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Spring 2013

January 2013              January 2013            January 7, 2013          January 14, 2013       January 21, 2013

 Crystiana (Tiana)            Elena Avilés       Stephen Harris                  Ethan Mills            Angelina González

crys  elena  stephen  ethan  Angelina 

Crystiana (Tiana) Baca-Bosiljevac is a MS candidate in the Department of Geography and Environmental studies. Tiana is funded by the USDA Hispanic Serving Institutions Education Grant and her research seeks to compare scholarly concepts of resilience with primary factors influencing Albuquerque's smallholder farmers' decisions to continue farming. Her research highlights the voices of local farmers and critically examines the scope and limitations of resilience theory. Tiana was part of a panel on the Foodshed Movement and New Agrarian at the Beyond Pesticides 31st National Pesticide Forum in April 2013. Additionally, Tiana plans on presenting her research at the Association of American Geographers annual meeting in April 2014.


Elena Avilés was awarded The College of Arts and Sciences Russell J. and Dorthy S. Bilinski Fellowship in the Humanities and is currently completing her dissertation Mi lengua franca: Manipulating Chicana Cultural Heritage in Art and Literature. Her research interest include Chicana/o literature, art and cultural production as well as the exploration of key issues by women of color and feminist in literature.



Stephen Harris began his tenure as a PhD candidate in the UNM Department of Philosophy in 2006 and is set to defend his dissertation in spring 2013. Stephen’s research focuses on Indian philosophical texts, in particular Buddhist moral philosophy, and their conceptual relationships to issues in Western ethics. Stephen is currently finishing his second year as a Fay Sawyier Pre-Doctoral Teaching Fellow at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. In addition to earning this prestigious award, Stephen recently had his paper "On the Classification of Śāntideva's Ethics in the Bodhicaryāvatāra” accepted for publication in Philosophy East and West, the top journal in his field. He has also had papers published in theJournal of Buddhist Ethics and Contemporary Pragmatism. In his dissertation, Stephen gives special attention to the relationship between benevolence and self-interest in the writing of the eighth century Indian Buddhist monk, Śāntideva. He develops connections between Śāntideva’s claim that committing to an arduous process of virtue development is beneficial to the individual and issues of “overdemandingness” faced by Western ethical theories.



Ethan Mills began his tenure as a PhD candidate in the UNM Department of Philosophy in 2005 after earning his MA in Philosophy from the University of Hawaii. Ethan’s main research interests include the philosophical traditions of classical India (including Indian Buddhist philosophy) and skepticism (both ancient and modern, and Western and Indian). Ethan recently had his paper “Jayarāśi’s Delightful Destruction of Epistemology” accepted for publication in Philosophy East and West, the top journal in his field. He has also had papers published in the Journal of Buddhist Ethics and IndianEthics: Classical Traditions and Contemporary Challenges: Volume II. In his dissertation, which he is set to defend in spring 2013, Ethan explores whether philosophical skepticism, as it has arisen in the West, is an inevitable philosophical problem by looking to the rich traditions of classical India - in particular, the philosophers Vasubandhu, Nāgārjuna, and Jayarāśi. He argues that the type of skepticism that has been a major issue in the West is not inevitable, and conjectures that another kind of skepticism - skepticism about philosophy - may in fact be an inevitable part of philosophical traditions.



Angelina González-Aller is a PhD candidate in the department of political science at the University of New Mexico and an RWJF Health Policy Doctoral Fellow. Her research interests extend from studies of legislative behavior and policymaking to studies of racial health and education inequities. Her dissertation examines the impact of race-gendered norms and practices within the United States Congress. Through the analysis of informal norms and practices, she hopes to understand how gendered hierarchies influence the behavior of elected officials in political institutions. To facilitate this research, Ms. González-Aller will spend 8 months in Washington, D.C. serving as one of the prestigious Women’s Research & Education Institute’s Congressional Fellows. Ms. González-Aller was selected for this fellowship from a national pool of applicants and will gain first hand policy experience as she serves as a legislative aide in the United States Congress.

