Student Spotlight 2014
Ryan Roco studies political science, philosophy, and Asian studies. A Truman Scholar and human rights activist, he has been awarded the Marshall Scholarship for graduate study at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Ryan is interested in peace and conflict processes. He has worked extensively in Burma and Thailand amidst civil war, sectarian violence, and forced migration. His research and reportage as an investigator, photographer, and filmmaker have been widely published by international news and humanitarian organizations. As a graduate student next year, he will pursue a M.Sc. in Asian Politics and an M.A. in South East Asian Studies, with both degrees including advanced Burmese language instruction. Upon completion, he plans to enter a PhD program in political science.
Natalie Latteri received her BA from UC Davis (2008) and her MA from Purdue (2011) before joining UNM’s Department of History in 2012. Her studies focus on the intimate and tendentious relations between Jews and Christians in Northern Europe during the high through late Middle Ages. After defending her dissertation prospectus in the Spring of 2014, Natalie spent the Summer developing some of her ideas into two award-winning papers: she has been named the IMS’s Graduate Student Prizewinner for her paper, “Sin, Suffering, and a Projection of Whoredom in the Chronicle of Solomon bar Samson,” which she will present at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies in the Spring of 2015; and she secured the 2014 Best Student Paper Award from the Midwest Jewish Studies Association for, “Playing the Whore: A Typology of Promiscuity within the Prophets and the Toledot Yeshu Tradition,” which will be published in an upcoming edition of the academic journal, Shofar. In addition to these prizes, Natalie has also been awarded a Student Research Grant (2013) from the GPSA and a Research Grant from the HGSA (2014) at UNM.
Kristin Harrell is a M.A. candidate in Cultural Studies in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Her research uses digital methods to analyze representatives of monstrosity in literature and visual culture. This work also draws from her studies in design, literature, and gender studies. Presently, she is designing and coding an online research database of medieval bestiary manuscripts and various interpretations of monstrous hybridity in the Middle Ages. External funding will allow her to augment the database as a resource for academics and scholars in various fields. Harrell's previous projects include topics such as gender representation on 1930's pulp magazine covers and mapping the public, non-city-sponsored murals of Albuquerque. Future projects include data visualizations of women and monstrosity through history and a collaboration on a website documenting the history of the Albuquerque airport. Harrell believes that digital methods have the ability to expand the way scholars perform, assess, and present their research. This allows for provocative interdisciplinary work that not only appeals to a wider audience but also challenges academics to rethink how we visualize and shape the ways the humanities intersect with technology.
Zoila Alvarez is a bilingual education master's student in the Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies Department. Ms. Alvarez is also the current President to the College of Education Graduate and Professional Student Association. Ms. Alvarez, along with a fellow undergraduate Lobo Cindy Nava, were selected from a national applicant pool of civil rights activists and young leaders this past summer to participate in the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Ms. Alvarez interacted closely with some of the original Freedom Riders from the 1960's, built collaborative partnerships with fellow civil rights leaders, interacted with the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, and took part in commemoration activities hosted by the Governor of Virginia in the old chambers of the Virginia House of Delegates in Richmond.
Alyssa Powell holds a BM and BA in music from the University of Montana. She is currently a MM student completing a clarinet performance degree from the UNM College of Fine Arts. She was the first graduate teaching assistant in the clarinet area at UNM, leading clarinet ensembles and teaching lessons to music majors and minors. As a performer, she won the campus-wide Concerto Competition of 2013, and was a featured soloist with the UNM Symphony Orchestra. For the last two years, Alyssa has been active in the music community as a clinician at various Albuquerque high schools, and a performer for several organizations including the Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico, the Santa Fe Symphony, and the San Juan Symphony. Most recently she was hired as an adjunct faculty member at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado, where she serves as the primary clarinet and saxophone instructor. Her responsibilities include teaching private lessons on literature and technique for clarinet and saxophone, leading the studio masterclass, and teaching the woodwind methods course for students who will become music teachers.
