About Theatre and Stuff: Beyond the Classroom

Story by Layli Brown, Staff Reporter.

CNM Instructor Jason Witter, Artist/Director/Writer/Actor/

Jason Witter teaches Theatre appreciation and Acting 1, “I love the academic part of art, and I also love to feel that I’m participating in what I’m teaching outside the classroom” said Witter, CNM instructor since 2008.

What CNM has to offer, is arguably just as strong as a four-year university, in the sense that the college might not have as many classes but, the classes that CNM does offer are taught by top notch instructors who encompass many aspects of theatre with very strong acting and performance backgrounds; and strong movement and voice backgrounds, as well, Witter added.


The Coal Avenue Theatre, (CAT), gives students the possibility of creating shows in an on campus theatre that is open to the public. Witter says, it is a fantastic opportunity for students to have a theatre that produces shows.


“Theatre becomes a real sense of community and family; I fell in love with it from the beginning, due to that sense of belonging”, said Witter.


After receiving his master’s in theatre in dramatic writing, Witter started a sketch comedy troop called Eat Drink and be Larry with some people from UNM.  He says, we’d do parodies; horror classical comedies of the plays theatres were putting on in town. All the acting, directing, writing and producing shows in the community was a great learning experience that started at the Reptilian Lounge, part of Tricklock Theatre Company. 


Witter’s got into theatre after going to Wales for an exchange program, upon his return to New Mexico he found auditions going on at the Vortex and got a small part, then another small part, then got cast in Hamlet at UNM, “that was super exciting, I really fell in love with theatre, the people, the atmosphere the comradery of it, everything about it was so vibrant and exciting”, said Witter.


Witter did a lot with children’s theatre in grad school. He found a lot of freedom writing for a younger audience. He said, you can create worlds and characters because expectations and barriers don’t exist in kids, you can express anything that comes to mind.


A couple years ago Jason Witter started writing silly little poems and doing drawings for them, he said, they’re geared towards kids with a lot of stuff that adults understand and kids still dig it. I always loved Shel Silverstein, he added.


Witter loves monsters, he’s a horror movie fan and his take on it is to create silly poems about monsters and making them silly because it takes the fear out of them. “I love being scared but I also love being able to laugh at it, so that’s what I try to do with the poems”, Said Witter.


He gave himself a challenge a couple years ago, to do a poem and a drawing every day and post them on Facebook starting sept 1st until October 31st; Witter added that although he doesn’t really like social media, it worked for this. He did 60 poems and got through it.


By Halloween he had a rough draft for his book, friends suggested that he do a Kickstarter for it as a way to get it out to people and it blew up. The Tiniest Vampire and Other Silly Things ended up being supported and shipped out to people in Ireland, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Australia, “it was super cool!”, said Witter.


The following year he did the same thing and put out the Monsters Eating Ice Cream and Other Silly Things. As part of the “Silly Things” series of books, Witter plans to do one more this fall for the trilogy and then focus on something else, he said. The seed from it was loving children’s theatre.


Witter drew comic books growing up, his father and brothers were artists; his mother was a writer, and this is something that he wanted to revisit. He said, he feels fortunate to have been supported with that.


He added, “I love the arts in general and I love dabbling, they’re all an important part of our existence. I’m fascinated by every aspect of it and all the arts go hand in hand. They work together to create the humanities”.


Witter is working on a series of short books called Classics Kind of, where it retells the story taking the classics and putting them in very simple terms, “Kind of” geared for kids. He said, his goal with these little books is that they be fun for everybody, that’s the way he learned Shakespeare, by understanding the basic story and going from there.


He is doing Hamlet, The Raven, The Odyssey, Dracula, and Moby Dick in a series of 5 books he called tiny versions of the classics with silly illustrations. Witter’s undergraduate degree was in literature and naturally he’s a huge literature fan. His love for the classics and putting them in simple terms has led him to basically doing hamlet in 16 pages with drawings to go along, he said.


