Previous Historian Reports

This page contains all previous Historian Reports by year.






A Short History of New Mexico Press Women

The founding year of New Mexico Press Women (NMPW) could properly be called 1950, but the ideals of NMPW show up earlier in organizations whose members were
the working women of the New Mexico press in the late 1940s.

One of those organizations, the Albuquerque Women’s Press Club, formed the nucleus of the nascent NMPW with an initial meeting in December 1949.

During the 1950s the group grew, creating districts across the state, approving a constitution that included a board of directors, and holding conferences, where members expanded their knowledge and skills.

In 1953, to bring attention to women journalists, NMPW members voted to annually
bestow a Zia Award. (The sun symbol of Zia Pueblo is often used to represent the state of New Mexico and is proudly displayed on the state flag.)

The first Zia Award was given a great deal of publicity, as was the first Zia Award dinner,
held in July 1954 in Albuquerque. The inaugural recipient was Margaret Page Hood, a contributor of essays to the Christian Science Monitor and author of ten novels.

From its beginnings honoring many types of outstanding work, the Zia Award has evolved into a book award for a woman with strong ties to New Mexico and is still presented annually, given in rotation in the categories of children’s books, adult nonfiction and fiction.

With the arrival of the 1960s New Mexico Press Women celebrated its tenth anniversary
by adopting a new constitution opening NMPW to any “woman active in the fields of publishing, radio, television, public relations and freelance writing.

For New Mexico Press Women, the decade of the 1960s allowed the group to accomplish much and grow. Frankie McCarty was named New Mexico’s first Woman of Achievement in 1963. She was then writing articles for the Albuquerque papers from Finland, where her husband taught English.

New Mexico Woman of Achievement winners went on to compete with other state nominees for the singular title of National Federation of Press Women Woman of
Achievement and four have won what since 1991 has been called the Communicator of Achievement award.

New Mexico’s Faye Plank won the national award in 1981 competing against 21 other state nominees. Three more NMPW members won NFPW’s highest honor—Ree Strange Sheck, 2005; Cary Herz, 2008; and Loretta Hall, 2016. Three New Mexicans have been named national runners-up—Sherry Robinson, 1980; Denise Tessier, 1995; and Anne Hillerman, 2015.

With the advent of the 1970s, NMPW became a totally independent organization when it broke with the New Mexico Press Association, with which NMPW had been holding conferences.

The group struggled, but by 1979, it had 100 members. And even in lean times, it supported college students who wanted to study journalism (and journalism’s
expanded forms such as public relations and advertising).

NMPW established the Doris Gregory Memorial Scholarship after Doris Gregory’s death in December 1969. She had held a variety of journalism jobs across the state and served NMPW in various capacities, including president.

The scholarship is awarded to this day to students studying different forms of journalism. And NMPW continues to support high school students with its annual communications contest.

New Mexico Press Women not only survived the Disco 70s, but began to thrive, and the January 1980 newsletter was entitled The Pushy Broadsheet, perhaps a sign of the times. That newsletter listed current job openings and kept members connected.

The 1990s started with New Mexico hosting the National Federation of Press Women for the first time. The decade ended with five active chapters meeting around the state.

NMPW entered its 50th anniversary year – 2000 – with a board shakeup and the president serving a double term, but it proved to be a good decade as the group
became revitalized and members won national honors.

New Mexico Press Women stayed alive in the years that started with 2010, beginning the decade with release of a book of the group’s 60-year history, put together by two member volunteers. As always, an active board helped keep members interested.

One issue the board and members dealt with periodically was whether a name change was necessary. In 2010, the name remained New Mexico Press Women when neither of the options suggested by a bylaws subcommittee (New Mexico Media Professionals and New Mexico Press Women/Media Professionals) received enough votes.

Over the decades NMPW members have entered the communications contest, often in multiple categories, and have won individual sweepstakes honors, in addition to the state winning the NFPW sweepstakes in 1988 and 1993.

With a history that now approaches seventy years, New Mexico Press Women maintains its own in a world where media is constantly challenged.

