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Summer 2013

   June 3, 2013                June 10, 2013               June 17, 2013              June 24, 2013             July 1, 2013

   Nicole Nelson          Sean Bruna-Lewisés       Julia Hellwege          Grace & team                Lauren Harris

nicole  sean  julia  grace  lauren 

Nicole Nelson is a first-year master’s student in the political science department. She was recently awarded a one-time Graduate Studies assistantship for the spring 2013 semester, with which she will support professors by completing a data set to study the intersectionality of race and gender in the Brazilian legislature.


Sean Bruna-Lewis is a PhD. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology. An immigrant from Mexico to El Paso, Texas, Sean returned to El Paso for two years of doctoral field research. His dissertation, “Sowing Seeds for the Future to Honor Tigua History and Tradition” utilizes community-based participatory research to examine type-2 diabetes prevention and care at Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, Texas. His research examines the intersection of four domains addressing the prevention of diabetes: tribal history, healthcare practices, religion, and individual wellness behaviors. Sean’s research was made possible by various grants and fellowships, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. As a recipient of UNM's One-Time Graduate Assistantship Award, Sean will develop a dual semester undergraduate course on community-based participatory research. Designed to support the goals of the Research Service Learning Program (RSLP), of which Sean is a founding faculty member, this course will provide undergraduates with the theory and skills to conduct their own community based research. Learn more about Sean at his website.



Julia Hellwege recently completed the Latin@ Graduate and Professional Student Fellowship program administered through the GRC and El Centro de la Raza. She is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science specializing in the subfields of American and Comparative politics. Her primary concentration lies in the study of political institutions and their effects, particularly on women’s and minority political representation. She is currently working on several projects involving minority politics in the United States. One looks at minority women and committee leadership in state legislatures another looks at the effects of the economic recession on minorities political behavior, both of these co-authored pieces were presented at the Western Political Science Association conference. She is just starting her dissertation which will look at the effects of diverse state legislatures on the public’s sense of trust and efficacy. Julia is also engaged in coordinating Ready to Run NM, a training program for women who are thinking about running for public office. You can learn more about Julia at the Political Science website.



Doctoral and Masters Students Grace Faustino, Nicole Berezin, Caitlin Legere and Adrian Carstens have secured a grant in the amount of $ 102,249 from Grand Challenges Canada to implement a bold, innovative idea addressing global health disparities. They are working on an international collaborative project in Ghana to develop a proof-of-concept design for a mobile distance learning environment to train Physician Assistants in rural communities of Ghana. Along with UNM Regents Professor Lani Gunawardena and mobile learning experts Mohamed Ally and Agniezka Palalas, they will be traveling to Ghana beginning in June to start phase-one of the project. Watch this video highlighting the team's project goals. Grace Faustino, a South Sudanese native from Africa is a doctoral student in the Organizational, Information and Learning Sciences (OILS) Department. Her passion is to both research and develop Mobile Learning Environments and Instructional Design for Academia. This passion is the reason for her involvement in this international collaborative project to design a Mobile Learning Platform for Distance Education to be used as an instructional platform to train physician assistants in rural Ghana. Nicole Berezin is a doctoral student in the OILS department and pursues her passion for using technology to leverage knowledge and resources in an effort to reduce healthcare disparities in New Mexico and throughout the world; both in her studies and her work as a Program Specialist for Replication Initiatives at Project ECHO® (Extensions for Community Healthcare Outcomes), University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC). Caitlin Legere is an OILS Masters student who will complete her degree in December 2013. A graphic artist/designer, technology and new-media enthusiast residing in Taos, she believes that social entrepreneurship of the type this group has pursued is an instrument of personal growth for her, and allows her to use her creative drive to make a direct impact on the global greater good. Adrian Carstens is an OILS Masters student, attending UNM as a distance learner from Alameda, CA. He works as the HRD Manager for a customer service call center handling medical, commercial, and government clients. His area of interest is leveraging technology to effect organizational performance improvement. He feels this project showcases how OILS students can have a global societal impact.



Lauren Harris just completed her first year of graduate studies in Music Performance with a concentration in Flute at the University of New Mexico. She regularly performs with the UNM Symphony Orchestra. She was also awarded an assistantship to perform with the UNM Wind Symphony, Graduate Woodwind Quintet, and in several venues as part of the school of music's community outreach and education. Most notably, she recently was one of twenty-five flutists, nationally, to receive the honor of an invitation to perform in the National Flute Association's Young Artist Competition at their Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, which will take place in August, 2013.

