Domenici Student Panelist Program 2018


Applications Open January 1, 2018 through March 30, 2018.

The Domenici Institute for Public Policy at New Mexico State University will be accepting student applications from January 1 through March 30, 2018 to participate as Domenici Student Panelists at the 2018 Domenici Public Policy Conference, held September 12 – 13, 2018 at the Las Cruces Convention Center.

In their role as Domenici Student Panelists, students are the only members of the audience who are invited to ask questions of the Domenici Conference speakers. Students discover that this tradition is an honor and a responsibility as they query highly distinguished policymakers, scientists, military commanders, and political strategists on behalf of more than a thousand attendees.

The Honor

Past Domenici Student Panelists have addressed significant issues confronting New Mexico and the Nation,  while engaging with key figures responsible for shaping policy to address them. While the agenda for the 2018 conference has yet to be finalized, the Conference is moving in the direction of examining National Defense, Immigration, and the Future of Political Parties in New Mexico and the Nation.

Speakers likewise are being confirmed.  As with years past, their stature will reflect the esteem with which Senator Domenici is held through the nation and and significance of the topics to be discussed.  In 2017, former U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar, former Economic Development Secretary for the state of New Mexico Jon Barela, former U.S. Ambassador and former Governor of Washington Gary Locke, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and former U.S. Ambassador Eric Edelman, Senior Manager of Amazon Web Services Ken Eisner, Distinguished Professor Pedro Noguera, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Antonia Novello, Cabinet Secretary Celina Bussey, and former Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor and former Deputy U.S. Secretary of Labor Seth Harris caught our attention and interest.  Speakers this year will continue the tradition.

The Responsibility

Domenici Student Panelists will be assigned to a team, drawn from across the state, for each speaker.

Each team will have a team leader and a professional mentor. Team leaders coordinate efforts for a single speaker.  Domenici Student Panelists who are not team leaders, address two speakers.

Each team will research, write, and practice asking comprehensive and relevant questions. This preparation takes place during the summer by phone, email, and via an interactive, online platform. Students must be able to commit time to their team members and be able to communicate with team members during the summer months. Once at the conference, students are required to participate in conference activities. Click on this link to see tentative Student Panelist Timeline.

The Reward

The benefits of the Domenici Student Panelist Program can be social, professional, and educational. The reward is the result of each student’s initiative.

Students should seize the opportunity to learn through scholarship and engagement.  Even before the Conference, while conducting summer research, Domenici Student Panelists should reach out to experts in their topic, wherever they may be, to gain their perspectives. The options are endless as are the potential social, professional, and educational connections.

The Domenici Institute for Public Policy will provide each participating student panelist the following benefits.

  • $250 Visa gift card
  • Free admission to the conference with reserved seating
  • Hotel accommodations (SpringHill Suites Las Cruces in Las Cruces) Sept. 11 and 12, arranged by the Domenici Institute
  • Group dinner and pre-conference prep session on Sept. 11 at the SpringHill Suites Las Cruces
  • Lunch on Sept. 12 and 13 at the Conference
  • Continental breakfast on Sept. 13 at the Conference

Students or their schools will be required to cover: 1) transportation to and from home community to the hotel and convention center, and 2) any expenses not covered above.

How to Apply

The panelist application process has two parts: 1) Students must be nominated by a faculty member or administrator at their respective college or university in New Mexico, and 2) Students must submit a letter of interest (not to exceed one page) explaining why he or she would like to be a panelist.

All students – undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral – may apply. However, students who have already served as panelists at one of our past conferences are not eligible. Multiple student nominations from one faculty member or administrator will be accepted. Also, students may ask multiple people to nominate them. Students are encouraged to discuss this opportunity with faculty members and administrators.

All student applicants must be enrolled with their nominating university or college at the time of the application and have plans to continue as a student in the fall semester at a university or college in New Mexico.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FACULTY AND ADMINISTRATORS: Complete the requested fields in the form below. Print a copy for your records and then submit the form. The faculty member or administrator nominating the student will receive confirmation via email (within 5 days) that the nomination was received. If you do not receive confirmation, please contact Kevin Boberg at 575-646-1334.

Faculty and administrators making the nominations will be asked to certify that they have informed the student of their intent to nominate him/her and provide his/her contact information to the Domenici Institute at New Mexico State University. Nominations and applications will be accepted through close of business on March 30, 2018. All student nominees will be advised of their selection status via email on or before April 11, 2018. The individual who nominates the student will be copied on this email notification.

STUDENT LETTER OF INTEREST: Students who are nominated by faculty or administrators are required to submit a letter of interest (not to exceed one page) explaining why he or she would like to be a panelist. Address the letter of interest to: Kevin Boberg, The Domenici Institute, New Mexico State University, PO Box 30001 (MSC 3-DI), Las Cruces, NM 88003. Please email the letter to: by Friday March 30, 2018.

All materials must be received by the Domenici Institute no later than March 30, 2018. All student nominees will be advised of their selection status via email on or before April 11, 2018.

Course Credit Option: Domenici Student Scholars Program
NMSU students who are selected as panelists will have the opportunity to earn three credits by extending their summer research into a fall semester course – the Domenici Student Scholars Program. These students will develop a paper to expand on the policy topics they explored during the conference. Students interested in earning course credit should discuss this interest in their panelist program letter of interest and visit the Domenici Student Scholars Program page for more information and/or contact the Domenici Institute at 575-646-2066 or

Questions should be directed to Kevin Boberg at the Domenici Institute: 575-646-1334 or