The Paw Print
ALAMOSA (April 22) – Adams State University Roger Eriksen, associate professor of art, recently became a United States citizen, after a long journey.
Eriksen, born in Canada, left at the age of six with his family and moved to Los Angeles. He could have applied for US citizenship at the age of 18. However, after traveling out of the country often in the 80s, he did not qualify. He later moved to New Zealand, after marrying a New Zealand citizen. He returned to the US after his divorce and studied art at the University of Idaho while under a student visa.
In 2005, Eriksen interviewed to receive his green card, based on his mother’s sponsorship. She fell ill and died two days after he was officially granted residency. His mother was 89-years-old.
After applying for citizenship in September, 2014, Eriksen participated in the citizenship ceremony on March 26, 2015, in Denver, Colo. “It was a bitter sweet occasion, because I wished my mother could have been there. However, Judy Hinton, my girlfriend, was able to attend.” There were about 100 people at the ceremony receiving their citizenship, representing 26 different nationalities, ranging from Nepal, to Iraq, to Germany. “It took 16 years to finally get legal status. I have lived in six different countries and I realized that the United States is my home.”
Eriksen received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Idaho in 2002, the same year he accepted a position at Adams State. He teaches graphic design, art appreciation, and art history.