The Leadership Awards for Research and Creative Work were created last year to honor recently promoted faculty who have accomplished outstanding research or creative work during their respective career stage. Two new faculty members were awarded and recognized in the 2020-2021 academic year.
As part of the review process, applicants are selected by the provost of the University of New Mexico following a rigorous external review that examines the quality and impact of applicants’ scholarly and creative achievements. This year, Richard Antoine White and Levi Romero were recently chosen as winners.
Levi Romero is an Associate Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UNM. Romero is an architect, poet, literary scholar and filmmaker. His accomplishments include award-winning poetry collections, literary anthologies, oral history documentation of northern New Mexico cultural landscapes, literary criticism, photography, and documentary film.
Romero is a bilingual poet whose language is immersed in the regional Manito dialect of northern New Mexico. His work has been published in the United States, Mexico, Spain and Cuba. Her poem-writing exercise, “Where I come from, Of donde yo soy,” based on the original poem, Where I come from, by George Ella Lyon, was published by Scholastic as part of a national educational project and has been widely used, nationally and internationally. He has facilitated writing workshops for schools, universities, prison populations, libraries, community centers, writers’ organizations, private mentorships, and has also worked with community libraries on various research documentation projects. ethno-poetry and oral history.
Romero’s work focuses on the importance of place and the cultures of northern New Mexico. His documentary work and teachings focus on sustainable building methodologies, including the acequias and mills of the upper Río Grande watershed. He also directs the New Mexico Cultural Landscapes Certificate Program and the Digital Cuentos Project.
Romero has had many accomplishments over the years including his widely published poetry (in books, journals and magazines), he was named Centennial Poet Laureate in 2012 and New Mexico’s first Poet Laureate of 2020 and has gave scholarly lectures and poetry readings across the United States and Spain. As Poet Laureate, Romero will spend three years promoting the arts, literacy, and education statewide by giving readings and community workshops, while compiling an anthology of New Mexico poetry.
Romero’s poetry has touched many, she is known for weaving together English and Spanish, her bittersweet humor and the candor with which she confronts the injustices suffered in northern New Mexico. He is recognized as one of the most important and productive Chicano poets today.
His poems and book publications have received numerous awards, including two 2017 Society for Humanistic Anthropology Poetry Award Honorable Mentions, a 2015 International Latino Book Awards, 2014-2015 Southwest Book Award, New Mexico Arizona Book Award, Writers ‘ League of Texas Book Award, Finalist, and one of the best books in the Southwest. Her most recent book is the co-edited anthology, Querencia: Reflections on the Homeland of New Mexico. His two collections of poetry include A Poetry of Remembrance: New and Rejected Works and At the Gathering of Silence.
Richard Antoine Blanc
Richard Antoine Blanc is a tuba/euphonium teacher in the Department of Music at UNM. He is known for his solo tuba performances, technical excellence, artistry and expression.
White began playing the tuba at the age of 12 when he began studying at the Baltimore School of Performing Arts and graduated with honors. He then attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he received his bachelor’s degree. Finally, he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University.
White has played in various orchestras and promoted the tuba as a solo instrument, performing on stages around the world. Examples of his North American engagements include the Indianapolis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Sphynx, Masterworks, Music in the Mountains and the Gateway Music Festival. International engagements include solo and orchestral performances as well as tours with Chineke! (based in the UK) and the Diversity Counts ensemble, with appearances in the UK, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Singapore.
Throughout his developing musical and educational career, White has had a passionate interest in motivational speaking. This dream recently materialized with the launch of its website, rawtuba.com. Sharing inspirational thoughts and philosophies that have driven White has taken him to Mexico, South America, Europe, Southeast Asia and across the United States of America – with more commitments to the ‘horizon.
He also wrote and starred in his autobiographical documentary film RAW Tuba (rawtubafilm.com). The film gained national acclaim which resulted in national speaking engagements and a book deal. Additionally, White recently released his autobiography, ‘I am possible.’ The book depicts an inspiring story of tenacity, love for music and triumph.
In addition to being a motivational speaker, the principal tubist of the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, and a mentor to many, White continues to make an impact on the UNM campus and the Albuquerque area. White’s artistic accomplishments are matched by his fame as a teacher, whose students appreciate his exacting standards, constant encouragement, and dedication to their success.