Darlis has had an exemplary career in teaching and writing about Western history. She earned degrees from UNC, New Mexico State University, and the University of New Mexico. Most of her teaching career has been as NMSU, where she served as instructor, Associate Professor of History and History Department Head. Her research areas of specialization include Women in the West, Western Biography, the Frontier Army, and New Mexico and the Southwest.
She has published at least eight books dealing with New Mexico history, as well as numerous articles for academic historical publications. These articles have resulted in awards such as Border Regional Library Association Southwest Book Award, New Mexico Presswomen's Zia Award, Goveernor's Award for Historical Preservation, the Billington and Koontz Awards, and she also was a finalist for the WILLA Literary Award in 2003.
Darlis can't be with us today because she is receiving the Western Historical Association Award of Merit today in California.