January 28, 2013         February 4, 2013      February 11, 2013    February 18, 2013    February 25, 2013

 Laura Guerrero            Eliza Webbés           Natalie Wright           Tennille L. Marley          Kevin Hallgren

Michael Wolff
laura  eliza  natalie  tennille  kevin 

Laura Guerrero began her tenure as a PhD candidate in the UNM Department of Philosophy in 2005 after earning her MA in Philosophy from the University of Hawaii. In her research, Laura brings Western analytic epistemology and Buddhist philosophy into dialogue to advance our understanding of issues related to truth, intentionality, meaning, and ontology. Laura recently had her paper "Mental Content and Intentionality in Dharmakīrti" accepted for publication in the volume The Moon Points Back, which is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. Also, in 2012, Laura was awarded the Barrett Fellowship from the UNM Department of Philosophy based on the merit of her research. In her dissertation, which she is set to defend in spring 2013, Laura uses a cross-cultural method of analysis and brings Eastern and Western philosophical traditions into dialogue with one another. She seeks to use the insights of both traditions to help solve philosophical problems concerning truth and meaning that arise in each. Based on this approach to Eastern and Western philosophy, Laura forwards a novel interpretation of the canonical Buddhist thinker Dharmakīrti, and also provides a novel solution to a persistent problem concerning truth in Mahāyāna Buddhist philosophy.


Eliza Webb is currently enrolled in her first semester of graduate school in the University of New Mexico’s speech pathology program. She works as a graduate assistant in Dr. Cathy Binger’s augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) lab, where the present study focuses on determining the effect of an aided AAC modeling with contrastive targets intervention on the productive use of two-term semantic-syntactic relations in preschoolers who use AAC. Eliza was recently awarded the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation’s first National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) Scholarship, which she received at the national American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention this month. A poster she co-authored with two other students, Marika King and Marysa Deblassie, was also presented at the convention. The poster was a post-hoc analysis of a pilot study of the previously mentioned study that coded and analyzed the semantic-syntactic relations of a child who used aided AAC. This poster was awarded meritorious recognition at the ASHA Convention.



Natalie Wright is a Ph.D. candidate in Biology and the Museum of Southwestern Biology, and a Graduate Research Fellow in the Program in Interdisciplinary Biology and Biomedical Sciences (PiBBs). She studies the ecology and evolution of birds using a variety of approaches, including morphology, physiology, macroecology, genome size estimation, functional biomechanics, and phylogenetics. Her dissertation research aims to answer the question, "What are the evolutionary and ecological drivers and functional consequences of the huge variation in flight styles and body plans across birds?" Natalie has recently published papers on island adaptations in birds and on bird life history and productivity. She has prepared approximately 1100 museum bird specimens that are being used and will be used in perpetuity by scientists around the world to study avian biology and conservation. Click here for more information about Natalie's research.



Tennille L. Marley, MPH, is a PhD candidate in the department of sociology and a dissertation fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy. She is a recent recipient of an Institute for American Indian Research (IFAIR) research scholarship and a former Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Native American Studies Fellow. Tennille is White Mountain Apache and grew up on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in eastern Arizona. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and a Master of Public Health from the University of Arizona. Her research interests include American Indian Health policy, diabetes in American Indian communities, and the incorporation of indigenous knowledge in sociological and health research. Tennille has diverse research experiences ranging from quantitative to qualitative approaches. For example, the project, “The County as the Fundamental Unit of Health Assess in the United States”, was a quantitative study using a variety of quantitative methods including sensitivity analysis and hierarchal linear modeling. Another research project was, “Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Map the Course of Integrated Health care for Depression and co-Occurring Conditions Among Off-Reservation American Indians.



