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Honors College Scholarship awarded to Las Cruces student

The 2007 New Mexico State University Honors College Scholarship has been awarded to Sandra Yezenia Gutierrez, a senior double majoring in criminal justice and Spanish, originally from Aguascalientes, Mexico.

The scholarship includes a $5,000 stipend, designation as an Honors College scholar, a faculty member to monitor the student's development and a foreign travel experience.

Gutierrez came to the U.S. at the age of 12 and lived in Hatch, N.M., before coming to Las Cruces to attend NMSU. She is scheduled to graduate in December 2007 and is an NMSU Crimson Scholar, a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) alumni and a McNair Scholar.

For her foreign travel experience, Gutierrez will go to Zacatecas, Mexico. Her research will focus on reducing undocumented immigration through education. She also will conduct workshops concerning the dangers of immigrating.

"I will find out about the patterns of potential immigrants, ages 14-17," Gutierrez said. "I hypothesize that as education attainment increases, migration levels will eventually decrease."

In addition, Gutierrez also will write a book on the life of an immigrant. For this part of the project, she will interview Don Jose Acevedo, a member of an indigenous tribe from Zacatecas and her father, Ciro Gutierrez.

"Receiving such a prestigious award changed my life," Gutierrez said. "I will have the opportunity to conduct research as an undergraduate, an opportunity many students obtain during their master's studies. I plan to attend graduate school and this project will serve as the seed project for my master's thesis."

This is the third year the Honors College Scholarship has been awarded. It is given to sophomore and junior students who exemplify the qualities of intellectual curiosity and achievement, mental agility, questing spirit, moral character and leadership.