NMAS Board Election – 2022 Offices

Candidate biographies

Vice-President – Diane Peebles

Diane Peebles is the new Senior Manager for Academic Programs at Sandia National Laboratories, with leadership of Sandia’s University Partnerships, Postdoc Office, and Faculty Loan Program for Joint Appointments. Diane came to Sandia in 1983, after receiving her PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, with previous BS degrees in Chemistry and Physics from New Mexico State University.

During her first 21 years as a staff member at Sandia, Diane worked in the Materials Sciences Center researching areas of interfacial cleaning, aging, and reliability. In 2004, Diane became a Manager in the Physical, Chemical, and Nanosciences Center, leading a group focused on the development and characterization of microscale and nanoscale behavior in materials for advanced applications. In 2012, Diane moved to the Engineering Sciences Center to lead a group focused on computational mechanics of components and materials. Over this time period, Diane had multiple program management responsibilities.

In 2018, Diane moved to the  Chief Research Office Center, to lead the partnerships with the NM Research Universities and manage the staff supporting Sandia’s Academic Programs. In this role, Diane has helped build the Academic Programs team, supported the development of the Corporate Postdoc Office, and led the development of the new Faculty Loan Program for Joint Appointments. She has led efforts for increased research collaboration and developed programs to foster student and faculty engagement across the NM schools, many of which have now been more broadly implemented across the University Partnerships team.

Treasurer – Dr. Deb Thrall

Deb Thrall was awarded a PhD in Education from the UNM and has taught in middle/high school and university classrooms for 25 years in OK and NM in the areas of biology, chemistry, physics, chemical hygiene management, radiation fundamentals and nuclear technology. Dr. Thrall served on the board of the NM Science Teachers Association for 20 years and currently serves as the Chair of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Explora!. Deb is the Executive Director of the Albert I. Pierce Foundation, a charitable organization in support of the arts, education and the environment.

Director at Large – Dr. Zhiming Liu

Dr. Zhiming Liu is a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Biology at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) where he has served as Assistant and Associate Professor since 1998. Dr. Liu received a BA in 1982 from Shanghai Ocean University, an MS in 1990 from the University of Washington, and a PhD in 1994 from Texas Tech University. Along with his undergraduate and graduate students he has published over 60 full-length papers in the fields of cell biology and contributed 75 abstracts to the regional, national and international conferences.

He has sponsored a large number of graduate students, undergraduate students and high school students in research projects, with fifteen of his students receiving awards for excellence in research. Dr. Liu is also active in teaching courses such as Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Endocrinology, Developmental Biology, Undergraduate Seminar and Assessment. He has served as a faculty senator and chaired many committees for the university and community. Dr. Liu served as Secretary, President-elect, President (two terms) of the ENMU Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, when the Chapter received two prestigious awards for outstanding performance from national Sigma Xi headquarters.

Additionally, Dr. Liu is the former President of the New Mexico Academy of Science and has been enthusiastically involved in supporting science education and scientific research in public schools and higher education institutions in Eastern New Mexico in collaboration with NM Legislative Finance Committee and education departments.

Director at Large – Margaret Showalter

Margaret Showalter has been involved in science education in New Mexico for over 20 years during which she has taught at traditional public school, charter schools, and an independent school.  She has also worked in informal science education, mentored new teachers, and presented numerous professional development workshops. In addition to a BA in Education, Margaret also has BS and MS degrees in Chemistry. In addition to various levels of Chemistry, she has also taught Physics, Physical Science, and Integrated Science. She also helped develop a novel chemistry course that utilizes materials science to teach fundamental chemistry concepts.

She is currently teaching at La Academia de Esperanza, a charter school in Albuquerque’s South Valley.  At Esperanza, Margaret has created a makerspace where an at-risk population can use high tech tools and equipment to re-engage with school. Over the course of her career Margaret has been active with a variety of professional societies and organizations, including the American Chemical Society and the American Physical Society.  She has been involved for over a decade with the ASM Materials Education Foundation, which recently honored her with the 2019 Kishor M. Kulkarni Distinguished High School Teacher Award.  Margaret is excited about the opportunity to participate in NMAS and help this distinguished organization continue to support science and science education in New Mexico.

Voting information

Current (paid members) can vote now on these candidates.
If you have not renewed your membership, you can do so on the NMAS website.

Voting closed at 8:00 pm, Friday January 7. 

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