Some people might disagree with this, but according to Witter, most of Shakespeare can be summarized in a few pages. They’re fairly simple stories brilliantly written, “there’s so much meat to them” he said. It’s the language that is so broad and immense that it can be intimidating.  But when you understand the basic story you start to understand the text, he added.


In his off time Witter is reading and researching plays that have been around for 500 years, yet people keep doing them because they’re great stories that we like as human beings, he said he loves seeing what people do with it, Theatre being an ephemeral thing, you do it and its gone.


Witter added a classical quote by William Shakespeare,

 “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players: they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.” – As you like it, Act II Scene VII


Witter’s is also directing a parody of Macbeth that he wrote for his Theatre Appreciation class to perform at the Reptilian Lounge Saturday June 24th

Jason Witter will be on stage at the South Broadway Cultural Center in Peter and The Star Catcher. “there are no small parts only small actors”


Next week About Theatre and Stuff interviews Heather Ashley CNM graduate, Actor & Stage Manager of this summer’s play Tragedy Plus Time at the Coal Avenue Theatre (CAT) 


CNM’s Theatre Program

Between plays he’s producing or directing, classes he’s teaching, and books he’s writing and illustrating, CNM instructor Jason Witten sits down with The Chronicle. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)


Albuquerque Celebrates LGBTIQ+ Pride

By Hilary Broman

Staff Reporter

Photos By Hilary Broman and Wade Faast

Thousands of people gathered along the sides of Lomas Boulevard on Saturday morning to celebrate the 41st annual Pride Parade.

The parade was a celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer community.

Many local businesses participated in the parade such as; Sandia National Laboratories and Albuquerque Public Schools.

Nationally recognized businesses such as; Planned Parenthood and T-Mobile also participated.

The Grand Marshal of the parade was Axel Andrews, an entertainer from Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Florida.

Pulse Nightclub was the location of a deadly mass shooting that took place in June 2016, in which the shooter specifically targeted members of the LGBTIQ community.

Pride Parades around the world are meant to build unity and strength in the LGBTIQ+ community as well as send a message to others that they will not tolerate hate.

This was the first year the Albuquerque Pride Parade took place on Lomas Boulevard.

Due to ART construction on central the parade did not take place on its normal route.

A group affiliated with TheRedNation.org brings awareness to Native and Indigenous pride. (Hilary Broman/ CNM Chronicle)
Albuquerque Public Schools demand safe schools for LGBTIQ youth with support from Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs from around the city. (Hilary Broman/ CNM Chronicle)
Parade participant shows her support for John Abrams, Edgewood town Councilor and current Congressional Seat candidate, with a positive message. (Hilary Broman/ CNM Chronicle)
Parade participant promotes the practice of consensual sex. “Consent is Sexy” is a campaign targeted toward ending date rape and sexual assault, specifically on college campuses. (Hilary Broman/CNM Chronicle)
Pride Parade participant shows her support for Maggie Hart Stebbins, Bernalillo County Commissioner, while blowing bubbles at the crowd. (Hilary Broman/CNM Chronicle)
This year’s Pride Parade Grand Marshal Axel Andrews waves to the spectators and supporters that lines Lomas Ave for the 2017 Albuquerque Pride Parade. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
More than 20 volunteers with Planned Parenthood and Teen ‘Mpower carry the largest pride flag of the day down Lomas Ave. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
Olivia Gallegos watches and cheers the parade participants with her daughter Lucy. While not a member of the LGBT community herself, Olivia said it’s important to show support as the struggle is still on going. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
Several Christian churches brought floats and organized marchers for this years pride parade. Episcopal Reverend Sylvia Miller-Mutia (center) said it’s important to have a Christian presence at LGBT events as a public display of love to drown out the hate. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
Aaron Edwards turns his back to a jet of cold water but doesn’t try to escape the stream. With temperatures in the 90’s, water cannons and water guns were popular with many of the floats, and not shortage of spectators asking to be sprayed. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

CNM Student and Artist Weaves Wire Jewelry Into Fine Art

By Wade Faast, CNM Chronicle

Local jewelry designer and CNM student Jack Boglioli is working to take the craft of metal wire weave jewelry into the realm of fine art.

