People You Know, June through December 2004


Morris T. Worley (58, BS, mining engr.) writes that he has accepted a position as manager of the Manufacturing Sector Development Program at NMSU-Carlsbad. The program administers six industrial technology degree and certificate programs, provide contract workforce training, and manage the area apprenticeship program.


Fritz Wolff (60, BS, mining engr.) is the author of A Room for the Summer, a book about adventures and misadventures set in the mines of the Coeur d'Alene in the 1950s. It is available from Oklahoma University Press at www.oupress.com.

Barney Popkin (65) writes, "After a year of project work in several places -- Egypt for the U.S. Agency for International Development; India for the Food and Agricultural Organization; Iraq for Halliburton/KBR's Restore Iraqi Oil program; and Mexico for the Desert Development Foundation -- I accepted an assignment as senior advisor/ environmental protection specialist for USAID's Bureau for Asia and the Near East's Iraq Team and Environment/Agricultural team. I facilitate the USAID equivalent of the National Environmental Policy Act."


Tousson Toppozada (70, MS, geophysics; 74, Ph.D., geophysics) writes, "I retired on Jan. 1, 2004, from the California Geological Survey, where I have worked as a seismologist since leaving New Mexico Tech in 1974. My experience is with California earthquake hazards and history and emergency response. I have not been back to NMT since 1974, and I hope to visit in the not-too-distant future."

Dan DeMar (71, BS, metallurgy/ceramics) is an insurance agency owner in Albuquerque.

Hugh Giggy (71, BS, met. engr.) writes, "I am currently a regional manager for Lockheed Martin in the Fort Worth area on a support services contract, supporting the Federal Aviation Administration. I have been with Lockheed Martin for nearly 21 years.

"My wife Terry and I met at New Mexico Tech in 1971. We have two sons who are both pilots in the United States Air Force."

Dick C. Engbrecht (71, BS, chemistry) received the 2004 ASTM International Award of Merit, and the title of "Fellow" for his years of outstanding contributions, leadership, and special activities related to developing standards for gypsum products. Engbrecht is a development associate at USG Corp. in Libertyville, Ill. An ASTM International member since 1987, Engbrecht serves on a number of subcommittees and has previously served as chair and vice chair of the main committee. He also serves as liaison for international standards activities related to gypsum.

Bill Fetter (attended 71-73) writes, "I have fond memories of the 2 years at Tech. Would be glad to hear from some old friends." Bill works for Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants in Mountainville, N.Y. He has a degree in geology from CUNY Brooklyn.

Stacy B. Leffler (74, BS, math) retired and earned a law degree. He is now a lawyer and staff judge advocate for the new Mexico State Defense Force.

Dr. Donald Wenner (74, BS, chemistry) was the subject of an article in General Surgery News in November 2004. Don, who is a surgeon in Roswell, is active in programs encouraging youth to choose the medical profession in general, and surgery in particular. participates in the school district's "Super Day," a career program for fifth and sixth graders, works closely with high school juniors and seniors considering medical careers, and mentors medical students.
At home, Don's son Donnie, 21, has been accepted to UNM Medical School. Daughter Andrea, 24, is team leader for account maintenance at Ford. Sons Nathan, 20, and Teddy, 17, have yet to choose careers. Wife Laurie administers Don's medical business and also helps keep him "organized, focused and fed."

Dr. Christopher Duffy (75, BS, environmental engr.; 77, MS, hydrology; 79, Ph.D., hydrology) was in the news for a study he conducted at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge north of Socorro. Duffy discovered that mountain-front recharge -- ground water from rain or snow that fell in the mountains and then seeped down into the deep aquifer -- takes decades to move downhill to the alluvial fans and then into the Rio Grande Valley.

The study could mean that the lack of rainfall during the drought of the 1950s could add to the impact of the current drought by decreasing the available water in the Rio Grande aquifer.

Duffy is a civil engineer at Pennsylvania State University.

Adel A. Bakr (76, Ph.D., hydrology) has been doing consulting and training in hydrogeology. In addition to his own consulting, since November 2003, he has been with the RCS Corporation, providing geotechnical support to the Yucca Mountain Project. He lives in Las Vegas, Nev.

Sue (Ryan) Langdon (77, BGS) writes to say, "Just a brief note to say "Hi" to all the Techies and Townies we knew. I married Bob Langdon in January 1978, shortly after I graduated from NMT in 1977. Our adventures have taken us to the distant borders of -- New Mexico.

"Actually, we have traveled all over the US, but never moved our home from the Land of Enchantment. We spent short stints in Silver City and Hobbs. We moved to Albuquerque in 1983, the year our daughter, Jennifer, was born.

