Student panelists prepare for Domenici Conference at NMSU

Student panelists

Student panelists, from left, New Mexico State University’s Joli McSherry, University of New Mexico’s Gabe Gallegos, New Mexico Tech’s Cassandra Sanchez and NMSU’s Garrett Autry work as a team to question former member of the U.S. House of Representatives Patrick Kennedy during the 2016 Domenici Conference. Currently, NMSU is accepting applications for student panelists for the 2017 Domenici Public Policy Conference.

With the 10th year of the Domenici Public Policy Conference at New Mexico State University quickly approaching, the student panel, who will ask the conference speakers rigorous questions, is planning for the two-day event.

The conference is set for Sept. 13 and 14 at the Las Cruces Convention Center. This year’s topics will focus on U.S. foreign policy with China, Mexico and Russia, equity in education and 21st Century workforce development issues.

“Since changing the policy in our second year of the conference, only student panelists have had the opportunity to ask the speakers questions,” said NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. “The student panelists continue a nine-year tradition with thoughtful and well-researched questions, and they are constantly moving it forward.”

Each student panelist will receive a two-night hotel stay in Las Cruces, a $250 Visa gift card and a group dinner on Sept. 12. A Domenici Institute Advisory Council committee comprised of faculty and community staff members selected and mentored the panelists. During the summer months, panelists participated in research initiatives to expand their understanding of the conference speakers and topics while learning to develop challenging, concise questions.

Kayla Myers, a student panelist and NMSU cultural and medical anthropology graduate student, said she has enjoyed the preparation for the conference that has included working with undergraduate and graduate students and for the first time medical students from the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“I hope to represent this borderland community well and both give the speaker a chance to share their expertise and attendees a chance to think of new ways of seeking equitable representation in policy-making and of engaging in our community,” Myers said.

NMSU doctoral student in special education Ana Lopez said her involvement as a student panelist has been a valuable learning experience.

“Having the opportunity to work closely with excellent faculty members and scholars from all over New Mexico has been enlightening,” Lopez said. “Because of the nature of this conference, we had the opportunity to have multiple dialogues as we were building up our research and drafting the questions. As different viewpoints emerged, we strengthened our abilities to value ideas that are different than ours and work together towards a common goal.”

The 2017 Domenici Public Policy Conference student panelists are:

Harris Ahmed, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
Tucker Berry, University of New Mexico
Taylor Dyer-Paz, New Mexico State University
Daniel Estupinan, New Mexico State University
DeLorean Forbes, New Mexico State University
Michael Gable , New Mexico State University
Steven Garcia, New Mexico State University
Katelynn Goodman, New Mexico State University
Ejaz Karim, New Mexico Highlands University
Aubriana Knell, University of New Mexico
Ana Lopez, New Mexico State University – SPED/CD
Jennifer Martinez, Eastern New Mexico University
Mason Martinez, University of New Mexico
Jasmine Mathews, University of New Mexico
Kayla Myers, New Mexico State University
Michael Sanchez, University of New Mexico
Emily Silva, New Mexico Tech
Samuel Smith, University of New Mexico
Carlos Talamante, New Mexico Tech
Carolyn Trussell, New Mexico State University C&I
Clair Willden, University of New Mexico

Neal Rosendorf, NMSU government associate professor, Elizabeth Abrams, NMSU clinical mental health counseling graduate student, Carol Owensby, teacher at Arrowhead Park Early College High School, and Tom Dormody, NMSU agricultural and extension education professor mentored the student panelists over the course of the summer, preparing them to discuss the policy issues being confronted today and shaping the future.

Online registration for the conference will be available at Registration fees are $50 before Friday, Sept. 1, and then increase to $75. The conference is free to NMSU students but registration is required. For more information, call the Domenici Institute at 575-646-2066.


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