Proposed Resource Centers To Support Staff, Faculty, Students
March 8, 2023
SOCORRO, N.M. – To better support women and students from underrepresented populations at New Mexico Tech, an effort was launched during three days of International Women’s Day activities to explore the concept of a Women’s Resource Center and a Diversity Center on campus. “Honoring Women in Work,” a three-day celebration during Women’s History Month, included a TECH Talk, luncheons and speakers, a town hall, panel discussion, and speed mentoring, drawing together students, alumnae, faculty, and staff.
A group of NMT alumnae are collaborating with the university’s Advancement and Alumni Relations Office to plan for a Women’s Resource Center and a Diversity Center on campus. Advancement Director Colleen Foster said female students, students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and other student groups face unique challenges in STEM.
“Both centers will provide a place for students to connect with each other, engage with mentors who have paved the way before them, and participate in special educational and outreach opportunities,” she said.
NMT President Stephen G. Wells, who welcomed attendees to the three days of events and introduced TECH Talk speaker Dr. Jennifer Dawson, said resource centers can help promote achievement through access to knowledge, support systems, and key tools, and “help students connect so they can be successful at Tech and beyond.”
Highlights from the three-day celebration included:
- A TECH Talk by Dr. Jennifer Dawson, who addressed challenges women and underrepresented people in STEM fields face in academia and corporate work, and building alliances. Dr. Dawson encouraged students to cultivate mentors who will “call you out” and “step in with words of encouragement.”
- A panel discussion featuring students, faculty members, a regent, and alumnae, who discussed their academic and career paths in STEM and the challenges they faced.
- Speed mentoring, which connected students with women in STEM in academia and the business world who offered career advice.
- The International Women’s Day keynote speaker, Dr. Donette Alonzo, a faculty member
at the University of Missouri, who discussed equity, embracing our heritage, and being
persistent and determined to succeed.
Women’s History Month continues with a month-long artist’s showcase and a reception March 24. WomenFest weekend activities include a performance by the String Queens; workshops and an expo featuring music and dancing, food, and vendors March 24 and 25; and a panel discussion sponsored by the NMT American Indian Science and Engineering Society March 24. More information, including times and locations, is online at: nmt.edu/pas
Biology grad student Marina Heim, left, receives career advice from Cynthia Cynthia Connolly, education outreach manager with the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources during "speed mentoring" at Macey Center March 7.