Wire weave jewelry has gotten a bad reputation for being sloppy or lacking in skill, Boglioli said.

Boglioli aims to change that by bringing an attention to detail and refined skill that hasn’t been seen in the creation of wire weave, he said.

All Boglioli’s pieces are hand crafted from precious metals and stones, small pieces taking as little as an hour and a half, to more complex designs taking upwards of 200 hours after the initial sketches and designs.

“Images get stuck in my head and I need to get them out” Boglioli said.

Each piece of jewelry starts as a concept in his own mind, he then sketches out the design on paper and uses that to keep his focus on maintaining the high level of detail his is known for.

Boglioli says his biggest inspiration comes from European Gothic architecture.

Boglioli’s pieces start out as a image in his head, followed by a detailed sketch which he uses as a blueprint and after hours of work the result is a unique piece of hand crafted art. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

The design and crafting of his jewelry is an ever evolving art that he feels keeps challenging him and encouraging him to grow, he said.

“Growth comes from pushing against resistance” he said.

According to Boglioli some of his best works and advances in skill have after challenging himself to try something harder or do something that hasn’t been done before in the art of wire weave jewelry.

Nine years ago Boglioli stumbled onto the wire weave jewelry at an art show and he was hooked on the idea that he could do it, he said.

When he first started out his jewelry was closer to traditional wire weave jewelry and it didn’t suit his needs or artistic style, Boglioli said.

His early works were organic and free flowing with little planning and no sketches or designs thought out ahead of time, he said.

Soon he found himself frustrated and not satisfied with his own work, so he started to incorporate elements of classic art and design into his jewelry and began planning each piece out.

Now each of his pieces starts out as an idea in his head, is sketched out in detail at 1:1 size then he follows that sketch like a blue print, he said.

These extra steps allowed him to take his work to the level of art he appreciates, the meticulous attention to detail that has set his work above others, he said.

Boglioli credits classes at CNM for helping him refine his art.

Specifically math 1340 geometry for design, the class taught him how to better use geometric elements in his craft, he said.

“Understanding how to run a business, and how not to go broke doing so is just as important as the jewelry” Boglioli said.
After finishing up the classes for his associates of fine arts at CNM Boglioli is now taking classes to grow the business side of his work.

Currently Boglioli’s work can be found in several galleries in Old Town Albuquerque and on his website at www.jackboglioli.com.

Wire wrap jewelry takes patience and a steady hand. Not including design time, complex pieces can require upwards of 200 hours of labor. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

CNM Finds Winners At This Year’s Cinco De Mayo Chili Cook Off.

May 9, 2017 by Wade Faast.

CNM Hosted a chili and salsa cook off for students, staff and faculty for Cince De Mayo. Prizes included wooden plaques made in the Maker Space on CNM main campus. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
Sol the Suncat joins (left to right) Lupe Fuentes, Magda Martinez, Lon tran, and Adrian Toledo for photos at the 6th annual Cinco De Mayo chili cook off. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
This year the salsa category included a ceviche with shrimp, the other two catagories were green chili and red chili. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
Chris Guillen votes for his favorite salsa, saying the lime and cilantro was in perfect balance. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
Lorena Gonzales shows off her salsa that won first place in the salsa category. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
Michelle Gutierrez celebrates her second year in a row winning first place in the green chili category. Gutierrez’ chili features pork cubed and fried with onions.


Springtime at Main Campus

CNM staff photographer Wade Faast spent the week working with a camera that has been around longer than CNM. Instead of the modern digital camera, Wade took all the pictures seen here with a camera made in 1939 using film that expired in 1956.

