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autumn 2020 the magazine of adams state university



VOL. 60, NO. 2 • AUTUMN 2020

Published by Adams State University Foundation Adams State University • Alamosa, CO 81101 719-587-7011 • 800-824-6494, ext 8 email: alumni@adams.edu Digital magazine: adams.edu/alumni/astater/


Chris Lopez ’84


Amy Kucera ’05


Linda Relyea ’96, ’10, Amy Kucera ’05


Sarah Kuta • Linda Relyea ’96, ’10 • Emily Osburn ’17 Kaitlyn Kelley • Jade Winton • Chris Burtschi



Michele Lueck Chair Donna Griego ’03, ’12 Vice Chair Pam Bricker ’03 • Reeves Brown • Jonathan N. Marquez ’13 Wendell L. Pryor • John Singletary • David Tandberg ’02 • Randy Wright ’84 Dr. Penny Sanders Faculty Trustee Courtney Hocking Student Trustee


Lori Lee Laske ’91, ’01 Executive Director of Alumni & Donor Relations Sandy Ortega ’74 President Delzia Worley ’97 Vice President Olga Montano ’06 Secretary Jacqueline Archuleta ’11 • Reyna Martinez ’10 • Lynn Michalke ’77 Robert Oringdulph ’71 • Carol Osborn ’84 • Chris Page ’02, ’03 Kasey Russell ’03 • Rich Scanga ’75 • Marcus Shawcroft ’15 Jeremy Wilder ’96 • Loren Wright ’08


Ron Howard ’98 President Dr. John McDaniel Vice President Jeni Jack Goodwin ’85 Secretary Joe Martinez ’99, ’12 Treasurer Fred Bunch ’77 • Glenn Burnham • Duane Bussey ’82 Keith Cerny • Jennifer Chavez ’00 • Jenny Cooper • Ed Crowther Bill Fassett • Chuck Houser ’62 • Dorothy Lucero ’61 Liane “Buffie” McFadyen ’91, ’93 • Cathy Mullens ’82 Chuck Owsley ’68 • Richard Scanga ’75 • Kathy Woods


Stephen Bokat ’68 • Marguerite Salazar ’75, ’76 • Michael Ware ’69 Harold Kelloff • John Marvel Jr. ’70 Izora Southway ’66 • J. Byron Uhrich • R. Paul Wagner


Dr. Cheryl D. Lovell ASU President Tammy Lopez ’91, ’00 Executive Director of the Foundation Pam Bricker Trustee Liason


Ron DeSautell ’76 President Hoyt Anderson ’97 Vice President Keith Cerny • Dante Gonzalez • Jeni Jack Goodwin ’85 Chris Lopez ’84 • Lisa Martinez ’81 Ted Morrison ’69 • Donna Wehe ’12


Adams State University’s driving purpose is to provide equitable access to education for all. We promote successful and engaged lives by caring for, connecting with, and challenging our students, campus, and community. As Colorado’s premier Hispanic Serving Institution, Adams State University draws on its rural location in the San Luis Valley, to serve and empower all students, especially those from historically underserved populations.


To become the university community of choice for diverse, historically underserved groups, and all who value quality education and inclusivity.



President’s Letter: One of the things we have learned during this unprecedented time is you cannot keep a Grizzly down. Perseverance, resiliency and grit are hallmarks of how we see ourselves as Adams State Grizzlies. Over these past five months, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have demonstrated just how determined we Grizzlies are as we continue with our teaching, with our studies, and as we persist in our educational mission on behalf of the thousands of undergraduate and graduate students who rely on Adams State for their academic advancement. We welcomed back our students, staff and faculty for the start of fall semester classes on August 24. Our emphasis and number one priority is the health and safety of our community. In our planning, leading to the start of the semester, we established a Safe-to-Return Task Force and at every turn consulted with Alamosa County Public Health Department in developing our plans to bring students, staff and faculty back to campus and to the community safely. At the center of our plan are these requirements and protocols: • Masks or face coverings are required at all times on campus. And we have the same expectation for any of our visitors, whether they are attending an event on campus or simply taking a stroll. We expect our students, staff, faculty and community to follow this guideline without question. The only time you wouldn’t see individuals wearing masks on campus would be, well, when you don’t see them at all because they are in the privacy of their rooms or offices. Otherwise expect to see the Grizzlies in masks everywhere we go and in everything we do. Our faculty will teach with face shields on in the classroom. • Safe physical distancing. Our classrooms are set up to accommodate six-feet apart desk-to-desk, student-to-student. Our cafeteria, where students will be able to sit and eat or grab a meal and go, will meet social distancing standards. Same with our outdoor spaces. If we have students gathering for an activity on one of the campus’ fabulous green spaces, they will be practicing social distancing. • Thorough cleaning and sanitizing. After each class, after every event, our staff will disinfect. • We have identified areas for quarantining if that becomes necessary. If a student needs to be isolated because they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, we will immediately take that step and then contact individuals who may have been in close proximity to that person. Students, staff and faculty will have their temperatures taken daily. They know that if they feel sick, they are not to come to campus. Indeed, the campus will look a bit different as we all contend with COVID-19. We also shortened the time students will be on campus this semester, completing in-person courses on November 24, just ahead of Thanksgiving. The decision to resume face-to-face courses was made in consultation with our students, who overwhelmingly expressed a desire to be in the classroom learning from our faculty versus consuming course material through our remote Blackboard online system. The small learning environment where students receive the attention they deserve and need from our faculty and staff is what Adams State is known for and what separates us from the larger universities. As alumni you can relate. Anything you can do to support our students during this time we would greatly appreciate.

Contents Sign up for our campus e-newsletter. It will provide ongoing updates and news about Adams State and all the events and activities being held on campus.

Re-Engage and Re-Connect. Influential Adams Stater Liliosa Padilla ’54 reflects on her time at Adams State Read more on page 10.




Outstanding Alumnus William Manzanares ’67

Pat Melgares ’89 pens biography of Joe Vigil

Karen Villalon Shea ’99 serves veterans in need

4 Keeping Current

Safe Return to Campus

26 Staying in Touch Class notes from alumni

9 Homecoming 2020 Schedule

28 Adams Family Album Photo memories of alumni events

12 2020 Spring Virtual Commencement Photo Essay

30 Final Chapters Remembering those no longer with us

20 Athletics Larry Mortensen Retires

To sign up send an email to publicrelations@adams.edu and you’ll get Adams State e-news delivered to your email inbox.

ON THE COVER: Students wear their masks during a 2020 summer business course on Adams State campus. AStater 3

Keeping Current



Adams State prepares for in-person classes Fall 2020 and a safe return to campus. Adams State’s Safe-to-Return Task Force had the campus focused on health and safety protocols in preparation for the fall semester. The University’s traditional Convocation, New Student Orientation and Welcome Back Week activities were all conducted with masks on, an adherence to social distancing, and an understanding that personal and shared responsibility is a must for a successful academic year.

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Homecoming 2020 Outstanding Alumnus William Manzanares ’67 William Manzanares epitomizes the Adams State can-do spirit. A native of San Luis, Colo. Manzanares graduated from Adams State in 1967 and then earned a Master of Science in physics from CU in 1976. He went on to have a 27-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency and earned CIA’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, CIA Diversity Champion award, and was twice nominated for CIA Scientist of the Year. Here is our interview with this year’s Adams State University Outstanding Alumnus.

ASTATER: Can you describe your proudest achievement? WILLIAM MANZANARES: Making it from being a poor farm boy, growing up just outside of a small town in a remote corner of the San Luis Valley, to having a fulfilling career where I had the opportunity to contribute to my country on a national scale. I got to do things and view the world in ways which very few people get the chance to do. It was a fascinating ride and in many ways far beyond my childhood expectations. I am equally proud to have such a great family – my wife, two children and two grandchildren. ASTATER: What is the biggest challenge you overcame? WM: Self-doubt. Through school and my early career, I began to know myself better and confidence in my own capabilities grew progressively. As an example, one of my most challenging work assignments came in early 1989 when, as the chief scientist for my group, I was given the task of solving a very complex engineering problem in the development of an advanced technology satellite deemed of the “highest national importance.” This task involved assembling a team of nationally renowned experts from industry and the universities to help me, as well as having to brief upper agency management every week on the progress made. It was a daunting task with many agonizing days for me, but the problem was eventually solved without impacting cost, schedule or the performance of the satellite – all of which were closely monitored by Congress. ASTATER: Do you have any advice for current/ prospective students considering the field of science? WM: Science is difficult to prepare for as a life career. There are many rewarding jobs in science, but students must first have a passion for doing related work and a strong personal commitment to preparing for it. Those who approach science half-heartedly will not make it because of the long preparation needed. In addition to extensive preparation in math, for example, science students have to 6


develop their critical thinking, problem solving and analytical skills extensively. Equally important, science students and professional alike must develop their communications skills as early as possible, notably for writing and oral presentations. ASTATER: In your opinion what are the advantages of attending and graduating from a small, rural institution in today’s world? WM: I value my ASU education because classes were relatively small and students generally received more personalized attention than might be possible in larger universities. In addition, the faculty at ASU were world class professors in their respective fields. An added bonus – it was easier to meet students from other parts of Colorado, the U.S. and around the world than it would have been at a larger university. For someone coming from a very small high school, enrolling at Adams State eased the transition for me considerably. ASTATER: Is there a favorite Adams State moment from your student days you would like to share? WM: When Moe Morris, Ph.D., asked me to be a lab assistant for his beginning physics classes. It was an opportunity to meet other students and learn important experimental aspects of a science education. Dr. Morris and his wife were both very gracious in sharing their home and family life with us, and it made me appreciate early that science and family life do co-exist after all. ASTATER: What are the biggest factors that you believe contributed most to success in your life?

William Manzanares At a Glance WM: I grew up in the 1950s when the pace of science and technology development was very rapid. The space-race competition between the USSR and the U.S. caught my attention. I decided to pursue science as a career with the expectation that I would later find my way into work related to space. Having a dream was not enough – I had to work hard and be persistent. Along the way, I found that there were many people who were willing to help me achieve my educational goals and I attribute that help from teachers, family, and friends as one of the most important factors contributing to my successes. ASTATER: What was your approach in taking on “stretch” assignments on those occasions where you may have felt unprepared for the job? WM: I learned early in my career with the Agency that staying in one job with one organizational unit for a long time was probably not career enhancing. As the years went by and I got assignments of increasing responsibility, I learned more and more about the Intelligence Community and got the opportunity to contribute to a broader set of national intelligence priorities, rather than being a specialist in a narrowly defined area. Each time, I found that I had to learn many aspects of the new job, but that there were always opportunities for learning and contributing. In taking stretch assignments, my approach was to ask plenty of questions, readily accept help from others and act with integrity in all matters. ASTATER: How important is continuing education and learning in one’s career after academia? WM: I’m a strong believer that none of us are ever finished with learning. In my career, I’ve taken numerous short courses to enhance my technical knowledge in specific areas where further learning was necessary to do my job more effectively. I’ve taken senior management courses at Harvard University, the Aspen Institute and others. I’ve always been inspired by Alvin Toffler, the noted American writer and futurist who said: “The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” ASTATER: How did you meet the competing demands of work and family for your time and attention? WM: Since my wife and I both worked outside the home throughout our careers, we found early during our childrearing years that teamwork between us was absolutely essential. We both managed the work-family demands by informing our respective managers of our need to arrive at or leave work as dictated by our family care situation. Nowadays, working couples still face the same challenges, although more favorable family-friendly policies are evolving.

Born and raised in San Luis, Colo. Education • 1967 Undergraduate Degree from Adams State College • 1976 Master of Science in physics from University of Colorado Boulder • Doctoral work in physics U.S. Air Force • 56th Special Operations Wing Aircraft Weapons Specialist • Awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal • 1972 Honorably Discharged Career • St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas • 27 years with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Washington, D.C. • After 10 years, promoted to the Senior Intelligence Service • Led science and technology initiatives involving multiple CIA organizational units, external government agencies and national laboratories • Directly supported the mission of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the organization responsible for the development and operations of all U.S. space surveillance systems; evaluations of the results of these efforts were published internally and formed the impetus for subsequent improvements in selected U.S. technical intelligence capabilities • Booz Allen Hamilton, an international consulting firm doing contract work for U.S. defense, intelligence and civil agencies Key Accomplishments • 1997 assist the newly formed National Imagery and Mapping Agency; served for several years as a member/advisor of its National Research and Development Council • One of three principal members responsible for guiding the development of a joint program of the Air Force Research Lab, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the NRO from 1998 to 2002, a pioneering effort which ultimately resulted, in part, in the development of a critical technology for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope • CIA member of the Executive Board for the Journal of Intelligence Community Research & Development, a classified online technical publication established to share R&D results within the Intelligence Community (fulfilling his dream of working on, and advancing America’s space programs) • Dedicated mentor: recruiting, developing, and retaining new personnel • Senior member of career panels and recognition and awards boards charged with promoting people, assigning them to key jobs and recognizing them for their accomplishments Awards • CIA’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal • NRO Pioneering Spirit Team Award • CIA Diversity Champion Award • NRO Director’s Circle Award • NRO Medal of Distinguished Performance • Twice nominated for the CIA Scientist of the Year Award Credits his strong liberal arts education at Adams State as the early foundation for much of his successes and two inspirational professors: Moe Morris, Ph.D. in physics, and Kay Watkins, Ph.D. in chemistry. He and his wife, Rita Jaramillo, have visited 46 states, 48 countries and six of the seven continents.

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Homecoming 2020 Exceptional New Alumna Katherine Schultz ’15 Katherine “Katie” Schultz always seemed to have a friendly smile and open expression when she was on the Adams State campus. Her bright attitude and caring personality were a credit to her major, earth sciences, now known as geosciences. Rob Benson, Ph.D. and emeritus professor of geosciences, has greatly admired Schultz and her accomplishments. He nominated the 2015 earth sciences major for the Adams State 2020 Exceptional New Alumna Award. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Schultz will attend the 2021 Homecoming Alumni Banquet to receive the award.

“ Schultz demonstrated exceptional grit

and persistence as a student, and put her experiences and training from Adams State to succeed in her chosen career,” said Benson. She has given back to her alma mater by creating professional paid internships for Adams State students and assisting with an internationally recognized field geology course offered by Adams State. Schultz was 22 and working retail in the Denver area when she decided to return to college. She contacted several Colorado universities and Benson was the only one to respond. “It was the deciding factor in attending Adams State,” Schultz said. Adams State helped build a foundation for her future success by enhancing her critical thinking and problem-solving skills through hands-on learning experiences. Benson encouraged Schultz to pursue opportunities on campus outside the classroom, which helped her develop interpersonally and become aware of her personal strengths and interests. “Dr. Benson always made himself available to answer questions, and most importantly, he encouraged me to keep going no matter how difficult or challenging things became, academically or personally. It only takes one person who truly believes in you to make all the difference in your life,” she said. Adams State offered several opportunities for Schultz to participate in field camps and internships, including serving as a teacher assistant. She aided the instructor in developing and implementing a framework for camp logistics, provided support to students in mapping of local geology and intensive scientific writing, helped students on projects, and took on other responsibilities and duties. Schultz also spent a couple college summers working with Andrew Valdez ’91, a park geologist at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.



Schultz earned a graduate certificate in geographic information systems in 2018 from the University of Denver and that same year accepted a position as program analyst with the Bureau of Reclamation. She helped create an internship with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Alamosa Field Division, in partnership with the Great Basin Institute. Since its initiation in 2019, two Adams State students were accepted into the program. Bureau of Reclamation kept the Adams State demographic in mind during development of the internship, therefore preparing the student for the work and expectations of the job duties, ultimately setting them up for success. “It was important to restrict the internship to a local Adams State student because a local internship not only helps connect interns with their community, it also demonstrates how the work they do has a meaningful impact for other people and the environment around them,” Schultz said.

