Students frustrated with new Nursing Program entry process

By Jonathan Baca, Copy Editor

Starting in the spring 2014 semester, the Nursing program will begin implementing the newly cre­ated New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC) curriculum, and the switch has left many stu­dents who hope to get in to the program with nowhere to go, said Pre Health Sciences major Theresa Villanueva.

The change only affects students who are applying for the popular program for the first time starting next semes­ter, and the new rules and regulations have effectively cut the number of new stu­dents allowed to 24 students, said program director Diane Evans-Prior, and this has left many hopeful students in a kind of educational limbo.

“I’m just kind of keeping my fingers crossed that I get into these classes. I’ve been just kind of going with the flow for now to see how it goes,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva said she has been planning to get into the Nursing program for years, finishing all the prerequisites and preparing to take the required Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) exam, only to discover that there was no room for her in the new program.

In addition, many classes she struggled to complete are no longer required under the new curriculum, she said.

“There’s just not enough space in the program, there’s people waiting on the list, and you take all these labs, and now you don’t even need the labs. So that was kind of a waste of time for me, because it took me forever to get through those,” Villanueva said.

Under the old system, which will be phased out over the next few semesters, stu­dents had to petition to get into the program, Evans-Prior said, and all the qualified stu­dents who had already peti­tioned before the change were still able to get in and will be the last group to complete the program under the old curriculum.

But for all the new stu­dents who meet the require­ments, who are all vying for the coveted 24 positions, there are no guarantees that they will ever get in, said Pre- Health Advisor Nora Mendoza.

“The careers in the medi­cal field are very, very popu­lar. We’re the pipeline, but we’re only so wide. Slowly, our nursing program is going to be growing, but not at the rate that our demand is,” Mendoza said.

For the spring and summer semesters, entry into the program is being conducted with an open registration for Nursing 1010 and 1015, where the students with the most credit hours completed got the first shot at registering, Mendoza said.

For this spring, registra­tion opened at 6 a.m., and the two sections were com­pletely filled in two minutes, Mendoza said.

For the dozens of stu­dents like Villanueva who were not able to get in, the plans they had been making for years suddenly had to be changed at the last minute, Villanueva said.

“I’m still going to do it until I get in there, but hope­fully it will be sooner than later. Hard work pays off even­tually, but some people just give up when it’s too hard to get in,” Villanueva said.

Beginning next fall, the entry procedure will change — yet again — to a pre-reg­istration screening process, where all qualified students will be screened by the depart­ment and placed into a pool, Mendoza said.

This pool will have a spe­cially designated registration date and time, and just like the open registration method, the first students in the pool who manage to register for Nursing 1010 and 1015 will be guaranteed entry into the pro­gram, but the students who do not make it in will have to try again the next semester, Mendoza said.

“There are no guaran­tees, for any of our programs. We’re hoping with this pre-registration screening form that we make it open to every­one who meets the minimum requirements,” Mendoza said.

While this method gives more people the opportunity to get in, it also does not favor those students with the best grades and the highest HESI scores, making it difficult for those students who are the most dedicated to plan for their future, Villanueva said.

“I think they need to figure out a better way to weed out the people who aren’t really serious about the program, because the people who are serious, it turns many people away,” Villanueva said.

Another issue is the new rules surrounding the HESI exam, which has to be passed before a student is even quali­fied to register, Mendoza said.

In the past, a stu­dent’s results on the test were valid for five years, but now they will only be valid for one year, Mendoza said.

This means that if a student cannot get into the program in that year, they will have to pay the fee again to retake the exam, and they are still not guaranteed a spot, Villanueva said.

Evans-Prior said that the new program had to be so limited in size for several reasons.

First, she said, the brand new curriculum requires a totally new approach to teaching, and the smaller group of 24 students is more ideal for gathering the feedback that instructors will need to go forward.

Second, according to the new regulations created by the New Mexico State Board of Nursing, an instructor to stu­dent ratio of 1 to 8 is required while in a clinical setting.

