Women’s scientific contributions continue to be under-recognized. Despite the comparable quality of work, women receive far fewer influential awards than their male counterparts and the prestige that accompanies those. Although the gender gap is closing on the number of awards women garner, they are still grossly underrepresented among preeminent award recipients. Only 21 of the 668 Nobel laureates in science, for example, have been women.

The New Mexico Women in Science and Engineering awards support our goal of encouraging women to succeed in STEM and allied professions.

We also encourage our members to nominate or be nominated for awards by other organizations since historically women have not sought honors as aggressively as their male counterparts. These awards provide financial support, recognition in their fields and open doors to grant funding and career advancement. We honor those who have received these awards in our newsletters and on our website.

Women’s scientific contributions continue to be under-recognized. Despite the comparable quality of work, women receive far fewer influential awards than their male counterparts and the prestige that accompanies those. Although the gender gap is closing on the number of awards women garner, they are still grossly underrepresented among preeminent award recipients. Only 21 of the 668 Nobel laureates in science, for example, have been women.

The New Mexico Women in Science and Engineering awards support our goal of encouraging women to succeed in STEM and allied professions.

We also encourage our members to nominate or be nominated for awards by other organizations since historically women have not sought honors as aggressively as their male counterparts. These awards provide financial support, recognition in their fields and open doors to grant funding and career advancement. We honor those who have received these awards in our newsletters and on our website.

In 2007, in cooperation with the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women, we created the IMPACT! Award to recognize the contributions of New Mexican women who have made an impact through STEM outreach, mentoring and their professional achievements. Several outstanding women have already received this annual award, and we look forward to honoring many more.

Meet Our IMPACT! Award Winners

2021

2021: Maggie Werner-Washburne, Albuquerque

Dr. Maggie Werner-Washburne is an Iowa-raised daughter of a German father and a Mexican, activist mother. She is a Regent’s Professor emerita in Biology at UNM, Past-President OF SACNAS, an AAAS Lifetime Mentor (2017), AAAS Fellow, 2011 Harvard Foundation Distinguished Scientist, highly cited researcher, and a recipient of two US presidential awards for research and excellence in science, engineering, and math mentoring.

Dr. Werner-Washburne is also widely recognized for her work in diversity in STEM. She has contributed to the careers of hundreds of students by providing them with mentor training, talks, and various tools for success. For the past 3.5 years, her project has been STEM Boomerang www.stemboomerang.org. The goal of STEM Boomerang is to connect highly educated, high tech STEM grads with careers in New Mexico and to seed top levels of leadership in the state with young leaders who can help New Mexico grow in ways that align with the valued cultures and traditions in the state.

Dr. Werner-Washburne was recognized during the NMNWSE Annual Meeting and Technical Symposium on October 23, 2021.

Full News Release

2020

2020: N/A

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the IMPACT! Award was put on hold for 2020.

2019

2019: Tinka Gammel, Los Alamos

Dr. Tinka Gammel was honored in 2019 with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for her years of service with NMNWSE. Dr. Gammel was selected to receive a Special IMPACT! Award in 2019 because she is an extraordinary NMNWSE member. She has dedicated countless hours of her time and energy to our mission; serving as the webmaster and communications chair for over two decades; helping with annual meetings and contributing to conferences; judging at NM State Science Fair year after year; organizing networking and technical interchange events; and even serving as our warehouse for STEM conference materials and backpacks!  She is absolute and unwavering in her commitment to advancing women in STEM fields and pursues this goal in all aspects of her life.  We are so fortunate to have Tinka in the Network!

2018

2018: Casey DeRaad, Albuquerque

The New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering is honored to announce Casey DeRaad as the 12th Annual NMNWSE 2018 IMPACT! Award Winner. Ms. DeRaad is an electrical engineer and serves as lead for education and community outreach activities with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Albuquerque.

