S-STEM Fellows

 

Jennifer Allen

 

Career Goals:
I would like to pursue a job working at White Sands or with the FBI as a network administrator or in cybersecurity. I would also like to get my CCNA certification, followed by my Security certification.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
Being a part of the S-Stem program has benefited me because this is the first scholarship I have ever been awarded in my college career. Also having the opportunity to attend workshops that were put on by Devcom for cybersecurity.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
N/A

 

 

Ziad Arafat

 

Career Goals:
I want to lead engineering projects and research that leverages AI to make the world a safer place for humanity.

 

S-STEM Program Benefits:
S-STEM not only helps me afford to continue my education but opens up opportunities for me to grow my career network and develop myself professionally.

 

Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
Cheif Software Engineer at ETV America,
Recognized FIRST Robotics Mentor

 

 

Joe Banuelos
Career Goals: 
My first goal is to start any relevant internship for computer science. If possible, I would like to start one that focuses on networking or web development. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree, I plan to get a job as either a front end or back end developer. Eventually, I want to become a full-stack web developer.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
The financial support provided by the S-STEM program has given me the opportunity to concentrate on my classwork without worrying about procuring funds for I plan, tuition, school supplies, etc. The S-STEM scholarship has allowed me to achieve my full potential. Additionally, the S-STEM cohort has fostered relationships among scholars which should carry over into our professional careers. Finally, the faculty-student mentorship has helped me develop my professional skillset and prepare me for a career in engineering. The scholarship has allowed me to continue my studies instead of taking a semester to work. My stress levels have decreased, and all of my school supplies are covered. Instead of finding free PDFs of my textbooks on the web, I am now able to get physical copies of my textbooks. The greatest benefits are the connections I have made with my peer and mentors through this program. The various workshops, guest lecturers, and GMiS Conference have better prepared me for my career.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
NMSU Crimson Scholar, NMSU – Carlsbad Engineering Club
Lt. Tony P. Aguilar Memorial Scholarship
Jerome and Joyce Shaw Endowed Scholarship
THOMAS, LEONA MEMORIAL Scholarship
HADLEY HONORS TRANSFER Scholarship (From Fall 2016 – Spring 2018)

 

Renee Ella Catanach
Career Goals:
I chose computer science to be my major because I believed that it would be the most versatile degree to help those in need. After taking some courses I saw its potential and also I found enjoyment in coding and solving difficult problems. After receiving a degree in computer science I wish to use it to expand communication between individuals all around the world. Also, I wish to use my knowledge to help empower people who are often overlooked. I wish to achieve all of this through a company that values its employees and whose morals are to help people reach their full potential, and now is the age in which technology will help in that progress.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
The S-STEM Program gives individuals a helping hand by providing connections with other knowledgeable people within the field, providing financial support, opportunities to grow and present their talent, and most importantly moral support. The benefits are just too grand to list, but I am grateful that they enable those who may have a harder time thrive by simply giving us an opportunity to show our skills and determination to grow in the field of CS. This scholarship has pushed me to work harder and has given me the confidence to succeed in the technological world. I am grateful for the connections I have made with others who are learning at my pace, and others who can lend some knowledge from their experience. I am excited to see what else the S-STEM Program will provide and I am thankful to be apart of it.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
Study Abroad Ambassador (2020)
NMSU Crimson Scholar

 

James Edward DeLeonard
Career Goals:
Right now my primary goal is to continue working towards my associates in computer science. Once I’ve completed this I will begin working toward a bachelor’s in a more focused area. There are many areas that interest me, but right now I am looking to continue in cybersecurity.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
Beyond the obvious finical support, that has greatly helped, the STEM program has boosted my confidence. Having achieved the standards and to earn this scholarship has pushed me to truly believe I can achieve any of my goals. On top of that, I get to meet and interact with students and professionals that have experience in my field of study. This has given me a network of people to help support me in my educational journey.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
N/A

 