She began her career with the Bureau of Reclamation as an intern in 2017. In her position as a program analyst she has traveled to cities across the western United States, giving presentations to stakeholders, water managers, and irrigation districts about the federal agency’s WaterSMART Program. She was involved in planning a Reservoir Operations Workshop for more than 80 people that brought together reservoir operators, modelers, forecasters, and decision makers to communicate ideas and solve problems, and assisted on a proxy reservoir sedimentation rate project. Schultz is currently working on a collection of maps she will use to produce a report to Congress regarding water supply and demand in the western United States. “Thanks to the successes of my career, I recently celebrated a major personal accomplishment with the purchase of a new home in southwest Denver.”



i ty

m a d

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far away but still together homecoming 2020

Homecoming 2020 Health and Safety first: All events are subject to change or cancellation due to current state and/or local public health requirements. Adams State COVID-19 guidance requires masks or other face coverings and social distancing built into every event.

Friday, October 9 Golf • Cattails Golf course • $25/person, 18 holes, includes cart • RSVP’s required

11 a.m.

Disc Golf • Alamosa Disc Golf course (5616 N River Road) • Free, 27 basket course • RSVP’s required

8 p.m.

Adams State University Bonfire • Location TBD

ms da

State Unive


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10 a.m.

far away but still together

homecoming 2020

2020 Special Edition T-Shirt $10

To RSVP or order shirts go to adams.edu/alumni/homecoming/ or call 800-824-6494, ext 8, or 719-587-7867 with credit card information.

Shirt orders due September 25, 2020. Shirts will not be mailed until October regardless of ordering date.


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One in

Class of young students

Casa Bonita - Adams State women’s dormitory

Pagosa Junction ©2005 Nathan D. Holmes

Influential Adams Stater

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1953 Winter Carnival King and Queen, Don and Carol Stimack, crown the 1954 King and Queen, Orlando Rivera and Liliosa Gomez, as Prince and Princess. Dan and Wanda Decker (left) and Duke and Duchess Roland Smith and Carla Crawford (right) look on. Photo from 1954 El Conquistador Yearbook

Successful teaching career for Liliosa Padilla ’54 started at Adams State Liliosa Padilla (Gomez) has touched the lives of hundreds of students, teaching them how to read and write in her first grade classroom. And it all started at Adams State. Padilla, now 90, had a long and successful teaching career that spanned more than two decades. Padilla’s college education, coupled with her family’s pioneering spirit and her kind, gentle demeanor, helped make her an effective and beloved teacher for so many years. Her journey started in Pagosa Junction, a small railroad town in southern Colorado not far from the New Mexico border where her entrepreneurial family ran a mercantile. After completing eighth grade at the small school in Pagosa Junction, Padilla began studying at Mount St. Scholastica Academy, a Benedictine Catholic boarding school in Canon City. Padilla returned to Pagosa Junction after high school to work at the family store, which also housed the town’s post office. A girlfriend convinced her to continue her education at Adams State University (then Adams State College). “She talked and talked until she convinced me that I should go back to school,” Padilla said. Padilla attended Adams State for two years before landing a teaching job. A teacher shortage meant that desperate schools could hire educators after just two years of college, she recalled. Padilla returned to Alamosa during the summers to continue her classes and ultimately completed her degree in 1954.

Padilla has nothing but fond memories of her time on campus. While at Adams State, she worked in the registrar’s office and spent time with her fellow education students. She was also named the Winter Carnival queen of 1954, a happy memory that made it into the school yearbook. Padilla lived in Casa Bonita, the women’s residence hall on campus. “It was a place where I felt like people cared about me and they were trying to help me reach my goals,” she said. She took a break from teaching to raise her children, three daughters and one son. Her husband Amos Padilla, who died in 1993, studied secondary education at Adams State. As her children got older, Padilla returned to teaching. She taught first grade at Lydia Rippey Elementary School in Aztec, New Mexico, for 22 years before retiring in 1990. She still lives in Aztec, where she enjoys spending time with her children, exploring her family genealogy, walking and volunteering at her church. In retirement, Padilla has served as a resource for students and researchers exploring the history of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. She has also given tours of her family’s now-closed mercantile, which they moved to Pagosa Springs in 1990 and converted into a museum. When Padilla thinks back on her teaching career, she remembers how satisfying it felt to help students learn to read, write and do basic math. She also enjoyed the relationships she built with her students’ parents. “I loved to see them make progress,” she said. “When you’d see somebody that couldn’t read and then maybe two or three months after they had been in the classroom, they could read or they could do math ... it was just amazing.” Her daughter remembers just how much the students adored Padilla, in return. “The kids loved her,” said Angela Padilla, who lives in Denver. “They would come to her house and wait for her to get ready in the morning and walk with her to school. She’s also really proud of how successful her kids are.” Though the world is a very different place today than it was when Liliosa Padilla graduated from Adams State, the same basic principles still apply – work hard, keep your mind sharp and keep up with what’s going on in the world. She offered some thoughtful advice for new and graduating Grizzlies. “Stay informed and, of course, always keep up with your work, don’t fall behind,” she said. “Reading is also very good for people. Select a favorite author or special interest or topic that you enjoy and follow it.” At 90, Liliosa Padilla reflects back on her time in Alamosa by Sarah Kuta

Adams100 Timeline Feb. 15, 2021

Second Annual Adams State Gives Day

September 2021

Adams100 Run of the Century

October 15-16

Adams100 Homecoming Weekend

Winter 2021

Adams100 Documentary Premiere

We want your thoughts on who should be considered among our most influential Adams Staters in history. We invite you to send your memories a few ways: • Email us: publicrelations@adams.edu or alumni@adams.edu • Send us a letter: Adams State University 208 Edgemont Blvd, Suite 3010 Alamosa, CO 81101 • Fill out our online form: adams.edu/adams100

Re-Engage. Re-Connect. Re-Commit. AStater 11

Mariah McDermott and Hubert Price focused their class message on resilience.

Jasmine and John Camponeschi sign applause in appreciation for the American Sign Language Interpreters. Their address encouraged the graduate class to use their advanced degrees to bring equity for all.

With more than


views on YouTube, the Adams State Virtual Spring Commencement Ceremony earned rave reviews and appreciation from all the graduates and families.

Music undergraduates Caleb Clark and Miriam Lipke perform Brazileira, Movt de Samba, by Darius Milhaud. William Lipke, D.M.A., in background, performed pomp and circumstance and accompanied Matthew Valverde in the singing of the alma mater.

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Mari Centeno, Ph.D., professor of political science, reads the names of students who earned undergraduate degrees.

A total of 503 student names were read as new graduates of Adams State University. Adams State’s virtual ceremony honored all graduates earning associates degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in counselor education. A moment of silence was held at the start of the ceremony for Jeremy Taylor, a member of the Adams State housing staff who was killed in an automobile accident days before the ceremony. Michele Lueck, chair of the Adams State Board of Trustees, quoted artist and writer Vivian Green to inspire graduates. “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain. Class of 2020 you know how to dance in the rain,” said Lueck. “There will be plenty of dancing in the rain as you embark on new paths and new careers. Don’t wait for the storm to pass. Class of 2020, dance now.” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Colorado Legislative Joint Budget Committee Chair Daneya Esgar, and Denver Broncos players Courtland Sutton and Dalton Risner all provided congratulatory video messages to the graduates.

President Cheryl D. Lovell welcomes the virtual audience, small window incudes the ASL interpreter.

After the ceremony, Hubert Price, Mariah McDermott, John and Jasmine Camponeschi express their appreciation for Adams State.

< A skeleton crew including, from left, Karla Hardesty, executive director

of enrollment management; Mike Henderson ’07, web application developer; Linda Relyea ’96, ’10, assistant director of communications; and Jarod Lucero, sound technician, were the operators behind the scenes.

irtual Fall V ement enc Comm ill be w

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Spotlight on Graduates Spring 2020 Mariah McDermott Political Science and History “I would not recognize myself as an incoming freshman. I am so thankful that I have been able to experience so many things from filling in as student trustee to competing at an international conference. I was proud of myself for making it to college and I am even prouder for finishing.”

Mariah McDermott

Caleb Robert Clark

Brooke Mitchell Agribusiness and Accounting “My professors were with me at every step and helped me find options for my future.”

