People You Know, 2005


Richard S. Crial (51, BS, mineral engr.) reports that he and his wife have moved to Santa Barbara, Calif., to be near their daughter. He is retired from the United States Navy and from Boeing.

R. Bruce Tippen (59, BS, metallurgical engr.) writes, "Last year, I retired as research director of the Minerals Research Laboratory at North Carolina State University. After graduating from Tech, I received a master's in Minerals Engineering from University of Alabama and a Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. My career included work at the US Bureau of Mines, a stint as director of Minerals Research at the University of Alabama and NC State University, over 15 years of design and construction for two international engineering firms, and plant operations with several companies. I will continue consulting in Russia for a London bank but plan on living in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina with my wife, Dorothy, and traveling across the country visiting our 6 children and 22 grandchildren.


David Haupt (65, BS, geology) wrote to update us on his doings since graduation. He writes, "I graduated in 1965 but lingered on for another year since most of my close friends were in the Class of 66. I cut the umbilical cord in early 1967 and went to work for Kennecott Exploration, Inc. as a geophysicist. I continued with Kennecott until January 1, 1973 with a two-year stint at the University of Wyoming as a graduate student in geothermal heat flow. Just before Christmas 1973, I fell into that great potential well known as California and have never escaped. Frankly, after nearly 33 years in California I am probably unfit or incapable of living anywhere else.

"I met my wife, Muriel, here and helped her raise two wonderful kids. Michael is now 36 and Kathy is now 42. I worked for a while as a geophysicist for Woodward-Clyde consultants in San Francisco. In 1978, I got hired on as a technician at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and was quickly advanced to senior engineering associate, an un-degreed engineering rank, solely on the basis of my outstanding knowledge of science and skill as a designer and machinist, all knowledge and skills learned at Tech.

"I had a very enjoyable career at LLNL, working for about 12 years in nuclear weapons engineering and 13 years in materials science. My weapons work was devoted to helping develop an intricate safety mechanism for warhead detonators. I had taught myself watch and clock making and studied complicated mechanisms for many years on my own. I was quickly recognized as one of the very best people at LLNL for taking on very challenging fabrication tasks. When Star Wars program wound down in the late 1980s, I moved into materials science.

"I spent the remainder of my career at LLNL, doing research with synchrotron X-ray microtomography of bones, teeth, composite materials and foams. Most of this work was done at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Lab. It was a good switch because it allowed me to work with a brilliant young physicist; we planned and funded our own research and generated a lot of good refereed publications. I especially enjoyed this new work because it drew much more heavily on my basic science background and took me into new areas of computation and mathematics building on my education at Tech.

"I retired from LLNL on July 1, 2003, after a brief but serious illness (pulmonary embolism). I was off work for a few months and filed for full retirement, which lasted about six months. I returned to work as a consultant in synchrotron microtomography for a private company doing orthopedic research. The biggest difference is that I get paid lots more money for the time spent. I did notify everyone involved that I might work two days in succession, but would draw the line at three.

"Muriel has now retired from her teaching as well. She taught English as a Second Language for 27 years in the Livermore Adult Ed Program. We bought a very modest used motor home last summer and like to make trips to Northern California and Yosemite in it. I also use it as my fishing shack. I am into fly fishing and pontoon boats, as well as the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. Muriel is an accomplished cellist and spends much of her spare time playing chamber music and usually sitting first chair in amateur Bay Area symphonies. With our four spoiled cats and backyard going to seed, we keep busy.

"In closing, I will confess to some ancient misdeeds. I was the person who painted Marx Brook's radar van livid magenta. I was also an unindicted co-conspirator in the great solar eclipse hoax of 1966. (It was announced to occur on the day of a full moon!)

"I think that Dr. Holmes was actually the last Tech professor I ever spoke to. I just happened to meet him in the old R&D building as Muriel and I were about to drive back to Santa Fe. He spoke mostly of how Tech had changed since my days when labs could be safely left unlocked and the student body trusted.

