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Saturday, Jul 13th

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Letter to the Editor: Fond Farewell to Dr. Sylvia Andrew

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I would like to extend my appreciation, admiration and congratulations to my good friend Dr. Sylvia Rodriguez Andrew.  Sylvia has served our community for 10 years, which included 7 years as instructor and department head in the English, Health & Human Services Department and 3 years as Executive Director of the University of New Mexico-Gallup Campus.  She is now leaving us to return to her home in San Antonio to be closer to husband and family, while continuing her outstanding career in higher education.

In late May, we learned that Sylvia had been awarded “Professor Emeritus” status at the University of New Mexico, taking effect on July 1 of this year.  Congratulations, Sylvia!  As your colleagues and students will attest, this recognition is richly deserved - and all the more reason we’ll all miss you!

I am especially grateful, Sylvia, that you “hung in there” with us all these years, even during the ups and downs of UNM’s struggles to address the leadership question at the Gallup Branch.  Many of us were deeply disappointed and concerned when the University chose to replace you at the helm of the Branch, but we did appreciate your willingness to stay the course at the college as an educator of our region’s students.

We saw how exceptionally hard you worked and how well you interacted with community leaders, citizens, faculty and students to make our local community college a better place to learn and grow.  You showed a deep commitment to the students, and you saw how important it was to prepare the students for the actual world they would be applying their education in.  There is such a great need for local talent in the fields of education, health, and human services, and you made sure the curriculum was responsive to the challenges the students would find within our regional community.

As your friend and colleague, I want to say that you’re a professional woman of great character and a good and loyal friend.  Our community is better and stronger because of you, and we will miss you greatly.

Godspeed your way, and may your future students, colleges and communities be as blessed as we have been by your commitment, compassion and vision of excellence.

Patty Lundstrom
State Representative, New Mexico House District 9