People You Know, July to September 2011

Updates from New Mexico Tech alums. Send your updates to tguengerich@admin.nmt.edu.



Earl Herkenhoff (Mining, Class of 1936) will be inducted into the American Mining Hall of Fame at the Mining Foundation of the Southwest annual Hall of Fame Banquet and Fundraiser in December in Tucson. Herkenhoff, who passed away in 2002, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the Alumni Association in May 2011. He and his family have been very generous to New Mexico Tech over the years, donating more than $1 million to the Mineral Engineering Department.


Bill Hawes (Class of 1960) recently retired. He now serves as governor of the Mining Foundation of the Southwest and also as a member of the Foundation’s Hall of Fame Committee.

Tech Grad Named V.P. at University of Maryland

Robert M. Specter (M.S. in Geology, 1984) was recently named vice president for administrative affairs – the chief fiscal and administrative officer – at the University of Maryland.

Robert Specter
V.P. at the University of Maryland
M.S. in Geology, 1984

Specter has more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in higher education, most recently as business leader of an extensive redevelopment project at the University of Delaware, and the institution's vice president for finance. He will begin at Maryland on September 1.

Specter will report directly to the university president. His longer-term responsibilities will include collaboration with community and business leaders on revitalizing neighborhoods near campus to provide a more vibrant and safe environment.

"Rob is well-positioned to lead the transformation of our campus environment for the benefit of students, faculty, staff and the broader community," says President Loh. "A world-class research university must have a world-class college town. Rob brings the experience and skills to realize our strategic vision and lead our wide-ranging administrative operations. We're thrilled to welcome him."

Currently, Specter serves as chief business officer for redevelopment of a 272-acre former Chrysler Corp. facility that will allow expansion of Delaware's physical campus over the next century. Specter also played a major role in developing a utility-scale wind turbine facility for the University of Delaware's Lewes campus. The turbine produces more than enough electricity to power the entire campus, and generates a revenue stream dedicated to support wind power research.

Previously, Specter served as vice president for administration and finance at the City University of New York's Baruch College, and was the senior financial and administrative officer at Oregon State University and Montana State. He was also chief financial officer for the State of Iowa Board of Regents.

Specter serves as a volunteer with many professional and community organizations including the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers, the U.S. Green Building Council and the United Way.

He earned his bachelor's degree in geoscience at the University of Rochester, a master’s degree in geology at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and an M.B.A. at Arizona State University's W. P. Carey School of Business.

"I'm delighted by this opportunity to contribute to the growth and improvement of the university," Specter said. "I look forward to making a lasting contribution to the success of the university as part of President Loh's leadership team, and to being a strong partner with the community in economic revitalization."

Jennifer and Jon Middleton



Jennifer Dawn (Bettale) Middleton (B.S in Chemistry and Biology, 2008) was married to Jon Michael Middleton on May 28, 2011, in Sandy, Utah. Jennifer graduated from Farmington High School and earned a master’s in chemistry from Brigham Young University earlier this year. Jon is a software engineer.




Raymond L. Morley (M.S. in Geology, 1978) serves as Vice President of Business Development at Marathon Oil Canada Corp. Morley co-founded Western Oil Sands Inc. in 1999 and has been its Vice President of Business Development since January 2000. He serves as Head of Corporate Development at Hanfeng Evergreen Inc. Mr. Morley engaged in generating and evaluating mining and technology opportunities for Western Oil Sands Inc.

Prior to 1999, Morley was employed by BHP Minerals and its predecessor companies for 20 years in a variety of executive functions including business development, strategic planning and mineral exploration. He served as Manager of Business Development of BHP for 20 years. Before 1979, he was employed by Pioneer Nuclear and U.S. Gypsum Company in exploration, mine development and production. He has been a Director of McVicar Industries Inc. since December 1, 2003, and Motapa Diamonds Inc. since May 2004. He is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. In addition to his master's from Tech, Morley earned an M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Business at the University of New Mexico and a bachelor's in geology from the University of Notre Dame.


Brian Arkell (M.S. in Economic Geology, 1983) was hired as senior vice president of exploration and corporate development with Rio Novo Gold Inc. In late June, the company announced the hiring of Arkell, who is a 23-year veteran of Newmont Mining Corp., and has worked in the mining industry for 28 years. His extensive experience in planning and executing exploration and mine development programs establishes him as a valuable addition to the Rio Novo team, the company said.

Arkell most recently held the position of director of geology for the Newmont-owned Hope Bay Mining Co., where he led a successful effort to triple exploration activities at the Hope Bay Project, an Archean greenstone-type property. Prior to this, he held a variety of senior geology positions at Newmont in Peru, New Zealand, Indonesia and the United States.

Arkell earned his bachelor’s in geological engineering from the University of Maryland before coming to Tech.

Arkell has extensive reserve development experience, including management of geology, modeling, metallurgy and geotechnical programs. He has participated in numerous mine development plans, from scoping studies through to definitive feasibility studies, for open pit and underground gold projects. He has led strategic planning initiatives in South America, New Zealand, and Canada, developing pipelines of long-term growth projects.

Rio Novo Gold CEO David Beatty said, “We are delighted that a geologist and manager with Brian's depth of knowledge, skills, and international experience has decided to join Rio Novo as a key senior member of our management team to lead our drilling, exploration, and corporate development initiatives.”

Mr. Arkell will assume his new role with Rio Novo in early July. He will focus on drilling and exploration programs at the Company's Almas and Guaranta X1 projects in Brazil, and growing the resource at its newly acquired, 952,000 Inferred oz., Toldafria property, in central Colombia. Rio Novo is a gold mining company primarly active in Brazil, with a new acquisition in Colombia.


Jim Healy (B.S. in Mining Engineering in 1985) joins Luna Gold Corp. as general manager of the Aurizona Gold Mine. An experienced mining engineer, Healy has worked extensively in engineering and project management with BHP Billiton, INCO, Aura Minerals and JDS Engineering and Mining in the United States, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, South America and New Caledonia. Jim is fluent in Portuguese and has direct experience in general management in Brazil. A company press release said Healy “brings a talent of practical and professional management to our operations and will be based in Brazil.”