Skip to main content

NMSU’s AMP program awarded $2.5 million grant by National Science Foundation


The New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation, or NM AMP, program has received a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support the Louis Stokes Renewal STEM Pathways and Research Alliance: New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation at the lead institution, New Mexico State University. The principal investigator for the program is Lakshmi Reddi, interim provost at NMSU.

This funding, designated for the period from June 2024 to May 2029 will bolster the ongoing efforts to enhance science, technology, engineering and math education for underrepresented minority students across the state of New Mexico.

“We value programs encouraging minority participation at all levels,” Reddi said. “The NSF AMP project is very much aligned with our student-centric mission at NMSU. We are proud of the long track record this project brings in terms of its positive impact on our learning environment.”

Since its creation in 1993, the NM AMP partnership has played a pivotal role in transforming the educational experiences of underrepresented minority students in STEM disciplines. The latest grant will facilitate collaboration among seven four-year institutions: NMSU, the University of New Mexico, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Eastern New Mexico University, New Mexico Highlands University, Northern New Mexico College and Western New Mexico University.

“Planned Alliance interdisciplinary activities and events increase institutional capacity to serve underrepresented minority students and encourages individual student engagement, retention and progression,” said Jeanne Garland, NM AMP director. “For the past 31 years, NM AMP has impacted the lives of over 9,000 students in direct support and over 3,000 students in indirect support.”

This iteration of the NM AMP focuses on sustaining and institutionalizing effective practices for supporting underrepresented minority student success. A significant aspect of the program is its emphasis on climate, sustainability and resilience, aligning with NSF’s Growing Convergence Research initiative. Students will engage in research projects that not only enhance their academic skills but also address critical environmental challenges.

The NM AMP program offers a range of opportunities for underrepresented minority students, including participation in the Undergraduate Research Scholars program that provides research assistantships and the NM AMP STEM PREP program, which introduces university students to research earlier in their academic lives.

Additionally, the Summer Community College Opportunity for Research Experience, or SCCORE, and other professional development workshops will assist community college students in transferring to four-year institutions.

“Being a faculty mentor of NM AMP Undergraduate Research Scholars at NMSU has given me great satisfaction over the years,” said Paola Bandini, NM AMP co-principal investigator and NMSU civil engineering professor. “My Undergraduate Research Scholars are enthusiastic about learning and contributing to my research projects. The students went on to have successful professional careers and several have pursued graduate education because of their research experience and opportunities offered through this program.”

“AMP has taught me to never give up and to always continue persevering,” said Sandra Rios Alba, a biochemistry student at NMSU who is mentored by NMSU biology Professor Graciela Unguez.

“NM AMP helped me to learn skills needed to overcome adversity and provided a low-stress research experience to explore different areas of my field,” said Damian Lovato-Admire, a math physics student at New Mexico Tech.

Overall, the NM AMP program has received a total of $27.8 million in NSF funding since 1993. Co-principal investigators for the program include Stephanie M. Arnett, sociology assistant professor at NMSU, and Laura J. Crossey, earth and planetary sciences distinguished professor at UNM.

This support has enabled the program to impact students statewide through seven five-year cycles, encouraging underrepresented minority students to pursue bachelor’s degrees, graduate school and beyond.

“The goal of NM AMP for years to come is to increase the quantity and quality of underrepresented minority students who complete STEM degrees and to prepare and encourage them to pursue graduate education to eventually enter the STEM workforce,” Garland said.

To learn more about NM AMP, visit