By Thomas Guengerich
SOCORRO, N.M., Nov. 7, 2008 – New Mexico Tech bid farewell to Rudy Correa, who retired as deputy director of the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center.
Top administrators attended a farewell luncheon and reception Friday, Oct. 31, to honor Correa’s 23 years of service, tell tales of Correa’s exemplary service and present him with parting gifts.
Several of Tech’s top administrators got their start at EMRTC, including President Dr. Daniel H. López and vice presidents Lonnie Marquez and Dr. Van Romero.
Dr. López said Correa was a steady influence throughout his tenure at Tech. He influenced both the rank-and-file and a series of EMRTC directors.
López said Correa was especially valuable to Tech, EMRTC and its preceding organization, TERA, for a variety of skills. López, who came to Socorro first as a top administrator at TERA, said Correa will be difficult to replace.
“He was particularly good at managing people,” López said. “He is a multi-talented person. He could motivate large groups of people or he could deal one-on-one with his employees. He could also deal with vendors from large companies. In that regard, I think he was unique.”
His friends and colleagues shared a common theme at the farewell party. They all talked about Correa’s loyalty, integrity and fairness.
“He is always moving forward and striving for excellence,” López said. “His employees recognized that he has high level of integrity and he commanded respect from them.”
Dr. John Meason, EMRTC director, said Correa leaves difficult shoes to fill.
“Working with Rudy has been an absolute pleasure,” Dr. Meason said. “Rudy has a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge and an uncanny amount of knowledge about human resource activity.”
Meason said he’s also been especially appreciate of Correa’s temperament. “He has a very even temperament and rarely gets excited. He looks at problems and offers solutions in an objective, pragmatic way.”
Dr. Van Romero said has been a steadying influence for the entire EMRTC group as well as New Mexico Tech.
“Rudy always was a great soldier,” said Romero, who served as EMRTC director in the 1990s. “He would always present his opinion or suggestion, but no matter what decision was made, he would back you 100 percent. He supported every decision in every way he could.”
The EMRTC director spends a good portion of time on the road and depends on the associate director, Romero said.
“When I would get back to Socorro, I always had two questions for Rudy – who quit and who did you fire,” Romero said. “He always had a plan for personnel. And he always had a solution.”
Meason said that he never had to worry about day-to-day operations while traveling as long as Correa was on the job.
His colleagues and friends presented Correa with several parting gifts, including art work that commemorates his tenure at EMRTC.
“I count Rudy as one of the truly exceptional employees who has gone through the parent organization, New Mexico Tech, and at EMRTC,” López said. “On a personal note, he is simply a good and decent person and I count him as one of my good friends at New Mexico Tech.”
– NMT –