Aimee Villarreal, PhD, Associate Professor of Comparative Mexican American Studies, has been nominated to serve on the Advisory Committee for Reconciliation in Place Names.
The committee nomination is for a federally appointed position to review the names of national parks to ensure they are not offensive to Indigenous people and to change those that are in collaboration with local communities.
Nominated by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Dr. Villarreal is completing background checks before her appointment can be confirmed later this month.
“I am thrilled to be nominated to serve on the Advisory Committee for Reconciliation in Place Names and to work with one of my heroes, Secretary Deb Halaand, the first Native American Secretary of the Interior,” Dr. Villarreal said. “I have a personal connection to wilderness areas as well as historic monuments and archeological sites.
“My father was the Deputy Director of the New Mexico State Parks for 23 years, and I was raised with a deep appreciation for the natural environment and the preservation of cultural heritage. I think I became an anthropologist for this reason.”
Aimee Villarreal, PhD, Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies, presented, “Sanctuaryescapes in the New Mexico Borderlands,” on July 29 as a Visiting Scholar at the University of New Mexico (UNM).
A Santa Fe, N.M. native, Dr. Villarreal introduced a time-traveling concept, Sanctuaryscapes, to illuminate distinct mobilizations of sanctuary in the New Mexico borderlands from church asylum and indigenous regions of refuge during the Spanish colonial period, to the radical 1980s faith-based sanctuary movements that inspired the establishment of sanctuary cities and states, to immigrant-led social justice and religious revitalization movements today.
Aimee Villarreal, PhD, Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies, is participating in the University of New Mexico’s Scholars-in-Residence Program as a short-term Visiting Research Scholar for the Summer 2021 term.
Dr. Villarreal is completing revisions to her book, “Sanctuaryscapes in the New Mexico Borderlands,” which traces diverse mobilizations of sanctuary in New Mexico and the Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas border regions.
The eight-week residency allows Dr. Villarreal to secure community feedback and permissions to publish her book.
Recent media coverage that brought attention to OLLU:
On June 26, a story in the Express-News about the expansion of OLLU athletics in the midst of the pandemic:
On June 24, a story in UNM Newsroom about OLLU professor Aimee Villarreal serving as a Visiting Research Scholar for Summer 2021 in the University of New Mexico’s Scholars-in-Residence Program:
On June 24, a story in Victory Sports Network about OLLU adding three softball players for 2022 season:
On June 24, a story in the Beaumont Enterprise about alumna Victoria Tamez becoming the new curator of the McFaddin-Ward House collections: