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Diane J. Schmidt column photo IMG_0157-1Yes! You have reached Diane Joy Schmidt. dianeschmidt22@hotmail.com. Please scroll down here to see my latest articles, and at the bottom of this post, my bio. Most recent award:
1st Place, Personal Columns, Society of Professional Journalists Top of the Rockies 2016, for these 3 columns: Serendipity and the Power of Daydreams Who by Fire and The Merkabah and the Exegesis of a License Plate


Rainbow near Canyon de Chelly Photo © Diane Joy Schmidt
Rainbow near Canyon de Chelly Photo © Diane Joy Schmidt

Waters of Babylon “. . . the coming of the Jewish Messiah, the coming of the Moslem Mahdi, the return of the Christian Christ – like a bad Western, all three gangs are converging on the same town at high noon, gunning for Armageddon.” Posted,  revised, Times of Israel, July, 2016. Published Gallup Independent 2013.

Spirit and Coincidence

10. Opening night 2 DSC_0199
The exhibition hall for the Fractured Faiths exhibit is designed to evoke the interior of the Santa Maria La Blanca Synagogue, built under Christian rule by Islamic architects for Jewish use in Toledo, Spain in 1180 and is the oldest synagogue in Europe still standing. Photo and text © 2016 Diane Joy Schmidt

Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, The Inquisition, and New World Identities, ground-breaking and controversial exhibit at the New Mexico History Museum.  The Inquisition followed Jews to the New World. Some fled to what is today Northern New Mexico, and became insular secret communities hidden within the Catholic society, and descendants today are identifying with the customs they retained for over half a millennia.

Hadassah Apr16 P52 Fractured FaithsHadassah Magazine Apr/May 2016 Fractured Faiths exhibit opening in Santa Fe – Evidence of the Inquisition in the New World. Brief Review, page 52, featured.




Spain standingAfter 523 years, Spain offers citizenship to descendants of those who fled inquisition
and reaches out to the Sephardic/Anusim/Crypto-Jewish community of New Mexico, 524 years after the Inquisition, to offer the right of return and opportunity to apply for Spanish citizenship.

Private briefing at the White House with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro for members of the Jewish press on November 9, 2015 photo © Diane Joy Schmidt
Private briefing at the White House with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro for members of the Jewish press on November 9, 2015 following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with President Obama that morning. First-place, Single Photo, NMPW, 2016

Experience of a Lifetime: Attending the General Assembly and AJPA Conference
White House private briefing with Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro following Netanyahu’s meeting with Obama, for members of the Jewish press  There were body scanners and guards with bored looking guard dogs and plain clothed men on stairwells sporting plastic earbuds with muscles tight under their suits . . 




Shalom House with JCC in background. Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque – Is it a place where Jews can retire?    Albuquerque’s Shalom House is among the dwindling number of affordable senior-housing developments in the U.S. There is a vacuum in the Albuquerque Jewish community for affordable housing here.


LIGHT BEING Photo Credit 8.21.57 Untitled Project (1) May 10 2015 3 img2873
1st Place, Personal Columns, Society of Professional Journalists 2016.

The Merkabah and the Exegesis of a License Plate
A friend has become a zealot, Israelis are being stabbed, then, a license plate reveals an answer. “It was an older model unwashed car, with bird crud on the window . . .” Personal Columns, first-place, SPJ 2016


#10b. playing w sparklers PJ event
1st Place, 2016 NMPW Specialty articles: Religion – PJ Library Pajama Party a Bouyant Success

“PJ Library Pajama Party a buoyant success” Oct. 12, 2015 “This is one of the main ways I can get him around other Jewish kids…I just can’t afford to belong to a synagogue…when I got the invitation from PJ Library…” Photo story/report



Bee and flowers IMG_1052 copy
1st Place, Personal Columns, Society of Professional Journalists 2016.

“Who by Fire: Reflections on Tashlich and Unetanneh Tokef” Sept. 19, 2015 Listening to Leonard Cohen and casting away guilt allows a dream to surface that relates a trauma that is revealed to be the basis of his song and this prayer told at the New Year. Personal Columns, first-place, SPJ 2016


Frank Jerome Christophe Bubbles Dec 29 2014
1st Place, Personal Columns, Society of Professional Journalists 2016.

1st Place Personal Columns, Society of Professional Journalists 2016. Read here: Serendipity and the Power of Daydreams   The 3 personal columns for the award included this one and Who by Fire and The Merkabah and the Exegesis of a License Plate = scroll down further for those columns.



Frank Morgan Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld h text© Diane Schmidt_0680 10.12.14“Healing the Wounds of History, The Long Walk and the Holocaust”
Society of Professional Journalists award, Top of the Rockies, first-place in Reporting: General Education, for Gallup Independent daily newspaper, 2015. <29,999 circ. Navajos and Jews discuss healing from genocide. Report, published 2014.

“The Anti-Israel Boycott, 1. © Raise your hands copyDivestment and Sanctions Movement Arrives at UNM”  First-place for Photography, all circulation newspapers and magazines, American Jewish Press Association Rockower Award, 2015, for the New Mexico Jewish Link. Also two first-place, New Mexico Press Association Communication Awards, Photography/Writing category and Specialty articles: Religion. Report and photos, published 2014.

