Notable Alumni

Amanda CheromiahAmanda Cheromiah – 2004: A Native American from the Pueblo of Laguna and a graduate of the University of Arizona, Amanda now works with her alma mater as a coordinator in the office of Academic Outreach.  Her passion is helping low-income minority first-generation college-bound students succeed. In addition, she organizes the College Academy for Parents, College Knowledge for Parents, and College Knowledge for Counselors.

Victor Lopez (1)Victor Francisco Lopez – 2004: Victor Lopez attended Occidental College in Los Angeles where he earned a degree in Urban and Environmental Policy. Victor has since founded Learners Chess Academy. Victor wears many hats for Learners as it’s Executive Director, Head of Instruction, and Board Member, among many of the roles it takes to operate a successful non-profit organization. Victor has built Learners into non-profit organization committed to the mission to improve child literacy in New Mexico by spreading the learning of chess in ways that develop intellect, social skills, life skills, and leadership. Learners Chess currently serves over 1400 students annually, teaching them chess and leadership. During the summer of 2016, Victor launched a brand new Learners Without Borders program, which sent high school aged Learners Chess alumna to a small rural community in El Salvador, where they used Learners’ summer chess camp instructional model to teach 36 kids and to local teachers how to play and enjoy the game of chess.

In 2016 Victor was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for providing summer learning opportunities to kids. He sat on a panel moderated by Acting Secretary of Education, John B. King where he discussed best practices for providing summer learning opportunities for kids with four other Champions of Change. Victor was recognized that year as well, by the Albuquerque Journal and Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce as a Spirit of New Mexico Award recipient. This is an annual recognition given to five New Mexicans who have a positive impact on New Mexico.

tomas_garciaTomas Garcia – 2001: Tomas graduated from Yale in 2005 with a B.A. in Political Science, from Harvard in 2008 with a Master of Public Policy, and from Georgetown University Law Center in 2011 with a Juris Doctorate. He worked in NM Governor Bill Richardson’s administration, was selected to clerk for NM Supreme Court Justice Charlie Daniels beginning in September 2012, and is currently an associate in the Modrall Sperling Law Firm in Albuquerque.

Christopher KuhlChristopher Kuhl – 2001: Christopher Kuhl is a lighting, scenic, installation and conceptual designer for new performance, theatre, dance and opera based in Brooklyn.  Recent work includes Straight White Men (Young Jean Lee’s Theatre Company, The Public Theatre, Wexner Center); This Was The End (Mallory Catlett, The Chocolate Factory); The Elephant Room (Edinburgh Fringe, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Philly Live Arts, Arena Stage, MCA Chicago); Quartier Libres with Nadia Beugré (New York Live Arts, Walker Art Center); Soldier Songs (Holland Festival); Ethel’s Documerica (BAM); John Cage Song Books (SF Symphony, Carnegie Hall).  Chris has also  had the pleasure of working and making art at On the Boards, The Fusebox Festival, The Kennedy Center, YBCA, Jacob’s Pillow, Beijing Music Festival, Queer Zagreb, KVS Belgium, MAC France, and Santiago a Mil Chile. Kuhl was also the Production Manager and Lighting Director for Ralph Lemon’s How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? In 2011 Chris was the recipient of the Sherwood, Drammy, Horton, and Ovation Awards. In 2014 Chris was nominated for a Bessie Award for Outstanding Visual Design and was a finalist for the Rolex Mentor Protégé Award. Chris is originally from New Mexico, a graduate of CalArts, an associate artist of Hand2Mouth Theatre, and Co-Director of Live Arts Exchange (LAX).

Lucas RaelLucas Rael – 2001: Lucas received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from New Mexico State University where he graduated with honors.

He is currently a small business owner and President of Ambitions Consulting Group in Albuquerque. Ambitions is a consulting firm that focuses on providing solutions to organizations that help them achieve efficiencies otherwise not possible because of a lack of resources, time or expertise. Ambitions serves the legal industry, local governments, non-profits and other private sector clients. Prior to forming Ambitions, Lucas joined his brother and helped to found and build the law firm of Robles, Rael & Anaya, P.C., where he served as Director of Operations for over 10 years.

Dr. Andrew Curley, PhDDr. Andrew Curley, PhD – 2000:  Dr. Andrew Curley studied Development Sociology at Cornell University, postdoctoral fellow in Geography, published the essay “Water is Life and Life is Sovereignty: Context and Considerations for Critical Geographers” in Antipode’s Intervention. The essay discusses how the history and power of tribal sovereignty need to be understood in order to grasp what is happening at Standing Rock, North Dakota, regarding the The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

Curley received his PhD in Development Sociology at Cornell University in 2016. His research is on coal and development in the Navajo Nation. He previously worked as the deputy director at the Diné Policy Institute in the Navajo Nation where he contributed to reports on government reform, development, and Navajo social movements.

Andrew Curley, a member of the Navajo Nation, was born in Gallup, New Mexico in 1982. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University studying coal and development in the Navajo Nation. He previously worked at a research organization at the tribal community college and served on the tribe’s commission on government reform for two years. He also worked as a reporter for the Navajo Times.

Kateri WestKateri Garcia West – 1999: Kateri has worked in the cardiac device industry for nine years and is currently a Territory Manager for ZOLL LifeVest, covering the state of NM. She started her career as a mechanical device design engineer for Medtronic Inc. in Minneapolis, MN, where she earned a patent for her work on novel pacemaker reliability test methods. In 2003, Kateri completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kateri has helped launch Wings of Africa International, based in Minneapolis, MN, a Kenyan nonprofit agency aimed at building schools for orphaned girls in Kenya. She is a former Menaul Board of Trustees member.

