About Us
Our Team


Rick Hendricks, Ph.D.
State Historian

Rick Hendricks was born in Waynesville, North Carolina, nestled between the Great Smokey and Blue Ridge Mountains. Rick received his B. A. in History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Ph.D. in Ibero American Studies at the University of New Mexico. He also attended the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain. He is a former editor of the Vargas Project at the University of New Mexico, a long-term, historical editing project that transcribed, translated, and annotated the papers of New Mexico governor Diego de Vargas. Rick has been a historical consultant for Sandia, Santa Ana, and Picuris Pueblos in New Mexico and Ysleta del Sur in Texas. After the conclusion of the Vargas Project, he worked in the Archives and Special Collections Department at New Mexico State University Library. While there he took part in the project to microfilm the Archivos Históricos del Arzobispado de Durango and the Archivos Históricos de Sombrerete and edited the guides to those collections. At NMSU Rick also taught courses in colonial Latin America and Mexican history. He has written or collaborated on more than sixteen books and seventy articles on the Spanish colonial period in the American Southwest and Mexico. His writings have garnered awards from the Historical Society of New Mexico, the New Mexico Historical Review, the El Paso County Historical Society, the Border Regional Library Association, and the Doña Ana County Historical Society. His most recent book, New Mexico in 1801: The Priests Report, was published in June 2008 by Rio Grande books. He edited the Southern New Mexico Historical Review, a publication of the Doña Ana Historical Society, for a decade. Rick is a past president of the Historical Society of New Mexico and is a long-time member of the Advisory Council of the Center for Big Bend Studies at Sul Ross State University. He is currently completing biographies of Mesilla Valley pioneer agriculturalist Thomas Casad and Spanish-Mexican patriot Father Antonio Severo Borrajo. Rick’s leisure time is usually filled with soccer. He served on the High Noon Soccer League board for ten years, six as president. He coached for ten years and is a referee, referee instructor, and referee assignor. Rick’s wife, Lois Stanford, a cultural anthropologist, is an associate professor on the faculty at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. His son, William, is a high school senior and will soon be headed to Spain to experience the culture and play soccer for a year before beginning college where he eventually hopes to study medicine and become a trauma doctor. The family’s life is enriched by a loving rescue dog named Mischa, a Labrador-Australian Heeler mix.


Bonnie Coleman Iapoce
History Projects Manager

Bonnie Coleman works at the Office of the State Historian where she oversees and maintains the newmexicohistory.org website and works with the State Historian and HSNM to conduct the Scholars Program and Lecture Series. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Legal Studies from California State University at Fullerton and after a short stint in law school, decided the practice of law was not for her. Bonnie went to work at O’Melveny & Myers for Warren Christopher as a communications professional prior to his departure to serve as Secretary of State in the first Clinton Administration. She continued to specialize in the private legal sector serving as Director of Marketing and Communications, picking up a few awards for website development, advertising and client retention along the way. She is an avid volunteer and backer of issues concerning women and children, and actively supports the "rescue and recycling" of dogs. Bonnie has been owned by rescued Afghan Hounds since she was in college and by rescued Beagles of New Mexico since she arrived in her adopted home state in 2003. Bonnie lives in Santa Fe with her best friend and husband, Michael Iapoce, a former stand-up comic, who is a business writer and copy editor for Stanford Press and Wiley.


Rob Martinez
Assistant State Historian

Rob Martinez is a native New Mexican born and raised in Albuquerque. A graduate of the University of New Mexico with a B.B.A. in International Business Management, Rob then went on to pursue his interest in New Mexican culture and history at U.N.M., earning an M.A. in Latin American history, with an emphasis on church, cultural, and social practices of the Spanish Colonial period in New Mexico. During his tenure as a graduate student, he was a research assistant for four years at the Vargas Project, learning research skills and paleography, abilities that would serve him well as a historian. Upon graduating, Rob pursued a teaching license and also worked for fourteen years as a research historian for the Sephardic Legacy Project, scouring civil and church archives in New Mexico, Mexico, Spain, France, Italy, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, analyzing documents for a research and publishing project about the Crypto-Jewish phenomenon in New Mexico and the Caribbean. Rob has presented papers and lectures on his research at the University of New Mexico, as well as history conferences throughout the southwestern United States. He has also spoken to historical groups in New Mexico such as the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico, the Albuquerque Historical Society, and the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies about research methodology, unique findings, New Mexico Hispanic culture, and general History of New Mexico. Rob was a teacher at Rio Rancho High School for ten years, educating young New Mexicans about World History, New Mexico History, and Language Arts. Rob has published articles on New Mexico genealogy and culture in periodicals as diverse as Herencia: The Quarterly Journal of the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center, IMAGEN magazine, Tradicion Revista, and the New Mexico Genealogist. Finally, Rob is also a folk musician, performing and promoting New Mexican Hispanic musical traditions for the past twenty years with his brother Lorenzo and their father Roberto Martinez in the group Los Reyes de Albuquerque. With his musical family, Rob has performed in all parts of New Mexico, and on multiple occasions has presented music and New Mexican culture at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, D.C., the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship Awards, and also at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Besides his love of history and music, Rob spends his free time with his loving wife Janice, also a U.N.M. graduate with an M.A. in European History and a Master’s in Theology. Janice has conducted research with Rob in Spain and France, and both enjoy the company of their cat, Squeaky.