Miners on the Move

The UTEP Alumni Association is always excited to share the success stories of our alumni around the world. These are just a few examples of what a degree from UTEP can do. Select alumni success stories are also featured in the UTEP Magazine, so help us stay informed as we work hard to support your continuing success!

If you have news to share, please send your name, year of graduation, daytime phone number and the information you would like to share to alumni@utep.edu with "Miners on the Move" in the subject line.

 = Indicates members of the UTEP Alumni Association

February 2014

Edgar M. Hepp `06, `07, was recently promoted to supervisor, tax services, by White, Samaniego & Campbell, LLP.

Russell L. Stephens `88, car enthusiast and president of MSD LLC, the larger of two companies under MSD Performance Group announced the group has been sold to a Chicago investment firm affiliated with Z Capital Partners.

Mara D. Arroyo `12, has joined Lara & Company Creative as a bookkeeper and production assistant.

Jennifer H. Matthews `11, licensed architect in Texas and New Mexico has become a principal at MNK Architects.

Francisco J. Ortega `03, attorney, has been named a shareholder of ScottHulse PC.

Aileen Kalt `07, has been named as the director of women’s surgical services by Las Palmas Medical Center where she will be responsible for ensuring quality care and patient, staff and physician satisfaction.

Roberto A. Coronado `00, `02, Assistant Vice President in Charge and Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, El Paso branch, was a presenter at this year’s annual Dallas Fed Border Economic Forum held recently in El Paso.

Thomas M. “Tom” Fullerton, Jr. `81, UTEP professor for the Department of Economics and Finance, was a presenter at this year’s annual Dallas Fed Border Economic Forum held recently in El Paso.

Armando C. Aguirre `85, `89, `04, El Pasoan with more than 25 years of experience in education will be the next executive director of El Paso’s Region 19 Education Service Center as he has been named the lone finalist for that position by the Region 19 Board of Directors.

Gaspar Enriquez `70, local artist and Bowie High School art teacher, is having his work shown in special exhibits at two prominent venues this year in El Paso. “Metaphors of El Barrio,” is a retrospective of Enríquez’s 30 years as a painter who “blends realism with contemporary popular culture, and opened January 26th at the El Paso Museum of Art; the other “Ignite: The Artistic and Educational Heritage of Gaspar Enríquez” will open June 9 and run through September 27 in the Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at UTEP.      

Robert A. Diaz `81, CPA and president of Robert A. Diaz & Co. has been elected to the Board of Directors for El Pasoans Fighting Hunger as Treasurer.

Gayle Ray `88, principal business relationship manager for Wells Fargo Bank has been elected to the Board of Directors for El Pasoans Fighting Hunger as Secretary.

Elsa Y. Stoerner `02, `09, has been elected to the Board of Directors for El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.

Claudia V. Sandoval `97, senior vice president, Corporate Tax for Hunt ELP, Ltd has been elected to the Board of Directors for El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.

Gabriel S. Gaytan `79, was among a dozen artists who each decorated a 5-foot-tall pickaxe shape that will be displayed at various local GECU branches throughout El Paso.

Linda N. Haines `09, was among a dozen artists who each decorated a 5-foot-tall pickaxe shape that will be displayed at various local GECU branches throughout El Paso.

Anna R. Jaquez `84, `91, was among a dozen artists who each decorated a 5-foot-tall pickaxe shape that will be displayed at various local GECU branches throughout El Paso.

Richard Wiles `95, El Paso County Sheriff was the target of the third roast fundraiser by area officials as a part of a LULAC Council 335 scholarship fundraising event held recently at the El Paso Club.

Abraham Y. “Abie” Han `11, won his middleweight bout against Daniel Gonzalez at BorderWars II held at the El Paso County Coliseum.

Patricia Fierro `02, is the Catholic Diocese of El Paso’s new chancellor, the highest position a lay person can hold in the Catholic Church.

Gregory Watters `81, who has more than 30 years of experience in accounting and finance, has been named Chief Financial Officer of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso.

William F. “Bill” Studer, Jr. `72, former deputy city manager for development and tourism and who has been working on the ballpark project, has become the new project manager.  

Donald S. “Don” Henderson `56, former El Paso Mayor was honored in Austin recently for his 40 years of work with the Texas Municipal League, where he has served as president and board member.

Michael H. “Mike” Acosta `71, has joined Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande as its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) consultant.

