P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Arturo Macías Franco, 2022

MSc/PhD, University of Nevada - Reno

Arturo Macías Franco is an immigrant from Mexico

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MSc/PhD in Statistics and Data Science and Animal and Rangleland Sciences at University of Nevada - Reno

Born and raised in Torreón Coahuila, México, Arturo Macías Franco always dreamt of being a cowboy. He spent most of his childhood visiting his grandfather’s parcel—admiring nature and the arid agricultural operations of Northern México helped formalize his passion for agriculture.

At 17, pursuing a better education and life, Arturo immigrated to the United States, escaping the inhabitable violence brought by the drug wars. Though challenging, his experiences as an immigrant, specifically, those in higher education allowed Arturo to find his path and give back.

At times working three jobs to pay for his tuition and living expenses, Arturo attended Napa Valley Community College prior to transferring to the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). At UNR, Arturo was able to relive many of his childhood memories by attending an institution with a heavy emphasis on dryland agriculture systems. He completed his BSc degrees in agriculture and in veterinary science where he was recognized as the Outstanding Graduating Senior.

At UNR, under the mentorship of Ruminant Nutritionist Mozart Fonseca, Arturo defended his MSc degree in animal and rangeland sciences with his work on nutritional supplements tailored to decrease voluntary water intake of cattle. Arturo is a representative for the Graduate Student Association, and he has participated in panel discussions with state and federal senators, former governors, and university presidents, serving as a voice for undocumented students. In 2022, he helped establish the first Undocumented Student Club at UNR. Through his endeavors, Arturo aims to dismantle institutional barriers that keep minority populations from higher education.

Arturo’s current work addresses global issues relevant to dryland agriculture systems. He is interested in supporting agricultural communities by developing tools that allow producers to feed themselves and their communities more sustainably. More specifically, he is interested in the benefits of technologies such as high frequency loggers, sensors, LiDaR, drone, and satellite images, among others. He integrates these tools through mathematical models ultimately aimed to develop decision support systems via applications to assist producers and policy makers in pursuing more sustainable production and policy.

Education
  • PhD Animal and Rangleland Sciences | University of Nevada - Reno 2024
  • MSc Statistics and Data Science | University of Nevada - Reno 2023
  • BS Veterinary Sciences and Agriculture | University of Nevada - Reno 2018
  • AS Natural Sciences and Mathematics | Napa Valley College 2016
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