The New Mexico State University William Conroy Honors College has announced its first cohort of the new NMSU Conroy Honors Scholar Program, which recognizes a diverse group of recent top high school graduates from throughout the country.

The program, which is different from the past Conroy Scholars program at the Honors College, consists of four-year scholarships to new, first-year students who have the desire to serve as leaders and models for fully engaged, academic all-star students at NMSU. Honors College Dean Phame Camarena said although the first cohort consists of award-winning students recognized locally, statewide and nationally, they are also “students who will enrich the NMSU community and be ready to change the world for good when they graduate.”

All Conroy Honors Scholars are also eligible to receive a $2,500 Global Citizen Award to fund a study abroad experience with guidance from Honors College faculty and staff.

Students in the 2021 cohort starting this fall, and their hometowns, are:

  • Nika Michelle Calapini, computer science, Gallup, New Mexico.
  • Abdalrahman Ahmed Elaksher, chemical engineering, Las Cruces.
  • Emily Noel Gossett, agricultural communication, Silver City, New Mexico.
  • Emma L. Hernandez, environmental sciences, Chula Vista, Calif.
  • Monet Hunt, biology and genetics, Texico, New Mexico.
  • Ashley Infante, justice, political philosophy and law, Los Angeles.
  • Joshua Jackson, hotel, restaurant and tourism management, Albuquerque.
  • Sevren Emanuel Jackson, aerospace engineering, Tucson, Ariz.
  • Lauren McConaughey, biochemistry and forensic science, Las Cruces.
  • Elida Miller, agricultural business and economics, and biology, Las Cruces.
  • Marissa Montoya, business, Los Lunas, New Mexico.
  • Yulianna Alexandra Salas, animal science, El Paso, Texas.
  • Shelby Schueller, genetics and biotechnology, Las Cruces.
  • Piper Smothermon, pre-nursing, Florence, Ariz.
  • Sydney Jeanne Turner, agricultural business and economics, Roy, New Mexico.
  • Haylee Arlenne Viramontes, industrial engineering, Anthony, New Mexico.
  • Zachary-Michael Wooton, biology or biotechnology and genetics, Las Cruces.

The students will work with faculty mentors on research, scholarship and creative work of the university; seek leadership opportunities in both the campus community and their professional fields; model social responsibility with service and advocacy for a cause that matters; and develop intercultural competence, appreciation for diversity and their capacities as global citizens. 

For more information about the 2022 Conroy Honors Scholar Program, including a complete list of guidelines, visit

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