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Borderlands: The Building of a City -- From the Editor 20 (2001-2002)

A unique resource of faculty edited college student articles on the history and culture of the El Paso, Juárez, and Southern New Mexico regions.

The Editor's Column : The Building of a City

Article first published in Vol. 20 (2001-2002)

By Ruth E. Vise

Volume 20 coverBorderlands begins and ends with articles on water – the lifeblood of the Southwest. The first story describes the wonderful hot springs found in T or C and their early use, while the last story details the planning and building of Elephant Butte Dam. Other stories deal with the building of law and order in the 1880s in El Paso and the problems, but also the advantages, inherent in a railroad town. Some stories profile early business leaders and the building of the economy as well as leaders of society who helped build the soul of the city. Students also researched those who designed timeless buildings.

El Paso Community College celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and I am completing my first year at Northwest Campus. I have found the students here just as eager and ready to tackle local history projects in their research and writing classes as they were at Valle Verde. Special thanks to Monica Wong and her staff at the Northwest Library for providing excellent service and encouragement to my students. Thanks also to faculty editors and colleagues Joe Old and Daryl Troyer. Enjoy your retirement, Daryl!

I am especially proud of Sunshine Mendez and Alaine Bracken for their enthusiasm and the long hours they spent researching, writing and finding illustrations and Armando Ruiz for completing the art assignments in record time. Thanks to all of my English 1302 students at Northwest and to former students whose stories appear this year.

Sincere thanks to the El Paso Times for its continued support of this student writing project.

To my daughter April who graduated with honors from high school in May 2001, congratulations on your achievements. You’re going to love college! Thanks for your many years of support of Borderlands.

We hope you enjoy reading these articles about the building of early El Paso.









Image caption: Ruth E. Vise Faculty Editor & Advisor






From the Staff (Volume 20)

Article first published in Vol. 20 (2001-2002)

By Sunshine Mendez and Alaine Bracken

""Image caption: 2001 Borderlands Staff L to R: Armando Ruiz, Artist; Ruth Vise, Faculty Editor & Advisor; Sunshine Mendez, Editor. Not pictured: Alaine Bracken, Assistant Editor

It was a complete honor for me to be Student Editor of Borderlands. I’d first like to thank Ms. Vise for choosing me for this job and also for teaching me in her classroom. Working on the many papers has taught me much about writing. It has also been an intellectual endeavor as I have learned more about El Paso’s history through the hard work of the students at EPCC, and for that I’d like to thank them as well. I thank my husband and son for putting up with the many hours I’ve spent glued to the computer or away from home working on this publication. This was an experience I’ll never forget and always appreciate.

Sunshine Mendez


What a joy it has been to learn more about the fascinating history of El Paso, Texas. I have learned about every day people wanting to make life better for them and their children and in the process helping to create a town fit for family and business. Thanks to Ms. Vise, English professor at Northwest Campus, for the research assignment to learn about the history of El Paso. I appreciate her confidence in me to assist in the job of putting together this feature magazine. I would like to thank the wonderful librarians at the Downtown Public Library in the Southwest Collection. Barbara Rees, Curator of the El Paso Historical Society, helped me immensely in obtaining photos for these articles This has been a great experience.

Alaine Bracken


Produced by the Students and Faculty 
of El Paso Community College

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