Brooke Mitchell

Susan Lyn Andrews

Pablo Maldonado Jr. Cellular and Molecular Biology Allied Health Chemistry Accepted to the Colorado State University Cell and Molecular Biology Ph.D. program

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Pablo Maldonado Jr.

“As a first-year student, I had no real intentions on being a multi-academic scholarship recipient. I did not think I could compete with some of the other students. Once my mentors showed me how capable I was, I only wanted to keep challenging myself academically—always biting off more than I can chew. This helped me grow into a completely different person from the athletic recruit from Los Angeles.”

Courtney Behil

Caleb Robert Clark Music Performance

Presley Garcia HPPE K-13 Physical Education “I have become a better, more reliable person from my time at Adams State. I have grown up and matured both intellectually and personally, in the four years I have spent at Adams. I would not be the person I am today without the mentors and friends I have come across along the way.”

Accepted to the Jazz and Commercial Music Program at UNLV, Las Vegas, Nev.

“My music professors shared life experiences, the good and the bad, to help me learn. They asked me for advice as well as me asking them. By making me feel more like a colleague than a student, I was able to share my experience with fellow students, helping them along their journey.”

Presley Garcia

Susan Lyn Andrews Art Accepted to the Master of Fine Arts program at University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Robert Andrew Vigil Kinesiology

“I am a non-traditional married student who left her husband at home to live on campus and pursue my dream. I did not know what to expect or even if I would fit in. The level of growth I have experienced at Adams goes deeper than just educational growth. Words cannot express what I have gained as an artist and person. I am grateful to all who embraced me and made me feel a part of a much bigger picture.”

Started master’s degree program in kinesiology

“Adams State academically, athletically, and socially provided the platform I required in order to mature into the young professional that I am today.”

Robert Andrew Vigil

Rebecca Blitstein Mathematics “My professors kept me accountable and were always there for support. The coursework they provided was interesting and informative, and I left every class feeling that I had learned something new that would help me in my professional career. Having work-study opportunities in both of my areas of interest – outdoor stewardship and STEM – was a major asset to me in my time as an undergrad. I feel that I was able to develop more professionally in both realms.”

Courtney Behil Theatre “I was a shy freshman with stage fright, who stepped out of her comfort zone and did the unthinkable of being on stage and doing performance pieces.”

Rebecca Blitstein

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Spotlight on Success Student Alumni Ambassadors The purpose of the Alumni Ambassador Program at Adams State is to engage current and future Alumni through the volunteer efforts of well-trained, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic Alumni. The ambassador’s role will extend to assistance in the Alumni Association activities and support to develop and maintain the Adams State Alumni community.

Vince Alcon Graduated 2018 BS - Business Administration Health Care

Diane Yvette Arias Graduated 2020 BS - Cellular and Molecular Biology, BA - Allied Health Chemistry Hometown: Alamosa, CO

“Adams State helped me begin my great story with a passion for science, opportunities of a lifetime, and lasting friendships! I am grateful to have attended an institution that inspired me to seek success.”

Hometown: Westminster, CO

“Just like what one of my favorite people on this planet once said, ‘Don’t wait for a Gandhi, don’t wait for a King, don’t wait for a Mandela. You are your own Mandela, you are your own Gandhi, you are your own King,’ Leymah Bowee. Being an Alumni Ambassador is a pathway to make a difference on this campus and also in this society and I am itching to still be a part of that.”

MaKenna Plott Graduated 2019 BA - Education Hometown: Yucaipa, CA

“I like how Adams State helped me build connections in the community which led me to getting a full time teaching position before I even graduated!”

Claudia Edith Arias Graduated 2018 BA - Biology Hometown: Alamosa, CO

“Adams State University is one of a kind. I had so many great opportunities and support presented to me through Adams State that has truly changed my life. I am forever grateful to ASU for all that it has given me. Thank you Adams State!” #GrizzlyProud

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Alejandro Tovar Sosa Graduated 2020 BA - Sociology Hometown: Sonora, Mexico

“My favorite thing about Adams State is the opportunities offered to students to be successful!”

2020 Emeritus Professors Robert “Rob” Benson, Ph.D. emeritus professor of geosciences, exposed his students to the wide range of geological formations throughout the southwest region. Although traditional college students were his main focus, Benson also shared his expertise with Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad docents, engaged elementary students with hands-on experiences, and brought the formations and continued process of the earth’s geology alive for all interested in learning. In 2012 Benson received the Presidential Teaching Award and in 2013 the Associated Students and Faculty Award for Excellence in Advising. He was promoted to full professor of geology and earth sciences in 2011. Since its founding in 2005, he has been director of the Edward M. Ryan Geological Museum. He began his tenure in 1996 and held the position of chair of the geology and earth sciences department from 1998 through 2004. Benson served as faculty trustee on the Adams State Board of Trustees from 2013 until 2019. He authored and co-authored several published articles. He and his wife, Sheri, have four children and three grandchildren.

rob benson, ph.d. emeritus professor of geosciences

Patricia (Anderson) Robbins, Ph.D. emeritus professor of business, is also an alumna of Adams State (’93, ’96). She always dreamed of being a teacher. As a college student she was determined to conquer her fear of public speaking and achieve her dream of teaching. “The instructors and professors made the dream into a reality. My great story began at Adams State, and now the final chapter of my teaching career ends at Adams State. It has been a wonderful and exciting journey.” In the fall of 2008, Robbins achieved her dream of teaching at Adams State. She served as School of Business Department Chair for 4 ½ years and was the Phi Beta Lambda advisor for three years. She chartered Sigma Beta Delta (international honor society for business and management students) and served as advisor for eight years. She earned an MA in secondary education/business from Adams State and a Ph.D. in Education from Kennedy Western University. Robbins grew up in eastern Colorado on the family cattle ranch.

pat robbins, ph.d. emeritus professor of business

For Grace Young, Ph.D. emeritus professor of sociology, one of the greatest rewards of teaching was seeing students mature into vibrant, competent individuals who move out into the community and work in the many SLV social services and criminal justice organizations. “They make me proud, and their contributions astound me.” Young began teaching at Adams State in 1997 and assumed chair responsibilities in 2015. Her greatest joy was mentoring students, many of whom arrived at ASU with great motivation to “mejorarse,” or get better by working to improve their lives and the lives of their family members. She is especially proud of her Research Methods’ students who conducted original research and presented annually at the regional Undergraduate Sociology Conference. Young earned a Ph.D. from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec Canada; two master’s degrees from the University of Chicago; and a bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College in Michigan. She founded a community center in Del Norte in 2002 and as the volunteer grants writer, raised tens of thousands of dollars to support programming for adults, children, youth and families.

grace young, ph.d. emeritus professor of sociology AStater 17

Great Alumni Stories

Pat Melgares ’89 pens biography of legendary Adams State running coach Joe Vigil As a boy in Alamosa, Melgares grew up idolizing Vigil’s talented runners at Adams State University, hoping to someday follow in their footsteps. Melgares made his boyhood dreams a reality when he enrolled at Adams State in the mid-1980s and had a successful collegiate running career under Vigil. As an adult, Melgares has developed an even closer connection with Vigil, this time by writing and publishing Vigil’s life story in the new book “Chasing Excellence: The Remarkable Life and Inspiring Vigilosophy of Coach Joe I. Vigil.” Vigil inspired his athletes to become better runners, yes, but perhaps more importantly, Vigil taught them to stand tall in the face of adversity and to never, ever give up, a lesson that applies in running and in life more broadly. “He gives you the confidence that you need to overcome a lot of the tough parts of running,” said Melgares. “Every runner has mental demons, even the greatest Olympic champions. But being able to overcome those mental demons is part of the lure of running and distance events. ‘I can be tougher than the toughest thing I might face.’” For as long as he can remember, Melgares has wanted to be a writer. As a child growing up in Alamosa, he played “every sport under the sun,” including football, basketball, baseball and boxing. But running quickly became his favorite activity. When he enrolled at Adams State, Melgares decided to combine his two passions and study to become a sports journalist. For Melgares, running tested his internal drive and willingness to work hard. 18 AStater