Rick Mayes (68, BS, physics; 68, BS, math) writes, "I have recently started a new career as a financial planner. After 29 years in high-technology marketing and management, I have opened my own financial planning practice in Carlsbad, Calif. I have wanted to get into this field for quite a while and have been working on completing course work, registrations, and certifications. I am greatly enjoying my new field and helping my clients become more successful in reaching their goals."

Ted Heath (69, BS, mathematics) and Linda Bodenhamer Heath have recently retired to Placitas, N. M.. Before retirement, Ted was Chief Information Officer for California State Automobile Association (AAA for Northern California, Nevada, and Utah) in San Francisco. Since retiring from a career in Information Technology in 2000, Linda has become an award-winning artist. Her work can be viewed at www.LindaHeath.com.


Alan Oscar Ehlinger (73, BS, metallurgy; 75, MS, metallurgy) brought us up-to-date on his life since Tech. "After retiring from a steel line pipe company, I started my own engineering company, I sold it, loaned the money to my son so that he could start his own business, got bored, and right now, I am in sunny Iraq working and getting bitten by the sand flies and all kinds of bugs and insects that abound in this country. In its own special way, Iraq is beautiful and the people are very nice; and I hope we can get everything pacified around here.

Jerry Reynolds (73, BS, biology) brought us up-to-date on his recent activities. He was named administrator for Lea County Solid Waste Authority in June of 1999, and a year later, was named to head the newly created Environmental Services Department for Lea County. In August of 2005, Jerry was named to head of Emergency Services Dept. In January of 2006, he was appointed to the New Mexico Recycling and Illegal Dumping Alliance. He represents Lea County on the Sureste Resource Conservation and Development Council.

Jerry adds, "I have traveled all across New Mexico on behalf of the New Mexico Environment Department, making presentions to local and tribal leaders on the economic impact of trash on local and state economies. I have provided technical assistance to the New Mexico State Land Office in their public lands clean-up efforts.

"I am now serving my second three year term as elder for First Presbyterian Church in Hobbs. I served a three-year term as chairman of Board of Trustees for First Presbyterian. Currently, I serve as delegate to the Presbytery for First Presbyterian of Hobbs. I have been married, now single, no children."

Brenda Faye Andersen (75, BS, biology), wrote to update us on herself and hubby Michael Manthai (attended 1971): "I work at Northland Pioneer College, the Navajo County Community College District, as Dean of Science and Mathematics. The web address is www.npc.edu. I recently received recognition for 20 years of service at the college. I started as adjunct faculty in biology and have been the Science and Mathematics Division administrator since 1994. Michael is a forester with the United States Forest Service.

"Michael and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in October 2004. We have three children: John, who is following Michael into forestry with a BS from Northern Arizona University and working for the Forest Service; David, who is studying history and political science at the University of Arizona; and Jane, a talented seventh grader.

"We have made our home in Winslow, Ariz., since 1985. Winslow is a great place to raise children and we've decided to stay after retirement. We are active volunteers in our community, love working with kids, and enjoying life in a small town.

"We invite all who pass along I-40 to stop and visit the city. Take in a high school game or just rest a while. Perhaps we'll see you 'standing on a corner.'"

Dr. Scott Sandford (1978, BS, math and physics) and Michael Zolensky (1977, BS, geology) are Co-Investigators on NASA's Stardust Comet Sample Return Mission. The Stardust Mission was launched in 1999, encountered comet Wild 2 on January 2, 2003, and returned its captured cometary material to Earth on January 15, 2006. Both Sandford and Zolensky recently participated in the activities associated with the recovery of the Sample Return Capsule from the Utah desert where it landed at approximately 3 a.m. on January 15, 2006. This is the first return of samples to Earth from outside the Earth-Moon system.

