With a mind set on making a difference for Native Americans, Daily Lobo reporter Hannah John is graduating from the University of New Mexico with a major in communications and a minor in Native American studies. Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, John has remained a fighter for equality in the face of cultural challenges.

With the future in mind, John has her sights set on bigger and better things, including the pursuit of a successful career in journalism with a focus on heightening the representation of her Native American culture in news media.

In a year unlike any other, education became a whirlwind of chaos as college students attempted to pursue their degrees amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Jesus Mata has persevered through the end of his college experience with virtual education, finally making it to the graduation light at the end of the tunnel.

Mata, a journalism major and professional writing minor, never really had any sort of interest in journalism growing up. His passion had always been sports.

“I wanted to play sports. That was, like, the ultimate goal,” Mata said. “But then, when I got to high school, I realized it was not going to happen for me.”

In her four years at the University of New Mexico, Alexandria Wiesel has demonstrated a drive and passion for her courses and for helping others. From pre-med groups to student publications to volunteer programs, Wiesel formed a community that allowed her to bloom into her earnest personality that was just waiting beneath the surface.

Wiesel began as a biology major, and later added a psychology major to her degree track. But her reach extends still further into the STEM field. On top of her interdisciplinary liberal arts minor, she’s also pursuing a second minor in chemistry — she even sports a shiny silver necklace in the shape of the chemical compound essential to nearly every college student: caffeine.

With a creative mind set on exploring new possibilities, Jerome Sena is graduating from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary arts along with a minor in arts management. Sena is moving on from the Daily Lobo after four years of dedication and commitment in the advertising office, leaving behind a legacy to be filled.

With the future coming up quickly, Sena hopes to pursue a career in graphic design, along with freelance illustration work on the side. This is something he found inspiration from at the Daily Lobo. Sena started at the Lobo as a sales intern in 2018 but later took on a designer position.

“That was what sort of changed everything for me,” Sena said. “I learned quite a bit doing that, and it pushed me to pursue a career in design in addition to my illustration goals.”

From Shakespeare to journalism, Daniel Ward graduates with two degrees and an unforgettable experience at UNM

While the Daily Lobo editors were finishing their issues on print night, former Culture Editor Daniel Ward would finish early and recite Shakespeare across the hall, manifesting both his reporter and thespian sides to life. With a double major in English and in journalism, Ward is stepping out into the professional world to pursue his love of acting and writing. 

Ward is continuing from the Daily Lobo having completed a successful career as a senior reporter and a prominent tenure as editor of the culture desk. Ward originally sought out journalism as a means of infusing his passion for writing and connecting with people. Media journalism was also a way to support his pursuit towards a career in the film industry.

Nick Romero graduates UNM an accomplished and beloved photojournalist

Nick Romero’s life has been defined by being an unsung hero. Whether as an offensive lineman for his high school football team or as a full-time employee stocking shelves, Romero has felt his vital contributions are often overlooked. However, his raw talent behind a camera put an undeniable spotlight on him, and after a year with the Daily Lobo he’s graduating to leave behind a legacy of stunning work in his wake. 

Romero has been an avid consumer of media ever since he was young, but a degree in journalism wasn’t always part of the plan. After graduating from CNM with an associate degree in communications and working a full-time job for a few years, he couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. 

Top 6 movies for sci-fi lovers

Sci-fi movies have always been a way to expand our thinking about technology, space, time travel and A.I. technology. The following list of films highlight the best sci-fi movies to watch with these factors in mind, in both remarkable and frightening ways. Although the list is compiled from worst to best, all of these films are a must-watch. 

Local sci-fi book club enjoys monthly literature discussions

Albuquerque’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Club meets monthly for virtual discussions regarding science fiction and fantasy novels, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jared Francisco, the leader of the book club, said the club provides for engaging discussions and helps his personal goal of reading more and with an increased speed.

“I like the sci-fi genre already, I’m already a fan and I need to read more,” Francisco said.

ABQ Science Fiction Society perseveres through thick and thin

The Albuquerque Science Fiction Society (ASFS) is a literary-oriented club focused on all things sci-fi as well as other related genres like fantasy, horror and more. Like most other organizations, the ASFS has been virtual for the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but continues to persevere in its 55th year in operation.

The group has been meeting monthly on Zoom with events like movie viewings and author visits, co-executive secretary Craig Chrissinger said. The society also puts out a newsletter five times a year with awards, events, books reviews and more.

Only Native-owned comic book store in the world resides in ABQ

Lee Francis IV, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, is the owner of Red Planet Books and Comics, the only Native American owned comic shop in the world.

Francis opened Red Planet Books and Comics in June 2017. The store is located near 10th Street and Central Avenue in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“The shop’s first titles were used books by Native authors that came from Francis’ own collection,” Red Planet’s website says. “Now he sells children’s books (quickly bought out whenever the Librarians of Color are in town for a conference) and, of course, comics.”

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