Career Connections That Keep People Smiling

Story by Angela Harrington

Staff Reporter

Photo provided by Dental Wellness. Pictured: Leyra Leyva (CNM graduate), Viridiana Murga, Dr. Fielfer Murga, Zoila Murga, Gladis Sanchez (CNM graduate), Jorge Gastelum

The CNM Dental Assisting Program has a positive impact for students and dentists alike.

When Dr. Fielfer Murga bought his practice, Dental Wellness, he knew that the staff he would be hiring would need to be a good fit for the team, so he reached out to CNM to help him.

“When I purchased the practice, the previous doctor told me that he had some connections with CNM. Then a graduate of the program came in to apply and we liked her and her work, so we contacted CNM that we wanted to work with their students,” Dr. Murga said.

One such student is 2018 CNM graduate Leyra Leyva. She said that it wasn’t until after she started attending CNM that she decided to enter the Dental Assisting Program.

“Once I started the program, I really realized how important it is to take care of your teeth,” Leyva said.

Leyva was sent to Dental Wellness for her second clinical assignment, and she has been employed there since that time, she said.

Dr. Murga said, “That’s why I like the program, because sometimes you can tell if a potential employee is a good match for you. Every dentist is different, so sometimes there is a match for me and sometimes not. If it is definitely a match, we will hire them on the spot!”

2019 CNM graduate Gladis Sanchez, said she knew before she started taking classes that she wanted to complete the Dental Assisting Program.

Her first clinical assignment brought her to Dental Wellness, and she was hired.

“I have learned a lot here. I love it!” Sanchez said.

Dr. Murga said that the people he likes to hire are those that love to ask questions and who are curious. 

CNM graduate Jennifer Medina received her certificate just a couple of weeks ago and is happy to be a part of the team at Dental Wellness, she said.

“Once I took the dental science class at the beginning of the program, I thought it was really interesting and I knew that this was the program for me,” Medina said.

When it comes to staffing his practice, Dr. Murga said that CNM has been, and will continue to be, a great resource for him.

Food and Water in Supply at Smith-Brasher

Photos and Video by

Mark Graven

Staff Writer

A vending machine off the main lobby of Smith-Brasher Hall on Main Campus is fully stocked with candy, chips, and other goodies, on Friday, June 25th, as it awaits the arrival of hungry students. The bottled water vending machines are depleted of their stocks, but two drinking fountains nearby are fully operational. They are now part of what is called a “hydration station,” as a sign clearly indicates.

Cracking Down on Free Parking

Photos by

Mark Graven

Staff Writer

A sign in front of the entrance of the Market Place Bookstore at Main Campus indicates that folks will have to pay for on- campus parking.  A survey of the parking lot by the Bookstore on Tuesday, June 22nd, shows not many folks taking advantage of the opportunity.

Construction in the Pink

Photo by

Mark Graven 

Staff Writer

Contreras Construction Corp. Workers at Work

Workers from Contreras Construction Corp. of Albuquerque were part a colorful pink panorama as they poured concrete tables and benches for the plaza being constructed in front of the Louis E. Saavedra Administration Building, at the CNM Main Campus.The pink cement mixer is a hallmark, of Roadrunner Redi-Mix, Inc., of Albuquerque, which features the sole female, minority owner/operator in New Mexico, in Juliie Villegas,  according to its website.

Welcome to Suncat Days

Photos and Story By

Mark Graven

Staff Reporter

Who are these masked women, welcoming Suncat students back to Main Campus for fall semester?  From left to right, they are Aline Gonzales,  CNM events manager; Amy Ballard, CNM dean of Applied Tecchnology;  and Liz Encinias, CNM Security officer.   The trio were among a group of CMM officials stationed in front of Ted Chavez Hall, on hand to direct students to class on Monday, August 31st, and  to inform students of campus protocols, and pass out hand sanitizer and maps. 

 According to Gonzales, the first two days of a semester are typically designated as Suncat Days.  Applied Technology is one subject area that has quite a few in-person classes on campus, while most classes remain on-line.

Meanwhile,  Carmen Avitia, a Math and Science tutor at CNM for the TRIO program, was available to answer students’  questions by W Building, in the courtyard in front of the Coal Avenue Theater.

Growing Strength

Story and Photos by Mark Graven 

Staff Reporter

Strolling around the CNM Main Campus, these days, you won’t run into many people, if any, with whom to talk.  But you might encounter a monumental 5-piece sculpture that will speak to you, if you are willing to listen.
The sculpture is entitled “Growing Strength,” by New Mexico artist Karen Yank.  It was installed on the west side of The Student Resource Center building in 2017, as part of the Art in Public Places program of the New Mexico Department of Cultual Affairs.  Yank won the commission in a competitive process.
Contacted at her home/studio in the Turquoise trail region between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Yank said, that the message the sculpture bears these days, is that CNM students–indeed all New Mexicans have the “strength and resilience” to make it  through the covid crisis, and be better people for it.   And maybe better artists.
“It will be interesting to see what art comes out of the pandemic,” said Yank.
Yank said she gains inspiration from the the natural beauty of New Mexico–from its smallest flowers to its imposing  mountains.  She finds time to seek out places to medidate on the beauty of people and places in her surroundings, and then reflect them in her art.  
A native of Wisconsin, she followed her father’s footsteps into art. He still lives and works 20 minutes outside of Milwaukee.  Yank’s path has taken her to such places as New Jersey, New York City, and Maine.
Like Georgia O’Keeffe before her, she has settled on New Mexico for its natural  beauty, and now considers herself “a southwestern artist.”  Yank says O’Keeffe’s landscapes have inspired some of her imagery in her sculptures, but that people help and inspire her in diverse ways. CNM welding students helped construct two stainless benches that are considered part of the sculpture.  
Stainless steel is also used in the larger pieces along with Cor-Ten, or weathered steel. Cor-Ten has the ability to rust, and then stop rusting, so that the rust patterns are frozen in time.  Thus the sculpture itself will  remain strong and resilient, according to Yank.
Yank said another New Mexico artist, Agnes Martin–who she met in Maine, and followed to New Mexico–has had a profound influence on her work.  Yank said she is writing a book about Martin, who passed in 2004. 
Yank said that, bottom line, she has gained insight and strength from both the people and places of New Mexico, and she wants to pass that message forward.

