Part-timers seek more respect

By Daniel Montaño, Senior Reporter
Better pay and more job security — part-time instructors reported they want both in a recent poll conducted by CNM’s employee union leading up to annual contract negotiations, Seamus O’Sullivan, part-time political science and sociology instructor, said.
Nariman Arfai, part-time psychology instructor and head of the part-time CNM educator union, and his team will be looking to change that this year, he said during an interview on Oct. 3.
For the union, the part-timer negotiations, which began on Oct. 10, will center on compensation, job security and improving working conditions for part-time instructors, also called adjunct faculty, who teach 63 percent of all classes at CNM, Arfai said.
“Adjunct means supplementary. How can you teach 63 percent of all the courses and be called supplementary?” he said.
O’Sullivan said there are 753 part-time instructors and 302 full-time instructors teaching at CNM this semester.
Brad Moore, director of marketing and communication, was not able to answer specific questions regarding CNM policies for part-time faculty members’ pay-scale, course selection process, or contract eligibility, because of confidentiality issues, he said.
“CNM and the faculty union are currently in collective bargaining negotiations for a new contract.
To uphold the confidentiality and of the negotiation process, the rules of which have been contractually agreed upon by CNM and the union, CNM will not discuss issues that could be a part of the collective bargaining process,” Moore said in an official statement.
At the time of this publication, Tom Manning, labor relations officer, who was asked to comment, did not responded to several interview requests, which were initially sent prior to when negotiations began.
Most part-timers at CNM have a master’s degree, and a large portion hold a doctoral degree, yet if these academics teach 10 classes in a year, they will earn about $27,000 before taxes or about $20,000 after taxes, Arfai said.
In comparison, according to the United States Department of Labor, tree-trimmers and receptionists earn an average of more than $33,000 a year before taxes — and neither job necessarily requires a high-school diploma.
“It’s impossible to support a family with this salary and in this economy,” Arfai said.
College administrators, however, have seen a steady increase in pay over the last 15 years, according to
The Chronicle previously reported that Kathie Winograd, CNM president, received a 22 percent raise last November, which was approved by the schools governing board and amounted to an extra $48,000 a year, bringing her annual salary to more than $260,000.
CNM’s administration set aside state funds to offer a 2 percent raise for part-timers this year, which amounts to an extra $56 per class taught, but the union will be looking for far more than that, O’Sullivan said.
Andy Tibble, full-time instructor and President of CNM’s employee union, under whose umbrella the part-timers union falls, said in an Oct. 1 interview that while part-timer’s may say they are not being paid enough, CNM does pay better than other institutions in the area.
For example, New Mexico Highlands University pays part-timers $800 per credit hour taught, which works out to about $24,000 before taxes a year, to teach “overload courses,” according to the public bargaining agreement held between NMHU and their faculty union.
“So, while we would complain that all part-time faculty are underpaid, we can’t complain that CNM pays less than other institutions,” Tibble said.
O’Sullivan agrees that CNM is not the only school underpaying their part-time faculty, but does not believe that just because it is a common practice CNM is excused in underpaying anyone, he said.
“I’m frankly very tired of hearing that as an excuse. ‘Well, everybody’s doing it.’ That doesn’t make it right, doesn’t make it fair, doesn’t make it moral and you’re exploiting your workforce.” O’Sullivan said.
Tibble stressed that CNM does at least offer benefits to part-time instructors who teach more than eight contract hours per week, a practice that is not common among higher education institutions, he said.
“You know that’s pretty big, because it’s actually more generous than, say, the affordable care act requires. That’s just not available at a lot of other institutions. I don’t even believe that UNM offers that,” Tibble said.
For O’Sullivan though, the problem is the administration’s lack of appreciation for its largest teacher workforce, he said.
He thinks the lack of respect begins with the fact that Colleges and Universities nationwide are moving toward a business model to run their schools — the Wal-Mart mentality of seeking profits, in part, by disregarding employees, he said.
O’ Sullivan thinks administrators in those schools look at their workforce as numbers, not people, and search for ways to deliver their “educational product” cheaper, he said.
“I think in most cases for the levels at the top, it’s just economics. It’s got nothing to do with anything else, it’s just economics,” O’Sullivan said.
Andy Russell, full-time history instructor, was once a part-time instructor, and thinks that one of the major benefits of being a full-timer is the job security that comes with it, he said.
Part-timers are contracted to teach on a semester-to-semester basis, and receive no guarantee that they will be given any classes once the semester runs out, Russell said.
“There’s nothing that guarantees your right to classes the next semester, and they don’t have to give any explanation, as far as I know, to why you won’t be teaching,” Russell said.
Part-timers are assigned the courses they will teach by administrators, usually the deans of the school, Russell said.
While part-time instructors’ requests for where and what they would like to teach are taken into consideration, classes are assigned based on CNM’s needs — not the instructors, Russell said.
Because of this, part-timers do not know how many classes they might be teaching from one semester to the next, and sometimes may even receive fewer classes if they are on the wrong end of office politics, Russell said.
“There seems to be some indication that personality issues occasionally enter into things,” Russell said.
O’Sullivan said there is a core of part-time instructors who sometimes teach five or more classes per semester — more than is required of full-time instructors — and have done so for years.
A two-term, full-time faculty member makes about $44,000 a year teaching 10 classes, and the part-timers who take on the same load deserve recognition from administration for their service, O’Sullivan said.
“I guarantee you they’re not here for the money, they’re here because they love doing what they’re doing,” O’Sullivan said.
Arfai said these core part-timers take on the extra workload despite the fact that they do not get paid the same as full-timers, because they truly care for CNM students.
“Deep in their heart part-timers really have a good soul, they don’t want to let CNM students down,” he said.
Higher education is adopting a business model and it seems that part-timers’ contributions are being left by the wayside in favor of profits, Arfai said.
But these teachers do not plan on putting down the chalk any time soon — for them teaching is a reward unto itself, Arfai said.
“Some of them come from CNM or other community colleges. They’re paying back their community with their altruistic, pro-social behavior,” he said.

