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Kelsey Meyer: Macey Scholar, Physics & Materials

SOCORRO, N.M. May 9, 2013 – Junior Kelsey Meyer is not only an outstanding scholar, but is quite ambitious as well. She expects to graduate in four years with two degrees – bachelor’s in physics and in materials engineering.

“When I started at Tech, I couldn’t decide which to study, so I am doing both,” she said. “I’m interested in the overlap between the two fields.”


Kelsey Meyer, 2013-2014 Macey Scholar


A native of Albuquerque, Meyer was homeschooled and got a head start on her career at Tech. She completed enough college courses at Central New Mexico Community College as a high-schooler to earn an associate’s degree.

Also while still in high school, she started working as a lab intern in Electronic Ceramics at Sandia National Laboratories. She continues to work at the lab part time during the school year and full-time during summers. She has presented research at conferences and won awards in undergraduate research contests.

“The internship and the encouragement of my mentor helped to foster my interests in science and engineering,” she said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to learn so much about this fascinating field.”

Her supervisor at Sandia, Geoff Brennecka, recommended Meyer for the Macey Scholar award. He wrote that, “Kelsey is exceptional in the lab, with a meticulous nature, yet a keen filter.”

Brennecka said he feels fortunate that Sandia was able to keep Meyer on board during her senior year in high school. She had presented research at a local scientific conference and won an award for her poster at a national conference.

She was selected for a prestigious summer program in 2012. She completed a Research Experience for Undergraduate program (funded by the National Science Foundation) at North Carolina State University. There, she studied phase separation of copper silicides and how to fabricate materials in the lab. She also learned to use various lab instruments and techniques, such as scanning electron microscope, x-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscope and atomic force microscopy.

“Spending the summer in Raleigh was a great opportunity,” she said. “It gave me a chance to experience an entirely unfamiliar city, conduct research in different facilities and interact with professors and both undergraduate and graduate students.”

Meyer is also involved in several student, academic and extracurricular groups. She is active with the Newman Society in Socorro and in Albuquerque. She directs a college choir that performs at San Miguel Catholic Church every month. She also organizes an effort to helping the poor in Albuquerque through the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd.

In 2012, she served a one-year term as the programming chair of the President’s Council on Student Advisors, which is sponsored by the American Ceramic Society.

Brennecka, wrote that, “Taking on such a leadership role at the national level with a professional society not only gave Kelsey the opportunity build her leadership skills and make professional contacts, but also allowed her the opportunity to represent New Mexico Tech to the greater ceramics and materials community.”

She is the current president of the Material Club on campus and has organized outreach programs to local schools. Through the club, she has also judged both the Science Fair and Science Olympiad, two competitions for high school students around New Mexico.

“I have grown intellectually and personally here by immersing myself both in my studies and student life,” she said. “I am a proud representative of New Mexico Tech at conferences and also at work.”

Gary Chandler of the Materials Engineering Department wrote that, “Kelsey shows maturity beyond what is expected from her peers. … She is giving, kind and enjoyable to work with. Kelsey is an outstanding representative of NMT students.”

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech

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