President's Report - March 2016

Mar 01, 2016

CNM Makes First Cut for Esteemed Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence

CNM has been named as one of 150 community colleges that has made the first cut for the Aspen Institute’s esteemed Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. CNM is the only community college in New Mexico named to the list. There are more than 1,100 community colleges nationwide. The Aspen Institute reviewed public data to identify community colleges that have demonstrated strong outcomes in three areas of student success:

  • Student success in persistence, completion and transfer;
  • Consistent improvement in outcomes over time;
  • And equity in outcomes for students of all racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Ten finalists will be named in fall of this year, and the Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits and collect more data. A jury will select a grand prize winner, as well as a handful of finalists with distinction, in early 2017. In 2013, CNM won the national Student Success Award from the American Association of Community Colleges.

CNM’s College & Career High School Accepting Applications for 2016-17

The College & Career High School on CNM’s Main Campus is accepting applications for the 2016-17 school year. CCHS, a partnership between Albuquerque Public Schools and CNM, allows high school students to take CNM dual credit classes for half of their day and APS classes the other half. CNM tuition and textbooks are free to the students and their families, allowing them to save significant time and money on a college education. Students who begin as sophomores can earn a CNM certificate or associate degree by the time they complete high school. The college credits also transfer to universities in New Mexico. If you or somebody you know has high school kids who might be interested in CCHS, go to and search “College & Career High School.”

Tax Help New Mexico at Your Service

Tax Help New Mexico provides free tax preparation service for people whose household income was $54,000 or less in 2015 or those who are age 65 or older. Sites are open through the tax filing deadline. Tax Help volunteers are certified by the IRS and are trained to help taxpayers identify tax credits they're entitled to. Visit for locations and hours, and documents to bring.

Theatre Department’s Spring Production Debuts March 11

The CNM Theatre Department will present "Paperback Rhino: An Evening of Original Sketches" on Friday, March 11, through Sunday, March 20. The play, directed by E. Dani Belvin, will be performed at the college’s Coal Avenue Theatre (CAT), located on Coal Ave. between University Blvd. and Buena Vista Dr. "Paperback Rhino" runs Friday and Saturday nights March 11, 12, 18, and 19 at 7:30 p.m., with two Sunday matinees on March 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for everyone, general admission.

CNM students served as the playwrights, actors and composers of the show, which features original sketches, songs and videos. “I've been thrilled with the energy and creativity of the students,” said Belvin, play director and CNM Theatre department instructor. For more information and reservations, call (505) 224-3593 or email

New Bench Jewelry Program Adds Style to Arts Offerings

CNM recently unveiled its new Bench Jewelry certificate program for people who like to create jewelry from high-end materials like gold and silver. In four terms, students will learn how to do jewelry repairs, work with precious metals, solder, set stones and polish. When they complete the program, they will be ready to take on a professional jewelry making job or go into business for themselves. The program is designed for students to obtain a Bench Jewelry Certificate of Completion. They can also embed the courses into a two-year Associate Degree of Fine Arts, which can be transferred to a four-year university.

Of the 12 slots open, six are filled with jewelry makers from Relios, an Albuquerque jewelry manufacturing company known for its sterling silver Carolyn Polleck designs. Each person in the program will have a bench to use as they learn how to create the jewelry, starting with metals like copper and brass, eventually moving on to precious metals. Benches are set up with tools for soldering, engraving, polishing and casting. “Right now is a good time to become a bench jeweler,” said faculty member Harley McDaniel, who designed the program. “A lot of people are retiring after 30 to 35 years of doing it, and there are jobs available.”

Students Create Anti-DWI Public Service Messages

Six CNM Computer Information Systems (CIS) digital media students, along with their instructor Marla Peters, have helped bring the state's anti-drinking and driving message to the streets and the public airwaves. The students are working with the New Mexico DWI Coordinators Affiliate for "Breaking the Cycle," a public awareness campaign that strives to reduce the scourge of drinking and driving in New Mexico.

They have worked together to unveil a media campaign that involves a new logo design, a billboard and public service announcement that will soon air on Channels 19, 50 and 2. The students contributed their original work to the effort. The students are Amber Sedillo, Gabe Montoya, Tyler Bryant, Maria Berezovsky, Chelsi Brown and Lauren Heston. They all worked on the video, and students in Peters’ after-effects class, CIS 2336, acted in the commercial. Heston created the logo and Berezovsky created the billboard.


CNM’s grateful for donations to the CNM Foundation from these donors:

  • Bank of Albuquerque
  • Enterprise Builders Corporation
  • General Mills, ABQ Plant
  • Jaynes Corporation
  • New Mexico Professional Surveyors Southern Rio Grande Chapter
  • Herbert and Rita Pitts
  • Presbyterian Health Plan
  • Presbyterian Healthcare Services
  • Peter and Claudia Sanchez
  • Sandia Science and Technology Park Development Corporation
  • The John and Sophie Ottens Foundation


Thanks for Your Support of CNM!
Kathie W. Winograd
CNM President