Campus News - April 23, 2001
Language, culture, travel Johnson's passions
by Claudio Serrano
are her passion. She speaks Spanish, Italian, English, French and Farsi (Persian)
fluently, so its no surprise Rosario Johnson is the Administrator of the
Spanish and Portuguese department.
I love this department, she says. I like to help students
make their dreams come true. And she has. Johnson brings more than 20
years of Public Administration experience to UNM.
Johnson is responsible for recruiting teaching assistants from the United
States, Brazil, Mexico and other countries in South America and the Caribbean.
This semester alone, 41 teaching assistants and 21 part-time instructors were
staffed for more than 100 courses offered by the department.
Before getting a scholarship to study School Administration in England, Johnson
got a degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University
Her passion for traveling took her to many cities in the U.S. as well as fascinating
countries like Israel and Iran, where she served as a high school principal
for a number of years. I love Irans culture, she says. I
cried when the revolution forced me to leave.
Johnson said she was attracted to New Mexico by its culture and languages,
which she finds similar to a small Chilean town where she lived years ago. Although
she has traveled extensively, this is the place she plans to grow roots. Albuquerque
is home, she says. The people here are just incredible.
When time allows, and when she is not behind her desk with piles of paperwork,
she can be found roller blading around campus or reading, one of her favorite
Johnson, or Rosario, as she likes to be called, is busy round the clock.
She even makes her own clothes. In the process, she has learned to match ethnic
colors and fabrics with long, sophisticated skirts that give her a unique style.
Sometimes I buy a fabric and keep it for years before I do anything with
it, she jokes.
Rosarios interests are as many as her travels, her soft voice and diplomatic ways show that she speaks yet another language: her own.
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