"Jennifer is a theater and teaching student at UNM. Bob has been on VA disability since the early 1990's. Sue is working for UNM Hospitals as an office supervisor in the Food and Nutrition department.


Susan Ewald Brink (80, BS, geology) writes "After the U.S. Bureau of Mines was abolished, I began teaching Earth science and geology/paleontology at North High School in Mahtomedi, Minn. My husband Steve and I have two children, Katie, 9, and Jeff, 7, both of Korean heritage. I am enjoying life and still love geology and rocks!"

Patrick E. Haynes (81, BS, geology) writes, "After 19 years in Colorado, Mary Anne and I have moved to Las Vegas, Nev. I am still collecting and peddling mineral specimens. In the last few years I have had four new minerals published.

"Our son Aaron, 24, obtained a bachelor's degree in biology from Tech and is now working on a master's degree in environmental engineering, also at Tech. Old friends, please stay in touch!"

Kevin Donovan (82, BS, mining engr.) and Doree Donovan (81, BS, metallurgical engr.) recently moved to the Denver area, where Kevin is a marketing director for Washington Group International. Their oldest daughter, Karen, was recently married and lives in Albuquerque. Their middle daughter, Megan, will be a freshman at Colorado State University this fall, and their youngest, Kelsey, is enjoying Colorado with her Mom and Dad.

Greg Hibbard (82, BS, geological engr.) writes, "I've been wanting to write to Gold Pan for quite some time to update all of the 82-era Techies on my past 22 years. Here's a brief run-down.

After my final semester in December of 1982 (I missed the graduation ceremony in spring of 1983 as I was hard at work by then), I started working for International Engineering Company, a subsidiary of Morrison Knudsen (MK), in project management for hydroelectric and water resource projects. For 15 years, I worked on projects for MK throughout the western United States. By the mid 1990s, I had settled in San Francisco, working out of MK's Engineering Design Office and traveling to project sites as needed throughout the United States.

"In October 1996 Judi Leonard (now Judi Hibbard) and I were married in Sausalito, Calif. Judi works in bio-tech/pharmaceutical industry. She spent 11 years with Elan Corporation before joining Intermune Corporation earlier this year.

"In 1998 I left MK (well, it sort of collapsed out from under me) and joined a small engineering/ design/ construct firm called Academy Studios, in Marin County, California. For 2.5 years, I designed and built interesting and one-of-a-kind structures and interiors. My clients included: Washington State History Museum, Presidio of San Francisco, Lyman Museum of Hawaii, and the USS Arizona Memorial Museum at Pearl Harbor, just to mention a few.

"With the dot-com crash in 2001, I left Academy Studios and took on the position of (San Diego) regional operations manager for PowerLight Corporation in Berkeley, Calif. (PowerLight is a large solar engineering and construction firm.) Judi and I moved to La Jolla, Calif., in October 2001 and spent 2.5 years enjoying the southern California beach life. Unfortunately, this ended in early 2004.

"Over the 2003 Christmas holidays, Judi and I were both offered positions back in San Francisco -- offers we really couldn't refuse -- Judi with Intermune and I with AIG Consultants. So as of June 2004, we find ourselves living back in San Francisco (and really missing San Diego!). Oddly enough my position with AIG puts me back in realm of mining and mine restoration, as I'm now responsible for Investigation, monitoring and analysis of bound insurance policies for mining, environmental, and construction and restoration cost caps throughout the West. It's interesting work and the "time in the field" is substantially more palatable than it was in the construction business.

"So far I've met people who have graduated from School of Mines in Nevada, Colorado and Montana. I'm still looking to run into someone from Tech.

Bryan Ulrich (83, BS, mining engr., 85, BS, geological engr.) writes "After four years in South Africa, working in Knight Piésold's Rivonia office, the Ulrich family returned to their longtime home in Denver, Colo. However, moss was not to grow for long, as the stones started rolling shortly after becoming fully settled. In January 2004, the Ulrichs moved to Spring Creek, a small town just outside Elko, Nevada. Here, we enjoy a different pace of life and the amazing mountain views from our balcony. While not relaxing, Bryan has taken on a new role with Knight Piésold, and is now the principal in charge of the Elko office, and the vice president of the Nevada operations. Ellen and the kids (Stephanie and Timothy) are becoming accustomed to country living."

Kenneth Mekani (87, BS, metallurgical engr.) writes, "After graduating from New Mexico Tech, I came back home to Zimbabwe and joined Lonrho Mining as a graduate trainee metallurgist. The group, which is now known as Indepgold, currently produces about forty percent of Zimbabwe's gold. I head the metallurgy department on one of their five mines. I am married to Connie, and we have two kids: Haleema, a 12-year-old girl, and Simba Sean, a five-year-old boy."

