New Mexico State University chemical engineering senior Jessica McDow won the undergraduate poster presentation at the Rio Grande Symposium on Advanced Materials in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for her presentation on advanced packaging concepts for microelectromechanical systems and other micro-systems applications.
McDow, who finished her senior season with the NMSU women’s soccer team this fall, almost missed the awards ceremony because she needed to return to Las Cruces for soccer training the following morning.
“It was also the first conference I had presented at, so I wasn’t really expecting to win. When I heard my name, I was very excited and proud of myself for accomplishing that,” she said.
“This is a clear testament that we have many excellent student-athletes at NMSU, and Jessica is one of the best,” said NMSU President John Floros.
In addition to her course work and soccer responsibilities, McDow also has a telecommuting internship at Sandia National Laboratories.
“When I was offered to continue my summer internship throughout the year I was a little hesitant, because I wasn’t sure if I could add another task to my list. My mentors at Sandia have been understanding of what I have on my plate and were able to work with my schedule which helped out a lot. It’s all about time management and willing to sacrifice things that most people wouldn’t,” McDow said.
“The microelectronics directorate and the materials directorate at Sandia are some of the most prestigious places to work, and they have exceptional staff. Jessica has clearly made a great impression and it is heartwarming to see our NMSU student-athlete doing so well,” NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu said.
“Jess is an integral part of our team and has proved to be a hardworking, self-motivated employee as well as an intelligent engineering student and quick contributor for the programs she supports,” said Jaime McClain, Sandia National Laboratories materials scientist and one of McDow’s mentors.
McDow, who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in material sciences and engineering, encourages others to participate in poster presentations.
“It gives you experience presenting in a professional environment and is a great way to build up your resume. Also, just attending a conference and listening to other presentations is very beneficial,” she said.