Whatever its future, the group continues to support journalism students, honor  outstanding members, and be an advocate for ethics, professionalism and a free press.  And through monthly luncheons and statewide conferences, it continues to serve as a forum for discussion of matters affecting both the media and the public at large.









New Mexico Press Women completed a successful state conference April 26-27, 2013 at the Marriott Courtyard in Albuquerque. Co-chairs were Sherry Robinson and Chris Burroughs. Conference theme was “Riding out the Storm: Communications in a Changing Market.” Following an NMPW board meeting late Friday afternoon, internationally known author Lois Duncan got the conference started with a talk about “What Goes Around Comes Around.” She addressed some of her experiences during a long writing career. Thirty-three people heard her speak and enjoyed finger foods and a cash bar.

On Saturday after breakfast and an NMPW membership meeting, a social media panel discussion featured mystery/crime author and journalist Steve Brewer on e-books, author Loretta Hall on websites for writers, and novelist Paula Paul on blogging. Sherri Burr coordinated the panel. Other Saturday workshops included Women in the News conducted by Megan Kamerick of KNME and Environmental Communications featuring University of New Mexico Communication and Journalism Professor Judith Hendry. A total of 22 people signed up for the full conference.

During the Saturday luncheon, Zia Chair Loretta Hall announced the Zia Award winner. It went to Nancy Wood for The Soledad Crucifixion. Honorable mention winners were Lynne Hinton for Pie Town and Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl for A Growing Season. Thirty people attended the luncheon.

During our Saturday evening awards banquet attended by 64 people, our keynote speaker, K.C. Compton of Mother Earth News, reflected with humor on her long career working for publications in several states and on how Mother Earth News consistently manages to ride out the storms.

Following the banquet, NMPW Communications Contest chair Sherry Robinson announced the winners, including positive judges’ comments. Robinson received 137 entries from 71 individuals, up from 106 entries from 59 individuals last year. Of those 137 entries, there were 49 first places, 33 seconds, 24 thirds, and 14 honorable mentions. The judges were tough, as Robinson asked them to be, and they did not award places in all categories. Forty-three first place entries were sent to the National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest. Of those 43 winners, 12 joined NMPW/NFPW so that their entries could be eligible for the NFPW contest.

After the awards presentation, NMPW treasurer, Carol Kreis, was named Communicator of Achievement.

The conference netted $927.45 in profits, which were evenly split with Albuquerque Press Women, the conference’s sponsoring chapter. A silent auction, chaired by Janet Saiers, brought in $1,196 for scholarships.

Winners of the communications contest are listed at the end of this historian’s report.

Sari Krosinsky was our president until health issues forced her to resign. Vice President Cheryl Fallstead stepped into the presidency in February 2013, and Sherri Burr stepped up from First Amendment chair to vice president. Sherri found her own First Amendment replacement, George Bach of the University of New Mexico Law School.

Other officers are secretary Anne Hillerman, treasurer Carol Kreis, Broadsheet editor Bud Russo, communications contest chair Sherry Robinson, new media chair Ellen Castello, Communicator of Achievement chair Diana Sandoval-Tapia, APW President Diana Sandoval, High School Communications Contest chair Jacque Boyd, historian Margaret Cheasebro, public relations chair Chris Burroughs, scholarship chair Carolyne DeVore-Parks, and Zia Award chair Loretta Hall.

NMPW awarded the Doris Gregory Memorial Scholarship to New Mexico State University journalism and mass communications students Dana Beasley and Francisco (Frank) Ambriz, who both plan to graduate in 2014. The scholarships were presented during the April meeting of the Las Cruces Press Women by LCPW and NMPW President Cheryl Fallstead.

We didn’t have a High School Communications Contest this year because we had no chairperson. At the state conference, Jacque Boyd volunteered to handle the contest, so we can reinstate it in 2014.

NMPW participated in the Southwest Book Fiesta this year by having a half-booth for our members to sell their books. It also helps to promote memberships.

In May 2013, President Cheryl Fallstead created an account for NMPW on Dropbox, a program that allows us to archive and share information about all our activities, quarterly meetings, board member job descriptions, and many other facts about NMPW. That information is available for all board members to read.