The number of clinical sites available is also limited, Evans-Prior said.

“We know. We know that there are a lot of stu­dents out there that want seats. Our issue is that we have probably two to three qualified students for every one nursing seat,” she said.

Evans-Prior said that since the program will be operating with one group using the old curriculum alongside the new group learning the NMNEC curriculum, size of the new group had to remain small.

But as the old program is phased out, the school plans to slowly increase the number of new students accepted, she said.

“We are planning some very controlled growth, and we should be seeing those numbers increasing. Our five-year goal is to get back up to about 96 students three times a year. We can move that up as we add faculty and clini­cal sites,” Evans-Prior said.

In the meantime, Villanueva said she still plans on doing whatever she can to get into the program.

“Hopefully it gets better, because I’m almost there and I don’t want to have to give it up. But I feel bad for the people who don’t have the strength to get through,” Villanueva said.

Planet Earth explained; Earth history digs up our planet’s past

By Daniel Montaño ,Managing Editor | Photo courtesy of PALAEO-ELECTRONICA.ORG


For the first time ever at CNM, starting in the spring semester, an Earth History course and lab will be offered at Main Campus, Dr. Spencer Lucas, earth and planetary science instructor, said.

Lucas will be teach­ing the course, which is a survey of Earth’s 4.5 bil­lion year history, including the birth of the planet, the origins of life, mass extinc­tions and mountain build­ing, Lucas said.

“It covers all sorts of fun stuff including dinosaurs and other very interesting fossils,” Lucas said.

The lecture portion of the class, EPS 2096, will be offered Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. and the lab, EPS 2196, will be held Fridays from 8 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. and there are still slots open for inter­ested students, according to CNM’s schedule of classes.

There are no prereq­uisites for the course, and Lucas said students do not need any scientific back­ground in order to enroll.

“It would help if you know a little bit about geology, but I won’t assume you have a background in anything,” he said.

The lecture course is an introduction class that offers the basic foundation for other fields such as engineering or anything else related to geol­ogy, he said.

The subject focuses on the history of the planet itself and the processes through which the planet came to be how it is today, he said.

For example, Lucas said the class will study the basic processes of mountain build­ing, how different mountains form and why they form that way.

“Take the Sandias and the Jemez Mountains, they are formed in completely differ­ent ways and not a lot of people know that,” he said.

The course also enriches one’s life by shedding light on the basics of what our planet is and how it developed throughout the millennia, he said.

“To me the Earth is our home, and I think that the more you know about the Earth the more interesting of a place it becomes. I think it’s a good thing in anybody’s life to understand how this planet came about,” he said.

In the lab, students will look at fossils and interpret what they mean, and Lucas said he hopes to include optional trips out into the field so students can get hands-on field experience, he said.

“I’d certainly like to do that — go to the Sandias and actually look at the geology of the mountain range,” he said.

The credits from both the lab and the lecture course transfer to the University of New Mexico for students who are interested in moving on to get a degree in Geology, Lucas said.

However, Lucas said he thinks that the fact that CNM is looking to expand the Geology Department might mean that eventually there will be a program that offers an associate’s degree in Geology.

“I think that’s the goal, in the long run, if pos­sible,” he said.

Lucas said he has vast field experience across the globe, has printed over 500 articles in his field and is currently the curator of geology and pale­ontology at the New Mexico Natural History Museum, making him one of New Mexico’s foremost geologists.

While he has taught at UNM, and has more than 17 years’ experience teaching at the univer­sity level, this will be his first semester teaching at CNM, he said.

New course speeds students toward graduation

By Stacie Armijo, Staff Reporter

For students on the fast track to success there is now a course that can help get them there, said English Professor Sue Fox.

Starting this semes­ter, Fox began teaching a new dual-English class that combines English 950 and English 1101 into one class, she said.

In order to enroll for the class, students must place into English 950 and see an academic advi­sor, Fox said.

“I came up with the concept for this class. Over the years I noticed that the objectives of these two courses were complimentary and in both courses students learn the writing process,” Fox said.

Students earn six credits upon completion of the course, three cred­its for English 950 and three credits for English 1101, she said.

According to Fox and, the longer students stay in com­munity college the less likely they are to graduate because most community college students have families, chil­dren, jobs, and life in gen­eral that can get in the way of graduation.

Of all full time com­munity college students in 2004 and 2005, only 44 percent returned for the second semes­ter, according to Fox and

Fox’s class is a novel and innovative way for stu­dents to get to graduation faster, she said.

“This class is kind of a way to speed up the process. Students have essays due every two weeks,” Fox said.

In this rigorous course, students complete essay assignments that include developing an argumentative essay, a memoir, and a pro­posal, Fox said.

The class meets four nights a week, Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7:50 p.m., where students can either earn a credit or no credit for 950 and a letter grade for 1101, Fox said.

Fox said that most of her students have enjoyed the class, so the courses’ retention rate has actually been higher than 1101 and 950 separately.

“This has been the first semester that this class has been offered. Out of the 22 students that enrolled in the class at the begin­ning of the semester there are still 18 currently in the class. I think that is a good retention rate,” Fox said.

Students will also have opportunities for extra credit, if the whole class retakes the Accuplacer, to see how well the class has improved over the semes­ter, Fox said.

Fox said that the class is not for everyone, but is more for highly moti­vated individuals who have above average attendance and like to write, she said.

The text book used in this class is the Norton Field Guide, a combination of writing and model essays in various rhetori­cal modes, Fox said.

One of the assignments in the class was to analyze a text using methods found in the Norton Field Guide, Fox said.

“Students chose a wide variety of things, from Helen Reddy to Jay-Z. It was a really cool eclectic mix,” Fox said.

Nursing major and cur­rent dual English student, Bianca Lopez said that the class has taught her quite a lot in a short period of time.

“I love all the things I have learned in the class,” Lopez said.

C o n s t r u c t i o n Technology major, Craig Cunningham said that the course has been a little challenging because he does not enjoy writing essays, but he still thinks Fox has been an excellent instructor.

“Sue Fox is the great­est. She is the best teacher I have ever had. I mean, this is the most awesome oppor­tunity that could be given to us,” Cunningham said.

Fox said there are still openings for the class for the spring semester, and for more information, contact Professor Fox at or see an academic advisor.

Fox has been teaching at CNM for over 30 years and is currently a full time instructor, she said.

“I feel that this is a good opportunity for stu­dents. I love to see my stu­dents succeed,” Fox said.

Don’t stress, it’s almost over

Editorial, By the Chronicle Editorial Board

During times such as this when the semester is ending, students tend to get stressed and freaked out because of finals.

No one really ever wants to take tests or have their education measured by a final semester evaluation, but unfortunately that is the world we live in, so one is forced to go through the motions to hopefully pass a class, but that does not mean students should be required to neglect themselves just to get a better grade.

It is crucial for students to be vigilant of their needs first before studying, because many students become fatigued and panicky while trying their best to study up for demanding finals.

Make sure to get fluids, eat every once in a while, take breaks, and above all else, make sure to take care of oneself before caring about infuriating tests.

Sometimes it is just not worth all the stress students put themselves through sometimes at the end of every semester, just to have a mar­ginally better grade at best.

All of us have our per­sonal lives where kids, work, and daily stresses of life already take most of us to the tipping point, so if a stu­dent happens to fail a final, it is okay, because there is always next semester to re-take a class or get a tutor next time so it is not so stressful to learn in classes.

Know that most stu­dents on campus are going through the same exact thing of attempting to pass finals successfully, and know that everyone who has ever gone to college has gone through the same things and actually made it out alive.

You can do this; just make sure to take care of yourself as well in the process.

Suncat Chit Chat

By Nick Stern | Photos by Nick Stern

What’s your favorite TV series and why?

