After several years with EG&G Special Projects on White Sands Missile Range in very physically demanding night-shift work, and after a severe horse training accident which left me partially blind, I moved back into education and became an instructor on the missile range for New Mexico State University’s Mathematics and Physical Sciences Department. My current courses are in geography and geology, with emphasis on cartography/GIS/satellite imagery, etc. We are expecting 20,000 more soldiers in to White Sands and Fort Bliss, Texas (adjacent to the range) for extensive future combat system/battlefield training within the next year. Two other instructors and I (all of us with top secret clearances and ease of range mobility) were asked to create a “flexible course” program for the troops, which basically means variable class times (in the middle of a night-shift?), locations (in a tank in the field? in a bunker?) and lots of e-mail interaction and instruction. Those active duty personnel who are so determined to achieve their higher education while juggling battlefield tours in Iraq and Afghanistan will be accommodated by us whenever and wherever the setting while they are here in training. The hours they put in and the locations they train in are incredible.
Off-hours are spent here on my ranch in southern New Mexico with horses, dogs, cats, and any assortment of desert critters! It is truly a place of solitude and peace and escape amidst the stress of defense department work.
I am truly proud of my degrees from IUP and the geography department there. Without them, I would never have had the skills to contribute to high-tech future defense/combat systems, and now to be making a difference in the lives of those who are fighting to keep us free. And I am forever grateful to Bob Sechrist and Joe Bencloski and their colleagues for their friendship and support in what were some lean years for me as a single mother trying to educate herself some 15 years ago! Love you all!
New Mexico State University’s Mathematics and Physical Sciences Department