Conroy Honors Scholars



The 2022 Conroy Honors Scholar Program is now open for applications.

Please see the attached form for information and application guidelines.

Conroy Honors Scholar Application Link

Please see our exeptional pool of 2021 Scholars below!



The Conroy Honors College is proud to announce the selection of the 2021 Conroy Honors Scholars!    

This diverse cohort of new, first-year, NMSU students was selected for both their record of academic achievement and their fit with the mission of the Honors College. These students are expected to serve as leaders and models for what the life of a fully-engaged, academic all-star, student can be at New Mexico State University. In addition to excellence in the classroom while completing the University Honors Program, Conroy Honors Scholars will also reflect Honors values as they:

  • Work with faculty mentors on the research, scholarship, and creative work of the University
  • Seek leadership opportunities in both the campus community and their professional fields
  • Model social responsibility with service and advocacy for a cause that matters
  • Develop intercultural competence, appreciation for diversity, and their capacities as global citizens


Name: Nika Michelle Calapini 

Degree: Computer Science 

Graduated from: Middle College High School (Class of 2021) Gallup, New Mexico 

A Destination for International Studies: Germany 

A Cause I Care About: Gender Disparity in STEM  

I was born and raised in the Philippines and moved here to the United States a few years ago. Aside from graduating high school, I also received my Associate of Science Degree at the University of New Mexico. I was a member of the National Honor Society and have been volunteering at multiple organizations. In 2020, I was awarded the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Central & Northern NM Affiliate Rising Star. My interest in computer science began at a young age as I have always been fascinated by how technologies are evolving and how it makes a difference to our everyday life. After obtaining my degree, I plan on going into a software engineering career.


Name: Abdalrahman Ahmed Elaksher (Abdul)

Degree: Chemical Engineering  

Graduated from: Arrowhead Park Early College High School (Class of 2021) Las Cruces, NM 

A Destination for International Studies:  East Asia  

A Cause I Care About: Alzheimer’s Awareness  

I was born in Columbus, Ohio to Egyptian parents but I moved around living everywhere from Brookings, South Dakota to Doha, Qatar before landing in Las Cruces. Moving and traveling when I was younger (yes I have a favorite place—but I’ll never say it) has given me a passion and curiosity to meet new people, try new things, and focus on global issues rather than ones that only affect my current community. That’s why my favorite quote is “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” As my high school Valedictorian, being able to give the graduation speech where I could talk about my faith and the problems in the world is rwhat really made me most proud. More recently, having family members get Cancer and Alzheimer’s has given me a passion to enter the medical field in the future.


Name: Emily Noel Gossett

Degree: Agricultural Communication 

Graduated from: Silver High School (Class of 2021) Silver City, NM

A Destination for International Studies: The Netherlands 

A Cause I Care About: Educating everyone about agriculture 

I was born in Ridgecrest, California, but I moved to Silver City, New Mexico when I was 3 and I have lived there ever since. I have been involved with the National FFA Organization since I was in seventh grade. This has shaped me into the person that I am today and has helped me find my passion for agriculture and leadership which led me to finding the career path for me. I have held many officers positions, including the 2021-2022 NMFFA State Secretary. The other activities that I was involved in during my high school career are marching and concert band, student council, and national honor society, as well as bowling. Outside of school, I am an active member in my church, and a Girl Scout, having earned both my Bronze and Silver awards. I love writing and helping educate people on the ins and outs of agriculture and helping them find their place, whether that is in agriculture or not! I am super excited for the upcoming year at NMSU and truly thankful to be apart of such an amazing program! 


Name: Emma L Hernandez

Degree: Environmental Sciences

Graduated from: Hilltop High School (Class of 2021) Chula Vista, CA

A Destination for International Studies: Italy

A Cause I Care About: Pollution

I am from San Diego, California. I love spending time at the beach and spent most of my summers growing up in the state beach lifeguard summer camp. I enjoy working with children and teaching them about the ocean and outdoor safety. I will be majoring in Environmental Sciences with the hopes of becoming an environmental consultant. I look forward to all the outdoor adventures New Mexico has to offer and to getting back to Italy for an education abroad experience after participating in my high school’s Italian exchange program.


Name: Monet Hunt 

Degree: Biology and Genetics 

Graduated: Texico High School (Class of 2021) Texico, New Mexico  

A Destination for International Studies: France  

A Cause I Care About: The communication gap between scientists and the public.  

I was raised in Roswell, New Mexico. During the summer, before my eight-grade year, I moved to the Clovis area. From a young age, I always cared about my GPA, but my serotonin boosts came from creative projects. This led me to join drama, art, FFA, and any multiple school committees where an abstraction could come to life. My education goals are to major in Biology with a minor in genetics. I am interested in both the role of hormones in health and the world of genetic innovations. On a personal level, a big joy of my life has come from being a competitive equestrian. I have been an eventer for year now but have competed in the hunters/jumpers for the majority of my life.


