by George Zamora
SOCORRO, Feb . 7, 2005 – Michaella J. Gorospe, a junior majoring in environmental engineering at New Mexico Tech, recently was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson to fill the position of student regent at the state-supported research university in Socorro.
Subject to the pending approval of her appointment by the current state legislature, Gorospe is expected to soon become the newest voting member of the five-person governing board of New Mexico Tech.
Gorospe, who hails from Santa Domingo Pueblo, is the daughter of Michael Gorospe of Laguna Pueblo and Diane Bird, also of Santa Domingo Pueblo.
“This actually marks the second time I’ve applied for the student regent position,” she says, “so I’m very excited that I received the appointment this time around.”
Gorospe says she sees her new role as student regent as being “a bridge of communication” between the student body and the administration at New Mexico Tech.
“I’m hoping I’ll be able to provide a stronger presence and connection among students, faculty, staff, and administration at Tech,” Gorospe says, “and make everyone more aware of the administrative processes and decisions that occur at the university.”
While attending New Mexico Tech, Gorospe has served as past president of the Newman Association, an organization for Catholic university students, and as past vice president of the local chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
She also is a current member of the Society of Women Engineers at Tech, and often volunteers as a Hi-Tech Ambassador, giving campus tours to prospective students and their parents.
During the past few years, Gorospe has spent her summers working as a student intern, first with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation in Idaho, and then with the New Mexico Environment Department, Air Quality Bureau, in Santa Fe. She was involved with air quality analyses at both internships.
“I’ve drawn on several aspects of my education in environmental engineering in working on air quality problems,” Gorospe relates, “and, I’m very interested in pursuing something along the lines of pollution control, specifically learning more about the mechanisms and processes to prevent air pollution.”
Gorospe credits her family and community for being the driving forces behind her success at New Mexico Tech: “The support that I’ve received from them is what has allowed me to continue to do well in my studies at this very challenging school,” she says. “It’s also because of them that I initially decided to come to school here, and I’m very grateful for that.”
In 2001, while still a senior about to graduate at the Santa Fe Indian School, Gorospe was honored for service to her community by being named one of the recipients of SAGE magazine’s annual “Making a Difference” awards.