Camera: Graflex Speed Graphic 2×3 Press Camera

Lens: Graflex Optar 101mm F4.5

Film: Kodak Pancrhomatic Super-XX


With the sun reappearing after two days of rain on campus, CNM student Shady Whitaker takes time between classes to enjoy the warm weather. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)




New sprinkler systems proving water to several flower beds on the west side of JS building are being installed and have several stairways closed. Peter Day (right) with Sun State Mechanical says they expect to be finished by Monday April 3 and all stairs reopened. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)




The mobile buildings located next to the KS building parking lot have been sold and are in the process of being removed. Selling for as much as $8,000.00 a piece, Bentley & Associates LLC auctioned off the buildings on February 9, and their website states the portables must be removed by April 15th. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)




With warmer weather and the arrival of spring, CNM campus are abloom. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

Erin Adair-Hodges to Publish Her Debut Book, “Let’s All Die Happy”

February 20, 2017.  By Hilary Broman

Senior Staff Reporter

Erin Adair-Hodges, CNM English instructor, is scheduled to release her first book of poems titled, “Let’s All Die Happy,” this fall, she said.

She was the winner of the Pitt Poetry first book prize at the University of Pittsburgh Press, Hodges said.

The book is told through a woman’s lens and is very much about the world as experienced as a woman in this culture, she said.

“It investigates lots of different ways in which the world can wear on girls and women,” she said, “as young girls, as daughters, for some of us, as mothers, and as lovers.”

It is also an investigation of apostasy and a loss of faith in religious and cultural institutions, she said.

“What happens when you no longer find meaning in those, where do you find meaning?” Hodges said.

There is also a real dark humor throughout the book, she said.

Hodges has always been interested in Creative writing and she received a Masters degree in poetry, she said.

She stopped writing after she received her degree because she had to work many jobs to make ends meet and she felt, in many ways, that her voice didn’t matter, she said.

Erin Adair-Hodges, full time instructor at CNM in the English department has her first book of poetry being published this fall.  (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

“I had been led to feel as if my voice and my perspectives weren’t valuable,” Hodges said.

About three years ago, after the birth of her son, Hodges began to think about bringing poetry back into her life, she said.

“I started thinking about who I am outside of my obligations, which is something I think that’s especially important for women to do because too often we get defined by our relationships and obligations to others,” she said.

Hodges decided to commit to making poetry a priority, she said.

“I only started getting published in journals and then getting my book taken when I treated poetry like a job and not just a fun hobby,” Hodges said.

Hodges ended up creating an early draft of her manuscript at the end of 2014 and the version that won the Pitt Poetry Prize was complete in early 2016, she said.

“It was pretty fast”, she said, “but I think it happened so quickly because it had been years of me storing up all of that energy and focus and because I felt like since I was getting a late start, I had no time to lose.”

Hodges worked closely with Rebecca Aronson, another CNM instructor who also published a book this year, to provide each other feedback, she said.

“Although we write very differently, we’ve become really good critics of each other’s work,” she said.

Hodges and Aronson both won contests within six months of each other and Hodges is genuinely happy for Aronson’s success, she said.

“There is plenty of space for lots of great work to be out there. I like to celebrate my friends who get their work recognized,” she said.

Hodges’ poetry was recently featured on PBS NewsHour, she said.

She was asked to submit a poem that spoke to the current climate in this country, she said.

She submitted a poem called, “The Jennifer Century.” Click here to read.

Hodges attributes a lot of her success to being able to rediscover her own weirdness, she said.

“I was a deeply creative, weird thinker and then I lost it for a long time,” Hodges said, “I think becoming a more successful writer was a process of getting back to that original, almost childlike way of processing the world.”

Hodges said that she sees this in students all the time. They give her answers that they think she wants to hear and that’s not the case.

“What I want is their unique, fresh take, formed by their experiences,” she said, “What can you, as an entirely unique person, with entirely unique perspectives bring to this that we’ve never heard before?”

With that, Hodges encourages students to explore classes that are not just a part of their degree program but classes that will help them see their lives differently, she said.

“Poetry has absolutely been that in my own life,” Hodges said.

Hodges’ book is scheduled to be released in the fall, she said.

Her book will be able to be purchased through her website and the University of Pittsburgh Press website.

MaxS Building To Be Remodeled, And Your Input Is Needed.

Featured Photo:  Seeking input from CNM students and staff, Emily Brudenell project manager with The Hartman + Majewski Design Group hands out, collects and explains surveys in the MS building third floor lobby. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

February 16, 2017. By Wade Faast

The Hartman + Majewski Design Group is designing the large renovation and remodel of the MS building on main campus and is looking for input from students and staff.