B1. UNM's GSA Votes to Rescind Anti-Israel Resolution p1of2 jun_jul_2014_Page_1B2. UNM's GSA Votes to Rescind Anti-Israel Resolution p2of2 jun_jul_2014_Page_2“UNM’s Graduate Student Association Votes to Rescind Anti-Israel Resolution” Against odds, the BDS resolution is rescinded. First-place for Reporting, 2015, circ. >15,000, American Jewish Press Association, Rockower Award, for the New Mexico Jewish Link. Report.

Stumbling upon a children’s art show in a grocery store rekindles a sense of meaning and purpose. 2015 Society of Professional Journalists award, Top of the Rockies, second-place for Personal Columns, <29,999 circ., as published in Gallup Independent daily newspaper, Sunday Religion page, Spiritual    Perspectives column, contributor since 2009. Column.

Zach and Taina Benjamin resz IMG_1192 copyUp close and personal, a little, with new Federation Director Zach Benjamin. Oct. 27, 2015
New Mexico welcomes new Federation director. Profile.



LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/diane-schmidt/56/315/1a5/
Twitter: @dianeschmidt22
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dianejoyschmidt

READ my previous articles published in the Navajo Times, Gallup Independent and New Mexico Jewish Link, from 2010 up until Sept. 2015 at my former website:
Diane Schmidt – Albuquerque Judaism Examiner – Western Religions | Examiner.com.  And my Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine cover stories and Chicago Tribune articles, earlier archive, to be added.

And visit my LinkedIn page at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/diane-j-schmidt/56/315/1a5/

Recent awards include:

  • 1st Place Personal Columns, Society of Professional Journalists 2016, for columns as posted in Gallup Independent Spiritual Perspectives, and expanded, revised and published in New Mexico Jewish Link. Also now syndicated to Times of Israel Blog (since 2015), and Grant County Beat “Matter and Light” column (since 5/2016).  2016 Award for 3 columns: “Serendipity and the Power of Daydreams,” “Who by Fire,” and “The Merkabah and the Exegesis of a License Plate.”
  • 2016 New Mexico Press Women First place, single photo, White House, and first place Specialty articles: Religion for PJ Library Pajama Party
  • 2015-16 Journalist-in-Aging Fellowship, NAM/GSA, October 2015
  • 2015 Two AJPA Rockower Awards, First-place, RepPHOTO GROUP AJPA Rockower 2015 by Illana Goldmeierorting, and First-place Photography,  on BDS movement at University of New Mexico, for New Mexico Jewish Link.
  • 2015 Two Society of Professional Journalists awards, first-place, for Education Reporting for “The Long Walk and the Holocaust,” and second-place, for Personal Columns, including “An answer so simple, I couldn’t see it” for Gallup Independent, <30,000 daily circ.
  • 2015 Eight New Mexico Press Women awards, including second-place, NMPW Communications Award of Excellence for Individual Achievement with cash award, and three first-place awards for Specialized Reporting: Religion, Photography/Reporting, and Essay in a Book.
  • 2015 National Federation of Press Women, third-place, Essay in a Book, for “What Chanting a Prayer Just Might Do for You.” Essay excerpted from Music: Carrier of Intention in 49 Jewish Prayers, editors Kimberly Burnham and Elizabeth W. Goldstein, preface by Rabbi Shefa Gold, Creating Calm Publishing Group, 2014.
Diane Joy Schmidt is a nationally award-winning independent writer and photographer in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She covers social, ethical and environmental issues, with special coverage of the Navajo Nation and the Jewish community in the Southwest. She has been a regular op-ed and religion columnist for The Gallup Independent daily newspaper since 2009. She has written here for the Navajo Times, the Gallup Independent, Indian Country Today, and the New Mexico Jewish Link. She is from Chicago, where she freelanced for many years and was a regular contributor and columnist for the Chicago Tribune, photo stringer for Time, Forbes and other publications and also adjunct faculty in Photography, Columbia College, Chicago before moving out west in 1992. From 1992-96 she was Director of Photography for magazines of the Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Arizona. She has been in New Mexico since 1997, where, along with her freelance writing career, she has worked with the Navajo Nation to produce bilingual health-care publications and trainings, and earned a MA in English.

MA  2002  English/Creative Writing Program, University of New Mexico
BFA 1976  Photography/Design, Rhode Island School of Design
BA   1974  Comparative Literature, Prescott College, Arizona

Current Fellowships:
Journalists in Aging Fellowship, NAM/GSA to attend conference, Orlando, FL Nov. 18-22, 2015, and write series on aging in New Mexico.
Scholarships from AJPA and JFNM to attend General Assembly and AJPA conference, Washington, DC, Nov. 8-11, 2015 and receive Rockower awards.

Past, notable:
Robert R. McCormick Poynter Institute, Specialized Reporting Institute on child sexual abuse, St. Petersburg, FL 2012
Governor’s Award, 1999 University of New Mexico
Volunteer of the Year, 1994 Arts Genesis/ Old Pascua Yaqui youth arts/literacy/prevention program, Tucson
National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship in Photography, 1986, for series on Chicago at night.

Service as member of the board:
New Mexico Press Women Communications Contest Chair, 2014-15 and board
New Mexico Jewish Historical Society, board, publicity committee, 2013-14
Society Professional Journalists Rio Grande, board, conference comm, 2012-3
American Society Media Photographers, Chicago, board 1991-2

Current member: Society Professional Journalists, Religion Newswriters Association, American Jewish Press Association, National Federation Press Women/New Mexico Press Women, JAWS.

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/diane-schmidt/56/315/1a5/
Twitter: @dianeschmidt22
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dianejoyschmidt