Karina Sanchez, Paralegal studies “My favorite television show is New Girl. I don’t know she’s funny. She’s just like, different from everybody else. She has like a weird imagination. It’s on FOX.”
Karina Sanchez, Paralegal studies
“My favorite television show is New
Girl. I don’t know she’s funny. She’s just
like, different from everybody else. She
has like a weird imagination. It’s on FOX.”
Francisco Nieto, automotive technology “My favorite TV show is the Walking Dead because it helped me prepare for a Zombie Apocalypse.”
Francisco Nieto, automotive technology
“My favorite TV show is the Walking
Dead because it helped me prepare for a
Zombie Apocalypse.”
Corey Skinner, Nuclear Engineering “I don’t watch TV. I never had a TV growing up. I don’t know it just wasn’t really a part of the family.”
Corey Skinner, Nuclear Engineering
“I don’t watch TV. I never had a TV
growing up. I don’t know it just wasn’t
really a part of the family.”
Kadesha Cheykaychi, Biology “My favorite TV show was Fear Factor because I always wanted to do something stupid and crazy that I get paid doing!”
Kadesha Cheykaychi, Biology
“My favorite TV show was Fear Factor
because I always wanted to do something
stupid and crazy that I get paid doing!”
Solomon Roach, Aviation Mechanics “Favorite TV series, I’d have to say, is probably Squidbillies. Squidbillies is my favorite one of all because they depict people from Georgia in the figure of squids and their country grammar and mannerisms.”
Solomon Roach, Aviation Mechanics
“Favorite TV series, I’d have to say, is
probably Squidbillies. Squidbillies is my
favorite one of all because they depict
people from Georgia in the figure of
squids and their country grammar and

Business major brings out the beauty underneath

By Dan Chavez, Staff Reporter | Photos by Daniel Johnson and courtesy of

Liesse Jones, Business Administration major, founded her own business, Pope Joans, with a mission to make women feel confident and beautiful, and to challenge harmful stan­dards of beauty, she said.

Jones sells handmade lin­gerie made of natural materials, including silk, bamboo, and cotton, which is treated with natural dyes, she said.

Jones only works with materials that are not harm­ful to the environment and designs her garments to be comfortable to wear and to boost self-esteem, she said.

In the creation of Pope Joans, she took the concept of natural beauty and rendered it to an idea incorporating per­sonal health, confidence, self-esteem, and care for the envi­ronment, she said.

“To me it made sense that if you feel beautiful in your undergarment, then anything you put on top of that is just going to exude self-confidence,” she said.

Jones mainly sells her products through her web­site,, but she also has two stores that sell her clothing line: Headliners, a full service salon, and the Octopus and the Fox, a local store that supports local busi­nesses, she said.

She also hosts private events, where five to ten women meet, are served champagne and chocolates, and purchase custom made lingerie, which are a lot of fun, she said.

“And a couple of times a year I do big shows for business events,” she said.

Jones hosted a show on Nov. 30 promoting her cloth­ing line as well as some acces­sories and she said 15 to 20 friends, supporters and poten­tial customers were in atten­dance at any given time, many of them leaving with their pur­chases, while others gleefully entered the front door.

Like all of her shows, there was a spread of refresh­ments and snack foods, and Jones’s products were dis­played for sale on various tables and hangers, she said.

She said that these events are good for sell­ing merchandise as well as spreading the word about her business, and that many people attend these events knowing they will be making a purchase and set aside finances for it.

“I had a great time and I think it’s been successful so far. People seem to be happy, enjoying the food and it’s a great time for me and other artists to mingle,” she said.

As she began her journey into design, Jones said she was accepted into a fashion show for Toronto Art and Fashion Week.

Although she was thrilled at the opportunity, she noticed that the fashion was to select only extremely thin models for the runway, she said.

She felt that it is harmful for women in society when being super skinny is trendy and popular as it promotes a negative body image, she said.

Since the Toronto Fashion show, Jones has endeavored to create lingerie that makes women feel better about them­selves, she said.

