Research @ Tech Day Offers Recruits A Glimpse Behind The Scenes


New Mexico Tech students get much more than diploma when they complete their studies. Most students finish their undergraduates with research experience that gives them an advantage when they enter the job market.
The annual Research @ Tech Day, on Monday, Feb. 15, invites high school students to visit campus, meet professors, interact with students and learn about the research opportunities in Socorro.
The recruiting event will include guided tours of academic facilities, residence halls, student services and other campus facilities. Student clubs will also hold a fair in the Fidel Center lobby during the day. However, the event’s focus is research. “This is a great opportunity for prospective students to get a personal look at the New Mexico Tech campus,” Admission Office director Mike Kloeppel said. “We have excellent facilities and we will showcase opportunities on campus. Students are always impressed with what they see in Socorro.”
Rita Case, of the Admission Office in Albuquerque, is coordinating the event. She said the February event typically attracts an equal mix of students who have already applied who have yet to decide where to go after graduation and younger students – sophomores and juniors – who have not applied to college and are visiting Socorro to check out Tech’s programs and facilities.
Visitors are treated to a keynote talk to start the day by Dr. Van Romero, who is a Tech graduate and the vice president of research.
The financial aid office will give a presentation at Macey and visitors are welcome to learn about campus life through the Student Services division. In the afternoon, each academic department will set up one-hour tours and demonstrations during the afternoon. For students interested in pursuing science or engineering, the tours serve as a crucial element in convincing them to attend Tech.
Physics department chair Dr. Dave Westpfahl said he’s drafted several undergraduate students to give tours of the department and the labs.
“To these young prospective students, I look like their grandfather,” he said. “Undergraduate students are just a few years ahead in education and the visitors get a good sense that they could become like our students.”
Geology professor Dr. Andrew Campbell said Research @ Tech Day is an excellent recruiting event. “We talk to prospective students and show them the labs,” he said. “We try to have an undergrad involved in the tours and very often they are working in labs. I think it helps when they hear the message that, ‘Yeah, I’m an undergrad and I work in this lab’.”

Two people working in lab

Materials engineering professor Dr. Paul Fuierer said the Research @ Tech Day has been a successful recruiting event over the years. “We seem to see at least a couple of students enroll in the fall semester as a result of these events,” he said. “Research @ Tech Day gives them a good view of what we do here in terms of research and what undergraduate students might be involved in.”
Each materials engineering professor sets up a demonstration in a different lab, typically with students explaining their research.
Prospective students will have time to take two one-hour tours of departments, but are welcome to visit other academic areas.
Any student interested in attending is welcome to join. For more information, call (800) 428-8324 and select menu option 1 or e-mail rcase@admin.nmt.edu.
To get to Macey Center from the north, exit 150 off I-25 and head south on California Street. Turn right at Bullock and go straight through three stop signs. After the third stop sign, the road will curve to the left. Macey Center is on the right.
– NMT –
By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech