Compiled by Adriana M. Chávez ’19

Leza’s Memoirs: Beating the Odds

Richard Leza ’73

Richard Leza decided to write his memoir while at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Leza is originally from Laredo, Texas, but moved to Placitas near Hatch, New Mexico, as a young boy. He spent his summers picking chile, cotton and other crops, and was told in school that he could only aspire to drive a tractor or continue working in the fields. But after Leza was drafted into the military during the Vietnam War, he decided he enroll in East Los Angeles College in California. He later earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NMSU and a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University. He experienced discrimination at large companies in California, and decided to create his own venture capital business, AI Research Corp. Leza’s memoir covers various aspects of his life that helped shape the man he became. Leza’s book is available on Amazon.

On the Brink

Tonya Suther

Tonya Suther’s debut poetry chapbook “On the Brink,” engages loneliness as she focuses on place, space and transition. Published in May 2021, this collection of ecopoetics uses the pastoral for exploration, resistance and transcendence of a lifetime of oppression within the roles of wife, mother and daughter. Suther is a third-year master of fine arts candidate at NMSU, receiving accolades as a two-time recipient of the Ruth Scott Poetry Award sponsored by the Academy of American Poets ( and the Verna Newman Rule Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement. Her poetry has appeared in Westward Quarterly and Fleas on the Dog, with works forthcoming from Zócalo Public Square and The Awakenings Review. A former news writer, she currently teaches undergraduate English classes, interns at Zoeglossia and will graduate from NMSU in December 2021.