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USDA Hispanic Serving Institution Grant Awarded – Innovators from Marginalized Communities

Our department is excited about a new four-year, $275,000 grant from the USDA-NIFA Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program, and a chance to work with other NMSU faculty researchers from Plant and Environmental Sciences and the SOAR Lab.

New Mexico State University (NMSU) and its College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) are committed to graduating students and guiding them towards success in their careers. Part of that commitment means making sure that students from marginalized communities see a full range of opportunities that transcend cultural biases or stereotypes, and understand the variety of educational programs and careers available to them. Nurturing student interest and supporting students while they pursue STEM education and/or careers in these areas is crucial to recruiting and retention. This project aims to give students a view into the lives of scientists and professionals who came from marginalized communities and had stellar careers within agriculture. The project aims to help students see a potential place for themselves in agricultural careers by fostering representation, equity and inclusion. The project will produce digital learning labs which give students the opportunity to virtually conduct research in the laboratories of historical figures in agriculture who came from marginalized communities in New Mexico: chile pioneer Fabián Garcia, food preservation expert Fabiola C. de Baca, and plant breeder Roy Nakayama. For more information about the grant project visit:

Fabiola C. de Baca Fabián García Roy Nakayama

Written by: Pamela Martinez Ed.D., Assistant Professor & Extension Learning Technology Specialist in collaboration with Amy Smith Muise, Program Manager


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