GAAAC LogoThe Aluminaria Award

It is our pleasure to introduce to you the many alums who brighten lives.

The Aluminaria Award honors alumni who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better, brighter place through community service, excellence in the workplace and/or contributions to society above and beyond what is required. By becoming silent “heroes” these alumni heighten the profile of UNM, inspiring others to follow in their path.

For more information on the Aluminaria Award, contact Kim Feldman at Nominate a community member who “brightens” lives today!

Aluminating Awardees:

Kathleen Andreson, BAED, 1969; MA Education 1965; Ph.D Education, 1988 and Fulbright scholar of UNM for her leadership in Synergy Group , Ltd. and for being President of Phi Delta Kappa International and leading the effort to recruit the best and brightest into the teaching force and for championing education world-wide.

Rochelle Begay, BSN, 2005, is instrumental in working to solve the scarcity of non-emergency medical services and for developing, managing and staffing a new medical Quick Care Clinic in Gallup, New Mexico.

Stephanie Cameron, BFA '90; noted foodie and publisher of Edible magazine, for her dedicated and collaborative way of sharing the importance and vibrancy of our local food shed.

Jeffrey Candelaria, BUS, '83, Bank of the West development officer for his professional networking and connecting businesses and building strategic alliances with his 15,000 clients.

Abel Cuevas, BM '09; talented teacher and band leader for his inspirational style of leadership in teaching high school and university music students.

Nicolle Gonzales, BSN '04; Native American Certified Nurse-Midwife, for co-creating the nation's first Native American birth center, Changing Woman Initiative.

Representative Albert Hale, JD ''77; State Representative (District 7), Arizona and former President of the Navajo Nation for enacting legislation to make it easier for Native Americans of Arizona to obtain a delayed birth certificate for health benefits.

Marilou Joson, MA Ed '13, teacher extraordinaire in Gallup New Mexico for her patience in teaching math by using different resources to strengthen the learning process.

Alex Kirk, BBA '14; former Lob basketball star for his generosity in giving Nike shoes to the YMCA Los Alamos and Espanola Teen Centers.

Allegra Love, JD '11; attorney with Santa Fe Public Schools Adelante Program for tutoring homeless students and their families.

Joe Lusczek, 1974, MPA and Ret. USAF civil service for his lifetime of leadership in Aerospace Systems Design and his leading role in the forefront of planning, design, analysis, and the development of unrivaled future Air Force aircraft.

Peter Nardini, MA, MCRP '99; for promoting peace and harmony in local and international health and environmental agencies and receiving the international award, the 2014 Paul Re Peace Prize.

Daniel Ramczyk, BA '81; JD '83, Judge for the Albuquerque Metropolitan Court for his hard-working and dedicated volunteer service as a Big Brother, coach of high school student speech and debate and counselor for at risk teens with alcohol and drug addictions.

Sonya Romero, BA, 1997, MA, 2004 for being a compassionate elementary school teacher for her unselfish capacity to help low income students by ensuring they have the most basic of needs: food, clothes and shelter.

Earl Salazar, BA, Pol Sci '75; MPA '77, Governor of Ohkay Owingeh for his passion and commitment in leading, developing and mentoring young Native American leaders.

Brittany Simplicio, BSN '11, MSN '13; midwife from Navajo/Zuni and co-creator of the nation's first Native American birth center, Changing Woman Initiative. Odetha Hill, BA'01 '13; for her grace and tenacity in being a volunteer caregiver for disabled veterans on a daily basis.

Melissa Smith, BS '12, Community Service Chair and volunteer for the Greater Albuquerque Area Alumni Chapter for her organizing and energizing Albuquerque area UNM alums to volunteer for local community service events and opportunities.

Roy Solomon, BUS '89; Albuquerque entrepreneur for his passion to educate children about fresh, healthy eating by establishing a small, on-site hydroponic farm called Green Jeans Farmery.

Eric Toledo, MA Ed Admin '99, Albuquerque entrepreneur for his efforts in launching and growing businesses in the area and serving the needs of the residents.

Ann Marie Wilcox, BSN '99, APS nurse for her dedication and kindness in serving those in need. While working as a nurse at Marie Hays Middle School, her desire to eliminate hunger led to her establishing the Westside Mobile Food Pantry which serves over 200 adults and children.

Amit Upadhye, MA Arch '98, internationally renowned architect for his continuing effort to return to UNM to inspire and help transition young architects into their professional careers.

Alex Zubelewicz, AA '08, BBA'11; a member of the 2015 Leadership Los Alamos class, for the dedication and customer service he provides daily at UNM Los Alamos.

For questions or more information:

Alumni Relations Office
O: 505-277-5808
800-ALUM-UNM (258-6866)