Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski's goal in life was to be independent and challenged intellectually. They strongly believed in people being self-sufficient, ambitious, and above all, responsible.

Russell was a researcher, academician and an entrepreneur. Dorothy was an accomplished artist and patron of the arts—both believed that education was a means to obtain independence, and this is the legacy they have passed on to others through the Bilinski Educational Foundation.

With a fourth gift of $470,000, the Bilinski Educational Foundation will continue to recognize excellent doctoral students in the humanities at UNM. Thirty-eight doctoral students have already completed their dissertations and degrees supported by Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowships. 

The 2019 recipients for the Bilinski Fellowship stand out for their potential impact on both scholarship and community:

  • Leandra Binder, English, focuses on aesthetics and the abject in late nineteenth century decadent literature. 
  • Graham Bounds, philosophy, reconsiders John McDowell’s view of the relationship between the mind and the world with insights from Heidegger and Hegel. 
  • Diego Bustos, Spanish & Portuguese, studies the representation of growth and anti-poverty public policies in literature and other cultural performances in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.
  • Marthia Fuller, American Studies, is producing an investigation of the deployment of race and gender in graphic novels, and particularly, how black women are framed within post-apocalyptic and dystopian narratives. 
  • Reilly Ben Hatch, American studies, focuses on the construction of race, religion, and culture in American policy pertaining to both Native Americans and Mormons after the Bluff War of 1915 and the Posey War of 1923. 
  • Christina Juhász-Wood, American studies, is completing an analysis of the role of Albuquerque’s military institutions in the displacement of Indigenous, refugee, and migrant bodies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 
  • Laura Powell, history, provides an exploration of how indigenous communities of the Ecuadorian highlands maintained historical kinship networks and adapted to the changing political, social, and economic landscapes of the nineteenth century. 
  • Dalicia Raymond, English, is producing a study of the representation of love magic and the discomfort with which it is treated in high and late medieval romances from continental and insular Europe.

The University of New Mexico invites advanced doctoral students in the UNM graduate programs of American Studies, English, Foreign Languages & Literature, History, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Spanish & Portuguese to apply for a Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowship. These newly established fellowships in the College of Arts & Sciences provide valuable financial support for top, meritorious doctoral students with demonstrated financial need who are conducting research for, and or completing, their doctoral dissertations.