“I love the fashion part of it but for me it’s really a tool to kind of make social change,” she said.

Jones said she operates her company while attend­ing several classes at CNM, which is constantly a frantic effort at keeping pace with all her deadlines.

She usually works about 60 hours a week at her business on top of the hours she works as a student, she said.

“Right now, especially entering the Christmas season which is my busiest time of the year, it’s a huge time crunch to maintain my class work and prepare for the holiday season,” she said.

Despite her hectic schedule, Jones feels that attending business courses at CNM has helped her learn the details of managing her business, she said.

She has felt that the classes she has attended thus far have applied to her business quite nicely, she said.

In her entrepreneurial class, Jones has had lessons on developing a business concept, conducting market research, and feasibility tests to make sure this is a sound business idea, she said.

“I already did a lot of that stuff for the company I own, but I’m interested right now in kind of moving this company forward and changing the way I run it a little bit, so I have been able to do all that market research more in depth and apply it to where I want to be in my company,” she said.

Jones runs her business entirely as a sole proprietor with no employees or partners, and because she produces all the lingerie and accessories while managing the operations side of her business, her work­load can become tremendous, she said.

Jones said she personally creates her clothing line from the design all the way to the finished product.

She has considered hiring a seamstress to take a large portion of the work off her own shoulders, she said.

“It’s a lot, especially right now I’m really busy with orders, which is great but I have to personally fill all of them,” she said.

Last year’s business caught Jones by surprise and she worked very hard to fill all the online orders as they came in, she said.

The holiday season is among her busiest times and she found herself unprepared for the number of orders from her clients, many of whom reside in Canada, Albuquerque, and various areas within the U.S., she said.

Despite the deadlines and heavy workload, Jones said she loves it when she receives more orders for her products.

“It feels pretty good. It’s pretty rewarding,” she said.

Jones encourages shop­pers, especially during the Holiday season, to support and purchase from local business because they need local community members in order to keep their doors open, and shoppers can pick up some very unique gifts that cannot be found any­where else, she said.

She also encourages future entrepreneurs to find their passion as they seek out a business idea, she said.

“Make sure you love it because it is a lot of work and you have to focus all your time and energy on what you do. If it’s not anything that you put your whole heart into, it won’t be successful and it won’t be worthwhile,” she said.

To check out Jones’ fash­ions go to 4.2 4.1

Shelter that clothes, feeds, cares for city’s homeless

By Daniel Montaño, Managing Editor | Photos by Daniel Montaño


At 11:30 a.m. on any given weekday, if one sits down at the long parti­cle-board table that runs in front of the kitchen window in St. Martin’s day shelter, one can see what genuine compassion looks like.

That is when the staff and volunteers of St. Martin’s Hospitality Center, located at 1201 Third St. NW, take their midday break to sit down and eat, courtesy of the kitchen manager, Chef Joe Moreno, who is usually seated at the head of the table.

“That’s the one word I would use to describe this place: genuine,” Moreno said.

Moreno is one of only eight to 10, depending on the day, official staff members who work in St. Martin’s day shelter, all of whom serve up genuine kindness, compas­sion and care along with food and other daily necessities to more than 300 people who go through St. Martin’s doors every day, Linda Fuller, executive director of shelter services, said.

The shelter provides everything from storage and mail services to meals, show­ers and toiletries for homeless and near homeless clients, and relies on this small workforce of motivated individuals to do it, Fuller said.

Although some volun­teers do help, especially on holidays — this Thanksgiving, for example, there were about 60 volunteers who showed up to offer a helping hand — most days there are not enough volunteers, if any at all, to run all the service sta­tions, Fuller said.

“It’s great that they show up on holidays, but I tell them ‘you know, we’re open another 300 days or so this year,’” Fuller said.

Fuller credits CNM for providing student helpers through the service learn­ing program, who work at St. Martin’s in order to get credit in classes, but said after the students complete their hours, they rarely come back and con­tinue volunteering.

