CNM Food Pantry

Story by

Devonny Grajeda

Staff Reporter

Brittany Karnezis, the new Director of Student Life said, CNM has permanently opened a food pantry with the hope to help aid students by making sure they have weekly access to fresh produce and dry goods.

CNM acknowledges students’ needs outside of the classroom said Ms. Karnezis. CNM hopes the food pantry will provide a space where students have access to their holistic needs, she said. Through CNMs partnership with Roadrunner Food Bank and MoGro, CNM hopes to meet students’ needs head-on, she added.

The food pantry is located at the Main Campus Library inside the SRC building and is open on Wednesdays from 3-6 pm, said Ms. Karnezis. 

Ms. Karnezis said the pantry will accept new personal hygiene products such as toothbrushes/paste, floss, deodorant, soap, and feminine hygiene products. Anyone can donate toiletries; however, she said the food pantry does not accept food donations.

Ms. Karnezis says CNM knows students’ needs are significant, especially during this time of COVID-19. She added, “We provide the highest quality of education, but we realize students have needs that go far beyond the classroom doors.” By opening the food pantry, CNM hopes to support their student’s educational and personal needs, she said.

Return of the Balloon Fiesta

Pictures and Story by

Salvador Zambrano

Staff Reporter/Graphic Designer

2020 was the year COVID-19 began. During the year lots of events were canceled to protect people from outbreaks of the virus. One event affected was The famous Balloon Fiesta. After taking the year off Balloon Fiesta made it’s return for the 2021 season.

Balloon fiesta park was filled with many spectators waiting to see the many balloons take off into the sky. This year 866,414 guests made their way to the park during the 9 day period.

The Balloon fiesta picked up right where it left off with a total of 588 balloons making an appearance this year. 671 pilots also made the trip from around the world for this years event. The Albuquerque community seemed full of life after the return of the Balloon Fiesta.

A New Perspective

Story by

Devonny Grajeda

Staff Reporter

A full-time English instructor, Tammy Wolf, said that teaching online can be difficult because there is still work to be done explaining concepts of online classes.

In-person classes allowed her the ability to explain topics face-to-face, which can be easier, she said.

She added that teachers do not like sending students “out of the shell” because an ad can pop up, making it hard for students to stay focused.

“It’s not fair to the students either in some ways because if you don’t love reading, now you have to read all your instructions, you have to read all the support materials… which can be harder for students who don’t read as much,” she said.

The two groups she thought that were the most affected were students who have never learned online and teachers who have never taught online, she said.

She said her biggest obstacle has been isolation. Most of the time, she is at home in her office, grading, which she said could be overwhelming at times.

Wolf said it was not until Christmas last year that she realized the pandemic would not end quickly, and class would not be in person for a while.

She said she misses seeing students challenging one another’s ideas or getting that aha moment when everything starts to make sense. She said that is why she wants students to reply to one another on discussions and ask questions.

She also mentioned how students do not get to see the passionate side of their teachers.

“We just turn into this robot that you’re emailing.” A massive disconnect is present between teachers and students, she said.

Wolf adds that students are tired, and everyone is dealing with so much amid a pandemic, she worries about students who are losing their drive to continue.

Compared to in the beginning when she believed that students as well as teachers may have enjoyed having a break and being online for a little bit.

“Now we’re over it,” she added, “but students need to just keep going, it’s going to get better, just keep going were all in it together, and I know there’s a real divide between faculty and students, but we’re cheering you on, and we want to see everybody succeed.”

Blue Skies Canopy Fall Semester Opening

Story and Photos by

Mark Graven

Staff Writer

Skies are blue–albeit a bit hazy– as the Fall Semester at CNM kicks into gear.

The parking lot is full in front of the Student Services center. Meanwhile, students are able to get directions and information from a booth set up as part of “Suncat Days,” by the stairs near Max Salazar Hall.

Across University Boulevard, construction on the Catering Services/Brewery at Robert P. Matteuchi Hall continues, and is going through a light blue phase (as if to match the skies).
On the North side of Main Campus, a billboard on E Building beams out a strong message in blue: it looks like “E” stands for being “exceptional” at CNM.

Coyote Incursion at Montoya

Photos and Story by

Mark Graven

Staff Wildlife Reporter

While the pandemic has brought human activity at CNM’s Joseph M. Montoya Campus to a minimum, it appears that some coyotes are attempting to reclaim the domain for the Animal Kingdom. The coyotes have created a base in the drainage tunnels under G Building, according to CNM postings. Signs have been placed in a variety of places around Montoya campus warning humans of increased coyote sightings in the area. Nestled in the foothills of the Sandia Mountain in Northeast Albuquerque, the campus is fairly open to nature. Photos taken May 20th.