As of this date, NMPW has 62 members. They are Francelle Alexander, Rudolfo Anaya, Dianne Anderson, Glenda Balas, Anne Morgan Behl, Lynne Bleiler, Sue Boggie, Jacqueline Boyd, Susanne Burkes, Sherri Burr, Margaret Cheasebro, Susan Cho, Kathryn Cordova, Marilee Dannemann, Carolyne DeVore-Parks, Patricia Dobson, Cheryl Fallstead, Deborah Farson, Jana Fothergill, Carolyn Gonzales, Patricia Graff, Kay Grant, Melody Groves, Loretta Hall, Liz Hamm, Leota Harriman, Lisa Hase-Jackson, Kiera Hay, Anne Hillerman, Lynne Hinton, Linda Jacobs, Mara Kerkez, Carol Keris, Sari Krosinsky, Jane Lipman, Maggie Macnab, Nancy Marano, Orlando Medina, Jacqueline Murray Longing, Mary Alice Murphy, Sharon Niederman, Mary Noskin, Shirley Patterson, Mare Pearl, Vicky Ramakka, Anthony Slim Randles, Sandra
Richardson, Sherry Robinson, Bud Russo, Diana Sandoval-Tapia, Sandy Schauer, Nona Marie (Ree) Sheck, Wendel Sloan, Marilyn Stablein, David Sutliff, Claudette Sutton, Denise Tessier, Sharon Vander Meer, Susan Walton, Karen Wentworth, Leora Zeitlin, and Nancy Zimmerman.

Several NMPW members attended the 2012 conference in Scottsdale, Arizona Sept. 20-22. Quite a few of our members received awards in the NFPW Communications Contest.

During a time to honor members who died during the year, we recognized the passing of long-time NMPW member Connie Gotsch, who died July 15, 2012, after a long battle with cancer.

