President's Report - April 2011

Apr 01, 2011

Spring Graduation Ceremony Features Speaker from Emmy Winning TV Series

The diplomas are being printed, the caps and gowns are being ordered, and a new class of CNM students is preparing to become college graduates. The Spring 2011 CNM Graduation Ceremony is set for April 29 at 6 p.m. at Tingley Coliseum, where the thrill of student success reaches its springtime peak. The keynote speaker for the graduation ceremony will be Steven Michael Quezada, one of the stars of the Emmy Award-winning television series “Breaking Bad,” which is filmed in Albuquerque. Quezada, who plays “Steven Gomez” on the hit series, has also had a long and successful career as a stand-up comedian. He has won the New Mexico Hispano Entertainers Association Comedian of the Year award five times. The New Mexico native studied theater at Eastern New Mexico University and he now lives in Albuquerque. He also regularly volunteers for charitable events in the community. “I’ll talk to the graduates about my journey,” Quezada said. “And I’ll encourage them to enjoy the fact that they get to go on their journey now. I’ll encourage them to achieve their goals in life and do it in a positive way.” More than 400 CNM graduates will walk in the ceremony. The event is free and open to family, friends and supporters of the graduates.

CNM Foundation Receives Record $1.28 Million Donation for CNM Connect

Another national foundation sees great promise in CNM’s innovative new student service, CNM Connect. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has pledged $1,282,722 in grant money to the CNM Foundation in support of further developing the CNM Connect service, which debuted at CNM on Feb. 14. It’s the largest gift commitment in the history of the CNM Foundation. The Kellogg Foundation says the purpose of the grant is “to increase graduation rates and career ladder opportunities for low-income students and to help them move toward financial security by aiding in the expansion of bundled student-support services.” The record grant will go a long way in establishing CNM Connect as a key element in the college’s efforts to help more students get the support they need and stay on track to succeed. The record grant from Kellogg comes on the heels of a $900,000 grant for CNM Connect from the Kresge Foundation in January, which at the time was the largest single gift commitment to the CNM Foundation. The goal of the service is to be an easily identifiable entry point for students to access the wide array of services and resources that can help them overcome challenges, maximize their potential and succeed as a student. It serves as an informational hub for students, providing access to both internal and external resources, and each location offers access to CNM achievement coaches who provide their own impressive range of support services. “When a student walks in the door of CNM Connect, we’ll not only help them with the issue that is most pressing in their mind, but we will talk to them and let them know about other services that might be able to help them reach their goals,” said Ann Lyn Hall, CNM Connect co-team leader. CNM Connect staff members not only help students access resources at CNM, like scholarships, tutoring, internship opportunities, achievement coach services, etc., but they can also administer screenings for 16 public benefits programs. Through a partnership with a local law firm, legal services can be provided to students struggling with issues that require legal advice.

CNM Culinary Students Create Sweet Sculptures and Sweep Competition

Students from the CNM Culinary Arts program showed their passion for confections when they took the top three awards in the student category at the 19th annual Chocolate Fantasy Competition in March. The theme of this year’s competition was “Pride of the Serengeti” and was presented by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation. Nakhestcia “Chess” Franklin took first place in the student competition with her chocolate sculpture entitled “Beauty of Life.” The piece consists of two giraffes with an elaborate handmade base. Michael Baker and Charity Teague took second place in the student category and Kendra Hein and Marissa Medina took third.

CNM, NMSU Sign Transfer Agreement for Surveying Engineering Students

On April 1, officials from CNM and NMSU signed a transfer agreement that will allow graduates from CNM’s Surveying Engineering associate’s degree program to transfer to New Mexico State University to finish the final two years of coursework for a bachelor’s degree in the same field

Faculty Senate Presents Second Annual Academic Freedom Forum

The CNM Faculty Senate is sponsoring the second annual Academic Freedom Forum on April 22 from 1-3 p.m. in the Richard Barr Board Room located in the Main Campus Student Resource Center. The presenter of the forum, titled “Academic Freedom: the Ambiguities of a Well-known Idea,” will be Garrett Epps, a Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Epps has published numerous books and articles in the field of constitutional law and civil rights. He is a former reporter for the Washington Post and a current correspondent for His presentation will include a brief history of academic freedom in higher education in the U.S. – particularly the concept of protected speech under the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Get Fit, Financially, at Women’s Financial Planning Event

Women from all walks of life can gain great insight on getting in good financial shape during the first Women's Financial Fitness Symposium at the Workforce Training Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 7. Attendees can pick from various workshops, such as Retirement, Investing, Credit Repair and Protection, College Planning, Insurance and Small Business Development. The keynote speaker for the event is Natasha Mata, President of Community Banking for Wells Fargo. For registration information, call (505) 224-5200.

Donations Continue

CNM is grateful for the following donations to the CNM Foundation:

  • $1,000 from Gerald Martin Contractors for Local Bond for Education
  • $500 from Diane Harrison Ogawa for the CNM Annual Fund
  • $1,000 from Holman’s Inc. for Local Bond for Education
  • $1,000 from Jaynes Corp. for Local Bond for Education
  • $1,500 from John Mondragon for Rust Opportunity Scholarship Fund
  • $1,000 from Robert M. Murphy for the CNM Annual Fund
  • $10,000 from New Mexico Bank and Trust for the Gorham Financial Literacy Project


Thanks for Your Support of CNM!
Kathie W. Winograd