People You Know (October to December 2011)

Harlan N. "Dusty" Rhodes (B.S. in Petroleum, 1953) passed away peacefully at home on October 11, 2011, after a life well lived. He was 85, and a well known Denver oil man who was a wonderful father, husband and grandfather, and a mentor, role-model and friend to many. He will be greatly missed.

 Harlan N. 'Dusty' Rhodes
Class of 1951
Dusty was born in Wayne, Neb., on April 26, 1926, to Emma Johanna Schroeder and Harley Nicholas Rhodes. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and the Korean War. Rhodes earned a bachelor’s of science in Petroleum Engineering at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. He was a Registered Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor in various Rocky Mountain states. He was also a commercial pilot, a restorer of antique aircraft, an aviation historian and an aircraft appraiser.

In what he always claimed was the best decision of his life, he married Betty Lou Etz in Sweetwater, Texas, on June 1, 1951. She preceded him in death after more than 50 happy and adventurous years of marriage. They are survived by three children; a son, William F. Rhodes and wife, Tracy, of Prescott, Ariz.; a daughter, Kristen E. Rhodes-Anderson and husband, Stephen, of Longmont, Colo., and a daughter, Patricia L. Rhodes-Vasil and husband, George, of Lake Stevens, Wash. Dusty and Betty were blessed with seven grandchildren.

Rhodes worked for more than 50 years in the oil and gas industry. He served as chief operating officer and/or director for a number of Denver-based independent oil and gas companies. At the time of his death, he operated H.N. Rhodes, P.E., L.L.C., owner of oil and gas interests throughout the Rocky Mountain and Mid-Continent producing provinces. During his professional career he belonged to many professional and industry organizations and was an officer and/or director of most. At his death, he was a member of the Antique Airplane Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, and the Rocky Mountain Petroleum Pioneers.

A celebration of his abundant life was Monday, Oct. 17, 2011, at The Lodge at Balfour, in Louisville, Colo. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you perform an act of kindness or charity to honor his memory.

Please share thoughts, memories, and condolences with Dusty's family at www.cristmortuary.com.


Jack H. Hunt (B.S. in Mine Engineering in 1950) passed away in Albuquerque on Nov. 9, 2011.

Jack graduated from Grants High School (N.M.) in 1943 and entered the U.S. Air Force. Upon discharge in 1946, he enrolled at New Mexico Tech. After graduation, he moved with his family to Carlsbad, N.M,, where he enjoyed a lifelong career in the potash mining industry.

Kirk Jones (B.S. in Chemistry, 1996 and M.S. in Hydrology, 1999) has recently joined Newmont Mining in Denver, as a Senior Business Analyst in its Discovery and Development Division where he works to complete valuations of new and ongoing mining projects around the world.

After graduating from New Mexico Tech, Jones worked for several years in the environmental industry with some of the large environmental engineering firms in the Denver area in groundwater modeling and project management on many environmental reclamation projects.

In 2004, he joined Pintail Biotechnology Laboratories, is a biotech firm in Golden, Colo. that has developed a proprietary technology for application in the natural resources industry for the enhanced extraction of precious metals and petroleum resources using biotechnology. The technology is also used for mine lands restoration and contaminate destruction. Kirk served as the Director of Technology at Pintail for seven years where he was instrumental in developing the company’s suite of technologies into commercial and licensable formats.

While working with Pintail, Kirk completed his M.B.A. with an emphasis in Finance at Regis University in Denver.

“My real interests have always be in mining and I am very excited to be a part of Newmont and have the opportunity to continue my career within the arena of mine finance and mineral economics,” Jones said. “New Mexico Tech provided me with a strong education that has helped me achieve my goals today.”



Elizabeth Ball (B.S. in Biology in 2004; M.S. in Biology in 2006) has accepted an upper division science teaching position at Menaul School in Albuquerque.

Elizabeth has been a certified teacher in New Mexico for four years. She has taught secondary science courses for three years – two years at the high school level and one year at the middle school level – in Roswell, where she taught Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science, and Earth and Space Science.

In addition to her teaching duties, Elizabeth sponsored extracurricular school activities such as Math, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) Club, Science Olympiad, Upward Bound, and various community service projects.

On the Menaul website, Elizabeth said that she feels that the most rewarding component of being an educator is the continual opportunity to help students learn and grow. Aside from teaching, Elizabeth enjoys running, snowboarding, and most other outdoor activities. She is very excited to be in Albuquerque and to be a part of Menaul School.


Talysa Camille Otero Ogas (B.S. in Biology, 2010) and Kalanakila Kamuela Jay Hoover are engaged to marry.

The couple met at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, where Hoover studied explosives engineering and mechanical engineering. Ogas majored in biology and minored in chemistry. The two will continue their education at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. A July wedding is planned. Ogas is the daughter of Michael and Teresa Ogas of Los Lunas. Hoover is the son of Gary and Jacqui Hoover of Paaulio, Hawaii.


H. Kent Haugerud (M.S. in Environmental Engineering, 1995) has been appointed to an eight-year term on the board of The Stars and Stripes Foundation. Haugerud, of Flagstaff, Ariz., has been employed by the state of Arizona as an Environmental Engineer since 1998. His duties include engineering plan design, issuance of construction permits, all phases of enforcement, as well as inspection responsibilities for Title V air quality matters, wastewater treatment plants, municipal public water facilities and storm water permitted facilities in Northern Arizona.

Prior to joining the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Haugerud worked with the Dept. of Defense at Luke Air Force Base and at Otis Air Force Base in Massachusetts on the largest Department of Defense Superfund site. Earlier, while employed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, he designed a computer model for the drinking water system for that facility and trained other engineers to utilize the concept.

The Stars and Stripes Foundation, an offshoot of the Stars and Stripes newspaper, is a charitable organization dedicated to the betterment of those serving in the military and veterans. All contributions go to benefit recipients.


Silvercrest Mines, a Mexican company, announced that Tech graduate Fabio Velarde has been hired as the general manager of the Santa Elena Mine.

Gov. Susana Martinez announced the official appointment of Tech graduate Estevan Lopez as the new director of the N.M. Interstate Stream Commission. Lopez earned bachelor's in chemistry and petroleum engineering in 1979. He was first appointed director in 2003 by then-Gov. Bill Richardson. He had been serving as interim director since Martinez' election.

Kenny Gruchalla (Bachelor's in Computer Science, 1995) is a senior scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., where leads the scientific visualization efforts in the Computational Science Center. Gruchalla earned his master's and doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He currently lives in Denver with his wife and two children.

Send your updates to tguengerich@admin.nmt.edu.