NM MESA has selected recipients of the 2019 Dr. Arthur H. and Joan Guenther Advisor Achievement Award. Rebecca Merrill and Mariejune Abergos are this year’s outstanding MESA advisors! Each of these two fine educators will receive $100 from MESA, which will be presented to them by the MESA’s Guenther Award Committee.
Rebecca Merrill has been the MESA advisor at Gallup High School, in MESA’s West Region, for over seven years. West Region Coordinator, Shawndeana Smith says, “Rebecca has always had great ideas and never hesitated to jump into new events and activities for her students”. She was nominated for the award by four different MESA students who spoke highly of the time and effort she has given to positively influence their lives. One student nominator said, “Ms. Merrill has taken numerous roles in my life, the most important one being my MESA advisor. She has taught me not only about building and programming robots, but she has also taught me lessons that I will carry for a lifetime.”
Mariejune Abergos has worked at Carlos F. Vigil Middle School in Espanola as the MESA advisor for two years. He was also nominated by a student, who said, “Mr. Abergos is a hard-working teacher who is always telling you to do your best, and to never give up.” MESA’s North Region Coordinator, Alejandra Olivas says that Mr. Abergos “is always ready to go above and beyond with all that he does. He has proven that even when you’re new to something if you dedicate yourself with hard work you can surpass all challenges. I have had the pleasure of seeing him interact with students and students truly like him!
Selection of award recipients was based on performance and demonstrated excellence in STEM education. This year’s recipients were selected after a committee’s review of specific MESA activity data relating to selection criteria.
About the Award
Dr. Arthur H. Guenther loved science…He loved education…He created New Mexico MESA in 1982. As a research professor of electrical and computer engineering, professor of physics and astronomy at UNM, and Chief Scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory, he was an advisor and mentor to hundreds of graduate students, and advisor to the Governor of New Mexico. He wanted to influence the lives of high school students in New Mexico who were interested in a bright future in STEM careers, so he worked with university representatives and state and federal government officials to bring the MESA program to New Mexico. He subsequently spent many years working as a MESA Board Member and Board Member Emeritus. His wife, Joan Guenther supported MESA in countless ways over the many years she was involved and played an important role in the success of the organization and its staff.
NM MESA has established the Dr. Arthur H. and Joan Guenther Advisor Achievement Award with the expressed goal of honoring the legacy of Dr. Guenther and his wife, while simultaneously recognizing the wonderful and important work done by MESA advisors who perpetuate Dr. Guenther’s vision each year.