Jeremiah BitsuiJeremiah Bitsui – 1998: Jeremiah Bitsui is a Native American actor, best known for his portrayal of Victor in the AMC series Breaking Bad. He started his career at the age of five as Mickey in the Japanese film Mickey’s House. Later in life, he appeared in the 1994 film Natural Born Killers and the 2005 film A Thousand Roads, which was an official Sundance Film Festival selection.


Richard Lovato, MDDr. Richard G. Lovato, MD – 1980: Richard graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and completed his residency in General Surgery and Transplants at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. A respected surgeon in Albuquerque, Dr. Lovato successfully completed a kidney transplant for another Menaul Alumni, Ambrosio Ortega (Class of 1946).


Jorge YantJorge Yant – 1969: Mr. Jorge Yant co-founded PLEXIS Healthcare Systems Inc., in 1996 and also serves as its Chief Executive Officer and President. Mr. Yant is highly acclaimed as a leading industry innovator and creative visionary. Mr. Yant’s unique leadership guided PLEXIS Healthcare Systems since its founding. He served as Chief Operating Officer of PLEXIS Healthcare Systems Inc. He founded several successful technology businesses. He served as Vice President of Medical Systems of Mariner; Chief Information Officer of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe Law Firm, San Francisco, CA; Technology Consultant of Price Waterhouse and Director of Administration of U.C. Berkeley law school. Mr. Yant has Nineteen years of experience in Computer Systems Technology. Mr. Yant’s expertise in developing key partnerships and experience directing the design, development and deployment of information technology systems for the healthcare industry has resulted in PLEXIS continued growth in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Yant was appointed to the Oregon Health Policy Commission by Governor Ted Kulongoski in 2004 and has delivered speeches to a wide range of executive, business and health industry audiences. Mr. Yant holds a Masters of Science degree in Computer Science/Systems Management from the University of Southern California and BS in Business Administration from the University of New Mexico.

Victor MacFarlaneVictor MacFarlane – 1969: A leading African American real estate developer, Victor is managing principal, chairman, and chief executive officer of MacFarlane Partners, which he founded in 1987 to provide real estate investment management services to institutional investors. Under his leadership, MacFarlane Partners pioneered the urban investment concept among institutional real estate managers in the mid-1990s and today has become one of the leading real estate investment management firms in the United States.

Dr Arturo MadridDr. Arturo Madrid – 1956: Arturo is a gifted teacher and author and an articulate national voice for the impact of Hispanic life on American culture. He was named the Murchison Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.



Arthur M. Duran – 1951: Coach Duran has influenced student athletes at all levels of competition. In 1974, he was the coach of the Bolivian National Women’s Basketball Team; in 1976, he assisted with the Brazilian Olympic Basketball Team; and in 1979, he coached the Somali National Team.

Herb Fernandez – 1949: Herb received the Air Force Outstanding Civilian Service Award after 33 years of federal service. He was chief of the Air Force Weapons Laboratory’s Nuclear-Systems Security Division – a division that provides technical support for Air Force and NATO nuclear systems.

Edmundo VasquezEDMUNDO E. VÁSQUEZ – 1949: After his studies at New Mexico Highlands University (BA), University of Colorado, Brigham Young University, Stanford University (MA), and La Universidad de Costa Rica, Edmundo E. Vasquez served the Presbyterian Church for 45 years as an elder, missionary, financial advisor, president of Menaul School during a period transition, and board of trustee member.

Board of Trustee positions included San Francisco Theological Seminary and La Asociacion Para la Educacion Theologica Hispana.  After retirement he continued service with the PCUSA Foundation and the General Assembly Advisory Committee on Hispanic Ministries. He was on the Steering Committee of the Joining Hearts and Hands PCUSA Campaign and for the campaign in Santa Fe Presbytery.

Florentino (Tino) Garza – 1945: After earning his law degree from UCLA, Tino entered into private practice. In 1987, he was selected by the San Bernardino County Bar Association for its highest honor, “awarded to a member of the legal profession who has best exemplified the high standards of the profession and the administration of justice.”

The Honorable Alfonso Romero – 1942: Alfonso served as a Marine in North China during WW II, practiced law in California, and served seventeen years on the California State Trial Court bench.

Ted Trujillo – 1940: Ted graduated from UNM in February of 1944 with a degree in Biology and Chemistry and an officer’s commission in the first Naval Reserve class.  He served in World War II as a communications officer, returning from Japan in 1946 to attend graduate school at the University of New Mexico.  In 1947, he accepted a job as a bio-chemist with the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Bio-Medical Research Group.  He was the author and co-author of 35 scientific publications, many dealing with cancer and cancer treatment.

Bedelio (Bill) F. Gurule – 1938: Bill served the U.S. in the South Pacific during WW II and was a Japanese prisoner of war.  Professionally, he worked as a public accountant and developed “partnership investments.”  In his spare time, Bill became a published author.

Conrado P. Gutierrez – 1937: A chemist by profession, Conrado retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory after 36 years. Active in his church and community, Conrado was best known for his work on behalf of women, minorities, veterans, and disadvantaged persons.

Dr. Martin Candelaria – 1918: Innovative teacher, coach, WW I veteran, humanitarian are all words used to describe Dr. Candelaria. Dr. Candelaria was the first Hispanic and native Spanish speaker to teach at the Colorado Teacher’s College (now University of Northern Colorado), where he built a department of foreign language using the first language laboratory and instituted the teaching of foreign language in grade school.