New culinary club on campus gives new student opportunities

By Daniel Johnson, Investigative Reporter | Photo by Daniel Johnson

Issue 2 Volume 20

Having a club that will allow culi­nary students to step out of the classroom and be able to learn new things is a great opportunity, said Culinary Arts major Jessica Vallejos.

The High Altitude Culinaraian Organization was organized to con­nect students with the local community as well as work with different organiza­tions in the culinary field to provide different types of learning experiences to students so they will know where and to whom they might like to take their degrees to in the future, she said.

“We are going to be doing tast­ings and tours of different restau­rants and companies around the state, which will let us have a chance to taste yummy food that we would not nor­mally experience,” Vallejos said.

Culinary major Kattia Rojas said an opportunity to be more involved with local restaurants and how they make decisions on their menus is extremely beneficial for her.

The major thing is that we get to learn advanced skills and gain a further knowledge of culinary arts, she said.

“If someone loved cooking or thought of cooking as a passion, this club allows them to build up that love and express it in new ways,” she said.

Faculty Advisor and part-time Culinary Arts instructor, Chef Brianna Dennis said the club will take field trips to dif­ferent culinary organizations for off site learning experience as well as work in house by learning how to utilize new techniques in the kitchen.

The club will participate in different types of competitions as well, which are held in the state and will hopefully create more in house competitions for culinary students, she said.

Culinary major Alyx Lopez said another benefit of this club will be that members will be able to get the CNM name out there and be able to compare ourselves to the rest of the city and state.

“The public will no longer be clueless about the fact that CNM has a legit culinary program,” he said.

Culinary major Krystal Torres said, the new club is an opportunity to get the CNM culinary program out to the public.

“This club will allow me to be more involved with the local community, as well as give me real world experience to better prepare myself for a future in the culinary world,” she said.

Chef Dennis said, the club will be able to put the CNM Culinary program in the eyes of the state with an opportunity to give stu­dents the connections they need to survive in this industry.

“Even though this club is still pretty new to CNM there is a lot of potential for the local community, school, and us as students and mem­bers to benefit from what this club has to offer,” Vallejos said.

Chef Dennis said the club is going to be working with the Farm and Table Restaurant at 8917 Fourth St NW at an upcoming event for the club members.

The event will be a tasting of foods that are professionally prepared by this restaurant that has its own farm located on the property, assur­ing the product that is provided is as fresh as possibly can be, she said.

This event will be great for the group to experience what it is like to eat locally grown and organic foods that are served at Farm and Table’s restaurant quality standards, she said.

Another project will be a gas­tronomy day, where the club mem­bers will be working first hand with the advancements that have been made in molecular gastronomy in the kitchen, Dennis said.

Lopez said, molecular gastron­omy is definitely something that is unique and not covered in most basic culinary classes.

“We are going to be able to make different kind of unique sweets and I can’t wait to try them and see how they are different than regular sweets, because that seems really interesting,” he said.

This club is going to provide us with opportunities to explore new ideas that are being introduced to the culinary industry, Lopez said.

Torres said the club will be involved with the school by running the new retail outlet area, where stu­dent made foods will be sold to raise money and get people excited about the culinary program.

The retail area for these foods is located in the RPM building on Main campus, she said.

“It will be nice to see us getting food made by the students out to the students with the use of this space,” she said.

Chef Dennis said the selling of foods out of the on site retail space will help fund the club and the culi­nary program.

The ability to provide a dining experience out of the RPM build­ing in the dinning classroom is something that is being set up for the future, she said.

The club became an official CNM student organization in January of 2014, she said.

“This club was my creation on behalf of students, so they could learn more in the culinary world that is not offered by the culinary program,” Dennis said.

The club has an application process as well as a $10 fee, that students must pay to become a member, she said.

The club is available to all stu­dents in the Culinary program, but it is preferred that they have at least received credit for the principles of safety and sanitation class prior to submitting an application, she said.

“Students that want to take a chance at thinking out of the box or just want to see if they have what it takes to work in this industry, can contact me at bdennis10@cnm. edufor applications or more informa­tion about the club,” Dennis said.

