Commencement 2000

SOCORRO, N.M., May 13, 2000 – New Mexico Tech presented 245 bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees at its commencement on Saturday, May 13, including two to honorary degree recipients.

The science and engineering university in Socorro presented an honorary doctorate of petroleum engineering to Robert O. Anderson, longtime head of ARCO and well-known oil businessman from Roswell, N. M.. They also awarded an honorary master's degree to Jonathan Spargo, a Socorro resident who has been active in volunteer work at the university's Etscorn Campus Observatory.

The university honored Dr. Paul Krehbiel, professor of physics, as its Distinguished Researcher. Krehbiel has studied thunderstorm electrification and developed instruments for that purpose, including a new Lightning Mapping Array. Dr. Deidre Hirschfeld, associate professor of materials engineering, was named recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, based on letters of recommendation from students.

A new award, the Students' Choice Award, was presented to Dr. George Cunningham, associate professor of electrical engineering, for his commitment to students and to excellence.

The highest award to a graduate student went to Alison Peck, who received her Ph.D. in astrophysics. Peck finished her doctoral work in December 1999, and she is a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Plank Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany. She has been doing research on compact symmetric objects, which are young radio galaxies. Recently, she was one of the discoverers of the third most luminous maser in the universe.

While Peck was president of the Graduate Student Association, many positive changes took place. She has been an active ambassador for New Mexico Tech, recruiting new students, especially in astrophysics.

Two of the top awards to undergraduates, the Brown Award and Cramer Award, went to Julie Ann Wiens. Wiens also received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering with high honors. She was chosen for the Brown Award by the faculty on the basis of her scholarship, leadership, and conduct. The Cramer Award was presented to her on the basis of her high achievements in scholarship. Wiens is a 1995 graduate of Moriarity High School.

The Cramer Award for the male engineering student with the highest academic achievement was given to two outstanding students, Michael Davis and Timothy Sande. Both young men had perfect 4.0 grade point averages. Davis, who had been named "Engineering Student of the Year" by the faculty in March, received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and has a job lined up with Hewlett-Packard. Davis is a 1995 graduate of Gallup High School

Sande, who earned his degree in petroleum engineering, has been working for the petroleum engineering department on a U. S. Department of Energy research project. He has also been an instructor in the reservoir engineering laboratory at the university. Sande is from Kalama, Wash.

Mark Stanley was named recipient of the Langmuir Award, given to a graduate student for a recent outstanding publication. Stanley, who earned a Ph.D. in atmospheric physics, received his award for being first author on the paper "High speed video of initial sprite development," published in Geophysical Research Letters in October 1999.

The New Mexico Tech Alumni Association presented two Distinguished Achievement Awards to alumni. Dr. Walter Fisher, who earned his master's and Ph.D. degrees at New Mexico Tech in metallurgy, was selected for the award for his achievements as a professor at the University of Texas at El Paso. David Matter, a member of the Class of 1950 attending his 50th reunion, was honored for his career in metallurgy.


(Kathleen Hedges)