1A, News story
HM, Leota Harriman, “Sheriff defuses shooter who made bomb threat,” The independent
2, Continuing Coverage or Unfolding News
1st, Sherry Robinson, “Witnesses testify in Mendoza,” and others, Gallup Independent
2nd, Rosalie Rayburn, “End for Mariposa?” and others, Albuquerque Journal
3rd, Leota Harriman, “Is Torrance County gunning for SASS?” The Independent
5 Special Series
1st, Kate Nash, “Century of Statehood,” Santa Fe New Mexican
2nd, Sherry Robinson, “RMCH struggles to survive,” and others, Gallup Independent
3rd, Martin Willes, “Starry Messenger,” The Independent
HM, Rose Marie Kern, “History of Air Traffic Control,” Atlantic Flyer Magazine
7A Editorial and Opinion
1st, Sam Moorman, “City Has Blind Eye for Good Planning,” Albuquerque Journal
2nd and 3rd, Leota Harriman, editorials, The Independent
HM, Loretta Hall, guest column, “Support Our Spaceport,” Socorro Defensor Chieftain
8A Feature story, print
1st, Leota Harriman, “Goddess Girls Magazine,” The Independent
2nd, Carolyn Gonzales, “El Mezquite Golf Tournament Benefits UNM Students,” UNM Today
3rd, Sharon Niederman, “Little Town Dreams Big,” Trinidad Times Independent
8B Feature story, magazine
1st, Lyn Bleiler, “Martina’s Hall,” Trend
2nd, Kendra Loring “Reflections of a Foaling Season,” Horse Connection Magazine
3rd, Loretta Hall, “Spaceport: A Far Out Vacation,” New Mexico Magazine
HM, Nancy Marano, “Internet Help for Lost and Found Pets,” PETroglyphs
8C Feature story, online pub
1st, Karen Wentworth, “The Friday Afternoon Breakthrough,” UNM Today
2nd, Nancy Marano, “TNR is a Success in Albuquerque,” PETroglyphs
3rd, Loretta Hall, “Getting Spaceport America Off the Ground,” NewSpace Online Magazine
9A Personality Profile
1st, Jessica Curry, “Captain Courageous, Cancer as a Gift from God,” The Independent
9B Personality Profile
1st, Nancy Marano, “Samantha Martin,” PETroglyphs
2nd, Vicky Ramakka, “Back to the Land,” Majestic Living
3rd, Margaret Cheasebro, “Oh, You Beautiful Doll!” Majestic Living Magazine
10C Specialty Articles, Arts & Entertainment
1st, Margaret Cheasebro, “Movement in Bronze” and “The Call of the Theater,” Majestic Living
2nd, Kathryn Córdova, “Away in a Manger,” and “Olivia Johnson’s Christmas celebration,” Christmas in Taos
3rd, Lyn Bleiler, “2012 Year of Remarkable Women,” and others, Trend
HM Daniela Wiedel, “Red hot blues & strings meet flute,” Las Cruces Sun-News
10D Specialty Articles, Business
1st, Margaret Cheasebro, “Change is Constant” and “Global Introduction,” Majestic Living
10E Specialty Articles, Education
1st, Margaret Cheasebro, “Back Where It All Began” and “She’s Got to Move It,” Majestic Living
2nd, Ellen Zieselman, “Museum Scavenger Hunt” and “You Call that Art?” Tumbleweeds
10G Specialty Articles, Food
HM, Kathryn Córdova, “Visions of Sugar Plums” and others, Christmas in Taos
10H Specialty Articles, Politics
1st, Sherry Robinson, “Lawmakers study ways to save employee benefit funds,” and “Martinez unleashes veto pen,” Gallup Independent
10I Specialty Articles, Environmental
1st, Lyn Bleiler, “Green Beer on Tap” and “An Awful Adventure in Sustainable Living,”
EcoSource Guide to Sustainability
10J Specialty Articles, History
1st, Margaret Cheasebro, “Living History,” Majestic Living, and “”Al Kendrick,” Basin
2nd, Sherry Robinson, “The Best Jobs in yesteryear,” Albuquerque The Magazine; “New Mexico’s Long Journey to Statehood,” Raton Range
HM, Kathryn Córdova, “Taos History Museums Light Up” and “Los Pastores Production,” Christmas in Taos
10M Specialty Articles, Self-help
1st, Sherri Burr, “Time Management,” and “Having It All,” Southwest Sage
“A good grasp of the subject matter and interesting topics make these entries award winning.”
10P Specialty Articles, Science and Technology
1st, Margaret Cheasebro, “Finding Vlavenoids,” and “Working Together,” Majestic Living
“Extremely informative stories that combine good writing with good topics to equal great stories. Good use of quotes also moved the stories along and made the story subject matter easier to understand in some cases.”
HM, Bud Russo, “Are you using the sun,” Southwest Senior
10Q Specialty Articles, Social Issues
