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Home | Tag Archives: nmsu grants

Tag Archives: nmsu grants

NMSU awarded $1.25m in state matching funds for faculty chairs, professorships

New Mexico State University has been awarded $1.25 million from the New Mexico Higher Education Endowment Fund in support of endowed professorships and faculty chairs in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines in several colleges.

NMSU is required to match the funding with an additional $1.25 million from private donors, a goal that has already been met, adding a total of $2.5 million to the NMSU Foundation’s permanent endowment.

“This will have a tremendous impact on our university, our research and – most importantly – our students,” said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. “Our university advancement team did outstanding work in securing the private funds to match these awards, which will help us continue to attract and retain exceptional faculty. I’m very proud of this accomplishment.”

The state funding includes $125,000 for the Dr. John A. and Margy Papen Endowed Professorship in Actuarial Science, a collaboration between the College of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences; $300,000 for the John Kaichiro Nakayama and Tome Miyaguchi Nakayama Endowed Chair in Engineering and $125,000 for the PESCO Endowed Professorship in Industrial Water Quality and Reclamation Research in the College of Engineering; and $700,000 for the Dr. Herb and Barbara Ward Endowed Interdisciplinary Chair in Environmental and Water Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

“We couldn’t have accomplished this without the generosity of these donors, who’ve made an enduring contribution to the success of these programs and our students,” said Andrea Tawney, interim vice president for university advancement. “The investment that our donors have made, along with the state’s contribution, will also have a lasting impact for our state and related industries.

In 2015, the New Mexico Legislature appropriated $5.5 million to the Higher Education Endowment Fund. Laws governing the fund were amended to support the establishment of endowed chairs, lectureships, professorships, scholarships for students, graduate assistantships and faculty development programs in STEM fields that will enhance the quality of public post-secondary education in New Mexico.

The Higher Education Department received 28 applications with more than $9.5 million in funding requests. The four endowments selected from NMSU were among a total of 16 awards granted to 11 campuses around the state.

The award determination was made by the state’s Higher Education Department, Department of Finance Administration and the Economic Development Department, based in part on the effect the faculty funding would have on enhancing public post-secondary education and advancing the governor’s legislative initiatives.

Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU

$2.3m grant renewed, preps NMSU students for grad school

A five-year partnership between New Mexico State University and the University of Colorado Denver will continue preparing undergraduates in the Rocky Mountain and Southwest region for graduate careers in neuroscience research, thanks to a $2.3 million grant renewal from the National Institutes of Health. NMSU was awarded a $700,000 subcontract to form a consortium with UC Denver.

“It’s been phenomenal. About 20 students have participated in the NMSU program and 100 percent of the graduating NMSU students have gone on to graduate school. Over half have entered Ph.D. programs and some are in graduate training to become physicians and dentists,” said Elba Serrano, NMSU Regents Professor in biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. Serrano co-wrote the original grant with Diego Restrepo, professor at UC Denver Anshutz Medical Campus.”

The Building Research Achievement in Neuroscience (BRAiN) program, established by the two universities in 2010 is part of the NIH initiative, Blueprint for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences. BP-ENDURE is part of the extensive NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, a cooperative effort among 16 NIH institutes, centers and offices that support neuroscience research.

Recent NMSU graduate Kathryn Sanchez, was involved in the BRAiN program from 2013 to 2015.

“My participation in BRAiN has made a world of difference throughout my undergraduate career,” Sanchez said. “In particular, we learned the impact that science has on society. It is a tool that can be used to improve lives, and often the most important discoveries begin at the bench.”

As part of the BRAiN program, undergraduates at each university take a weekly seminar during the school year, studying various neuroscience topics and conducting research at their campus. Students will also have the opportunity to attend a neuroscience conference, meeting different members of the scientific community and examining different neuroscience practices.

“The combination of small size cohorts and other aspects of the program such as the summer University of Colorado Denver mentored experience and dynamic mentors are part of what made the first grant cycle successful. Tim Wright and Graciela Unguez were also instrumental for program success through their efforts as associate directors during the early formative years of the program,” Serrano said. “Most of all, the BRAiN students are very talented and have a strong work ethic. The majority are Pell Grantees and the first in their family to complete a college degree.”

Undergraduates at both universities benefit not only from the research experience but also from mentoring, seminars and journal clubs. The program aims to bridge the neuroscience research participation gap by offering undergraduate research opportunities to diverse groups of students, which include those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; individuals with disabilities and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

During the summer, undergraduates participate in eight-week paid research internships at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine.

“Through BRAiN I have been able to network with others, and I have learned the importance of scientific communication,” said Sanchez. “As a result, I have been given the necessary tools to succeed in the dissemination of my research.”

“I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Biology at Georgetown University. This will allow me to better communicate with both scientists and the general public as I transition into science policy after my Ph.D.”

Under the grant renewal, Barbara Lyons, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry will take over duties as the principal investigator while Serrano’s role will be to direct neuroscience research education by offering workshops that build skills in written and oral scientific communication, quantitative analysis, and neuroethics.

Sondra Bland, psychology assistant professor at UC Denver-Downtown, and Diego Restrepo, professor of cell and developmental biology at UC Denver Anshutz Medical Campus, will work with Lyons at NMSU as co-principal investigators in the renewal administrative leadership team.

“Dr. Lyons is currently the program director for the National Institutes of Health ‘Bridges to the Baccalaureate’ Program,” said Serrano. “That’s a unique perspective her leadership will bring.”

Throughout the program, students will be assigned to a research mentor from each university to give them added support, while keeping faculty in Colorado and New Mexico connected. In addition to Serrano and Lyons, other NMSU faculty mentors during the first five years include: Michael Hout, psychology assistant professor; Mary Alice Scott, anthropology assistant professor; Erik Yukl, chemistry and biochemistry assistant professor; Reza Foudazi, chemical engineering assistant professor; Jennifer Fabre, kinesiology assistant professor; William Maio, chemistry and biochemistry assistant professor; Karen Mabry, biology associate professor; Timothy Wright, biology associate professor, Jessica Houston, chemical engineering associate professor; Igor Sevastianov, mechanical engineering professor; Graciela Unguez, biology professor; Robert Wood, kinesiology professor; Boris Kiefer, physics professor.

“I think the reason the grant was renewed is because we recruited talented students and strong mentors who are expert scientists,” Serrano said. “We delivered the expected outcomes. It’s a wonderful program.”

For more information on this program, visit: http://brain.nmsu.edu/ or their Facebook page for BRAiN Training-UCD & NMSU.

Author:  Minerva Baumann – NMSU

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