Alumni News | Fall 2013

NMSU’s Creative Media Institute film ‘Hatching Max’ wins top award at festival

By Isabel A. Rodriguez 

CMI Professor Mark Medoff and NMSU alum Anna Pattison took home the Best in Fest award at the Sycamore Film Festival for the short “Hatching Max.” The film was written by Pattison and directed by Medoff. (Pictured: Shela Lahey, founder and executive director of the festival; Medoff; Pattison; Brian Gregory, Sycamore city manager; and Megan Johnson, operations director) (Courtesy photo)

“Hatching Max,” a 30-minute short film written two years ago by New Mexico State University alumna Anna Pattison and directed by College of Arts and Sciences Professor Mark Medoff, was recognized as Best in Fest at the recent Sycamore Film Festival, an event held just outside of Chicago.

The film began as an idea, a scene in Pattison’s head – an awkward man talking to a clerk in a grocery store – and grew from there. At the time, she was a student in Medoff’s screenwriting class, and her script was selected by the class to be produced as a film.     Read more

NMSU alum working to reduce environmental harm with NSF award

By Tonya Suther 

NMSU alumnus David Hogan investigates biologically produced surfactants known as 'soaps,' at the University of Arizona. The graduate student is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship award. (Courtesy photo by Kristen Walker)

New Mexico State University alumnus David Hogan has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship of $132,000 to continue working toward a Ph.D. in environmental sciences.

“Receiving this fellowship is a significant honor indeed,” Hogan said. “It constitutes a confirmation that my research is important and has the potential to impact society at large. It also indicates that researchers already working in my field believe I have the potential and credentials to make significant contributions as I develop as a researcher.”

Hogan graduated with honors from NMSU in 2007, also receiving distinction in university honors. He earned his bachelor’s in microbiology in the College of Arts and Sciences with minors in environmental management, chemistry and mathematics.     Read more

NMSU alum returns to lead AFROTC

By Tonya Suther 

Air Force ROTC Commander Lieutenant Colonel Ira Cline (Photo by Darren Phillips)

Lt. Col. Ira Cline has come full circle. The former New Mexico State University cadet has returned to Las Cruces after 19 years to lead NMSU’s Air Force ROTC. The new Detachment 505 commander took the top post July 11 for a two-year tour, and is overseeing more than 75 cadets and cadre.

“It’s a great opportunity to give back, not only to NMSU, but also to Air Force ROTC,” Cline said. “This is where I got my start in the Air Force, so I feel a real connection here, and want to make sure that I’m giving back 100 percent to cadets and faculty.”

Cline earned his commission in 1994. As the top mentor and professor of aerospace studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, he is responsible for educating cadets, preparing them for active duty service and instilling the core values of the U.S. Air Force.

“My focus with the cadets is pretty simple,” Cline said. “To get them to understand that mindset and mentally prepare them to become leaders. I want them to understand that everything that they do is important, and that they are going to affect people’s lives along the way.”

Cline began his career as a logistics plans officer at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.

He spent a year in Germany at the USAFE Warrior Preparation Center, and then attended specialized undergraduate pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, where he was selected as the class’s distinguished graduate and became a pilot.     Read more

NMSU alum, discoverer of heavy elements, credits teachers with success

By Minerva Baumann 

Jerry and Velma Landrum were voted most likely to succeed at Fort Sumner High School. (Courtesy Photo)

Jerry and Velma Landrum were voted most likely to succeed at Fort Sumner High School. (Courtesy Photo)

At 74 years old, Jerry Landrum is discovering fame, enjoying his first grandchild and receiving an honorary doctorate.

Don’t try to call him Dr. Landrum. He prefers just plain Jerry.

“Jerry has always been a humble kind of guy, never looking for the spotlight,” said childhood friend Charlie Rogers. “He was really taken aback by this honorary doctorate from New Mexico State University. He’s very proud of his work but never thought of receiving this kind of recognition.”

After retiring from decades as a chemist at one of the top labs in the country – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – Landrum was among a team of scientists honored over the summer for discovering two heavy elements on the periodic table – 114 and 116.

“Discovering a new element is a dream come true, especially after chasing it for so many years,” Landrum said. “What makes it surreal is that the discovery was made in 1999 and it was not until the fall of 2012 that credit was given and naming rights awarded.”     Read more