Lauren Valerie Coons is a composer, performer, and music theorist, whose recent work reflects her ambition for extending the application of classical music composition beyond universities and concert halls, such that it might reflect and influence the lives of individuals and communities. An Albuquerque native, Lauren is currently exploring ideas of home and community, gathering materials and inspiration from several sites in and around Albuquerque. These explorations result in multiple pieces comprised of music, dance, photographs and other media. Another of her current projects applies collaborative composition to the treatment of anxiety in a music therapy setting. This project involves the patient as an active participant in the music making process and places an equal emphasis on the artistic and therapeutic components. Lauren is also a member of various vocal and instrumental improvisation groups at UNM, where she enjoys experimenting and working with other musicians to create a shared artistic experience. Through these and other projects, Lauren aims to broaden the definition of composition so that it may be applied to our lives and experiences in new and interesting ways.
Stephanie Opsal earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 2013, and she is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Performance degree from UNM. After graduation, she plans to seek professional performance opportunities while making her career teaching band in a public school. During the spring of 2014, Stephanie was one of 28 students to complete the International Clarinet Association Young Artist Competition. She was also chosen by competitive audition to receive the Graduate Assistantship for the Graduate Woodwind Quintet in the music department. Last summer, Stephanie received a College of Fine Arts Dean's research and travel grant for graduate students to attend the nationally-renowned Oklahoma University Clarinet Symposium. She played the Aaron Copland Clarinet Concerto in a master class Saturday afternoon. Finally, she was recently hired as the Woodwind Technician and visual teacher for the La Cueva High School music department, and she truly enjoys sharing her passion for music with kids.
Thomas Posen recently presented his music theory research at the 2014 Graduate Association of Musicologists und Theorists at the University of North Texas. A recipient of the Graduate Student Success Scholarship, Thomas has research interests in piano performance, studies in counterpoint, improvisation, form, and the compositional process. He has given piano performances in Austria and Germany on regent’s travel grants from the Global Education office. In addition to receiving a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, he also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Physics and Astrophysics and a minor in German summa cum laude from UNM. He is now pursuing a dual Masters of Music candidate in Piano Performance and Music Theory and has plans to continue with Ph.D. in Music Theory.
Valentine Antony is a dual masters candidate in the Community & Regional Planning and the Public Administration programs at UNM. He is a recent transplant from Appalachian State University in the rolling blue ridge mountains of North Carolina, where he majored in sustainable development. Valentine serves in several UNM student leadership roles including, student president of the American Planning Association (APA UNM) and Deputy Chief of Staff for the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA). Within the School of Architecture and Planning, he has worked with other student leaders to build upon interdisciplinary collaboration, culminating in the founding of a new student group; Council of Allied Disciplines (CAD) which unites Planning, Architecture and Landscape Architecture and other allied fields, in developing and implementing fun and engaging community projects on and off campus. His master’s professional project is on understanding and implementing a participatory budgeting (PB) program for the city of Albuquerque. The project seeks to allocate a portion of the Albuquerque city budget for citizens to develop and vote on community projects that are ultimately funded and implemented by city government. He is the 2014/2015 recipient of the CRP Community Building award for academic achievements and contributions to the planning community.
Tina Faris is pursuing a MS in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. She was recently awarded the New Mexico Higher Education Department Graduate Scholarship, funding the majority of her graduate studies. She was also awarded a departmental assistantship with the Historical Geography Journal, the Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship from the UNM Chapter, and a departmental internship. This internship serves to re-envision acequia irrigation systems in Albuquerque's rural North and South Valleys as essential community resources for economic and cultural activity. Tina's research will specifically focus on human-environmental relations within natural resource management, environmental justice, and feminist geography. She received a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in International Studies from UNM prior to her graduate work.
Amanda Minnich is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and a Programs in Interdisciplinary Biological and Biomedical Sciences Fellow. She recently received the Grace Hopper Celebration Scholarship for outstanding women in computer science. Amanda holds a BA in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley and an MS in Computer Science from UNM. She has interned at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, and most recently Mandiant, a computer security company with branches worldwide. Before going into computer science, Amanda worked as a plant ecologist in French Polynesia and Australia. Amanda's current research centers around data mining and machine learning, with a focus on validating unlabeled data, identifying review spam, and creating personalized recommender systems.