CNM and the architects in charge of the program want to know what students and staff want in the refreshed building, and what isn’t working now, Jorge Gonzales an architect with The Hartman + Majewski Design Group said.

“We aren’t telling you what environment you need to learn in, but rather asking what environment you want to learn in” he said.

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Christin Hoschain sits down to fill out a paper survey regarding the remodel of the MS building on main campus.

The response was more than they expected, he said.

They started handing out surveys and collecting information at 9 am, by 10:30 am they had over 100 surveys completed and handed out countless paper slips with a link to an online version of the survey, Gonzales said.

CNM GED student Steven Rios said the elevators are his biggest concern about the MS building.

“They are super slow and kinda creepy, not to mention always worrying that they might get stuck” he said.

Bathrooms are another concern, CNM nursing student Christin Hoschain said she gets frustrated by the lack of adequate facilities in the MS building.

With the current construction going on she regularly has to go hunt down a bathroom, she said.

Some of the new ideas that may be in the remodel design include agility and focus spaces, Jorge Gonzales said.

The agility spaces are multifunctional open air seating areas, similar to the large chairs with swiveling tables already found in the halls of the MS building.

New agility spaces may include diverse work options including comfortable chairs or bars to work at, he said.

Gonzales pointed out that while some people prefer to work with their laptop in their lap, many prefer to have table or bar available to keep that hot computer out of their lap.

The focus spaces are designed for the closed session study times when a student wants to close a door and isolate themselves, he said.

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Stacy Warden explains to Jorge Gonzales that she finds the MS building confusing and poorly laid out, saying she regularly has to go to several floors before finding the correct class room.  This is her first semester at main campus and even though it is the fourth week of classes she got lost inside the MS building on her way to her next class across campus, she said.  (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

Students will be able to look into and see out of the focus spaces, but they will offer additional levels of isolating those inside from the noise and activity outside, he said.

Students are not the only focal point in their new plans, he said.

The instructors at CNM are also being asked for their input, Gonzales said.

There are a lot of things to consider, currently the fifth floor of the MS building is all staff offices, and the architects and designers want to know if that is the best option, he said.

“Shouldn’t the instructor’s offices be spread throughout all five floors, allowing for cross pollination of ideas and easier access for the students,” he asked.

Something that is in every class room, the chalkboard is up for discussion as well, do students and staff prefer the classic chalk board or dry erase white boards, he said.

The heating and cooling problems in MS are a huge distraction to Alicia Smith, some classes are way too hot and some feel freezing cold she said.
“It’s not working, and I wish they would finally fix it” Smith said.

In an email to the CNM Chronicle Brad Moore, director of communications and media relations for CNM said the HVAC system in MS is not malfunctioning and is operating, just not as effective as a newer system.

The current HVAC system is nearing the end of its life cycle and construction is currently underway to replace the aged system, he said.

CNM has been planning on replacing the older system for several years now, he said.

Work to replace the system started in July of 2016 and should be completed by late March of 2017 at an expense of $4,543,500 Moore said.

The HVAC replacement is top priority and will be finished before the remodel begins on the MS building he said.

The extensive remodel of the MS building is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2018.

A New Cup Of Coffee On Campus

February 16, 2017.  Photos and Story by Wade Faast

The beginning of spring term 2017 brought with it a new coffee truck, Loretta’s Lattes.

Loretta’s Lattes serves specialty coffee drinks and hot waffles from a pink food cart at CNM main campus, owner Tanya Herrera said.

When the weather gets warmer they serve homemade ice cream and snow cones, she said.

Herrera and her partner Bernadette Chavarria opened their mobile espresso shop in October 2015 she said.

Their first day out was discouraging; they started at the Coronado Mall Park and Ride for Balloon Fiesta and didn’t sell a single drink she said.

The heart of a good coffee drink is the espresso shots.  Loretta’s Lattes offers two types of beans, a fresh home roasted bean from Smokin’ Beans or an extreme kick from Death Wish beans that have as much as three times the caffeine of regular coffee.

