cartography.

Click here to read Len's research abstract

Manish Bhattarai

Manish Bhattarai

Manish Bhattarai, a 3rd year doctoral student in Electrical Engineering and native to the city of Urlabari, Nepal currently studies Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence techniques. His research focuses on applying machine learning techniques to assist firefighters in path planning to ensure their safe navigation through burning buildings. He hopes to further his career in the AI field by working on autonomous vehicles after graduation in December 2019. Outside his educational pursuits, he greatly enjoys helping other students improve their own understanding and application of technological paradigms. When not working, he takes his dog Zuri hiking in the Sandias.

Click here to read Manish's research abstract

Rita Martinez

Rita Y. Martinez

Rita is an enrolled member of Pueblo of Laguna and is also from the Pueblo of Jemez. She is a candidate for a Masters in Public Administration and a Masters in Community and Regional Planning. She is a Program Manager at American Indian Development Associates, LLC. Her career goal is to implement culturally relevant and community-based solutions to community needs through research, policy, program and community development throughout the state of New Mexico and in American Indian communities. She is a proud mother of three boys and wife to Ruben Martinez.

Click here to read Rita's research abstract

Timothy Ohlert

Timothy Ohlert

As a doctoral student in the Biology department, Tim studies desert plant communities and their response to extreme climate events. He works at the Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research site in central New Mexico and manages drought experiments across the desert southwest. He also serves on the council of UNM's Biology Graduate Student Association and Graduate and Professional Student Association.

Click here to read Timothy's research abstract