“Running was the one sport where I could control a little bit more the winning and losing part of it,” he said. “If I was dedicated enough, I could run and I could be successful at it. Running and cross country became that area where you could find out exactly what you were made of in life.” At Adams State, Melgares balanced his classes with crosscountry and track and field workouts while also serving as sports editor for the student newspaper. It was a busy but memorable time in his life, one that he was happy to relive while reporting and writing Vigil’s biography. Under Vigil, Melgares was a four-time All American in cross country and track and field. He was also a member of four NAIA cross country championship teams and two The Athletics Congress junior cross country championship teams. After college, he began carving out his path in journalism. He served as sports editor, then editor, of the Valley Courier

“Chasing Excellence: The Remarkable Life and Inspiring Vigilosophy of Coach Joe I. Vigil” is available for purchase online at soulsticepublishing.com. A portion of the book’s proceeds will go to the Joe I. Vigil Scholarship Fund for cross country and track and field athletes at Adams State. The scholarship is administered by the Adams State University Foundation. The publisher and author are grateful for this partnership.

before becoming a public information officer at Adams State. Today, he’s a communications specialist and public information officer at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. And even after 35 years, Melgares still loves to write. “Journalism has been a remarkable career for me,” he said. Though he never planned to write a book, it didn’t take much convincing for Melgares to write Vigil’s biography. While attending a reunion for the 50th anniversary of the Olympic marathon trials in Alamosa in the summer of 2018, Melgares’ former teammates and coaches threw out the idea that someone should write a book about Vigil. They looked to Melgares, the journalist in the group. Initially, Melgares worried that he wouldn’t be able to do Vigil’s story justice. But a conversation with his daughter convinced Melgares to give it a shot – otherwise, he might regret it. And what would Vigil say about taking on a big challenge, after all? “We ran all over the country and when we faced the toughest competition, we didn’t shy away, we just strapped on our spikes a little bit tighter and gave it the best shot we could,” he said. “All of that came together for me and I said, ‘You know, maybe I’m the guy to do this. Maybe I’m the guy to write his story.’”

He set to work interviewing Vigil’s athletes, friends and family members, who were eager to share stories and memories for the book. “Everybody shares the same passion for this man and it’s just amazing,” Melgares said. The book describes Vigil’s life and career, starting with his meager upbringing on the south side of Alamosa all the way through his storied coaching career that included 19 collegiate national championship teams, 87 individual national champions, 425 All Americans and 22 Olympians. Melgares learned of yet another connection to Vigil – as a child, Melgares had grown up just four blocks from Vigil’s childhood home. Now 90 years old, Vigil is still coaching Olympic athletes. He lives in Arizona with his wife and regularly travels around the country for competitions, clinics and workshops. Though Vigil’s many athletic accomplishments are impressive, Melgares said he hopes readers also draw inspiration from the man’s remarkable life and his care and concern for athletes off the track. “It’s very easy to admire the coaching record, but when you understand the compassion he has, it’s so much easier to love the man,” he said. “He’s more proud of the GPA of the runners he had, or the fact that they became lawyers and doctors and journalists and teachers and coaches. He’s happier about who they became as people than maybe what they were as athletes for the few years he was their coach, and that’s uncommon.” by Sarah Kuta

Pat Melgares has long felt a connection to legendary running coach Joe Vigil. AStater 19

Adams State Athletic Director Larry Mortensen’s Next Chapter “ Adams State is a special place that serves a

unique mission, and I’m proud to have served that mission for nearly a quarter century.”


arry Mortensen ’88, ’93, Adams State Athletic Director for 14 years, retired ahead of the 2020 fall semester. Here are some of his parting thoughts. ASTATER: What was your proudest contribution to Adams State during your tenure as AD? LM: Athletics, as people know, is the consummate concept of “team.” Anything that was accomplished while I was AD has to be inclusive of the team effort of coaches, staff and, of course, most important the student-athletes. I’ve been fortunate to work with outstanding coaches, staff and student-athletes. Having said that, a few highlights were winning the RMAC Wells Fargo Cup in 2012, the RMAC NCAA Award of Excellence for community engagement in 2013, and most recently the SAAC Cup for engagement in 2019. ASTATER: What are some of the advantages of being a Division II program? LM: Adams State went from NAIA to NCAA in 1992. Several programs went to nationals for the first time: women’s golf in 2011-12 (Jay Meyer); volleyball in 2012 (Lindy Mortensen); women’s basketball in 2010 & 2011 (Kelly Kruger); and men’s basketball in 2007 (Larry Mortensen) and 2011, 2012, 2013 (Louis Wilson). Football had the most wins (8) in NCAA era in 2012 (Marty Heaton) and Jason Ramstetter was 2012 national coach of the year in wrestling. It goes without saying that to work with Damon Martin and engage with his student-athletes and to be a part of 22 national championships has been special. I personally don’t know of any other AD in the country that has been blessed with that opportunity. D2 is a perfect level where it is still pure amateur athletics without the big business like D1. I’ve enjoyed watching student-athletes compete but just as important watch the student-athletes learn the values that only an environment like athletics can provide. There is a great balance at this level.

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ASTATER: Why is it important for Adams State athletics to be more proactive in its development and fundraising efforts? LM: Baseball was reinstated after a 36-year hiatus along with reinstating men’s swimming. New programs that include men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s soccer and women’s swimming were started. What many don’t realize, or at least don’t fully appreciate is the impact these 250 new students have brought to the campus. Not particularly proud of this, but ASU athletics spends less per student-athlete than any program in the RMAC all while trying to maintain a level of athletic success. ASTATER: What will keep you busy in retirement? LM: I plan on being a part of Adams State in any way that I can help. My future plans are to do a little fly-fishing guiding on the side and to be more active in the community in which I was raised. Retirement is not in my vocabulary.

“ Adams State has been life

changing for me. I hope I have contributed, in some small part, to the betterment of the institution and the student-athletes Adams State serves.”

adams state university Larry understands the importance of all generous donors to Adams State athletics. He and President Cheryl D. Lovell, far right, present the late Gigi Dennis and Adam Roberts, Valley-Wide Health Systems, with the 2018 Grizzly Club Corporate Partner of the Year Award at the annual Donor and Student Recognition Dinner.

GRIZZLY CLUB Consider joining over 200 members supporting Adams State Athletics.

Larry gives sincere thanks to the anonymous donor at a spring 2016 Grizzly Club luncheon as Executive Director of Alumni and Donor Relations Lori Laske presents him with the check.

Your impact will make a lasting difference for our student-athletes. Membership Levels: ADâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club $1,000+ Platinum


Silver $350 Bronze $250 Young Alumni


asugrizzlies.com or contact Katelyn Smith at ksmith@adams.edu for further information. All funds raised by the Grizzly Club are managed by the Adams State University Foundation.

Always present at all home games, Larry acknowledges outstanding athletes during the 2018 Spud Bowl halftime.

support our student-athletes today 21 A Stater

Grizzly Updates Bruce DelTondo ’94, ’05 is the new head baseball coach at Adams State, replacing James Capra The announcement was made by co-Athletic Directors Katelyn Smith and Justin Boyd. They replaced retired Larry Mortensen as athletic director. “We are extremely fortunate and excited to have Bruce move into this role,” said Smith. “He brings experience and is absolutely the right person for leading this team. He is a leader within the campus community and will continue to establish a culture of excellence. We are thrilled, and look forward to watching our Baseball program flourish under his leadership.” DelTondo is no stranger to the diamond here at Adams State, he has been here from the beginning as an assistant when ASU brought the sport back in 2012-2013. As the program grew, so did his responsibilities. From 2014-2018 he served as the Head JV Coach in addition to being an assistant coach and in 2019 he was named as the head assistant coach for the program. “I am very excited about this opportunity God has provided and honored to be the next leader of the baseball program at Adams State University,” said DelTondo. “Adams State is a special place and one I’m glad to continue being a part of. I would like to thank the ASU Administration and Athletic Directors Mr. Larry Mortensen and Ms. Katelyn Smith for their endorsement and confidence in moving the program forward. I would also like to thank my family, coaches, and former players who have been an influential part of my journey in preparation for this opportunity. I look forward to the challenge of instilling leadership, service, excellence, and team as our guiding principles.” As an assistant, DelTondo was an integral part of the success that the program has seen over the past eight years. He helped guide the Grizzlies to two trips to the RMAC Tournament 2015-2016, coached 11 players that received All-RMAC honors, and coached 3 Golden Glove recipients. Former head coach Capra could not be more excited for his right hand man over the past eight years. “I’m thrilled Bruce DelTondo was hired as the head coach. We have coached together since day one. Bruce is passionate about Adams State, baseball, and the student-athletes, he will do a great job,” said Capra. Before joining the Grizzlies in 2012, DelTondo had 17 years of head coaching experience at the High School, American Legion, and Club levels. DelTondo received his undergrad in Business Administration and Master of Arts in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from Adams State University.