Kevin Hallgren is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology in the Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico. He has conducted and published research on substance abuse treatment, social support, and quantitative methods in psychology. In November, Kevin presented a paper on quantitative models of alcohol craving and relationship satisfaction over the course of couples-based substance abuse treatment at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy (ABCT) in National Harbor, MD. At the same meeting, he presented a poster that tested the adequacy of statistical mediation for identifying mechanisms of change in psychotherapy, which was given an award for second place by the ABCT Clinical Research Methods and Statistics Special Interest Group. Kevin was recently awarded a Ruth Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health. The fellowship provides two years of support for a project that uses social network analysis to better understand how drinking problems may be transmitted through social support networks. The results from this project may be useful for more effectively targeting treatments and prevention programs for alcohol use disorders.

March 4, 2013             March 11, 2013            March 18, 2013          March 25, 2013          April 1, 2013

 Daniel Irving            Maggie Siebertés      Louis Calistro Alvarado     Drew Enigk          Shaina Saint-Lot

daniel  maggie  louis  drew  shaina 

Daniel Irving, a master student in Mechanical Engineering, together with newly hired assistant professor Francesco Sorrentino, have pioneered a research on the synchronization of dynamical hypernetworks, i.e., networks of dynamical systems coupled through two or more distinct types of interactions. For example, it is known that the connections between neurons in the brain can be of two different types: either chemical synapses or electrical gap-junctions. Hence, the brain is a hypernetwork. While the conditions for synchronization of networks formed of only one type of connections have been previously identified and fully explored ever since, Irving and Sorrentino have uncovered those that apply to hypernetworks, i.e., when connections different in nature coexist. The importance of this work lies in the possibility of analyzing synchronization of arbitrary hypernetworks and may shed light on aspects of relevance in neuroscience, physics, and engineering. In particular, a topic of current interest in engineering is the design of robust and improved communication protocols between many multi-agent systems that interact through several sensing capabilities. The results of their research have been recently featured in the journal Physical Review E.


Maggie Siebert graduated with distinction from the Masters of Science program in Community Health Education in the College of Education in May 2012. Currently, she is a first-semester doctoral candidate in Health Communication in the Department of Communication and Journalism. For the last year, Maggie has been involved in a USDA funded research study with advisor and mentor, Dr. Christina Perry, a faculty member in the Health Education Program, Department of Health, Exercise and Sports Sciences. Researchers from UNM and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are exploring food safety within diverse populations. Maggie’s work on this project has culminated in a validated food safety knowledge survey that is culturally appropriate for Native American and Hispanic populations. She recently presented her research at the annual meeting of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior in which her abstract received a top student research award —only 5 out of 200 were chosen. Maggie serves as project manager in phase two of the food safety research project, which involves designing, implementing and evaluating a culturally competent intervention across communities in New Mexico and Nebraska. Watch her Video Journal.



Louis Calistro Alvarado is a PhD Candidate in Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of New Mexico, working with Drs. Jane Lancaster and Martin Muller (Committee Co-Chairs). His research has mainly focused on the expression of male steroid physiology across the lifespan, especially as it relates to androgen-dependent cancer. He conducts fieldwork at a rural Polish village located in the Carpathian Mountains, using non-invasive methods of biological specimen collection to examine interactions between steroid hormone levels, fertility status, work patterns, and senescence. Louis’s work is interdisciplinary and has been published in scientific journals of Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology, and Urology. This research was made possible through past funding from UNM Office of Graduate Studies as well as the National Science Foundation, and he is currently supported by the Program for Interdisciplinary Biological and Biomedical Sciences and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy.



Drew Enigk is a first year PhD student in evolutionary anthropology at the University of New Mexico. After having spent two years conducting behavioral research on captive bonobos at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium while an undergraduate at Ohio State, he looks forward to beginning his first field study of primate behavioral ecology as a UNM graduate student. This summer, Drew will travel to Kibale National Park in Uganda to participate in the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, where he will observe wild chimpanzees and study the way that adolescent chimpanzees transition into adulthood. In the meantime, Drew is learning how to conduct various hormone assays in the lab at UNM, and he is excited about incorporating endocrinology into his behavioral research. Drew recently received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Marcus L. Urann Fellowship (Alice and Russell True Foundation Fellowship) of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Watch his Video Journal.



