NM MESA has selected recipients of the 2022 Dr. Arthur H. and Joan Guenther Advisor Achievement Award. Celena Miranda and Monica Rodriguez-Hudson 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 MESA’s Guenther Award committee.
Celena Miranda (right) has been a teacher since 2004 and has served as a MESA advisor for the past six years. She says, “I am thankful for all the opportunities and support that MESA has provided. The wonderful individuals that make up MESA are the best students and colleagues. They make me better. I will forever be grateful.”
Monica Rodriguez-Hudson (left) has taught Mathematics for 11 years, and in 2011, collaborated with Los Alamos National Laboratory and New Mexico Tech to create NM MESA’s four-year high school engineering curriculum. Some of the technical experience she shares with her MESA students includes rockets, 3-D printing, soldering, Arduino and Alice coding, cybersecurity, electric circuits, and robotics.
MESA advisor Stephanie May, who calls herself a “rival MESA advisor”, provided high praise for both of these outstanding advisors during the nomination process, saying, “Monica Rodriguez-Hudson and Celena Miranda are an “A” team. They have shown such a passion for what they do since the first time I met them the summer of 2018 at Goddard High School. Monica and Celena had created a summer training for prospective MESA students to become engaged in STEM. Every event they hosted had current MESA students helping and mentoring newcomers, creating excitement in the program.”
About the Dr. Arthur and Joan Guenther Advisor Achievement 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 and the Guenther family have 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. The Guenther offspring continue to support NM MESA, including their oldest daughter TK O’Geary serving on the NM MESA Board of Directors and youngest daughter Wendy Gallegos supporting NM MESA events.