President's Report - May 2008

May 01, 2008

CNM Hires New VP for Academic Affairs

Dr. Beth J. Pitonzo will join CNM as Vice President for Academic Affairs on August 1. Dr. Pitonzo will come to CNM from Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon, where she has been serving as Associate Chief Academic Officer and Dean of Science. Her high-level administrative experience began with the position of Associate Dean of Health Sciences at the Community College of Southern Nevada. Since 2001, she’s been at Mt. Hood, serving in the roles of Associate Vice President of Instruction, Dean of Science, Interim Executive Dean of Instruction and Associate Chief Academic Officer. Prior to becoming an administrator, Dr. Pitonzo was an instructor for a decade in the health and science fields at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Community College of Southern Nevada. She earned her doctorate of philosophy in biological sciences with an emphasis in microbiology from UNLV and she earned her bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory sciences from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Summer Term Begins Soon

CNM’s summer-term classes will begin on May 19. The last day to register for full-term classes is May 27. There are also a wide variety of condensed sessions – including night and weekend classes – that begin throughout the summer term. The schedule of classes is available online at and copies are free at all campuses. For more information, call 224-3000.

CNM Chef Honored

CNM chef and culinary arts instructor Carmine Russo was named Chef of the Year by the New Mexico Restaurant Association. Russo won the award in part for his contributions to the advancement and prestige of the state’s foodservice industry. He was selected for the award over chefs from restaurants such as The Bullring, Inn of the Anasazi, Pranzo Italian Grill, La Casa Sena, Hyatt Tamaya Resort, Chamisa Hills Country Club and The Range Café. Russo, who comes from a family of chefs, began teaching culinary arts courses at CNM in 1991. Last year, two of his culinary students earned national prestige by winning gold medals at the national SkillsUSA competition.

CNM Students Complete Construction of Habitat for Humanity House

Students and heir instructors from the carpentry, electrical, plumbing, truck driving and heating, ventilation and air conditioning programs combined to construct a home from the ground up in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. The completion of the home that’s located in the South Valley was celebrated with community partners in April, concluding a project that began in the fall. A low-income family is in the process of moving into the home. “Everyone involved with this project performed professionally and represented the (CNM) School of Applied Technologies beyond anyone’s expectations,” said Paul Pascarella, CNM director of construction technologies. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Habitat for Humanity.”

Students Shine at State Contest, Prepare for Nationals

CNM students made 35 trips to the medal stand during the recent New Mexico SkillsUSA competition, which was held at CNM in April. The CNM team won 15 gold medals, 12 silver medals and eight bronze medals in categories ranging from commercial baking to firefighting to welding. CNM’s gold medalists qualified for the national SkillsUSA Championships that will be held in Kansas City, Mo., June 23-27. The philosophy of the SkillsUSA Championships is to reward students for excellence and to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance while keeping educators apprised of employers’ needs. Nearly 5,000 students are expected to compete at this year’s national event. They’ll be evaluated by more than 1,500 judges, many of whom will be industry representatives.

CNM Poetry Slam Team Rhymes Way to Nationals

CNM’s poetry slam team has been in existence less than a year, but the team of poets made its first year a memorable one. The team earned enough points to compete in the national collegiate championship that was held in Albuquerque in April. CNM’s team competed against schools such as Stanford University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of New Mexico. Poetry slams require poets to perform their original works while being judged on a 10-point scale. The CNM team is part of the CNM Poetry Slam Team and Write Club, which is open to all students who are interested in all types of original works.

Cisco Networking Academy Celebrates at CNM

The Cisco Networking Academy, which operates at CNM and worldwide, will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a celebration at CNM on May 12 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in Smith Brasher Hall. Governor Bill Richardson, CNM President Katharine Winograd, Cisco Systems Regional Manager Dan Goodman, state cabinet secretaries and honor students and instructors from academies around the state will attend. The Cisco Networking Academy aims to address the growing global shortage for computer networking professionals while providing educational and career opportunities.

CNM Dean Completes Tenure as President of National Organization

Gerry McBroom, dean of the School of Adult & General Education, recently completed her one-year tenure as president of the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE). The organization focuses on helping learners at all levels of preparedness realize their full academic potential. During her presidency, McBroom worked to enhance the association’s communications functions and increase partnerships while increasing membership of the 3,000-member organization that has 28 state and regional chapters.

Donations Continue

CNM is grateful for the following donations to the Foundation:

  • $60,000 from the Daniels Fund for the Daniels Fund Opportunity Award
  • $1,000 from Dale Dekker for the Rust Opportunity Assistance Fund
  • $2,500 from Lovelace Sandia Health System for the American Indian Challenge Grant
  • $5,000 from Don Chalmers for


Thanks for Your Support of CNM!
Kathie W. Winograd