Research Voices: Natalie Morales

Studio Artist

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Natalie Morales is a New Mexico-based artist best known for her charcoal drawings that capture the human figure in realism. She works with themes exploring personal narratives concerning her upbringing and the psychological, employing a minimalist approach to composition that focuses on detailed depictions of the figure. Her works have notably been exhibited in three consecutive Juried Student Shows at New Mexico State University from 2021-2023. Recently, Natalie’s work was shown in two exhibitions with Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 19th Annual Rites of Passage Exhibition for emerging artists featured two large-scale charcoal drawings titled Inside and Love Handle.  The 15th Annual Nude exhibit is her most recent show, which featured a drawing titled Transparency alongside 21 artworks by 14 artists from across the U.S. and Canada. As an emerging artist, Natalie encourages fellow artists to believe in their visions and to seek out different ways to share that vision with others. Whether through different art mediums, styles, or venues; there is always something new to learn and try. Natalie will be graduating from the BFA in studio art program at New Mexico State University in December 2023. Edited by Savannah Hair.


Research Voices: Guinivere Mayse

Artist, Wo/Manhouse

photo of Guinivere Mayse.    Guinivere-Mayse-with-Judy-Chicago-IMG_2739.jpg


Guinivere Mayse is a highly accomplished artist and curator. Since 2020, she has been involved in art that encourages critical thinking and fosters conversations about gender roles. She began by showcasing her artwork in galleries within Belen, New Mexico’s art district. During this time, Judy Chicago, the creator of the Wo/Manhouse 2022 art exhibition, noticed the young artist’s potential and chose her to join the project. In this process, Judy Chicago herself mentored her, assisting in refining and enhancing the space to make it more impactful for its audience. She was one of the chosen artists and one of the selected live performers. Guinivere became an integral part of the coordinator team, actively helping to develop ideas and start conversations about the concept of home and its relation to gender. As an artist, Guinivere created a room in Wo/Manhouse 2022 dedicated to exploring the fears women experience when leaving their homes. She created a room titled “7 Rules a Day” that visualized more than 219 rules that gave rise to fears and anxieties in women. This artwork sparked paradigm shifts within her audience and validated the experience of those who've have had similar encounters. While this work was challenging, it paved the way for Guinivere’s future at New Mexico State University, where she is a sophomore pursuing studies in the Honors College as a Conroy Scholar, specializing in Art. Under the guidance of Dr. Margaret Goehring, she is learning about the practical applications of art history in the real world. Armed with this knowledge and experience, she aspires to attend graduate school and establish museums within the next ten years that connect historical artwork with marginalized voices, bringing their silenced narratives to the forefront of history. Wo/Manhouse 2022 played a pivotal role in shaping Guinivere’s present, and she envisions her future filled with continuous growth, seeking out larger projects to develop.  Edited by Savannah Hair.

Click here for a Penn State interview in which Guinivere speaks about her experience that inspired the piece for “7 Rules a Day.” 


Research Voices: Devynne Hadley

Editor, The Agora


"I have learned that beauty/ Has to flourish in the light/ Wild horses run unbridedled/ Or their spirit dies" - Mariah Carey

Originally from Nevada, I came to New Mexico in 2020 to pursue my degree in English. I brought with me a love of reading, music, and learning, which continues to carry me through my college experience. As a rising senior at NMSU, I have had the privilege of being the founding editor-in-chief of The Agora, an interdisciplinary journal of undergraduate research and creative activity. I started working on The Agora to build a platform that publishes materials from students of all majors and backgrounds, creating a safe space for individuality and innovation to blossom. My intentions behind The Agora were for it to be truly interdisciplinary, not taking on one specific structure that authors had to conform to but instead allowing the students to shape each issue with their unique expression and essence. NMSU is full of immensely talented students each with something different to say, and I began The Agora to help amplify their voices and solidify their space in academia. After I graduate in 2024, my goal is to travel abroad to Europe and soak up as much culture and life as I can. I want my travel experiences to expand on the journey of self-discovery I began in college. While I spent a lot of time in college feeling lost about the shape my future will take, I have slowly realized that this uncertainty is a gift. I have learned that it is more beneficial to try out new things and take risks rather than be limited by a career choice that I am not fully passionate about. So my advice for other students who have experienced similar feelings is to embrace this time of uncertainty and ambiguity. Do not rush through it--this time will provide valuable lessons that will guide you on the journey of meeting your highest potential and most potent dreams. In learning to embrace this time of feeling lost, you are giving yourself the grace to trust yourself by making mistakes and starting from a place of uncertainty. In cultivating such unwavering self-trust, you will create a life you are proud of and most invigorated by. 


