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.”

Vaccination Mandate Approved by CNM Governing Board

By Daniel Johnson

Editor in Chief

The Zoom Governing Board meeting held on Wednesday August 8th which consisted of Chairman Thomas Swisstack, Pauline Garcia, James Chavez, Annette Chavez y De La Cruz, Nancy Baca and Robert Schoenfelder voted, in a roll call vote, to approve CNM President Tracy Hartzler’s plan for a vaccine and mask mandate as presented on the CNM website– A Vote to Affirm the Mandatory Covid Vaccination Policy for Faculty Staff, and Students.

In casting his vote, Swisstack said the measure was necessary to protect folks at CNM from “the more contagious Delta Variant” (of the Covid-19 Virus.)

 Baca applauded President Hartzler for her hard work in putting together the policy.

No other questions, comments, or discussion, on the mandate were discussed at that time measure.

At its Public work meeting of August 4, the board had asked President Hartzler to consult with legal counsel as to whether a board vote was necessary to make the mandatory vaccine policy effective, or whether she had authority to implement the policy on her own.

The meeting on August 8th was originally scheduled for in person at Smith-Brasher Hall, but Swisstak said he switched it to remote, because, under President Harztler’s policy, the board members would have been required to wear masks, and that he has a hard time hearing people speaking through masks.

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.

ECOS and Dean Come Together to Improve Online Learning

Story By

Mark Graven

 Staff Writer

CNM’S Executive Council of Students (ECOS) met with the Phil Lister, dean of  the Math, Science and Engineering School at CNM, to chart a path forward in improving remote learning in science and math courses.  

Dean Lister, who engaged ECOS board members concerns at their regular meeting of March 19th via a Jitzi link, which students can access on Fridays at 2 p.m.

By the end of the meeting Lister said he would be contacting members of his faculty to encourage more lecture sessions with students, and more faculty/student interaction generally.

ECOS board members say they have been fielding complaints from students  that some on-line math and science courses lack a real-time lecture component in which students can ask professors questions to clarify difficult concepts.

Lister said he would like to hear personally from students that might be dissatisfied with their faculty interaction time, so that problems can be addressed.

“I want to hear from students”  said Lister.  “It can be scary for students to raise concerns.  I want to assure students that we are friendly.”

He said that some faculty may have had a harder time adjusting to remote learning in Covid times. And these faculty members could be given assistance.  

ECOS members suggested that professors with recorded lectures could share them with other professors that have had difficulty in on-line lecturing.

ECOS members have taken the position that recorded lectures are better than no lecture at all. The have also said that it helps science and math students to see problems worked on a whiteboard.

Lister said that not all students prefer lecture, but he agreed with ECOS members that courses, and sections of courses, that do have lectures, could be indicated in the course catalogue, or some other means.

“It is important that students know what to expect,” said ECOS President Alex Crossland. 

Dean Lister agreed with ECOS members that students had a right to know what type of learning experience they are signing up for.

Board Vice President Imane Bahji, who has spearheaded the ECOS’s effort to inject more lecture in on-line math and science courses, said she was pleased with Dean Lister’s responses, but that ECOS would still have to  “keep our eyes out.”

ECOS members said they want on-line improvements implemented by the start of the upcoming summer semester.

Pop In, By Appointment To The Library

Story by

Salvador Zambrano

Staff reporter

As of March 12th, main and westside campus have been offering services to students by appointment said Associate Library Director for CNM Renee Goodvin.

Students will have to fill out a daily health assessment before coming to campus to ensure their own safety and the safety of others, she said.

“It is a great idea because we are allowing students to get the resources that they need, but it’s a difficult situation because students want to come to the library to study. Which is one of the main services we provide.” She said.

The library homepage also provides students with the ability to check out books and other electronic equipment like iPads or laptops, she said.

Appointments can also be made through the library for ace tutoring services, she said.

Once students have been approved for those items, they will be directed to make an appointment through the website to come and pick them up, she said.

