The University of New Mexico Alumni Association recently announced the recipients of its 2015 Lobo, Zia and Inspirational Young Alumnus awards. They include: Lobo Award – Gilbert Herrera; Inspirational Young Alumnus Award – Jeffrey Anderson; and Zia Awards – Kirk Gittings, Rene Matison, Frank McCulloch, Bette Ciesielski and Coleman Travelstead.
The Lobo Award honors a UNM graduate distinguished by professional achievement or dedication to the betterment of the university. The Zia Award honors outstanding alumni who make their home in New Mexico. The Inspirational Young Alumnus Award honors emerging leaders, age 40 or below, in community service or professional achievements.
“The talents, accomplishments and passions of these recipients are astounding,” said Karen Abraham, executive director of the UNM Alumni Association. “The awards celebrate these amazing people who have made significant
contributions to the community, and to the university.
The recipients will be honored at the Alumni Association’s All University Breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, at the Hotel Albuquerque, 800 Rio Grande Boulevard NW. Breakfast will be served at 9 a.m. The public is invited to attend. Tickets are $20 per person; reservations are required.
For more information, RSVP or to purchase tickets, visit: UNM Homecoming or call the Alumni Relations Office at (505) 277-5808 (800) 258-6866. UNM Homecoming 2015: “Live Lobo and Prosper” activities extend from Oct. 12 - 17.
Gilbert V. Herrera (BSCPE ’81)
Herrera is the director of the Laboratory for Physical Sciences (LPS), a National Security Agency (NSA) research institute on the University of Maryland campus. At his former position at Sandia, he was responsible for a 600-person, $250 million research and development center. He also managed the MESA complex, the largest capital investment in the history of Sandia. Herrera also served as an AAAS/Sloan Foundation White House Science Fellow at the Office of Science and Technology Policy under President George H. W. Bush.
Cynthia Arndell (BSN ’80, MD ’94)
Arndell has spent her career working with the most marginalized populations – the elderly, developmentally disabled and homeless. After 12 years as a nurse, she went to medical school and upon graduation served as medical director at Healthcare for the Homeless in Albuquerque before joining the faculty of the UNM School of Medicine, where her focus is on developing curriculum that addresses health inequities.
Bette Jo Sisneros-Ciesielski (BA ’90)
Sisneros-Ciesielski is the founder and CEO of the New Mexico Community Health Worker Association, which has been training community health workers since 1995. She led the organization in incorporating as a non-profit and created Passion for Fashion, a thrift boutique that raises funds for the organization. She has managed community health worker programs under UNM Hospital, Gila Regional Medical Center and the Support, Empowerment Advocacy and Doulas Project.
Kirk Gittings (BUS ’72)
Gittings, known for his architectural and cultural landscape photography, has been widely published and exhibited across the country. His work has been the subject of a retrospective exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History and a book, “Shelter from the Storm: The Photographs of Kirk Gittings.” Gittings is currently on the faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
Rene Matison (BS ’69)
Matison, one of UNM’s fastest sprinters, was a four-year letterman in track and field and a two-time All American. After playing one year on the UNM football team, he was a 13th round NFL draft pick. Matison retired from a career in human resources and now volunteers his time mentoring African American students in athletics through the Zest for Excellence in Athletics & Learning program.
Frank McCulloch (BS ’53)
A painter of New Mexico landscapes for more than 50 years, McCulloch is recipient of the New Mexico Governor's Award in the Arts, the Albuquerque Arts Alliance Bravos Award and has been named an Albuquerque “Local Treasure” and a UNM distinguished alumnus. His legacy has been covered in Southwest Art Magazine, New Mexico Magazine, Art News and American Artist.
Coleman Travelstead (BAED ’69)
Travelstead worked in finance and publishing in San Francisco, New York, Miami, Japan and Taiwan before returning to New Mexico in 2000 as director of project management at Technology Ventures Corporation, where he founded Innovation Magazine. He has served on the boards of the UNM Alumni Association, KUNM Radio, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the New Mexico Entrepreneurs Association. Inspirational Young Alumnus.
Jeffrey Andersen (BAFA ‘07)
After graduating from UNM with a degree in theater and dance, Anderson became the founding artistic director of Blackout Theatre. Anderson also works as development director and enrichment coordinator for Children’s Choice, which provides no-cost after school programming to nearly 2,000 students every year. He has also served on the boards of the Kiwanis Club of Albuquerque, Make Theatre Company and the Albuquerque Theatre Guild.