honored at May 11 Commencement
to receive degrees
and an advocate for childrenboth of whom have had a profound
influence on the lives of many New Mexicanswill receive
honorary degrees at the UNM 2002 Spring Commencement ceremony,
Saturday, May 11, at 9 a.m. in the University Arena (The Pit).
of 2,578 degrees are projected to be conferred upon UNM main
campus graduates at the ceremony. Of the total, the projected
breakdown is as follows: 1,911 bachelors degrees; 338
masters degrees; 63 doctorate degrees; 102 juris doctorate
degrees; 3 post-masters degrees; 69 medical doctorate
degrees; 84 pharmacy doctorate degrees; and 8 education specialists
resident, author and poet Simon J. Ortiz will receive an Honorary
Doctorate of Letters Degree and Angela Angie Vachio,
executive director of Peanut Butter and Jelly Family Services,
Inc. (PB&J), which she helped found nearly 30 years ago,
will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Degree.
who is widely regarded as one of todays most important
Native American poets, is the author of 15 books and the editor
or co-editor of five others. These include poems, short stories,
essays and childrens books. His principal collections
of poetry are Going for the Rain (1976), A
Good Journey (1977), Fight Back: for the Sake of
the People, for the Sake of the Land (1980), From
Sand Creek (1981), Woven Stone (1992), and
After and Before the Lightening (1994). His short
stories are published in Howbay Indians (1978),
Fightin (1983) and Men on the Moon
In his writing, Ortiz draws strength from the storytelling heritage
of his people. He uses straightforward and fluid language
reminiscent of the Indian oral tradition to depict Native American
lifethe struggles, sufferings, triumphs and pains of everyday
existence, according to Contemporary Authors.
His grand theme is the survival and continuance of Native American
culture against the many threats to its existence, past and
received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the
Arts, the Pushcart Prize for Poetry, a grant from the Lila Wallace-Readers
Digest Fund and the Western States Arts Association Lifetime
Achievement Award. A selection of his work appears in the Norton
Anthology of American Literature, a prestigious collection of
American writing used in classrooms around the world.
born in Albuquerque and raised at Acoma Pueblo. He attended
Fort Lewis College, UNM and the University of Iowa. He has taught
creative writing and Native American literature at many colleges
and universities, including UNM, 1979-81; the University of
Arizona, the University of California at Irvine and the University
of Toronto. He has given many readings at UNMs main and
Gallup campuses. He has also served as lieutenant governor of
1972, Vachio and Christine Ruiz Boyd founded PB&J in Albuquerques
South Valley as a therapeutic and supportive learning environment
for pre-school children who were often at risk of being abused
or neglected. Since then, PB&J has grown from a volunteer
organization operating out of a donated storage room to a nationally
accredited, multi-county, comprehensive family services program.
In 1985, Vachio opened a second facility in Bernalillo County
that focused on parents with mental retardation who sometimes
lost custody of their children because they did not always have
strong parenting skills.
Vachio established the Importance of Parents and Children Together
(ImPACT) Project that provides prison and community-based staff
to work with inmate parents and their children at the mens
facility in Los Lunas. It was recently expanded to include the
Penitentiary of New Mexico.
now regarded as a national model, was deemed so successful that
the Department of Corrections asked Vachio to begin a similar
program at the womens correctional facility in Grants.
Such a program was established in 1993, one that provides parenting
and educational experiences to help women effectively and positively
participate in their childrens lives.
and the PB&J staff have since begun other programs such
as one for delinquent teen parents at Albuquerques Youth
Diagnostic and Detention Center and another at Cuba High School
that helps teen mothers return to school.
Institute of Corrections recently selected PB&J to develop
a model system of care for children whose parents are incarcerated.
Additionally, Vachio has recently received the Liberty Belle
Award of the Albuquerque Bar Association, the YWCA Woman on
the Move Award and the Governors Award for Outstanding
New Mexico Women of the New Mexico Commission on the Status
of Ceremony for Commencement will be Dr. Richard Holder, UNM
Deputy Provost and Professor of Chemistry. Selections for the
Prelude and the Processional will be performed by University
Band under the baton of Eric Rombach-Kendall, conductor. Following
the Presentation of Colors by the UNM Air Force ROTC, the National
Anthem will be sung by Masters in Music Graduate Jennaya Robison.
will then be offered by UNM President William C. Gordon and
UNM Board of Regents President Larry D. Willard.
Address will be delivered by John C. Probasco, who is receiving
his bachelors degree in Biochemistry. Probasco has an
extensive record of service to the University and to the Associated
Students of UNM. He has been inducted into a number of honorary
organizations and is the recipient of various honors and awards.
Most recently, he was selected as a Harry S. Truman Foundation
Scholar and also won further distinction and prestige by being
selected as a Rhodes Scholar.
the Commencement Address, additional greetings will be conveyed
by UNM Faculty Senate President John Geissman.
UNM Provost Brian Foster will then recognize UNM Honors graduates
and then Gordon will award the $1,000 Tom L. Popejoy Dissertation
Prize to Dr. Michael Anne Sullivan of the UNM Department of
History for her dissertation on Healing Bodies and Saving
the Race: Women, Public Health, Eugenics, and Sexuality, 1890-1950.
the awarding of the honorary degrees and the conferring of degrees
in course by Gordon, UNM Alumni Association President Connie
Beimer will offer Congratulatory Remarks. Robison will lead
the singing of the Alma Mater and Los Reyes de Albuquerque will
perform the Recessional.
49 members of UNMs 50-year-class, the Class of 1952, will
participate in the ceremony.
the ceremony, all degree candidates and their guests are invited
to a reception hosted by President and Mrs. William C. Gordon
from 1-4 p.m. at University House on main campus at 1901 Roma
information, call the Office of the UNM Secretary, 277-4664.