UNM Rainforest Innovations

UNM Rainforest Innovations would like to congratulate the outstanding women recognized in this year’s Women in Tech Awards. This program recognizes the remarkable women in New Mexico who are driving innovation and excellence in their tech-related fields and inspiring and empowering others to pursue careers in the tech industry. Among the finalists, Akilah Martinez was selected as an Emerging Leader and Susan Cornelius and Donna Riley were chosen as Honorees.

UNM Rainforest Innovations nominated Akilah for this award through the NM Tribal Entrepreneurship Enhancement Program. The program serves to connect Indigenous entrepreneurs like Akilah to resources and networks that will help move their business goals forward and elevate the stories, journeys, accomplishments, and contributions of Indigenous and tribal entrepreneurs throughout the state of New Mexico.

Akilah Martinez is an award-winning creative technologist from the Navajo Nation. She holds a BFA, with a focus in electronic art, from The University of New Mexico. Her determination to technologically advance tribal nations enabled Akilah to travel between New York City and Los Angeles to learn from leading XR technologists. Akilah’s nontraditional STEM background has empowered her to develop augmented reality applications that incorporate Indigenous languages and offer XR development mentorship to tribal leaders and educators.

You can learn more about Akilah in our interview with her on the Indigenous Entrepreneurs Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Ymtd5YsiE

Also chosen as Women in Tech Honorees were Susan Cornelius and Donna Riley. Susan is the Principal and Founder of Accelerate2Solutions and worked with UNM Rainforest Innovations for many years as a mentor and advisor for the I-corps program (now dubbed the Rainforest Accelerator program), EDA University Center, and coached startups on the Business Model Canvas and Pitch Deck through her University Center office hours and bootcamps. Donna Riley currently serves as a member of the UNMRI Board of Directors. She is a Jim and Ellen King Dean of Engineering and Computing and Professor in the Gerald May Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Before joining UNM, Riley was the Kamyar Haghighi Head and Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University.

Congratulations again to the outstanding women chosen as part of this year’s Women in Tech Awards. The awards event will take place at Hotel Albuquerque on March 13.

View the full list of awardees here: https://nmtechcouncil.org/women-in-technology-celebration/

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