A Celebration with Sol

Story and Photos by

Angela Harrington

Staff Reporter

CNM’s first ever post virtual graduation ceremony celebration was a success!
Graduating students and their friends and families lined up in their vehicles to make their way through the Smith-Brasher parking lot on Saturday May 1st, and patiently waited to be cheered and revered for the successes they have accomplished.
Sol the Suncat was there to make sure it was a lively time!
The route was lined with faculty and staff, clapping and waving, as each graduate rolled up and got out of their vehicle to be presented with a beautiful diploma cover and other school memorabilia.
As the traditional Pomp and Circumstance March played over the loud speaker, Dean of Students Chris Cavazos busily coordinated the announcement of each graduate’s name as they arrived.
CNM President Tracy Hartzler greeted the graduates and happily posed for quick photos with them as they made their way around the stage area, where CNM Board Members and additional faculty were waiting to congratulate them.
There was no shortage of enthusiasm or elation at the socially distanced and masked celebration.

See slide show below

Bookstore Branching Out

Story by Salvador Zambrano

Staff reporter

Area Director at the CNM Bookstore Ann Heaton said the bookstore is currently working with their buying team on adding new merchandise to the store, like UNM, NMSU, and New Mexico United. She also added, the CNM Bookstore which is located in the newly finished CNM Marketplace building would like people to know that they want to be a part of the community and not just seen as CNM’s Bookstore.

 The new bookstore will still offer the same services that they have always offered as well as new food services offered at the marketplace, she said.

A Grab-N-Go option will be available to the community and as more people return to the campus area more options will become available, she said.

Heaton added, “we are also planning on opening a Starbucks as proudly serving for the fall and then opening it as a fully licensed Starbucks in spring 2022.”

There were mixed emotions regarding the new move, but her team has adjusted well and are excited to be in the new building, she said.

“It has been exciting being in this new location with so much natural lighting occurring all around us. We love the feel of not just looking like a ‘college bookstore’ but having more of an appearance of a regular retailer.” She said.

Covid-19 preparations have been made to ensure the safety of students and employees as they begin to return to campus within the next month, said Heaton.

5 Things to do in The ABQ

Story by

Dominique Lemus

Staff reporter

Topgolf Albuquerque

According to Topgolf employee, Jake Plotkin Topgolf is open Mondays through Sundays from 10am to 10pm.

Covid policies currently required reservations for bays required, and max capacity per bay is six people, including infants & children.

The bar and common areas are open for walk-ins but all guests are required to wear a facemask when in the venue.

Healthcare workers and Teachers are given a discount of 10% off all Topgolf game play plus additional benefits are offered for healthcare workers and teachers through April 30, 2021.

The normal cost per bay is listed below.

 TuesdaysWednesdays -Mondays
Open-12PM12.50/hr per bay$25/hr per bay
12PM -5PM$17.50/hr per bay$35/hr per bay
5PM- Close$22.50/hr per bay$45/hr per bay
TopGolf Albuquerque

The Albuquerque Museum

According to Albuquerque museum employee, Haley Webb the Albuquerque Museum is open Tuesday and Wednesday 9 to 5, Thursdays through Sundays 9 to 8, and closed Mondays.

Covid policies currently require everyone to wear a facemask, and only 40 people are allowed in the museum every 30 minutes.

Tickets are not available to buy at the museum but are available to buy online through Hold My Ticket only.

The current cost for tickets is listed below.

Seniors / Adults / NM Residents$10
Children 12 and underFree
Albuquerque Museum Foundation Members with ID$5
Albuquerque Museum

ABQ Biopark

According to the city of Albuquerque employee, Tim Garcia the Biopark is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday and closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Covid policies are social distancing between guests, restrooms will be available and are cleaned and sanitized frequently.

All ABQ BioPark staff members are required to wear facemasks and all guests are required to wear a facemask unless eating or drinking.

The Biopark is limiting the number of tickets available each day.

Guests can choose a time and date when they can buy tickets online and must arrive within a half-hour of that time.

There is a military discount offered, the normal cost for tickets is listed below.

 AdultSenior (65+)Youth (3-12)
New Mexico resident$10.00$5.50$5.00
Military discount- New Mexico resident– $8.00 $4.00
Military discount- Non-resident$12.50 $5.00
ABQ BioPark

 * Children (2 and under) – Free with a purchase of an adult ticket

ABQ BioPark – Botanic Garden

According to city of Albuquerque employee, Renee Castillo the Botanic Garden is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday and closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Covid policies require guests to buy tickets online just like the zoo and wear a facemask unless they are eating or drinking.

Outdoor food and beverage options and outdoor kiosks for merchandise are available.

Food can also be order online from the restaurants ahead of time.

There is a military discount offered, the cost for tickets is listed below.

 AdultSenior (65+)Youth (3-12)
New Mexico resident$10.00$5.50$5.00
Military discount- New Mexico resident– $8.00 $4.00
Military discount- Non-resident$12.50 $5.00
ABQ BioPark- Botanic Garden

 * children (2 and under) – Free with a purchase of an adult ticket

Sandia Peak Tramway

According to Sandia Peak Tramway’s marketing manager, Jessica Fox they are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Mondays, closed Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

Covid policies are that guests will be required to wear a facemask while on the Tramway and in Tram facilities, disposable face coverings will be available for use and temperature checks will be required.

