And the award goes to… History instructor grateful for student appreciation

By Rene Thompson Editor-in-Chief | Photo by Rene Thompson

Dr. Yvonne Darcy, History instructor at CNM since 2003, wanted to express her thanks to the students that rallied together to vote for her to become the winner of the Student Appreciation Award in the summer semester of 2013.

Darcy has been a History instructor since 2003 and was nominated for help­ing her students and for going above and beyond the regular class curriculum.

Darcy won the Student Appreciation Award with students that nominate an instructor, but more importantly Darcy feels grateful to her students winning this award and believes she has succeeded in getting through to her students, she said.

“Just thank you to the students, thank you so much. PNM gave me a $1000 check that is going to allow me to get some things done, and I couldn’t be more grateful to them –it was powerful and humbling at the same time,” she said.

Darcy said she had no idea about the award when she got the email and that she was surprised to hear she had won.

“When I was told I got the award I couldn’t stop crying, because the students voted it; it was democratic, and I was so touched. I really needed that vote of confidence from them,” she said.

Darcy explained that she tries to get through to every stu­dent she has in class and she hopes that it empowers her students to want to learn more, so when she sees that come out in her stu­dents she knows she has done her job, she said.

“I try to pass wisdom onto to them from my years of college edu­cation struggling as a single mother trying to get through undergrad school,” she said.

Darcy will be having classes at both Main and Montoya campuses, and said that any one that is inter­ested and wants to take her class can email her at

“I teach U.S. History 1 and 2 as well as History of New Mexico. If they show up or email me the first day I try to squeeze them in, because there is always one or two that drop the course,” she said.

One of Darcy’s stu­dents told her that the best part of her class is that she has discus­sions every class where students can learn more through exam­ples throughout history being related to every­day life, she said.

“I think it is because I let everybody speak and I encourage them to talk, or if they’re struggling I make sug­gestions, so that I pro­tect their self-worth. I think that is what I do through the discus­sions on the material; sometimes we go off on a tangent, but stu­dents have told me I always bring it back to the material,” she said.

Darcy said she uti­lizes her classroom as democratic space where students can talk about all sorts of issues throughout history.

“We’ll talk about race for example; some people have no other place in their lives where they ever really get to talk about it, and be able to be in a good space where people can hear others anxieties on speaking about race. It gets a little heated and when that happens I stop it or change the direction of the discussion if it gets a little personal, and sometimes it does, but contrary to what some may think, students can handle it,” she said.

Darcy said the event where she was presented with the student appre­ciation award was great, which was located at the Hotel Albuquerque on July 18 where 500 donors of the schools founda­tion fund attended.

“The food was great, the place was beautiful, and I got to take a friend with me,” she said.

Darcy said she also got to meet the donors of the CNM foundation such as Sandia Labs, Wells Fargo and Caterpillar.

“I had no idea they donate to the CNM foundation, which funds a lot of stu­dent scholarships; we forget sometimes how this place is run and how the school gets funded,” she said.

Darcy also said that she enjoyed seeing stu­dents at the event with three alumni and two current students that had spoken at the event.

“All of them had come from really dif­ficult backgrounds and were thriving in their fields. One of the stu­dents that spoke said that, ‘life breaks every­body’ and I clapped because we have to remember that; life does breaks everybody and we all just have to try and make better out of it,” she said.

Yvonne Darcy grades away at her usual spot located at the downtown Flying Star.
Yvonne Darcy grades away at her usual spot located at
the downtown Flying Star.

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