Sandra Bruce earned her BA in Applied Linguistics at Portland State University in 2012, and holds a certificate in teaching English as a foreign language. She is currently in her second year as an MA student in Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies with a concentration in TESOL. She has taught English in Norway and Spain, and has traveled throughout Mexico, Canada, Europe, Turkey, and SE Asia. She has been working with immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in the US since 2010. She is a recent recipient of the Graduate Student Success Scholarship through the College of Education. She is also the recipient of a two Professional Development grants from GPSA, as well as a travel grant from S-CAP. This funding has allowed Sandra to present at two regional conferences, and attend several others. Her research interests include second language acquisition, adult language learning, identity construction, affective factors in language learning, immigrant negotiation of adjustment, World Englishes, language pedagogy, and second language composition. She is currently working on research that looks at anxiety and confidence in ESL study-abroad students at the University of New Mexico.
Brad Bergsbaken has been an instructor for the Department of Economics at UNM for 4 years teaching courses ranging from Introductory Economics to upper division theory and topics courses. He has taught for the American Economic Association's Summer Program for three years, and has also taught Economics and Business courses at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Brad received the Susan Deese-Roberts award for outstanding teaching in 2012, and has recently accepted a position with the Center for Teaching Excellence teaching at the Teaching Assistant Resource Course (TARC) and facilitating teaching workshops. His research interests lie in the areas of non-market valuation of environmental amenities, particularly open space, national forests and wildfire in New Mexico and the Inter-Mountain West.
Abdelbaset Haridy received his B.A from Sohag University, Egypt. After that, he got a diploma in educational technology in 2008, followed by another diploma in TESOL in 2009. In 2009, he also finished his M.Sc coursework in Information Technology with a focus on E-Learning Technologies. In Summer 2012, he received a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Cairo University. In Spring 2014, he received another master’s degree in TESOL. Currently, he is working on his PhD in TESOL at UNM. He also works as a teaching assistant in the CTE while being a graduate fellow in the CSWR. Baset received several honors and awards. In 2008 and 2009, he won two fully funded scholarships from the ITI to study graphic design and information technology. In 2011, he was selected by Fulbright Commission to teach college students in the U.S. In Spring 2012, he was a visiting scholar in the Africana Studies program at UNM. He also won the Carl P. and Erma W. Dunifon Scholarship in 2013 and 2014. Finally, in Spring 2014, he won the Tony Hillerman Fellowship at the CSWR. His current research interests are language testing and assessment, curriculum development, world Englishes, and computational linguistics.
Rijasoa Andriamanana is a PhD student in the Language, Literacy & Sociocultural Studies (LLSS) program at the University of New Mexico, with interests that include Identity, Culture, and Foreign Language Pedagogy. Her tentative dissertation topic "Incorporation of Native Culture in Foreign Language Teaching in Madagascar" will be presented at a teachers' workshop this summer in Madagascar, and is partially funded by the Graduate Studies Research Project Travel Award for Summer 2014.
Matheus A. Tunes is a graduate student in the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (USP) in the major area of Nuclear and Materials Engineering. From 2009 to 2012, he worked for the National Nuclear Energy Commission in the Institute of Nuclear and Energy Research. He has experience in Physics, focused in Atomic Physics and Condensed Matter Physics especially in the subareas: Theory of Electrodynamics, Modern Optics and Quantum Mechanics applied to laser development and applications; experimental and theoretical studies for laser resonators performance enhancement; applications of Q-switched high-power lasers to nuclear waste management and several type-materials characterization via Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy technique. He earned his specialist degree in semiconductor lasers by the Center for Lasers and Applications in the Laser Development Lab during his undergraduate course, with support of a scholarship from FAPESP. Additionally, he has a high extension course in Electromagnetic Photon-Matter interaction by the Air Force Institute of Technology and Non-Linear and Quantum Optics by São Carlos Institute of Physics. He earned his bachelor's degree in Physics with emphasis in Basic Research in 2012 by the Institute of Physics of USP and in 2013 he obtained his SPIE Membership in the chapter affiliation of the United States Air Force Institute of Technology.
