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 a non-profit organization committed to the mission to improve child literacy in New Mexico by spreading the learning of chess in ways that develop the 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, Ph.D. – 2000:  Dr. Andrew Curley studied Development Sociology at Cornell University, a 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 Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

Curley received his Ph.D. 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 the 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.

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.


Edmundo Vasquez

Edmundo 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.

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