Class Notes Spring 2021
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Send your alumni news to Mirage Editor, The University of New Mexico Alumni Association, MSC 01-1160, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131-0001. Or better yet, email your news to Alumni@unm.edu. Please include your middle name or initial and tell us where you’re living now.
- Spring deadline: January 1
- Fall deadline: June 1
Frances R. Spallina (’56), Albuquerque, and Col. Marvin Spallina celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. They were married Feb. 14, 1955, at the Thomas Aquinas Newman Center at UNM.
Susan Seligman Kennedy (’60 BA) and Jack Kennedy (’61 BS), Albuquerque, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They are high school sweethearts, married Aug. 19, 1960, at the Albuquerque Country Club.
Judy Vaughan (’69 MD), Albuquerque, has published her biography, “Strawberry Roan: Growing in the Shadow of Hermit’s Peak.”
Marshall Wilder (’64 BSEE) has published “The Microchip Revolution: A Brief History.”
Rhonda Lynn Ashcraft (’79 BBA), Albuquerque, owner of Articles for Her, has announced she will be retiring and closing her store, a fixture in the Northeast Heights for 40 years.
Sarah A. Bird (’78 BA), Austin, Texas, received the Paul Ré Peace Prize in the general category for her work as an activist for libraries and literacy programs. Her other works include the novel, “The Flamenco Academy.”
Robert M. Calvani (’71 BAFA), Albuquerque, has been elected president of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards for 2020 - 21. Among his career achievements are his designs for the First Judicial District courthouse and the New Mexico History Museum.
Charles Burdick Ewing (’76 BBA), Albuquerque, was appointed to a three-year term on the board of directors of The Parker Center for Family Business. He brings 40 years of banking experience to the board.
Augusta P. Farley (’74 MA), Patterson, Calif., was named one of 2020’s Outstanding Women of Stanislaus County. Farley was selected for her outstanding work in supporting women and children in the community.
Robert K. Hitchcock (’78 MA, ’82 PhD), Albuquerque, received the Paul Ré Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement award. He was recognized for his work across southern Africa assisting traditional hunter-gather, sustenance agriculturalist and pastoral communities negotiate an increasingly globalized world.
Albert Man-Chung Kwan (’77 BSPH, ’83 MD), Clovis, N.M., is Plains Regional Medical Center’s new medical director.
Frank H. Martinez (’72 BA, ’81 MPA), Albuquerque, was awarded the Paul Ré Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong community advocacy. This includes his work in forming the Citizens Information Committee of Martineztown.
Elaine C. Montague (’71 BSED, ’77 MA, ’84 EDSPC) and Gary T. Montague (’60 BAED), Albuquerque, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. The couple was married June 17, 1960, at the Sandia Base Chapel.
Carolyn S. Montoya (’76 BSN, ’13 PhD), Albuquerque, was honored by the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence with the Distinguished Nurse of the Year award.
Jerome Nelson (’76 BA) has published “The Word Unveiled: A Spiritual Dictionary of Scripture.”
Joan Roberts (’73 BSED ’76 MA), and Randall S. Roberts (’73 BUS, ’76 JD), Farmington, N.M., celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Aug. 23, 2020.
Ann E. Sims (’70 BSN), Albuquerque, and Thomas Sims celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Aug. 9, 2020. The couple were married at the UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel and will spend their retirement traveling and volunteering.
Charles L. Wiggins (’78 BSHE), Albuquerque, director of the New Mexico Tumor Registry, was awarded with the Calum S. Muir Memorial Award, which honors those who have made substantiative and outstanding contributions to the field of cancer surveillance.
Carol Leslie Adkins (’81 BSCHE), Albuquerque, received the Women in Technology Award from the New Mexico Technology Council. Adkins is the director for Sandia National Laboratories’ Energy and Earth Systems Center.
Carl M. Cady (’80 BSME), Los Alamos, N.M., was named the state’s swim and dive coach of the year by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association. Cady, an engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory, coaches for the Los Alamos High School Hilltoppers, the same school he attended and for which he competed.
