UNM Rainforest Innovations

vessels, christieUNM Rainforest Innovations hires student interns each semester to assist in supporting technology transfer and catalyzing economic development at the University of New Mexico.

The internship program teaches UNM students about university technology transfer and the intersection of business, science, and law. The program is currently comprised of Innovation Student Interns, Intellectual Property and Disclosures Assistants, an Accounting Intern, and a Student Office Assistant.

Our featured intern this month is Christie Vessells. She’s an Innovation Student Intern who joined UNM Rainforest Innovations in February. Christie was born and raised in Albuquerque and attended Sandia High School. She earned a certificate in Automotive Technologies from CNM and recently completed her associate degree in Information Technologies from CNM.

When asked what she enjoyed most about her position, she said, “I really enjoy learning about new technologies. It might take me some time poking around Wikipedia and the internet to learn about them, but I frequently find myself losing myself in the research I am doing.”

As an Innovation Student Intern, Christie is involved in many tasks related to protecting and transferring UNM inventions into the commercial marketplace. “I draft non-confidential summaries, do searches for prior art, store marketing campaign interactions, and my favorite, identify and find contacts for companies that might be interested in licensing our technologies.”

So far, the most valuable skill she has learned is time management. “Honestly, it is something I am still working on (and probably will for the rest of my life). And learning how to take complex gobs of information and distilling it down to something that can be understood by the general public has also been incredibly helpful, and something I can see myself utilizing in the future!”

When she isn’t busy with school and work, she spends quality time at home with her partner Crystal. “We have 4 chihuahuas, 3 cats, a cockatiel, a red-eared slider, and an aquarium full of fish. I also enjoy sewing plush creations made from upcycled materials, but I have not had time to sew in a while!”

Christie is currently focused on finishing her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and in the future hopes to work for the Department of Defense.

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