For incoming mechanical engineering majors, your senior year will require a commitment to a design project. Addison Portman recently guided one of this year's projects to the finish line. Around 35 students spend three semesters building a Formula-1 or Indycar style racecar that will compete in the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) international engineering design competition, according to the LOBOmotorsports website.
Johnson Center Aquatics at the University of New Mexico is available to all incoming freshmen free of charge, according to Marcus Blackwell — the 62-year-old lifeguard and instructor at Johnson Center. However, there are some classes and resources that require an extra fee. “I teach group fitness and I try to get them to have fun and have a social interaction. When I left the last day of my step class, a girl came up and said, ‘It's too sad. This isn't even like a class. It's like a bunch of friends just getting together to work out,’” Blackwell said.
The University of New Mexico has several resource centers on campus to support new and current students, one of which is the Asian American Pacific Islander Resource Center. Farah Nousheen, the Student Success Specialist at AAPIRC, recently gave a speech at the center’s second annual convocation with the message, “The next Buddha will be a sangha.” Sangha means “community” in Sanskrit. “That's really the main takeaway for me from this year (at the center), that we must do this in community,” Nousheen said.
Graduating summa cum laude with a recently acquired prestigious scholarship under her belt, Charlotte Gates received the Fulbright Scholarship and has an even longer list of laurels to her name.
The University of New Mexico has 425 clubs — Giovanna Gong has played a prominent role in several during her time at UNM. Gong, a first generation college student, will graduate with a degree in international studies with a concentration in peacekeeping and diplomacy, as well as a minor in teaching English as a second language. She said the clubs and organizations on campus she was involved in were a highlight of her college experience, and provided her opportunities to meet new people at UNM.
“The biggest thing about being a journalist is staying true to who you are,” Junko Featherston, a graduating senior in the communications & journalism department, said. Featherston will graduate from the University of New Mexico with a 4.2 GPA and a degree in multimedia journalism with a minor in Japanese. While studying she also worked at New Mexico PBS, interning for producer Lou DiVizio.
Four years ago Alex Maggs found himself in the desert 4,888 miles away from his home in Birmingham, England. Since then, Maggs has grown as a tennis player and a student. He finished the season on the all-conference team for his play in the doubles matches and is graduating with a GPA of 4.06. Maggs first picked up a tennis racket when he was five years old in an after-school program. He said he tried many different activities, but it was tennis that stuck with him.
Abrianna Morales has spent her time at the University of New Mexico lobbying for political change and advocating for survivors of sexual violence. She graduates with a double major in psychology and criminology, and she said she already has big things on the horizon. Morales plans to stay in the Albuquerque area and continue her advocacy work with the National Organization for Victim Assistance. She also plans to continue her advocacy with the organization she started, Sexual Assault Youth Support Network, as well as her relationship with UNM.
During his four years as an undergraduate, John Scott has played a large role in the beating heart that is UNM student publications. He served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Lobo, while he simultaneously worked as the digital editor of Scribendi, an editor of Limina: UNM Nonfiction Review and an artist and creator outside of his studies.
Attending the University of New Mexico as an international student from Juárez, Mexico, Annya Loya Orduno graduates as an award-winning reporter who has already played an active role and left an impact in New Mexico journalism. Loya Orduno served as the news editor for the Daily Lobo, interned at the Las Cruces Sun-News and will now go on to work as a journalist for the Deming Headlight through the New Mexico News Fund fellowship.
Like millions of college students, Zara Roy began her first year of college during the COVID-19 pandemic back in 2020. For her, while the pandemic was life-changing, it was also the start of something bigger, or the realization of it. Roy, a psychology major, initially considered a career in clinical psychology until she realized that was not what she was meant to do. During her time at the University of New Mexico, she found that she already had something she loved but just hadn’t realized yet.
Each spring the painting and drawing department hosts an “Open Studio” event where the public can enter the campus studio and observe the work that a UNM visiting artist has created over the spring, according to Amanda Curreri, an associate professor in the UNM department of fine arts. This visiting artist program began six years ago, Curreri said, and this year’s artist is Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo. “My work is rooted in storytelling and telling stories about survival — primarily of black, brown, Indigenous, queer, trans, gender-nonconforming and two-spirit folks. It’s rooted in how we amplify and tell stories of marginalized bodies in different ways,” Branfman-Verissimo said.