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Katelyn Smith ’16 and Justin Boyd named new Athletic Directors

Katelyn Smith

Justin Boyd

Riley Ceglowski ’18 named men’s and women’s swim coach Co-Athletic Directors Katelyn Smith and Justin Boyd announced the next head coach for the Adams State University men’s and women’s swimming will be Riley Ceglowski. “Riley brings experience and great energy. We are excited to have her here at Adams State leading both our men’s and women’s swim programs,” said Katelyn Smith. Ceglowski replaces Quint Seckler who was at the helm the previous three seasons (2017-2020) and resigned in June. As an all-state performer for Salida High School and former member of the ASU swim team (2015-2018) Ceglowski will be a familiar face on the deck. “I’m excited to bring a different perspective to the pool deck while continuing to lead the men’s and women’s swim team in a positive direction,” said Ceglowski. Ceglowski is currently pursuing her masters degree in nutrition and human performance after completing her bachelor’s degree in 2018 at Adams State in Geology and Physical Geography and Sustainability.

Statement from Adams State University on RMAC decision to postpone conference schedules and championships for fall sports Adams State Athletics supports the difficult decision made by the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Presidents’ Council to postpone conference schedules and championships for fall sports. This decision includes postponing Football, Volleyball, Women’s Soccer, and Men’s Soccer until the spring semester. Men’s and Women’s Cross Country will be allowed to compete as originally scheduled. The Adams State Athletic Staff has worked diligently to provide an environment focused on health and safety for our student-athletes, staff, the campus and surrounding community. As we move forward, continued focus will be placed on providing the best experience for our Grizzly student-athletes. We also want to emphasize practice and continued workout opportunities will be available, as per NCAA rules, for

those sports affected by this decision. It is important to note eligibility-related flexibility will be given to those student-athletes affected to allow championship opportunities in the future. Students with questions regarding eligibility, scholarships, and academics should contact their specific sport coach. “The decision was not easily made,” said Adams State President Cheryl D. Lovell, who is a member of the RMAC Presidents’ Council. “We all want the best for our student-athletes and encourage their academic and sport endeavors. Our institutional support to postpone the noted fall sports reflects our commitment to the health and safety of all students, staff and faculty at Adams State. We are a proud Grizzly Nation and we look forward to resuming fall sports competitions in the spring.”

Official RMAC Statement: In a meeting Thursday, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Presidents’ Council postponed conference schedules and championships for fall sports (Football, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer, Volleyball) to the spring semester except for cross country, which shall compete as originally scheduled. Additionally, the Council agreed that men’s and women’s golf could continue its nonchampionship segment competition this fall. After considerable deliberation, the Council’s decision was made based on the recent National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Board of Governors’ mandate of the NCAA Resocialization principles and the Division II Presidents Council decision to cancel fall championships. The RMAC decision allows league members further opportunity to align with the student-athlete safety measures outlined in the NCAA document to prepare for competition. The determination on sport status was made based on the NCAA risk rankings of sport. As it stands currently with NCAA guidance, cross country and golf are lower risk than all other fall sports. Further details on the structure and scope of the spring semester practice and competition schedules for postponed sports will be released in the coming weeks.

Practice opportunities will be available in the fall semester for fall sport student-athletes per Division II rules and at the discretion of each RMAC member institution. As has been the case throughout the past five months, the RMAC will continue to monitor local and national developments regarding health and safety, along with association guidance to make any necessary adjustments moving forward. Member representatives and conference officials understand the significant impact these decisions have on our student-athletes and stand ready to provide support and guidance in any way possible. Questions related to eligibility, scholarships and academics should be directed to member institutions as always.

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Great Alumni Stories Karen Villalon Shea ’99 serves veterans in need When she’s treating elderly veterans in southern Colorado, Karen Villalon Shea still finds herself thinking back on the important lessons she learned as a pre-med student at Adams State University. She remembers being inspired by Marty Jones, the nowretired ASU chemistry professor who often brought in a “molecule of the week” for his students to study. One week, Jones taught Villalon Shea’s class about capsaicin, the chemical compound that gives chili peppers their spicy flavor. In medicine, it’s used in creams that help soothe pain. “I always think about him when I’m telling patients, ‘You should use capsaicin,’” said Villalon Shea. “He made it really contagious that you would want to learn about all these different molecules. He had such enthusiasm.” Villalon Shea’s journey to medicine began when she was a child. She grew up in Walsenburg, where she watched her father treat patients as a family physician. Her family spent many summers in Alamosa so that her mom, Esther (Rodriguez) Villalon ’72, could take courses at Adams State to keep her teaching license up to date. Villalon Shea followed in her mother’s footsteps and decided to attend Adams State. She majored in pre-med and loved Adams State’s small class sizes and caring professors. While in Alamosa, Villalon Shea kept busy by serving as a tutor and a lab assistant in the biology department. She also fondly remembers her time as a student ambassador in the admissions office, leading campus tours and making phone calls to prospective students. “I was able to meet a lot of people that way and talk about ASU and how much I loved it,” she said. Campus is also where she met her now-husband, Stephen Shea, who also graduated from Adams State in 1999. Together, they have two sons. After college, Villalon Shea took a gap year to build up her resume before medical school, earning EMT certifications and taking additional pre-med courses. She enrolled in the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, where she discovered her passion for geriatric medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine and a geriatric fellowship, during which she began conducting research on aging topics like osteoporosis and bone metabolism. Her research background still informs her approach to medicine today.

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Karen Villalon Shea with her family

“I like reading scholarly papers, I like evidence-based medicine, I like to know why we do the things we do,” she said. But she also missed interacting with patients. Since 2014, she’s worked for the Rocky Mountain Regional Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as a physician who specializes in making house calls to homebound veterans. She also serves as an associate professor and affiliate faculty at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Recognizing the needs of veterans in southern Colorado, Villalon Shea and her family moved from Denver to Pueblo in August 2019 so that she could serve that community full-time. She’s since created a team that includes a nurse, nurse practitioner, social worker, dietician and occupational therapist, which has allowed the VA to serve many more homebound veterans in the region. Working together, Villalon Shea’s team takes a holistic approach to a veterans’ health, taking into account their quality of life, the safety of their homes, their access to nutritional food and their mental health. “A lot of these veterans who are elderly and homebound are definitely a vulnerable patient population,” she said. “I really like the idea of bringing medical care to people who might otherwise go without. I really like the idea of serving those who have served. You realize, ‘Wow, these guys have all served in their own way, they’ve all had their own battles.” by Sarah Kuta

“ The fact that I could do one small thing

to make their day better or improve their health is so rewarding.”

Giving Back New scholarship established Butch Southway Memorial Scholarship Izora Southway ’66, recently established the Butch Southway Memorial Scholarship in memory of her late husband, who died March 7, 2019. Eligible students must be at least a junior during the award year and have at least a 2.5 GPA; preference will be given to graduates from the San Luis Valley. Izora contributed a significant amount to establish the scholarship and several friends and family have donated to the scholarship honoring Butch. After graduating from high school in 1959, Butch worked with his father, Henry Southway, at Henry Southway and Son. Henry retired in 1974 and the business became Southway Construction. Butch and Izora retired from the company in 1998. The Southways have contributed to Adams State in a variety of ways, including establishing the Southway Construction Scholarship in 1974, valued at tuition and fees for two students, and donating land to the Adams State University Foundation. Butch and Izora Southway were recipients of the 2008 Billy Adams Award and 1995 Willis Fassett, Jr. Award.