Gloria V. Delgado `96, has joined the women’s services team at Sierra Medical Center as the unit director of postpartum/GYN/nursery.

Edward Castaneda `78, `80, UTEP Department of  Psychology Chair,  professor and co-director of UTEP’s Hispanic Health Disparities Research Center was a presenter at the Centennial Symposium on Resiliency and Hispanic Mental Health held recently on campus and organized by the UTEP Department of Social Work, UTEP’s College of Health Sciences and the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Amelia Leony-Carrete `02, licensed clinical social worker and faculty associate at the Paul Foster School of Medicine-Texas Tech University was a presenter at the Centennial Symposium on Resiliency and Hispanic Mental Health held recently on campus and organized by the UTEP Department of Social Work, UTEP’s College of Health Sciences and the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.

Margie Rodriguez-LeSage `81, former associate professor in the UTEP College of Health Sciences, expert on Hispanic mental health at UTEP, and retiree from teaching at the Michigan State University School of Social Work, was a presenter at the Centennial Symposium on Resiliency and Hispanic Mental Health held recently on campus and organized by the UTEP Department of Social Work, UTEP’s College of Health Sciences and the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Cristina Rubio `00, `12, was voted “2012-2013 Favorite Freshmen Teacher” by the freshmen class of Cotton Valley Early College High School located in Fabens, TX.

January 2014

Ernst E. Roberts, II `75, vice president of administration and financial operations at El Paso Community College was inducted recently into the El Paso Business Hall of Fame.

Catalina E. Garcia, M.D. `61, was honored in October as a Latina Living Legend by the DFW Hispanic 100, a service organization focused on leveraging the power of women. The award recognizes both García’s medical trailblazing and her community service.

Gaspar Enriquez `70, local artist, is featured in an exhibition at the El Paso Museum of Art entitled “Gaspar Enríquez: Metaphors of El Barrio” running from January 26-May 4 in the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Gallery. Presented by Community en Acción, the exhibit includes more than 50 paintings, prints and sculptures, plus a video with the artist and a book.

Dayle B. Sharp, Ph.D. `10 and clinical assistant professor in UTEP’s School of Nursing has been selected as a 2014 Rural Health Fellow by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA).

Jesus M. Medrano `04 is vice president of planning and development for Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare. He is responsible for planning, development and evaluation of service lines, as well as the evaluation and recommendations for system acquisitions for Las Palmas Medical Center and Del Sol Medical Center.

Raul R. “Rulis” Gonzalez `98, proprietor of Rulis’ International Kitchen and UnRulis Pizza+Pints, two restaurants on El Paso’s West Side, is enjoying working with family members to run the businesses. Gonzalez opened Rulis’ International Kitchen in May 2008 and added UnRulis in September of 2013.

Nancy C. Hamilton `49,`54 has been named a 2013 honoree by the El Paso County Historical Society for her major contributions to the community. A renowned local writer, journalist, public relations professional and local historian, Nancy has also received national recognition in the fine arts, journalism and liberal arts.

Ivonne Durant `77 returns home to serve children, principals, teachers using non-traditional approaches in El Paso Independent School District’s classrooms as the new EPISD Chief Academic Officert. She plans to improve collaborations between central office administrators responsible for curriculum and instruction and campus leaders, by making working with those administrators to become better coaches for their teachers her biggest priority.

Gerald A. Espinoza `04, `12 has been hired as Evolve Federal Credit Union’s newest Compliance Specialist. In this role, Espinoza will assist the Compliance Officer in the review of credit union policies and procedures, recommend policy of procedural changes to the Compliance Officer, and update and disseminate information regarding laws and regulations.

Jeffrey D. “Jeff” Grimes `91, Virginia Tech offensive line coach who played on the offensive line for the Miners from 1986-90, returned back to El Paso with his Virginia Tech team to face UCLA in the Hyundai Sun Bowl game and was excited to get back to his ‘roots’ in El Paso.

Robert L. “Bob” Bowling, III `71, of Tropicana Homes entered the El Paso Association of Builders’ Hall of Fame at its annual dinner in December.

Edgar S. Montiel `01, `09of Palo Verde Homes was installed as Vice President of the El Paso Association of Builders' at its annual dinner held in December.

Lisa D. Saldana `08, `10 was named as the new director of physician relations by Las Palmas Medical Center in September. She is responsible for developing volume growth for facility service lines, managing physician- hospital relations and ensuring physician satisfaction.

