Developments Fall 2019

In this issue:
A Love for Learning and Research
Inspired by a Mother’s Selfless Love
Leading the Hive
A Brighter Future for Kidney Disease Research
Legacies That Live On
Lending a Hand
Helping Serve Up Miracles

A Love for Learning and Research

Alumni Couple’s Gifts Benefit University Libraries and Students

By Hilary Mayall Jetty

With the proliferation of the internet, and cafés on nearly every corner, one could assume that libraries have become nearly empty echo chambers. Yet Zimmerman Library in the heart of the UNM campus is a lively space, with hundreds of students engaged in academic and creative pursuits at any given time.

Mary Lois and Jim Hulsman (seated) pose with the 2019 undergraduate research award winners during the Hulsman Undergraduate Research Award program, held this past April in Zimmerman Library. (Note: Luisa Pennington, the student profiled in article, was one of the 2018 winners, and is not in the photo.) Photo: Patricia Campbell

Luisa Pennington might be described as a library super user. “Nearly every weekday I’ll swing by Zimmerman and spend at least an hour there,” she said. Pennington, graduating in December 2019 with a double major in English and Environmental Communication, appreciates the library’s unique atmosphere.

“It’s about mindset,” she explained. “You can be at home, and have a two-page memo to write, but it’ll take hours because there are all kinds of distractions. Zimmerman is set up for success. It’s a low-noise environment, there’s easy access to resources, and they have charging stations.”

A paper she wrote on emotional aspects in Shakespearean sonnets earned Pennington a cash gift, and now resides in the UNM Digital Repository, thanks to an award funded by Jim and Mary Lois Hulsman. They are UNM alumni and longtime educators who value the importance of the Libraries to the UNM community and scholars worldwide.

The competitive Hulsman Undergraduate Library Research Award recognizes excellence in the use of the University Libraries’ resources. “It was an unexpected honor,” Pennington said, “that even as an undergrad, my work could receive recognition at a university level.”

The Hulsmans also contributed to the creation of The Commons at Zimmerman Library, helping to transform the lobby area into a space for students to study and gather in groups. “We wanted to sustain it as a comfortable, attractive, workable place for students, so they’d want to be there,” said Mary Lois.

The Hulsmans are revered members of the Albuquerque community. Jim earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Health and Physical Education from the College of Education, where Mary Lois received her Master of Arts degree in Guidance and Counseling. He went on to serve as the beloved head basketball coach at Albuquerque High School; she eventually retired as chair of the guidance department at Del Norte High School, and then began a new career as a taxation specialist. Together they shared half a century of involvement with students.

Jim’s involvement in coaching track, baseball, football and basketball spans decades. He personally knew many athletes who went on to be Lobo stars and community leaders, and taught the theory of basketball at UNM. He amassed an impressive body of research, which now resides at the UNM Center for Southwest Research in Zimmerman Library as the Jim Hulsman Albuquerque High School Sports History Collection. When he retired in 2003, he was honored with the UNM Alumni Association’s Rodey Award.

Education is of great importance to them, and their gifts to the UNM College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences reflect this. “Because we’re interested in sports history, we established the Jim and Mary Lois Friday Hulsman Endowment for Southwest Sports History and Acquisition,” Mary Lois said. “Then we funded another endowment just for other acquisitions important to the library.”

In addition, they support an Outstanding Student Employee Award, recognizing the vital services that student workers provide to all areas and functions of the UNM Libraries and the College.

“Jim and Mary Lois Hulsman have been extraordinarily generous,” said Libraries Dean Richard Clement. “They are dedicated to supporting students in their engagement in research in the libraries. There is no more fitting commitment for these two Lobos than supporting these young employees and researchers.”

“I’ll go up to Zimmerman Library and just wander through it,” Jim remarked. “I’ll observe the students and workers there, and they are very conscientious. They all want to learn, and the library opens doors to education. If we can help open those doors, that’s marvelous.”

If you’d like to contribute to the Hulsman Fund for the College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences, you may do so by clicking here.

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Inspired by a Mother’s Selfless Love

Pavlakos Family Endows Scholarship at UNM College of Pharmacy

By Irene Gray and Rose Romero

During the 2018 holiday season, a UNM College of Pharmacy alumna received a very special gift that will benefit others for years to come.

