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About the STEM Mentoring Program



Matches will be announced by the following Wednesday.


The UNM STEM Mentoring Program is open to all UNM STEM students, regardless of academic achievement. The program helps UNM STEM undergraduate students build a supportive relationship with a scientist, engineer, or other relevant professional from Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), or other local companies and organizations. Students in the program are matched with a mentor who is a STEM professional and the two of them collaborate on various informal activities to enhance their schooling experience and professional development.


Mentors are people who know something that you want to know. People are not born knowing how to become a STEM professional. People must learn how to become a STEM professional, and learning is often easier with a teacher’s support. Mentors have already been through similar situations to what the students will go through and can help make the process easier.


"The mentorship program is really helping me see that engineering can be for someone like me." - Daisy Belmares-Ortega 


(Note: We do not match with Medical professionals. For students interested in the clinical medical fields, you would like to build relationships with a health professional, or explore health-related careers, visit the Office for Pre-Health Professions at, or the HSC Office of Diversity Programs at

Learn more and APPLY TODAY!!

UNM Undergraduate Student Information and Interest Form & Letter to Potential Mentees

Professional Mentor Information and Interest Form & Letter to Potential Mentors

Join us for our (More info HERE):

  • STEM Mixer (Spring; typically the 1st Friday after matching)
  • STEM Mixer & Industry Networking Social (Fall; typically the 2nd Tuesday in September)


The majority of our mentors are from the Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) and Sandia National Labs (SNL), but many have come from other Albuquerque based or affiliated organizations. These include, but are not limited to:
  • ABQ BioPark Society
  • AFRL
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • KiloNewton
  • Leidos
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Meow Wolf
  • NASA
  • Quartus Engineering
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Unirac, Inc.
  • University of New Mexico
  • Yearout Energy Service Company
A bit more about AFRL: AFRL's mission is leading the discovery, development, and integration of warfighting technologies for United States' air, space and cyberspace forces. Two of AFRL's eight Technology Directorates have headquarters on Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM: Directed Energy (four core technical competencies: Lasers Systems, High Power Electromagnetics, Weapons Modeling and Simulation, and Directed Energy and Electro-Optics for Space Superiority) and Space Vehicles (foci include Space-Based Surveillance (space to space and space to ground), Space Capability Protection (protecting space assets from man-made and natural effects), and other defense-related programs such as space power, space environmental effects, and satellite flight experiments). More information at
A bit more about SNL: SNL's mission is developing advanced technologies to ensure global peace and providing technological, scientific and engineering solutions to the nation’s national security problems. Sandia’s main sites are on Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico and in Livermore, California. Sandia focuses on four core programs: Nuclear Weapons, Defense Systems, Global Security, and Energy and Climate. Sandia’s primary mission is ensuring the U.S. nuclear arsenal is safe, secure, and reliable and fully supporting the nation’s deterrence policy and its nuclear weapons program. Sandia’s science and engineering capabilities include: Bioscience, Radiation Effects and High Energy Density Science, Computer & Information Sciences, Geoscience, Materials Science, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Nanodevices & Microsystems (failure analysis and reliability physics, modeling and simulation, component engineering, testing and packaging) and Engineering Sciences. More information at
The program recruits UNM undergraduate students on a rolling basis. To join the program, students must complete an orientation session and short interest form. Students will not be introduced to a mentor until both items are completed.
Undergraduate student orientation session. Various orientation dates are available. Sign up for a student orientation when you complete your interest form HERE. If you cannot attend one of the scheduled orientation sessions, but would still like to join the program, contact Yadéeh Sawyer at To speed up scheduling your orientation session, please provide 2-3 times, Monday-Friday, between 9 AM and 4 PM, that work for your schedule in this email.
Undergraduate student interest form. Complete the student interest form at the top of the Mentoring for Students/Mentees webpage.
(Note: We do not match with Medical professionals. For students interested in the clinical medical fields, you would like to build relationships with a health professional, or explore health-related careers, visit the Office for Pre-Health Professions at, or the HSC Office of Diversity Programs at
The program recruits and accepts mentors on a rolling basis. STEM Professional can sign up to be a mentor by completing the electronic mentor interest form by clicking the “PROFESSIONAL MENTOR” button on the Mentoring for Professionals/Mentors page.
Mentors and mentees meet for about an hour a week (preferably an in-person meeting). Meeting times and activities are arranged by the mentors and mentees. Mentorships last approximately a semester, unless both mentor and mentee wish to extend the partnership.
Students are encouraged to work with their mentor on a long-term goal, such as exploring different college majors or STEM fields, applying for internships, getting involved in research, meeting other scientists and engineers, and more.
Engineering Student Success Center (ESS) staff help students identify a goal to work on during orientation. Then, students and their mentors determine which weekly mentoring activities will help students’ achieve their goal(s). A typical activity includes talking over coffee or touring the mentor’s workplace. Meeting times and activities are arranged by the mentors and mentees.
ESS provides support, including check-in emails and optional activities throughout the year. Upcoming activities, such as laboratory tours and networking mixers, are posted on, and students can RSVP/Register for these events. Mentors are notified of sponsored events via email.
Students must be a US citizen to be matched with a mentor from Air Force Research Laboratory or Sandia National Laboratories. If you are not a US Citizen, you can be matched with mentors from other organizations.
The Air Force Research Laboratory and many of Sandia’s buildings are located on Kirtland Air Force Base, which is considered federal property. Any student interested in visiting AFRL or SNL with the STEM Collaborative must produce proof of U.S. citizenship at least one month prior to the scheduled visit. Further directions regarding base access are provided closer to the scheduled tour dates.
ESS is is located on the 2nd floor of the Centennial Engineering Center in suite 2080.
For more information, contact Yadéeh Sawyer at or Nada Abdelhack at