  July 8, 2013                 July 15, 2013               July 22, 2013             August 5, 2013          August 12, 2013

   Sigrid Karlstrom          Tyler Zeyés       Douglas VanBenthuysen  Gbenga Olorunsiwa    Beth Pritchard

sigrid  tyler  douglas  gbenga  beth 

Sigrid Karlstrom, a Masters student in viola performance and string pedagogy, won a core position in the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, where she will start in Fall 2013. She has played regularly this season with Sunday Chatter, collaborating with Albuquerque area professionals such as Guillermo Figueroa, David Felberg, Joan Zucker, and James Shields, her most recent performance (June 2013) being "Child" by minimalist composer David Lang. Follow the link to a performance featuring Sigrid that was recorded in January, 2013. Sigrid has also performed recently with Opera Southwest and the Figueroa Project. Sigrid switched to viola about one year ago after completing a Masters degree in violin at the University of Oregon with professor Fritz Gearhart. She is currently a student of Kimberly Fredenburgh at the University of New Mexico. After her graduation, Sigrid plans to pursue a career in viola performance and teaching.


Tyler Zey is a second year masters student at UNM. He began his studies at Luther College in Iowa. In fall 2012, he won the district Music Teacher National Association competition and place honorable mention at regionals. In Spring 2013, he recorded a cd that placed him in the semi-finals of the International Clarinet Associations Young Artist Competition. The applicants were from eleven countries. He was unable to compete further due to a previous engagement with Lorin Maazel's Castleton Festival where he will play clarinet for three operas, eight orchestra concerts, and several chamber music concerts. In fall 2013, he will tour Japan with Lorin Maazel performing La Fanciulla del West and compete in the Beijing International Music Competition..



Douglas Ryan VanBenthuysen is a PhD candidate in the University of New Mexico Department of English Language and Literature, with a focus on Medieval Studies. He was recently awarded a dissertation fellowship from the Bilinski Foundation. His dissertation focuses on the concept of authority in the Old English Genesis poem(s), an Anglo-Saxon poem based on the biblical book of Genesis. The dissertation examines both the poet's use of language and connections to Anglo-Saxon culture. Doug's other scholarly interests include Old English Language and Old Norse Language and Literature.



Gbenga Frederick Olorunsiwa is the winner of 2012-2013 Susan Deese-Roberts Outstanding Teaching Assistant of the Year Awards. Mr. Olorunsiwa’s research encompasses Race, African and African diasporic cinema, African history and Literature. His PhD, MA and BA research and other works have explored issues of race and race relations in the United States and Africa, identity, society and cultural representation in African, African diasporic cinema and literature. He is currently an ABD (All but dissertation) student and is writing his PhD dissertation in the area of representations of Africa and Africans in films from various cinematic traditions, particularly in Western films, exploring these representations as they happened within particular socio-economic and political frameworks. Mr. Olorunsiwa earned his MA in Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with specialization in Africa and African Diaspora Literature and his BA degree at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, where he majored in English Literature, and wrote his thesis on Wole Soyinka, who was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African to be so honored. Congratulations once again to Mr. Olorunsiwa on winning this award, his dedication to his students as a teaching assistant and all his academic achievements.



Beth Pritchardreceived her BA. in Psychology at UNM while working in an adult rehab facility among a team of physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, physicians and nurses. She returned to graduate school to become a speech-language pathologist in 2011 and began a fellowship in the LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) program in association with the Center for Development and Disability (CDD). Her research and leadership projects have focused on overcoming barriers to interprofessional collaboration at the training level and providing information and encouraging communication between students who have little access to resources outside of their respective departments. Beth is the co-founder of UNM SIDE (Students for InterDisciplinary Education), a blog devoted to promoting educational collaboration and increased communication between departments. Through ongoing research and community leadership efforts, she works to support strong alliances among UNM educators and students alike to improve the health and education of New Mexico and beyond.

    August 19, 2013         August 26, 2013              

   Sigrid Karlstrom          Tyler Zeyés      

mohammad  pranav 

Mohammad Reza Arbabshiraniis a double major graduate student doing his PhD in Electrical Engineering and his Masters of Science in Statistics at University of New Mexico. In 2013, he was selected as Outstanding Graduate Student at the Mathematics and Statistics department. In 2012 he was selected as outstanding student at the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. His is working under supervision of Prof. Vince Calhoun at the Mind Research Network on automatic discrimination of brain disorders based on neuroimaging data. His broad interdisciplinary research interests include signal and image processing, machine learning, data analysis, statistical modeling and neuroimaging.