New Mexico Tech highlights research divisions at Roundhouse 

Jan. 25, 2023

NMT Day includes Earth Science Achievement Award presentation

Nelia Dunbar, Dennis McQuillan, Todd Leahy
Dr. Nelia Dunbar, state geologist and director of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, left, and Todd Leahy, deputy secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, right, pose with Dennis McQuillan, Earth Science Achievement Award recipient. McQuillan received the award during a ceremony Jan. 23, 2023, at the New Mexico State Capitol in Santa Fe. 

SOCORRO, N.M. – Students took center stage at New Mexico Tech Day at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe on Jan. 23, 2023, displaying their research projects, clubs and organizations, and campus support services.  The event, which featured demonstrations of esports, robotics, a chemical engineering experiment, and a display showcasing an undergraduate student biology research project, aims to better familiarize legislators and state agency officials with New Mexico Tech’s esteemed research divisions and wide array of campus activities.

Biology students at Roundhouse
Biology students staff a table at New Mexico Tech Day @ the Roundhouse Jan. 23, 2023, displaying information about their hands-on indepdendent research project, Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES). From left, Nathaniel Jobe, Cassandra Skaar, Noah Patterson, and Riley Oesch.

New Mexico Tech President Stephen G. Wells said the annual day at the Roundhouse provides a venue for the university to showcase its talented students and unique programs. 

“I think it’s important for legislators, staff from state agencies, and others to understand the high-level research we do that impacts every citizen in the state,” he said. “With a focus on earth sciences and natural resources, it’s an honor to be here. It’s a key opportunity to bring students, faculty, and staff from across the campus to the Capitol.”

Student leaders at the Roundhouse
New Mexico Tech student leaders staff the Office of Student Life table at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe Jan. 23, 2023. From left, Efrain Pita, Isabelle Thomas, Alyssa Reinchuck, and Valentin Ornelas.

Research divisions represented at the Roundhouse event included the Institute for Complex Additive Systems Analysis (ICASA), the Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR), and the Energetic Materials Research and Training Center (EMRTC). The New Mexico Cybersecurity Center of Excellence and the Office of Innovation Commercialization also shared information about their activities at tables staffed by students and staff. 

Cybersecurity Center of Excellence table at the Roundhouse
Representatives from New Mexico Tech's Cybersecurity Center of Excellence answer questions at an information table near the Roundhouse Rotunda on Jan. 23, 2023. From left, Spencer Merrill, Lisa Ackley, and Brandon Hunt.

Student clubs and activities represented at NMT Day included esports, lunabotics and robotics, the Office of Student Life, Career Services, and biology and chemical engineering organizations.

The day’s events also included a noontime ceremony in the Rotunda and presentation of the Earth Science Achievement Award. Dennis McQuillan of Santa Fe received the annual award from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources in cooperation with the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. The award is given to a public servant who advanced the role of earth science in public policy. At the New Mexico Environment Department longtime former staffer McQuillan developed new regulatory frameworks and programs aimed at advancing the health and safety of all New Mexicans through citizen engagement and education.

Chemical Engineering students and faculty member
Students and staff from the Chemical Engineering Department staff a table at New Mexico Tech's Day @ the Legislature Jan. 23, 2023. From left, Samantha Lindholm, Diana Alvarado, Arianna Matthews, and Assistant Professor Youngmin Lee.