Mentors making a difference

By Rene Thompson, Editor in Chief
New students anticipated to come in for the fall semester will have an added advantage to their educations and will get a leg up more so than other new students of the past, and will be that incoming students will get more comprehensive orientation sessions with current student mentor orientation leaders and on campus tours, said Katie Boyle, Student Orientation Manager in the Media and Communications office.
Not only will incoming students benefit from this new program initiative, but current students who have become mentor leaders for the program will qualify for up to $1000 in scholarships for the fall semester after completing orientations with the school this summer, Boyle said.
“It’s an exciting time for new students at CNM I feel because we’re really creating a program designed around what students feel like they need to be successful in their first year,” she said.
Boyle said that the school has been working with the presidential fellows for curriculum development since January to improve the curriculum for the orientation sessions, which includes developing learning outcomes and including what students really want to get out of the orientation.
The presidential fellows who made the curriculum for orientations are Josh Krause and Kelly Peters, who are both instructors in teacher education, she said.
“From that we’ve identified that we need some help, we needed a number of people who could be able to help with small group activities, and we did a bunch of focus groups with high school seniors, current CNM students, and staff and faculty to kind of figure out what our needs were for orientation and what people really wanted to see from it,” she said.
A couple of years ago the school did a pilot orientation program with in person orientations and Boyle said that students were more likely to be successful in their first year of attendance at CNM.
“What we’re doing differently this year with new student orientation is that we are working toward offering more in person orientations so students can actually come to campus and get to know the campus in person, and kind of get a better feel for what it will be like to be a student here,” she said.
When new students arrive at the orientations they will be split into small groups, then orientation leaders will lead them on a campus tour and will help with orientation set up and tear down, Boyle said.
Orientation mentor leaders will also be in charge leading some small group activities in helping students engage with the content of the orientation session, she said.
For students to qualify to be become orientation mentors they had to have at least a 2.5 GPA or higher, had to have completed at least one full term, which is 12 credit hours, and planned to come back in the fall term, as well as being available for all orientation sessions and training over the summer semester, she said.
“Our final team has just been chosen, and they’ll do a two day training next, and we’ll start the orientation sessions on June 6— it’s going to be awesome,” Boyle said.
The program had been granted the scholarship money from student services which are supporting this new initiative, and the scholarships will be applied in the beginning of the fall semester to students who volunteer as mentor orientation leaders, she said.
Students can earn up $1,000 each in scholarship money, which will be determined by a number of factors and will be assessed individually to decide the amount each student will get from these scholarships, she said.
“We had a very large pool of applicants— I was really pleased, and the final team that we’ve selected are really great enthusiastic students and I’m really looking forward to working with them— I think it’s going to be really fun,” Boyle said.
For more information on orientations go to CNM’s new online student orientation at