Jaime Portillo `02, `05, `12, California based historian and independent comic book writer, showcased his historical fiction trade paperback, 'Hell Paso: The Story of Dallas Stoudenmire,'. The comic is based on the true story of an El Paso lawman from 1881 to 1882.

Patricia S. Burdick `79 is one of three women who have recently opened The Mustard Seed Community Cafe in Central El Paso, a gourmet pay-what-you-can cafe restaurant like no other in this city. After more than two years of planning, the restaurant is housed in a building behind First Christian Church. People are asked to pay full price if they can afford it, but if not, they can pay what they can afford...then if they can't pay anything at all, they're given the opportunity to volunteer in the cafe for an hour as payment for their meal.

Marguax Sarabia Lara `00, with 20 years of experience in public relations, communications, marketing and sales, has joined El Paso Physical Therapy Services as director of business development.

Jennifer Castaneda `01 has been named Director of Emergency Services, Las Palmas Medical Center where she will manage the emergency room staff and ensure patient satisfaction.

Tracy J. Yellen `95 has been named as Executive Director of the Paso del Norte Foundation, a new public charity to raise money and grow the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, largest private foundation in El Paso and one of the largest foundations on the U.S.-Mexico border with more than $200 million in assets. Yellen will lead fundraising efforts to channel money into the Paso del Norte Health Foundation in support of its mission, but also says the Paso del Norte Foundation will support economic development, education and quality of life initiatives in the region.

Victor M. Macias-Gonzalez `92, `95, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse history professor is being nationally recognized for his own work as an educator by being named 2013 Wisconsin Professor of the Year, by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  Victor teaches Latin-American history courses at UW-L and oversees a mentoring program for underprivileged students.

Dennis A. Vasquez `83 has recently been named acting superintendent of Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

John W. “Jay” Dunbar `80 has joined the CPA firm of Schmid Broaddus Nugent Gano. A practicing certified public accountant since 1976, Jay will oversee the firm’s business valuation and litigation practice sections, as well as assist in the development of forensic practice.

Veronica Escobar `91, El Paso County Judge, has been recently elected to serve a two-year term as chairman-elect of the Texas Conference of Urban Counties. She will serve on the conference’s board, which manages its business, and provide leadership on legislative and policy issues for the 36 member counties.  

Andrea C. Gates-Ingle `99 and Stephen P Ingle `04, founders of El Paso Creative Kids were honored in November by receiving the President’s Commission on the Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award at the White House for their work bringing arts to hospitalized children over the past 14 years. The award was for Project AIM (Arts in Motion) at Providence Children’s Hospital and the El Paso Children’s Hospital.

Patricia A. Scott `58, guidance counselor at the El Paso Independent School District, received the FBI Community Leadership Award in November, recognizing individuals for their contributions to the agency’s in­vestigations.

Jesus E. Ortiz `00, `01, Certified Public Accountant in Texas, has joined Peña, Briones, McDaniel & Co., P.C., a full-service, El Paso CPA firm.

Adriana Garcia `01 Certified Public Accountant in Texas, joined the Tax Department of Peña, Briones, McDaniel & Co., P.C.

Susan Arreita `01 joined Peña, Briones, McDaniel & Co., P.C. in the Assurance Services Department.

Eugene L. “Gene” Keller `69, `71, El Paso songwriter and poet, has a new CD “Hug A Bum (Don’t Say Bah Humbug).” Guest musicians on the CD include Doug Adamz (violin/guitar), Hal Marcus (percussion) and Jorge Guzman (accordion).

Gerina Piller `07 stayed within one shot of the winner for most of the LPGA final round of the CME Group Titleholders at Tiburon Golf Club, Naples, Florida but finished second with a 69, her best finish to date on the LPGA Tour.

Sandra E. Braham `02, `05, CEO of the YWCA in El Paso and a lecturer in UTEP’s College of Education was nominated for El Paso Inc.’s 2013 El Pasoan of the Year Award.

Rosalinda M. Natividad `08 has been appointed as director of commercialization for the Texas Tech University System’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso where she will be responsible for protecting and commercializing intellectual property. She also will oversee key innovative activity in the region, including the launch of a technology accelerator.

Alba N. Nevarez `05, M.D. has been added to the medical providers’ team of University Medical Center of El Paso’s Neighborhood Healthcare Center at Fabens. Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and a member of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, Dr. Nevarez is a graduate of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine and has authored research on interventional and educational methods to decrease teen pregnancy.