Culinary Arts Bake Sale

By Hilary Broman
Senior Staff Reporter
Students can indulge in a yummy treat while supporting CNM.
The Culinary Arts program bake sale is scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 6th from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM at Main Campus in the RP Matteucci Hall Lobby.
All proceeds support CNM.
There will be a variety of baked items produced by the baking lab classes as well as some large cookies and other fun items produced by the Retail Baking class, said Andrea Schulte, Culinary instructor.
Cash is the only accepted form of payment for this bake sale but, card will be accepted at future bake sales.
The Culinary Arts program usually holds four bake sales every semester, Schulte said.
Click here for a schedule of future bake sales.
On August 3rd, the Retail Baking students will be featuring their specialty items that they are in the process of testing for their own retail bakery concepts, Schulte said.

Featured illustration by Heather Hay

CNM Clubs to Join This Summer

ASL Flyer 1ASL flyer 2June 1, 2017 By Hilary Broman

Senior Staff Reporter

CNM offers plenty of clubs for students to join and participate in. Clubs are a way for students to learn a new skill, be a part of a group of people with similar interests, or to simply relax and have a good time. Listed below are five clubs that are accepting new members for the summer term.

  1. Club: Montoya Writing Group

When and Where: Starting June 7th, the group will meet every Wednesday through the end of July in H 129 at Montoya campus from 3:30-5:00pm.

Club activities: This group invites writers of all genres to develop their voice, cultivate a supportive creative writing community, and learn more about their craft. This summer, the creative writing group has invited local writers to share their work and lead the group through activities and exercises that will help us develop our craft, all of whom are also CNM Faculty. See below for list of scheduled presenters.

Wednesday June 7th 3:30-5:00pm  Brian K Hudson

Wednesday June 14th 3:30-5:00pm  Jennifer Krohn-Bourgeois

Wednesday June 21st 3:30-5:00pm  Erin Hodges 

Wednesday June 28th 3:30-5:00pm  Jennifer Schaller

Wednesday July 5th   3:30-5:00pm  Jenn Givhan

Wednesday July 12th   3:30-5:00pm  Rebecca Aronson

Wednesday July 19th   3:30-5:00pm  Adam Crittenden

Wednesday July 26th   3:30-5:00pm  Katherine Page

Why students should join: This group is open to students, faculty, staff, and the greater community.  Our club is for anyone who has always wanted to finish that novel, play with poetry, or simply cultivate a creative outlet.  No writing experience necessary! Newcomers welcome.

Contact: Maria DeBlassie, Lead Faculty of the Montoya Campus Writing Group at


2. Club: Improv Club

When and Where: Coal Avenue Theatre at 4:30pm on Fridays

Club activities: The club practices different types of comedic Improv (improvisational acting). On occasion, they will also perform.

Why students should join: The students should join if they like to laugh and make people laugh.  They should join, if they plan on a profession that requires quick thinking and team work.

Contact: Leonard Madrid, faculty mentor of Improv Club, at


Community of Gamers
Community of Gamers: Community of Gamers gather to take a self timed photo. Photo courtesy of: Dominic Alarcon

3. Club: Community of Gamers

When and Where: Currently waiting for permanent room assignment. Contact club president for details.

Club activities: We meet up as a group in our club room and we play games, have tournaments, have group meet ups outside of school, discuss all things gaming.

Why students should join: Students should join because it’s a fun place to hang during the stressful semester to relax have fun and meet new people.

Contact: Dominic Alarcon, President, at


4. Club: American Sign Language Practice Group

When and Where: Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30pm in MS 313 at Main campus and Fridays from 1:00pm-2:00pm in the H building commons at Montoya campus.  Meetings will occur every week until the end of the summer term.

Club activities: That will depend on the level of the students who show up. We may start with the alphabet and simple conversation. If the students are more advanced, they may want to review more advanced vocabulary. Basically, we will be practicing American Sign Language.

Why students should join: It is really fun and it’s a great way to practice ASL and meet interesting people. The club may even get some deaf people to come and sign with them.

Contact: Robin Ramsey at

Montoya Campus Flyer                   Main Campus Flyer

5.Club: Entrepreneurial Club

When and Where: E-Club does not do a lot during the summer but they could use help planning for next term.

Club activities: Planning for next academic year; also setting up a pop-up showcase for entrepreneurs

Why students should join: Students should join if they are interested in learning how to start a business

Contact: Linda Shul, Faculty Advisor, at


For a list of clubs at CNM click here.


Students who are interested in creating a new club click here.