Having successfully expanded services through the Phillips Scholars program, for STEM-focused intern students with AFRL, and Starbase La Luz Academy, providing educational support and outreach for students across NM, Casey applies her engineering training and tireless enthusiasm to expand programs, policies and practices, and increase networks to broaden the participation of all students, targeting under-represented groups, in STEM.

2017

2017: Bonnie Frey, Socorro

New Mexico is blessed to have Bonnie Frey as an active Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math citizen. She has contributed almost two decades to NM’s STEM capacity via research, teaching, training, leadership, and mentorship. Her STEM work is exceptional and impactful, particularly as a leader and mentor.

Bonnie is deserving of this award for many reasons – her commitment to the future of STEM in New Mexico, her mentoring of women in STEM, being a great role model through her persistence and confidence to achieve her own STEM degree and her career pathway in a male-dominated field, and for increasing the participation and retention of women students in STEM – helping them build their own personal sense of belonging in the STEM culture.

2017 Dr. Mercedes Agogino wins a Lifetime Achievement Award

It is with great pride and pleasure that the New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering is presenting a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Mercedes Agogino. She truly merits this award for her extraordinary career and efforts in furthering the Network’s goals of encouraging women to enter into science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and allied professions (STEM-AP). Her lifelong passion and desire to increase the role of women in these fields through support of students in middle school through college is awe-inspiring and deserves to be celebrated.

Mercedes has been a trailblazer for women, for STEM-AP, and for all underrepresented groups in New Mexico! As a long-time member of the Network, she has participated in many of our efforts over the years. She served as our State Science Fair Awards coordinator for many years. Mercedes enabled us to reward and encourage well over 200 students during this time at both the middle school and high school levels. We are very excited to hold this event in her honor and share her remarkable life and career.

2016

2016: Carol Linder, Las Vegas

Carol Linder, Ph.D.; the New Mexico Highlands University Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Cell Biology is honored with the 2016 Impact! Award.

Dr. Carol Linder is an amazing woman whose extraordinary efforts encourage women to enter and develop their careers in science, engineering and allied professions. She is extremely passionate about helping women become successful in these careers. Dr. Linder also reaches out to young girls in the community to inspire their interest in becoming scientists. Sparking this early interest is critical.

2015

2015: Laura Crossey, Albuquerque

Laura is being recognized for her extraordinary 30-year mentoring effort encompassing directly mentoring over 100 undergraduate and graduate student mentees in her own discipline, as well as playing a leading role in local and statewide K-12 through graduate-level STEM support programs, served on the NM Governor’s committee to establish Science Standards, and helping the University of New Mexico to develop policies and programs that support inclusive participation and success in STEM across the campus improving the college experience for thousands of students, not to mention volunteering her time as a Science Fair Judge, Coach, PTA President, and Soccer referee.

With a special focus on Hispanic and Native American students, Laura brings them into research by finding a project for them near where they grew up. Brandi Cron Kamermans, one of the Native American students Laura mentored, states: “In the last eight years I have become a scientist, and it would not have been possible without Dr. Crossey’s support”, adding “I saw her do this for many students – each one taking a unique path in their education.”

Full News Release

2015 nominees: Laura Crossey (winner), and Carol Linder. Past nominees were also considered.

2014

2014: Jan Frigo, Santa Fe

Jan is being recognized for her extraordinary mentoring and networking contributions over the past 16 years as an ambassador, advocate, mentor, and leader in the STEM professions. She galvanizes kids’ interest in robotics, works arduously to close the gender gap in STEM fields through organizing and leading workshops in the northern NM Expanding Your Horizons (NNM EYH), professionally mentors students and junior professionals in computer science and engineering, and also finds time to network with and do STEM outreach to women and minority small business start-ups in New Mexico.

Full News Release

2014 nominees: Due to the outstanding slate of recent candidates, in 2014 we decided to select from past nominees.

