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Engineering staff member recipient of Excellence in STEM Award

May 28, 2020 - by Kim Delker

Stefi Weisburd, education and outreach manager in the School of Engineering, has been selected as a 2020 New Mexico Excellence in STEM Award winner.

photo of Stefi Weisburd
Stefi Weisburd

The annual awards, known as the “STEMYS,” are given by the Air Force Research Lab Tech Engagement Office. The awards honor students, teachers, volunteers and other New Mexicans doing great things in science, technology, engineering and math education.

“This year’s STEMY winners are an impressive group of individuals and organizations who are doing amazing work to expand STEM capacity in New Mexico,” said Matt Fetrow, director of the AFRL Tech Engagement Office. “The STEMYS give us an opportunity to highlight that important work and to celebrate it as a state.”

Weisburd was selected in the “mentor” category and was one of 15 awardees this year.

Weisburd’s background includes physics, science journalism, and poetry for children and adults, and she uses her diverse skillset to develop unique hands-on outreach activities, which often incorporate nature and current events. She works closely with the Engineering Student Success Center to organize about 40 outreach events a year, which involve more than 6,000 K-12 students and UNM student volunteers. She also selects and helps place high school students in mentored research lab internships, arranges poster sessions for these students and works on the UNM team of the Purdue University-based Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources (CISTAR), a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center.

In addition, she works with the Arizona State University-based Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) Engineering Research Center, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Energy, that focuses on advancing photovoltaic science, technology, and education. She also is involved with the NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies (NASCENT) and is co-principal investigator of the Army Education Outreach Program UNITE program.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s in-person STEMY ceremony has been cancelled. Instead, the winners will be honored during a virtual ceremony on June 30. In addition to the awards, individual winners will receive $1,500.