Pablo F. Martinez `05, M.D. and member of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians has been added to the medical providers’ team of University Medical Center of El Paso’s Neighborhood Healthcare Center at Fabens. 

Eric Tarin `09 has been promoted to director of business operations with Professional Document Systems, a leader in document management, scanning services and automated forms solutions with offices in El Paso and Albuquerque.

Robert B. “Bob” Anderson `89, Coronado football coach, was named the 2013 El Paso Times’ All-City Football Coach of the Year.

Tasha P. Hopper `98, R.N. and Assistant Chief Officer at Providence Memorial Hospital has achieved Nurse Executive Certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Robert C. “Bob” Moore `98, El Paso Times Editor, was named 2013 recipient of the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award from the National Press Foundation. In announcing the award, the foundation cited Moore’s work directing the lead journalists, committing resources to the story, and using the power of his editorial voice in the best tradition of American newspapers as reasons for granting the award.

Japheth K. Ng’Ojoy `09, former All-American track and cross country runner at UTEP is now a soldier stationed at William Beaumont Army Medical Center and still making a mark as a runner. As the top Fort Bliss man at the Army Ten Miler on Oct. 20 in Washington, D.C., and 10th overall in the active duty men’s category, a week later he ran the Marine Corps Marathon, placed seventh overall and the fourth military finisher. Based on that performance, he has been selected to run at the World Military Marathon in October 2014 in the Netherlands, and also picked to represent the Army at the USA Track and Field Cross Country Championships in February 2014 in Boulder, Colorado.

 Spring 2013

Patricia D. “Trisha”Ainsa `67, professor in the Department of Teacher Education, was recently recognized by the Quest for Quality Teacher Preparation in Texas project for exemplary faculty practices that improve teacher preparation, retention and student achievement.


Sandra E. Braham `02, `05, Executive Director of the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region is one of just 100 women chosen to take part in the 2013 Class of Leadership America. The program selects outstanding women from across the country that come from diverse personal, professional and geographic backgrounds.

Vernon L. “Vern” Butler, Jr. ‘71, ’74, interim EPISD Superintendent was a guest speaker for the EPISD’s Military & Community Parent Academy, which focused on parenting skills, state testing, bullying, gang awareness and other crucial topics. 

Lee O. Cannell `79, `93, of El Paso Community College was recently inducted as vice president for finance of the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center 2013 Board of Directors.


Ana L. “Lourdes” Cardenas `57, editor of the El Paso Times’ Spanish language website, Somosfrontera.com became a U.S. citizen in the naturalization ceremony held at the El Paso convention center in January.


Manuel Castruita, Jr. `88, `92, has been hired as the EPISD’s director of guidance services.


John F. Cook ’77, Mayor of El Paso, has been named the fifth-best mayor in the world by the City Mayors Foundation, a London-based think tank intended to encourage solutions to problems such as housing, transportation, education and employment. 


Helen T. “Holly” Cox `54, is featured in “3 Generations” a captivating exhibition which opened recently at the Hal Marcus Gallery, showcasing the visual diversity of three generations of El Paso artists.

Sara Y. “Bonnie” Escobar `85, `97 of MJD & Associates was recently inducted as vice president for programming for the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center 2013 Board of Directors.

Jerome T. Flood ’83, is Acting Superintendent for Chamizal National Memorial.

Kandolite N. Flores ’09, recently joined the Humane Society of El Paso as its new program coordinator.

Judge Gabaldón ’76, received an award for his work in undoing racism, reducing and eliminating disproportionality and disparate treatment of children in the Texas foster care system, by the Region 10 of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Disproportionality Advisory Committee on May 2012.

Yolanda A. Garcia ’83, has been named area president for Wells Fargo’s newly created South Western Border division.

Rosa E. Guerrero `57, `77, motivational speaker, humanitarian and educational consultant, was honored recently by her selection as the First Lady of El Paso by the six local chapters of Beta Sigma Phi sorority.

George A. “Tony” Harper `68, boys basketball coach at Montwood High School, ranks first in wins among active coaches in Texas.

Christopher L. Jacke ’89,  is to be inducted into the NFL team’s Hall of Fame on July 20.

Carolyn M. Legoretta ’69, ’74, Assistant Principal at Andress High School, has been promoted to principal.