Name: Ashley Infante

Degree: Justice, Political Philosophy, and Law

Graduated from: Cleveland Charter High School (Class of 2021) Los Angeles, California

A Destination for International Studies: Spain

A Cause I Care About: Racial Justice and Equity

My name is Ashley Infante, and I am from Los Angeles, California. Through my high school’s humanities magnet program, I learned what it means to critically think about the development, culture, and relationships of our society. I quickly grew passionate about the social issues that remain permanent and controversial today, such as racial discrimination and sexism. As a Conroy Honors Scholar, I will not only expand my own knowledge but also engage with other NMSU students and faculty to ensure that such harmful issues are addressed and alleviated. A more personal interest of mine includes film, as I enjoy analyzing the different cinematic elements that make movies so appealing and special. My all-time favorite film is 2016’s La La Land because of the beauty within its cinematography, musical score, and central themes.


Name: Joshua Jackson

Degree: Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management

Graduated from: College & Career High School, Albuquerque NM.

A Destination for International Studies: England or Puerto Rico

A Cause I Care About: Homelessness

I was born in Abilene TX, then when I was ten, my family to San Angelo, four years later I moved to Delaware, and finally, I moved to Rio Rancho, NM when I was 16 years old. I have had four different high schools in the three different states. I have been dedicated to my education and my career. With the help of my high schools, I was able to achieve two associates degrees in Hospitality & Tourism and Integrated Studies, and finally a certificate in Public Safety/Health and Wellness. I am dedicated to serving the public and my community, from the time I was five years old, I have gained over 2500 hours of community service. I was recently named a Daniel’s fund Scholar and I am determined to use both my education and my experiences to improve the lives of people and the community around me.


Name: Sevren Emanuel Jackson

Degree Plan: Aerospace Engineering

Graduated From: Catalina Foothills High School (Class of 2021), Tucson, AZ

A Destination For International Studies: Czech Republic

A Cause I Care About: Economic Desertification

I am Tucson, born and bred, and have lived there continuously for just about all of the past 18 years. Throughout my education I have always striven for academic excellence, but in high school especially I broadened my scope, earning the Arizona State Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish and the Seal of the Arts in Music. I have also put in many hours for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona as a foster with my family, and cared for several batches of kittens until they “graduated” (got adopted). Engineering and Math have always been subjects I have been both interested in and good at, and I look forward to further developing my skills at NMSU. As for my cause, I find that many of the problems people face stem from a lack of economic opportunity (career advancement is difficult without a career to advance in) and I believe that it is the responsibility of all citizens, especially those more fortunate, to invest in the communities they live and work in.


Name: Lauren McConaughey

Degree: Major in biochemistry with a Minor in forensic science

Graduated from: Alma d’Arte Charter High School (Class of 2021)

A Destination for International Studies: China and the Netherlands

A Cause I Care About: Awareness of data theft and breaches

I was born in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Las Cruces when I was nine years old. I graduated from Alma d’Arte Charter High School as valedictorian, an achievement I am proud of. I am a first-generation college student, which motivates me to do the best that I can. I am pursuing a major and minor in biochemistry and forensic science as a start to my dream job as a forensic scientist. I love the lab aspect and applying chemistry to my daily life. Some of my hobbies include reading, learning Chinese, and traveling. My favorite genre is fantasy and one of my all-time favorite books is Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. I’ve been studying Chinese since 2019 and I plan to continue during university. Through the Honors College, I am encouraged to study abroad to practice global citizenship. With this opportunity, I would love to go to China to further develop my Mandarin.


Name: Elida Miller 

Degree Plan: Ag Business and Economics/Biology

Graduated: Las Cruces High School (Class of 2021) Las Cruces, New Mexico   

A Destination for International Studies: Germany or Poland

A Cause I Care About: Rural Healthcare Access/Agriculture Advocacy

I am from a small town, known as Sulphur Springs, Texas but moved to Las Cruces when I was 16. I have always balanced 4-H and FFA with my educational commitment and desire to do well in school. I am starting a double major in ag business and biology to either become an ag lawyer or a doctor. I hope to be able to give back to rural, agricultural communities in some way after beginning my career.


Name: Marissa Montoya

Degree: General Business

Graduated from: Los Lunas High School (Class of 2021) Los Lunas, NM

A Destination for International Studies: New Zealand

A Cause I Care About: Women's Empowerment

I was born in Albuquerque and raised in Los Lunas, New Mexico. I played basketball for my school and won two state championships! I am not positive that I will stay a business major however I am excited to learn new things and find out what interests me the most and pursue that path. I am so blessed to have the opportunities that I have had over my life and am excited to help other people along the rest! I am passionate about empowering women as I grew up with many female figures around me including two sisters. “The question isn't who’s going to let me; It’s who is going to stop me.” -Ayn Rand.