Award Winning Poet comes to campus

By Stacie Armijo, Staff Reporter |Photo courtesy of


The main campus writing group will be showcasing award winning poet Dana Levin for a reading on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7p.m., in Smith Brasher hall, said English Professor Rebecca Aronson.

This is a free event and all students are welcome to attend this event that the writers group has been doing twice a year with different published speakers, Aronson said.
According to, Dana Levin has published three books on poetry, including In the Surgical Theater, Wedding Day, and Sky Burial.
“It meant tremendous amounts to me to have my first book get published. It is what helped me start my career,” Levin said.
Levin said she currently teaches three classes at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and she also teaches a course called Living Writers, which is an entry level class for beginning creative writers and poetry technique, that breaks down poems to their craft element.
“One of the classes that I am teaching is on myth and fairy tales. It is a fun class, we read a lot,” she said.
Levin has received fellowships from the Library of Congress and from the Guggenheim Foundation.
“The one from the Library of Congress was a big deal. I am very sad that my parents were not alive to seYe me get that. They would have really liked that,” she said.
When Levin received the fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation she took a sabbatical to write her third book, Sky Burial, she said.
According to Levin’s third book is an examination of the human passing that explores “Tibetan Buddhist burial rites and Aztec human sacrifice while constructing a personal mythology of death, lamentation, and rebirth.”
“I am proud of all my books for different reasons but I would have to say that the one I am most proud of is Sky Burial,” she said.
Levin lost both of her parents in 2002 and one of her sisters died in 2006, she said.
During that intense period and the grief that followed she produced “Sky Burial,” she said.
“I wrote through that experience with researching a lot of cross cultural burial practices and ideas about life after death, different religions and forensic anthropology,” Levin said.
Levin said writing Sky Burial was a challenge as well as a great distraction while going through so much grief.
Levin is motivated to bring dark into light she said, and finds her motivation by writing about her life experiences.
“My new poems are in hunger, appetite and the end of the world,” she said.
Levin has also received the National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Whiting Writers award for poetry, Rona Jaffe Writers, and several Pushcart prize, she said.
“What I love the most is when the form of a poem and the feeling inside the poem begin to work together and somehow merge in this strange magical way,” Levin said.
Levin loves to write and has been writing since the second grade. “I have always written and I started to write seriously as an adult around age 25,” she said.
When it comes to writing Levin said that it is like having to breathe air or drink water.
“It’s something that I have to do,” she said.
This event will be her first time speaking at CNM Aronson said.
“I want the readers of the Chronicle to know that poetry is totally awesome and they should read more poetry,” she said.

