Skip to main content

Honors Students Travel to Domenici Public Policy Conference

Honors students dressed in their business professional attire pose for a group photo in front of a blank white wall.

(Pictured L-R: Honors Scholarship Coordinator Kiyoko Simmons, American University Professor Alan Kraut, Samuel Smith, Julisa Rodriguez, Joel Robinson, Jacob Ring, Sarah Armstrong, Brendon Gray, and Larimar Rodriguez.)

The Annual Domenici Public Policy Conference was held on September 12 and 13 at the Las Cruces Convention Center. This year’s conference focused on the issues in national defense, immigration policies, and political landscapes of New Mexico. Seven UNM students participated in the Domenici Student Panelist Program In their role as Domenici Student Panelists, students are the only members of the audience who are invited to ask questions of the Domenici Conference speakers. Students discover that this tradition is an honor and a responsibility as they query highly distinguished policymakers, scientists, military commanders, and political strategists on behalf of more than a thousand attendees.


Honors students Rana sitting at a sewing machine helping a student.
Larimar Rodriguez poses a question during the confernce.
Anand sitting on campus bench reading a book smiling
Jacob Ring and Brendon Gray enjoy the conference opening reception.
Meet the Authors button
Participates strike a pose during the day's events. 

UNM Honors College student Brendon Gray shared,“The student panel at the Domenici conference is a great way for future New Mexican leaders to engage with the complex issues key to the future of our state. I learned from the speakers and from the other student panelists. No doubt the public speaking and critical thinking skills I gained from my experience will contribute to my education and career. I'm grateful that leaders like the late Senator Domenici, Governor Carruthers, and the Domenici Institute provide a space for conferences like these.”

This year's UNM Panelists included:

Sara Armstrong, Brendon Gray, Jacob Ring, Joel Robinson, Julisa Rodriguez, Larimar Rodriguez, & Samuel Smith.