By Stephanie J. Montoya, Staff Writer/Reporter
After graduating with her Bachelor’s degree from Northern New Mexico College, alumnus Jazmine Lopez will attend the prestigious Masters in Science Writing program at Johns Hopkins University.
The Cundiyo native, who graduated with a Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree with an emphasis in Psychology this year, found a love of writing and the natural world late in her college career. After working as an intern with the Air Quality Bureau at the New Mexico Environment Department, she discovered a new interest and decided to apply for the program with the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences at Johns Hopkins.
“I’ve always wanted to write. Once I got my internship at the Environment Department, I realized what’s important is being able to tell stories about nature and the world,” Lopez said. She said that her dream would be to write for a magazine like National Geographic.
Johns Hopkins University is the first research university in the United States and is ranked 9th amongst colleges and universities across the U.S. and ranks 12th worldwide. The prestigious institution is best known for research contributions in medicine and the STEM fields and has an 11 percent acceptance rate. The Masters in Science Writing program teaches students how to translate complex scientific information for a public audience, and prepares students for careers in journalism, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, biotech firms, and more. Alumni of the program have gone on to write for NASA, publish books, and win awards in science writing.
Lopez said that an education at Northern left her well-prepared to enter the program. As an undergraduate, Lopez completed a two-year research internship under the mentorship of Dr. Stephanie Amedeo-Marquez surrounding the National Science Foundation BEST scholarships. She learned about technical research and interviewing during the project, which explored how student perspectives on themselves affect academic performance.
She also said her humanities classes taught her key writing skills, and although she found some texts difficult, she used Northern’s Writing Center as a resource, and advises other students to do the same. She also encourages current students to go out for opportunities that may be outside their current area of interest.
“Take advantage of any internship and opportunity, even if they aren’t in your current field. Apply for things even if you think you don’t qualify. Even if you have people who doubt you, or doubt if you’re qualified, keep believing in yourself!”
Lopez says she is looking forward to the program and is excited to learn more about the world and how to write in journalistic style. She thanks her dad Michael, her mom Tina, her sisters Hope and Jennae, her grandma Corina, and boyfriend Michael.
Northern wishes her all the best in continuing her education and looks forward to seeing her future contributions.