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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Five and why: Elisio "Cheo" Torres

A lot can be said about a person through their book collection. They reveal little secrets about our lives and personalities. Every person interprets a book in a different way, and the connections we form to it are as telling as the written stories themselves.

Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, vice president of Student Affairs, said he came here in 1995 from Texas A&M University-Kingsville after being nominated for the position here.

“When I was interviewed, I fell in love with the campus and the people — and the culture of New Mexico,” Torres said.

Torres’ collection of books is extensive, but the following are five works that he says have shaped him.

1. “Bless Me, Ultima,” by Rudolfo Anaya

“I relate to this book because of my studies in curanderismo, and particularly to one of Anaya’s characters, Ultima, a curandera who is the main character Antonio’s mentor. This book reminds me of the rich culture and traditions of New Mexico,” Torres said.

2. “Achieve Anything in Just One Year,” by Jason Harvey

“This inspiring book offers a collection of excellent advice and practical ideas, and includes mini-assignments about goal achievement to ensure the reader is fully grasping the concepts,” Torres said.

3. “More than Listening,” by Ruth Harper and Nona Wilson

“This is an outstanding resource book about counseling theories in Student Affairs, my field of work, and includes excellent case studies for dealing with students,” Torres said.

4. “Sastun,” by Rosita Arvigo

“Her wonderful stories of Don Elijio remind me of a similar situation I had thirty years ago with my mentor and teacher, Chenchito from Mexico. I was blessed to have Chenchito join me this summer for my UNM traditional medicine class. This book helps me to be a better instructor in traditional medicine,” Torres said.

5. “Woman Who Glows in the Dark,” by Elena Avila

“Because of my teaching and research on traditional medicine and curanderismo, I can truly relate to this book dealing with holistic medicine — healing of the body, mind, and spirit,” Torres said. “The author, Elena, was a good friend who passed away recently, but her teachings through her book reminds us of the importance of traditional healing today just as it was in the past. The author and friend teaches me how to heal myself and serve others. Her spirit is very much alive.”

Skylar Griego is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at culture@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @DailyLobo.