NMSU alumni honored at Homecoming 2004

Oct. 21, 2004 by Jennifer B. Kistler NMSU News Center

The New Mexico State University Alumni Association will honor the 2004 Distinguished Alumni Oct. 28-30 during Homecoming 2004, “ABC’s of Aggie Innovation.”

The 2004 honorees are:

–Linda Laitner of Eagan, Minn., College of Agriculture and Home Economics.

–Gilbert Cano of Albuquerque, N.M., Denise Chavez of Las Cruces, N.M., and Leonard Sugerman of Las Cruces, N.M., College of Arts and Sciences.

–Linda Volk of El Paso, Texas, College of Business Administration and Economics.

–David Lopez of San Jose, Calif., College of Education.

–Adelmo Archuleta of Albuquerque, N.M., College of Engineering.

–Amer Taha of League City, Texas, College of Health and Social Services.

–Beruk Yemane of Alemya, Ethiopia, International Distinguished Alumnus.

Laitner earned a master’s degree in 1969 and a bachelor’s degree, both in home economics. She served as president of Horizon Behavioral Services, which Forbes magazine named one of the 200 best small companies in America. She also taught business and economics at Central Missouri State University and in 1998 established the Eleanor Ann Heins Scholarship in memory of a professor at the Dona Ana Branch Community College.

Cano earned his bachelor’s degree in physics in 1954, his master’s degree in physics in 1960 and his doctorate of philosophy in experimental atomic physics in 1964. He has worked for Sandia National Laboratories for 32 years in various atomic, nuclear and laser physics programs. In 1975, he served as the science and energy advisor to the governor of New Mexico. He was a member of the NMSU Physics Department Advisory Board from 1983 to 1987 and served as the president of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Board of Regents from 1987 to 1988.

Chavez earned her bachelor’s degree in theater in 1971. She is the author of numerous books, plays, short stories and poems featuring Chicano heritage, including “Loving Pedro Infante” and “Last of the Menu Girls.” In 1995, she won the American Book Award for “Face of an Angel.” She also has been honored with the Puerto del Sol Fiction Award and the Governor’s Award in Literature. She is the founder of the Border Book Festival.

Sugerman earned his master’s degree in public administration in 1984. He is a retired Air Force colonel and served as the assistant to the director of the NMSU Physical Science Laboratory from 1977 to 1994. He has received the Distinguished Public Service Award and the Branding Iron Award. The Sugerman Space Grant Building will be dedicated during Homecoming 2004 honoring Sugerman’s support for numerous programs at NMSU, including the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium.

Volk earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1983. She is the federal tax partner of Rio Grande Business Unit of KPMG for El Paso and Albuquerque. She serves on the board of directors for the Children’s Grief Center and the El Paso Rehabilitation Center for Children. She also participates in funding for the Ronald McDonald House and AVANCE.

Lopez earned his doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction in 1979. He is the president of the National Hispanic University in San Jose, Calif., and has served as a professor at California State University – Fresno. He also serves as a consultant to the Coca-Cola Company for Civic and Governmental Latin Affairs.

Archuleta earned his bachelor’s degree in 1973 and his master’s degree in 1976, both in civil engineering. He currently is the CEO of Molzen-Corbin and Associates. He also has served on the NMSU Board of Regents and was the president twice during his tenure. He was the president of the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and was recently appointed to the State Board of Education.

Taha earned his bachelor’s degree in medical technology in 1992. He currently serves as the CEO for Sigma Health Care, which he founded in 1997. He established the first telehealth program in Texas and developed internet-based telemedicine software to improve health for seniors. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, the American Telemedicine Association and the National Association for Home Care.

Yemane earned his master’s degree in range science in 1984. He serves as the national pastoral program coordinator for Oxfam GB in Ethiopia, which develops policies and strategies for range management in Ethiopia. As the coordinator he works to improve basic social services, disaster management, livelihood and natural resource management. He also has served as the senior range management expert in Ethiopia since 1995.

For more information about the distinguished alumni for Homecoming 2004, contact the alumni association at (505) 646-3616 or visit http://www.nmsu.edu/homecoming.

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