Research Voices: Abdul Elaksher, student 

Undergraduate Neuroscience Researcher


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, applicable to research everywhere."

Introducing Abdul, a highly motivated junior with a double major in Chemical Engineering and Biology. Abdul has a passion for research and currently works in Dr. Trafinow's Social Psychology Lab. Last summer, he worked on a research project at the UNC Neuroscience Center studying the resistance of mice with Angelman syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder, to strangers.  He has presented his research on neuroscience and Angelman syndrome at UNC Chapel Hill, the National Congress of Undergraduate Research (NCUR), and the World Congress of Undergraduate Research (WorldCUR), which allowed him to connect with undergraduate researchers from all over the world.  Abdul believes in putting yourself out there and taking risks to achieve your goals. He advises fellow students to have confidence and reach out to their professors for help and guidance. He believes that you can never learn unless you throw yourself into your research. Abdul hopes to study psychiatry, perhaps at NYU Medical School. With his passion for research and eagerness to learn, he is well on his way to achieving his goals and making a positive impact in his field.  You can view Abdul's advice for getting started in undergraduate research on the CURCA Resources Page


Research Voices: Natalia Martinez, student 

Honors College Art Collective Curator


“Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further” - Keith Haring 


Natalia is a Senior at NMSU majoring in art history, with a minor in museum conservation. She started her journey with art as she was growing up in Santa Fe by constantly attending art galleries and festivals. In other words, she simply grew up appreciating art. As her own personal medium, she experiments with a wide range of techniques. She loves ceramics, drawing, photography, painting, and emphasizes that she is always open to trying new art styles. Each style that she uses helps her to connect to the artist that she is learning about at a deeper level. Currently, Natalia is organizing the inaugural Honors Collective where she is providing undergraduate artists with a supporting and welcoming exhibition team and a historic public venue within the Honors College to showcase student artistry. As a word of advice to new and emerging artists, she expresses the importance of reading and researching as many artists and art styles as possible. She urges new artists to avoid the “Western Canon” which refers to the most popular arts that people commonly flock to. Explore as many styles, artists, and techniques as you can; attend gallery openings and museums! Do everything you can to enjoy the diversity of art. Natalia’s Honors Art Collective Exhibition will open in Conroy Honors Center on April 14th and be on display until May 5th.  


Research Voices: Kaitlin Marry, student 

Winner of a 2022 SACNAS Student Presentation Award 


My research interests lie in soil chemistry and biology, specifically the facets that affect soil and human health. My last project was on monitoring simulated lunar regolith for changes in temporal chemical composition over a growing period of 16 weeks. I am gearing up to start my second project in January that will characterize the microbial composition of biofertilizers on the LIFE Monteverde farm in Costa Rica. In my path to research, I was fortunate to have been offered a position in Dr. Ulery’s soil lab in my first year, after I reached out to a few professors about my interests. However, it’s never too late to get involved, and NMSU offers many valuable opportunities for support. For example, the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) funded my project on regolith, and the Honors College International Research Scholarship fully covers all my research expenses in Costa Rica. Any student can be successful in research, especially if they are curious, willing to learn, and brave enough to reach out to professors in their field. The process is difficult at times, but also highly rewarding and the connections I have made within my lab group have greatly improved my college experience.