Angelina S Demericas
Career Goals:
My only goal in life is to contribute to making society a better place. Over the years, I have begun to recognize the innovation that comes with being in a STEM-related field. This has nudged me towards pursuing a degree in computer science. I plan to earn a degree in computer science and use it to accomplish my life goal. One way I want to do that is by working with companies that digitally defend vulnerable populations that are being exploited online through cyber trafficking, pornography, and abuse.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
S-STEM has honestly changed my life. It has not only has it introduced me to some incredible people that share the same interests as me but, also exposed me to new mindsets and opportunities. This program challenges me to think in new ways that allow me to elevate my thinking and problem-solving processes. My changed outlook has bettered my academic and personal life. As a result, I am able to take advantage of different opportunities that come my way, whether it be through the S-STEM program or in my day-to-day life.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
National Honors Society (NSA), The Computing Alliance of Hispanic- Serving Institutions (CAHSI)

 

Javier Dominguez
Career Goals:
I want to become a Cyber Security Analyst. I want to work for either big companies or the government.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
Without financial help from S-Stem I would have taken out loans and I really want to do that. As well as being able to attend workshops and conferences to be able to get me out there to be able to get internships.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
N/A

 

Gabriella M Garcia
Career Goals:
I would like to work as a developer, system administrator, or in cybersecurity once I graduate and will hopefully be able to continue to work with Google, or maybe head the federal route. I want to continue to learn as I grow in my career and be able to give back to my community.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
S-Stem teaches us how to problem solve in ways that are different than we are taught in the classroom. S-STEM also prepares us for technical interviews and allows those of us with experience to share our tips and tricks with those who may not have much experience preparing for interviews or internships.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
I have had 2 IT internships with Google: One in-person in Kirkland, WA in 2019, and a remote internship in 2020.
I am also an advocate for CAHSI.

 

Alyx Hellion
Career Goals:
I plan to go to graduate school and do research in machine learning and cognitive science. My goal is to study human cognition and the best way to imitate that through the power of AI and other technologies.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
Through this scholarship, I have been introduced to many peers in my field that encourage me to achieve my goals. It has also provided me with many opportunities to develop my professional goals, as well as resources such as supporting me to attend conferences.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
Independent Data Analysis with CS Department Professor, Research Assistant
Chemistry SI Facilitator, Peer-Led Workshop Instructor
Independent Tutoring in Math and CS, Facilitator

 

Jonathan Jaramillo
Career Goals:
I have plans to work hard for a graduate degree in Computer Science. I then plan to obtain experience by entering the workforce full-time and applying my knowledge toward the creative and innovative world of technology.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
Being a part of the S-STEM Program has given me assurance and confidence by having an opportunity to continue my education. School can be very difficult at times whether a person is registering for classes, trying to make payments toward tuition before courses start or having trouble with the material but S-STEM has supported me throughout every process.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
Associate of Science, New Mexico State University

 

Brandon Zachary Lujan
Career Goals:
Career Goals: In the future, I aspire to use my knowledge and experience as an undergraduate at New Mexico State University to work for a company whose mission is to build incredible things every day that help people. One of the main reasons I chose Computer Science was because I wanted to learn something that can make a difference in the lives of others. Whether that be protecting the online safety and security of others while online, or building convalescence machinery to help those who need accessibility, I want to be there for them. As a software engineer to be, I will work hard to continue outreach and mentor minority students and help spread the excitement and passion that I have in STEM within them.
S-STEM Program Benefits:

The S-STEM program has been a blessing and a huge aid to my success. As a student coming from a low-income background, I was working full time while attending school full time to fund my education, and it was over overwhelming. With the financial assistance from S-STEM, I no longer have to worry about how my tuition will get paid and I can afford supplementary study resources to ensure I am successful in all my studies.

Not only that, but the S-STEM program has given me new opportunities. I have already met so many other students and faculty from the Computer Science department, receiving professional development from my independent study class, and receiving three prestigious internships at the annual Great Minds in STEM conference held in Orlando, Florida, funded by the S-STEM Program.

The biggest benefit overall was gaining a network of other passionate students and Computer Science faculty members, who make my journey a lot more exciting.

Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI), Student Advocate (CAHSI since 2019, CAHSI Advocate in 2020).
New Mexico Department of Agriculture, Department of Information Communication and Technology Co-Op/Internship Program (NMDA-ICT), Student Software Developer (2019).
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Student Member (2019).
Technical Systems Engineer Intern, Northrop Grumman Corporations (2019).
New Mexico State University Department of Computer Science Outreach, Peer Leader (2020)
Los Alamos National Laboratories Scholar (2018)

 

Gabriel E Mauger
Career Goals:
To help design, develop, and implement some of my own creative ideas into game design and development.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
This scholarship program has not only helped me financially achieve my current academic status, but it has also helped open my eyes to a whole new world of career, internship, and organizational opportunities.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
NMSU – Game Development Club

 

Erick Alejandro Nevarez Morales
Career Goals:
My main long term goal as a Computer Science major student is to get an internship before I get my bachelors degree, after that, I would like to pursue my Master’s degree and my Doctorate as well with the opportunity of starting an internship in FAANG, I would also like to achieve my major with a minor in Mathematics.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
After I received an email telling me that I have got the S-STEM Scholarship I knew right away that I had to duplicate my effort and dedication in my education. This scholarship makes you be able to concentrate one hundred percent in your classes and not worry about financial problems or any type of economic difficulties. On top of that, being able to attend conferences and meet amazing people with amazing skill sets makes you motivate even more to achieve your career goals and life plans.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
“A” Mountain Merit Transfer Scholarship
Pete’s Opportunity Transfer Scholarship

 

Sahir Orozco
Career Goals:
I plan on graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science, majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Software Development. I also plan on doing multiple internships to gain as much experience as possible. Having financial support from S-STEM and great colleagues is essential moving forward. This program giving us a lot of opportunities to succeed in our career and becoming a professional.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
Apart from having that financial support, I really enjoy having colleagues that have the same interests as me and are supportive of each other.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
1888 Leadership Scholarship
Lottery Scholarship 25 Hours
Federal Pell Grant
First American Bank Scholarship
S-STEM Scholarship

 

Kami Otero De Owens
Career Goals:
I am most intrigued by the fields of Computer Science Education and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). I wish to gain more experience in designing intuitive and interactive front end interfaces and develop software that will improve lives. I someday want to be a professor and research ways of improving CS Education on a larger scale.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
This scholarship has helped me develop an active peer network that has helped me further my career. It has also provided me with many opportunities (like the GMiS conference) to network and meet other people that could potentially be my future employers.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
Participatory Live Experience Laboratory, Research Assistant
Young Women in Computing, Research Assistant
Peer Leader Team Learning Program for CS, Peer Leader
Chemistry SI Facilitator, Peer-Led Workshop Instructor
CAHSI, Student Member

 

Carlos Antonio Perez
Career Goals:
My goals are becoming an international exchange student in order to get different perspectives on computational systems; obtaining an internship over the summer to update my curriculum; and graduating with my bachelor’s degree from the Honors College at NMSU.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
One of the benefits that help me to continue and expand my career is the financial aid from the S-STEM Scholarship. Additionally, I like a benefit that makes professional preparation for expanding opportunities in the Engineering/Computer Science career.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
NMSU Crimson Scholar
Leader / Programmer | FIRST Robotics Competition| Seasons 2015-2017

 

Phillip Michael Powell
Career Goals:
My goal is to pursue a career in software development while staying in the Borderland, specifically Las Cruces or El Paso. My experience is in creating virtual reality environments and would prefer to stay in this dynamic field, but open to other prospects.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
The S-STEM has given me the opportunity to continue my education at New Mexico State University without the need to incur more expensive external private loans. I am grateful to the program’s faculty and staff in assisting me on this journey. However, the S-STEM program is more than just a scholarship. The program has provided me an opportunity to network with industry professionals, assisted me in my professional development, and gave me an opportunity to get to start a career in big-named companies and corporations.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
Professional Organizations
– CAHSI, Student Member
– Discovery Scholars Program, Student MemberInternships
– City of El Paso, Department of IT Services, Networking InternResearch Experience
– URCAS, Investigating the ability of “virtual vacations” to alleviate pain and discomfort

 

Kousei Luke Richeson
Career Goals:
• Bachelors degree in computer science at NMSU
• iOS software engineer at Wayfair
• Rental property owner
S-STEM Program Benefits:
• Networking
• Financial Assistance
• Automatic entry to computer science conferences
• Professional development
• Ability to meet new friends
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
• Full stack software engineer intern at Amazon
• iOS software engineer intern at Wayfair
• iOS software engineer intern at Garmin
• iOS software engineer intern at Johnson & Johnson
• iOS software engineer intern at Purdue University

 