EMT community loses longtime instructor

By Nick Stern, Copy Editor | Photo provided by
Since Thursday, May 15, the CNM community has been at a loss for words and has been mourning the passing of Health, Wellness and Public Safety instructor Cy Stockhoff, who was also an icon of the Emergency Medical Services community, said Michael Voss, Associate Dean of Health, Wellness, and Public Safety.
Stockhoff was survived by his wife Jan and his two children Paul and Maren, who he put before anything and everything else, Voss said.
“First and foremost he is a father and husband and then beyond that he is an icon in the Emergency Medical Services, from seeing a need to create an EMS system in Northern New Mexico when there wasn’t one—Cy Stockhoff was a great man who knew where his priorities were,” he said.
Even though his family was his priority, he still managed to reach a well-known status through his many different endeavors and accomplishments, Voss said.
One of Stockhoff’s many achievements include working as one of the first supervisors for Albuquerque Ambulance when it was much smaller than it is now, Voss said, and he also saw the need for an EMS system in Eagle Nest, NM, where he succeeded in establishing one, Voss said.
Stockhoff has also helped in developing CNM’s paramedic program, worked as the EMS Program Director and followed his passion for teaching as an instructor at UNM and CNM, Voss said.
His influence as a teacher and mentor has had a huge impact on the EMS field across New Mexico, from the curriculum which he developed and is used throughout schools in New Mexico, to the massive population of students and instructors that have been taught by him, he said.
“I think he was really a humble man who could have had an amazing ego for all the things he did. Over the course of 39 years, I think it would be fair to say he personally taught 20 to 25,000 students. I can’t think of a person in the EMS field right now that has had a more profound impact. If you mention his name to pretty much any provider in the state, or certainly any educator in the state, they know who Cy Stockhoff was and they have a personal account,” Voss said.
Stockhoff had a great eye for potential, which he saw in Voss and many others, which Voss said had an especially large influence on his life and personal career after they met.
Voss had heard of Stockhoff, who already had a huge reputation, but they had the pleasure of meeting when Voss had him as an instructor in med school, and then again for an instructor coordinator class when Voss was wrapping up paramedic school, he said.
Voss was also compelled by Stockhoff’s expansive vision for CNM’s paramedic program and was talked into leaving his full-time job with a fire department in Santa Fe in favor of a position at CNM where he has since then been successful and worked his way to leadership positions, eventually becoming Associate Dean of HWPS, he said.
“From being sort of like my boss, hiring me and then being a mentor, but then over the years just being a friend— and for me, in a lot of ways, he became a father figure because I am originally from Minnesota and all my family is from up there,” he said.
Voss said there are a lot of people who have had the fortune of knowing Stockhoff and plenty of them would also consider him to have been a “surrogate father” to them, because he was incredibly wise and good at giving advice to anyone who needed it, and also had great core values, which he also shared, Voss said.
Stockhoff was cherished by everyone and was also known for his unique habits, always wearing shorts every day throughout the year, no matter what season or weather it happened to be, which was just another reminder of what kind of a “cool customer” he really was, Voss said.
New Mexico and especially the CNM community are better places because of Stockhoff and that his involvement in CNM; like the large amount of the school curriculum that he has helped to establish, or the countless instructors and students whose education he devoted so many years to, has truly left his mark on the community in many ways, Voss said.
“His legacy at CNM will live on for a long time. There is an amazing instructional cause right here tremendously influenced by him. Much of what we have, and we have lots and lots of curriculum, has got his fingerprints all over it,” Voss said.

Starting students off right

By The Chronicle Editorial Board

Starting anything new can be a struggle, so it is beneficial and necessary to have orientation programs that help students to start off their educations right here at CNM. Community colleges have not always been effective in fostering student success, but early intervention programs such as this one starting at orientation will facilitate a better academic understanding of student expecta­tion and will give a chance for improved social integration throughout a student’s educational career.

Student retention is based on how a student is going to perceive the school when first starting, as well as learning what resources they can use to succeed throughout their time at CNM, so when students are not given those tools at the beginning chances are they are more likely to fail without knowing that there are many resources available to new students.

Getting current students involved in the process orientation is just another great step in ensur­ing students stick around for the long haul, because current students who know the ropes and what it takes to get through each semester to help guide newbies, since current students know exactly how it was for themselves when they first started, so they can help students much more than an administrator could with new student inquires and issues, because they have gone through it as well.

Also, having a scholarship incentive set up for these orientation mentor leaders gives students a great initiate to not only help potential incoming students, but also helps them in leadership skill learning and gives students a much needed opportunity to get a substantial scholarship to help them get through next semester.

CNM is revealing that the school does care if students flourish on to getting their degrees with this new orientation program, and the Chronicle hopes that CNM keeps up the focus on what students really need to be effective here at CNM.

