Mateo Ulibarri, 11, a member of the Pueblo of Pojoaque, was featured on the cover of the November edition of Scholastic Magazine, which is distributed to schools all over the world.

Mateo, a Native American hoop dancer with the local Lightning Boy Foundation, was the youth division winner of the 2021 World Championship Hoop Dance Contest at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

But, he told the magazine, he believes the traditional dance form is about more than winning competitions.

"It's important to keep passing on this tradition," he said. "If it's not passed on, it's forgotten, and you can lose part of your culture."

The November edition of Scholastic celebrates Native American Heritage Month.

"We at Lightning Boy Foundation Inc. are proud that one of our dancers is not only featured in this month's issue but was also given the cover," Steve LaRance, co-chairman of the foundation, wrote in an email.

• • •

AARP New Mexico has named Othiamba Umi of Albuquerque its new associate state director for advocacy.

Umi is a lifelong New Mexican who grew up in Hobbs, Santa Fe and Cerrillos. He graduated from Santa Fe Preparatory School.

He earned dual bachelor degrees in psychology and Spanish at the University of New Mexico and holds a Juris Doctorate from the UNM School of Law.

Umi has several years of advocacy and government relations experience. Before his advocacy work, he was an assistant trial attorney with the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. He also currently serves on the New Mexico Lottery Authority Board.

Education standouts

The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos recently presented scholarships to 16 recipients, several of whom were awarded more than one scholarship. Among the recipients were mother and daughter Carra and Cadence Webster. Carra Webster earned the American Association of University Women Scholarship, while Cadence Webster was given an award from the Joe and Stella Martinez Memorial Endowment.

Other recipients include the following:

  • UNM-LA Start Here Scholarship: Luke Rainey, Maria Blair
  • Benito Garcia Memorial Scholarship: Paul Alcazar
  • Agnes Finnie-Grotto Memorial Endowment: Maria Blair
  • Joe and Stella Martinez Memorial Endowment: Seth Heatherly
  • High Achiever Incentive Scholarship: Jimmy Wheeler
  • Jim Sagel Memorial Endowment: Natalia Maez
  • HED Incentive to Complete Scholarship: Aaliyah Sandoval
  • Legislative Endowment: Felicity Ferrell
  • Española Women’s Club Endowment: Felicity Ferrell
  • The Los Alamos Public Safety Association Scholarship: Eric Giron, Anna Yarrow
  • Alice A. Armstrong Memorial Endowment: Jenee Montoya
  • Applied Technology Native American Scholarship: Jimmy Wheeler, Aiyana Gipson
  • Graduation Project: Jordan Bowman, Kristy Ortega

• • •

Several local students have enrolled in the University of Utah in Salt Lake City as freshmen for the fall 2021 semester:

  • Natalie Barr, Sylvia Davis, John Geisler, Leyla Sharpless, Leo Smith and Benjamin Timm of Santa Fe.
  • Savannah Brown, Annika Fox, Frances Laurent and Griffin Light of Los Alamos.
  • Frances Schneider of Pecos.

• • •

Faye Heneghan of Santa Fe has enrolled in Montclair State University in New Jersey.

• • •

Christopher Coffelt of Los Alamos has earned a Master of Science in materials science and engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Aaron Pital of Santa Fe has earned a Doctor of Philosophy in chemistry from the school.

• • •

Three Santa Fe-area residents were named to the Dean's List at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.: Trinity Lopez, Oscar Loya and Keenan McDonald.

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