Izora has served on the Adams State University Foundation Board for over 20 years, including accepting terms for the positions of president and treasurer. The Southways have two sons, Clay and Rocky (Trinette) and three grandchildren. “Butch and I were blessed in our lives together,” Izora said. “I continue to help out where I can. I don’t need to be praised for doing the right thing; it was how I was raised.”

ress: p e h t f hot of 100 s m a d A 2 02 1 t i ve a r o m e Comm r. Calenda

order yours today for $15. To order, email publicrelations@adams.edu or fill out order form on adams.edu/adams100. Payment should be made to Adams State Foundation in the form of a personal check or credit card transaction. AStater 25

Staying in Touch •1980s Albert R. Trujillo ’82 continues to pursue his passion for photography after retiring from the Division of Wildlife. Currently living in Pueblo, Colo., he is a native of the San Luis Valley. Albert earned a degree in biology and environmental sciences and while a student took several photography courses.

•1990s Sarah Menapace ’93 writes, “we celebrated our 35th anniversary by taking a trip to Guatemala where we visited the Tikal National Park (Mayan Temple Ruins). I joined my Gallup High School Class of 1974 for a 45th reunion trip to Las Vegas, Nev. in August 2019. Aaron Kania ’97 recently became the permanent district ranger for the Kawishiwi Ranger District, headquartered out of Ely, Minn. Previously, he was a supervisory ranger with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in southwestern Utah. While a student at Adams State, Aaron worked as a guide including backcountry skiing, hiking, backpacking, and whitewater rafting.

What have you been up to since graduation? Your classmates want to know. Email your update and photo to alumni@adams.edu. Joelle Boos ’99, ’11 was recently promoted to Chief Financial Officer at the San Luis Valley Federal Bank. A native of Alamosa, Joelle has been active in a variety of community organizations and events, including Alamosa Kids Wrestling, the Alamosa Wrestling Foundation, the Early Iron Club, the Alamosa Optimist Club, and the Cattails Golf Board. She has two children Kayla and Zavier.

• 2000s Tom Egger ’02 is now the new head football coach with Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. He received his master’s degree in human performance and physical education at Adams State. Before accepting the position at Hocking, he was head coach at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, Miss. He also coached six Grizzly seasons, non-consecutively, as the defensive and recruiting coordinator. He and his wife, Sarah, have two children.

•2010s Kyle Sand ’12 accepted the position as head wrestling coach for Grand Junction High School. Kyle spent four years as an Adams State assistant wrestling coach after receiving his undergraduate degree. He won a Division II national title while a student. “I enjoy coaching more than I did wrestling, believe it or not – there’s something about helping with other people’s success that I enjoy.” Drew Wold ’14 was named Otero Junior College head baseball coach. As a student athlete, he first played collegiate baseball with OJC, before transferring to play under Adams State head baseball coach James Capra. After graduating with his Bachelor of Science degree, he was an assistant baseball coach for two years.

adams.edu •


AStater Winter 2019 cover featured this smiling face >> Dear Adams State: I hope that this email reaches you. From the caption on the cover of your magazine I thought you might like to hear from any of those pictured. The individual in the center photograph of your Winter edition is me. It was taken by my sister in the spring of 1973 at the back of the farm house we rented on Waverly Road six miles southwest of town. I was a student at ASC from 1970-73 mostly concentrating on art classes. The photo was for a poster announcing an art exhibition that I was having in the Student Union Building. It was a farewell exhibition as I was leaving the Valley at the end of the exhibition. The ASC printing department was producing the poster and that’s how ASU has it to this day. I have one copy of that poster left and I took a picture of it, which is attached. It is quite poignant for me that Cloyde Snook and I are the bookends of this edition. It was Snook from whom I took the most classes and spent the most time with, jewelry, ceramics and printmaking. He was a wonderful person and a great teacher. I’ve thought often of him over the years and particularly this past fall wondering if he was still around. I guess there was a reason for that. Like Snook, I have made art my life, both creating and teaching art. After my “Good Bye, Jesse” show I moved to Canada and lived there for five years while attending two art schools. I then moved to California and received an MFA from UCSB. My fellow artist/wife and I moved from there to Cleveland, OH where we were employed at the Cleveland Museum of Art for the past thirty plus years teaching art. I instructed adult studio classes in drawing and painting there and various local colleges and arts organizations. Sincerely, Jesse Rhinehart

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Hello 1970s Adams State Alumni

With the “new normal” where nothing is normal and everything is new, the Adams State University Alumni Relations office would like to extend an invitation to join us for the first ever Zoom reunion for the graduates of 1970 to 1979. This is an opportunity to connect across the country; an exciting occasion to connect with classmates, teammates, roommates, and friends via technology. Dr. Lovell, President of Adams State, will be joining us for an update on the University, we will have information for the Adams100 celebration in 2021, breakout rooms to visit with small groups of graduates, a drawing for door prizes to be mailed, and all attendees will receive an Adams State mask. Let’s see how many 1970s alumni we can get in a Zoom room. Help make it a success. This Zoom reunion will be Thursday, September 10 at 6 p.m. (MST) Meeting ID: 958 6884 2016 Password: 553067 Or you can call in. Phone number: 1-346-248-7799 If you have questions, need assistance setting up a Zoom account or would like a direct link sent to you please contact us at 719-587-7867 or alumni@adams.edu. Lori or Uriah will be happy to assist.

AStater 27

Adams Family Album Staying connected via email, virtual events, and social media.

The Alumni office kept engagement up by posting “Alumni Summer Challenge questions” on Facebook. We had over 80 comments on this one question. Thank you to all our alumni out there.

One of our new grads, Baylie Lawson ’20, with her champagne glass during our online brunch for new grads.

We are excited for the start of a new semester. It feels like we just celebrated graduation and more grads joining our Alumni Family. Even with these unprecedented times, Adams State wanted to make graduation as meaningful as possible. The Alumni and Foundation Office was able to visit local grads (at a safe distance) and congratulate them.

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photo courtesy of Rudl Mergelman

Bob Wood ’72 recently completed a stone mosaic of a treble clef and musical notes as part of an 83-foot mosaic wall at the Bell Tower Cultural Center in Florence, Colo. Wood received a bachelor’s degree in music from Adams State before a 40-year career as a newspaper editor and publisher. His wife, Sue (Nagoda) ’73, an elementary teacher, are both retired. photos courtesy of Lori Anne Dickerman

Uriah Valdez ’10 posted on facebook, “Fun summer ride up Black Bear Pass. GO GRIZZLIES!”

Colleen Klone Stabolepszy ’93, ’97 “Enjoying a beautiful June day in Colorado.” AStater 29

In Memoriam Lloyd Luther Engen ’87 succumbed to COVID-19 related complications on July 12. He was well known in the San Luis Valley sports community, both as the Valley Courier sports editor and a former sports information director at Adams State where he was inducted into the athletics Hall of Fame in 2006. Engen was able to attend the 2019 Hall of Fame banquet where he reconnected with a number of athletes that he had the honor of covering over the years. Lloyd worked at Adams State for 13 years where he was the Sports Information Director and Public Information Officer. During his time at Adams State he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1987. He went on and became the sports editor at the Valley Courier for 12 years where he was a fixture on the sidelines at thousands of sporting events in the San Luis Valley. He made it a point to get to 10 or 15 every week. He served on several award committees including the All-Valley Football, All-Valley Cross Country and ASU Hall of Fame. Lloyd made many friends with his work especially Damon and Konnie Martin as Lloyd drove cross-country on numerous occasions to cover the Grizzlies in their national title endeavors. (Valley Courier July 2020) photo courtesy of Mary Fleagle Connor

