NMSU honors Distinguished Alumni

October 21, 2008 by Bryant Million NMSU News Center

The New Mexico State University Alumni Association will honor and recognize nine Distinguished Alumni at a dinner during Homecoming 2008.

The 2008 honorees are:

  • Nancy Lewis of Lincoln, Neb., College of Agriculture and Home Economics
  • Lt. Col. Larry Lang of Colorado Springs, Colo., Joe Salazar of Lompoc, Calif. and Maury Giles of Bee Cave, Texas, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Kevin Johnson of Medina, Wash., College of Business
  • Tamara Martin-Causey of Cave Creek, Ariz., College of Education
  • Allyson Yarbrough of El Segundo, Calif., College of Engineering
  • Terra Van Dyke of Las Cruces, College of Health and Social Services
  • Blanca Magrassi de Alvarez of Chihuahua, Mexico, International Distinguished Alumnus

Lewis earned her bachelor’s in dietetics from NMSU in 1968. She received a service award from the American Dietetic Association in 2000 and a Universitywide Distinguished Teaching award from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in 1999, where she currently teaches.

Lt. Col. Lang earned his bachelor of music education and bachelor of performance degrees from NMSU in 1980. Lang joined the U.S. Air Force in 1990. Four months later he was assigned as deputy commander of the Air Force Band of Flight at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. In 2007, he was assigned as commander and conductor of the USAF Academy Band.

Giles earned his bachelor’s in both communications and journalism from NMSU in 1996. He is the vice president of Wirthlin Worldwide, a marketing research company that consults for many of the country’s largest companies and associations. Giles’ clients have included the Fannie Mae Foundation, Junior Achievement, Franklin Covey and the Children’s Miracle Network.

Salazar earned his bachelor’s in mathematics from NMSU in 1963. Salazar has earned many achievements during his civilian career with the USAF at Vandenberg AFB in California. He introduced and implemented the use of software configuration management, verification and validation software and the use of a fuel cell to provide pollution-free electrical power to Air Force test facilities. Salazar retired as the highest-ranking civilian working at VAFB and was given a full general’s retirement ceremony.

Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from NMSU in 1981. In 1992, Johnson began to work for Microsoft Corporation, and during his 16-year tenure, he served in a range of strategic executive assignments, most recently as president of the Platforms and Services Division. Johnson is currently the chief executive officer of Juniper Networks Inc. In 2001, he was the recipient of the NMSU College of Business Hall of Fame Award.

Martin-Causey earned her doctorate in counseling from NMSU in 2002. She is president of her own independent psychology practice in Scottsdale, Ariz., and a managing partner for Pivot Point Leadership, a leadership development company. She also has served on several committees for the American Psychological Association, in which she currently serves as president in district 42.

Yarbrough earned her bachelor’s in electrical engineering from NMSU in 1979. She is the principal director of the electronics engineering subdivision of the Aerospace Corporation. She received the Aerospace Institute Executive Director’s Achievement Award in 1998 and in 2001, the Women of Color Technology Award for Career Achievement in 2002 and currently holds five patents. She also established the Yarbrough Family Scholarship in NMSU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Academy.

Van Dyke earned her bachelor’s in communication studies with a minor in health science from NMSU in 2001 and her master’s in public health in 2005. After graduating she became the community relations coordinator for Camino De Vida Center for HIV Services, where she produced multiple education and outreach materials for the community related to HIV and AIDS services. She is now the director of development for Mesilla Valley Hospice, where she is working on a $7 million capital campaign project for the additional expansion of the hospice house in Las Cruces.

Alvarez earned her master’s in educational psychology from NMSU in 1967. She has conducted several research projects, translated books and has had her research published in Mexican Psychology Magazine, Center for Educational Studies Magazine, Educational Studies in Latin America Magazine and the National Council of Science and Technology.

For more information call the NMSU Alumni Association at (575) 646-3616.

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