Beth R. Lipson ’69 was recently inducted as a member of the 2013 El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center Board of Directors.

Adan Lopez ‘93, ’98, Assistant Principal of MacArthur Elementary/Intermediate, was named principal of Hughey Elementary School.

Maria Cristina Morales ’96, Associate Professor with UTEP’s Sociology and Anthropology Department is part of a trio of UTEP faculty that has received an award of $124,998 from the National Science Foundation for work focusing on the relationship between neighborhood levels of immigration and crime.

Hector A. Olvera ’02, ’06, Assistant Professor in UTEP’s Center for Environmental Resource Management conducted a year-long study on the amounts of potentially harmful air particles from diesel emissions at the Bridge of the Americas. Findings were published in the nationally recognized Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.

Francisco J. Ortega `03, of Scott Hulse was recently inducted as a member of the 2013 El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center Board of Directors.

Laura Ponce `07, Executive Director of Project Bravo is a new board member of Texas Lyceum.

Punya Prakash `09, an applications engineer with Texas Instruments in Dallas was recently named Top Innovator in the Engineering Stars Contest by Design News.

Justin M. Pretiger `03, of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney was recently inducted as a member of the 2013 El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center Board of Directors.

Linda A. Samples `02, was recently hired by the El Paso Independent School District trustees as the district’s first in-house attorney.

Renee de Santos ’91, has been named spokeswoman for the El Paso Independent School District.

Rose Schecter `67 of Schecter & Blumenfeld was recently inducted as president-elect for the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center 2013 Board of Directors.

Zahira Torres `07, a 13-year veteran El Paso Times reporter, was given Governing
magazine’s top public service journalism Hovey-Harkness Award recently in
Washington, D.C.

David Zubia ’89, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UTEP, has been awarded a three-year grant of $895,000 from the Department of Energy.

  February 2013

Jorge R. Almuina ’10 has joined White, Samaniego & Campbell LLP, as an assurance services and audit team member.

Laura A. Aguilar ’86 of Bickerstaff, Heath, Delgado, Acosta LLP, has been elected secretary of The El Paso Paralegal Association board of directors for 2013.

Matthew J. Aguilar ’93 El Paso Times boxing columnist was elected to the El Paso Boxing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.

John A. Attel ’79 has been named general manager of the new Rudolph Volkswagen store in Northwest El Paso.

Erik A. Baray ’08 has been named marketing and development manager by The Boys & Girls Clubs of El Paso where he will manage public relations, marketing, special events and fund development.

Enrique Bernal, Jr. ’96 is new chief financial officer for Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare.

 Lauren M. Blackwell ’12 recently joined the audit department at Schmid, Broaddus, Nugent, & Gano PC.

 Jacob R. Boggs ’03 has been named new executive director, Sun Ridge Senior Living at Desert Springs.

Lynda Camacho ’82 of Scott Hulse PC has been elected president of The El Paso Paralegal Association board of directors for 2013.

Hugo Clemente was given a Presidential Citation by the Benavidez-Patterson “All Airborne” Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association during the chapter’s 2012 awards ceremony held January 26, 2013.

Peggy L. Dieter ’87 of Kemp Smith LLP, has been elected parliamentarian of The El Paso Paralegal Association board of directors for 2013.

 Edward “Ed” Escudero ’92 has been elected to El Paso Electric's Board of Directors. Ed is a CPA and president and chief executive officer of High Desert Capital LLC, a finance company that specializes in providing capital alternatives to small and mid-size companies.

Christopher J. “Chris” Forbes ’80 is featured in the documentary that premiered in December, detailing the 2009 Socorro High School baseball team State Championship.

Gregory C. “Greg” Foster ’11 one of UTEP basketball’s all-time greats, was recently honored by being named a “Miner Legend.” Foster is a 13-year NBA veteran and now a key recruiter and assistant coach for the Miners. Jose Hernandez Viezcas ’09 a doctoral student at UTEP has been credited with the discovery of the presence of potentially harmful minute particles used in cosmetics and other common substances in the reproductive/edible portion of the soybean plant grown in farm soil containing cerium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles.

Debra C. “Debbi” Hester ’77 was the No. 1 producer for ERA Sellers Buyers and Associates in January 2013.

Isabel A. Meza ’04 has been promoted to assistant vice president of mortgage lending by Evolve Federal Credit Union where she will oversee the mortgage servicing and processing operations and staff.