That means the staff takes on the brunt of the work at the shelter, and Moreno said they’re happy to do so.

“I love working with the homeless. It’s what I’ll do for the rest of my life,” he said.

Dani Hunter said she has been on staff for about two years, but has been volunteer­ing at St. Martin’s for about 10 years, and she is a perfect example of the genuine com­passion that is common among all the staff members.

The day before Thanksgiving, Hunter said she strained her back early on in her shift, yet she could still be seen smiling and laughing, working tirelessly through the pain to help out as many clients as possible.

Hunter said her motiva­tion to remain positive and help others comes from her upbringing, her family and her faith.

“This work keeps me humble and grateful. I’ve seen hard times in my life, and I may be two or three paychecks away from being in the same situation (as the homeless),” Hunter said.

While St. Martins offers a range of services, from assis­tance with housing, mental illnesses, substance abuse, and job placement, Fuller said she believes the heart of St. Martin’s is the day shelter.

The shelter is on the front lines in the battle against homelessness, Fuller said.

During the holiday season, there is an influx of donations to most homeless shelters, but Fuller said what St. Martin’s needs most are the basics: socks, underwear, tooth­brushes, combs, gloves, coats, and hats.

Volunteers or donations are always welcome and appre­ciated, and people can contact Fuller at 363-9370 or by email and for more information.

Nob Hill festival lights up local businesses

By Jonathan Baca, Copy Editor | Photos courtesy of
Mural on Astro-zombies done by Dave Briggs, located at 3100 Central Ave.
Mural on Astro-zombies done by Dave Briggs, located
at 3100 Central Ave.
Mural on Masks y Mas done by Geronimo Garcia, located at 3106 Central Ave.
Mural on Masks y Mas done by Geronimo Garcia,
located at 3106 Central Ave.


Nicole Montes at Silver Skate Shop, located at 3023 Central Ave.
Nicole Montes at Silver Skate Shop,
located at 3023 Central Ave.

After the big-box mania of Black Friday, citizens of The Duke City will have a chance to shop for some unique, afford­able gifts, right in Main Campus’s backyard, while keeping their money in the local economy, at the 2013 Nob Hill Holiday Shop and Stroll and Twinkle Light Parade on December 7, according to

From noon to 10 p.m., Central will be closed to traffic from Girard Boulevard to Washington Avenue, as people shop, stroll, enjoy live music and food vendors, and watch as over a hundred floats and cars all decked out in twinkling lights head down Burque’s main drag, according to

Nicole Montes, owner of Silver Skate Shop that was newly reopened on Friday, Nov. 29 after almost three years on sabbatical, said she was grateful to be welcomed back to the Nob Hill community.

“We had a lot of sup­port at the shop, and a lot of people came through for our Black Friday grand opening,” she said.

Montes said for this year’s Shop and Stroll she plans to have skat­ing ramps and rails made by local skaters set up on Central, with hopes of having a good turnout of local rollers and artists.

“I believe when we set up, we’re going to have hot cocoa and a little con­test, for everyone to join in,” she said.

Montes said that her friend and owner at Masks y Mas used to accommo­date by giving her space in front of his shop for skate ramps, but now that she is back in the neighbor­hood, she can now have the ramps in front of her shop for local skater kids to have a place to hang out at the event, she said.

“So this will be the first year we have our ramps in front of our own shop, which will be pretty cool. I’m sure it will be a great event, because all the local skater kids usually show up for it,” Montes said.

Federico “Kiko” Torres owns Masks y Mas, a store that has been in Nob Hill for 12 years, and he said he agrees that shopping locally benefits everybody.

“I think it actu­ally helped to turn the economy around, people shopping more locally. Even just a little bit, maybe a few gifts can make a huge difference,” Torres said.

Masks y Mas sells Mexican-inspired art and gifts made by over 80 dif­ferent craftspeople, most of them local, Torres said.

