Meet the Team

Director: Dr. Nancy McMillan

Nancy McMillan grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and attended New Mexico State University as an undergraduate.  Studying geology and Russian, she was given the opportunity to study the minerals in lava flows in the Organ Mountains for a senior thesis.  There was a day when she had collected data and plotted them up and asked her faculty mentor what it all meant.  He told her, “No one has ever seen those data….it’s up to you to figure out what it means.  So let’s take a look and think about it.”  That changed everything for her–that was the day she became a scientist.  Since then, she earned her BS Geology and BA Russian at NMSU, went on to earn a PhD in Geology from Southern Methodist University, and arrived at NMSU as a geology faculty member in 1989.  She is now a Regents Professor, Department Head of Geological Sciences, and passionate about undergraduate research and the Discovery Scholars Program.


Associate Director: Dr. Michael C. Hout

Michael C. Hout grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and attended the University of Pittsburgh for his bachelor’s degree before moving to Tempe, Arizona to get a master’s and PhD at Arizona State University.  He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at New Mexico State University, and an Associate Editor at the journal Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics. His research focuses primarily on visual cognition (including visual search, attention, eye movements, and memory) and the development of alternative methods of collecting similarity data for use in multi-dimensional scaling. He has won several awards for research and teaching, including the Rising Star award from the Association for Psychological Science, and currently engages in outside consulting for organizations such as Major League Baseball. In his limited free time, he enjoys walking his dogs, hiking, playing hockey, and riding his motorcycle.


Student Assistant: Asia La Torra

Asia was born and raised in Las Cruces, NM where she attended Centennial High School and was a member of the marching band. She is currently an undergraduate student studying psychology and a member of Psi Chi, the International Psychology Honors Society. In her free time she enjoys playing with her dogs, hiking, and painting.