Graduation Issue 2019

Story and photos by

Audrey Callaway Scherer, staff reporter

Jerry Green, staff reporter

CNM graduates of the 2018-2019 school year shared the things they loved the most about coming to CNM, the biggest things they learned and their plans moving forward before the graduation ceremony on May 4.

Jerome Willis, Electrical Trades
School of Applied Technologies

Jerome Willis, Electrical Trades
School of Applied Technologies

Jerome Willis loved everything about his time at CNM, including his teachers, classes, subject and being in a place where everybody is there to learn, he said.

He wanted to give a shout out to the Electrical Traders and highly recommended that anyone with even partial interest in the field take the first term of electrical trade classes, particularly because of how the teachers show concern and are assertive in making sure students learn.

Willis was scheduled to start a job with Facebook a couple weeks after graduation as a critical facilities engineer. He was offered the job at the end of his year-long internship, which he applied for after Facebook visited CNM’s campus during his second term in 2018.

Willis may want to go to UNM or return to CNM for a few classes he missed in the future, but as of now he does not need or plan to go in the fall.

Lee Ann Roberts, Business Administration (Fast-Track Program), Bookkeeping Certificate, Integrated Studies
School of Business & Information Technology

Lee Ann Roberts, Business Administration (Fast-Track Program), Bookkeeping Certificate, Integrated Studies
School of Business & Information Technology

Lee Ann Roberts said that the faculty and staff at CNM were outstanding and super supportive and she loved how they were there for the students and ready to answer questions, give encouragement or the kick in the pants needed to get work done.

She learned that she had the discipline and courage to go through a whole new life situation, stick with it and finish with a really good GPA, she said.

She came to CNM after going through a job change and realizing that she needed to do something, especially with her kids being grown. She had attended college in the late 70s and early 80s but did not graduate.

Doing schoolwork and work outside the home, it was busy for Roberts, but she is ready for whatever, happy to be done and glad she got to do it and learn new things she did not know.

She started work at a local plumbing, heating and mechanical company using her bookkeeping skills, but is working toward and would be happy to get a job with the government at maybe the county or city level, she said.

“Thank you again to all the CNM people for helping me get here. It’s been awesome,” she said.

She loved her classes and had a great experience.

Michael Fox, Architectural / Engineering Drafting Technology
School of Applied Technologies

Michael Fox, Architectural / Engineering Drafting Technology
School of Applied Technologies

Michael Fox loved how there was a lot of one-on-one help at CNM and said the teachers and staff were awesome. If students are not getting what they need, they just have to seek it and ask for it because CNM has pretty much everything, he said.

“Apply yourself – it’s all there,” he said.

He plans to find a job in his field, preferably in the civil sector that would use his experience in design and drafting for work in infrastructure and site planning. Until then, he plans to continue working as a facilities manager at a shooting range. He said the openings he sees online and in the paper are encouraging. He may go to UNM in the future.

Sarah Weschler, Teacher Education and Integrated Studies
School of Communications, Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Business & Information Technology

Sarah Weschler, Teacher Education and Integrated Studies
School of Communications, Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Business & Information Technology

Sarah Weschler loved the intimacy of the classrooms, the teachers and the discussions during her time at CNM and said she wished she had joined a club.

She learned a lot about diversity and just how many different types of people in different situations there are, she said.

Weschler plans to go to UNM in the fall to finish her bachelor’s degree in Teacher Education and would eventually like to be a teacher.

Levi Slade, Construction Management Technology with Architectural concentration
School of Applied Technologies

Levi Slade, Construction Management Technology with Architectural concentration
School of Applied Technologies

Levi Slade’s favorite thing about coming to CNM was the ability to start new and how people can be any age and be able to come to and take courses at CNM.

“You’re never too old to learn new stuff. You always have time,” he said.

Slade graduated with his first degree, which he said took over 20 years, and plans to start a job working with cabinets. He wanted to learn some good skills for himself and cabinetry is something he really wanted to learn in general and for his own house.

Coming to CNM has been a good experience, he said.

Jovana Ferraris, Liberal Arts and Integrated Studies
School of Business & Information Technology

Jovana Ferraris, Liberal Arts and Integrated Studies
School of Business & Information Technology

Jovana Ferraris loved how CNM was down-to-earth and how the teachers cared about making sure students learned the subjects, she said. It was very one-on-one and teachers didn’t forget students when they needed something.

She learned how important it was for people to believe in themselves and looking back, said that she would have come to CNM a lot earlier.

“If you don’t believe in yourself, then it won’t happen,” she said.

Ferraris plans to continue her education at another college but is not sure if it will be online or at UNM.

Edmundo Villalobos, Electrical Trades
School of Applied Technologies

Edmundo Villalobos, Electrical Trades
School of Applied Technologies

The thing Edmund Villalobos loved most about coming to CNM was that students get a lot of help when they look for it, he said.

The biggest things he learned were to not give up and that it is never too late.

Villalobos plans to use his degree to get a journeyman license and own his own company in the electrical field. He is already working in the field and will not be going to UNM in the fall.

Whisper Evans, majoring in Finance for bachelor’s
School of Business & Information Technology

Whisper Evans, majoring in Finance for bachelor’s
School of Business & Information Technology

The things Whisper Evans loved the most about CNM were how diverse the people are, how much the professors cared and how the small classrooms allowed for more interaction and time with the professors.

The biggest thing she learned while at CNM is that everyone is like a family and people just need to give a hand and take a hand sometimes. Everybody will help each other no matter who they are, she said.

Evans was a dual-enrolled high school student during her time at CNM and plans to go to Florida International University in Miami to get a bachelor’s in finance and be an international director of revenue sales so that she can travel the world and get paid as a financial advisor.

Michael Masters-Holderman, Applied Science and Integrated Studies
School of Business & Information Technology

Michael Masters-Holderman, Applied Science and Integrated Studies
School of Business & Information Technology

Michael Masters-Holderman learned a lot about how to work with people and how to work well with people and said he is happy with the experiences he has been through because he’s been able to work on so much.

His favorite things about coming to CNM were that the people were nice, the teachers worked really well with students and there was help available to students – all really helpful things that many other schools do not have, especially community colleges, he said.

He wanted to tell students to have as much fun as they can going to school because although nobody wants to go to school, people have to work toward something to progress through life.

“What I’m going to do is I’m going to progress through and I’m going to go forward. That’s what I want,” he said.

Masters-Holderman loves technology and working with it and switched from architecture to information technology because there is always a job out there, he said.

He wants to go back to school in the future but will decide where after he figures out what he wants to do, he said. For now, he will continue working in the field as an IT technician.

He currently works three jobs – one in a business with a friend, one working on servers and websites in a business with a mentor and one as a delivery driver.

Ginger Blaze, Architectural / Engineering Drafting Technology
School of Applied Technologies

Ginger Blaze, Architectural / Engineering Drafting Technology
School of Applied Technologies

Ginger Blaze loved that at CNM, students can better themselves without the pressure of a traditional university, she said. She loved the friends she made and said the biggest thing she learned was that she could do it.

Whatever she wanted to do was available to her, from options being laid out to being able to talk to anyone at any time, she said.

Blaze plans to use the skills she learned to build her own house and eventually make furniture.

John Vialpando, Business Administration
School of Business & Information Technology

John Vialpando said he loved the flexibility of going to CNM and the commitment from the teachers to work with students, especially because it is hard to get schooling done with other full-time responsibilities, such as his full-time work and church ministry.

John Vialpando, Business Administration
School of Business & Information Technology

He wished he could have taken more classes earlier to reduce the five years he spent on his associate’s degree and more classes toward his bachelor’s degree.

He came to CNM to advance in his work with the government because he was at the top point he could be without a degree, he said.

Important things he wanted to share with the CNM community included perseverance, patience and not wanting to give up. He dropped out of UNM about 37 years ago and coming to CNM got him going, he said. He figured this was a stepping stone.

He will probably continue at CNM for more core classes but is ultimately looking at UNM, Wayland Baptist University or Eastern University to finish his bachelor’s for upper management.

Geraldine Tsosie, Carpentry
School of Applied Technologies

Geraldine Tsosie, Carpentry
School of Applied Technologies

Geraldine Tsosie loved the skills she learned most while coming to CNM, particularly metal framing and textures, and the biggest thing she learned was framing and using the machines.