Shaina Saint-Lot is a senior at the University of New Mexico, where she will receive a dual Bachelor’s in Economics and International Studies. As a child growing up in Haiti, she has always been interested in development and the inequality and growth that may result from institutional and organizational initiatives. Shaina enrolled in a development class in Nicaragua with UNM in the summer of 2011. They visited various places, from coffee cooperatives and microfinance organizations to orphanages and trash dumps. It was interesting to see the different solutions offered to alleviate poverty. While there, she worked on a microfinance research project with the McNair program. This year she is researching the effects of women’s empowerment on child wellbeing in Oáxaca, Mexico for her Honors thesis. Shaina has recently been awarded the Gates Cambridge Scholarship for an MPhil in Development Studies. She is looking forward to researching the effects of inequality on wellbeing and development while exploring the grassroots organizations and state institutions that can spur this equitable growth. She is excited to continue to build on her academic and research experience in the stimulating environment at Cambridge.

  April 8, 2013              April 15, 2013            April 22, 2013            April 29, 2013                May 6, 2013

 Amanda Seeman      Jonathan Carter        Jeremy D. Falson       Christos Galanis    Rebeca Martínez Gómez

Amanda Seeman  jonathan  jeremy  christos  rebeca 

Amanda Seeman is a second year master’s student in the sociology department. Her master’s thesis explores the ways that Internet-informed patients disrupt traditional doctor/patient interactions during clinical encounters. Physicians traditionally were the only source for medical information; however, the Internet has created unlimited access to professional and lay knowledge on medical conditions. The trend of information retrieval online is having an effect on patient empowerment and their role in medicalization. She is interested in how physicians respond to Internet-informed patients and what implications their reactions have on role expectations and power dynamics. She was recently awarded UNM’s one-time graduate assistantship award for the spring 2013 semester, which she says is a great honor and will help her develop her professional skills and assist professors in the department with their projects.


Jonathan Carter Hebert is a Ph.D Student in the Nanoscience and Microsystems Program. His background is in electrical and energy systems engineering. He was recently awarded UNM’s one-time graduate assistantship award for the spring 2013 semester, where he will be working closely with the NSMS Program to develop a two year college and undergraduate student outreach program. Jonathan’s outreach efforts will include developing the NSMS's social media and web presence, as well as a recruiting message. His assistantship will help establish a pathway for New Mexico two year college students to transfer to UNM and pursue a graduate education in NSMS. This assistantship will help provide him with opportunities to network with Nanoscience professionals across the state and get exposed to the developing opportunities in this emerging field of research. There are a lot of things happening in Nanoscience research, especially in New Mexico. The landscape of careers is changing. Technology is driving these changes and advancements through Nanoscience research are a key part. He is going to get out the message, and help today’s students know about the academic pathways for tomorrow’s careers. To keep an eye out for the NSMS program’s new social media presences on Facebook, twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, check Jonathan’s LinkedIn account. Watch his Video Journal.



Jeremy D. Falson is a first year master’s student in Latin American Studies with concentrations in Sociology and Political Science. Currently, he is in the process of researching his Masters' Thesis on how political ideology affects the organizational structure of democratic labor unions in contemporary Mexico. He was recently awarded UNM’s one-time graduate assistantship award for the spring 2013 semester, where he will be working with Professor Leila Lehnen in re-designing the syllabus and course configuration for the Pro-Seminar in Latin American Studies, a requisite course for all Latin American Studies Masters students. The project involves compiling the insight of the students who have previously taken the course (via survey and interviews) and using this information to change the contour of the seminar’s framework, topics and texts. Additionally, the project will benefit the future students of the course by providing them with a comprehensive introduction to the rigors of interdisciplinary graduate level scholarship. As Jeremy’s ultimate aspiration is to become a professor, this assistantship positions him to gain the appropriate scholarly experience required to realize this goal.



