STEM Shoutout: Michael Angel Gonzalez
Civil Engineering lecturer receives Stamm Outstanding Teaching Award
Michael Angel Gonzalez, a lecturer II in UNM’s Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Department, received the Stamm Outstanding Teaching Award during the spring 2020 semester.
The Stamm award is named in honor of alumni Robert J. Stamm, a successful local civil engineer, general contractor and strong supporter of the UNM School of Engineering, the School of Architecture and Planning and Lobo Athletics.
This year marks 12 years since Gonzalez began teaching civil engineering at UNM.
Gonzalez, a first-generation Iberian-Native American, was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He went into the U.S. Air Force out of high school. After leaving the military, he said he wanted to pursue a management job, but his wife pushed him towards engineering.
“For me, coming from industry and getting this recognition from my students and colleagues was absolutely humbling because I do have that passion and that can-do attitude. I’m doing it for the students and for the university,” Gonzalez said. “I’m a product of the university, I got my degrees here at UNM, so to give back it’s more personal to me, it’s a labor of love.”
Gonzalez said he feels really fortunate to be able to teach from freshman to graduate level.
“I never thought I would love teaching as much as I do, it’s so rewarding, especially when the student gets it,” he said.
As an advocate for underrepresented groups, Gonzalez encourages women and minorities to go into engineering.
“It’s my passion and I have been given freedom by my bosses and my chairs to do exciting new things,” Gonzalez said. “We even developed a study abroad program where we take students overseas to Germany and Netherlands during the two summer to study courses.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic halted all study abroad programs, Gonzalez said he hopes to reinstate the program next summer in 2021 and get more professors involved.