Sandford was a member of the team that recovered the capsule from the Utah desert landing site and both Sandford and Zolensky attended the sample canister when it was transported to NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) for opening. Both Zolensky and Sandford participated in the removal of the samples in a special cleanroom at JSC and are leading efforts on the preliminary examinations of the returned samples. Zolensky leads the team of international scientists examining the mineralogy-petrology of the samples, while Sandford leads the team that is study the organic contents of the samples. The preliminary examination of the samples will be completed by September of this year.

Zolensky works at NASA's Johnson Space Center, where he is responsible for the NASA Curatorial Facility cleanrooms for both cosmic dust and the cometary samples. Sandford works in the Astrophysics Branch at NASA's Ames Research Center and is a co-leader of Ames' Astrochemistry Laboratory.
Dr. Nirupam Chakraborti (79, MS, metallurgy) is a professor of metallurgy at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur. He writes, "I have recently guest edited a Genetic Algorithms issue of the Taylor and Francis Journal: Materials & Manufacturing Proceses."

Dr. Linda M. Stogner (79, BS, biology) brought us up-to-date on herself and her husband Michael Stogner (80, BS, petroleum engr.) She writes, "Michael and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this past June. Michael will retire from the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division in one year. I continue to be a solo family physician in Estancia, starting my 18th year with Presbyterian Medical Services. I have also continued to serve as ship's physician -- currently taking assignments on Lindblad's National Geographic Endeavor. My last assignment took me across the Drake Passage to the Antarctic peninsula, with a stop at Palmer Station. It's a rough job, but somebody has to do it. Michael gets to accompany me when he has the chance."


John Yater (82, BS, petroleum engr.; 82, BS, geology) and his wife Lisa have recently moved to Midland, Tex., from Illinois. Lisa writes that, after graduation, John went to work for Natural Gas Pipeline Co., which eventually morphed into Kinder Morgan, his current employer. John is working on tertiary recovery on the old Yates Oil Field in Iran.

Barry McCall (84, BS, mining engr.) writes, "After a brief stint at Standard Metals, Silverton, Colo., I moved onto Tooele Army Depot, Utah, providing engineering support for a depot level truck, engineering equipment, and secondary items overhaul mission. A base realignment in 1993 shifted me into the Ammunition Equipment Directorate designing and world-wide fielding of equipment for demilitarization of ammunition.

"In 2000, I moved to the Defense Ammunition Center, McAlester, Okla., pursuing development and transition of new technologies in support of demilitarization. Recently, I've taken over as chief of the Equipment Engineering Division.

"My wife Annette and our sons Chance and Jake got a tour of the campus, Socorro and the Owl Bar last year. They enjoyed the Bureau of Mines Mineral Museum and looking into West Hall, but were disappointed in not finding evidence of something called St. Pat's Celebration. Would like to hear from any Techies. And yes, I still own a Suburban."

Diane Y. Hattler (85, BS, technical communication; 85, BS, geology) writes, "I'm in my eighth year as a counselor working with adolescent girls who are seriously emotionally abused, a far reach from my geology days in Nevada. I enjoy working with these girls -- although it is very challenging! During my free time, I travel around the world."

Eddie Justice (85, BS, petroleum engr.) writes "I am currently living in the Houston area and working in Texas City at the BP Chemicals plant as a mechanical reliability engineer. I worked as a drilling engineer for a couple of years out of college, and through the ups and down of the industry, I ended up working in refining and chemical plants, specializing in rotating equipment maintenance and repair. I have one son, Justin (age 10), who lives with his mother in Florida."

David Lee Summers (88, BS, physics) is the author of the recently published book Vampires of the Scarlet Order, which features vampires in various New Mexico locations, including Socorro. According to Summers' story, a vampire came to New Mexico with the Juan de Oñate expedition, hibernated on Socorro Peak (good ol' M Mountain), and emerged to munch on a passing physicist. The vampire teams up with vampires from Las Cruces, who have to cope with the fact that just about everything in the city has the official city symbol on it -- three crosses.

Summers, by coincidence, lives in Las Cruces himself, with his wife, Kumie Wise (87, BS, math) and their two daughters, Myranda, 9, and Verity, 3.


