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Research scientist wins contest to name NMSU@WORK

Date: 01/19/2012

One faculty member at New Mexico State University demonstrated that NMSU researchers not only have technical skills, but also an abundance of creativity, by coming up with the name for the new online faculty and staff news site: NMSU@WORK.

Roseann Thompson, a research scientist for WERC, came up with the name for the new faculty and staff news site: NMSU@WORK.
Roseann Thompson, a research scientist for WERC, came up with the name for the new faculty and staff news site: NMSU@WORK.

Roseann Thompson has been a research scientist for WERC with the Institute for Energy and the Environment at NMSU for 15 years. Originally known as the Waste-management Education and Research Consortium, the organization is now called WERC: A Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development, which reflects the program's broader mission and accomplishments.

Thompson is a key part of identifying funding opportunities and submitting proposals along with other IEE and WERC staff. Her research focuses include groundwater hydrology, water law and policy and arsenic and drinking water issues.

Thompson said an online news site specifically for NMSU faculty and staff is an important way of informing and uniting the campus community, as well as bringing awareness to the research efforts from faculty and staff at NMSU. The naming contest was in late 2011 as a way of generating interest in the news site, also allowing faculty and staff to take ownership in naming it.

"We all need to know what is going on around us and to figure out if there is something we could be involved with," Thompson said.

As for the name, Thompson said coming up with it was easy.

"My department's acronym is WERC, and we play around with that acronym a lot," Thompson said. "The name is a good fit for the online faculty and staff news site because it is a perfect representation of what the university community does, and it will help spread the word about that work and research coming from NMSU."

Thompson also is the project manager for the annual WERC International Environmental Design Contest in the spring. Held annually since 1991 at NMSU, the contest draws hundreds of college students from throughout the United States and around the world.

During the contest, student teams design solutions for real-world problems while developing fully operational bench-scale solutions that are presented to panels of judges comprised of environmental professionals. The teams prepare four different presentations: written, oral, poster and bench-scale model. Students even have the chance to publish their written research.

"Working with the students is exciting," Thompson said. "You can just tell that they love it and that this is the best thing they've done in their student careers. It's also great that they get to gain experience by working on a reality-based project, and they have to go all out to win."

In addition to her research and working with students during the design contest, Thompson also participates in NMSU's Feral Cat Management Program. Thompson has adopted several stray animals herself and does her part to ensure that many feral cats around the university are spayed or neutered and that they are well-fed.

Written by Kristina Medley

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