Catalina Sánchez-Maes
Career Goals:
I first began my computing journey in the program GUTSyGirls in my late elementary years. I love learning and how the GUTSyGirls program presented the material in a way that it was fun to learn and apply in an all-girl environment. From block programming, Makey-Makeys, and Pico cricket, to more complex programming structures, we were able to have a taste of computer science. This experience taught me that computer science has multiple applications from running software on computers to more tangible outcomes. I absolutely loved the hands-on learning and that is why I wanted to continue on the path of computer science.
I am currently exploring User Experience (UX), Software Engineering (SWE), and Product Management (PM) roles.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
The S-STEM program has given me the opportunity to attend conferences and have access to opportunities I would have previously been unable to access. This has given me the space and support to challenge myself and flourish in a field I love.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
• Cyber Security Intern | Ford Motor Company | Summer 2020
Shaped high-level recommendations to create IoT policy to align with NIST and C2 Consortium guidance for implementation across the enterprise*
• IT Business Analyst Intern | Chevron | Summer 2019
12-week paid Business Analyst Internship. Integrate Workplace (Internal Facebook) Content onto Digital Signage and/or Websites for Enterprise Deployment*
• Camp Assistant | Young Women in Computing | Summer 2018
Paid computer science internship. Teach 60 high school students computational thinking through facilitating peer-to-peer interactions & individual projects*
• Research Scholar | Air Force Research Laboratory – Universities Space Research Association | Summer 2017
12-week paid computer science internship. Host mission applications from multiple domains within the ARCADE & SIL environments to improve workflow while also being able to access real-time satellite location simulation data*
• Found, Develop, Coordinate & Manage, Future ITGirls Program, 2017- Present
Develop & implement a curriculum with ballroom dance, programming, & research projects to teach computational thinking to 50 Latinx girls at Sonoma Elementary*
• Programmer | FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1164 | Seasons 2016-2017
Only programmer on the team. Programmed Arcade & Tank drive systems while maintaining various sensor input to create a human interaction model for maximum autonomous points*
General Member of the following organizations:
• Rewriting the Code*
• Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)*
• Society of Women Engineers (SWE) *
• The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in STEM (SACNAS)*
• Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI)*

 

George Arthur Sandoval
Career Goals:
I would like to achieve my Bachelors of Arts in Computer Science to further my knowledge with coding and programming languages. I would like to work towards achieving a job within a community of like-minded individuals as myself. These could be people within the fields of Game Programming, Software Development, or a potential Cyber Security position as a backup.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
The scholarship program helps me continue my education through college. This program also opens up opportunities such as meeting new individuals with the same goal in mind. It also allows new experiences through conferences as well as potential travel opportunities. I know I have people who can help me whenever I need it and put me in the right direction.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
*Phi Theta Kappa Member (2019-Present)
*Hadley Honors Transfer (2020-Present)
*CAHSI Member (2020-Present)

 

Leslie Sydow 
Career Goals:
I am a transfer student from DACC, pursuing my Bachelor’s in ICT. I graduated with an AAS in Computer Technology and an AAS in Cybersecurity. My career goal is to work, and study, my way into the infrastructure side of IT as a Cybersecurity Engineer.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
S-STEM has made it financially possible for me to transfer to NMSU and continue my education in order to gain my bachelor’s degree. I am a non-traditional student with two children, and I never thought that I would be able to get this far in my education. S-STEM has made that possible for me to achieve my dream of finishing my education and securing a career and a better future for not only myself but for my children, as well.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
  • National Technical Honor Society member
  • Sigma Alpha Lambda member
  • SkillsUSA member (DACC)
  • Women in Technology member (DACC)
  • Debug Club member (DACC)
  • IT Intern at Virgin Galactic – (May 2019- Present)

 

Kayla J Wilson
Career Goals:
In the future, I hope to get an internship at Google. After receiving my degree I hope to get a job in helping make certain technical features more accessible to people in the deaf and blind community.
S-STEM Program Benefits:
S-STEM Program Benefits: This program has introduced me to so many more connections with people in my field of study. It is helping me form important connections that will carry over into my professional life and learn from them. I am so grateful for the financial support that this program provides. With financial support, I am able to focus on school and my long-term goals. It allows me to reach my full potential and more with the help of my fellow scholars.
Professional Organization || Occupation/Internships || Research Experience:
*Google Computer Science Summer Institute 2020
*Hadley Honors Scholarship
*NMSU Lottery Scholarship