NMSU Alumni Association honors outstanding graduates for fall 2015

December 9, 2015 by Amanda Bradford, NMSU News Center

The New Mexico State University Alumni Association will honor its fall 2015 Outstanding Graduate Award recipients with a luncheon Friday, Dec. 11, at the Stan Fulton Athletics Center.

The Outstanding Graduate Award is one of the top honors for an NMSU student. Each semester, the Alumni Association honors a graduating student from each academic college, the Office of International and Border Programs and the American Indian Program, as well as a master’s student and a doctoral student from the Graduate School.

All honorees are selected by the deans or leaders of their respective colleges and programs. The award is presented every semester on the Friday before commencement to graduates who have demonstrated a tremendous focus on academics, active participation in activities that embrace their leadership skills and an ability to conceptualize and communicate needed practices for success in their education and personal lives.

“These graduates are future leaders in their fields, and we are extremely proud of them,” said Leslie Cervantes, associate vice president for alumni engagement, participation and stewardship. “They’re exceptional Aggies, both in terms of their academic excellence and their commitment to making an impact in their communities. They’ve set an impressive standard, and we look forward to seeing what they’ll continue to accomplish.”

Matisun Jane McDougal, of Albuquerque, is earning her bachelor’s degree in human nutrition and dietetic science from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. McDougal received a Regents Scholarship and has been active in leadership and volunteer roles with many student and charitable organizations. McDougal is the daughter of NMSU alumni William D. McDougal and Sarah S. Love.

Lindsay Redman, of Espanola, N.M., is earning her bachelor’s with honors in biochemistry from the College of Arts & Sciences. Redman was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship and was a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. She is also a President’s Associates Scholar and received the Elizabeth Corbett Memorial Scholarship. Redman is a member of several honor societies and a co-author of several scientific publications with faculty. She also has extensive research experience with national labs and institutes. Redman is the daughter of Michael and Cynthia Redman of Espanola.

Elias “Eli” Eilers, of Las Cruces, is earning his bachelor’s in marketing from the College of Business. He is a member of several honor societies and the recipient of the Herb Wimberly PGA Scholarship, the Enrique Gutierrez Jr. PGM Scholarship, the PGM Alumni Endowment Scholarship and the Stevens and Robeson Memorial Scholarship. He’s worked in professional golf management throughout his college career and also participates in fundraising events and the Toss No Mas campaign. Eilers is the son of Ed and Shiela Eilers of Las Cruces.

Andrea Victoria Villalobos, of El Paso, is earning her bachelor’s in counseling and community psychology from the College of Education. Villalobos is active with numerous community outreach programs and received the 2015 Pistol Pete’s Unsung Hero Leadership Award. She helps with many programs and fundraisers that support children and families, including the Thanksgiving Drive for La Casa Domestic Violence Shelter. Villalobos is the daughter of Jaime and Rebeca Villalobos of El Paso.

Joseph Graff, of Rio Rancho, is earning his bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering from the College of Engineering. He’s a recipient of the Paul W. Klipsch/Tau Beta Pi Endowed Scholarship and the Richard W. Davis and Professional Aerospace Contractors Association Endowed Scholarship. Joseph is president of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and is involved with numerous other community outreach and service activities. He is the son of Jim and Melissa Graff of Rio Rancho.

David H. Marlin, of Las Cruces, is earning his bachelor’s in nursing from the College of Health and Social Services. Prior to his nursing degree, he earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering. Marlin retired after 30 years with the Army Research Laboratory, and he is a retired naval officer from the U.S. Naval Reserve. As a nursing student, he has been active with several health institutions that serve rural and remote locations, and he also volunteers with New Mexico Search and Rescue. Marlin has two adult children: a son in the Navy and a daughter attending the University of New Mexico.

Gaurav S. Thapa, a native of Nepal, is earning his master’s in applied geography from the College of Arts and Sciences. Thapa received the Robert and Beth Czerniak Outstanding Geography Graduate Student Award and the James J. Parsons Award for Excellence in Thesis Research – both highly competitive awards. He has a long list of leadership roles with student organizations, and was a driving force behind the fundraising efforts for the relief of earthquake victims in Nepal. Thapa and his team raised approximately $8,000 and became part of a delegation to Nepal that delivered funds directly to the prime minister. Thapa received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. He plans to return to Nepal following graduation.

Lauren R. Goldstein is earning her doctorate in rhetoric and professional communication from the College of Arts and Sciences. Goldstein’s research, which has been presented and received with acclaim at numerous regional and national conferences, emphasizes the role of creativity and invention. She also worked as a consultant in the Design Center of the Department of English, creating fliers and brochures for events across campus and teaching instructors to use new tools like podcasts in their writing classes. Goldstein earned her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Virginia Tech and was a resident assistant professor at Creighton University before attending NMSU.

Louise Teixeira Pinheiro, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is earning her bachelor’s in international business and marketing from the College of Business and was selected as an outstanding graduate representing International and Border Programs. In addition to her academic success, she’s an active volunteer with El Caldito Soup Kitchen and the Autism Society of El Paso. Her husband, Rafael Carmona and son, Daniel Carmona-Pinheiro, live in Brazil, as do her parents, Ruy Pinheiro and Maria de Gloria Teixeira Pinheiro.

Frederick Shendo, of the Jemez Pueblo, is earning his bachelor’s degrees in accountancy and business information systems from the College of Business, and was selected as an outstanding graduate representing the American Indian Program. Shendo took an active role in student organizations representing his business career path and his Native American heritage. He served as a mentor in the American Indian Program’s peer mentor program, helping new Native students find a community of their own on campus. He is the son of George and Matilda Shendo of the Jemez Pueblo.

This semester’s outstanding graduates will be honored at a luncheon hosted by the NMSU Alumni Association Friday, Dec. 11, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the 3rd Floor Bistro at the Danny Villanueva Victory Club in the NMSU Stan Fulton Athletics Center. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased by calling 575-646-3616 or emailing alumni@nmsu.edu.

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