Julia Rosa Lòpez-Emslie’s answering machine has messages in English and Spanish. Those who know her as a strong advocate of bilingual education and multi-cultural programs understand why.
Gov. Bill Richardson gets the picture as well. The governor recently awarded the Eastern New Mexico University education professor with the Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women. She is one of 20 who received the honor.
She will be honored for her innovation and commitment to the Bilingual Education Student Organization and other numerous multi-cultural programs such as the Escalera al Èxito (Career Ladder Program) and the Southern New Mexico Consortium for Bilingual Education, according to a press release from the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women.
“I’m very honored,” Lòpez-Emslie said. “I think bilingual education is extremely important. When you’re living in a global community, where our borders are expanding more and more, I think if you’re bilingual you have an asset that can provide you with other opportunities and allows you to represent your country in a much better way.”
Eastern President Dr. Steven Gamble said the university is fortunate to have Lòpez-Emslie, who has worked at ENMU for 23 years.
“It’s a wonderful honor for Dr. Emslie, but it’s also an honor for the university,” Gamble said. “She is among the state leaders if not the state leader in bilingual education.”
Lòpez-Emslie’s developed a four-course program to teach bilingual education to public school teachers. She also served as executive director of a 30-minute documentary titled, “Planting Seeds of Success Through Language,” which portrays students learning English and Spanish at the Dolores Gonzales Elementary in Albuquerque.
Created in 1986, the Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women honors 20 women, selected from statewide nominations, for their exceptional contributions to community and state. They are rated on community leadership, effectiveness of advocacy, and leadership within their career.