The Pavlakos family poses for a holiday photo, December 2018. Left to right: Dom Romero, Rose (Pavlakos) Romero, Bill Pavlakos, Vangie Pavlakos, Markella Pavlakos and Nectarios Pavlakos.

Evangeline “Vangie” (Manole) Pavlakos (BSPh ’79) was surprised by her daughter, Dr. Rose (Pavlakos) Romero (PharmD ’14); son, Dr. Nectarios Pavlakos; son-in-law, Dom Romero, and daughter-in-law, Markella Pavlakos, on Christmas morning with an endowment created in her name that is designed to honor her commitment to the pharmacy profession and the College’s student pharmacists.

As children, Rose and Nectarios witnessed firsthand Vangie’s devotion to her role as a pharmacist, mentor and educator. If a student was struggling, she consistently went beyond the call of duty by having them join her for family dinners, tutoring them, preparing them for interviews, and helping them land their dream career. Vangie’s mentorship and dedication managed to convince her own daughter to pursue a career in pharmacy.

Vangie has been a pharmacist for over 40 years. She continues to practice at the top of her pharmacy license and gives back as a student mentor, patient advocate, dedicated supporter of the College and pharmacy leader in our community.

Vangie’s career and service is indeed impressive. Although, what makes her story truly remarkable is how successful she and her husband, Dr. Bill Pavlakos, have been at instilling their shared values of service and hard work into their children.

“Our mother has devoted her life and her career to helping others,” said Rose. “She is truly selfless and would do anything for someone in need. Her positive attitude, strong work ethic and genuine spirit are contagious, and her passion and drive are remarkable. When we reflect on all the sacrifices our mom has made to give everything she has to her family and friends, it truly brings us joy and has encouraged us to become the people we are today.”

“Both of our parents have provided us with the tools to be successful in our careers,” said Nectarios. “We are grateful for the path they paved for us, which is one that has challenged us not only to do our best but also to live our dreams. They’ve taught us to be kind and hardworking and to always help others in need. Creating this scholarship in our mother’s honor was an easy decision and one her kids are proud to provide in her name.”

On their decision to honor Vangie with this generous gift, her children offered the following, “As UNM alumni, we are proud and grateful for the wonderful education, financial support and scholarships we were fortunate to receive. We truly believe that one of the best ways to give back is to honor our loving mother and share her dedication to pharmacy and patient care with others who possess a similar passion and drive.”

Vangie’s children and their spouses intend that this gift in her name will keep her spirit of generosity alive for future generations while also making a difference at a university that the family holds dear to their hearts.

If you’d like to contribute to the Evangeline Pavalkos Family Scholarship Endowment to benefit UNM College of Pharmacy students, you may do so by clicking here.

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Leading the Hive

UNM Presidential Scholar Soars Above in Areas of Study, Interest

By Miranda Fafard

Growing up in Albuquerque, Rachel Starkweather couldn’t think of any place she’d rather attend college than UNM. She knew she would receive a quality education in the state she loves. However, something she didn’t love as much were insects. “Anything that crept, crawled or buzzed repelled me,” she said. So how did Rachel go from her distaste of insects to president of UNM’s beekeeping club, the Beeks? Read on!

Rachel Starkweather, decked out in her beekeeping gear, examines a frame of bees from one of her hives.
Photo: Courtesy UNM Presidential Scholarship Program

Rachel is a UNM Presidential Scholarship Program recipient, a Presidential Scholar, soon to graduate with her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Presidential Scholars receive financial support provided by corporate and individual donors to cover tuition, fees and books, based on their high school academic performance and community commitment. UNM roots run deep in Rachel’s family—her younger sister is also a Presidential Scholar, her older sister a Regent’s Scholar, and her father is an alumnus of the UNM School of Law.

With the financial burden of college lifted thanks to her Presidential Scholarship sponsor, Bradbury Stamm Construction, led by Chairman of the Board Jim King, Rachel felt motivated to seek out extracurricular activities. “Bradbury Stamm’s financial support is invaluable. Knowing they believe I’m worth investing in as a student and future engineer has been a source of encouragement in my college experience.”

