SOCORRO, N.M. March 19, 2003 -- David Ladner, a Silver City native who is now a senior majoring in environmental engineering at New Mexico Tech, recently was named the research university's "Engineering Student of the Year Runnerup."

Ladner was selected for the distinguished award by the university's engineering faculty on the basis of his exhibited academic excellence at New Mexico Tech.

Ladner is the son of Ken and Kathy Ladner of Silver City.

A member of the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society, Ladner has maintained a 3.91 grade-point-average (out of a possible 4.0) while attending New Mexico Tech.

Last year, he and a team of fellow environmental engineering students at New Mexico Tech traveled to Las Cruces to compete in the 12th Annual Waste-Management Education and Research Consortium (WERC) International Environmental Design Contest, finishing first in an environmental cleanup task and garnering a $2,500 cash award for the first-place design they submitted.

In addition to his university studies, Ladner is working with the U. S. Forest Service's environmental engineering group in Albuquerque to remediate contaminated mine sites on Forest Service lands.

He also is currently employed by New Mexico Tech's Residential Life Office as a Resident Assistant -- a position he has held since the fall semester of 2000 -- and by Socorro Mental Health Foundation as a Behavioral Respite Care Provider, mentoring children with neurobiological disorders.

"Looking back, I see that it was the right decision for me to come to New Mexico Tech," Ladner says. "I'm thankful to my Dad, who taught me to work, my Mom, who taught me to have concern for other people, and my religious leaders, who have been examples of how to balance the many activities we all undertake in life. . . . These things have been the keys to my success here at Tech."