Alumni Quotes PDF Print E-mail

Alumni Quotes

Read what our alumni say about New Mexico Tech. Also check the alumni page to see what our graduates have accomplished.

Laura Wilcox
laura2Tech first grasped my attention while I was attending a GSA conference as an undergraduate. Not only were the professors well known and prestigious in their fields, but they were also enthusiastic and eager to learn about me and my work. I arrived at NMT in the fall of 2001 and worked for Dr. Robert Bowman on a project characterizing groundwater and surface water interactions in the Middle Rio Grande Basin. I was thrilled to work on this project, as it exposed me to many different aspects of hydrology including surface and groundwater data interpretation, field work, chemistry sampling, interaction with the public, and the politics of the water budget for New Mexico. In addition to the quality of education that I received here, I was preoccupied with the abundance of outdoor activities that were less than 20 minutes away. Mountain biking, rock climbing, backpacking, and many other activities can be achieved every day of the year, most of the time under a cloudless sky.

Mitch Withers
Withers_MitchMitch received his MS in Geophysics, Solid Earth, in 1995 and his PhD in Earth and Environmental Science with dissertation in Geophysics in 1997, both from New Mexico Tech. He is currently the Seismic Network Director of CERI, the Center for Earthquake Research and Information in Memphis, Tennessee.

"On graduation day, despite my adamant protestations to the contrary, Al Sanford told me I would miss graduate school. He was right. There are a wealth of opportunities at NMT. I worked for a summer for Amoco in Houston, remotely worked on data acquisition systems on Mt Erebus, Antarctica, and worked with researchers at Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs. The academics were rigorous and I never would have made it without help from fellow students. Perhaps most significantly though, I now have a life-long love for New Mexico green chilis and sopapillas."

The picture above shows Mitch repairing a seismic station in the Bear Mountains west of Socorro, New Mexico, during his New Mexico Tech days.

Charlotte A. Rowe
RoweChar"The geophysics program at New Mexico Tech is easily one of the best in the country. After having obtained my BS in Geology at Tech, I went to Alaska for my MS in Geophysics but returned to Tech for the PhD, knowing it would be a superior education."

"The wide array of opportunities for research at NMT is a real treat for students. Geophysical modeling, earthquake seismology, volcanology, active source work, hands-on field studies, access to all the important modern software for geophysical computing, and opportunities to work everywhere from the Rio Grande Rift to Europe to Antarctica and South America are possible. The presence of the IRIS PASSCAL center at Tech means students get unparalleled opportunities to meet and learn from global leaders in earthquake research who come to Socorro for their PASSCAL orientations/briefings."

"The classes I took as a grad student were on-target, challenging and provided me with important knowledge and skills for continued work. The cross-disciplinary and interdepartmental teaching approach provides both depth and breadth to the formal education that is unavailable at many universities, and the small class sizes and accessibility of the faculty provide for a custom-tailored education that is a great help in launching a career."

Dr. Rowe is currently a seismologist with the geophysics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

David F. Boutt
BouttLab"New Mexico Tech is a great place for graduate studies," says David F. Boutt, a recent graduate of NMT's nationally renowned hydrology graduate program. "There are so many people doing great research here. It's hard not to get excited about your own research. Together with the outstanding number of opportunities for grad students, the excellent and enthusiastic faculty make Tech a first-rate institution."

Dave received his PhD in Earth & Environmental Science-Hydrology from NMT in 2004 and is an assistant professor of hydrogeology at University of Massachusetts-Amherst. While in residence at NMT, Dave won the American Geophysical Union's prestigious Horton Research Grant. Read more about him here and here.






Jennifer L. Smith
Jen completed her MS in Hydrology at New Mexico Tech in December 2004 and is currently employed as a hydrologistJenDave1cwith Hydrosphere Resource Consultants. Her research with advisor Brian McPherson included investigating abnormally high fluid pressures and fracture genesis in the Duchesne Fault Zone in Utah.

"I decided to come to Tech because it provided me with the opportunity to work with both hydrology and geology. I really like it here not only because of the academic challenges that I was faced with every day, but also because of its great setting in Socorro."


Huade Guan
Huade Guan (left in the picture below) completed his PhD in Earth & Environmental Science-Hydrology in December 2005, and is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Texas-San Antonio. While at NMT, he studiedHuadeTrinShirleygroundwater recharge in mountainous areas. While a student at NMT, Huade said, "My advisor, Dr. John Wilson, is a great research advisor. As a scientist, John is an expert in his research fields, and he is familiar with scientific progresses in other hydrological fields thanks to his years experience in proposal evaluation. Dr. Wilson is also an excellent academic advisor. He is trying to help me build up my knowledge structure, not only for the current research but also benefiting the future career. By the way, John and all other professors here are very nice and friendly. New Mexico Tech is small, but it is an excellent research institute, a good place to study. That is why I chose Tech after I visited here last Spring. The only thing I don't feel good about is that I don't have time to play golf at the beautiful campus golf course."

I am now entering my 19th year in the environmental consulting business. As a Geologist and Hydrogeologist, I have worked at many locations across the USA, although mostly on the East coast. I am a Registered Professional Geologist in the States of Tennessee and Kentucky. My current assignments include Remedial Investigations and Feasibility Studies at Air National Guard facilities in New York, Wisconsin, Tennessee, South Carolina and Vermont. I credit my experience at NMIMT with providing me the skills and knowledge I use every day of my career. My thanks go out to all my friends and professors, but especially to my Thesis advisor Kent Condie, and to my good friends Dave Johnson and Terry Jensen.
--John P. DeMelas (MS Geology, 1983)
Geologist/Hydrogeologist, PEER Consultants, P.C.

My excellent education at NM Tech has provided me with a solid foundation on which to build my career. I strongly advocate for graduates of NM Tech, and we have since hired two additional students from the E&ES program at Tech.
--Joseph Sterling (MS Hydrology, 2001)
Consulting Hydrologist, CH2M HILL, Santa Ana, California

I enjoyed my stay at NMT, and all the courses I took have been so beneficial to me now in the classroom. Am so grateful to all the people in the Geoscience Dept., especially my advisors, friends in Socorro, and course mates. Am longing for the day I'll be in Socorro again, at least, for a visit.
--Robert S. Nartey (MS Geology, 1999)
Instructor, Western University College, Tarkwa, Ghana

If you're an NMT EES alumnus, and you'd like to let others know about your experience at Tech and what you're doing now, please email 

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Created: ( Sunday, 10 April 2011 16:13 )
Last Updated: ( Monday, 24 September 2012 08:46 )
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