Name: Yulianna Alexandra Salas 

Degree Plan: Animal Science

Graduated from: Bowie High School (Class of 2021 - El Paso, TX

A destination for international studies: Spain

A Cause I Care About: Animal Rescue League 

I was born in El Paso, Texas, but also lived in Ciudad Juárez before settling in El Paso permanently. I am both an entrepreneur and a singer (mostly mariachi). I also have a strong passion for helping animals, which is why I became certified as a veterinary assistant. I plan to major in animal science and continue through the veterinary medicine field. I am a huge fan of traveling and have been in more than 16 countries.  I will continue traveling as a NMSU student  because there is no better way to learn than by having adventures. 


Name: Shelby Schueller

Degree: Genetics and Biotechnology

Graduated from: Mayfield High School (Class of 2021) Las Cruces, NM

A Destination for International Studies: Germany

A Cause I Care About: Access to Proper Healthcare

I was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico. During high school, I was invited to attend the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. At this conference, I developed an intense interest in medicine. At NMSU, I will be majoring in Genetics and Biotechnology. After graduating from NMSU, I plan on attending Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine and later becoming a dermatologist. As a dermatologist, I aspire to aid in increasing one’s confidence through alleviating their skin concerns. Most importantly, I hope to give back to New Mexico’s communities by helping those most in need of accessible healthcare receive it.


Name: Piper Smothermon

Degree: Pre-Nursing

Graduated from: Florence High School (Class of 2021) Florence, Arizona

A Destination for International Studies: England 

A Cause I Care About: Mental Health

I was born in Ohio then moved down to Arizona when I was 4 years old.  I have always strived   high in academics but I’ve made sure to have fun along the way with both my High School Theatre and Marching Band experiences. I discovered my interest in the medical field through a school nursing program and dedicated a lot of my time to get my Patient Care Technician Certificate. I’m always looking to learn more about anything I can - games, art, and Greek Mythology are all interests that keep my mind busy living in a small town in the desert.


Name: Sydney Jeanne Turner

Degree: Agricultural Business and Economics

Graduated From: Roy High School (Class of 2021) Roy, New Mexico. 

Destination of international studies: Rome

A cause I care about: Agricultural Advocacy and Sustainability

I was born in Tucumcari, New Mexico. I have lived in various locations within New Mexico throughout my entire life. I am thrilled to continue my education in the state which I call home while influencing communities worldwide, through my involvement as an agricultural advocate and leader.  My fondness for agriculture and leadership grows stronger every day; its significance to each individual's lifestyle makes it such a unique and diverse industry that I want to partake in. Throughout my high school career, I had the opportunity to be a part of the FFA Organization serving as a NM State Vice President.  It is my honor to continue my service as the 2021-2022 New Mexico FFA State President! Although I am proud to serve my home state, I hope that my honest heart, passion, and integrity will impact the world far beyond NMSU and the state as well!


Name: Haylee Arlenne Viramontes

Degree: Industrial Engineering

Graduated from: Gadsden High School (Class of 2021) Anthony, NM

A Destination for International Studies: France

A Cause I Care About: Mental Health Advocacy

I was born in Las Cruces, and raised in Anthony, NM. Although I am a first-generation college student, I have always been dedicated to my education and appreciate the support of the NMSU TRIO Upward Bound Program. I was recently named a Horatio Alger State Scholar and I am determined to use my education for good. I am starting my major in Industrial Engineering because I am interested in how engineering, business, and rapidly changing technologies intersect in our everyday lives. I have been a Girl Scout for 12 years (yes, I sold cookies every year!) and have earned my Bronze and Silver Awards. I am a strong mental health supporter because I understand the challenge of balancing our responsibilities with the desire to make the most out of our lives. “If you see someone without a smile, give them yours!” :D


Name: Zachary-Michael Wooton (Nickname: Staples)

Degree Plan: Biology or Biotechnology and Genetics

Graduated from: Onate High School (Class of 2021 - The Last Class of Onate), Las Cruces, NM

A Destination for International Studies: Japan

A Cause I Care About: Awareness of Cognitive and Psychological disorders

I was born in El Paso, Texas, and moved to Las Cruces when I was 12 years old. I was in the NJROTC program at Onate and left as a Chief Petty Officer (CPO) when I completed my four years. I plan on going into a career in medicine or lab research after obtaining my degree. I am a huge Star Wars fan and I recently started reading “The Lord of the Rings.” I got the nickname “Staples” from NJROTC during my freshman year in drill teams at Onate. I was practicing a spin with the drill rifles, and the butt of the rifle hit my head, which resulted in some heavy bleeding, and required some staples in my head to help the cut heal.