The Kiva Club hosted the Nizhoni Days Powwow on Sunday, April 30. It is the oldest Powwow in New Mexico, according to Demetrius Johnson (Diné) a former Kiva Club president from 2015 to 2017. “It does heal the community, and I think during COVID this Powwow was really missed,” Johnson said. “But the other purpose of this Powwow is to show that there is a powwow out there that is for the community, and it is free, and it is by Native people, for Native people.”
Recently, the Daily Lobo ran an unjustly harsh review of the Cherry Reel Film Festival. Implicit bias was shown in the review, and while not intentional, ultimately the majority of the films we labeled as “disappointments” were made by students of color. This is meant to serve as an explanation of what happened, why it was wrong and how we are working to prevent this from happening again. The film industry is a white-dominated field. In 2019, only 14.4% of the directors of theatrical films were people of color and 91% of studio heads were white, according to Variety. The University of New Mexico and the film and digital arts program are both majority-minority and Cherry Reel is predominantly run by white students.
While the third anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdowns has come and gone, many communities are still searching for ways to reconnect. Some Burqueños are reconnecting through their love of swing dance. Swing Night, originally held at the Heights Community Center, was once an Albuquerque staple, but in 2020 COVID-19 put an end to its 30-year-long history. Now, organizers at Duke City Swing are reviving the event with a weekly dance at the Alley Kats Tap Studio. Founder and president of Duke City Swing Christin Oberman, said she stepped up because she “was just getting tired of not having dances around.”
A recurring question asked throughout the Adobe Theater’s production of “The Revolutionists” is, “Who are we without a story?” By way of an answer, the play-within-a-play, now playing through Sunday, May 7, remixes and adapts stories about four different women during the French Revolution. Stacy Hasselbacher, who plays Marie Antoinette, said that this encourages audiences to look at people and issues from a new perspective. “The play explores different ways to address issues: Are you going to take extreme action, or are you going to work behind the scenes? Or are you going to create some kind of protest art about it? There are different ways to try to enact change, and I think this play really gets into that,” Hasselbacher said.
If you thought television was a safe space from the reboot/remake/sequel bug of blockbuster filmmaking right now, you might want to check again. On Wednesday, April 12, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that a new Harry Potter television series is in development for the also newly announced combined HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming service, Max. Exactly a week later on Wednesday, April 19, Lionsgate TV announced that a new Twilight TV series is also in development for an unannounced network/streaming service.
“A friend with seeds is a good friend indeed” was the theme of a storytelling event hosted at the Lobo Gardens. On Friday, April 21, participants were asked to exchange stories and gardening knowledge with their friends. The event was to encourage community engagement through storytelling and interaction with nature, according to Amara Szrom, the Lobo Gardens coordinator. “The event today is about building community and enjoying nature — taking a break from our computers and balancing the academic, very heady life with having our hands in the earth. And giving back to our life support systems like soil, water and plants,” Szrom said.
Ari Williams first decided he wanted to become a screenwriter after watching “The Wind Rises,” written and directed by Hayou Miyazaki, in fifth grade. He said he “would do anything to go back to that moment.” Now, as a film student at the University of New Mexico, Williams has worked to recreate the thrill of cinema through his own works. “I always wanted to be a storyteller or a writer,” Williams said. “The first thing I said I wanted to be was a poet … I didn’t really wanna learn how to read and write, but I remember asking my grandmother if she could write down the words I said aloud and then I would draw the pictures and add stickers, and I used to do a lot of books like that.”
Six associate degrees in high school from Central New Mexico Community College, an anticipated graduation with two bachelor's degrees next year and a planned master's in history in the spring 2024: University of New Mexico student Andrew Schumann can now also add the Truman Scholarship to this already impressive resume. The Truman Scholarship awards juniors in college with $30,000 for post-graduate education, counseling and employment opportunities. The committee selects 200 finalists from applicants. Finalists are then interviewed at a regional conference, with one candidate chosen from each state, according to the scholarship’s website.