Yarn bombing fiber graffiti movement

By Angela Le Quieu, Guest Reporter
They attack benches, trees, or an occasional wall; it’s called yarn bombing and it is a popular form of installation art that has been spreading all over the country and Albuquerque neighborhoods, said art instructor Julianne Harvey-Newlands.
Not only can this so called fiber graffiti be found in the UNM and Nob Hill neighbor¬hoods, but it can also be found right on campus thanks to the curriculum for the class Art Practices II, which has yarn bombing as one of the projects instructors can use for their classes, said Harvey-Newlands.
“This is a real popular method of doing art instillation across the country, probably across the world, so we took what we saw and we embellished and we went in our own direction,” said Harvey-Newlands.
Harvey-Newlands said that most yarn bombs involve knitting, crocheting, or wrapping an object in yarn usually a tree or a bike rack such as can be seen throughout the Nobhill neighborhood.
At the end of the spring semester one of Harvey- Newlands’ art classes took over a fence outside of the JS building on Main campus with the classes own take on this trending form of art installation.
Instead of wrapping the fence in a knitted cozy, the class took a mural type idea and turned it into a yarn explosion using knitting, crochet, and wrapping to create an underwater scene.
The class focused on the elements of change and motivation in art, which used the project to explore the idea of changing the environment that one is in, and took their motivation for the project from the water issues that are a constant problem in New Mexico, she said.
“This group brings to the table so many different strengths in the arts— there are so many people working with sculpture, with painting, and with printmaking that we tried to take a lot of those practices to the composition,” Harvey-Newlands said.
Fine Arts major and project participant, Kii Lowe had never worked with yarn before and was not sure how the com¬position would turn out, but having seen the piece come together he liked the final out-come, he said.
“It’s nothing like everyone was thinking it was going to be. I like it— it’s really colorful and it’s got a lot of other aspects to it,” said Lowe.
Although Lowe said he never really got the knit¬ting part down, he did contribute to some of the sculptural elements of fish and sharks, including a cage where fish were trapped by a circling shark.
Fine Arts major Sarah Gamoke said that this was her first experience doing fiber art as well, but that someone taught her how to crochet, and though it may not be an art form that she embraces in the future, and that it was a good experience overall.
“I really enjoyed it and as usual art takes you on this adventure you never know what’s going to happen in the end,” Gamoke said.
Before this project Gamoke had never heard of yarn bombing, but her and her classmates did research on it and she enjoyed learning aspects of it, such as how it is impermanent and does not harm anything, she said.
One of the aspects of yarn bombing that can have appeal for artists is the ease in which a yarn bomb can be removed, so even though it can be considered a form of graffiti and illegal in some places, yarn bombs generally leaves no real permanent damage to areas that have been yarn bombed.
The project from Harvey-Newlands’ class was only up for a week from installation on Monday, March 21 until the following Monday, on March 28, but she said that she was glad to be able to do it when they did, because there was no rain in the forecast that week to drench their work.
There are no Art Practices II courses scheduled for the summer term but students can keep an eye out for more campus yarn bombing projects in the fall.
For those who cannot wait for fall, the fourth annual International Yarn Bombing day is scheduled for Saturday, June 7, according to knitting website