“It’s a lot of very hard work, heart break and putting yourself out there” Herrera said.

Operating on Wednesdays and Fridays and arriving at 6:30am she is staying busy going through as much as four pound of coffee a day at CNM she said.

The most popular drinks for CNM students have caramel, caramel lattes or caramel frappes, she said.

“People here are obsessed with their caramel” she said.

Gaining popularity are the drinks she makes with Death Wish beans, a coffee bean that offers as much as three times the caffeine of regular coffee, Herrera said.

Loretta’s Lattes offers a wide variety of flavors and drinks, if it’s not on the menu just ask, and if they don’t have everything to make it, Herrera will get whatever is required, she said.

The “Marie” is a blueberry white chocolate mocha that Herrera whipped up when a customer asked if she had blueberry drinks, she said.

CNM student Marie Robinson makes sure to leave home with enough time to stop and grab a coffee from Loretta’s Lattes, Robinson said.
The coffee beans are sourced from Smokin’ Beans unroasted and she roasts them herself so they are fresh and full of flavor, Herrera said.

The cost for having a food truck at CNM is very affordable at only $35 a semester, compared to some places that charge upwards of $100 a day, she said.

You can find Loretta’s Lattes around town at events and static locations including high schools and the upcoming Food Truck Festival of America, she said.

Marie Robinson (right), a regular customer of Loretta’s has a drink named after her, the “Marie.”  Robinson stopped by one day and asked if Herrera (left) could make her a drink with blueberry in it, Robinson said.  Herrera didn’t have all the ingredients on hand that day, so she went out and bought them and now anyone can order the “Marie” a blueberry white chocolate Mocha.

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Feeding CNM Students Appetite For Fresh Food.

In the featured photo above:  Alison Samario (center) takes an order from CNM students David Thomas (left) and Trent James (right) (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

Story and Photographs by Wade Faast

Husband and wife team, Alison and Saul Samario serve fresh burgers and home style food to CNM students from their food truck Alison’s Homestyle Cooking.

Their most popular item with students is the double green chili bacon cheese burger, Saul said.

A bacon cheese burger is finished off with a side of chips and pickle slice before being served to a CNM student. (Wade Faast/ CNM Chronicle)

Saul works the grill while Alison takes orders, he said.

“The students are starving for an education, CNM feeds their mind, we feed their stomachs” Alison said.

24 years ago Alison started with a hotdog cart intending to earn an extra income, within 2 years she bought the food truck, the business went so well her husband Saul quit his job in computer programming and joined her as the cook, Alison said.

Husband Saul Samario (left) works the grill, preparing each order fresh and in under five minutes, while wife Alison takes orders and runs the window service of their food truck Alison’s Homestyle Cooking.  (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

Alison started out at the community center in Albuquerque, and regularly serves food to the children of those she served at the community center.

They began offering their food at main campus 3 years ago when CNM closed the cafeteria, she said.

The food truck that houses Alison’s Homestyle Cooking is the same one they bought 22 years ago, they are currently on the third engine though, she said.

“The secret ingredient is the grill” Saul said.

Like your grandmas cast iron skillet, the grill they use in the food truck is over 50 years old and well seasoned lending its own unique flavor to everything they cook on it, Saul said.

Most orders are ready in less than five minutes because the ingredients they use are fresh, he said.

All their ground beef is raw hand formed, and they never use frozen patties, Saul said.

Along with their burgers they offer burritos and many other foods, including a tortilla burger burrito that may not always be displayed on the menu, but those in the know can order them anytime, he said.

Alison’s Homestyle Cooking can be found at CNM main campus in the food truck area Wednesday through Friday, Alison said.

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First Day of Class Spring Semester

January 17, 2017

Warm weather greeted CNM students at the beginning of Spring semester. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
With the start of every semester comes crowded parking lots and a reminder to plan enough time to find parking before classes. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
(Far left bottom) Jessica Brown an Integrated Studies student and (far left upper) Janina Valdenar a Nursing student, enjoy the warm weather as fellow students pass below. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)