UNM Rainforest Innovations

Alissia HaagenstadUNM Rainforest Innovations (UNMRI), the technology-transfer and economic development organization for the University of New Mexico (UNM), has a student internship program that teaches UNM students about university technology transfer and the intersection of business, science, and law. Over the years, UNMRI has trained over one hundred students and the internship program is comprised of a student office assistant, accounting intern, student intellectual property & disclosures assistants, and several innovation interns.

Our featured intern this month is Alissia Haagenstad. She joined UNM Rainforest Innovations in March 2022 and currently serves as an Innovation Student Intern. “I discovered this internship through my friend, Kiera Hanley, last winter. She mentioned how everyone at UNMRI is great to work with, supportive, respectful, helpful, and flexible with people’s schedule.”

“Some of my responsibilities include reaching out to different companies that are interested in our technologies, help organize these organizations into certain categories based on people and subjects and create written descriptions of (UNMRI) inventions…. What I enjoy most about this job is all the inventions/material I get to work with. It is inspiring to see what other people have created and how I can potentially help an individual achieve their goal.”

Alissia was born and raised in Los Alamos, New Mexico and graduated high school in 2019. “I have two sisters and my loving parents. My mom is an elementary school teacher, and my dad works as a program director for a national security program at Los Alamos National Laboratory. My older sister works as a project manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory and my younger sister is in middle school.” When she isn’t busy with work and school, her free time is filled with friends and family, sports, hikes and taking her dog Misha on a walk.

When asked what has been the most valuable thing she’s learned as an intern, she replied: “From this position, I believe the most valuable thing I have learned is teamwork and communication. Hannah Russert has been a great mentor during my time here and has always made me feel welcome with any questions or concerns I may have. I have also learned how to work with many programs, such as Sophia, and have increased my knowledge of computer technology.”

Alissia is currently working on a major in biochemistry and a minor in management and plans to graduate this May. “I plan to work at Los Alamos National Laboratory and potentially pursue a master’s in public health. From there, I plan to attend PA school within the next couple of years.” We wish Alissia the best of luck on her future endeavors!

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