On Stands Now
February 2024

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Winton Wood, recipient of outstanding staff award at UNM. Courtesy Photo

I Am A Proud Mama!

As I mentioned in this month’s LIVE LOVE LAUGH, my big, prolific family is full of geniuses. I’m so proud of all my kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids for their accomplishments, but especially because they’re all good, kind people.

One of my daughters, Winton Wood, works at the University of New Mexico, and she received a prestigious award that I’m bursting to tell you about! UNM employs over 8,000 people and every year since 1990, a minimum of three awards are presented to outstanding employees. For their work in 2021, the Gerald W. May Outstanding Staff Awards were made to six nominees. Winton was one of the six to receive a monetary award and a plaque from Garnet S. Stokes, current president of UNM, for her significant contribution.

Throughout New Mexico, Winton works with families with disabilities, and her work is extraordinary, partially because her 16-year-old daughter, Lilya, has disabilities—Down syndrom and autism. This helps Winton, because she knows first-hand about the complexities and compassion needed to fulfill her work.
When she was about two years old, Lilya was sitting on my lap and the moment she laid her head on my chest, my heart flew open. What a remarkable experience! I vibrated from head to foot and felt swathed in enormous joy. It doesn’t get better than that.

For more about Winton Wood, and her advocacy work with people with disabilities, please read this article in UNM’s Daily Lobo: https://www.dailylobo.com/article/2022/01/unm-award-winning-staff-member-advocates-for-individuals-with-disabilities


  • Ellen Wood

    Ellen Wood, born in 1936, is a prizewinning author, columnist and former management executive. After her youngest child began school, Ellen started an in-house ad agency and won 16 awards for annual report and advertising excellence, including 4 national awards. Five years after her mother died of Alzheimer’s, Ellen experienced early symptoms (she has the gene, APO-e4). At 68 she developed a program of mind/body/spirit techniques that proved so successful, she wrote and published “Think and Grow Young,” followed by “Joy! Joy! Joy!” (now retitled “The Secret Method for Growing Younger,” Volumes 1 and 2) and gave inspirational speeches. Since 2018 Ellen has been the ad agency for NorthStar Tire and Auto in Questa, NM. Ellen started painting in November of 2020, having dabbled at it in her 20s, and gave herself a new name: Maruška, her father’s middle name. She is overjoyed to be part of a big, loving, kindhearted family. You can find her paintings at www.northernnewmexicoartists.com/ellen-wood