Six Distinguished Highlands University Alumni Named


The Highlands University Alumni Association named six distinguished alumni for induction in 2008 at an alumni banquet Oct. 24 during homecoming week.  “As alumni you are the success stories of our institution,” said Highlands University President Jim Fries.Jim Mandarino, the university’s alumni affairs director said:  “For more than 20 years, the Highlands Alumni Association has named distinguished alumni who are selected for their outstanding achievement in their career fields as well as their community service.  This year’s new group of distinguished alumni certainly carries on the tradition of excellence.”The distinguished Highlands University alumni of 2008 include: was born in Las Vegas, N.M., and earned her bachelor’s degree from Highlands with a double major in Spanish and French and a minor in political science.  Bohannon retired in 2008 after a 40-year broadcasting career, including working as a reporter and anchor for CBS, NBC, MUTUAL, AP and UPI. In addition, she was the morning drive anchor on Washington D.C.’s top two radio news stations, WRC and WTOP. Bohannon lectured in broadcasting at the University of Maryland and Montgomery College. Her work received numerous broadcasting awards, including the 2002 Radio TV News Directors Association’s Edward R. Murrow Award for her AP coverage of the 9/11 tragedy.  She was a member of numerous professional organizations, including the United States Senate/House Press Gallery.Bohannon has been an active participant in church activities over the years, ranging from programs to help repair homes for low-income families to singing in numerous church choirs.  was born in New Jersey and moved to New Mexico to earn her bachelor’s degree in English and political science from Highlands. Forrer went on to complete her master’s degree in English from the University of Illinois and her doctorate in educational administration from New Mexico State University. She serves as the senior fiscal analyst on the Legislative Education Study Committee.   Her career has spanned positions ranging from deputy director for the School Budget Planning Unit of the New Mexico Department of Education to assistant professor in the Department of Educational Management and Development at New Mexico State University. She also taught in the English Department at Highlands.  Forrer is an executive board member for Cooperative Educational Services and has served professionally in numerous other capacities, including as a member of the Public School Subgroup of the Statewide Accounting Task Force, and the Staff, Training and Experience Task Force of the State Board of Education.   was born in Farmington, N.M., and earned her bachelor’s degree in English and modern languages from Highlands.  After graduation, she was named a Fulbright scholar and spent a year at Julius Maximilians Universití¤t in Wí¼rzburg, Germany.  Holcomb went on to complete her master’s degree in English from Tulane University and her doctorate in English from the University of Colorado.  Holcomb was a professor for 33 years at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, holding an endowed professorship during the last 15 years.  Her expertise is 18th century Scottish philosophy and poetry. Holcomb published extensively and received numerous awards during the course of her outstanding academic career.  Holcomb’s community service includes positions such as chairing the San Angelo Commission on the Status of Women and serving on the San Antonio Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women. After retiring in 2004, she began volunteering for Dress for Success, a non-profit agency that helps low-income women successfully enter the job market.  was born in Holman, N.M., and earned both his bachelor’s degree in elementary education and his master’s degree in educational administration from Highlands. He went on to complete a doctorate in education from the University of New Mexico.Mondragon’s public education career in New Mexico spans 50 years.  He continues to teach as a professor emeritus at the University of New Mexico and Highlands University. He started his education career as an elementary classroom teacher in Las Vegas City Schools. He went on to become the east area superintendent for Albuquerque Public Schools. While with Albuquerque Public  Schools, he also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico and the University of Albuquerque.   In 2005, Mondragon co-authored Public Education in New Mexico with Ernest Stapleton.  This book quickly became the standard reference on how education developed in New Mexico.  Mondragon has received numerous awards for his contributions to educational excellence, including being named a 2004 New Mexico Hall of Fame recipient for the Coalition of School Administrators. was born in Mora, N.M., and earned her bachelor’s degree from Highlands.  She went on to complete both her master’s degree and doctorate in education from the University of New Mexico.Rindone started her teaching career in Las Vegas City Schools and retired recently as the director of the Legislative Education Study Committee for the State of New Mexico.  Some of her areas of expertise include policy analysis, research and evaluation, and bilingual and multicultural education.  She also taught as a professor at Eastern New Mexico University.Rindone published extensively and received numerous professional awards, including the National Conference of State Legislature’s Legislative Achievement Award. She has many professional affiliations, including the Partners for Leadership in Education and the Standing Committee on Education of the National Conference of State Legislature. was born in Wheaton, Ill., and transferred as a sophomore to Highlands, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in physical education and played football for the Cowboys. His education at Highlands was interrupted when he volunteered for service in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.  Trescott started his distinguished career as an educator  when he was hired to teach social studies and coach at Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale, Ill.  He advanced to become a guidance counselor, guidance service director, assistant principal, and assistant superintendent of schools. Trescott served on board of directors for Mid-America Bank and MAP Bank Corp., which received an outstanding rating under the Community Reinvestment Act as a leading residential leader. He has always been active in his community, including the Union Church of Hinsdale, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and more.