Initially interested in how honey is made, Rachel connected with the UNM Beeks her freshman year. “The first time I opened a hive and held a frame of bees in my hand, it was like a switch was flipped; I no longer saw bees as repulsive, but rather as beautiful creatures.” Since then, Rachel has combined research of honey bee wings and other insects with her engineering degree to study and replicate models of rotor blades used for rotorcraft transportation.

Now in her second year as president of the UNM Beeks, Rachel also has served in leadership positions in several mechanical engineering groups, and she is a member of two honor societies. She has interned at Sandia National Labs for the past two years, working in validation and qualification, and greatly values her time spent there.

With the help of her Presidential Scholarship, Rachel has grown academically and professionally, and plans to attend graduate school after she graduates from UNM next year. In reflection, Rachel said, “The most important thing my Presidential Scholarship has given me is freedom—freedom to discover bees, and freedom to pursue my passions.”

If you’d like to contribute to the UNM Presidential Scholarship Program, you may do so by clicking here.

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A Brighter Future for Kidney Disease Research

Dialysis Clinic Inc. Gift Benefits Kidney Institute of New Mexico at UNM’s School of Medicine

By Miranda Fafard

In April 1971, the first Dialysis Clinic Incorporated (DCI) location opened in a 1,000-square-foot refurbished home in Nashville, Tenn. Dr. H. Keith Johnson, DCI’s founder, wanted to expand the opportunity for kidney disease patients to receive dialysis treatment, regardless of their ability to pay. Today, DCI is the largest nonprofit dialysis provider in the United States with more than 230 clinics in 28 states, not including acute facilities within hospitals. Twelve of those clinics are located throughout New Mexico, with one in-patient dialysis unit at UNM Hospital.

Left to right, Former Department of Internal Medicine Chair Pope Moseley, M.D.; Douglas Johnson, M.D., Vice Chairman of Dialysis Clinic Inc. (DCI).; and DCI President Ed Attrill. Photo: Courtesy UNM School of Medicine

Along with providing treatment, DCI knows the importance of research in the field of nephrology. Jessica Emler, DCI public information manager, said that DCI’s purpose for funding and conducting research “is to find ways to prevent patients from having to be on dialysis and to help them through all phases of kidney disease so they may live their fullest lives possible.” It is because of this mission that DCI has had a special, long-standing relationship with the UNM School of Medicine.

DCI and the School of Medicine have been working together to care for New Mexico patients affected by kidney disease since 1982. In 2012, the Kidney Institute of New Mexico, a research center within the School led by top physicians, was created with the help of a transformational gift from DCI. The Institute was also made possible because of the combined vision and dedication of Dr. Pope Moseley, former chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Mark Unruh, current chair, Dr. Phil Zager, Dr. Doug Johnson, and DCI president, Ed Attrill. In 2018, DCI contributed another major gift to continue the research.

Dr. Brent Wagner is the current director of the Kidney Institute, leading a team of physicians who conduct translational research in areas that directly affect kidney disease. “We’re interested in the composition of a healthy human being,” Dr. Wagner said. “Every animal has to maintain a balanced internal environment, and the kidneys are an important part of that. The people we train to be experts in nephrology have to help keep the body going day after day.”

Because of DCI’s continued generosity and the hard work of Dr. Wagner’s team, kidney patients in New Mexico will continue to benefit now and in the future. “Kidney disease is a complex disease that touches many physiological pathways within the body,” DCI’s Jessica Emler said. “This gift is a fundamental part of who we are as a company and it’s one of the most significant ways we can help kidney disease patients as part of our nonprofit mission.”

Dr. Wagner is grateful for DCI’s generosity in helping to continue his team’s research. “I cannot say enough positive things about DCI’s model, their mission, and their care of people with kidney disease. We’re fortunate to have such people dedicated to this mission at UNM.”

If you’d like to contribute to UNM Kidney Institute of New Mexico, you may do so by clicking here.

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Legacies That Live On

The New Horizons Society: Proactive Planning Ensures Educational Advancement

By Hilary Mayall Jetty

“Trees planted by the ancestors provide shade for their descendants,” says an old Chinese proverb. Members of the UNM Foundation’s New Horizons Society reflect this adage through philanthropy, advancing the University’s mission, beyond their lifetimes.