2013

2013: Phyllis Baca, Santa Fe

Phyllis Baca’s passion is to present STEM opportunities to low-income students, especially women and Hispanics. Around 2007, Phyllis began volunteering at Sante Fe Community College with a goal to double the number of women and Hispanics enrolled in the engineering department. Phyllis focused on revitalizing the Engineering and Engineering Technologies degree programs through clear career pathways tied to State and National career clusters and more than succeeded in her goal, quickly rising to department chair. “As a teacher, Phyllis has been an inspiration. She is a role model that I could understand. Her passion as an instructor has always shined through, from the first time I met her in my Introduction to Engineering course to her help and advice today.” wrote Erika Arvizo, one of the first of the women to receive her Associates of Science in General Engineering at Santa Fe Community College. Through her teaching at Santa Fe Community College’s engineering department and volunteering with numerous local, state, and regional agencies such as Project Lead the Way and Expanding Your Horizons, Phyllis has touched the lives of hundreds of NM educators and thousands of NM students, and has dramatically increased the number of women and Hispanics obtaining STEM degrees in New Mexico.

Full news release.

2013 nominees: Phyllis Baca (winner), Jan Frigo, Antoinette Gant, Martha Mitchell, Michele Nishiguchi, and Katherine Prestridge.

2012

2012: Diane Albert, Albuquerque

Dr. Diane Albert Albert holds a Ph.D in Material Sciences and Engineering as well as a J.D. with a specialization in intellectual law. Diane has been actively involved in promoting scholarships for Hispanic women pursuing education and career goals in science through her participation with the non-profit organization MANA del Norte. The president of MANA del Norte, Dolores Roybal describes Diane’s efforts as playing “an important role in the success of our organization….She is not only a role model; she is a champion for the cause.” Diane’s mentoring has also extended to introducing young women to STEM fields by leading fun and interactive technical workshops through the Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) program. Her mentees, inspired by Diane’s example, have gone on to become mentors themselves. Her nominator, who Diane mentored, states that “Dr. Albert is an exceptionally strong leader and mentor” and serves as a “life-changing role model to many young women including myself”.

Full news release.

2012 nominees: Diane Albert (winner), Carol Burns, and Barbara Lopez

2011

2011: Jane Selverstone, Albuquerque

Dr. Selverstone is recognized for being an outstanding mentor, teacher, and role model to her colleagues, her students, and the children at area elementary schools. Quoting Dr. Selverstone’s nominator, Prof. Les McFadden, professor and former UNM Earth & Planetary Sciences Chair: “Dr. Jane Selverstone is an internationally known and respected Earth scientist, recently named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Dr. Selverstone has had a highly positive impact on many female students considering the sciences as a career, accomplishing this both through her mentoring of graduate and undergraduate students and inspired teaching. In recognition of her outstanding teaching skills, she received two of the highest teaching awards conferred for excellence in teaching at UNM: the Gunter Starkey Teaching Award from the College of Arts & Sciences and the University of New Mexico Teacher of the Year Award. Ultimately, Jane Selverstone has been an unselfish mentor to all women in Earth science. As one of our female faculty members put it: ‘She has been my primary role model as a woman scientist and educator and I enthusiastically recommend her for this award.'”

Full news release.

2011 nominees: Due to the awesome IMPACT! of all previous nominees, for the 2011 award the NMNWSE Board opted to reconsider past nominations rather than solicit new ones.

2010

2010: Eleanor Walther, Albuquerque

Eleanor Walther has been a member of NMNWSE for almost 30 years and served in a variety of positions, including the statewide president. Since 1991, she has been on the organizing committee for the Albuquerque Expanding Your Horizons conference for 6th-12th grade girls to encourage them to pursue non-traditional careers. Additionally, Ms. Walther has been involved in the Supercomputing Challenge, a year-long program for mid and high school students to promote math and science, and Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically), a summer and after-school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program for middle school students. In June 2010, Eleanor worked with 21 female teachers with limited computer modeling and programming skills to to become GUTS Club leaders and/or Supercomputing Challenge partners — Ms. Walther’s depth of knowledge and friendly, comfortable personality made the training a success. “Eleanor is an exemplary model in her extraordinary efforts in furthering the goals of the New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering,” states Celia Einhorn, program manager of the Supercomputing Challenge. “Her outstanding participation in both Project GUTS and the Supercomputing Challenge has been an exemplar for women for over a decade.”

