achieves department status in COE
back as 1983 faculty in the College of Education (COE) envisioned
what the UNM Board of Regents recently deemed the Department
of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies (LLSS).
COE entity to achieve departmental status since eight disbanded
in 1992 during restructuring, LLSS is the result of years of
planning, dedication and sheer vision.
of us wanted to try something different, said Ann Nihlen,
wanted to have space for faculty who were interested in focusing
on issues of diversity and multiculturalism across interdisciplinary
lines, said Leroy I. Ortiz, one of the key players who
submitted an earlier plan for a multicultural unit to former
COE Dean David Colton. Others who were instrumental included
Guillermina Engelbrect, Richard van Dongen and Marlis Mann.
bilingual education, language arts and educational thought and
sociocultural studies merged, along with a few faculty from
other units. Secondary and middle school education and social
studies joined soon after.
an LLSS division was formed, directed by Leroy Ortiz until 1999.
Bill Cline led for two years and then Nihlen was named chair
1998 we started to become a department. Now we have one mission
statement and one set of goals for students, one prefix instead
of three or four, we have one place in the schedule of classes,
one degree, not four; and faculty meet monthly for governance
issues, Nihlen said.
offers masters and doctoral programs focused on language and
literacy, bilingual education, language acquisition and specialized
studies in the social cultural foundations of education.
Fully one-half of the faculty is minority, representing communities
throughout the U.S. and Mexico, and five are Native American.
Students come from around the world.
outreach around the state, particularly to schools and tribes,
is a vital component of LLSS. As well, links with other colleges
and interdisciplinary projects are a priority.
have a lot of affiliations both within COE and without. Students
must acquire 12 hours outside the department, said Nihlen,
who has an anthropology degree. We want our students to
have different kinds of experiences. Faculty from all over the
world serve on their dissertation committees.
developing a Web page, created a new brochure and enticed Canadian
Ivan Eagletail, a Tsuii Tina native, to paint a distinctive
mural to mark its space in Hokona Hall. More than 100 people
attended a recent celebration marking its official status.
information, call 277-0437.