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Faces of CNM: Matiana Baca

Single mother of two and CNM student, Matiana ‘Matty’ Baca, was recently honored with the Non-Traditional Student of the Year Award.
Faces of CNM: Matiana Baca
Matty received her associate's degree in integrated studies last fall. Soon she will receive another degree from CNM in Construction Management Technology.

Apr 17, 2019

Matiana “Matty” Baca dropped out of high school during her senior year and never planned to attend college. But after becoming a mother to her two boys, that changed. She took action and enrolled in CNM’s Construction Management Technology program.

“My boys are my motivation,” says Matty. “Without them I would have never went back to school. I knew I had to make a good life for all three of us.”

At CNM’s recent Women In Non-traditional (WIN) Careers Awards, Matty was honored with the Non-traditional Student of the Year Award for her exemplary display of technical skill in her field of study.

“I was truly honored to receive this award and to be around other strong, passionate women who just want an equal footing in their career fields,” she says. “I was a little nervous to give my speech, but ultimately I was glad to share my story.”

Matty’s passion for construction and project management has fueled her ambition to start paving a wider path for women in the industry.

“I’ve always been fascinated by seeing construction projects go from an idea to actual buildings and spaces,” she says. “In a field primarily dominated by men in numbers, I feel like it’s my responsibility to help create a more inclusive environment and show women that they can be a part of this field and succeed in it.”

As a field intern for the State of New Mexico, Matty says she has gotten to observe and help organize construction projects that have given her even more motivation to finish the Construction Management Technology program here at CNM.

“I’ve gotten a lot of insights from project managers and construction experts at the state,” she says. “I can’t wait to enter the field as a professional. It’d be great to be a project manager, or a superintendent or even start my own construction management business with my sons one day.”

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Matty leads New Student Orientation in the Smith Brasher Hall Auditorium.

In addition to her schooling, internship and being a single mother, Matty helps facilitate CNM’s New Student Orientations. She uses her experiences as a student to convey the information that new students need to get started and succeed at CNM.

“I was that new student sitting in orientation, so I understand how intimidated a new learning environment can be,” Matty says. “But I want to show them that CNM is one of the most welcoming colleges and that they can become who they’ve always wanted to be here.”

As Matty nears the end of her time at CNM, she says that the college has been instrumental in helping her get positioned to be a better mother.

“Life will always have its challenges, but I’ve honestly gained so much from coming to CNM,” she says. “Everyone here wants to succeed and achieve an end-goal and this place actually makes that happen.”