“I want to check out with my boot on, teaching kids. When I die I don’t want ‘Superintendent of Schools’ on my grave stone, I want ‘Teacher.’” M. Edmund Vallejo ’55, died July 7 at the age of 90. Vallejo received the 1980 Adams State Outstanding Alumni Award. He was a stanch supporter of his alma mater and always wore his Adams State class ring. He retired after a 36-year career in Pueblo School District 60, and continued to work with youth, mentoring at-risk kids through a program he developed as district superintendent. Vallejo moved into school administration after teaching English for 14 years, but during his final year as superintendent, he taught sixth grade reading. “I wanted to show the school community that most important things in the district take place in the classroom.” After a short stint at Regis University, Vallejo joined the Navy, serving for 18 months in Korea. He was a combat photographer, attached to the 1st Marine Corps Division and became a decorated veteran. While in the service, he took correspondence courses and decided to become an English teacher. After the war, he enrolled at Adams State. He served as co-editor of the South Coloradan his junior year, and was elected student body president his senior year. Vallejo earned a master’s in psychology and guidance from University of Northern Colorado, and a Ph.D. in education from Kansas State University. He married his wife, Gregoria, in 1958. The couple had four children. Vallejo was a trustee for the State Colleges in Colorado from 1975-79. He enjoyed photography and self-published, “Colorado Landscape,” featuring his nature photography and original poetry and “The Korean War in Color 1952: Recollections and Photos of a Combat Photographer.” Vallejo enjoyed athletics his entire life and climbed 16 of Colorado’s 14,000-ft peaks. (AStater fall 2005)

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Jeremy R. Taylor, assistant director of housing operations and outreach, worked in the Adams State Housing Office for the past 13 years. He was killed in a car accident in Albuquerque, N.M., on May 31. “It is always sad to lose a member of our Adams State team, but it breaks my heart to lose a true friend,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Ken Marquez. “Jeremy, or Taylor as we affectionately called him, loved our little campus and he will be terribly missed.” Jeremy was a strong supporter of students, always seeking ways to make them more successful during their academic career. He helped establish many Housing Living Communities, which places first-year students in a hall or dorm with students of similar interests. Jeremy was also instrumental in the creation of the Adams State esports student club and designed their logo and gear. His dedication to Adams State extended to the entire campus community. Jeremy assumed supervision over the Richardson Hall and Student Union Building Mailrooms and helped set policies to make operations run more efficiently. Jeremy is a graduate of Eastern New Mexico University.

Final Chapters

“Final Chapters” lists only survivors who are Adams State graduates or are affiliated with ASU.

Roland Doyle Crowder ’50 (Alamosa, CO) passed away Apr 7 at the age of 91. Among his survivors are daughter Kathleen Johnson ’01, son-inlaw Tim Johnson ’84, son-in-law John Guyer ’68.

Lorna Marie Booth ’71 (Alamosa, CO) passed away Apr 9 at the age of 80. Among her survivors are son Robert Booth ’89, daughter-in-law Terri Booth ’92, ’98, granddaughter Jerree Canty ’12.

Esther Susanna Coker ’53 (Colorado Springs, CO) passed away Mar 29 at the age of 89.

Shirley L. Bourquin ’72 (Clinton, OK) passed away May 27 at the age of 82.

Dr. M. Edmund Vallejo ’55 (Pueblo, CO) passed away Jul 7 at the age of 90.

John L. Werner ’72 (Colorado Springs, CO) passed away May 19 at the age of 70.

Ella M.E. Sanchez ’56 (Albuquerque, NM) passed away May 6 at the age of 87.

Dannie Makris ’73 (Salida, CO) passed away Apr 22 at the age of 84.

James M. Ford ’59, ’61 (Center, CO) passed away May 13 at the age of 91. Hoy E. Frakes ’60 (Pueblo, CO) passed away Apr 6 at the age of 88. Gerald L. Mullins ’60, ’64 (Colorado City, CO) passed away Apr 27 at the age of 85. Among his survivors are daughter Kana Condon ’88, son-inlaw Greg Condon ’85. John Marvin Davis ’63 (Alamosa, CO) passed away Apr 5 at the age of 82. Among his survivors are daughter Deborah Shawcroft ’99, daughter Dyan Irene Anderson ’13, son-in-law Hoyt Anderson ’97.

Lillian Brezall ’74 (Arvada, CO) passed away Apr 2 at the age of 84. Eunice Harris ’74 (Mosca, CO) passed away Mar 24 at the age of 89. Vidal L. Raigoza ’75 (Pueblo, CO) passed away Mar 24 at the age of 87. Joyce E. Waters ’75 (Portland, OR) passed away May 10 at the age of 89. Maryann Vigil ’83, ’95 (Walsenburg, CO) passed away Aug 28 at the age of 80. Linette Williams ’85 (Buena Vista, CO) passed away Apr 29 at the age of 57. Among her survivors is sister Anita Allinger ’77.

Albert S. Romero ’63 (Sante Fe, NM) passed away Jun 5 at the age of 89.

William F. Holstein ’87 (Fruita, CO) passed away Jun 1 at the age of 63.

Jay D. Allard ’64, ’89 (Andover, KS) passed away Nov 21 at the age of 85.

Ruth Colleen Sales ’92 (Highlands Ranch, CO) passed away Mar 30 at the age of 60.

Dr. George E. Hedrick III ’64 (Stillwater, OK) passed away Apr 15 at the age of 76. Patricia Ann Davie ’65 (Monte Vista, CO) passed away Apr 21 at the age of 93. Merle Mae Orr ’65, ’69 (Alamosa, CO) passed away June 16 at the age of 93. Among her survivors are daughter Rebecca Seymour ’73, and son-inlaw Russell Seymour ’70.

Charles “Chuck” DeHerrera ’00 (La Plata, NM) passed away May 1 at the age of 41. Nathan A. Dick ’08 (Del Norte, CO) passed away May 26 at the age of 46. Alyssa Kay Malouff ’14 (Alamosa, CO) passed away May 1 at the age of 33.

Loretta F. Ranke ’65 (Moravia, NY) passed away Mar 16 at the age of 77. Vern Tate ’65 (Huron, SD) passed away Apr 9 at the age of 90. Martha J. Laye ’66 (Colorado Springs, CO) passed away May 12 at the age of 76. Among her survivors is husband Darryl M. Laye ’67. Roger O. Brunelli ’67 (Walsenburg, CO) passed away Feb 8 at the age of 81. Charlotte Geraldine Proctor ’67 (Loveland, CO) passed away May 18 at the age of 95. Robert J. Saturday ’68 (Santa Ana, CA) passed away May 19 at the age of 73. Jetta Budd ’69 (Sitka, AK) passed away Aug 29 at the age of 72. Among her survivors is husband Thomas Budd ’69.


Gloria M. Wuckert ASU Friend (Sandy, UT) passed away Mar 15 at the age of 91. Stephanie Yund ASU Professor (Del Norte, CO) passed away Mar 23 at the age of 72. Jeremy R. Taylor ASU Employee (Albuquerque, NM) passed away May 31 at the age of 42. Louie Long ASU Coach (Salt Lake City, UT) passed away Jun 11 at the age of 83.

Anti-Discrimination Statement Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Part 106 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including in admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and CFR 106 to Adams State University (ASU) may be directed to ASU’s Office of Equal Opportunity, Director Ana Guevara, and/or to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the Department of Education. Support resources for sexual misconduct, ASU’s sexual misconduct policies, contact information for the Adams State University’s Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX, as well as a detailed procedure for filing a grievance due to discrimination on the basis of sex may be found online at https://www.adams.edu/administration/oeo/ reporting-sexual-harassment/. These procedures also describe the University’s response to reports and/or complaints of sex discrimination or sexual harassment. Adams State University prohibits and will not tolerate discrimination or retaliation that violates federal or state law or the University’s discrimination policies. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, nation origin, gender sexual orientation, sex, veteran status, or disability. The University complies with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, The Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1973, The Americans with Disabilities Act, Executive Order 11246, Section 24-34-301 C.R.S. et seq. section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. To file a complaint of sexual misconduct (harassment, assault, domestic violence) or discrimination, or for more information, please contact Title IX Coordinator and Office of Equal Opportunity Director, Ana Guevara, at anaguevara@adams.edu or 719-587-8213; or Assistant Director Delilah Chavez delilahchavez@adams.edu or 719-587-8224.

ON THE BACK COVER: Adams State student-athletes get their temperatures checked as part of our safe return to campus.

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