The Shared Knowledge Conference, UNM Graduate Studies’ annual event, celebrates and showcases graduate students and their outstanding research and scholarship. The conference exclusively features the work of UNM graduate students and provides a venue for these students to share their work with the UNM and larger New Mexican communities, bridging borders that too often divide academia from the larger world, and in so doing spark conversations and forge lasting partnerships.

This year, the Shared Knowledge Conference, featuring the LoboBITES competition, will be adapted to a virtual format because of the pandemic. The students will compete on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 4 pm. After the winners are announced, Graduate Studies and the Graduate & Professional Student Association will host a virtual reception. Follow the Zoom link to attend the competition.

“This has been a particularly difficult time for our graduate students. We hope the virtual platform will provide an opportunity for engagement with other graduate students and their work, said Julie Coonrod, professor of Civil Engineering and dean of Graduate Studies.

Shared Knowledge Conference LoboBITES, Thursday, Nov. 12, 4 p.m. via Zoom

LoboBITES are three-minute presentations on a thesis, dissertation, or other substantial research project, similar to the trademarked Three Minute Thesis (3MT). Think of them as short-format TED talks. Students must explain their research in a compelling and easily digestible way, foregoing jargon and instead using language and terms accessible to a general, non-academic audience likely unfamiliar with the student’s specific discipline.

“To better inform the UNM community of our students’ work, we engage staff members across campus to judge the preliminary heats,” Coonrod said. “We then work to get a panel of judges from outside of UNM for the grand finale. The panel typically includes politicians, local business owners, government officials, and alumni.”

The 2020 LoboBITE finalists are:

  • Amelia  Bierle, Public Policy. Vaccine Delivery to Remote Regions of the World Using a Novel Delivery Platform
  • Mario Del Ángel, Spanish (emphasis in Hispanic linguistics). Spanish in New Mexico: A Study of Nuevomexicano Words
  • Tia Donaldson, Psychology. A New Look into an Old Problem: Implications of the Locus Coeruleus in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Carlos Enrique Ibarra, Spanish and Portuguese. The Sociolinguistics of the Mixtecos in Rural Northwestern Oregon
  • Blaise Mariner, Biomedical Engineering. Who Wants to Live Forever?
  • Isabel Meza, Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering. How Do You Know if Uranium (U) and Arsenic (As) Are in Your Glass of Water?
  • Spencer Staley, Earth and Planetary Sciences. The Climatology of Windblown Dust Over the Millenia in the American Southwest

First place will receive a $1,000 scholarship and the opportunity to represent UNM at a regional Three-Minute Thesis competition.

This year’s judges include U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland; Mark Valenzuela, principal analyst, Legislative Finance Committee; Alan Armijo, director of Public Affairs, Office of the Albuquerque Mayor; N.M. Rep. Joy Garratt; Judge Shammara Henderson, New Mexico Court of Appeals; Chris Lujan, architect and president of Las Vegas Alumni Chapter; and Kenneth Armijo, senior member of the technical staff at Sandia National Labs.

All LoboBITES finalist abstracts can be accessed through the Digital Repository. Videos of LoboBITES finalists are archived on the Shared Knowledge Conference website.

“This is my favorite event of the year. Graduate and professional students are exploring and solving difficult problems in everything from health care to communication, from education to the environment. This is their opportunity to share that knowledge and discovery in an accessible way to the population we serve,” Coonrod noted.

To access the LoboBITES competition, go to the Shared Knowledge Conference website.

Coonrod also offered her thanks to the preliminary judges:

  • Pamela Agoyo, director, American Indian Student Services 
  • Elisha Allen, director, Core IT Services, UNM Academic Technologies 
  • Abra Altman, strategic support manager, Office of the President             
  • Robben Brown, Academic Affairs specialist, Graduate Studies   
  • Grace Faustino, IT project manager, Research   
  • Desiree Gathings, associate director, University Budget Operations, HSC Budget Office 
  • Corine Gonzales, enrollment management, Graduation Project Program director            
  • Margaret Gonzales, senior operations manager, Graduate Studies          
  • Jose Gonzalez, director of Finance & Administration, College of Nursing               
  • Glenn Nichol, manager, Core IT Services              
  • Yesenia Ruiz, program specialist, El Centro de la Raza      
  • Vahid Staples, budget officer                    
  • Kevin Stevenson, executive director, Human Resources               
  • Brandi Stone, director, African American Student Services           
  • Pablo Torres, director, International Admissions and Recruitment            
  • Deborah Vigil Kieltyka, associate director, Admissions & Recruitment