Student turns hobby into career
Studio Arts major Kristen Gurule said she has loved art her whole life, but when she started making jewelry she became crazy about it.
She began crafting a year and a half ago but she has only been producing quality work for the past year, she said.
“I look for pictures on the internet. Stuff I would want to buy myself, but either I can’t find it or I don’t want to pay that much for it. People give me ideas to do different stuff and I’ll branch off of that,” said Gurule.
She used to make beaded jewelry but she said it is too cliché and now uses mainly polymer clay, and resin.
Administration pay raise leads to concern
A recently approved three percent recurring raise and onetime two percent raise for the 2012-2013 fiscal year for all employees not protected by a collective bargaining agreement — those whose jobs are represented by a union — has caused friction between the administration and those excluded. This would mean that the raise applies only to members of the administration, administrative assistants, advisers and offices such as the Financial Aid Department.
The raise will not apply to full-time faculty, part-time faculty, security, maintenance, operations, and instructional support staff, according to an email from President Katharine Winograd to staff.
“The raises are an act of good faith,” said Chairman of the Governing Board Blair Kaufman.
The raise proves that the institution is willing to work with the union, said Kaufman.
Members of faculty disagree with Kaufman’s sentiment, said part-time Communications, Humanities, and Social Sciences Instructor Julia So.
Students should pursue their interests in college even if the program of study is not offered. When students study what interests them, they are more likely to learn and are motivated to continue their education.
It can be discouraging if one’s major is not offered or if the program is cut. The Animation program, Graphic Design courses, and Environmental Safety and Health are just a few examples of majors that were discontinued, leaving those passionate about the field without a course of study.
This is the point where students may lose interest in higher education. They accept their current circumstances and choose a career path that will allow them to make a living rather than doing something they love.
The March/May, 2012, issue of the NEW MEXICO RAIL RUNNER EXPRESS MAGAZINE had a very informative article on an extremely useful organization called the Small Business Partnership Program. Funded by the Federal Transit Administration, the SBP helps regional transit districts like the Rio Metro Transit District, which serves Albuquerque and other members along the Los Alamos— Socorro corridor, by helping small businesses and their employees/customers find commuting alternatives by reducing the dependency upon single-occupancy private automobiles on our roadways.
Using a $257,000.00 grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ), the SBP takes several steps to educate employers and their employees on adopting alternatives to total reliance on the private automobile conveyance.
SBC’s major selling point is that it does NOT cost employers a cent. SBP has three levels of participation for employers: Bronze; Silver; and Gold levels. The University of New Mexico’s main campus, its medical center, and its West/Rio Rancho campus have satisfied requirements for membership on the Gold level. CNM, although it does do its part by providing students and staff with bus passes and rail discounts, does not yet occupy any of these three levels with the SBP.
What sort of society are we, that we do not value educators? Most of these instructors love their jobs and go above and beyond to see students reach their goals, both in and out of the classroom.
While adding up the numbers for the graph attached to “‘Raising’ discord’” it struck home for me, how much teachers — especially those with a part-time position — must truly love the job.
The average pay for a part time instructor is $5,188 — that’s $1,360 more than the average Pell Grant award and $362 less than the maximum Pell award. It is easy to make excuses for the struggles I encounter while trying to achieve an education — but I have none for why the same obstacles are there for the ones doing the teaching.
In an effort to prove these numbers wrong, I questioned some part time faculty about their lives. One tells me that she teaches five classes per term, and has done so for more than a decade. She also work three other jobs. Two others tell me that they gave up driving a car because it wasn’t affordable on their salary. A fourth instructor – who left CNM to work at a college in another state – tells me that no one speaks up about the wage disparities because getting negative attention from one institution can jeopardize a teacher’s career.
Author and English major Volatalistic Phil said he is offering a giveaway of his two newest books, “White Elephant” and “Flash Fiction 40+1: New Mexican Bread Isle.” The novels, released March 30, will be raffled off through his wordpress site, teamvolatalistic, on May 1 and 2.
Phil said this approach is intended to attract readers to his novels and to help promote his writing and further his career as an author.
The student author’s latest books are a continuation of self-expression and emotion from his first fiction novel, “My Mind’s Abyss,” and feature his thoughts and opinions on a wide range of everyday topics and situations, said Phil.
“Some of the things I write about are an inflection of my personality or just how I’m feeling about other topics and situations,” he said.
Phil said he does not consider his writings successful, per se, but only an on-going process.
Burlesque Noir troupe founder and Veterinary Technician graduate “Holly Rebelle” was the first Burlesque performer from New Mexico to win the solo competition at the recent Texas Burlesque Festival.
She presented a classical balloon dance act, which made her top pick, she said.
“They are looking for people to be true to the classic art form of Burlesque. Having a great stage presence, using a classic song and having a well thought out costume were all in my favor,” said Rebelle.
To be recognized by her peers and idols out of about two dozen competitors was a great feeling especially because it is something she enjoys, said Rebelle.
The Texas Burlesque Festival is structured as a competition so she decided to enter a solo and an ensemble performance, which Burlesque Noir also won, said Rebelle.
“It was total shock and awe that we took best group category and I won best solo. It worked out well for us. There are only a handful of competitions in Burlesque. Only one person can walk away with the award,” said Rebelle.
There was not strong support from the Environmental Safety and Health program advisory committee to continue the program, said Director of Marketing and Communications Brad Moore.
Risk Management Director for Bernalillo County Government Joseph Crelier and ES&H graduate Carol Edwards said they both agree that job prospects for graduates of the ES&H program is high and are disappointed that the program is being discontinued.
“The education received through CNM’s program is invaluable,” said Edwards.
Moore said the committee includes industry representatives in the community with strong knowledge of the field. Crelier and Edwards are members of the advisory committee for the ES&H program, although they said they have not been very active. After the Environmental Safety and Health program’s annual review with the Governing Board in August 2011, the decision was made to discontinue the program because it is no longer viable, said Moore.