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Paloma Chapa (left) and Leila Chapa (right) outside Marron Hall on Sunday, May 5.

Daily Lobo twins for the win

Paloma and Leila Chapa, Daily Lobo staff members and Women’s Soccer Club founders, are graduating from the University of New Mexico this spring with degrees in environmental planning and design.

The twins started at UNM in 2019 and quickly became involved with the campus community. In September 2023, Paloma became multimedia editor for the Lobo and helped build the video desk. Leila joined the Lobo as a videographer in February 2024.

The two were excited to create videos together – a longtime passion of theirs – and gain new experiences at the Lobo, they said.

“The Lobo team has been so gracious and welcoming from the start. I remember my first day, I already felt like part of the team because of the great energy of everyone there,” Leila wrote.

The pair also launched the UNM Women’s Soccer Club.

“(We) took passion in trying to get it from pick-up games at Johnson Field to as high a level as possible,” Leila wrote.

In the academic world, Paloma and Leila worked under the mentorship of Professor Subhankar Banerjee on a project involving biodiversity justice and visual culture through the UNM Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities (CEAH). Paloma and Leila were attentive, sincere and rigorously engaged when they attended Banerjee’s spring 2023 class, he wrote.

The pair’s project – a suite of postcards exploring the relationship between human and nonhuman life –  will be included in a 2026 book and exhibition called “Coexistence: Biodiversity in New Mexico,” co-produced by CEAH and the Albuquerque Museum, Banerjee wrote.

At the Lobo most recently, Paloma and Leila have been covering the UNM Palestine solidarity encampment with photographer Ella Daniel.

“Now in my second semester with the Lobo, it’s hard to believe I’m writing and reporting on the current events on campus after only having written one culture article previously,” Paloma wrote.

Paloma brings detail and positivity to her work, Daniel wrote, and Leila’s dedication to journalism makes her video-storytelling authentic.

“I would not have been able to achieve my goals as a journalist without Paloma by my side … I am always eager to watch (Leila’s) videos,” Daniel wrote.

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The Lobo staff made Paloma more confident in her abilities, she wrote.

“When I had a rough week or stressful time, I would always feel better after spending time with the other editors on Sunday,” Paloma wrote.

After graduation, Paloma and Leila will continue their work with Banerjee. They also intend to go to graduate school for environmental engineering, Paloma wrote.

Arly Garcia is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on Twitter @DailyLobo

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