Torres said his store features local artists such as Brandon Maldonado, Stephanie Jamison, and David Santiago, sculptors Javier Benitez and Raymond Sandoval, and employee and recycled-object artist Kenny Chavez, among many others.

Mike D-Elia has owned the neighborhood comic shop Astro-Zombies for 15 years, and he said the Shop and Stroll is one of the store’s busiest times of year.

Aside from the extra busi­ness the event brings, D-Elia said that it creates something just as important: a sense of community.

“There’s people you don’t see any other time of year. You see old friends, you see fami­lies; it’s that one big event in this neighborhood that’s like ‘hey, it’s holiday season.’ And it’s great,” D-Elia said.

Shopping locally sup­ports small business as well as local artists and craftspeople, and the benefits trickle down and help the entire city in the end, Torres said.

“At the end of the day, when you go to the big corporations that are bringing everything in from China, ultimately you’re supporting some other country. So what better way to support your local economy than to shop locally?” Torres said.

For more info on the 2013 Twinkle Light Parade and Nob Hill Holiday Shop and Stroll, visit shopandstroll.

Gamer shines light on future of gaming

By Nick Stern, Senior Reporter | Photo by Nick Stern


A Computer Information Systems major with a focus in Digital Media, James Lucido is definitely a gamer that works to go above and beyond sitting on a couch and playing his favorite video games, he said.

Lucido said he tries to take it beyond typical hard­core gaming by actually dis­covering the science behind the games that he plays, also by researching and learning the mathematics, concepts, play styles, and everything that goes in to the content of the ever-growing industry.

“I certainly like to say that I do (play video games) so I try to take it beyond having an addiction by exploring the science behind it,” he said.

Lucido plans on using his major in order to go into a career making websites, 3-D modeling, concept design, and pretty much anything having to do with animation in general, he said.

Lucido spent many years with an unhealthy addiction to gaming, spending all his time playing for entertain­ment, until he met a group of people who took it to the scientific level that he now appreciates games for, he said.

Meeting those people, Lucido learned a lot about what goes into video games and ever since then he has taken video gaming to a whole new level, he said.

Lucido now endorses video games in people’s lives as opposed to passive engage­ment that watching television and movies provides, because gaming provides active engagement which involves making choices in real-time, he said.

This active engagement has been proven to help pre­vent Alzheimer’s, and keep brain synapses firing which in turn helps make one’s brain more responsive, Lucido said.

“It’s just generally good behavioral training if taken in moderation and depending on what you play as well,” he said.

Even with a produc­tive mindset towards video gaming, Lucido still believes they can interfere with his education, but has different advice for other students with diverse levels of self-control, he said.

His method for get­ting both his homework and his gaming in is to switch between the two giving an hour at a time for each activ­ity, he said.

This, he knows, may not work for everybody because many gamers can easily spend hours playing a game while forgetting about their own basic human needs, he said.

“This may not work for everybody because of the fact that some people go five to six hours straight and then say ‘oh boy, I’m hungry and I really need to pee. Where did the time go?’ It is really about a level of self-control,” he said.

He advises those with a lack of self-control to pick a game they like, but absolutely frustrates and aggravates them, so once the aggrava­tion sets in they can use that as the reason to stop playing and start studying, he said.

When all else fails, people should try to not even touch that controller until their homework is done, thus succeeding in using games as medium of rewarding oneself, he said.

Lucido is also aware of the explosion of interest in independent game developers which is now the big mark of the turn of the gaming gen­eration, he said.

There is a new focus towards community driven, independent orga­n i z a t i o n s that feature new content for video games which large gaming c omp a n i e s lack, he said.

Marcus Preston , who created Minecraft , represent s one of the big turn­ing points for indepen­dent gaming companies, because Minecraft is a prime example of how indepen­dent games can become a huge success, Lucido said.

New companies practically have to rely on input from the community in order to create a success fan base, while the big companies stick to the same engine and same game model but with a few tweaks, he said.

“Community based gaming is out there, it’s what’s happening, and they are changing how games are being played,” Lucido said.