Armondo DeCarlo (’80 BSME), Ogden, Utah, has retired after 40 years in engineering. A member of the Defense Acquisition Corps and Tau Beta Pi, his final assignment was with the nuclear missile program at Hill Air Force Base.
Ireena A. Erteza (’86 BSEE), Albuquerque, was awarded the Women in Engineering Award by the 2020 Society of Women Engineers. She was recognized for the 27 years she has spent at Sandia National Laboratories as a devoted advocate for women in the STEM field.
Maria D. Gonzales (’85MA, ’92 PhD) has published “Atop the Windmill: I Could See Forever.”
Bill A. Goodman (’82 BS), Albuquerque, was recognized as one of 2020 SBA New Mexico Small Business Award winners and given the Small-Business Person of the Year award. President and CEO of Goodman Technologies, LLC, he is credited with more than 90 publications and his company has contributed to four different space missions.
Gilbert V. Herrera (’81 BSCPE), Albuquerque, has been appointed to the newly established U.S. National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee. The group will be tasked with advising federal offices in maintaining U.S. leadership in this field of technology.
Robert David Martinez (’86 BBA, ’97 MA), Albuquerque, the recently named state historian, has launched a new YouTube channel — New Mexico History in 10 Minutes, an innovative approach to public lectures in the time of the pandemic.
Michael John Newman (’85 MBA), Rio Rancho, N.M., and his wife Mary have celebrated 50 years of marriage. The couple was married September 20, 1970, at the United Nations Chapel in New York.
John Rabins (’85 PhD) has published “Defined by Fire.”
Peter A. Sanchez (’84 BBA), Albuquerque, was elected to the Bosque School board of trustees as a member of the finance committee and board vice chair. He is CEO of the Atrisco Companies.
Donald R. Smithburg (’85 MAPA), La Cygne, Kan., is interim CEO of Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services.
Richard S. Stapp (’89 MS), Arlington, Va., was promoted to chief technology officer at Northrop Grumman Corp. He will be working on new technology solutions and strengthening existing programs.
Patrick J. Wilkins (’85 BBA), Albuquerque, was elected to the Bosque School board of trustees as a member of the finance committee. He is a partner at Ricci & Company, LLC.
John L. Taylor (’80 MA) has released “Navajo Scouts During the Apache Wars.”
Sheryl M. Williams Stapleton (’87 MA, ’90 EDSPC, ’13 EDD), Albuquerque, joined the New Mexico Council for Racial Justice. The first African American woman to be elected to the New Mexico Legislature, she is currently serving as majority leader of the House.
Fernando G. Baca (’93 BA), Albuquerque, has joined Century Bank as a vice president and commercial loan officer at the DeVargas branch in Santa Fe.
Charles E. Becknell, Jr. (’93 BUS, ’08 PhD), Albuquerque, joined the New Mexico Council for Racial Justice. Faculty member of Africana Studies at UNM, Becknell also serves as a minister at the Emmanuel Baptist Church.
Alicia C. Benavidez (’97 BSED) and Daniel P. Benavidez (’98 BAED, ’03 MA), Glorieta, N.M., celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.
Gregory Brown, Jr. (’95 BUS), Albuquerque, was named head boys’ basketball coach at Albuquerque High
School. A former AHS player who led the team to a state championship, he was also a Western Athletic Conference player of the year during his time with the Lobos and will be bringing 15 years of coaching experience to the team.
Suzanne Wood Bruckner (’94 MBA, ’05 JD), a lawyer with Sutin, Thayer & Browne, and a member of its board of directors, and head of the firm’s tax law division, was appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to serve on the New Mexico Tax Practitioner Advisory Committee.
Joseph P. Coleman (’90 BUS), Albuquerque, has retired as Valley High School’s boys basketball coach. A 1984 VHS graduate, he reached four state championship games and took home three blue trophies in his 23-season career.
Jason C. Dykehouse (’95 BA) has written the novel “A Reduction of Men.”
Laura Gutierrez-Spencer (’90 PhD), Las Cruces, N.M., retired as director of Chicano Programs at New Mexico State University. She is a screenwriter/executive producer for the movie “Magic Love Dust.”
