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New Mexico State University

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NMSU alumni, successful women in STEM careers, share their experiences with students

Two alumna from New Mexico State University will return to campus in early October during Homecoming to give talks as part of the College of Arts and Sciences “Alumni Connections” series.


Head and shoulders of a woman
Dr. Rebeccah Brown, NMSU alumna and pediatric surgeon at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, is among the 2018 Distinguished Alumni being honored at Homecoming. She will also give a lecture on Thursday, Oct. 4 as part of the College of Arts and Sciences “Alumni Connections” series.
Head and shoulders of a woman
Patty Lopez, NMSU alumna and a senior platform applications engineer at Intel Corporation, is the recipient of the 2018 James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service. She will also give a lecture on Thursday, Oct. 4 as part of the College of Arts and Sciences “Alumni Connections” series.

NMSU computer science alumna Patty Lopez and biology and chemistry alumna Dr. Rebeccah Brown will return to NMSU to share their experiences with students, faculty and the community. Both lectures are free and open to the public on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. in Guthrie Hall. Lopez’ talk is in Room 101 and Dr. Brown’s talk is in Room 201.

Lopez, a senior platform applications engineer at Intel Corporation since 2008, will give a ’ talk titled “Inspiring Girls in STEM.” Lopez earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate at NMSU and was among the first women at the university to graduate with a computer science Ph.D. During her career, Lopez has released over fifty products across five business lines and holds seven patents.

Dr. Brown, pediatric surgeon at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, will give a talk titled “ A Pediatric Surgeon’s Journey: Paying it forward – propelled by compassion and driven to make a difference.” Dr. Brown graduated with honors from NMSU with bachelor’s degrees in both biology and chemistry. She received her doctor of medicine from the University Of New Mexico School Of Medicine. She is the associate director of Trauma Services, director of Pediatric Trauma Fellowship and co-director of the Chest Wall Center and she is s full-time professor in the Department of Surgery and the University of Cincinnati.

“These two women are not just outstanding examples of professionals in STEM fields,” said Enrico Pontelli, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “They have partnered with the College of Arts and Sciences to be role models, providing support and inspiration for the next generation of our students. We’re excited to have them on campus and as part of the “Alumni Connections” series, they will be sharing their experiences with the community as well.”

Both Dr. Brown and Lopez will be honored at NMSU’s Homecoming festivities during a dinner on Friday, Oct. 5. Dr. Brown is among NMSU’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni and Lopez is the recipient of the 2018 James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service. The Cole award is presented to NMSU alumni who have demonstrated outstanding university involvement and civic, humanitarian and professional service.

Both women, who earned their way through college with scholarships and grants, have been instrumental in giving back to the community. Lopez is a founding member and co-chair of Latinas in Computing, which focuses on the recruitment, retention, and progression of women and minorities in STEM careers. Dr. Brown and her husband Dan O. Jones have established an endowment in the NMSU Department of Chemistry as well as co-founding “Buckle Up for Life,” a community-based child passenger safety education program.