1st, Margaret Cheasebro, “Working off the grid,” and “Senior Companions,” Majestic Living
2nd, Sherry Robinson, “Lawmakers can’t ignore history in Navajo water settlement,” “Making war on DWI comes with complications,” New Mexico News Services
3rd, Kathryn Córdova, “Taos Feeds Taos” and “Gift Certificates Help the Weary,” Christmas in Taos
HM Kathryn Cordova, “Embroiled in Witchcraft,” High Country Magazine; “Toney Reyna’s Christmas,” Christmas in Taos
10R Specialty Articles, Sports
1st, Margaret Cheasebro, “Game, Set and Match,” and “Going for the Gold,” Majestic Living
10S Specialty Articles, Travel
1st, Bud Russo, “Fall may be just the time” and “Enjoy a walking tour,” Southwest Senior
“By writing about places in one’s backyard, that are as exotic as a far away place, it’s even better because it encourages people to explore their own region.”
HM, Cheryl Fallstead, “Tombstone full of Old West history,” Southwest Senior
11A Columns, Humorous
1st, Wendel Sloan, “Downsized Dreams Easily Achieved,” and “Be Wary Whilst Traveling,” Portales News-Tribune
2nd, Jim Belshaw, “Coffee Klatch or men’s club?” The Independent
11B Columns, General
1st, Nancy Marano, “Cat Chat: Adopted Cats Equal Happy Cats” and “A Rock’n Cat Good Time,” PETroglyphs
2nd, Wendel Sloan, “Nature Opens Up” and “Ancestors Would Be Proud,” Portales News-Tribune
2nd, Claudette Sutton, “Act V” and “The Queen Bee is Dead!” Tumbleweeds
3rd, Kathryn Córdova, Know Your Neighbor, Taos News
3rd, Jacqueline Boyd, “The Tools for Schools,” Women in Aviation
11C Columns, Informational
1st, Sherri Burr, “The Joy of Interviewing” and “Avoiding Conflicts of Interest,” Southwest Sage
“The two columns are strongly written and you display a command of the subject matter and you write with an authority that makes the writing both enjoyable and sincere.”
11D Columns, Personal Opinion
1st, Merilee Dannemann, “TV advertising comes to the Legislature” and “Secret thoughts from a member of the jury panel” New Mexico News Services
2nd, Sherry Robinson, “Too Much Government Help” and “Cleaning up Dodge–again and again,” New Mexico News Services
3rd, Wendel Sloan, “Facebook Attacks Reveal Hypocrisy” and “Save Us from Rednecks, Racists and Zealots,” Portales News-Tribune
3rd, Wally Gordon, “Banning Shakespeare in Arizona” and “No Laughing Matter,” The
14A Supplements regularly edited
1st and 2nd, Leota Harriman, Holiday Haven and Last Minute Shopping Guide, The Independent
15A Newspaper regularly edited
2nd, Cheryl Fallstead, Southwest Senior
15B Magazine or newsletter regularly edited
1st, Claudette Sutton, Tumbleweeds
3rd, Ruth Friesen, Wagon Tracks
HM, Sharon Niederman, Beef Council Bullhorn, NM Beef Council
18 Photo Essay
1st, Leota Harriman, “Flamenco,” The Independent
“Shooting a live performance is always a challenging assignment… Nice effort.”
2nd, Reed Haviland, “Centennial History,” The Independent
20 Graphics (new category)
1st, Marilyn Stablein, Time on My Hands, Malpais Review
“Nice graphic image… I like how the colors pop…”
23A Special Programming, Radio
1st, Cheryl Fallstead and Bud Russo, “New Mexico Mile Markers,” Explore! New Mexico
23B Special Programming, Television
1st, Glenda and Jason Balas, “Sam Becker: A Profile in Leadership,” vimeo
24 Interview, Television
1st, Sherri Burr, “Arts Talk with Don Bullis and Slim Randles,” UPublic TV
24 Interview, Radio
1st, Leora Zeitlin, “The Beijing Guitar Duo,” KRWG-FM
2nd, “New York Dancer-Choreographer Bill Hastings,” KRWG-FM
3rd, “Happy Birthday, John Cage,” KRWG-FM
25 Talk Show
1st, Sherri Burr, “Arts Talk,” UPublic TV
27 Writing for the Web
1st, Sherry Robinson, “City of Albuquerque,” Mid-Region Council of Governments
2nd, Kathryn Córdova, The Remarkable Women of Taos
28A Website edited or managed
1st, Wendel Sloan, “Monday Memo,” ENMU
“I loved the variety of content and use of photos. The information was clearly Presented.”
30A Blogs, nonprofit
1st, Marriah Nissen, Lorena Hughes, and Stephanie Nakhleh, “Fifty Shades of WTF?” and “The Story of a Navajo Code Talker” and “The Appeal of the Supernatural”
2nd, Lisa Hase-Jackson, 200 New Mexico Poems
“200 New Mexico Poems: 100 Poems Celebrating the Past, 100 More for the Future”