She started at CNM to take her mind off a domestic violence situation and completed her degree because after starting, she didn’t want to quit, she said.

She plans to use the skills from her degree to do work around her house and for personal reasons.

Erick Golden
School of Math, Science & Engineering

Erick Golden
School of Math, Science & Engineering

Erick Golden plans to transfer to UNM to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He also plans to get some experience in aerospace to pursue his vocation in the research and development of aircrafts.

When asked what he loved about CNM, he responded by saying, “I really loved the professors and the environment of the school. The classes are smaller and the professors are more willing to help you, which personally has always helped me.”

He went on to say, “I didn’t have to leave the classroom after class to go to a tutoring center because my professor was more than willing to help me and that helped me out quite a bit.”

After being asked what the most important thing that he learned at CNM was, he concluded by saying, “Don’t feel afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid of your professors.”

He admitted that his greatest regret was that he didn’t ask the questions he wanted to during his first semesters at CNM.

Brittney Dyre
School of Math, Science & Engineering

Brittney Dyre
School of Math, Science & Engineering

After graduation, Brittney Dyre plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree at UNM in mathematics.

After being asked what she loved about CNM, she proclaimed that, “All of the classes were really small, which was awesome because sometimes it felt like it was one-on-one.”

When Dyre was asked what the most important thing she learned at CNM was, she said, “I learned a lot about nursing and caring for people.”

When asked if she had any regrets while attending CNM, she responded with “Nope.”

Robert Arguelles
School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety

Robert Arguelles
School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety

Robert Arguelles said that upon graduating, he would continue his occupation of being a New Mexico firefighter.

He loved the flexibility of the courses with his schedule, in which he said he also took a hefty number of online classes due to how easy they were to manage in his day-to-day schedule.

Arguelles said the most important thing he learned at CNM was that, “Distance learning courses require a level of personal accountability and that self-drive.” He finished by saying that “determination plays a huge part in distance learning courses.”

When asked if there were any regrets he had while attending CNM, he said, “I believe that everything that I wanted to do or learn, I did. I have no regrets.”

Anastasia Medina
School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety

Anastasia Medina
School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety

Anastasia Medina was happy to share her future plans after graduating CNM.

She graduated with a cosmetology license and an associate’s degree in applied science with which she plans on working at a salon and starting out as an assistant before becoming a stylist in the coming months.

Upon thinking about the one thing she loved most about CNM, she stated, “I managed to get a cosmetology license and a degree. I love that this school helped me achieve that.”

She later said that, “The most important thing I learned at CNM is that I can do anything! There’s a lot of opportunities here and resources that you can take advantage of and it’s just an awesome school to be a part of.”

When asked if she had any regrets, she said that she wished she could have taken school more seriously the first semester instead of partying.

Samona Brown
School of Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences

Samona Brown
School of Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences

Samona Brown was quite excited to graduate upon being interviewed.

When asked what her plans were after graduation, she said, “I plan to transfer to New Mexico State University and manage in special education.”

One of the many things that Brown loved about CNM was that there were language classes and that she was able to experience American Sign Language, which geared her towards the vocation of special education.

“I learned about strength, determination and really pushing through to get what you want,” she said after being asked what the most important thing she learned at CNM was.

When she was asked if she had any regrets while attending CNM, she responded, “I have many regrets regarding this school, but none of them were educational.”

Albert Henderson III
School of Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences

Albert Henderson III
School of Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences

Albert Henderson III was surrounded by his wife and four children when he was asked what he planned on doing after graduating CNM.

He responded with, “I plan on taking the LSAT and getting into law school. I’m really only a couple of credits away from a bachelor’s.”

One thing he loved about CNM was that the school prepared him to go to the next level.

“I had some things that I needed to work on to attend a major university, but I think I’ve got that ironed out at the community college level. It’s a place to get organized and focused into the school environment, especially if you’ve been out of school for a while.”

When asked what the most important thing he learned at CNM was, he responded, “I learned that a lot of life is what you make it, so you’ve got to go out there and find the things to help make you successful and at CNM, there were a lot of tools available as long as I went out and tried to find them.”

When asked if he had any regrets from attending CNM, he looked at his wife and kids and said, “I regret that I didn’t spend more time with my family.”

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