Documentry shines light on hunger

By Jonathan Baca, Staff Reporter

Project Feed the Hood will be hosting a free screening of the documentary “A Place at the Table” followed by a panel discussion, in partnership with CNM’s Healthy Meals Fit for Life Program and the School of Business and Information Technology.
The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct 23, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., in Smith Brasher Hall, room 100.
Project Feed the Hood, , the food justice campaign of The Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP),, started four years ago with the goal of raising awareness, educating, and organizing with communities to address food insecurity and the structural inequalities in our food system, Stefany Olivas, Biology major and SWOP organizer, said.
“These organizations are not only about raising awareness, but also taking action, and doing things in the community to make real change,” Olivas said.
SWOP teamed up with Active Voice, a media group that supports social justice issues, to screen the film, she said.
SWOP selected Albuquerque as part of a nation-wide campaign Yto “prompt communities to delve into the social and political roots of food insecurity,” according to
“There are so many great organizations doing this work right now, and we partner with lots of them. It’s all about building these relationships,” Olivas said.
“A Place at the Table,” directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush, follows the lives of a Philadelphia mother, a Colorado fifth-grader and a Mississippi second-grader, as they struggle with the uncertainty of not knowing where their next meal will come from, according to
The film shines a light on the huge number of low income Americans who do not have access to affordable, nutritious food, and who are struggling daily to feed themselves and their families, according to
The film also highlights various food banks and charitable organizations that are fighting to help these families, and discusses the challenges they face, as well as some of the larger social issues that create these problems, Olivas said.
“People are struggling, it is overwhelming. But there are a lot of people committed to change,” Olivas said.
The panel discussion following the screening will feature local professionals and community leaders, including CNM Psychology instructor, Nariman Arfai, Ph.D, Olivas said.
The talk will focus on the unique challenges that New Mexico faces, including some of the country’s largest “food deserts,” which are areas where healthy foods are hard to find that have very high numbers of dietary diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, Olivas said.
“New Mexico is unique. We have lots of problems; racial issues, economic inequality, that creates food insecurity,” Olivas said.
The goal of the event is not only to discuss the problems, but also to show people ways that they can get involved in the solution, and to help them connect with their communities in ways that will truly make a difference, olivas said.
“Things like getting involved in the local food system, whether it’s by supporting local business, local farms, or a community garden. Taking action immediately,” Olivas said.
Project Feed the Hood runs a community garden in Albuquerque’s Southeast Heights, as well as a new farm in the South Valley, as a way to share healthy, organic food with Burque residents, she said.
“We partner with local schools, to teach kids gardening and eating healthy,” Olivas said.
The farm also helps to raise money for SWOP by selling the food they grow, she said.
As part of the screening, Active Voice asked each city that participated to include a project encouraging people to take some type of direct action in their community, she said.
So on Oct 30, Project Feed the Hood will be knocking on doors in the neighborhood surrounding their community garden, to invite people to a pumpkin smashing event, as part of an effort to make the garden a gathering place for families, she said.
Another important part of SWOP’s mission is working toward change through political action, by helping to create new legislation, working with policy makers, and mobilizing communities to support new bills, according to
Last year, the Chronicle covered SWOP’s success in helping to raise the city’s minimum wage. Olivas said the National Farm Bill will be important to our state’s future food security.
“It addresses issues not only for farmers, but also for low income families trying to feed their kids, their parents and themselves,” she said.
Olivas said that too many people are unaware of the issue of hunger in America, and when they start to learn about these problems, it can seem daunting.
“It is definitely a tough battle. It’s always been a battle and it will continue to be, but we do have allies and we’re building new ones every day,” Olivas said.
But through Olivas’ work with SWOP and Project Feed the Hood, she has been amazed to discover how large and how strong the activist community is here in Albuquerque, she said.
Olivas said she finds it very encouraging to meet so many people who are committed to working for change.
“The people are reacting, with equal and opposite force. It’s changing, slowly but surely,” she said.
For more information, visit,, and

