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Dr Peggy Swoveland at Branigan Cultural Center 2017

Dr. Swoveland will talk about recent trips she took with her sister to Japan and to Mitchell, NE to discover where their grandparents originated, and to learn something about the lives of their ancestors. The talk will be in conjunction with Issei and Beyond: The Nakayama Family’s Journey in the Mesilla Valley on display at the Branigan Cultural Center Feb. 3–May 20.

Dr. Swoveland is a graduate of Las Cruces High School, Pomona College, University of California and University of Maryland School of Medicine. She received her BA in Biology, MA in Zoology and PhD in Microbiology. Her professional career has been as a medical researcher, specializing in virus infections of the brain.

She has strong connections to Las Cruces and the surrounding area. Her Nakayama grandparents began farming in the Mesilla Valley in 1918. Her mother’s family, the Yabumotos, farmed in Chamberino near Anthony, NM where her mother was born.

As a member of the third-generation of the Nakayama family, Dr. Swoveland has inherited the family artifacts, which are presented in the exhibit Issei and Beyond: The Nakayama Family’s Journey in the Mesilla Valley.

Dr. Swoveland is now retired and living in Las Cruces. She has served on the board of directors of First Step Center, a non-profit healthcare clinic for low-income women and children, chaired the board of trustees of Memorial Medical Center, served on the Healthcare Alliance for the county Health and Human Services Department, and is currently the chair of the board of directors of the Academy for Learning in Retirement (ALR).

Admission to the Branigan Cultural Center is free. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday - Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit the website at: or call 575-541-2154.

If you need an accommodation for a disability to enable you to fully participate in this event, contact the museum 48 hours prior to the event.