Aviation students want their teacher back

By Rene Thompson, Editor in Chief | Photo by Rene Thompson
The day after spring break, students in the Aviation Department wondered where their instructor Jason Manzanares had gone to, especially when a substitute teacher came in and told them that he would be taking over their class without any real explanation as to why, and have yet to still get answers on whether these students will get their aviation instructor back or not.
More than a dozen of the aviation students stormed President Winograd’s office on April 24 to get their teacher back or at least find out if he is still going to be their teacher, but were turned away.
These students were later given a meeting with the Applied Technologies Assistant Dean, Michael Cranny later that day where students said that they were able to voice their concerns, but also said that their issues were still not addressed and had hope to hear more from administration on this situation.
Most of these student said they felt they are still being left in the dark about their instructor, or the fate of the aviation program.
Such as student Jasmine Vasquez who said, “It’s kind of confusing, because we don’t know what’s going on— I mean one day he was here and the next he wasn’t, so I feel like we were left in the dark, because we don’t even know who our instructor is going to be next semester.”
Students Paul Romero and Laura Brandon said that Manzanares developed the Aviation program at CNM six years ago and has created the majority of the curriculum, had planes donated to the program for students to get hands on knowledge, and showed students real world experience outside of the program with field trips.
Romero said “he even spends off time with us, and we’re invited to go help him work on planes, or he goes out of his way to get us field trips to places that these other teachers probably won’t do. We’ve had him for so long that we got used to him and all of a sudden just to take him away, and not giving us a reason as to why really sucks. We want him back —he’s a good instructor and we get along with him well, so we are trying to get him back in any way we can.”
Students said they turned in a petition to the Dean of Students office during the second week of April, but have yet to hear back from anyone willing to let them know anything.
Media and Communications Director Brad Moore was not willing divulge the nature of the suspension, but said that “Jason Manzanares is on paid administrative leave. CNM will not comment further on ongoing personnel matters.”
Aviation student Travis Cline said that school officials came to the class and were willing to tell the students that Manzanares was put on paid leave and that it was a human resources issue as to why.
“It comes down to violation of school policy. He can’t even talk to us or let us know what’s going on, and we’re the ones who are suffering,” Cline said.
Not only were students fighting to get their instructor back, but also addressed concerns of the quality of the aviation program in the April 24 meeting.
Student Justin Lester said that he feels the quality of the aviation class has been lacking since his instructor has been suspended.
“I feel like now I am struggling more because he isn’t here anymore,” he said.
Lester said that Manzanares had his own way of teaching, and that he got his way of doing things, because Manazanares was able to go into detail about difficult concepts and that he would explain things to be true to real life situations.
“He would take the time to sit down with us and make sure that we are doing it right, and when we did something wrong he would tell us how to correct it. I feel like we’re hanging in with the program, we’re getting the grades, and doing what we have to do, so I feel like we have a right know what’s going on with our teacher,” Lester said.
Student Mary Bowers said the classes taken for an aviation certification can be brutal at times, so to her it was good to have an instructor that made the students want to learn.
“We have really long lectures, like five hour days, so it was really good to have somebody who was colorful and could explain things in ways that were crazy, but just made sense. The substitute is trying and doing a pretty good job, but it could be better,” Bowers said.
Cline said Manzanares is a really good teacher, he’s been around and he understands students, explaining that the quality of the class has gone down since Manzanares was put on leave.
“The temporary instructor is just not up to that skill level —he gives presentations in PowerPoint and that’s it. When our instructor showed a PowerPoint he would elaborate on a real life situation. His presentation and mannerisms (is what makes him a good teacher), and he has the ability to lighten the moment a little bit when students are drifting off, and come back and divert it,” Cline said.
Vasquez said it would be beneficial to the class and program if the school was at least willing to give them a time frame of exactly when this issue should be resolved.
“That is really what is so upsetting, because the students don’t even know if Jason is going to come back or not,” she said.
Manzanares also makes a great family type atmosphere for these students who spend the majority of two-years with one another, she said.
“He was really big on community, and is why we have barbecues, because he wants us all to kind of be like a family since we’re all going to be with each other over the next two years,” Vasquez said.
Romero said that no one has contacted their class in regards to wanting back their instructor or the changes in program quality, so student do not know what instructor they will end up having for the summer semester.
As of the date of this publication the aviation students are still waiting to find out if their instructor will be coming back, and if the quality of curriculum will be up to par with Manzanares’ teaching.
The Chronicle does plan to do a follow up when this situation has come to a resolution.

Talk turkey to me; New fitness bowling class offered

By Daniel Johnson, Investigative Reporter | Photos by Daniel Johnson


After a year of planning and organizing, the new Bowling Class is no longer just Turkey talk at CNM, said Health and Fitness instructor Scott Romero.

FITT course 2096 is a fitness special topics class that is designed to educate students about the language, scoring, and rules of all things bowling, he said.

“Students will learn defi­nitions of terms like a strike, spare, and how three strikes in a row is a Turkey as well as the basic rules and eti­quette of what it takes to be a professional style bowler,” Romero said.

The summer semes­ter will have class at 10 a.m. on Friday mornings at Silva Lanes, and students will spend time learning the scor­ing process t h e way it had been done in the past, he said.

With the technology that is available today, all people have to do is throw the ball at the pins and the computer will figure out the score for them, he said.

“I want students to know how and why they are get­ting the scores they are which is why I make them do hand written score cards,” Romero said.

What size of ball should be used, and how to hold or throw one is also discussed in detail as part of the core cur­riculum, he said.

The fitness benefits of bowling are also part of the curriculum, he said.

Bowling allows a person to burn calories while build­ing muscle and working on cardio, he said.

“It is great physical activ­ity as long as you are not up at the snack bar buying nachos or food in-between every game,” Romero said.

The spring semester of 2014 was the initial semester that the Bowling class was offered and a total of 40 stu­dents in two separate classes had passed the FITT 2096, he said.

“After the first two weeks of class most of the students were complain­ing of sore arms because of the physical strain bowl­ing can have on the body, Romero said.

As an instructor, a desired outcome does con­sist of student improvement in the field of study, but with bowling it is also nice to see the camaraderie that devel­ops between a student and his peers, he said.

Students worked with one another and rooted for each other no matter what their gender, race, or age had been, he said.