CHTM and OSE-ECE graduate student Md. Mottaleb Hossain has been awarded a prestigious 2014 Optics and Photonics Education (OPE) Scholarship by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, for his potential contributions to the field of optics and photonics. He was also the recipient of 2013 SPIE Student Travel Grant to present his paper at SPIE Optics + Photonics Conference. While being very active in his research, Mottaleb has been a great mentor to a number of undergraduate and high-school students working on research projects at CHTM. Mottaleb received Bachelor of Science in Electrical & Electronic Engineering (EEE) from Khulna University of Engineering & Technology, Bangladesh in 2009. He is now pursuing PhD in Optical Science and Engineering (OSE) at UNM. He works with ECE Professor Majeed M. Hayat on modeling, design, fabrication, and characterization of CMOS compatible avalanche photodiodes and integrated plasmonic detectors to be used in smart-lighting applications. His research work is supported in part by the NSF under the Smart Lighting-Engineering Research Center. He is the newly elected President of the Optical Society of America's UNM Student Chapter (OSA-UNM) for the current year, where he also served as the Vice President last year. He is an active graduate student member of many professional and learned societies including SPIE, OSA, IEEE, IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), IEEE EDS, and Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB).
Rebecca Ellis is an advanced Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History. She spent the last year working and living in Argentina where she was developing her current dissertation project. In her dissertation Rebecca examines the creation of political communities among blind students and immigrants in Argentina during the first half of the twentieth century. Her project attempts to understand how the blind attempted to generate better and more diverse labor opportunities by differentiating themselves from other disability categories that policy makers in Argentina increasingly labeled as dangerous. Understanding how disability was differentiated in Argentina both internally and externally to the blind movement will help further our understanding of the ways in which early twentieth century political movements promoting the interests of disabled persons established the basis of later twentieth century movements grouping persons with disabilities into a single cause.
Rachel Spaulding is an advanced Ph.D. candidate in colonial literature in the Spanish and Portuguese Department. Her dissertation focuses on the textual productions and mystical experiences of three early modern Afro-women: Spain's Sister Teresa Juliana de Santo Domingo, also known as Chicaba, Peru's Úrsula de Jesús and Brazil's Rosa Maria Egipçíaca. Her interdisciplinary research applies performance theory to explain how these women's texts foster a reading of transformation from slave subject to mystical agent and it situates these women's words and experiences within field of Ibero-Atlantic history.
Gino Signoracci is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Philosophy. His dissertation explores the reception of philosophies of India in German intellectual circles during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Specifically, it critiques G.W.F. Hegel's account of Indian culture and thought, which although deeply problematic contributed to an abiding sense among Western philosophers that Asian traditions were not "truly" philosophical. The work looks at local debates motivating Hegel's judgments and also appeals to the self-understanding of representatives of Indian traditions. Gino's research interests include classical and contemporary Indian philosophies, social and political philosophy, German Idealism, and the history of philosophy.
Nicholas Schwartz is a fifth year Ph.D candidate in English at the University of New Mexico. His dissertation focuses on the numerous and varied writings of Archbishop Wulfstan of York (d. 1023) in order to show that this important late Anglo-Saxon churchman had a much more extensive relationship with and interest in the history of his land than has been previously noted. The history of Anglo-Saxon England is something which Wulfstan mines, suppresses, and even invents. Ultimately, Nicholas’ project will show that the events, people, and texts from previous eras of Anglo-Saxon England were often used by Wulfstan to shape religion and society in his own present day.
Mary Hudgens Henderson is a PhD candidate in Hispanic Linguistics in the Spanish and Portuguese Department. She has an M.A. in Spanish and an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language, and taught in bilingual elementary schools in Colorado. Her dissertation is an extension of a project she originally began with her second-grade students of tracking “formal” and “informal” language variants. The dialect-awareness curriculum teaches bilingual students about modern sociolinguistics and style-shifting to context-appropriate language. Students explore issues of accent prejudice and the connection between speech and identity.
Dana Murray attends the University of New Mexico, San Juan Center in Farmington. She teaches second grade and will graduate with her Masters in Elementary Education. For her inquiry she is conducting home visits. As she gets to know the families better by going into their homes, she hopes this will improve her relationships with them as well as strengthen their academic success. So far, the parents have been cooperative and Dana has seen a huge change in behaviors as well as better relationships with parents and students.
Mary Durfey is an MA student in Elementary Education at the University of New Mexico, San Juan Center. She is an elementary art teacher doing her teacher practitioner research on choice-based studio art experiences with her fifth grade students. Mary will be presenting her practitioner research at the Annual College of Education Graduate Student Colloquium on April 8, 2014.
