Alumni Successes

Calvin Crowder ’86 ’92

Calvin Crowder was starting a career in the New Mexico wine industry when he discovered the NMSU Center for Public Utilities. With the struggling economy of the mid-1980s, the center’s record for placing its graduates in well-paying jobs looked promising, and he pursued a master’s degree in regulatory economics in the NMSU College of Business.

Crowder now has more than 30 years of experience in the utility industry and serves as the president and CEO of GridLiance, an independent electric transmission utility holding company.

At GridLiance, Crowder drives a mission to invest in collaborative solutions to strengthen the transmission grid. Under his leadership, the company has expanded its presence in Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada and Oklahoma. In 2020, EY named Crowder as a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 Award in the Southwest region.

“It’s been exciting to lead the company’s growth and improve the lives of those we serve,” he says.

Carlos Andres López ’10

Melody Hagaman ’08

In fall 2020, the White House presented Melody Hagaman with the Presidential Award of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for her efforts in promoting computer science education throughout New Mexico.

Hagaman is a teacher at Centennial High School in Las Cruces. She ranked in the top two in New Mexico, and was among 107 teachers in the U.S. to receive the award in 2020.

“Receiving the Presidential Award is an incredible opportunity to validate the unending support I have received from my mentors, colleagues, administrators and community, all who share the same vision for our students,” Hagaman says.

She has been an educator for 10 years and has spent the last eight years teaching science and computer science at Centennial. Her work in promoting computer science education has led to the creation of a computer science task force in the Las Cruces Public Schools. As secretary for the New Mexico Computer Science Teachers Association, she helped organize the state’s first two computer science professional development weeks, and legislative policy for local support of computer science educators and students.

Adriana M. Chávez ’13

Janet Jansson ’80

Janet Jansson was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her cutting-edge advances in the field of microbial ecology.

“At NMSU I came to realize my love of science. I had no career goal when I first came to NMSU,” Jansson says. “My ‘aha moment’ came during an elective course on soil microbiology taught by professor William Lindemann. I thought it was fascinating that these microscopic creatures lived in soil and carried out such important functions. I ended up working in his laboratory as a technician and absolutely loved it.”

Jansson has more than 30 years of experience in microbial ecology. She was appointed by the National Academy of Science to the U.S. National Committee on Soil Sciences, and has authored more than 200 publications. She serves as chief scientist for biology in the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Biological Sciences Division.

Amanda Adame ’19