“The positive psychologi­cal affect that this class has had on some of these students was an amazing sight for me to see,” said Romero.

Students have claimed that this class is a great way to relax and relieve stress since it is not based in a classroom like normal classes, he said.

One student is actu­ally taking the class again just because of the amount of fun he had in the spring semester, he said.

“Anybody who takes this class will see how much fun it is to be able to get out of the classroom and talk with friends while burning some calories. It is an awesome class,” said Romero.

The collaboration between CNM and Silva Lanes has set students up with some special perks, as Silva has generously set up dis­counts for students on items at the snack bar during class times, he said.

“Silva Lanes allowed a student in the spring semester to purchase one of their slandered rental balls at a discounted price, so he could use it anywhere he chose to play, just because he showed a love for the game,” Romero said.

The opportunity to work with CNM and interact with the students is wonder­ful, said Silva Lanes Manager Diana Silva.

“When Mr. Romero approached us with the idea of this class we decided to back him one-hundred percent,” she said.

The process of setting up this class went well and it is a unique opportunity to allow students to get out and be active, Silva said

Silva Lanes wants to encourage the students to con­tinue on with bowling if they find it to be something they enjoy, she said.

“We have also set up a discounted program for stu­dents to come and enjoy one game of bowling daily on us,” she said.

A person just needs to show their current CNM student I.D. and pay the shoe rental fee and they can bowl a free game every day over the summer, she said.

It is not recommended that you take advantage of this offer on Friday or Saturday nights though, since it is so busy, she said.

I would love to see the size of the class get bigger and more competitive, so students can try to move on to tourna­ments and bigger competi­tions,” Silva said.

Romero said required materials for students consist of pen, paper, and an average log.

A student will then keep their average throughout the semester, so they can see how much they have improved from the start of class, he said.

The class also has a $30 lab fee that covers lane, ball, and shoe rentals, he said.

For more information on this new, fun, and innovative class that gets students out of the class and onto the lanes, contact Scott Romero at

Just plane respect

By The Chronicle Editorial Board

A definite quality difference is certainly evident in the instruc­tors and classes here at CNM, because of the high enrollment in one class with a great teacher and low enrollment in classes where teach­ers are lacking.

Most students are able to find this out by comparing instructors in certain classes on, where anyone can see why some classes are great, and why some just don’t cut it when it comes to the correct quality of education or respect that stu­dents should be getting from all instructors.

So, when students are willing to fight to keep an instructor from being fired, such as in the article on page 2 “Students want their teacher back,” many student said that instructor Jason Manzanares goes above and beyond to make sure his students are getting the quality of education they need to survive in their field of aviation, and that he deserves to have a second chance.

Our school cannot afford to lose any great instructors at CNM, and the school needs to take students views into consider­ation more often, especially when dealing with issues involving instructors.

The Chronicle was not made aware specifically why Manzanares was put on leave, as the school was not willing to comment on human resource issues, but it is apparent that many students in his class wish to keep their instructor around, especially since he developed the program and has estab­lished the curriculum that makes the CNM aviation program worth investing in for these students.

All the students who fund this school, by paying for and attend­ing classes, have earned consideration and some level of respect, instead of how these aviation students are being treated now, which is to be cast aside, left in the dark, and ignored by the powers that dic­tate whether these students get the quality of education they expect to get from CNM, or will have to go on without the teacher who inspires them every day to succeed and finish with their educations.

Students deserve to have a voice when it comes to issues with really great instructors, and with mediocre, disrespectful, or demeaning instructors, and students deserve to be heard with real concern from the school.

To have issues with instructors or the school in any capacity is hard enough as it is, but students need to feel there is good resolutions with complaints, and that the issue is not just resolved from the schools point of view, because when students are brushed off until frustration sets in, they give up.

Students should never have to feel they are not being heard by the school they pay to attend, and the school should care what students think to improve the curriculum here.

It is rare to meet and learn from an instructor who will challenge you, change your views, or help you to succeed when you need it most, so it is the Chronicle’s opinion that extraordinary instructors who teach suc­cessfully and the students that support them should be considered at this school, instead of casting them aside. Just as the aviation stu­dents have had to cope with when all they want is their teacher back.

