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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Anthropology Professor set to retire after 15 years of teaching, research

After 15 years of teaching and devoting years to research and humanitarian efforts in Chiapas, Mexico, New Mexico State University Anthropology Professor Christine Eber will retire from the university this month.

"I'm really going to miss working here," Eber said. "It was an honor to work with and learn from the outstanding faculty we have on campus. We have inspiring faculty that are very deserving of continued support from the university's administration; it's been remarkable to work beside them."

Eber has taught a variety of classes at NMSU since 1995, including courses on religion, gender studies, anthropology of art and Mesoamerican peoples. She also taught courses in the Women's Studies Program and helped to develop a religious studies minor. Most recently, Eber has been working toward creating a drug studies minor.

One of her major research projects has been on indigenous women's experiences with social change in Chiapas, Mexico. Involving students in her project, Eber focuses on these women's weaving cooperatives and assists them in forging connections across national boundaries to sell their work through fair trade markets.

As co-advisor of the Student Association of Latin American Studies, Eber brought in weavers to the NMSU campus and surrounding area to share their experiences with the community. She co-founded Las Cruces-Chiapas Connection, an organization that assists women's cooperatives to sell their weavings, which educates consumers on the effects of globalization on indigenous artisans.

"My Ph.D. advisor once told me that the good student is to the teacher as indigo is to blue. Over the years, many NMSU students have been that to me," Eber said.

In 2002, Eber received the Governor's Award for Outstanding Women in New Mexico. She received the Dennis Darnell Faculty Achievement Award in 2005 and the Donald C. Roush award in 2010.

Eber has done extensive writing including three books, journal articles, short stories and poems. Her latest book, The Journey of a Tzotzil-Maya Woman of Chiapas, Mexico, will be published in Nov. 2011.

Upon retirement, Eber plans to relocate to Vermont. She will continue her studies of indigenous peoples of Chiapas, devoting more energy to building a scholarship program in her parents' memory for Tzotzil-Maya young people. She plans to continue writing and revive her playing of the violin.