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New Mexico State University alumni to be honored during Homecoming week

The New Mexico State University Alumni Association will honor the 2001 Distinguished Alumni, the International Distinguished Alumnus, the Conquistador of the Year and the recipient of the James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service Oct.12 and 13 as part of Homecoming 2001.


1 honorees are:

--Ralph Dunlap, College of Agriculture and Home Economics.

--Carol Walker, College of Arts and Sciences.

--Chris Knackstedt, College of Business Administration and Economics.

--Mary John O'Hair, College of Education.

--Russell Johnson, College of Engineering.

--Albert Esparsen II, College of Health and Social Services.

--Alejandro Ramirez, International Distinguished Alumnus.

--Jack Ward, James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service.

--Abe Pena, Conquistador of the Year.

Dunlap, who lives in Lincoln, N.M., earned his bachelor's degree in animal science in 1950 and his master's degree in agricultural and extension education in 1966. He served as Lincoln County commissioner in 1987 and 1988 and has been instrumental in assisting fruit production internationally. He has a shop in Lincoln that promotes wool and wool products.

Walker, who lives in Las Cruces, earned her master's degree in mathematics in 1961 and her doctor of philosophy degree in mathematics in 1963. She served at New Mexico State as a professor of mathematics, mathematical science department head, acting dean of the graduate school and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Knackstedt, who lives in El Paso, Texas, earned his bachelor's degree in accounting in 1991. He works as a chief financial officer at Sierra Providence Health Network, where he is responsible for all financial operations of a 365-bed acute care hospital.

O'Hair, who lives in Norman, Okla., earned her doctorate in educational management and development in 1987. She is the author of six books, including "Foundations of Democratic Education," and is a professor of educational administration, curriculum and supervision at the University of Oklahoma.

Johnson, who lives in Santa Rosa, Calif., earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1971. He served as senior vice president for global sales and marketing for JDS Uniphase Co. and is one of five partners at KPLJ Ventures LLC.

Esparsen, who lives in Roswell, N.M., earned his bachelor's degree in community health in 1982. He is a member of the New Mexico Public Health Association and currently works as district director for the public health division of the New Mexico Department of Health.

Ramirez, who lives in Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico, earned his bachelor's degree in animal science in 1977 and his master's degree in animal science in 1979. He is a member of the Mexican National Research System and is a professor of animal science at the University of Chihuahua.

Ward, who lives in Las Cruces, studied electrical engineering at New Mexico State. He established a scholarship at the university for band students and has traveled with the band in the United States and Europe. He is also the honorary band director.

Pena, who was the 1948-49 president of the New Mexico State University Los Conquistadores Club, earned his bachelor's in animal science in 1949. He is the author of "Memories of Cibola."

The Conquistadores Club was established at New Mexico State in 1937 to promote social life among Spanish-speaking students, to participate in intramural athletics and to give recognition to those members who were scholastically outstanding.

For more information about Homecoming awards, call the Alumni Association at (505) 646-3616.