Paul L. Huitt (‘92 BUS, ‘96 MA), Albuquerque, has retired from coaching baseball at Sandia Preparatory School after 21 seasons and six state championships. A former UNM player, he will still continue to teach.
David H. Johnson (’94 JD), a lawyer with Sutin, Thayer & Browne, co-authored the New Mexico chapter of “Corporate Practice of Medicine: A 50 State Survey,” second edition, published by the American Health Lawyers Association.
Kiran Katira (’99 EDSPC, ’05 PhD), Rio Rancho, N.M., joined the New Mexico Council for Racial Justice. Katira is cofounder of the UNM Community Engagement Center and a national trainer with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.
Edward S. Lopez (’90 BA), Newport Beach, Calif., is a member of the board of directors of The Parker Center for Family Business.
Santana M. Macias-Fontana (’98 MD), Corrales, N.M., was elected to the Bosque School board of trustees as board and executive committee chair. She is currently a physician with Presbyterian Medical Group.
Daniel Joseph Mayfield (’99 BA), Albuquerque, was promoted to vice president of government affairs at the Credit Union Association of New Mexico and president of Leverage Point.
Maria T. Mora (’90 BA, ’92 MA), St. Louis, Mo., received the 2020 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring for her multiple roles at the University of Missouri.
Marisa I. Mulkey (’92 BA), Village of Los Ranchos, N.M., was elected to the Bosque School board of trustees as a member of the finance committee. She is the executive vice president and chief strategic officer at
David Neidhart (’90 MD), Farmington, N.M., of San Juan Oncology Associates, has opened the Four Corners Cancer Center.
Lee L. Patchell (’93 BBA, ’95 MBA), Albuquerque, was elected to the Bosque School board of trustees as the governance committee chair and the member of executive committee. She is currently vice president of human resources partnerships and employee relations at Presbyterian Healthcare Services.
Deb Haaland (’94 BA, ’06 JD), a member of New Mexico's Laguna Pueblo, became the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history. Haaland was confirmed as Secretary of Interior for President Biden’s Administration in March of 2021.
Lorii Rabinowitz (’94 BA) is one of three finalists for the 2021 9NEWS Leader of the Year award. Rabinowitz is CEO of the Denver Scholarship Foundation.
Christopher L. Steffan (’99 BS), Albuquerque, has joined JB Henderson Construction Company Inc. as special projects manager.
Thomas P. Trowbridge (’96 MPA), Santa Fe, N.M., won first place for “Best Daytime Newscast” in The Associated Press Television and Radio Association 2019 contest for an edition of the “KSFR MidDay Newsbreak.”
Stephanie G. Becker (’03 PhD), Albuquerque, has been promoted to executive director/principal at Amy
Biehl High School.
Christina L. Beppler (’06 BS), Albuquerque, was awarded the 2020 Society of Women Engineers’ Work/Life Integration Award. An analytic chemist at Sandia National Laboratories, she was recognized for her work in establishing the Sandia Parents Group.
Denise M. Chanez (’01 BA, ’06 JD), Albuquerque, a director at the Rodey Law Firm, was presented with the State Bar President’s Award. Chanez was recognized for her service and work as co-chair of the State Bar’s Committee on Diversity in the Legal Profession.
James D. Cox (’07 BBA), Farmington, N.M., is deputy county manager of San Juan County. He previously was the county’s chief financial and strategy officer.
Richard Charles Doty (’04 BA), Rio Rancho, N.M., retired as the Rio Rancho Fire Rescue deputy chief after 20 years of service. He will be working as operations manager for a nationwide private medical response company.
Beth Poquette Drews (’01 BA), Dallas, Texas, was awarded the Paul Ré Peace Prize Career Achievement Award for establishing Mariachi Pantera de Oro, the second middle school mariachi program in Dallas Independent School District.
Agnetha J. Gloshay (’06 BA, ’16 MPA), Albuquerque, co-founder of Native Women Lead, has joined the board of directors of the Family Independence Initiative.
Tina Muscarella Gooch (’08 JD), a lawyer with Sutin, Thayer & Browne, has been named to the Business Leadership Council of Family Friendly New Mexico.