Martin Brueggemann (90, BS, metallurgical engr.) reports that he and his wife Becky welcomed their first son, Jason Theodore, on Jan. 29, 2005. He has also been promoted to superintendent of Phelps Dodge's Hydrometallurgy Department in Tyrone, N.M. Martin received his MSB in 2003.

Timothy J. Chavez (93, BS, environmental engr.) is president of Keres Consulting, Inc., an environmental consulting firm. Keres is located at Acoma Pueblo and provides environmental assessment of old defense sites located on or near tribal lands. They have recently signed an agreement under the U.S. Small Business Administration to receive mentoring from Tecumseh Professional Associates of Albuquerque.

Tom Trujillo (93, BS, electrical engr.) writes, "I was married in March 2005 to Dr. Kimberly Carrico. The ceremony took place in Santa Clara, Calif. I have worked in Silicon Valley since finishing my MSEE at the University of California, Davis in 1996."

Andrew Montaño (94, BS, BGS) writes, "I'm graduating from the Colorado School of Mines with my MS in Environmental Science and Engineering in May 2005! I'll be continuing to work for the Bureau of Reclamation as an aquatic biologist under the Technical Service Center. My current project involves our agency's involvement in the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration program.

"Denver has been home for me since graduating from Tech. I bought my first house in the metro area almost three years ago. I have been interested in starting up an alumni chapter here in the Denver area and would like to discuss this further with other interested individuals!"

Thomas Schott (94, BS, mineral engr.) and Kim (Floyd) Schott (attended early 1990s) brought us up-to-date on their activities. Kim writes, "Immediately after graduating from Tech, Thomas was hired by ASARCO as a mining engineer in Colorado. In 1996, at our request, Thomas was transferred to Tucson as a geologist, so our son could have a much needed operation by one of the world's best heart surgeons. In 1998, we were transferred to Missouri. That same year, Thomas became a Doe Run employee when it acquired ASARCO. He's an exploration geologist now, but still doing what he did best as mine geologist: playing with rocks and loving every minute of it.

"We celebrated our 10th anniversary last May, and have FOUR fantastic kids. The oldest, Frank-James, 8, has been top of his class since he started kindergarten.

Joseph Thomas, 6, is also a straight "A" student whom the teachers fight to have in their classes. Emma Elise, 4, is the most beautiful girlie-girl in the world and a fantastic second-year gymnast. Little terror David Nicholas, 2, keeps busy staying ahead of mom and calling everyone "poopyhead."

"Thomas stays busy and has fun as Cub Scout den leader and church council president. I stay at home, keeping myself young and slim by running after the kids, an old cat (Flounder), a teenage dog (Mickey Dog), and maintaining order in our beautiful 6-bedroom 1920 house on our acre yard. We've been abundantly blessed, and hope our friends have been too."

Mic Heynekamp (95, BS, geology; 98, MS, geology) and his wife Molley have moved their business, Socorro Springs Brewery, to a newer, larger location on Socorro's California Street. The popular Socorro restaurant has added grilled meats and vegetables and pasta to their popular pizza and calzone menu, plus a new brewery and a pub.

Patrick Radabaugh (95, BS, environmental engr.) married Christy Milkey on Sept. 3, 2005 in Breckenridge, Colo. They spent a two-week honeymoon in Costa Rica, and then returned to normal engineering lives in Denver, while anxiously awaiting the ski season. Patrick, who also holds a master's degree from Michigan State University, works for Integra Engineering, and Christy, who is a civil engineer from Vanderbilt University, works for Parson's. Patrick Radabaugh (95, BS, environmental engr.) married Christy Milkey on Sept. 3, 2005 in Breckenridge, Colo. They spent a two-week honeymoon in Costa Rica, and then returned to normal engineering lives in Denver, while anxiously awaiting the ski season. Patrick, who also holds a master's degree from Michigan State University, works for Integra Engineering, and Christy, who is a civil engineer from Vanderbilt University, works for Parson's.

