Training & Education

Professional Development

At the UNM PRC we pride ourselves on being a resource for professional development, and advancement of knowledge and skills for people at all levels along the research spectrum. We have a variety of different educational and training opportunities at the center.

Noon Conference Series
The University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center (UNM PRC) holds noon conferences to provide regular opportunities for faculty, staff, community members, health practitioners, and students to learn and grow professionally. The Noon Conference Series includes:

  • Journal Club
    To serve as a forum through which the UNM PRC’s faculty and staff, and other members of the UNM community keep abreast of new developments in Community Prevention Research. The presentations generate a stimulating, critical, congenial discussion on pressing scientific issues with a goal to expand our prevention research knowledge and skills.
  • Professional Development
    To provide an opportunity for faculty and staff, colleagues, and community partners to build capacity for prevention research. Presentations focus on specific topic areas relevant to our goal of expanding our prevention research, knowledge, and skills. Additionally, presentations serve as an opportunity for interaction and mutual learning among researchers and practitioners.
  • Research Presentations
    To provide an opportunity for faculty and staff, colleagues, and community partners to learn about current interventions, research, and findings in prevention research, community research and other topics of interest to the PRC. Additionally, presentations serve as an opportunity for interaction and networking for future collaboration.


Student & Resident Opportunities 




The center has a variety of training opportunities for students and residents at different points in their academic careers, and for those on a range of different academic tracks. We would love to have you join us here if you find one fits your interests.


Preventive Medicine Residency Rotation and Mentored Research Experience
The UNM PRC faculty oversee a one-month residency rotation for all Preventive Medicine Residents. Residents gained knowledge and experience with community engagement, the socio-ecological model, prevention research and social marketing. Residents will create one product (e.g., presentation, op-ed, policy brief) during their rotation. Residents may also choose the UNM PRC for their mentored research experience wherein they are able to conduct scholarly research and submit a manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal. Contact Theresa Cruz for more information.

Medical Student Scholarly Project
UNM PRC faculty serve as mentors to medical students completing scholarly projects. Projects focus on community-engaged prevention research. Students are able to conduct scholarly research and submit a manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal. Example projects are community intervention research to increase consumption of drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages and to increase access and usage of the tobacco QUITNOW program in a rural New Mexico community. Contact Sally Davis for more information.

Master of Social Work (MSW) Field Practicum
The UNM PRC hosts master’s-level social work students from the New Mexico Highlands University School of Social Work for required field practicum experiences. The field practicum provides students with an opportunity to apply generalist social work knowledge, skills, values, and ethics to research practice. Students integrate classroom-based theoretical knowledge and values with practice skills acquired during their work at the PRC. Contact Courtney FitzGerald for more information.

Master of Public Health Practicum
The UNM PRC hosts 160-hour practicum experiences for students in the UNM MPH program. The objective of the program is to provide students with hands-on research experience relevant to their professional goals. A project is jointly developed by the preceptor/field advisor at the PRC and the student, with approval from the MPH Program. The PRC can provide experience in community-engaged qualitative and quantitative prevention research. Past practicum experiences have included contributing to the development and implementation of quantitative data collection tools related to physical activity and contributing to the development of a sexual violence prevention strategic plan by assisting with focus groups held across New Mexico. Contact Theresa Cruz for more information.


Dietetic Internship Rotation Site
Through supervised practice activities within the PRC’s community-based nutrition research and programs, interns have the opportunity to meet competencies for research and community nutrition rotations in alignment with the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Due to the focus of the PRC’s nutrition-related work, interns gain valuable experience in rural and under-resourced communities that they may not otherwise have access to. Previous intern experiences include development and execution of a research protocol, development and delivery of nutrition education to low-income families, development of a grocery store tour curriculum, conducting the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS) in rural communities, measuring employee acceptance of workplace food and nutrition policies, and conducting the Environmental Policy Assessment Observation (EPAO) in rural Head Start centers. Prospective interns may contact Glenda Canaca to inquire about preceptorship.

Undergraduate Pipeline Network (UPN) Program
The UNM PRC is a host site for students accepted into the UPN program. This program is a 10-week summer experience during which students work 40 hours per week for the host organization. The purpose of the program is to cultivate students’ interest in research. The PRC provides community-based/health disparities research opportunities. Past UPN projects focused on learning about community engagement and prevention research by conducting systematic literature reviews, collecting data in communities, and learning data analysis software. Contact Sally Davis for more information.