Alumni Successes Fall 2019

Larry H. Lang ’80

After a 30-year military career leading five U.S. Air Force bands, culminating as the commander and conductor of the internationally respected, U.S. Air Force Band, Col. Larry H. Lang ’80, became the executive director of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra in June 2019. 

An El Paso native, Lang’s love of music began in fifth grade and led him to NMSU where he earned bachelor’s degrees in music performance for trombone and music education.

He went on to earn a master’s degree and pursued his other love – teaching. Lang was a college band director for eight years before embarking on his military music career. 

Lang says, “all of my experiences as a player and teacher informed my work as a professional conductor.”

Lang is now putting his talents to work for the Flagstaff Symphony, which has more than 60 musicians who serve an audience of 14,000 people each year. 

Minerva Baumann ’13

Brennan Little ’93

Gary Woodland, an American golfer who competes on the PGA Tour, won his first major championship in June 2019 at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Not only was it a breakthrough moment for Woodland, but it was a victory for his caddie, Brennan Little ’93, who now boasts two major championship wins on his résumé.

Little, who hails from St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, played golf for NMSU under former head coach Herb Wimberly from 1989-93. During his collegiate career, Little played 21 tournaments with a 76.38 stroke average. After college, he competed in the Canadian Tour, Asian Tour and the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament before he transitioned into a role as a caddie.

Little first teamed up with fellow Canadian Mike Weir, who won the Masters Tournament in 2003. It was Little’s first time being on the bag of a major winner. After stints with Sean O’Hair and Camilo Villegas, Little joined Woodland in 2016. 

Carlos Andres López ’10

Terese Marie Mailhot ’13

Author Terese Marie Mailhot ’13 was awarded the 2019 Whiting Award in Non-Fiction for her book, New York Times bestseller, “Heart Berries: A Memoir.” 

Mailhot, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English, wrote “Heart Berries” to tell the story of her life as a Canadian indigenous woman coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest. She currently teaches creative writing at Purdue University. 

Not only did Mailhot earn her undergraduate degree at NMSU, but she also met her husband, writer Casey Gray.

“Heart Berries” has earned numerous other awards, including NPR Best Book of the Year, and Best Book of the Year from the New York and Chicago public libraries. In addition to the Whiting Award, Mailhot has received the Electra Quinney Award for Published Stories, a Clara Johnson Award and the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature.

Minerva Baumann ’13