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Nelson-Nuñez, Jami

When we lost Kendra Koivu in September 2019, we felt the impact in so many different spaces and ways. Her contribution and impact in her role as a professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM) was powerful. I only knew UNM with her in it, as I started as an assistant professor four years after her. She brought a lot of laughter to our hallways and created a supportive space that immediately made me feel like I belonged. It’s been a challenge to write this tribute—for the obvious reason that the pain of her loss is still sharp—but also because I know many of the people who are reading this were incredibly important in Kendra’s life. So in this tribute to Kendra, I want to honor her scholarly achievements and her contributions as a teacher and mentor at UNM, but I also hope to relate how special she was given her perseverance, rare talents, and the impact she made on so many people.

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