Devin Bozzelli will be graduating with an MA in Elementary Education from UNM in May 2014. She is currently teaching self-contained 6th grade on the Navajo Reservation. She came to New Mexico as a Teach for America Corp Member, previously Devin was studying Theater Management at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Upon entering the classroom, she anticipated working with a group of students that loved learning and more specifically loved reading because she had always loved every aspect of school growing up. However, after a few months she began to notice that there was a strong dislike towards the reading block and she quickly attributed this dislike towards the scripted reading program that she was using in her classroom. Finally, Devin reached a point when she realized that she needed to begin using the scripted reading program more as a resource and less as a curriculum. Through her research, her classroom has become an environment of learners that enjoy reading exponentially more than they did when the school year began. Devin feels more empowered as a teacher writing her own lessons and her students feel more invested in their learning.
Melissa Hughes is an MA in Elementary Education at the University of New Mexico. Her research inquiry is based on what happens when she gets more involved in her community. She has been sending out more flyers and newsletters informing her student's parents about what is going on in their classroom. Melissa has also been in a couple homes just visiting and listening to her students' parents view points. She recently completed her fourth consecutive year teaching on the Navajo Reservation.
Rita McGrath is completing her Master’s in Elementary Education through UNM. She has taught for 30 years and is currently a NM Pre-K consultant. She has noticed the pool of teachers for hire is almost non-existent in some communities in New Mexico. She would like to see more qualified teachers being hired in every school in New Mexico. Her research project takes a close up view of a new teacher with no experience or training in the field of teaching. She wonders what is needed to appropriately support and retain new teachers. As she supports this new teacher, she uses a coaching approach. This has improved her own skill of coaching as an added bonus.
Amanda Champanyis finishing her Masters in Education at the University of New Mexico, San Juan Center. She has worked with educational programs in England, South Korea, Nepal and the Navajo Nation of New Mexico. She is currently teaching in the middle school gifted program in Farmington, New Mexico. She is interested in helping diverse learners access their full potential through Project-based Learning. Recently, she has presented with her cohort at the College of Education Graduate Colloquium and will be presenting at the San Juan Chapter of the New Mexico Association of Gifted later this month.
Jose Marcio Luna graduated from the District University of Bogotááá with a magna cum laude distinction in 2004. After that, in 2005, he was awarded the Outstanding Young Researcher Fellowship granted by the Colombian National Research Council (Colciencias), and in 2007, was awarded the Colfuturo Scholarship given to outstanding Colombian students to pursue graduate studies abroad. The scholarship gave him the opportunity to obtain his MSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in 2009. Jose is currently working on his PhD in Electrical Engineering with a PhD minor in Applied Mathematics. His current research looks at the development of theoretical techniques to optimize the performance of computing systems by using Control Systems theory, Discrete Event Systems (DES) theory, optimization theory and Randomized Algorithms. In January 2014, Jose was notified that he has been awarded the AWS (Amazon Web Services) in Education Research grant which gave him a credit of $21,000 to carry out the experiments of his dissertation. This award is very important because it indicates that he is on the right track and gives him the motivation to keep working.
Emily A. Lilo, MPH, recently joined the Department of Communication and Journalism as a first year PhD student in Health Communication. New to the Communication field, Emily has a background in International and Maternal Child Health. Prior to coming to New Mexico, she spent several years running an innovative and highly effective behavioral research study at Stanford University aimed at preventing stress, anxiety and depression in the mothers of preterm infants. In addition to being a student at UNM, Emily is also an Associate Scientist at the UNM Prevention Research Center, where she avidly pursues her research interests of reducing health disparities and examining social determinants of health. She works on a variety of community-based projects targeting obesity prevention through reducing health disparities and increasing venues for physical activity and access to healthy foods. Such projects include a Health Impact Assessment on the creation of hiking trails in rural underserved communities, and a statewide evaluation of the SNAP-Education programs in New Mexico.