Views from the 2019 New Horizons Society Luncheon. Photos: Kathy Montoya

At the annual luncheon celebration this past spring, Shelly Fritz, DDS, spoke of her work providing dental care for patients with disabilities and other challenging health issues. A gift from her estate will sustain the UNM clinic that provides these specialized dental services.

More than 500 donors have confirmed that they have designated UNM as the beneficiary of a gift through a will or trust, beneficiary designation or other part of their estate. They include alumni, faculty, staff, former patients and their families, and community supporters. These legacy gifts are often focused according to donors’ philanthropic priorities.

“Some members wish to honor a family member or beloved professor,” said UNM Foundation Associate Vice President of Planned Giving Bonnie McLeskey, “and a number of former scholarship recipients desire to give the same opportunity to someone else.”

The generosity of former, forward-thinking Society members allowed Presidential Scholarship recipients and twin brothers Brandon and Kyle Kennard to concentrate on and excel at their studies.

“My parents worried about how they were going to send both of us to college at the same time,” Brandon shared at the luncheon. “The plan we had involved lots of loans, and Kyle and I working as often as we could during school.”

This life-changing scholarship support benefited the entire Kennard family. It will enable the brothers to graduate debt free, and Brandon plans to go on to study environmental engineering at the graduate level.

The New Horizons Society grows because UNM touches many lives. Faculty members desire to sustain advances in instruction and research, University employees wish to support and serve a variety of goals and objectives, patients and their families are grateful for skilled, compassionate care. Business and community members acknowledge the value and importance of the institution, and alumni deeply appreciate their college experience.

Mary and Ernest Rich were 1940s graduates. Her degree was in business; he earned an advanced degree in geology. Although Albuquerque faded in their rearview mirror when heading toward new opportunities, their fondness for New Mexico and UNM never diminished.

A generous bequest from the Riches helped build the McKinnon Center for Management at the Anderson School; it also provides support for recruiting and retaining faculty in Earth and Planetary Sciences at UNM’s College of Arts and Sciences.

The McKinnon Center, with state-of-the-art digital infrastructure, is a quantum leap from Mary’s undergraduate experience. And Ernest’s legacy at Earth and Planetary Sciences may inspire innovative solutions to critical planetary challenges.

When the Riches planned their ultimate gift, they “planted trees” which continue to provide shade, and bear fruit, for future generations.

If you’d like to learn more about leaving a legacy at UNM, including information on the New Horizons Society, bequests, charitable gift annuities and IRA charitable rollovers—or, to request an Estate Planning Guide—please click here.

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Lending a Hand

For Students, UNM and New Mexico, Nusenda Credit Union Partnership Pays Off

By Hilary Mayall Jetty

For students struggling with the economic realities of earning a university degree, a minor financial emergency can have a major impact: the stress of a car repair or medical bill, the loss of a job, increased housing or child care expenses, or the cost of books not covered by a scholarship.

Nusenda Credit Union employees celebrate the completion of the renovation of UNM’s Smith Plaza with UNM President Garnett S. Stokes (holding the scissors) during a ribbon cutting ceremony last spring. Nusenda has a branch inside the Student Union Building, right off the Lobo Landing area of the plaza. Photo: Courtesy Nusenda Credit Union

Although many factors can derail academic progress, Robin Brulé doesn’t believe that a temporary budget crisis or lack of experience in managing money should threaten a student’s future. “Not all students have the safety net of parents they can rely on for help,” she remarked. “Unexpected challenges come up, and this shouldn’t drive whether they succeed or not.”

Brulé serves as chief community engagement officer at Nusenda Credit Union, where a philanthropic commitment to building community partnerships supports programs at UNM that promote financial literacy, student assistance and entrepreneurial innovations.

In collaboration with the UNM Dean of Students’ office, Nusenda is the premier sponsor of the Center for Financial Capability, whose services are available to all UNM students. They include confidential consultations, tax assistance and workshops on managing finances.

“Money is hard for people to talk about,” Brulé noted, “and financial difficulties may cause feelings of isolation or shame. The center helps students find solutions, without judgment.”

One out of four freshmen at UNM drop out due to unexpected financial changes; approximately 70% of UNM students who drop out cite money difficulties. Through its “Powering Success” partnership with UNM, Nusenda aims to create options for students with emergency funding needs. Nusenda offers microloans, ranging from $200 to $2,000. These carry a low rate of interest and generous repayment terms, can be approved quickly, and have proven to be a successful strategy. “We think of it as a tool to support retention and graduation,” Brulé explained. “We want to help students avoid precarious situations, where they have to choose between predatory lenders or dropping out of school.”

