Lifeways lecture series continues through September


The Adams State University Title V Hilos Culturales invites community members to the free lecture series, "Lifeways of the San Luis Valley," at 7 p.m. Tuesdays through September in McDaniel Hall room 201.

September 10

Dr. Devon Peña, a lifelong activist in the environmental justice and resilient agriculture movements and professor of American Ethnic Studies, anthropology, and environmental studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, will lecture on Revitalizing Agro-Ecological Traditions in the SLV. Peña continues to work on his family's historic acequia farm in San Acacio, Colo. His most recent books include Mexican Americans and the Environment: Tierra y Vida and The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. Peña is the founder and president of The Acequia Institute, the nation's first Latina/o charitable foundation dedicated to supporting research and education for the environmental and food justice movements.

September 17

Armando Valdez, Adams State assistant professor of management and health care administration, and Andrea Benton-Maestas, director the Adams State Institutional Reporting Department, will present "Ranching/The Land."

With a lifetime of experience in agriculture, Valdez was raised on a ranch and farm near Capulin, Colo. He continues to operate the family farm which includes the care of 350 head of cattle, 300 head of sheep, and the harvesting of small grains and hay for forage. Valdez serves on the Land Use Planning Commission, Board of Adjustments, and Noxious Weed District for Conejos County. In addition, he is a member of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. In November 2009, Valdez was appointed by President Obama to the USDA-Farm Service Agency Executive Committee for Colorado. This committee administers the Farm Bill and supervises all Farm Service Agency offices within the state of Colorado. Connecting people to agriculture is Valdez key focus. His connection to the land and animals is very cultural. It's been part of his heritage for the past 300 plus years. Some of Armando's passions are creating and facilitating programs at Adams State and within the San Luis Valley community which enhance agricultural, economic, and social interests while protecting rural and agricultural lifestyles.

Benton-Maestas, a native of the San Luis Valley, received Bachelors of Science in mathematics from Colorado State University-Pueblo, and a master's degree in HEAL from Adams State's inaugural cohort. She teaches courses in developmental math, freshman seminar, and Latino Culture & Leadership at Adams State.

September 24

Angie Krall, president of the Rio Grande Headwaters Land and Trust Board of Directors, will present on the archeology of the San Luis Valley and Carey Vicenti's lecture, "Worlds before and After This One," will also be included.

Krall is the Heritage Program manager for the San Luis Valley Public Lands Center. She earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology with a minor in southwest studies from Colorado College, and a master's degree in applied archaeology from Northern Arizona University. She served on the Oak Creek Town Board and the Board of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. Krall comes to RiGHT from the Yampa Valley of NW Colorado where she founded a job-training and conservation education program tailored for indigenous youth from the Northern Ute Tribe.

Vicenti, an attorney and a member of the Jicarilla Apache tribe, currently serves as an assistant professor ofsSociology, at Fort Lewis College, in Durango, Colo., an institution that serves 700 American Indian students out of a student body of 4,200. As a professor there he teaches courses in Juvenile Delinquency, Native American Societies, Native American Justice, the Social Dimensions of Law and Policy, and Indigenous Peoples of the World. He has written on the use of traditional concepts of justice in the development of a new and emerging tribal jurisprudence. He served previously as a President of the Native American Bar Association. In addition to his teaching he sits as a judicial official in the following capacities: Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan; Associate Justice of the Yavapai-Apache Nation Court of Appeals; Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona; and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Vicenti recently appeared on C-SPAN in an open forum with U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Steven Breyer at the National Judicial College discussing recent Supreme Court decisions in Federal Indian law.

For more information, call 719-587-7436.