Goodvin said, printing services are also offered but at main campus only

she added that she suspects the current level of operations would last until the end of the spring semester. As the state continues to move from yellow to green and finally turquoise, there will probably be more services provided to students.

“Honestly we don’t know, we’re waiting for the president to give us the ok,” she said. She added that she suspects the current level of operations would last until the end of the spring semester.

The library has already partnered with campus safety to ensure proper social distancing throughout the library by placing tables 6 feet apart and limiting the amount of chair available, she said.

Goodvin said she was glad CNM was reopening and knows they’re trying to do their best to ensure student safety.

Take A Virtual Balloon Ride with The ABQ Balloon Museum

Story and photos by

Olawale Oluwakoya

Staff Reporter 

CNM students should participate in the Balloon museum virtual field trip because 

Anderson Abruzzo international Balloon Museum

it is fun, educative, informative and a great opportunity to acquire a wealth of knowledge without leaving their couch, said Balloon Museum’s Field Trip and Volunteer Coordinator Katie Farmin. 

The Virtual Field Trips will take place every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30 am, the lesson is approximately 40 minutes and will be a mix of PowerPoint, video, and some movement, she said. 

The field trip will cover the history of early ballooning, the anatomy of a balloon, the science behind balloon flight, and a short history of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, she said.

Photo Puzzle Exhibit at the Balloon Museum

“The available dates for the virtual field trips will be provided in the registration form (here). You will have a first and second choice, however, they are not guaranteed. If your choices are not available, you will be contacted to coordinate other possible choices,” she said. 

“Once you register, a confirmation email will be sent out with the date of the field trip. You have the choice of the museum sending a Zoom link, Google Meet link, or we can pop into your class if you have a recurring link with whatever platform you are using for your digital classroom,” she said.

Exhibition at the balloon Museum dedicated to Brave Airfare

After the field trip, another email will be sent out with additional material for students to reflect on what they learned, she said. 

If students have any more questions they can send an email kfarmin@cabq.gov or call (505) 768-6027, said Katie Farmin. 

Drive In At Balloon Fiesta Park

Story And Photos by Dshawal Oluwakoya

Staff Reporter

 The drive-in theater was created to support New Mexicans through this pandemic, said drive-in organizer Levi Sperry.

Movies have been shown through the summer and the turnout has been good, he said.

Right now there are events scheduled through September 4th with more shows to be announced, he said.

“I think students should come see a movie because it is fun and you get to spend time out with your friends and family, watch a movie together and create wonderful memories even during tough times,” he said.

All drive-in presentations are COVID-safe, people can stay in their cars or tailgate as long as they stay within the appropriately distanced zones, he said.

Tamara Villescas a UNM student said she comes to watch movies here frequently. “I come here every time with my girls, it gives me a reason to leave the house, also I love food trucks”.

They are located at 9201 balloon museum Dr NE, view shows and book tickets online here, any questions can be sent to admin@balloonfiesta.com, said Mr. Levi.

Contractors Committed to Safety Protocols

By Angelique Cox Staff Reporter

In alignment with the State of New Mexico’s COVID-19 guidelines, all contractors are required to submit their plans for protecting against the spread of the COVID-19 prior to beginning work at a CNM location, said Brad Moore, Director of Communications and Media Relations.

Due to social distancing guidelines, all contractors have submitted plans to ensure that employees wear face coverings, while working at a CNM location, said Moore.

The college has reviewed the safety plans submitted by all contractors at CNM, said Moore.

If it becomes known that agreed upon COVID 19 protocols are not followed by on-site contractor employees, CNM will address the situation with the contractor, said Moore.

Contractors have been reminded of their commitment to COVID 19 safety protocols while working at CNM, said Moore.

Contractor practices will continue to be monitored by the College and communicate the importance of complying with state directives and CNM safety protocols, said Moore.

“The health and safety of everybody at a CNM location is of utmost importance to the College,” said Moore.