3rd, Kendra Loring, “Just when you think you have it all figured out” and “A New Chapter,” Pony Up Kentucky
30C Blogs, personal
1st, Merilee Dannemann, Triple Spaced Again
32C Website videos
1st, Melody Groves, Border Ambush Book Trailer
“Great use of art and words to impart a sense of urgency and adventure.”
34 Advertising campaign
2nd, Kathryn Córdova
36B Television advertising
2nd, Wendel Sloan, ENMU TV spot
37 Community relations campaign
1st, Kathryn Córdova
“This is a robust entry. I really like the theme, “We are here. We are visible.” Kathryn executes well to drive visibility and manage continuity in line with this theme.”
38 Public Service Campaign
1st, Liz Hamm, My Vote Center
39 Marketing program
2nd, Kathryn Córdova
41 PR Materials, report
2nd, Sherry Robinson, “Optics and Photonics,” City of Albuquerque
3rd, Diana Sandoval-Tapia, New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration 2011 Annual Report
“It can be a challenge to take a number of data tables and make them readable and easily accessible. This report does a nice job of laying out information in a clean, digestible and easy to follow format.
42 PR Materials, magazine
2nd, Cheryl Fallstead, Sierra County Official Visitors Guide
“Beautifully designed and packaged.”
43 Magapapers or tabloids
1st, Sari Krosinski, Jana Fothergill and Carolyn Gonzales, UNM Today
“Easy to read, consistent layout. Information is clearly presented and reflects this community. Good use of photography and color, as well. Stories were well edited and just the right length.”
44A Newsletters
1st, Kathryn Córdova, The Wagon Wheel, Taos Historic Museums
“Relevant and interesting stories about the museums and its members in an eye-pleasing format.”
2nd, Diana Sandoval-Tapia, NM Workers’ Compensation Administration Quarterly Bulletin
48 News release
3rd, Wendel Sloan, “Graduate with Guilty Conscience,” ENMU
51 Speeches
1st, Loretta Hall, “Vengeance to Vibrance,” Convivial Studio
“Full of information but not overwhelming. Nice use of images with the PowerPoint slides.”
2nd, Melody Groves, “Historic Saloons,” Silver City Museum
56 Novels
HM, Martha Egan, An Apricot Year, Papalote Press
HM, David Sutliff, The Directors, Westbow Press
57A Nonfiction, biography
1st, James McClure and Ezequiel Ortiz, Don Jose, An American Soldier, Sunstone Press
2nd, Pauline Eisenstadt, A Woman in Both Houses, UNM Press
3rd, Kathryn Córdova, Crossroads: The Story of the Antonio Sr. and Luisa Quintana Family
57B Nonfiction, history
1st, Lyn Bleiler and Charles Strong, Santa Fe Art and Architecture, Arcadia Publishing
2nd, Martha Shipman Andrews, Out of the Shadows: The Women of Southern New Mexico, Rio Grande Books
3rd, Francelle Alexander, Among the Cottonwoods
“Organization and writing are fine. Lots of good information and well written.”
57C Nonfiction, humor
1st, Slim Randles, Home Country, Rio Grande Books
57E Nonfiction, general
1st, Maggie Macnab, Design by Nature, New Riders Press
2nd, Sharon Niederman, Signs and Shrines, The Countryman Press
3rd, Dave DeWitt, Chile Trivia, Rio Grande Books
58A Children’s books, fiction
1st, Rudolfo Anaya, How Hollyhocks Came to New Mexico, Rio Grande Books
61A Creative Verse, single poem
1st, Lisa Hase-Jackson, Prairie Rumors, Kansas City Voices
2nd, Marilyn Stablein, “How to Build a Descanso,” New Mexico Poetry Review
61B Creative Verse, book
1st, Steve Ausherman, Creek Bed Alive, Encircle Publications
2nd, Jane Lipman, On the Back Porch of the Moon
2nd, Jacqueline Murray Loring, The History of Bearing Children, Quercus Publishing
3rd, Sari Krosinski, god-chaser
64 Book edited by entrant
1st, Shirley Patterson and Susan Cho, Turning Points in Women’s Lives, Nuevo Books

Overall Excellence
The NMPW awards for over all excellence go to the entrants with the highest point score for achievement in individual categories.
Sherry Robinson, an Albuquerque freelancer, won third place.
Kathy Cordova, of Taos, won second place.
Margaret Cheasebro, of Aztec, won first place.

The institutional awards for points earned by employees or associates:
Rio Grande Books, of Albuquerque, was third.
Second place goes to Majestic Living magazine of Farmington.
In first place is The Independent