Alexis Montoya ’11 was recently voted the winner on “La Academia,” a singing competition on the TV Azteca network in Mexico.

Justin M. Pretiger ’03 of Morgan Stanley, has been appointed a new board member of The Ysleta Education Foundation.

Jana L. Renner ’08 has been named an associate program officer for the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.

Priscilla Roldan ’06 of Joe A. Spencer Jr., attorney and counselor at law, has been elected vice president - public relations of The El Paso Paralegal Association board of directors for 2013.

Guillermo “Willie” Romo ’03 has been selected as the new head baseball coach for Montwood High School.

Guillermina Solis ‘86, ’10 assistant clinical professor at the University of Texas at El Paso’s School of Nursing, has received a $2,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. The grant will be used to implement a fall prevention program for women age 55 and older in El Paso County.

Henry Tinajero ’84 has been promoted to senior vice president of West Star Bank.

 January 2013

Julio R. “Randy” Bañez ’84 retired in 2012 as commander of the Alaska Army National Guard, where he oversaw 2,000 soldiers statewide and held the rank of general. He was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame at the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) in Roswell, where he attended his first two years of college. He continues to work as the deputy director for energy for the Defense Logistics Agency.

Miranda C. Barton ’07 has recently joined the staff of the Scott-Hulse law firm’s corporate and securities, lending and inancial institutions, farm and ranch, and real estate sections in El Paso.

John S. Birkelbach ’71, of Mounce, Green, Myers, Safi, Paxson & Galatzan PC has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” by Texas Monthly magazine for 2012 and has received this recognition ten years in a row.

Robert A. “Bob” Black ’77, a 2011 Distinguished Alumnus and former Texas State Bar president, has given $250,000 to the UTEP Law School Preparation Institute.

Vernon L. Butler, Jr. ’71 is the new interim superintendent at El Paso Independent School District. Former principal ofHanks and Bel Air High Schools, superintendent of the Anthony school districtand interim YISD Superintendent, Vernon was called out of retirement for his current position.

Jose Luis Campos ’83 has been named deputy district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s El Paso District Office. He was previously the lead business opportunity specialist in the El Paso District Office and has also worked as contract specialist and a loan servicing assistant at the Disaster Consumer Collection Center in El Paso.

Carlos Carmona '10, assistant chief of operations for the El Paso Fire Department, was named interim fire chief when Fire Chief Otto Drozd III left for a new job in Florida. Carmona has been with the El Paso Fire Department for nearly 30 years and currently oversees field operations.

Estela Casas ’05, Channel 7-KVIA news anchor, presented awards to individuals who serve as role models and have provided quality training to students, at the seventh annual El Paso Association of Career Schools Teacher of the Year banquet held in November at Western Technical College.

Blanca V. Chavez ’97 recently joined Capital Bank as vice president responsible for branch management, deposit operations and client experience. She has more than 12 years of experience in banking including previous roles at Wells Fargo and Washington Federal.

Maria I. Espinoza ’96 of Investment Builders Inc. (IBI), is now a member of the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP), the leading organization of affordable housing professionals in the State of Texas.

James R. “Jim” Forbes ’79, former Texas Western College (now UTEP) basketball standout and current Andress High School coach, is the first player whose jersey will hang in the trophy case at Bel Air High School.  Forbes, honored for his achievements on the basketball court and off, helped Bel Air win two straight district titles, earning All-City twice and a High School All-America honor.

Sofia M. Gonzalez-Garcia ‘07, ’10 has been selected as manager of Security Service Federal Credit Union in El Paso; she will be responsible for the operation of the Americas service center, including cash operations, member service and facility maintenance.

Martha E. Gomez ’97, due diligence coordinator for more than nine years with Investment Builders Inc., has become a member of the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP), the leading organization of affordable housing professionals in the State of Texas.

Kristi S. Graham ’00, former UTEP basketball team standout (played all four years 1995-99 with her name still standing in the record book as ranking among the top 10 all-time in scoring and steals), took over as head coach of the Coronado High girls basketball squad this academic year. Kristi was a graduate assistant at UTEP before becoming a freshman coach at Bel Air, followed by becoming the head coach at Riverside in 2004.

Marcus O. Graham ’98, former UTEP basketball player is head coach at Burges.

