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Current Issue:  April 22, 2002
Volume 37, Number 19


Joan L. Bybee, UNM Regents’ Professor and chair of Linguistics, has been chosen the next vice president/president elect of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), the national professional linguistics organization.

Bybee will serve as vice president of the 6,000-member organization in 2003 and as president in 2004.

“I consider it a great honor to be counted among the very distinguished scholars who have served as president of the Linguistics Society of America, a largely honorary position. I will preside over the business meeting and the executive committee meetings and deliver the Presidential Address at the annual meeting,” Bybee says.

Bybee is not the first person from UNM to hold the position. The late Professor Stanley Newman of the Anthropology Department served in 1979.

Bybee received a Ph.D. in linguistics from UCLA in 1973 and was faculty at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1973-‘89. Now Regents’ Professor in the Department of Linguistics at UNM, she served as department chair from 1999-‘02 and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1992-‘93.

She has been awarded fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences and the Guggenheim Foundation.

In LSA, she has served on the program committee, executive committee and was director of the 1995 LSA Linguistic Institute.


Michael Gonzalez of UNM Continuing Education has been awarded the ¡Caliente Award! for spring of 2002. Gonzalez is the first recipient of the award, which will be given three times a year by UNM Continuing Education’s Staff Appreciation Committee in recognition of outstanding service.

Gonzalez has been UNM Continuing Education’s Building Technician for 17 years. Kathy Meadows, committee chair says, “We appreciate Mike’s positive attitude, exceptional service and commitment to the division.”

Nominations for the ¡Caliente! Award are received from staff, students, faculty and customers of UNM Continuing Education. The recipient gets a plaque, eight hours of paid administrative leave and a designated parking space. Recipients are eligible to receive the Numero Uno Award given in December.


Cynthia Robinson, assistant professor of Art History and faculty member of the UNM Institute for Medieval Studies, was recently awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer stipend. 

Each university is allowed only a junior and senior nominee making the awards highly competitive.

Robinson’s project is, “The 14th-century Mude’jar Convent of Tordesillas (Spain):  A Reinterpretation of Clarisan Spirituality.” Tordesillas was first a palace, built in Muslim style architecture, before royal patrons donated it to the Clarisan order in 1363. 

Robinson will carry out her research in May and June, working in archives in Madrid, Valladolid and Palencia, in an effort to trace the lives and identities of some of the earliest Clarisan nuns who professed at Tordesillas, among whom were two of Pedro el Cruel’s illegitimate daughters.


Dr. Cheryl WillmanDr. Cheryl Willman, CEO and director of the UNM Cancer Research & Treatment Center, has been appointed by the National Institutes of Health to serve as the Chairperson of the Hematology Study Section. The appointment begins on July 1, 2002 and ends on June 30, 2004.

Members are selected on the basis of demonstrated competence and achievement in scientific journals and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. Willman, who is a professor of pathology at the UNM School of Medicine, is an internationally recognized leukemia researcher. Labs at the CRTC receive samples from one-half of all children and one-third of all adults in the United States who are affected by leukemia.

The Hematology Study Section reviews applications for studies involving the basic blood system with a focus on blood formation and destruction. The chairperson contributes significantly to biomedical research efforts.


Two physicians from the UNM Health Sciences Center are listed in the April 2002 Ladies’ Home Journal article “The best doctors for women – coast to coast.” Harriet Smith, M.D., a gynecological oncologist, and John Saiki, M.D., a medical oncologist, both work at the UNM Cancer Research & Treatment Center.

The article lists the top specialists for women in three women’s health fields: obstetrics/gynecology, gynecological oncology and breast cancer specialists.