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2011 Alumni Association Homecoming Awards

The association honors graduates and supporters for their professional accomplishments and service to the university.
People  |  Oct 20, 2011  |  By University Communications

The association is honoring the following graduates and supporters for their professional accomplishments and service to the university.

Alumna of the Year

Patricia Mulroy, '75 BA and '77 MA German Literature
Mulroy grew up on an Air Force base in Germany and first came to Las Vegas as a college student. Currently, she oversees the operations of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, which provides water to more than 1 million customers, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which is responsible for acquiring, treating, and delivering water to local agencies that collectively serve approximately 2 million residents and nearly 40 million annual visitors. Mulroy joined the Water District more than 20 years ago and began serving as its general manager in 1989. She was a principal architect of the SNWA, which has served as a model for other Western water agencies since its creation in 1991.

A resident of Southern Nevada for more than three decades, Mulroy chairs the UNLV College of Sciences Advisory Board and has served on the Nevada Public Radio board of directors. Her honors include National Jewish Medical and Research Center's Humanitarian Award, Nevada Board of Regent's Distinguished Nevadan Award, and the UNLV College of Sciences Math and Science Education Achievement Award.

Outstanding Faculty

Alfredo Fernandez-Gonzalez, Architecture
Fernandez-Gonzalez is an associate professor of architecture and the director of the Natural Energies Advanced Technologies Laboratory at UNLV.

His research areas include energy efficiency and green design; passive and low-energy heating and cooling systems; and water harvesting, treatment and reuse systems.

He has been recognized with awards like the U.S. Green Building Council-Nevada Chapter Leadership in Research Award, the Architecture Research Centers Consortium Best Architectural Research Paper of the Year Award, and an American Institute of Architects-Las Vegas Chapter Design Citation Award.

Fernandez-Gonzalez received a bachelor's in architecture in 1993 from Universidad La Salle in Mexico City and a master's in architecture in 1999 from the University of Oregon.

2011 College Honorees

Boyd School of Law

Jeremy Aguero, '97 BS Hotel Administration and '04 JD
Aguero is a principal analyst with Applied Analysis, a leading economic, fiscal, and policy research firm in Las Vegas. He has performed numerous economic and fiscal impact assessments for major projects. Aguero is an adjunct professor for hotel law. He recently served as a panelist for a continuing legal education program hosted by the Boyd School of Law. He is on the board of directors for the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, Nevada Child Seekers, Opportunity Village, and Nevada State Bank. He also coaches youth baseball, basketball, and soccer.

Honors College

Brian Sompayrac, '95 BS Mechanical Engineering
Sompayrac has served as a certified principal engineer for the Atlas Launch Vehicle Centaur Forward Adapter Structure, the Lockheed Martin mechanical lead for the Ares I-X launch vehicle, and is currently an Orion First Article vehicle manager. He is a dedicated member of the UNLV community, combining his education and career experience to serve as a role model for current students in the college. He provides guidance to students who are unsure of their career paths and is a resource for those interested in the aerospace field.

Fine Arts

David G. Howryla, '97 BS and '00 MS Architecture
Howryla is president of Marnell Architecture. He has designed and overseen the delivery of design for many major large-scale resort and mixed-use projects. At UNLV, he was a key collaborator on the curriculum for the School of Architecture's hospitality design concentration. He has been a guest lecturer, sharing his experiences with billion-dollar projects. Howryla, through a substantial gift and pledge from the Marnell Foundation, has made possible the establishment of the school's David G. Howryla Building Technologies Lab. This will facilitate connections with the community and enrich the student experience.

Liberal Arts

Tony F. Sanchez III, '88 BA Political Science
Sanchez is NV Energy's senior vice president of government and community strategy. He oversees all regulatory and government strategy, corporate communications, environment and safety, and community relations. In 2009, he worked with UNLV to create a curriculum for renewable energy. Two years later, and with a grant from the NV Energy Foundation, a minor in interdisciplinary renewable studies is flourishing. His volunteer activities include serving on Chancellor's Business Roundtable, the Inclusive Excellence Advisory Board, and the UNLV Alumni Association Board of Directors. He and his wife Elaine, '95 BA Criminal Justice, have four children.