Carl H. Green ’73, of Mounce, Green, Myers, Safi, Paxson & Galatzan PC has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” by Texas Monthly magazine for 2012 and has received this recognition for ten years in a row.

Hafid A. Guerrero ’07, registered nurse for Sierra Providence Health Network, has earned his Bariatric Nurse certification by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He also holds certifications in orthopedic and neurology nursing, and has been part of the Sierra Providence Health Network family since 2007.

Marisa C. Guerrero ’07 of Debbie’s Bloomers has been recognized by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) as a recipient of its Certified Floral Designer designation. Marisa was granted the designation after successfully completing the Professional Floral Design Evaluation during summer 2012. In addition to the CFD designation, Marisa is invited to become an accredited member of the AIFD, and will be inducted during the AIFD’s 2013 National Symposium in Las Vegas.

Elvia G. Hernandez ’91 is retiring after more than 40 years in the public eye as one of El Paso’s best and most prominent ambassadors. Twice elected to the City Council, co-founder of LULAC Council 4857, volunteer with various nonprofit groups and causes, and a former director of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Midland, TX, Elvia is moving to the Dallas area to be with family.

Debra C. “Debbi” Hester ’77 recently received the 2012 Leader's Circle Award as a platinum top producer with ERA Sellers, Buyers, and Associates. She is ranked nationally in this elite group of ERA's sales associates, and is a member of the El Paso and National Association of Realtors.

Michael J. Hutson ‘79, ’80 of Ainsa Hutson LLP was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America 2013 in the practice area of real estate law. This listing is the 8th consecutive year for Hutson.

Michael E. “Mike” McLain ’92 has been named the El Paso Times’ All-City Cross Country Coach of the Year. McLain guided Eastwood to a historic season by winning its second straight District 1-5A title, finishing fourth at the Class 5A state meet, and fourth again at the Nike Cross Nationals South Regional making Eastwood the only El Paso team to ever earn the honor since the Nike rankings started in 2002.

Norma A. Mendoza ’92, owner of MerKadoTeknia Research and Consulting, conducted a marketing strategies workshop for startups recently at The Hub of Human innovation, an El Paso technology business incubator.

Robert Navarro ’62 is one of three local consultants working with Populous, a Missouri corporation specializing in major and minor league baseball stadiums, to design El Paso’s Downtown ballpark that will house the Triple A minor league Tucson Padres bought recently by El Paso investors. Expected to open in April 2014, the stadium is expected to respect existing Downtown architecture, reflect the heritage and the history of the community, feature natural turf, and have more than 7,000 seats.

Barry C. Peterson ’09, a Wells Fargo employee, appeared on “Jeopardy” after five years of trying to make it to America’s Favorite Quiz Show. To get on the show Barry had to take an online quiz, and have an in-person audition.

Andres M. “Andy” Quintana ’07 has joined Lone Star Title as Chief Financial Officer.

Linda A. Samples ‘02 was appointed as the first In-House Counsel for the El Paso Independent School District. 

Marketa Vavrova’12, doctoral student in the UTEP civil engineering program has received the European Friedrich List Award presented in Budapest as part of the 10th European Transport Congress, for her master’s thesis in transportation and logistics systems.

Jerry M. Ward ’69, who has been a partner with Kaufman, Ward & Co., P.C. for 35 years will merge the accounting firm with Weatherly, Butterworth, Macias and Graves, P.C., one of the city’s larger accounting firms. Ward is a licensed financial adviser known for his expertise in medical practice accounting.

Lawrence P. “Larry” Welsh ’97, associate professor of English at El Paso Community College has won a 2012 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for his newest collection of poetry, “Begging for Vultures: New and Selected Poems 1994-2009;” in its second printing, it also won a Southwest Notable Book of the Year Award.

John A. Wenke ’89 has been named a Texas Super Lawyer in plaintiff’s employment litigation. He is one of seven attorneys in the State of Texas to receive this recognition. John was also selected to be included in the Best Lawyers in America in the area of employment law.

Richard D. Wiles ’95, El Paso County Sheriff, appeared in the filming of the pilot for the FX television series “The Bridge,” which is based in El Paso and Juárez. Wiles, worked for the El Paso Police Department for 25 years before retiring in December 2007 to run for sheriff.

Sonia Zubiate ’96, founder and director of The Protocol Academy was the guest speaker at a networking event held recently by Hire Times Career & Coaching Group at the El Paso Club.

 

 Spring 2013