Graduating with flying colors

By Nick Stern, Copy Editor, and Daniel Johnson, Inves­tigative Reporter | Photo by Daniel Johnson


CNM’s spring graduation cer­emony was held on Saturday, May 3 at Tingley Coliseum where, for the first time in the college’s his­tory, students involved with the brand new dual-credit College and Career High School walked with the rest of the graduates.

A total of 659 students from all the schools at CNM partici­pated in the graduation ceremony, 85 were GED graduates and nine were College and Career High School graduates.

The CCHS graduates were the very first students to be enrolled in the new program which gave them a chance to finish their high school diploma while simultaneously earning a college certificate, two-year degree, or credits toward a bachelor’s degree, which would place them ahead of the game the following college semester in their college careers.

The ceremony also imple­mented the use of new massive flat screen projectors of the event that lined each side of the stage, and allowed for a much better view of the proceedings, since Tingley Coliseum is such a large venue.

Director of Communications Brad Moore said that the addition of the new rear flat screen pro­jectors where audience members could see loved ones close up for the first time at graduation was a fruitful decision and improved the view for everyone, especially the family members of graduates.

“Adding the video boards was a way for CNM to provide family members and supporters much better views of the graduates and the ceremony on stage. The video boards were a great addition to the ceremony,” Moore said.

A local celebrity was also cre­ated when dual schooled student, Emily Watson graduated with her associate’s in liberal arts and studio arts degrees alongside her parents, and doing so before even finishing her high school diploma.

Emily Watson walked with her mother, Kelly Watson who received degrees in general studies, liberal arts, history and fine arts, and her father Jarrod Watson who received a degree in drafting, liberal arts, and a certificate in general studies, she said.

Emily Watson and her par­ents were pleasantly surprised and excited when they realized they were so close to graduating at the same time and decided they would make the plans which eventually put all three of them in their caps and gowns at the exact same time, Kelly Watson said.

“It is kind of amazing that it worked out that way. We did not have any idea it was going to track like that until the last year and we started planning our final year and were like ‘I think this is going to happen,’” Kelly Watson said.

As a family of mostly stu­dents, they had to sell one of their cars and soon after, while Emily and Kelly Watson wound up carpooling with the second car, Jarrod Watson made use of the CNM bus pass to get to his ATC courses, Emily Watson said.

Jarrod Watson even made a color-coded spreadsheet which was used to figure out how to make everyone’s school sched­ules fit together with the rest of their time and transportation, Kelly Watson said.

“She and I would try to schedule 95 percent of our classes together and online whenever possible. It actually worked out alright,” Kelly Watson said.

Roughly two weeks after the CNM graduation ceremony, Emily Watson also walked with her fellow high school students at the graduation ceremony for the SAMS Academy where she was the student speaker.

Emily Watson plans on going to UNM to study art education with the hopes of getting a job teaching children with disabilities, she said.

Emily Watson’s advice to any and all CNM students who may need it was to make sure to persevere no matter how rough the road may seem to be.

“Do not give up. It is not easy but as long as you just keep going you’ll make it —every day just start over fresh,” Emily Watson said.

Kelly Watson also had simi­larly wonderful advice for stu­dents, which was to encourage them to stay positive and take smaller steps towards the larger goal by not obsessing over the uncertainty of the future, she said.

“Every day is just one day closer to the end so you just have to do it one day at a time, sometimes when it gets rough,” Kelly Watson said.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was the Honorable Judge Willow Misty Parks, who on top of being a CNM alumna, was also voted in as the distinguished CNM Alumna by the Alumni Foundation.

Parks’ speech involved a recol­lection of her remarkable and inspi­rational story of her journey from the pursuit of her education to her induction as Bernalillo’s one and only probate judge.

The student speaker was computer information systems major Regina Thompson, whose speech seemed to not only cap­tivate the audience, but also suc­ceeded in capturing quite a few laughs from the crowd.

In her speech, Parks talked about her challenge of summing up everything she had gone through with just 500 words and ended the speech by jokingly saying, “500 words!? I can’t do that.”

The speech’s ending seemed to almost poke fun at the first feel­ings of hesitation that she and many others have undoubtedly had about being able to get through college, and like her speech, she and 659 stu­dents were able to graduate after all.