Highly adaptable

Robert Graham says he’s learned through life experiences to adapt and thrive in any environment, given the diverse communities he’s lived in.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune Robert Graham, 28, sits at his favorite Mexican restaurant in Portales, La Paz. Graham has lived in the area for nearly four years and serves as Eastern New Mexico University’s Alumni Affairs coordinator.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune
Robert Graham, 28, sits at his favorite Mexican restaurant in Portales, La Paz. Graham has lived in the area for nearly four years and serves as Eastern New Mexico University’s Alumni Affairs coordinator.

From growing up being in Charlotte, N.C., being a member of the only black family on his block, to attending and teaching in an international school environment, Graham, 28, has used his people skills and fast learning to progress in his life.

He feels those skills certainly helped him land his Eastern New Mexico University Alumni Affairs coordinator position, after graduating from ENMU with his master of arts in English.

He feels grateful for the opportunity ENMU has given him to grow but prior to the southwestern hospitality, Graham held a variety of jobs ranging from educator to wildland firefighter.

Graham, who is adopted, added one of the major moments of his life was when he was reunited with his birth family.

If you were stranded on an island, what is one album, one book and one food you wish you had with you?

“The Dark Side of the Moon” (by artist Pink Floyd), Apple’s annual report and genetically modified buffalo.

 

Since you’ve been in New Mexico, what’s been your favorite place that you’ve visited?

Red River. I loved the restaurants, the scenery, the freshness of the air.

 

What’s one thing on your bucket list?

To swim in the Red Sea.

 

What has your experience at ENMU given you and what do you hope to accomplish during your time as coordinator of Alumni Affairs?

It’s given me exposure, training, refinement, and opportunity to contribute right away. I hope to create a stronger organizational infrastructure and strengthen the Alumni Association’s fiscal opportunities.

 

Since you’re well-read in finance, what three companies would you purchase stock from?

Pfizer (a pharmaceutical corporation, Apple and British Petroleum.

 

What compelled you to search for your birth family and what was the experience like when you reunited with them?

The ethical responsibility to give my kids good data if they ever asked me about my past. The experience was surreal; to be in the same space as people who are genetically similar to you yet you don’t have the life experience. It was an act of compassion.

 

If you weren’t working at ENMU right now, what would be your desired profession?

I would be Daniels, the time traveler from Star Trek Enterprise from the 31st century, a Temporal Cold War officer.

 

Tell me something interesting that happened to you last weekend?

I helped an overturned vehicle on my way to Lubbock. It was cold and windy. There were about seven or eight pedestrians that helped. I helped the lady out of the vehicle, her husband was able to get out on his own. Then while we were waiting for the emergency vehicles, I let them sit in my car. I also gave reports to the emergency response team.

 

— Compiled by PNT senior writer

Christina Calloway

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