People You Know, Oct. 2002 to Feb. 2003


James Pulaski (61, BS, metallurgical engr.) writes that he is the retired vice president of engineering with Smith Valve Corp. He and his wife Patricia live in Westborough, Mass. James worked as quality and materials engineering consultant just prior to retirement. He taught several ASM MEI courses on NDT and failure analysis. He also worked as volunteer at Boston Museum of Science for about 2.5 years after retirement. Jim and Pat have tentative plans to relocate back to Southwest.


Dennis Umshler (74, BS, geology; 76; MS, geochemistry) won a national title in the discus throw at the USATF Masters Track & Field Championships in Orono, Maine. Umshler was at the top of his age group, with a throw of 166 feet, 11 inches.

Stephen K. Falkowski (78, MS, geology) writes, "After working for Shell Oil as a senior minerals geologist for 14 years, I took an early retirement. I moved to the Hudson Valley of New York State and started my own business -- a snack food distribution company. My wife Audrey and I enjoy motorcycle touring, cooking chili in competition (I am the 1997 World Chili Champion), and visiting our three-year-old grandson in Albuquerque."


Michael LeBaron (80, MS, geology) writes, "I've changed careers again! After being 'downsized' by the Bank of America IT group in 2002, I decided to try something new, so I'm starting a new career as a high school science teacher. I really look forward to having an opportunity to use the geology, chemistry, and other science training I've had and put it together with the real world experiences I've had over the years."

Michael Thompson (83, BS, metallurgical engr.) is married to the former Aimee Pelletier (84, BS, mining engr.) They have two children, Gail Hope, 6, and Rachel Joy, 2. Michael and Aimee work in the oil industry and live in Houston.

Sean Hogan (89, BS, environmental engr.) was recently the subject of a feature story in the T or C Herald. Shortly after graduating from Tech, Hogan moved to the San Francisco Bay area, where he reconnected with an earlier interest of his: painting. Hogan recently had a one-man show of his paintings at the Alliance Francaise. He is influenced by the composition and colors of jazz and also by Navajo art and Southwestern colors and themes. Sean and his wife Agnes have two children, Camille and Clea.


Terry Myers (91, MST) is superintendent of schools in Cleveland, Texas. He previously held the same position at two other school districts, Nueces Canyon and Castleberry.

David Lewis (92, BGS) married Anne Rose on Aug. 3, 2002, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Columbia, Tenn. David, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees in industrial engineering from NMSU, is an industrial engineer for IKG Industries, and Anne is a computer instructor for CompUSA. They live in Nashville.

Karl Tonander (92, BS, geological engr.; 93, MS, mineral engr.) has been elected as vice president of the New Mexico Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG). Tonander works for Souder, Miller, and Associates (SMA), a New Mexico-based civil and environmental engineering firm, as its Las Cruces office manager. His responsibilities with SMA include environmental market development, remediation system design and implementation, and environmental and engineering project support and review.

(Verlin) Paul Jobe (93, BS, petroleum engineering) writes, "I am currently serving Schlumberger as an in-house design and evaluation engineer in ChevronTexaco's Mid-Continent Business Unit office in Houston. I do the design work for stimulation, cementing, acidizing and coiled tubing services performed by Schlumberger, as well as coordinate these services with our field locations.

"My wife, Lisa Kristine Jobe, is a domestic goddess/family manager/domestic engineer - she's got her hands full! We have two sons, Preston, 12, and Jesse, 7."

James W. Perea (93, BS, electrical engr.) writes, "I continue to work in Albuquerque at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), where I am one of two deputy program managers managing the Rapid Test Support Contract with the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center. I continue to support New Mexico Tech by chairing the Electrical Engineering Advisory Board with Dr. Ron Thomas. In May 2002, I graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Master of Business Administration. My wife, Rachel, and I also moved from Los Lunas, NM to Albuquerque, NM, thus reducing our commute. We live in the Four Hills area with our two kids, Micah, 6, and Katrina, almost 2."

Elizabeth "Betti Jo" (Matthews) Hobbs (94, BS, business) and hubby Eric Hobbs (93, BS, physics) brought a beautiful baby daughter, Jolene Evelyn Hobbs, into this world on September 17, 2002. She weighed 7 lbs., 11 oz., and was 20 inches long.

Eric adds, "Also, Betti Jo earned her Master's of Education degree this year from Southwest Texas State University.

"We currently reside in Universal City, Texas, where Daddy is a computer systems consultant and where Mommy is gearing up to go back to teaching."

Andrew Montaño (94, BGS) writes, "An article that I co-authored entitled Chemical and physical characteristics of the Salton Sea, California was recently published in Hydrobiologia. This article details the findings of a one year sampling program conducted on the Salton Sea to assess its current chemical and physical conditions in attempts to gather current scientific data on this system."

Dr. David Skaar (94, BS, biology; 94, BS, mathematics) writes, "I (finally) finished my Ph.D. in biochemistry/genetics at Duke University in September 2002. My thesis was primarily about mRNA transcription and how transcription and processing may be coupled by the CTD of RNA polymerase II. I am now a postdoc at the Duke Center for Human Genetics, working on the genetics of autistic disorder." David's wife, Dr. Dawn Groenke, is a senior clinical research scientist at GlaxoSmithkline.

Luis A. Topete (94, BS, mineral engr.) writes "After getting my BS in mining in 1994, I worked for various international mining-exploration companies, including Echo Bay Mines, Quest International, and Aquest. I traveled to several projects in the Americas (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru) and had the time of my life in every respect.

"However, my little girl Karla was growing up very fast and required more of my time, so my wife, Noemi, and I decided to move to Bakersfield, Calif., where we have resided since 1999. No more traveling, but I keep busy with our daughters Karla and Noeli; and a lot of construction engineering; and a little bit of soccer and tennis."

Marjorie Ward (93, BS, physics) writes, "In August 2002 I became executive director of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, a statewide non-profit bicycle education and advocacy organization. This year Tracy (Eichenseer) and I will celebrate our 7th anniversary." Marjorie has a master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Tracy is a veterinarian.

Angela (Miller) Murrell (97, BS, basic sciences) writes, "In December 2002, I received my master's degree in Library and Information Science, and I am beginning a job at New Mexico State University Library, as Reference Librarian, Sciences. I am excited to be moving back to New Mexico."

Karen Stafford-Brown (97, BS, environmental engr.) is receiving the Young Engineer of the Year Award from the Dallas-Fort Worth Mid-Cities Chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers on Feb. 20, 2003.


Dr. Charlotte Rowe (81, BS, geology; 00, Ph.D. geophysics) writes, "I've left Madison, Wisconsin, where I was a postdoctoral research associate, then a research scientist, and am now employed as a postdoc at Los Alamos National Laboratory. I have been an associate editor for the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America since January 2001. I'm currently living in Santa Fe. It's nice to be back home in New Mexico again."

Alicia Dawn Alexander (01, BS, environmental engr.) was married to Francis Jude Martinez (01, BS, electrical engr.) on June 22, 2002, at St. Teresa de Avila Catholic Church in Grants. Francis is an electrical engineer for Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Clay Kerr (02, BS, mechanical engr.) married Dayle Renee Parker, a current Tech student in chemical engineering, on Aug. 10, 2002, at the Shrine Center in Albuquerque. Dayle is a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society and is a student intern at Sandia National Laboratories. Clay is employed as a mechanical engineer by PNM.