Alumni, Supporters, and Friends

Critical Gift for a Capital Need 
In 2008, former Computer Science Chair Stephanie Forrest faced the dilemma of overflowing computer classes, cramped settings, a lack of dedicated lab space, as well as unhappy faculty and students. So she turned to CS alum and long time scholarship supporter Jeff P. Van Dyke of VanDyke Software for help.

Thanks to a very generous capital gift from Van Dyke, the Computer Science Department was able to use shell space in the Centennial Engineering Center to create a large, configurable computer lab space dedicated for use by students and faculty. “I know the important role quality equipment and lab space play in the education of students,” says Van Dyke. “I was very happy to be able to help the Department fulfill this need.”

Quiet Transformational Philanthropy
During the 2011–12 academic year, a two time alum got to know his alma mater better and discovered current and long terms needs. The more he learned, the more he wanted to help make a systemic change to his “home” Department. He committed to a significant planned gift that will ultimately fund a much-needed endowed faculty position. “I was offered the chance to help effect a change,” says the donor. “I made my ideas known and described the changes I would like to see. You don’t have to be a member of the 1% to bring about change.” Crafted in collaboration with a program, a department, or the School as a whole, estate gifts can be a way to make your plans.

Widening the Circle
After receiving his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2008, Jake Hollowell made a promise to himself to repay the generosity he received through scholarship support while at UNM. Within a year of his graduation, he fulfilled that promise and made a donation to help current UNM Engineering students with their financial needs.

Achieving that success boosted his confidence. Hollowell decided to aim higher and invite friends and family to create an endowed scholarship for others who share his values. Fellow alums, friends, and family supported his efforts and created the Visionaries of Infinite Potential (VIP) Endowed Scholarship.

The scholarship supports undergraduate students with financial needs who are committed to giving back through volunteering and eventually making donations of their own. Initial donors include fellow Engineering alum Daniel Garcia (BSME ’07, MSME ’09), UNM alums Noel King and Brian Hesch, Jake’s mother Virginia Hollowell, and friend Judson Williams.

“The VIP Scholarship encourages everyone to consider setting small goals that can be achieved and then exponentially setting higher and higher goals,” Hollowell says. “As Napoleon Hill said, ‘Anything the mind can conceive and bring itself to believe it can achieve.’”

Supporting Next Generation Imagers 
Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS), one of the leading suppliers of infrared technologies worldwide, is supporting exploratory research on a new generation of intelligent infrared detectors at the Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM). “RVS seeks high caliber partners for fundamental research and development,” says Ed Smith, Senior Principal Engineer as RVS. “CHTM has a strong reputation in the infrared industry for original and novel work in all areas of infrared device technology.”

Steven J. Brueck, CHTM director, and Sanjay Krishna, professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Regents Lecturer, are leading the new project. Krishna’s group is internationally recognized in the area of infrared imaging, while Brueck’s group is a pioneer in the fabrication of near infrared metamaterials.

“The gift by RVS will help us explore ‘Meta-Infrared’, the idea of combining metamaterials and plasmonics with infrared detectors to incorporate color, gain, and polarization in the pixel,” says Krishna. “This is similar to creating cones in the human eye that are sensitive to different colors.”

Applications for this novel enhanced infrared technology include enabling a pilot to see the landing strip in color through smoke or fog and a neurosurgeon to locate a blockage in a cerebral shunt.