People You Know, August to October 2008


Ken Grace (65, MS, geology) brought us up-to-date on his doings since graduation. He writes, "I joined Kennecott's Canadian office in Toronto from where, a year-and-a-half later, they sent me to Africa to open up an office in Namibia. Subsequently, I was moved to Johannesburg in South Africa, then to Vancouver, and from there to Miami, Florida (Kennecott's Caribbean and Latin American base). I parted from Kennecott in 1978 and joined a mining consulting group in Denver. This group moved me to Toronto in 1986 (full circle!)"

"In 1988, some of my colleagues and I split off to form our own consulting company (Micon International), where I stayed until retiring from full-time work in 2001. At that point, my wife and I decided to move out of the big city to the shores of Lake Simcoe, 60 miles north of Toronto. Been here ever since. I keep my body and brain active by undertaking (very selectively!) the occasional consulting assignment."

"On a personal note, I view my life as having been extremely satisfying. My work as a geological engineer has taken me to the far corners of the Earth, all of the continents (except Antarctica), from two miles below the Earth's surface in a South African gold mine to 16,000 feet above sea level in the high Andes."

"We continue to travel widely. Healthwise, after extensive cardiac surgery last Christmas, I feel better than I have in years."


Barbara Hynd (BS, basic sciences, 73), writes, "After teaching for several years in Clint, Texas, I returned to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1981. I was employed by Leaseway (now Penske Logistics) where I worked my way up from key puncher to computer operator, and finally systems programmer until 1999. In 2000 I went back to my first love, teaching, at a technical school for dental and medical assistants. I still get a thrill when one of my former students calls to thank me for being tough."

I still miss New Mexico and would welcome mail at nmimt73@yahoo.com. By the way, I still answer to the nickname "Rab."


Mark Thacker (BS, geology, 85; MS, geochemistry, 88) reports, "I have been a staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory supporting the Waste and Environmental Services Program since July 2002. I came back to New Mexico in 1993 after being based for seven years out of Oak Ridge, Tenn., where I worked throughout the country consulting for DOD and DOE. Working in Albuquerque, I supported environmental programs at Kirtland AFB and Sandia National Laboratory as a consultant."

"Life in northern New Mexico is awesome but I am glad I worked around the U.S. before coming back to where I belong. I certainly don't miss the travel or hectic life of a consultant; it's much better to be the client. Home during the week is Los Alamos but my real home is Chama NM, a hundred miles north and a world away from the national lab. I have been there three years, renovating a big old house on Main Street for the last two years. Weekends are filled with mountain biking, road biking, dirt biking, cross country skiing, and visitors to the Chama Inn. I stay in contact with a lot of great friends I made at Tech and would like to hear from other I have lost contact with, at mthacker@lanl.gov. Life is very good."


Stephen Cook (BS, physics, 93) writes "I'm living in Albuquerque with my wife Janet and our two sons: Jonah, 10, and Sterling, 2. Since graduating, I have worked in several positions, including as a VLBA correlator operator at NRAO, a contractor at AFOTEC and Sandia Labs, and a product manager for high speed computer network products. I also earned my MBA from UNM in 2006. For the past few years I've been an entrepreneur running a few Internet sites such as CheatCodes.com and BidNip.com (recently sold). I try to keep my website updated at http://www.stevecook.net/"

Dr. Steven Jainxin Wang (97, chemistry) is currently the chief physicist and manager of medical physics at the Cancer Institute of St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Ill. After studying chemistry at Tech, he transferred to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he got his doctoral degree from the the Department of Nuclear and Radiology Engineering in 2003. He then moved to the University of Chicago Medical School, where he finished his medical physics residency in 2005, and worked for a consultation group for a short period of time. In his current position at the Cancer Institute, he says, "Our responsibilities include treatment machine calibration and dose verification, treatment planning and verification, new treatment modality investigation, radiation safety and some other tasks. It's busy but fun, especially because our job is directly related to the patient wellbeing and their cancer treatment. In this regard, it's very rewarding work."

Steven recalls, "When I was at NMT, I enjoyed very much the environment and the people in town were very nice folks. I always had good feelings about Socorro and New Mexico."


Heidi (Stange) Love (BS, psychology, 2000) is now married to Michael Love, a former Tech student now working at IRIS/PASSCAL. Their daughter, Cassandra, was born in March 2006.

Suzanne Mills
(04, MS, hydrology) writes, "Last year, I finished a two-year term as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, working on the design and construction of drinking water systems in small rural communities. I also wrote a proposal that won a grant from NOAA to fund the first watershed-scale water quality study of a major river in Cuero y Salado, the Honduran national wildlife refuge. Earlier this year, I moved to Sacramento to take a position as a hydrogeologist and water resources planner for Montgomery Watson Harza, an international water and wastewater consulting firm. I have been working on a variety of projects that involve environmental restoration, federal planning and surface water-groundwater conjunctive use management."