Lorena Casiano, a genetics and biotechnology major at New Mexico State University, has been awarded a scholarship from the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society.
Casiano has received a $5,000 scholarship from Phi Eta Sigma in recognition for her outstanding work as an undergraduate honors student. Casiano is president of the Phi Eta Sigma chapter at NMSU and is also a Building Research Achievement in Neuroscience (BRAiN) undergraduate researcher in the Serrano Neurolab, which focuses on neuroscience, physics and engineering.
Casiano was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma in April 2017, immediately taking on the position of co-fundraising chair for the fall 2017 through spring 2018. Afterward, she was voted president for two consecutive years. This academic year, Casiano will serve as the chapter’s vice president and senior adviser.
With the help of financial aid, including the New Mexico Lottery scholarship, federal Pell grants and the Agronomy and Horticulture scholarship from College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences’ Plant and Environmental Sciences department, Casiano is able to attend NMSU completely free of school loans.
“Winning a $5,000 scholarship from Phi Eta Sigma allows me to focus on my studies and on applying to a neuroscience graduate program,” Casiano said. “I will be graduating debt-free in May 2021. I am so thankful for the many opportunities I have had at New Mexico State University.”
This year, Phi Eta Sigma’s scholarship committee received more than 1,200 applications and will grant nearly $300,000 in endowed scholarships or awards to 96 outstanding members of Phi Eta Sigma for undergraduate or graduate study.
“This award is a testimony to Lorena’s superb leadership and service to Phi Eta Sigma and New Mexico State University,” said Tim Ketelaar, acting dean of the William Conroy Honors College at NMSU.
Casiano is also involved in the Alpha Xi Delta sorority, where she has held officer positions, and is a respite care provider for her older brother, an experience that has influenced her decision to pursue graduate studies in neuroscience. She has also volunteered at a local nonprofit, the Cat’s Meow Adoption Center, for nearly five years.
For more information about Phi Eta Sigma, visit https://www.phietasigma.org/.