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New Mexico State alumni to be honored during Homecoming week

The New Mexico State University Alumni Association will honor 2003 Distinguished Alumni, the recipient of the James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service and the Conquistador of the Year on Friday, Oct. 31, as part of Homecoming 2003.


3 honorees are:

-Topper Thorpe of Gila, N.M., College of Agriculture and Home Economics.

-Kirstin Chavez of Honeoye, N.Y., Patricia D. Lopez of Loveland, Colo., and Esther Reyes of Venice, Calif., College of Arts and Sciences.

-Michael Rogers of Los Gatos, Calif., College of Business Administration and Economics.

-Virginia Foltz of Las Cruces, College of Education.

-Rhonda Faught of Santa Fe, N.M., College of Engineering.

-Kathryn Autrey of Las Cruces, College of Health and Social Services.

-Victor Guerrero-Prieto of Cuauhetemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico, International Distinguished Alumnus.

-Tomas Chavez of Oklahoma City, Okla., James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service.

-Daniel Sosa of Las Cruces, Conquistador of the Year.

Thorpe earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural economics in 1964 and his master's degree in agricultural economics in 1969. Since 1973 he has served as the general manager to Cattle Fax, an organization which provides market information to more than 2,000 cattlemen in the United States. He also has served as a consultant to the Council of Economic Advisers to the U.S. President for the last three administrations and is a representative for the National Cattlemen's Association.

Chavez earned her bachelor's degree in music in 1991. While at NMSU she directed several Dona Ana Lyric Opera productions such as "South Pacific" and "Camelot." She has performed for three seasons with the New York City Opera and has won several national and international singing competitions.

Lopez earned her bachelor's degree in computer science in 1980, her master's degree in computer science in 1982 and her doctorate in computer science in 1989. She has served as the NMSU campus manager for Hewlett Packard since 1998 and is the imaging scientist for the company. She holds five imaging patents. She has developed strong campus relationships with NMSU's diversity program directors and has been the keynote speaker for the NMSU Pre-freshman Engineering Program (PREP).

Reyes earned her bachelor's degrees in broadcast journalism and French with minors in political science and Spanish in 1989. She is an Emmy Award-winning television director, producer and writer. Her work includes "Married by America," "Eco-Challenge," "The Amazing Race 3," "The Mole" and "E! True Hollywood Story." She speaks four languages -- English, Spanish, French and Italian.

Rogers earned his bachelor's degree in business management in 1973. He is the president and CEO of his own company, Rogers Media Ventures. He also has served as the corporate vice president for the Knight Rider Corp. and the president and publisher for International Data Group.

Foltz earned her bachelor's degree in secondary education in 1966 and her master's degree in educational administration in 1977. She has served in the Las Cruces Public School District for 37 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and superintendent.

Faught, who earned her bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1980, is the cabinet secretary for the New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department. She serves on the board of directors for Mimbres Memorial Hospital in Deming. She was named as an NMSU distinguished alumna in 1995.

Autrey earned her bachelor's degree in nursing in 1993 and her master's degree in nursing in 1998. In 2002, she opened Women's Medical Associates, an independent practice. She is a certified nurse midwife and is a member of the American College of Nurse Midwives and the nursing honor society, Sigma Theta Tau International.

Guerrero-Prieto earned his doctorate in agronomy in 1995. He is the unit coordinator and researcher with CIAD, a research center for food and development in Chihuahua, Mexico. He also assists with NMSU student recruitment tours to Chihuahua. He is a member of the American Pomological Society and the International Society for Horticulture Science.

The James F. Cole award for Service is awarded annually to an alumnus for dedication and service to New Mexico State and the Alumni Association. Chavez was instrumental in getting the Conquistadors Club reunion established at NMSU. He has assisted with events and continues to offer his home to hold gatherings for alumni in the Oklahoma City area.

Sosa earned his bachelor's degree in business in 1947 and graduated from the University of New Mexico's law school in 1951. In 1954, he was the first licensed attorney to serve as a city judge. He has served 16 years on the New Mexico Supreme Court and was recently appointed by Gov. Bill Richardson to serve on the Judicial Standards Commission.

The Conquistadors Club was established at New Mexico State in 1937 to promote social life among Spanish-speaking students, participate in intramural athletics and give recognition to those members who were scholastically outstanding. Each year the group honors a former member with the Conquistador of the Year Award.