TEN 3 Restaurant on the property will be doing indoor dining at 25% capacity.

Tramcars will operate at one-third capacity and will be cleaned and sanitized between each trip.

Windows and vents will be open during the tram flight and they ask you to wear warm clothing because it can be chilly.

Tram Tickets are available to buy online 24 hours before the day you plan to arrive and are limited.

There is a military discount offered, the cost for tickets is listed below.

 Adult 21 & OverChild 0-12Young Adult 13-20Senior 62 & OverMilitary* W/ valid ID
Round-Trip Tram Ride$25$15$20$20$20
Sandia Peak Tramway

ECOS & Dean to Discuss Future of Online Education


Mark Graven

Staff Writer

Phil Lister, Dean of the School of Math, Science and Engineering at CNM has accepted an invitation to attend the next Executive Council of Students (ECOS) to be held March 19th, according to ECOS President Alex Crossland.
The EOCS board has been searching for a way of obtaining more interaction between professors and students in math and science courses in the remote learning process that has taken over CNM, during Covid times.
To that end the ECOS board members, at last Friday’s meeting, crafted an email inviting Dean Lister to meet with board members this coming Friday.  By the end of the meeting last Friday, Lister replied that he would attend, Crossland announced.
Dean Lister presides over a large amount of academic territory at CNM.  The MSE School offers degree programs in Biology; Biotechnology; Chemistry; Earth and Planetary Science; Engineering; Geography; Mathematical Science; Nutrition; Physics; and Pre-Health Scidnce; and non-degree programs in Astronomy and Natural Science (for teachers).
Physics course have come under particular scrutiny at ECOS board meetings because they lack a lecture component, according to Imane Bahji. ECOS vice-president.  
Bahji said that if difficult science and math courses are not going to offer lecture, or some other reasonable substitute for faculty student interaction, then CNM should say so upfront, so that students know what they are getting into.  
ECOS had previously contacted CNM President Tracey Hartzler, and met the the Faculty Senate, but did not achieve the improvement to remote learning that board members wanted to see.
Students interested in watching ECOS meeting with Dean Lister can go to My CNM and search for ECOS meeting link.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., as per usual with ECOS meetings.

ECOS Makes Contact with Letter

Story by

Mark Graven

Staff Writer

The president of the Executive Council of Students (ECOS) Alex Crossland, says he believes that the CNM Administration will respond positively to the ECOS Board’s call for improvements to its remote learning program.
Crossland offered the opinion after the Board’s December 11th meeting– at which it was noted that ECOS had received a response from CNM President Tracy Hartzler to a letter that ECOS had sent out through email the previous week to Hartzler and a half a dozen key people in the administration, calling for reforms to remote learning.
Crossland said he was “encouraged” by Hartzler’s response, but that he did not expect the administration to react precipitously. 
“I believe that our letter was effective, and that the administration is listening to us,” said Crossland, adding that he expected that administrators would give ECOS ideas careful consideration, and not just slap a “bandaid” on the problem. 
He said he is hopeful that the process will result in improved remote learning during the upcoming intercession and the conduct of Spring Semester.
Kristopher Gaussoin, director of student life and discipline at CNM, also the advisor to the ECOS board, said that the ECOS letter has already been taken up at an administrative meeting.  Gaussoin has been urging the board to frame its concerns about remote learning in a constructive manner to get good results with the administration– which he predicted would welcome input from ECOS, the voice of the student body.
Remote learning has been the main topic of discussion for the ECOS board at meetings held over the last two months. The ECOS letter to CNM administrors was drafted by ECOS Vice-President Imane Bahji, and then approved by the full board on December 4th.  
Bahji has consistently criticized the fact that many remote learning classes lack a lecture component, wherein students can ask professors questions in real time, and clarify difficult concepts or processes.  
She has said that there is a danger that when student’s don’t understand, they might quit classes, or even drop out of school.
Crossland said that, in fashioning its letter to the administration, ECOS got input from students through conversations, and through a Suggestion Box, set up on its CNM web page.  The Board also considered information from surveys conducted by CNM that included questions about remote learning.
CNM turned to a largely remote learning format during Spring Semester, after the onset of Covid-19 cases in New Mexico,  although some classs were allowed to meet on campus during the fall.
Linda Martin, a representative of CNM’s Office of Data Strategy, appeared at Friday’s meeting.  She said that the most recent information on student enrollment and retention is still being processed, so that the statistical picture of the impact of remote learning on enrollment numbers and finances is still unclear.
Crossland said that ECOS would not immediately release for publication the letter to the administration, or the administration’s response, although it might do so at a later date.  Such an approach could be more productive in the short run, he said.