Emilee Montoya

Emilee Montoya

Hi there, my name is Emilee. I am an undergraduate currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with a minor in Medical Anthropology in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Biology accompanied with a minor in Chemistry. At the end of my undergraduate studies, I hope to apply to medical school and pursue an interest in pathology. On campus, I am an active member in the MAES Latinos in Science and Engineering Chapter and I am the new president of the Pre-Medical Club. I was born and raised here in beautiful Las Cruces, so my passions stay close to home. During my free time I love to horseback ride, swim, and play board games with friends and family.


Project Description:

The research project I am currently working on is primarily focused on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on individuals with diabetes and how other factors such as food insecurities and mental health additionally contribute to their overall health. For this study, we plan on focusing our attention to the local colonias here in Dona Ana County. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), colonias are rural communities in the four U.S. states that border Mexico that have limited access to basic services and infrastructure. Our participants will complete a series of four separate interviews concerning their feelings and experiences during daily living. In addition, the analysis of both their current and pre-pandemic A1C levels will be evaluated. Using numerical values and personal responses, it is our hope to gain the knowledge of how experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic interact with experiences of diabetes and mental distress directly affect an individual. With this information, we hope to share it with local wellness and government officials to better prepare our local communities for future emergencies.


Project Benchmarks:

  • Project description, timeline, and milestones developed with mentor; on file with DSP
  • Complete half of project milestones
  • Complete project
  • Attend a professional conference (without presenting)
  • Take the MCAT
  • Author or co-author a manuscript submitted for publication
  • Promote #DiscoveryScholars 10 times on social media


Emilee’s mentor: Dr. Mary Alice Scott:


Dr. Scott

Dr. Scott is a medical anthropologist whose research focuses on two areas: cultures of medical education and experiences of health disparities in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Both areas address health equity issues in different ways. Her research in medical education explores the experiences of underrepresented medical students and residents as well as how medical students and residents learn about health equity in their medical institutions. Her research on experiences of health disparities in the U.S.-Mexico border region currently focuses on relationships among COVID-19, diabetes, and mental distress in communities designated as colonias. Dr. Scott has been mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in research since she arrived at NMSU in 2011.