Nick Noblet is a doctoral student in the Communication & Journalism department. For his dissertation, he is exploring how an organization can assess its health and status through the use of internal email from a communication perspective. The now defunct Enron corporation is a widely known scandal that erupted in the early 2000s, culminating with federal convictions for top executives. Thousands of jobs and pensions were lost, making it one of the biggest corporate scandals in U.S. history. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released over 500,000 of Enron's emails for study in the early 2000s, and Nick is qualitatively examining those emails using the Coordinated Management of Meaning. Beyond his dissertation, Nick teaches online communication courses and wants to use his PhD outside of the University. He recently earned a Professional Scrum Master (PSM I) certification and hopes to apply communication knowledge to the information technology field.
Mónica Pérez-Marín joins us from Medellin, Colombia on a Fulbright Antioquia's University Professor Scholarship. She is a second year PhD student in the Communication & Journalism Department. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and a Master's degree in Communication and Culture. Her research interests are concentrated on critically examining the role media plays in intercultural communication especially in topics related to environmental issues and social justice.
Maureen Meyer, a M.S. candidate in Geography and Environmental Studies, completed international field research this past summer in the Commonwealth of Dominica, a Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles. Maureen has received a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship, a Graduate Studies Research, Project, and Travel Grant (RPT), as well as a Graduate Studies Assistantship. All of these grants have been instrumental in helping Maureen to prepare, conduct, and complete her thesis research on the use of medicinal plants on the island. In her study of medicinal plants and their use, Maureen is investigating human-environmental interactions in Dominica and exploring the parallels between both biological and cultural adaptations of people and plans with their environments. In addition, Maureen is utilizing her knowledge of the Caribbean to assist the Geography and Environmental Studies Department in exploring the possibility of implementing a study-abroad program in the Caribbean. She intends to present her thesis research this spring at the annual American Association of Geographers Annual meeting.
Marilyn Davis is a College of Education, Holmes Scholar completing her doctorate in Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies and Educational Psychology with an emphasis in adolescent identity development, classroom learning and research methods. She received her master degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in School/University partnerships in 2001. From 2009-2012, Marilyn lived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai, developing school/university partnerships for Zayed University and presented her work at the 2010 UNESCO Education Conference at Sharjah University, Sharjah, UAE. Her teaching and service at Zayed, included teaching educational psychology courses and coordinating the Children Youth & Families Program. She added required courses in research methods, service learning, community leadership and social entrepreneurship to prepare students for careers after graduation. During the summer of 2012, she supported the upstart of her students’ entrepreneurial venture, a summer camp exclusively for adolescent Emirati girls ages 8 -18 years old. For this work, she received the Falcon City award for positive youth development. Ms. Davis documented some of the components of her work in the Middle East in the book chapter: Davis, M. and Abdulla, A. (2013). Teaching for service learning and community leadership. In Normore, A.H., & Erbe, N. (Eds.), Collective efficacy: Interdisciplinary perspectives on international leadership (pp. 107-136). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. She looks forward to a vibrant career in higher education.
Stephanie Jerman is a PhD student in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP) and is a recipient of both the BSGP Travel Award and the Research Project and Travel (RPT) Grant to attend national meetings to present her work. Stephanie was awarded a highly competitive NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein F31 Training Grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for her studies on the molecular mechanisms that contribute to craniofacial disorders accompanied by polycystic kidney disease.
Loreen Lamoureux is a PhD student in the UNM Biomedical Engineering program. Her research focuses on early detection methods for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in the beef chain. In summer of 2013 she traveled to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to complete an internship to isolate the specific biomarker, lipopolysaccharide, from seven strains of STEC. These biomarkers will be used to make monoclonal antibodies against the bacteria, which will enable cost effective and rapid detection of the pathogen in beef samples. Loreen was recently presented with an outstanding achievement award from the New Mexico Consortium for her research in isolating biomarkers of STEC to create new tool sets for early detection. Lamoureux is co-advised by Dr. Harshini Mukundan of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Dr. Steven Graves of UNM-Center for Biomedical Engineering. She works with Dr. Gabriel Montaño of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies to interrogate biomarker-membrane interactions, as well as with Drs. Rodney Moxley (UNL) and Edward Greenfield (Dana Farber Cancer Institute) on the continued development and testing of monoclonal antibodies against STEC. Her work is funded by the USDA’s STEC-CAP grant. For more information on this work, please visit www.stecbeefsafety.org. Watch her Video Journal.