Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Celebrating International Women’s History Month
By Christina Stock
March is International Women’s History Month and the news worldwide is featuring the feminist trailblazers, those who fought for women’s right to vote, those who influenced generations to become fighter pilots, doctors, scientists and to not accept barriers because they were born a female. Truly, the list is impressive, but what about the women whose influences are reflected in Roswell’s citizens today? Those who may not appear in history books? Following are examples of the strong female voices that guided today’s generation in Roswell. What woman influenced them most in their life and what woman do they admire most? Here are the answers:
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Curator of collections and exhibitions of the Roswell Museum and Art Center, Aubrey Hobart said there are two women who influenced her most. “The first is Gail Anderson,” she said. “When I was in my early 20s, I interned with her to help her put together her book and then she hired me to work for her museum consulting firm. We worked together for more than 12 years and she became a personal and professional mentor. She is a wonderful example of how to act with integrity and honesty in the workplace. My other influence is Carolyn Dean, who was my advisor in the doctoral program at University of California Santa Cruz. She is an absolutely brilliant, out-of-the-box thinker who has changed the way that scholars understand the Inca culture, but she’s also humble and kind, and has always been very supportive of me. Both Gail and Carolyn are making the world a better place in their own way, and I aspire to be more like them as I grow in my career.”
Hobart said she admired most somebody she has never met. “My great-grandmother, Hannah Ivnerovich — née Gillerovitch — was a Jewish woman born in Russia around 1900 during the reign of Tsar Nicholas II. As a teenager, she was so frustrated with the living conditions of her family and the people in her village that she became a revolutionary leader at the age of 15, fighting against the communist Bolsheviks. She fought for her convictions and her people and was exiled for it. She eventually made her way to the United States, married, and raised three children in a foreign land. I never met her, but I admire her strength of character. There are many wonderful women celebrities with qualities to honor, but it’s ordinary women who change the world by living their lives and being true to themselves that inspire me the most.”
Donald Burleson is an accomplished author, researcher, director of the Mutual UFO Network of New Mexico and writes the monthly column for the Daily Record, Looking Up.
Burleson said in an email that there is no contest on what woman influenced him most, it’s his wife Mollie Burleson, an accomplished author herself. “For four decades, she has been not only my wife but my best friend and confidante and constant companion,” he said. “She has read every word I’ve ever written, has been my critic and often my inspiration, always my emotional and intellectual support. She is a writer herself, and together we have explored the realm of language and literature. She’s an artist, too, and has done the cover sketches of three of my books — including the sketch of Marilyn Monroe — as well as the cover sketch for her own book — a collection of her short stories. It’s impossible to express how much she has added to my life.”
Asked about what other female Burleson admired, he said, “Aside from my wife Mollie, it would have to be Ayn Rand. I have read her magnificent novel ‘Atlas Shrugged’ nine times now and consider it to be the most potentially life-changing book ever written, even though I already had what one might call Randian attitudes, even before I read it — I’ve seen it turn other people’s lives completely around 180 degrees. Her philosophy of objectivism, her championing of individual responsibility, her astonishingly prophetic views, all her ideas have been cornerstones of my life.”
Kathy Lay is well-known in the community, being the executive director of MainStreet Roswell. She said in an email that her mother had the most influence in her life and that she was also the woman she admired most. “She was a full-time momma of four, and while raising us, she went to college and got a master’s degree with a 4.0 grade point average, and went on to become a college professor herself. She did this while also battling rheumatoid arthritis that resulted in so many surgeries that we lost count — replaced joints in both hands more than once, and removed joints in feet due to deterioration. She was fiery, had wonderful wit, and an awesome sense of humor. She laughed through challenges and taught me that life is always better with a positive attitude and a loving, generous heart. She always carried a folded $20 bill — a lot of money for that time period — and gave it away every week, then replaced it the next week so she could do it again. She would look for one of the college students who seemed to be facing financial hardship, or just a person who needed it.
“Summers were spent traveling as a family all across the U.S., where she would teach with my dad in youth camps, as well as traveled the world going to remote areas on mission trips to teach there. She taught me to love diversity in people and cultures. She was an avid reader and lifelong learner. She nurtured the curiosity in her children and helped us view the world with an open heart and appreciation of others. Of any woman I’ve met — or from those I’ve read about — none has been a greater influence than she was, and there are none I admire more than her. I was up close and personal and watched how she lived her whole life. She set the bar high, but also showed me that it is not so hard to reach. It can be done in small ways, by touching the lives of those we encounter with kindness and joy. A smile and kind word or action for those we meet can make a difference and make the world better. We don’t have to do BIG things to make a big difference, we can do small things over a lifetime that add up to make a big impact. I learned this from my mother.”
Kyle Bullock is a man of many talents. He is known as an actor, dancer, singer, podcast producer, business man and goldsmith at one of the oldest jewelry businesses, family-owned Bullock’s Jewelry. Asked what woman influenced him most in his life, he said in an email, “So many — where to start? Carol Dahlstrom comes to mind. She was my first boss in my career post-college and gave me a job when I needed it badly. I was a young, recently married grad student with a head full of doubts. Carol was a leader of quiet strength and never-ending compassion. She helped me get a promotion working for another incredible woman, Sheila Dye.
“Sheila emboldened me with confidence and attention to detail. Her expertise and tenacious spirit made work an exciting, challenging adventure. In my career, these women demonstrated the kind of leader I would want to become. Today, I work with an all-female staff whose brilliance, ingenuity and loyalty humble me on a daily basis! My business would not be half as effective or fulfilling without them.”
Asked what woman he admired most, Bullock said, “My wife never ceases to amaze me. Devon is incredibly smart, caring and strong. In her leadership roles, she brings a hunger for justice and empathy for others that makes you want her in your corner. Watching her raise our boys with patience and kindness has convinced me that parents everywhere indeed have the hardest, most important job of all. She has worn more hats than I can count, and she does it all with grace and style. Nobody challenges me to grow or love my community more than my wife, Devon.”
Juliana Halvorson has been known for her talent in photography, filming and public relations as well as her leading role in organizing events, overseeing meetings and being active in many of Roswell’s nonprofit organizations. She is vice president and marketing director at Pioneer Bank.
Halvorson said in an email, “Like most girls, my mother influenced me the most. My mother taught me to be a strong person. I learned that to survive, I had to be independent and self-reliable. She also taught me my love for crafts and working with my hands. From sewing and cooking, crocheting to cross-stitch, and so much more. I shared my independence and love of arts with my girls as well and am proud of the women they have become.”
Asked about what woman she admired most, Halvorson said, “I admire my mentor, Cathy Burch, the most. I met her when I was 18, and we became great friends. She is a fantastic artist and loves to support people in her community as much as I do. We have both been through so much together, and I have depended on her for so many projects. She is a beautiful friend! I know you asked for one woman, but I also admire my daughters, Shilo and Shelby. They have persevered through rough times and are both excelling. My life would be empty without them.”