Christos Galanis is an MA candidate in the Studio Art Department at the University of New Mexico, with a focus in Art & Ecology. For his Master's Thesis project, he and his donkey (Fairuz) will be living inside the courtyard of the Studio Art building for four days and three nights (April 10 -12). During that time, small groups of people will have the opportunity to join Christos and Fairuz for facilitated walks around campus. While they certainly constitute artistic performances, these walks are simultaneously undertaken as a means of exploring inter-species histories of domestication, communication, and co-evolution. Furthermore, the act of walking is reclaimed as a particular form of embodied pedagogy and knowledge production. More details on this project are available on Tumblr and Facebook (search for "Donkey Walking").



Rebeca Martínez Gómez is a PhD candidate and research assistant in the Department of Linguistics at the University of New Mexico. She holds a Master in Hispanic Linguistics and a Bachelor in Language and Literature. Her main research has been language variation and change in Mexican Spanish. She was recently awarded a Latina Graduate & Professional Student Fellowship to support her dissertation research, which focuses on a Mexican sociolinguistic stereotype of a group known as fresas (‘strawberries’). Her research uses a variety of methods. First, she collected a corpus of natural conversations from Mexico through the support of a Tinker Foundation/LAII Field Research Grant in 2011. Based on these data, she performed an acoustic analysis of a linguistic feature associated to the social group and presented the results at the Hispanic Linguistics Symposium in Fall 2012. The next step is to run perceptual experiments in order to explore the cognitive representations of this stereotype. The ultimate goal of her research is to expound on the interaction between language and other non-linguistic categories associated to stereotypes in cognitive representation. Watch her Video Journal.

  May 13, 2013                May 20, 2013                May 27, 2013          

       Ruth Healy              Priscila Poliana          Scott Jasechko      

Ruth Healy  Priscila  Scott 

Ruth Healy is an Albuquerque native. She studied cellular/ molecular biology at Occidental College and has research experience in gene therapy and marine and tropical ecology. She has spent the last five years at the University of New Mexico Hospital helping develop a sterile compounding compliance program but it was her post-baccalaureate volunteer work in Xela, Guatemala with USC’s Somos Hermanos program that lead her to pursue a master’s in Public health and clinical career as a PA. As a recipient of the UNM's One-Time Graduate Assistantship Award, she will participate in the University of New Mexico Hospital Family and Community Medicine’s research on the prevalence of individuals with insufficient health insurance in New Mexico.


Priscila Poliana is a Brazilian native who immigrated alone to the United States eight years ago. Since her arrival, she’s worked relentlessly – first, learning English, and now, pursuing her graduate degree in Community & Regional Planning. Priscila has a BA. in Economics and has established herself as a vibrant community leader, serving in a number of UNM committees and student organizations. She was awarded the New-One-Time-Assistantship to expand her work on cultural awareness and community building through promoting the history, language and culture of Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries. Her research interests encompass investigating relationships between space and power and analyzing how different communities utilize the built environment to improve economic conditions and to rewrite narratives of image. In addition to being awarded several academic honors, such as the Latino/a Graduate Fellowship and the outstanding academic performance from the African American Student Services, Priscila was recently elected President of UNM’s Graduate & Professional Student Association. As GPSA's president Priscila will work towards securing funding lines for graduate students, and creating a culturally diverse environment where local and international students feel safe and welcome.



Scott Jasechko has a passion for the provision of clean, fresh water, the topic of his Ph.D. research in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. In a recent lead-author publication in the scientific journal Nature, Scott and co-authors showed that the movement of fresh water through plants during growth accounts for the largest movement of fresh water on Earth – more than 1.5 times the movement of water in all the planet’s rivers – with significant implications for future fresh water resource assessments in a warming climate. Scott was also recently awarded funding to lead a water research project in Uganda by The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science’s Pathfinder Fellowship program, and actively coordinates online water events through the Canadian Water Network’s Students and Young Professionals Committee. His research is supported by a Caswell Silver Foundation graduate fellowship, without which, he says, his research and graduate education at UNM would not be possible. Watch his Video Journal.