Special speakers enrich student experience

Editorial, By the Chronicle Editorial Board
It is so good to see that award winning pets and writers are coming to CNM to speak and inspire students to strive for what these writers have achieved.
Endeavoring to become a writer can be tough, especially with the abundance of writing careers that are sometimes impossible to get, which is not usually stable long-term employment, so it is crucial to have these successful writers come to the school to speak, to show students that they can succeed, and that they can in fact become the writer they hope to be in the future.
The Chronicle salutes the Writer’s Clubs on campus, that not only help up and coming writers to hone their skills, but also to bring students the opportunity to see real published writers that have succeeded in the world, and who inspire students to reach for their dreams of someday being nationally published writers.
Student groups such as the Writer’s Club are the fabric of what makes our school special, because they can make a difference and inspire students to become everything they want to be after college.

Job Connection Services offers workshops

By Stacie Armijo, Staff Reporter
Job Connection Services are offering workshops to help current students as well as graduates succeed in finding a job, which are held on Main and Montoya campuses, Beth Moreno-Perine, Career Center Advisor said.
Main campus workshops are at the student services center in room 207, and at Montoya campus workshops are held at Tom Wiley Hall in room 105, she said.
These workshop sessions for resume building and interview skills are offered every two weeks where students can learn valuable tips regarding resumes and interviewing, Moreno-Perine said.
Students can register for the workshops online at,she said.
“Workshops are offered every other week here at Main Campus as well as Montoya Campus. Students are encouraged to sign up. The workshops focus on resumes and interviewing,” Beth Moreno-Perine, Career Center Advisor said.
One of the valuable tips that the job connection services offers for instance, is if an interviewer asks about a student’s experience with something they have not learned, such as using a particular software, Moreno-Perine said bringing up knowing a similar skill or program can convey enthusiasm and initiative for learning new skills.
“We can adapt the questions to the type of job that the student will be interviewing for,” Moreno-Perine said.
If students are interested in a federal job, they can get a sample of a federal resume, and be able to learn about effective federal resumes, which can be long and detailed, she said.
When a student does find a job they are rewarded by the team at JCS by ringing a bell and have their picture taken for the center star-board that showcases a student or graduate, Moreno-Perine said.
D-Yanna Seonia, Pre-Health major came into the job connection services for help with her resume and for job leads. “I love that they are here to help me with any questions I might have, “ she said.
Donna Fastle, Career Center Advisor said, she is there to assist students whether they are in school and need a part time job, or if they are students that are close to finishing a degree and want to know how to get a job in their fields of study.
“Be confident, be persistent and be patient. Job Connect Services is out there to help students,” Fastle said.
D’Yanna Seonia, Pre-Health major who came into the job connection services for help with her resume said, “I love that they are here to help me.”
Former CNM student and accouting major, Kitar Chen said she came in to the Job Connection services for help with her resume.
“The staff is the best. They do everything they can to help me,” she said.The job connection service center offers help to students with all aspects of finding a job, Moreno-Perine said.
“We get to see someone no matter where they are at in their job search and a lot of times we have seen people come in very frequently sometimes daily,” Moreno-Perine said.
The job connect services can help students with cover letters, references and other services to help students or graduates search for jobs, she said.
“The good news is that even when students graduate they have a lifetime of free services no matter what happens in their academic world or in the work world”, Moreno-Perine said.
Job Connection Services is also planning a clothing exchange in December. Donations will be accepted after Thanksgiving.
Anna Watkins, Job Connection Services Manager said that a job fair is planned for Wednesday March 5, 2014 at the CNM Workforce Training Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Watkins said that one of the things she loves about her job is seeing students recognize their own brilliance, skills and talents.
“I have the most wonderful employees. They take measures to get better and to learn,” she said.