Full news release.

2010 nominees: Eleanor Walther (winner), Carolyne Hart, Rosa Romero-Flores, and Janet L. Williams.

2009

2009: Joan Woodard, Albuquerque

Joan Woodard is recognized for championing women in non-traditional fields. Ms. Woodard’s outreach and visibility extend broadly — she is a life member of the Society of Women Engineers, on the Planning Committee for Lockheed Martin’s Annual Women’s Leadership Forum, and a member of the New Mexico Women’s Forum. During her tenure at Sandia National Laboratories, Ms. Woodard has mentored many women in engineering and technology. Currently, Ms. Woodard is actively mentoring four women, and conducting “Walk and Talks” to speak with women in management about their accomplishment and issues. Ms. Woodard’s outreach includes presenting to the Laboratories’ new hires on “Research, Technology and Career Opportunities at Sandia National Laboratories;” chartering, sponsoring, and acting as lead speaker at a Sandia Women in Management Workshop; commissioning a Workforce Study to assess issues, particularly for women and minorities; and serving as a member and champion for the Sandia Women’s Action Network.

Full news release.

2009 nominees: Joan Woodard (winner), and Mary Gonzales.

2008

2008: Betsy Frederick, Albuquerque

Betsy Frederick is recognized for her long career of facilitating learning in Mathematics and Computer Science. Ms. Frederick taught for the Albuquerque Public Schools for 20 years, assisting schools in their acquisition of hardware and software, and finding meaningful applications for the new technology in curricula areas. Ms. Frederick has chaired several organizations including Expanding Your Horizons, New Mexico Council of Computer Users in Education, and the International Telecommunications in Education Conference. Additionally, she has been a board member of Network New Mexico and the International Society for Technology Education. Currently, Ms. Frederick is a member of the managerial team of the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge, a year-long project-based Computational Science and problem-solving competition that attracts a diverse student body, and Co-Principal Investigator for Santa Fe Institute’s Project GUTS, a STEM afterschool and summer program for middle school students.

Full news release.

2008 nominees: Betsy Frederick (winner), Deborah Peacock, Leslie M. Phinney, and Donna Cowell Senft.

2007

2007: Chris Morgan, Albuquerque

Chris Morgan has spent the last 35 years as a software practitioner, excelling in her career while encouraging many other women to enter science and engineering professions. A distinguished member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, Ms. Morgan has developed, maintained and tested many software applications. She is a core member of the Sandia Women’s Action Network and, throughout her career has mentored other women. Ms. Morgan also makes numerous contributions through her devoted service to Girl Scouts, and co-developed the Chaparral Council’s Science Spectacular and Math Magic Programs.

Full news release.

2007 nominees: Chris Morgan (winner), Julia A. Coonrod, Daisy J. Nez, Leslie M. Phinney, Denise Schultze, and Jane Selverstone.

Nominate a New Mexico Woman for the IMPACT! Award

For the purposes of this award, science and engineering are defined to include mathematics and all engineering fields as well as the physical, biological, behavioral, medical, and social sciences, and related technical and non-traditional fields.

Nominees do not need to be members of NMNWSE.

  • Nominations may be submitted by email or regular mail.
  • NMNWSE, PO Box 51926, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87181

The award will be presented at the NMNWSE Annual meeting dinner on a Saturday in late October. Nominees and nominators will be notified as to the winner in plenty of time to schedule attendance.

If you have questions about the award nomination process or the status of a particular nomination, please contact the NMNWSE IMPACT! Award Co-Chairs Phyllis Baca, Tinka Gammel, and Nancy Savage at nmnwse.impact.award@gmail.com

If you have questions about the Network or the purpose of the award, contact the NMNWSE Board.