Eric Reckase (95, BS, electrical engr.; 95, BS, math) and Gail (Newell) Reckase (95, BS, math) write, "We are delighted to announce the birth of our third son, Harris Canyon Reckase. Harris was born in May of 2005 at a mammoth 8 lbs, 15 oz. He joins his two older brothers Stuart, 5 years, and Sammy, almost 3. Together they make up what the Reckases refer to as 'The Three Amigos.'"

Wenona (Henslee) Ayarbe (96, BS, biology) brought us up-to-date on herself and her husband John Ayarbe (97, BS, environ. science; 2000, MS, hydrology). She writes, "John and I have had a busy couple of years. In October 2002, we backpacked for three days in the Grand Canyon with some other Tech alums (Jenny and Joe Sterling and Andy Dunn). In 2003, we both raced the New Mexico Point Series for mountain bikes and won our respective classes. It was a fun way to travel around the state and burn off those breakfast burritos!

"In July 2004, we welcomed our first child, Logan Mikel. In addition to figuring out parenthood, we recently enjoyed the travails of selling and buying homes and the hassles of moving. We're mostly settled in now and are quite enjoying being parents. Logan keeps us on our toes and is the light of our lives."

Christianne Bunnell (97, BS, business management) earned her master's degree in finance at the University of New Mexico's Anderson School of Management. She now works as a social insurance specialist for the Social Security Administration in Gallup. She adds, "After changing careers a few times and traveling, I have finally decided to work for our US Government. I would love to hear from fellow classmates."

Susan Kay Peirick Huffstutler (98, BS, electrical engr.) reports that she and hubby Edwin Huffstutler (96, BS, electrical engr.) are the proud parents of Charlie, born early in 2005. The family lives in Chandler, Ariz.

Dr. Michelle Walvoord (98, MS, hydrology; 00, Ph.D., hydrology) was named the 2005 Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science at the annual Geological Society of America (GSA) meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Oct. 15. Walvoord, who resides in Golden, is a research hydrologist at the USGS National Research Program in Lakewood.

The award was based on the scientific impact of Walvoord's Ph.D. work. Her dissertation proposed a major revision of the current understanding of flow processes in desert regions where water tables are deep greater than 50 meters (164 feet). New Mexico Tech presented her with the Langmuir Award in 2004 for the same work.

Tricia (Bynum) Bensted (attended 1997-99) writes, "I am working as a radiochemist at Waltz Mill Radiochemistry Lab/ Westinghouse Center for Nuclear Excellence. (Can you say Homer Simpson?) I am living in Pittsburgh with my son, Henry James, who is nearly 5 years old.

Cassandra Marez (99, BS, biology) and Jerome Marez (99, BS, environmental engr.) are pleased to announce the arrival of their son, Xavier on July 21, 2004. He joins his sister Isabel, now 3. Jerome recently took a job with HDR's Water/Wastewater group in Albuquerque and Cassandra was recently promoted from the medical device division at TCI Medical to manage quality assurance for the radiopharmaceutical division.

Ian Sutton (99, BS, environmental engr.) has joined management consulting and engineering firm R. W. Beck.s Water and Waste Resources practice in the Seattle office.

Dominico J. Vigil (99, BS, chemistry) recently earned his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). His doctoral dissertation focused on the structure and function of protein kinases, central cellular regulators which have been linked to diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Vigil's associated research work resulted in five of his first-author papers being published in various peer-reviewed journals.
While at UCSD, Vigil was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He currently is pursuing cancer research as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Mason Hutchison (00, BS, engineering mechanics) and his wife Cara are the proud parents of Eleanor Moselle, born in Albuquerque on April 21, 2004. Mason adds, "I remain at Ball Aerospace working as a research engineer. Cara now stays at home with our daughter. Eleanor seems to love to spend time in the workshop with me building RC airplanes. Contact us at mason.must.fly@comcast.net and cara.art@comcast.net."