School of Nursing

Janet Quillian, '67 AA Nursing
Quillian has been the director of the International Development Internship Program (IDIP) through Seattle University since 1999. It allows students to explore the root causes and consequences of situations that undermine the wellbeing of individuals in the developing world. She also has consulted for the World Health Organization. In 1967, Dr. Quillian was one of the first graduates to receive UNLV's Associate of Arts Degree in Nursing and was instrumental in designing the first nursing pin and cap. In 1992 she returned to UNLV where she developed the curriculum and implemented the first graduate family nurse practitioner program.

College of Education

Pamela Hicks, '69 BS Secondary Curriculum & Instruction and '70 MS Secondary Education
Hicks is deputy executive director of the Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professional-Technical Employees. Previously, she was an administrative trainer for the Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program; UNLV associate vice president of Enrollment and Student Services; and a Clark County School District area superintendent, secondary curriculum director, principal, and teacher. She has been a member of various statewide educational committees, including the Governor's Blue Ribbon Committee of Educational Reform. She is a past president of the UNLV Alumni Association. She is married to Ken Hicks, '68 BA Elementary Instruction & Curriculum.

Greenspun College of Urban Affairs

William Horne, '99 BA Criminal Justice and '01 JD
Horne is an attorney in private practice. He was elected to the Nevada Legislature in 2002 and now serves as the Assembly majority whip. Horne contributes to the Southern Nevada community and the UNLV community as well. Horne teaches as an adjunct professor at UNLV and serves on the College of Urban Affairs advisory committee. He works with other alumni to improve the quality of academic programs, strengthen community partnerships, and enhance the reputation of UNLV.

Harrah College of Hotel Administration

Guy Fieri, '90 BS Hotel Administration
Fieri is a restauranteur and celebrity chef. His Food Network shows include Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and he is now developing Cooking with Kids, a program that encourages healthy eating habits to address the childhood obesity crisis. He is an executive member of the UNLV Hotel College Alumni Chapter board of directors. He frequently volunteers in the Hotel College and shares his positive memories and experiences at UNLV with the public through many forums, thus advancing the stature of the Hotel College.

Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering

John Fountain, '82 BS and '85 MS Computer Science
Fountain is director of technology at Cox Business Hospitality Network, the business-to-business division of Cox Communications. He has served as an adjunct computer science instructor and was chair of the UNLV Visitor's Board of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He also served on advisory boards in the MIS and computer sciences departments. Fountain combines his experience with volunteerism to give back to his college. He and his wife, Tammy, '85 BS Geology, have a son, Jonathon, a current UNLV student.

College of Business

Paul Biafore, '89 BSBA Management
Biafore is a vice president and resident director with Merrill Lynch. Previously, he served in numerous senior level gaming positions at Station Casinos, Rio All Suites Hotel, and Jackie Gaughan's downtown properties. His dedication to UNLV began when he was a student. He served as the basketball team senior student manager, dealing with everything from coordinating travel and practice schedules to handling issues with players, coaches, and boosters. After graduation, he continued to work with the men's basketball program. He serves on the College of Business dean's advisory.

UNLV Supporters

Silver State Award

Bob Miller, Nevada's longest serving governor (1989-1999)
Miller received the association's top award for a nonalumnus. As governor, he put forth budgets that tripled the funding for higher education and included funding for UNLV student housing and dining, the Health Sciences Building, Southern Nevada Computing Center, Architecture Building, UNLV Libraries, and the Boyd School of Law. He also served as lieutenant governor, Clark County district attorney, and Las Vegas Township justice of the peace. His wife, Sandy, '71 BA Elementary Education, received the College of Education Alumna of the Year Award in 2008.

Achievement in Service Award

Jay Kornmayer is an executive vice president of Wells Fargo Bank
Since 1982, Kornmayer has managed the Wells Fargo Gaming Division, which included the Native Banking Services Group beginning in 2004. He has been a panelist at UNLV's International Gaming Institute seminars and at the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies. He is the chair of the executive advisory board for the College of Business and chairs the UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees development committee. His efforts on UNLV's behalf have lead to increased donations and improved mentorship opportunities for students and job opportunities for alumni.