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Dr. Mercedes Agogino

2017 NMNWSE Lifetime Achievement IMPACT! Award 

I was delighted to be awarded an NMNWSE Lifetime Achievement IMPACT! Award with so many other worthy applicants around.  I hope students and other young women can read of our achievement and go on to satisfying careers of their own.  I was born in 1926 and as a child loved collecting rocks and watching Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) go up where my father worked as an engineer. However, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a “geologist” or that women could be engineers. Later, when working at the Portland shipyards for a year after graduating from High School during WWII, I got interested in learning about physics after hearing spirited arguments between workers about what exactly happens to the trajectories of bombs falling from airplanes. I read a book about physics, got interested, and took physics in college for my freshman lab science (against the strong recommendation of my advisor) and never looked back.  After all, because of Madame Curie everybody knew women could be physicists!  Now many more fields have opened up to women, but the presence of role models continues to be important. I hope the achievements of NMNWSE awardees will also inspire young women to see the many interesting opportunities in technical, scientific, and mathematical fields that they might never have considered or even have heard of.

 

Dr. Mercedes Agogino

2017 NMNWSE Lifetime Achievement IMPACT! Award 

I was delighted to be awarded an NMNWSE Lifetime Achievement IMPACT! Award with so many other worthy applicants around.  I hope students and other young women can read of our achievement and go on to satisfying careers of their own.  I was born in 1926 and as a child loved collecting rocks and watching Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) go up where my father worked as an engineer. However, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a “geologist” or that women could be engineers. Later, when working at the Portland shipyards for a year after graduating from High School during WWII, I got interested in learning about physics after hearing spirited arguments between workers about what exactly happens to the trajectories of bombs falling from airplanes. I read a book about physics, got interested, and took physics in college for my freshman lab science (against the strong recommendation of my advisor) and never looked back.  After all, because of Madame Curie everybody knew women could be physicists!  Now many more fields have opened up to women, but the presence of role models continues to be important. I hope the achievements of NMNWSE awardees will also inspire young women to see the many interesting opportunities in technical, scientific, and mathematical fields that they might never have considered or even have heard of.

 

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Student Awards

Our commitment to recognizing outstanding achievement began early in our history with our student awards, which encourage young women to remain engaged in the STEM field. Our first awards were presented at the New Mexico State Science and Engineering Fair (NMSEF), a tradition that continues to this day. We encourage local chapters to give similar awards at area science fairs and other student competitions, with an emphasis on projects by young women.

We have also granted awards at regional Science and Engineering Fairs and the National Native American Science and Engineering Fair (NAISEF), as well as the First LEGO® League and Best Robotics competitions. We currently present awards at Tech Trek and the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge. Through these awards, we annually encourage young New Mexican women to succeed in technical fields. Past NMNWSE Student Award winners have been featured in our newsletter and are in the News Archive.

Contact the NMNWSE Board if you would like to be involved in judging student awards or suggest a new event at which we give NMNWSE student awards.

Student Awards

Our commitment to recognizing outstanding achievement began early in our history with our student awards, which encourage young women to remain engaged in the STEM field. Our first awards were presented at the New Mexico State Science and Engineering Fair (NMSEF), a tradition that continues to this day. We encourage local chapters to give similar awards at area science fairs and other student competitions, with an emphasis on projects by young women.

We have also granted awards at regional Science and Engineering Fairs and the National Native American Science and Engineering Fair (NAISEF), as well as the First LEGO® League and Best Robotics competitions. We currently present awards at Tech Trek and the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge. Through these awards, we annually encourage young New Mexican women to succeed in technical fields. Past NMNWSE Student Award winners have been featured in our newsletter and are in the News Archive.

Contact the NMNWSE Board if you would like to be involved in judging student awards or suggest a new event at which we give NMNWSE student awards.

Our Sponsors

We want to thank the following sponsors for their continued support to New Mexico’s STEM conferences!

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