Black Alumni Chapter Award Recipients
Dean Charles P. Roberts Fellowship Award
Leroy Holmes is a Systems/Network Analyst at UNM. In 2011, Leroy began working for UNM Health Sciences Center as a student employee. His knack for catching on quickly to emerging technologies earned Leroy a larger role in the Data Center. Subsequently, Leroy taught different IT classes including Microsoft Outlook. Leroy received an Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Network Administration from the Central New Mexico Community College in 2009. In 2014 he graduated from UNM with a Bachelors of Administration with a concentration in Management of Information Systems. He is currently pursuing a MBA degree. In 2016 Leroy accepted a fellowship with UNM's Black Alumni Chapter. As a fellow, Leroy was able to pursue his passion of keeping a digital record of the endeavors of former UNM alumni. Leroy also enjoyed assisting UNM’s Center for Regional Studies with this enormous project.
Hilda Solange Defoe Payne
Hilda Defoe Payne originates from the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean”, Dominica. Prior to Hilda’s matriculation into the counseling program at UNM, Hilda enjoyed a twenty year (1994-2014) teaching career. In 2002, she graduated from the Dominica Teachers’ Training College with an Associate Degree in Primary Education and awards for outstanding performance in Health and Family Life Education, and Teaching Practice. In 2010, Hilda graduated from the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor’s degree of Education in Educational Administration. In 2010 Hilda successfully established a structured supervisory program at her school. As a result, Hilda became the supervisor, coach and mentor of untrained and inexperienced staff and worked with teachers on training. In 2013 Hilda was awarded an Academic Scholarship from the Organization of American States to pursue a Master in Counseling degree at the University of New Mexico. Hilda has just commenced her third year in the program. In 2008 and 2013 Hilda was the recipient of French awards for her devotion to the progress of the French language in Dominican schools and outstanding work with students and teachers. Consequently, Hilda was instrumental in developing the National Health and Family Life Education Curriculum and the National Primary Schools French Curriculum. Hilda was also president of multiple associations and committees. Hilda is also a 2016 graduate of the New Mexico Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program (NM LEND). As the 2016 – 2017 Charles P. Roberts fellow, Hilda is enjoying and eagerly anticipating the undertaking of projects and activities that will broadens her horizon and enrich her perspective thus increasing her knowledge.
Judge Tommy Jewell
Tommy Jewell sat in authority as a trial Judge in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jewell served both as Chief Judge in Metropolitan Court, and then as the Presiding Judge of the Second Judicial District Children’s Court, until his retirement in September 2005. He is the first African American Trial Judge in the state of New Mexico and a distinguished alumnus of UNM School of Law, class of 1979.
In 1995, Jewell was appointed by President Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the State Justice Institute Board of Directors. While in the Children’s Court, he chaired a collaborative effort in Juvenile Detention and System Reform in Bernalillo County that revolutionized Juvenile Court and started court programs to address family violence. He is a (5th Degree) black belt in Isshin Ryu Karate, a tennis player and a musician (Drummer).
Jewell was recognized for “Outstanding Judicial Service” by the State Bar of New Mexico in 1997, and selected “Outstanding Judge” by the Albuquerque Bar Association in 2001. His service in Children’s Court was also recognized at the 37th Annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast in 2006. In 2012, Jewell served as the City of Albuquerque Independent Review Officer (IRO) on an interim basis. Currently, he consults nationally in Juvenile Justice, practices law, and occasionally serves as a Pro Tem Judge. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Raymond Hamilton is a graduate of Harvard Law School, class of 1975. A native New Mexican, Mr. Hamilton completed his undergraduate studies at the University of New Mexico, where he majored in English and received his BA in Secondary Education. After law school, Mr. Hamilton worked as appellate and trial attorney for New Mexico Attorney General Toney Anaya. He then became an attorney for the State of New Mexico Public Defender Department where he tried over thirty felony cases. Following his Public Defender tenure, Mr. Hamilton entered private practice in 1978.
In 1979, United States Attorney R. E. Thompson appointed Ray Hamilton an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, the first African-American to serve in the position. He was admitted as an attorney to practice before the United States Supreme Court in 1980. In 1994, United States Attorney John Kelly appointed Raymond Hamilton Chief of the Civil Division, again a first for the District. He served as Civil Chief until October 2001.
In 2010, Mr. Hamilton received the office’s highest award, the United States Attorney’s Award for Outstanding Performance from United States Attorney Kenneth Gonzales. After 30 years of service to the Department of Justice, Mr. Hamilton retired in 2011 and has entered limited private practice. Mr. Hamilton has served his community in multiple ways and has been the recipients of numerous Community and Bar Awards.
Hall of Honor/Hall of Fame
- Don Perkins, NFL Dallas Cowboys
- Don Woods, NFL San Diego Chasers
- Robin Cole, NFL Pittsburgh
- Preston Dennard, NFL Los Angeles Rams
- Dean Charles (Chuck) P. Roberts, UNM 1st African-American Quarterback
- Terance Paul Mathis
- Michael Jerome Cooper, NBA LA Lakers
- Ira L. Harge, ABA Utah Stars; NBA Philadelphia 76ers
- Kenny Thomas, NBA Houston Rockets
- Edward Pete Gibson, UNM Lobo
- Greg Brown, UNM Lobo, 2008 Inductee
- Dionne Marsh McDonald, UNM Lobo
Track and Field Awardees:
- Rene Matison
- Clarence Robinson
- Dr. Harold Bailey
- Dr. La Vern Clarke-Roberts
Honors College Chapter Award Recipient
2016 Distinguished Alumni
Dr. Matthew J. Martinez was born and raised at Ohkay Owingeh. He graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish from the University of New Mexico (Magna Cum Laude). In 2000 he completed a Master of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University. He earned a PhD in American Studies and American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2008. He is currently an Associate Professor of Pueblo Indian Studies at Northern New Mexico College. Prior to joining Northern he served as the Director of Indian Education under Governor Bill Richardson at the New Mexico Higher Education Department where he worked to advance initiatives designed to increase opportunities for American Indian students. Dr. Martinez has been a consultant for tribes and has published in the areas of Pueblo Indian history and culture. He has also worked in documentary filmmaking with such projects as A Good Day to Die (2011) that discusses the life and times of Dennis Banks and the American Indian Movement; Canes of Power (2012) that details the history of the Lincoln Canes and Pueblo sovereignty, and Co-Producer with Silver Bullet Productions of A Thousand Voices (2014), that discusses the historical and contemporary roles of indigenous women in New Mexico. A central part of his career has been to develop curriculum and training for students and teachers that reflect the diversity of stories that impact our everyday lives. Dr. Martinez has served on state and national boards related to education policy and is currently appointed to the Ohkay Owingeh School Board committed to promoting culture, tradition and academic rigor into tribally controlled schools.
For questions or more information:
Alumni Relations Office