Myrriah M. Gomez (’09 MA), Albuquerque, received the Paul Ré Peace Prize Emerging Promoters of Peace
award. She was recognized for her work with the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, a grassroots organization that brought attention to the negative effects suffered by New Mexicans after their exposure to radiation from the nuclear device detonated in 1945 at the Trinity Site.
Jesse D. Hale (’08 BA, ’13 JD), has been named counsel at Sutin, Thayer & Browne. Hale recently was re-appointed to a second term as vice chair of the Membership Committee of the ABA’s Health Law Section. He also co-authored the New Mexico chapter of “Corporate Practice of Medicine: A 50 State Survey,” second edition, published by the American Health Lawyers Association.
Jordan Anthony Herrington (’04 BBA), Albuquerque, has been promoted by Bank of Albuquerque to senior vice president and commercial real estate manager.
Theodore B. Hodoba (’00 MCRP), Veguita, N.M., has retired as manager of the Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area after having worked there since March 2009 and volunteering since 2003.
Cynthia Maria Jarvison (’05 AAPBA, ’07 BBA), Gallup, N.M., was given the Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award by SBA New Mexico. She is currently the director of the Small Business Development Center at UNM - Gallup.
Rose Kern (’03 BUS) has published “Air to Ground 2020: A Guide for Pilots to the World of Air Traffic Control,” second edition.
Scott H. Koller (’08 BSEE), Albuquerque, has been promoted by Bridgers and Paxton Consulting Engineers to vice president. He joined the company in 2008.
Kathyleen Mary Kunkel (’03 JD), Albuquerque, retired as the New Mexico Secretary of Health.
Jackie C. Lopez-Barlow (’07 BSCHE), Abiquiu, N.M., was recently featured in Los Alamos National Laboratory’s new seven-episode podcast “Mars Technica.” The podcast explores the scientists, technology and equipment of the NASA 2020 Perseverance Rover mission.
Barbara A. Lynn (’01 MPA), Albuquerque, joined the New Mexico Council for Racial Justice.
Leonard P. Madrid (’05 BA, ’08 MFA), Albuquerque, has been working with Blackout Theatre on El Campo Santo, a podcast featuring music, comedy and stories set in New Mexican locations.
Cassandra Ruble Malone (‘04 MMU, ‘08 JD), Albuquerque, has joined Keleher & McLeod as an attorney.
Clara M. Moran (‘05 JD), Albuquerque, was appointed to the Second Judicial District Court in Bernalillo County. She has worked in the state Attorney General’s Office and the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Virginia Necochea (’01 MA, ’15 PhD), Albuquerque, was named executive director of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center.
Carrie D. O’Hara (’02 BSTT, ’11 MA), Albuquerque, was chosen as a 2020 Women Worth Watching winner by Profiles in Diversity Journal. The award recognizes dynamic women who are changing the workplace and world. O’Hara is a security expert and innovative instructional systems designer at Sandia National Laboratories.
Corrine M. Sanchez (’01 MA), San Ildefonso Pueblo, N.M., joined the New Mexico Council for Racial Justice.
Brian G. Serna (’06 MA), Santa Fe, N.M., joined the New Mexico Council for Racial Justice. He is the founder and CEO of Serna Solutions, which specializes in behavioral health and counseling.
Lucy B. Solimon (’04 BA, ’07 JD), Albuquerque, was appointed to the Second Judicial District Court in Bernalillo County. Lucy has served as bureau chief of the Workers Compensation Administration enforcement since 2018 and as a special assistant U.S. Attorney for Laguna Pueblo.
Briana H. Zamora (’00 JD), Albuquerque, a state Court of Appeals judge, has been named to the steering committee of the Commission on Equity and Justice.
Hope A. Alvarado (’19 BA), Albuquerque, joined the New Mexico Council for Racial Justice. Alvarado is currently a youth leader with the New Mexico Child Advocacy Network.
Noe Astorga (’15 BA, ’19 JD), a lawyer with Sutin, Thayer & Browne, has been appointed to head the firm’s Committee on Equality. Astorga is a first-generation American and first-generation college and law school graduate.