Teacher Spotlight: Maggie Shepard

By Jonathan Baca, Staff Reporter | Photo By Jonathan Baca

4Maggie Shepard, a part-time instructor of Journalism and Communications, said she loves making a difference in students’ lives. Before teaching, Shepard worked as a journalist for ten years, covering the crime and criminal justice beat for many publications, such as newspapers like the Albuquerque Tribune to the Associated Press. The Chronicle talked to Shepard about the thrills of newspaper reporting, making the world a better place through teaching, and her passion for raising hogs.
Chronicle: What was it like, being a reporter?
Shepard: I loved it. It was my dream job. It was really satisfying, really exciting, and really unpredictable. Years before the story went national; I covered the story of the bodies that were found buried on the West Side. That was my story for a long time before it got picked up. That was one of my special ones. I covered lots of notable homicides in town.
C: I think some people might get a little queasy writing about that kind of stuff. How did you deal with it?
S: Yeah, it was all pretty serious stuff. That’s why I liked it. I realized that I was doing an important job, documenting history and humanity. It was kind of part of this bigger quest to understand what people’s motivations are. I dealt with it by justifying my purpose.”
C: What is your favorite thing about teaching?
S: I love moments where students tell me that the information I’ve shared with them has changed their life. That is really exciting, and it feels really good. I love getting to know such a diverse group of people, and I love learning new things about my field from people who see things in a different way than I do. Sometimes my students help me to see it in new ways.
C: What do you think about CNM, as a community college, and where it fits in with the bigger picture of higher education in our community?
S: First off, I love CNM. I was offered a job at UNM, and it’s not a hit on them, but I think that CNM actually does a service to our community. I feel the teachers here really care about their students, and enjoy helping them evolve. The general attitude of teachers at CNM isn’t aligned with reputation, it’s really aligned with function, and I like that. I see students who are actually evolving into smarter, more productive people because they can afford to take classes at CNM. I look at my students who are returning after raising kids, or after leaving a domestically violent situation, and who are intimidated by the full process of college. CNM provides a place for people who need a place to start. That is really important, and I’m really glad to be a part of that.

C: How would you describe your style of teaching?
S: I think it’s experiential. I ask my students to experience the information on their own, and find where it fits and their life.
C: Classes you teach like Interpersonal Communication and Public Speaking are life skills as much as they are academic skills. What do you think is the value of learning that stuff for students’ lives?
S: For people who already have high level interpersonal skills, it’s not a big deal. But bettering our communication leads to a gentler, more peaceful world and that benefits everybody. So I find more value in the skills that actually change our world than in learning academic terms and philosophies. What’s the purpose of learning something if it can’t change your life and change your world?
C: What’s in the future for you? Do you have any other goals or things that you’d like to do?
S: That’s a good question, that’s kind of where I am in my life right now and what I’m trying to figure out. I love my job. It’s a very satisfying job, teaching, and I see myself doing it for a while longer. But I’m also moving toward being a farmer, and making my living doing that. And I don’t know what else is going to pop up.
C: Do you have a farm right now?
S: I do, yeah. It’s in its rough stage right now. Mostly just animal husbandry right now, and we’re moving on in the next three years to possibly generating our entire income from it. We have chickens and hogs right now, and through a little meat co-op we do turkeys. Eventually we’ll probably bring in dairy. I’m not much of a green thumb, but we have enough space that we’ll probably partner with somebody to produce some vegetables and a little orchard. It’s a big dream. But I’ll probably always teach a little bit. It’s exciting to see and make a difference in people’s lives.

