Proposed Resource Centers To Support Staff, Faculty, Students

March 8, 2023

International Women’s Day events kicked off planning for resources at New Mexico Tech 

Dr. Kay Bjornen, Dr. Jennifer Dawson, Johann Lindig, and Dr. Nelia Dunbar
To set the tone for Women's History Month, Dr. Jennifer Dawson spoke on "Succeeding and leading authentically: The how & why to help women in STEM get there." Posing at Macey Center March 6 after the kickoff luncheon are, from left, NMT alumna Dr. Kay Bjornen, Dr. Dawson, NMT alumna Johann Lindig, and Dr. Nelia Dunbar, director of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources and state geologist. 

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.

Dr. Stephen G. Wells
New Mexico Tech President Dr. Stephen G. Wells kicks off three days of events honoring women during Women's History Month, saying it's a great honor because "I know the strength of women."

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.

Dr. Donette Alonzo
Dr. Donette Alonzo of the University of Missouri's College of Education and Human Development, speaks at the International Women's Day luncheon at Macey Center March 8, discussing the difference between equality and equity, which she equated to "giving everyone a shoe that fits."

“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.

Dr. Michelle Creech-Eakman, Mackenzie Best
Dr. Michelle Creech-Eakman, physics professor and project scientist for the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer, discusses her path in STEM academics and at the Jet Propulsion Lab during a panel discussion March 7 at Macey Center. Graduate student Mackenzie Best, who is in the third year of pursuing a Ph.D. in geobiology, awaits her turn to address the audience.

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.”

Dr. Yolanda Jones King
Dr. Yolanda Jones King, NMT regent,  discusses her long career with the Department of Defense managing research and program planning, during a panel discussion March 7 at Macey Center.

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:

Marina Heim, Cynthia Connolly

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.