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Alumni successes


Michael L. Connor ’86

In November 2021, Michael L. Connor was sworn in as the assistant Army secretary for civil works. As the principal adviser to the Army secretary on all matters related to the Army’s Civil Works Program, Connor creates policy direction and provides supervision of Army functions relating to all aspects of the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program. Prior to his confirmation, Connor was a partner at the WilmerHale law firm. 

In addition to experience in the private sector, Connor has served in many positions in the federal government. He served as Department of the Interior deputy secretary, where he was the chief operating officer. A Taos Pueblo tribal member, Connor was the first person of Native American descent to serve in that position. He served as commissioner of the U.S Bureau of Reclamation, counsel to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and director of the Indian Water Rights Office.

Connor earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from NMSU and a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School.

Tiffany Acosta

Jesus Escobar ’10

Jesus Escobar was selected by Great Minds in STEM as one of the 2021 Luminaries. He is a Supplier Quality Manager at Cummins Inc. GMiS Luminary honorees represent professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who initiate, collaborate and lead key programs and research within their companies. They have made significant contributions to the Hispanic technical community as leaders and role models.

Escobar has spent more than 11 years as a member of Cummins’ Supplier Quality organization. He is known for his ability to build strong relationships with stakeholders and suppliers and his ability to solve challenging manufacturing problems with a relentless drive.

Escobar earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso, master’s degree in industrial engineering from NMSU and Master of Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Tiffany Acosta

Megin Nichols ’04

Since graduating from NMSU, Dr. Megin Nichols has dedicated her career to public health at the state and federal levels. Nichols, who hails from Cerrillos, New Mexico, serves as a veterinary epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she’s worked since 2015. As the CDC enteric zoonoses activity lead, she investigates nationwide outbreaks of enteric zoonotic diseases linked to contact with animals.

In July 2021, Nichols received the American Veterinary Medical Association Public Service Award, which honors outstanding public service or contributions to the practice or science of public health and regulatory veterinary medicine. She has investigated numerous multistate outbreaks, including the 2020 outbreak of salmonella infections linked to contact with backyard poultry and outbreaks linked with hedgehogs and reptile contact. More recently, she established a CDC team working to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food system.

She has a bachelor’s degree in animal science from NMSU, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University and a Master of Public Health in food safety and biosecurity from the University of Minnesota.

Carlos Andres López ’10