At UNM’s Lobo Orientation, Nusenda provides incoming students and their parents with information to help them proactively navigate financial realities. Lobo Leadership student volunteers forge peer-to-peer connections as Financial Capability Ambassadors. Nusenda also assists with curriculum development by helping integrate appropriate financial literacy concepts into classroom studies. “Everything we do at Main Campus we try to replicate at UNM branch campuses,” Brulé noted.

Fostering entrepreneurial training and ideas at UNM’s Innovation Academy is another way Nusenda connects to the University. Students from all across campus learn core skills as they pursue their degrees and develop creative business enterprises. “We seek to strengthen the assets of our community,” Brulé said. “UNM is a significant economic engine, and important to our state. To help the Innovation Academy continue to grow, we support a variety of programs, sponsor contests and awards, and fund specific institutional needs.”

When UNM needed to expand Wi-Fi capability across campus, Nusenda was there to support infrastructure upgrades and software development. They also have established two endowments, one for teacher training scholarships at the College of Education, and one to benefit the Innovation Academy. Nusenda’s longtime partnership with the University is multidimensional. “We genuinely care about UNM,” Brulé stated, “and we’re interested in celebrating the positive impact we’ve made in people’s lives.”

If you’d like to contribute to the Center for Financial Capability to benefit UNM students, you may do so by clicking here.

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Helping Serve Up Miracles

Panda Express’ Generosity Helps UNM Children’s Hospital Provide the Best Care for New Mexico’s Children

By Miranda Fafard

In 1983, husband and wife team Andrew and Peggy Cherng opened the first Panda Express restaurant in Glendale, Calif. Originally from the Yangzhou region of China, Andrew came to the United States years earlier to pursue his American dream. As immigrants, the Cherngs wanted to express their gratitude and pay it forward—so, in 1999 they established Panda Cares, the philanthropic arm of the Panda Restaurant Group. Since then, Panda Express has donated millions of dollars to schools, hospitals and other nonprofits in communities where they operate. One of the hospitals Panda Cares has supported over the years through the Children’s Miracle Network is UNM Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque.

UNM Children’s Hospital Chief Operating Officer Michael Chicarelli poses in front of Panda Express check with members of the hospital team behind him. Photo: Courtesy UNM Children’s Hospital

More than 10 million kids across North America enter a Children’s Miracle Network hospital each year, including UNM Children’s Hospital. Because insurance does not cover some costs, donations to Children’s Miracle Network cover those gaps, as well as costs for life-saving equipment, education for healthy living, and research for advanced treatments.

Panda Express has generously donated every year since 2007, and those donations have helped children at UNMCH receive the best care possible. Anthony Jara, Panda Cares representative and area coach of operations, reported that 90% of Panda Express employees and their families donate to Children’s Miracle Network every March through a companywide giving campaign.

“We also have our daily fundraising program where our guests who dine with us have the opportunity to give back as well,” said Jara. “At each Panda Express location, we have a bell, and every time a guest donates, we ring the bell as a symbol of hope as they do in many children’s hospitals across the nation.”

In 2019, Panda Express was recognized as the 2018 Corporate Partner of the Year by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Because of the company’s commitment to and fundraising for UNM Children’s Hospital, the hospital hosted an appreciation breakfast this past March for Panda Express leadership and team members.

“It’s so humbling to know that when we raise money, it stays here in New Mexico to better serve our children and their families,” Jara said. “We are also humbled by stories of our own employees who have had their loved ones treated at UNM Children’s Hospital, and how hospital staff treat them like family. It’s a personal experience we’re honored to serve in.”

As the partnership between Panda Express and UNM Children’s Hospital continues, Jara sees plenty of possibilities in the future for the company to increase its giving and community outreach throughout New Mexico. “Every year, I challenge our New Mexico stores to be the No. 1 contributor for Children’s Hospital. Our partnership will continue to focus on empowering our children to live healthfully by having access to the best care.”

If you’d like to contribute to Children’s Miracle Network to benefit patients at UNM Children’s Hospital, you may do so by clicking here.

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