Engineering student attempts to change math course

By Martin Montoya
Staff Reporter
Engineering major, Levi Green said he is trying to have changes made to the Math, Science, and Engineering program, mainly the Math curriculum, where there is a substantial gap between the Math 1315 and 1415 course that is hindering students.
Green said in his 1415 math course, which he had to drop because of the lack in overlapping teachings, there was about a 50 percent drop rate, with the majority of the class failing daily quizzes and tests.
After providing evidence of successful and understood quizzes and tests from 1315, Green said he was not happy with the initial answers he received from administration.
“It kind of sucks to go in there and go talk to these people, and have them tell you ‘oh well, you are on your own,’” Green said.
Brad Moore, Director of Communications and Media Relations said the School of Math, Science and Engineering will be reviewing their objectives in the 1415 Math course to ensure students are learning the required curriculum.
Green said the instructor for his 1415 Math class, was stricken aback that so many students came unprepared to the class.
“That is detrimental to engineering students, not having that preparation,” Green said.
Along with an issue in the math department, Green said the Engineering Supplemental Instructors who are supposed to help other students, have failed to show up at meetings with Green due to a lack of engineering student involvement.
“Everyone is aware there’s an issue here, that is why I’m trying to be proactive about it, instead of throwing everyone under the bus,” Green said.
The department’s curriculum is where the problems lie, and no one person can be blamed for the issues with the department, Green said.
With many faculty members at his side, Green said there is worry that students are getting through their classes because they were “close enough” to passing.
“Then we get thrown into the sharks when it comes time to go into a higher math program,” Green said.
Green said he has produced a possible solution; having a correspondence course in between the two math classes for the benefit of engineering students like himself.
It was suggested by the 1415 math teacher that there needs to be a 1315 class strictly geared towards Engineering students, he said.
“I think that is a little outlandish,” Green said.
With that in mind Green said he set forth with the help of instructors to create a two week course, complete with a supplemental instructor, handouts and notes, as well as a syllabus, he said.
“This is a serious issue and it’s not going to go away,” Green said.
After four weeks of repeated attempts to get through to somebody, Green said he had a plan for a petition, but that it is not needed now that people have listened.
But in the case that it is needed, Green said he will push it through and present a petition to the foundation and board members.
“Hands down, the faculty has been tremendous presenting this to the instructors. I don’t want it to be ugly,” Green said.
If there are any students who may be feeling like there is something missing between 1315 and 1415 math classes, or who are having troubles with supplemental instructors, to contact Levi Green at

Suncat Chit Chat

By Nick Stern|Photos By Rene Thompson

What Would You Want As A Superpower?

Carlos Montenegro, engineering major said, “Probably multiply something so I could have my other selves do other stuff at the same time. I’m a server at my job so I would have one be collecting stuff, one be cleaning, one be doing other stuff…and then for homework I would do the same thing.”
Carlos Montenegro, engineering major said, “Probably multiply something so I could have my other selves do other stuff at the same time. I’m a server at my job so I would have one be collecting stuff, one be cleaning, one be doing other stuff…and then for homework I would do the same thing.”
Cynthia Clark, Respiratory therapy major said, “I want to make fire! No wait hold on no I don’t…I want to be able to go invisible because then I could sneak around and get the 411, all the juicy gossip, and spread rumors. People would know the truth.”
Cynthia Clark, Respiratory therapy major said, “I want to make fire! No wait hold on no I don’t…I want to be able to go invisible because then I could sneak around and get the 411, all the juicy gossip, and spread rumors. People would know the truth.”
Stephanie Pauly, education major (“I’m going to be a teacher”) said, “To fly. So I could go anywhere.”
Stephanie Pauly, education major (“I’m going to be a teacher”) said, “To fly. So I could go anywhere.”
Justin Garcia, political science major said, “I would like to have like super strength like Mr. Incredible. That’s what I’d have, yeah, definitely. It seems like it would be cool, lot of uses.”
Justin Garcia, political science major said, “I would like to have like super strength like Mr. Incredible. That’s what I’d have, yeah, definitely. It seems like it would be cool, lot of uses.”
Stephen Harrison, physics major said, “I never really thought about it. I’d probably want the ability to read other people’s minds perhaps. I have spent my entire life being inside my head, I would like to know what goes on inside other people’s heads. Either that or I’d like to have amazing problem solving abilities.”
Stephen Harrison, physics major said, “I never really thought about it. I’d probably want the ability to read other people’s minds perhaps. I have spent my entire life being inside my head, I would like to know what goes on inside other people’s heads. Either that or I’d like to have amazing problem solving abilities.”