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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Honorees, Graduates Inducted into NMSU's Sam Steel Society

LAS CRUCES - Four honorary members and 115 graduates from the College of Agriculture and Home Economics were inducted into NMSU's Sam Steel Society on May 9.


The society honors the memory of Sam Steel, who was killed just months before becoming the university's first graduate in 1893.

Honorary member Dennis Braden is a graduate of Texas Tech University and Texas Christian University's ranch management program. He is general manager of El Sueño del Corazon Ranch in Abiquiu, which hosts the NMSU Northern New Mexico Bull Test and Sale. He is an advisory board member for NMSU's Sustainable Agricultural Science Center at Alcalde and board member for Extension Support Council.

Braden partnered with NMSU researchers Mark Petersen and Jim Strickland on a five-year study of immunological health of New Mexico cattle. He is a board member of the New Mexico Cattle Association, chairman of the New Mexico Beef Council and resource advisory committee member for the state Bureau of Land Management

Arthur "Butch" Blazer worked with the Bureau of Indian Affairs for 27 years before becoming head of the state Forestry Division. He is a member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe and has served as the tribe's planning and development director. He served as treasurer for the tribal council from 1998 to 2002.

Blazer earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture from NMSU in 1975. He has held positions as a range specialist, a natural resources manager and as an agency superintendent for more than one reservation. Blazer co-founded the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society in 1983 and served as the organization's president from 1997 to 2000.

William V. Flores is the provost and chief academic officer at NMSU. This year, he is participating in Leadership New Mexico, a group focused on improving the lives of New Mexicans. He serves on the board of directors for the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque and on the Aggie Scholarship Association and various scholarship committees.

Before coming to NMSU in 2001, Flores taught at several universities, including California State in Fresno and Hayward, Santa Clara University and Stanford University, where he also served as associate director of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research. Flores came to NMSU from Cal State-Northridge, where he served as dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

William "Bilo" Wallace is president of the cattle growers' association, Unión Ganadera Regional de Chihuahua, and serves as its representative on the binational animal health committee. He was instrumental in creating the livestock border crossing operated by the Unión in Santa Teresa, New Mexico and San Géronimo , Chihuahua. The facility, which opened in January 1992, provides a better venue for Mexican ranchers to sell and buy livestock.

Wallace grew up in a house built in the 1700s on the historical Corralitos Ranch in Casas Grandes, Mexico, where his family has raised livestock for more than 100 years. After graduating from NMSU with a degree in animal and range sciences in 1969, he took over the family ranch.

Rebecca S. Kelling, an animal and range sciences major from Aspermont, Texas, was named Outstanding Student in Agriculture. A college ambassador and honors graduate, Kelling received the David Wesson Frances and George Godfrey scholarships.

Antonia L. Roybal, a hotel, restaurant and tourism major from Mora, was the Outstanding Student in Home Economics. Roybal served as student member of NMSU's Board of Regents. She is an honors graduate and recipient of a Noble T. Jones scholarship.

Ten students were honored as Dean's Award of Excellence winners. They are Kevin S. Branum, agricultural biology graduate from Grants; Jesse D. Echave, fishery and wildlife science student from Los Alamos; Bradley E. Hale, hotel, restaurant and tourism management graduate from Kirtland; Lena M. Hite, range science graduate from Roswell; and Steve M. Hogenmiller, horticulture graduate from Chesterfield, Mo.

Other winners were Jimmy Plane, agricultural and extension education student from Truth or Consequences; Lauren Romig, agricultural economics and agricultural business graduate from Las Cruces; Rachel Rosencrans, animal science graduate from Las Cruces; and Erica D. Veléz, family and consumer science education student from Las Cruces. The graduate student recipient was T. J. Stow of Aurora, Colo., who earned a master's degree in animal science.

Dean's Award of Leadership Excellence award winners were Andy Giron, agricultural and extension education graduate from Ojo Caliente; and Jacob W. Penn, an agricultural economics and agricultural business graduate from Deming.