Professor Publishes Albuquerque Gay Pride Book

Paul James, “PJ,” Sedillo

Las Vegas, N.M – A Highlands University special education professor earned national recognition for his book which is the first to chronicle the gay pride movement in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Paul James, “PJ,” Sedillo and his 2017 book, Solidarity Through Pride: LGBT Pride in Albuquerque 1976 – 2016,” were featured in USA Today’s Faces of Pride special section June 30.

“The majority of New Mexico is very accepting of the LGBT community, which I believe is related to our state’s rich diversity,” Sedillo said. “What’s remarkable about Albuquerque is that as a relatively small city it was a leader in the LGBT movement in the Southwest, and one of the first six cities nationwide to sponsor a pride event.”

Sedillo, an Albuquerque native, served as president and co-president of Albuquerque Pride from 1989 – 2010. The nonprofit works to present a positive image of the LGBT community. The organization sponsors the annual pride parade and Pridefest in Albuquerque.

Sedillo joined the Highlands University faculty fall semester 2013 and teaches at the university’s Rio Rancho Center. In 2014, he developed a new curriculum for gifted education in the School of Education that was implemented the same year. c

“Highlands is the only university in New Mexico that currently offers gifted education courses at the master’s degree level and a minor in gifted education,” Sedillo said.

At Highlands, Sedillo teaches courses such as Foundations of Gifted Education and Instructional Strategies of Gifted Education.

Sedillo earned his Ph.D. in special education with a concentration in gifted education from the University of New Mexico in 2013. He also completed his M.A. in special education from UNM.

Previously, Sedillo, who earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Highlands, was an educator and resource teacher in Albuquerque Public Schools for 29 years.

“I’ve come full circle back to Highlands, which is very satisfying personally and professionally. I can give back to my students the way my supportive education professors at Highlands gave to me,” Sedillo said.

Over the years, Sedillo has been recognized a number of times for teaching excellence, such as being named KOAT Top Teacher of the Year in 1999. He presents frequently at conferences for the National Association of the Gifted and other education organizations.