Dawn G. Begay (’11 BA), Albuquerque, joined the New Mexico Council for Racial Justice. Begay serves as the Native American Affairs Coordinator for the City of Albuquerque’s Office of Equity and Inclusion.
Johana Bencomo (’18 BSN), Las Cruces, N.M., joined the New Mexico Council for Racial Justice. She is executive director of Comunidades en Acción y de Fé and a Las Cruces city councilor.
Frank A. Blazquez (’18 BA), Albuquerque, was awarded the Paul Ré Peace Prize Career Achievement award for his art project Barrios de Nuevo Mexico: Southwest Stories of Vindication.
Elizabeth K. Fresquez (’14 BSN), Albuquerque, released her first single ”Ninety-Nine.” Currently working in the pre-anesthesia clinic at UNM Hospital, Fresquez still finds the time to make and perform music.
Gabriel M. Gallegos (’18 BA), Albuquerque, has been promoted to media director of Sunny505.
Aaron J. Gardner (’15 BA), Rio Rancho, N.M., was appointed permanent site manager of Casa San Ysidro: The Gutiérrez-Minge House in Corrales.
J.R. Giddens (’18 BLA), Albuquerque, was hired by Northern New Mexico College as new head coach of the women’s basketball program. A former NBA and UNM player, Giddens has played internationally for more than 10 years.
Astrid Carmela Gonzaga (’18 AAS), Gallup, N.M., joined a UNM-Gallup field research team funded by the National Science Foundation to advance the understanding of hydrodynamic controls on the sedimentary architecture of floodplain deposits.
Brittany A. Karnezis (’16 MA), Albuquerque, is executive director at the New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation.
Katherine E. Kleinsteuber (’13 MSN), Carlsbad, N.M., joined the Pecos Valley Physician Group’s team of health care providers and will be working at the Sandia Surgical and Vein Center.
Robert J. Johnston (’16 JD), a lawyer at Sutin, Thayer & Browne, has been appointed to the board of directors of the State Bar’s Tax Law Division. Johnston also co-authored the New Mexico chapter of “Corporate Practice of Medicine: 50 State Survey,” second edition, published by the American Health Lawyers Association.
Colleen A. Lino (’17 BBA, ’19 MACCT), Albuquerque, has been promoted to senior tax associate at Pulakos CPAs accounting firm.
Kimball S. Sekaquaptewa (’17 MBA), Cochiti Lake, N.M., received the Women in Technology Award by the New Mexico Technology Council. Sekaquaptewa is the chief technology director at Santa Fe Indian School.
Alison K. Goodwin (’18 JD) a lawyer at Sutin, Thayer & Browne, has been appointed the Young Lawyer Division Liaison to the State Bar of New Mexico’s Health Law Section. Her term runs through December 2021.
Rosswell Radoslaw Sinclair (’20 BBA), Albuquerque, won the 79th Albuquerque Men’s City Golf Championship. Sinclair finished the 54-hole event at 12-under 204.
Martina Terri Smiley (’19 AS), Window Rock, Ariz., joined a UNM-Gallup field research team funded by the National Science Foundation to advance the understanding of hydrodynamic controls on the sedimentary architecture of floodplain deposits.
Jason D. Sterns (’11 BBA), Albuquerque, has been promoted to senior auditor at Pulakos CPAs accounting firm.
Andres D. Trujillo (’10 BA), Albuquerque, was named executive director of New Mexico Games, an annual amateur athletic competition.
Phillip N. Walck (’11 BBA, ’19 MBA), Albuquerque, has been promoted to senior tax accountant at Pulakos CPAs accounting firm.
Sabrina Hernandez (’20 JD) has joined Foulston Siefkin LLP, the largest Kansas-based law firm, as an
associate in Foulston’s litigation practice group.
Jared P. Lucero (’20 BA), Santa Fe, N.M., co- founded YOUnited Threads, a charitable bracelet business
dedicating all profits to the American Red Cross initiative to fight COVID-19.
Alexis M. Rael (’20 BBA), Santa Fe, N.M., joined the New Mexico Council for Racial Justice. Rael is
pursuing a master‘s in business administration at UNM.