Tim Stirrup (88, BS, chemistry; 88, BS, biology) has been promoted to executive vice president at Outrider Environmental Planning and Technical Services in Albuquerque. In addition to his technical responsibilities providing senior-level ESH consulting to clients, Tim has taken on business functions for the company.

Barbara (Serna) Stirrup (89, BS, technical communication) has started back to work by supporting Outrider with her exceptional technical writing and editing expertise. Barb is pulling together complicated safety and hazards analyses.

"The Stirrup Family is doing well and is still enjoying life in Corrales, New Mexico. Barbara and Tim have their hands full with Darby Patrick, 4, Kerry Ann Megan, 7, and Emily Kate, 9. Both Barb and Tim volunteer in the Corrales community and have no free time whatsoever."


John Oelfke (90, BS, biology) works at Sandia National Laboratories in the Thermo-fluids Group. He also works with his brother Scott Oelfke (87, BS, geological engineering) in a small publishing business started in 2001. They publish poetry, literary fiction, and non-fiction.

Karl Tonander (92, BS, general engr.; 93, MS, mineral engr.) has been promoted by Souder, Miller & Associates to vice president of operational support services. Tonander, a principal geoscientist and regional manager of the company's southern service region, has worked for the company since 1993.

Syed Redzal Hisham (93, BS, petroleum engr.) is working for Weatherford Oil Tools in Dubai. He is the region technical manager for Tubular Running and Mechanization Systems for Middle-East and North Africa.

Syed writes, "Been here since Jan 2003. My wife and I have five kids now: three boys and two girls, from a new-born to a nine-year-old. My wife is Rina Abdul Razak (a UMSL alumna, Class of 94). Things are good in Dubai. Even during the war life is normal; however our travel obviously is limited and with caution."

Cory Stevens (93, BS, chemical engr.) writes that he and his wife Tammy (Rutledge) Stevens (92, BS, biology) have relocated to Thatcher, Ariz., where he accepted a position as manager with the Phelps Dodge Process Technology Center. Cory adds, "Tammy is currently staying home with our son, Jack, age 3, and dog Joey."

Robert TerBerg (94, MS, hydrology) and his wife, Shikha Jain, are the proud owners of a 4-bedroom house in the San Francisco Bay area. Robert is working 65+ hours per week on the Yucca Mountain Project as a principal research associate for Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in both Berkeley and Las Vegas. The project is nearing license application as the first high grade nuclear waste repository in America. Shikha is preparing for a post-baccalaureate Clinical Lab Scientist certification.

Robert adds, "We are making and finding time for each other. The 13-year old cat seems to be OK. Lots of lizards, raccoons, deer, skunks, squirrels, and small children nearby. I play hockey twice a week in downtown Oakland. I scored the game-tying or winning goals three games in row, in the last two weeks, so I'm feeling pretty good."

Dr. Michael Sehorn (95, BS, biology) was the co-author of an article published in Nature. The article, titled "Human meiotic recombinase Dmc1 promotes ATP-dependent homologous DNA strand exchange," appeared in the May 24, 2004 issue.

Michael earned his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University Health Science Center at Shreveport in biochemistry and molecular biology. He is a postdoctoral associate at Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.

Beth (Parker) Salvas (96, BS, geology) writes, "I received my master's in hydrology from the University of Arizona in 1998. In 2001, I married Scott Salvas (97, BS, environmental engineering). I'm currently working for the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission in Albuquerque. Scott received his PE in June 2003 and is an engineer in Albuquerque for ASCG."

Neal Tapia (98, BS, electrical engr.) and Penny Gomez (97, BS, environmental engr.) are married and living in Santa Fe with their son Dylan, born in January 2003.

Daniel Mendoza (99, BS, materials engr.) is a technical staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has a master's degree from the University of Alabama.


Kyle Lamb (02, BS, electrical engr.) married Rebecca Telles of Las Cruces on July 24, 2004 in Las Cruces. Kyle is employed by White Sands Missile Range, and Rebecca, who has a master's degree in counseling and guidance, works for Las Cruces Public Schools.

Shawn Irvin Toni Smith (02, BS, environmental engr.) married Melanie Darcy Sanchez, a biology major at Tech, on June 19, 2004, in Albuquerque. Shawn is employed with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Natural Resources Division, in Crownpoint.

Lane Thompson (03, BS, computer science) spent the six months after graduation living in Scotland.

Lorraine Sanchez (03, BS, biology) is attending UNM to get a master's degree in Theater Education. She says she misses Tech an awful lot!

Kim Haulenseele (03, MS, engineering mechanics) married Steve Dowling on Feb. 14, 2004, in Albuquerque.