Panelists

Steve Wells

New Mexico Tech

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Dr. Stephen G. Wells serves as the 17th President of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, a Hispanic-serving STEM university. As President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Wells oversees a university with 2000 students (undergraduates and graduates) and 800 faculty and staff, providing leadership in the execution of the university’s strategic plan and maintaining the budget as allocated by the state legislature along with grants received from various entities. President Wells leads the university in fundraising efforts, as well as cultivating relationships with the NMT alumni to gain support in the advancement and development of NMT activities. He provides continuous dialogue between students, faculty and administration in the changing climate of higher education with respect to societal topics. As President, he maintains and/or enhances the quality of academic programs to ensure the integrity of conferral of such degrees.

Prior to taking the helm at NMT, Dr. Wells served as President of the Desert Research Institute (DRI) of the Nevada System of Higher Education from 1999 to 2016. Prior to joining DRI in July 1995 as Executive Director of the Quaternary Sciences Center, Dr. Wells was Professor of Geomorphology and Chair of the Graduate Program in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Riverside. He began his academic career at the University of New Mexico in 1976 and ultimately served as Chair of the Department of Geology from 1989 to 1991. Dr. Wells has held visiting appointments with the U.S. Air Force Office of Research, U.S. Geological Survey, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the University of Liverpool. He also established consulting relationships with numerous federal agencies and private companies including the U.S. Department of Justice, Sandia National Laboratories, and environmental and geotechnical firms in the western United States. Dr. Wells has published approximately 60 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and edited six volumes, and he is the recipient of three national awards for research excellence: Geological Society of America Kirk Bryan award for best scientific paper in geomorphology and Quaternary geology, Gladys Cole Award for best scientific proposal in arid land geomorphology, and Geological Society of America Farouk El-Baz award for desert research. Dr. Wells has a bachelor’s in geology from Indiana University. He earned his master’s and Ph.D., both in geology, from the University of Cincinnati. In 2007, Dr. Wells was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from both of his alma maters.