Excellence Awards Highlight Employee Bright Spots

The employee Excellence Awards recognize employees for exceptional contributions to the CNM community. The following Excellence Award winners were recently honored at a luncheon. Congratulations to all of the excellent employees!

Aug 30, 2016

July 2012
The employee Excellence Awards recognize employees for exceptional contributions to the CNM community. The following Excellence Award winners were recently honored at a luncheon. Congratulations to all of the excellent employees!

Below are nominations submitted on behalf of the award winners:

Beth Moreno-Perine
In an effort to better prepare CNM students and graduates for job interviews, Beth coordinated and conducted videotaped interviews with representatives from several local employers – Presbyterian Hospital, Stainless Motors, City of Albuquerque, and Paychex – in addition to Culinary Arts Instructor, James Lamoureux.

Beth worked relentlessly to coordinate times and schedules with the interviewees, the team from CNM's Instructional Media Resources, and her colleagues within Job Connection Services.

The final result was an informative, interesting instructional tool that can be used by job seekers everywhere. Though originally planned for a CNM-focused audience, these videos have had a far-reaching benefit.

Additionally, the videos played continuously during the JCS Job Fair on Feb. 29, where people from the entire community were welcomed. As an added benefit, Beth's interviews also promoted good public relations for CNM with the employers and their representatives. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to discuss their observations and describe what is important to them when searching for individuals to fill their positions. Everyone in the community can benefit from Beth's dedicated effort.

Willie Smoker
Willie realized that the Student Employee Appreciation/Recognition event was not going to take place in 2012. Because Willie so strongly believes in recognizing our student employees for the role they play in our day-to-day operations, he wanted to show how vitally important they are to CNM.
Willie decided to take the lead role in organizing the Student Appreciation event. With the event happening the second week of April to coincide with the National Student Appreciation event, he successfully organized a team on short notice and started the ball rolling to celebrate our students in what is sure to be a successful event.

Victoria Maestas
Vicky was instrumental in helping with gifts for CNM Day at the Legislature 2012. Vicky started helping before the winter break by putting me in contact with landscaping faculty who helped with the decision on what plants to buy as legislative gifts. In January when we came back from break Vicky volunteered to organize landscaping students to re-pot 125 plants into bright yellow containers and put the plants in good soil.

Vicky did all of this on her own time without any other incentive or recognition. She wanted to help the college have an excellent event at the Roundhouse. I truly appreciate Vicky's help with the plants, and I believe she was a key component to our success at CNM Day at the Legislature.

Sharon Gordon-Moffett
She brought online registration to Phi Theta Kappa at CNM where our chapter was recognized on an international level at the Phi Theta Kappa Annual Convention 2012 for having over 200 members join in three weeks.

She is the adviser for SkillsUSA at CNM. Their members often have individuals competing for scholarships on a national level. The events in which she organizes get local media attention and help develop CNM's students to be the best leaders in their fields.

She is the organizer for the AllUSA Scholarship where high achieving students can compete for two years of paid tuition at any four-year university in the country.

Virginia Sando
Virginia is a long-term, part-time clinical faculty member. As a result of persistent faculty shortages, Virginia came up with the idea of conducting nursing faculty open houses to inform and recruit nurses in the community about opportunities at CNM.

The open houses have been very successful, resulting in the hiring of many full-time and part-time nursing faculty members.

Alma Vega
When our office was undergoing a change to our SAP (financial aid) policy, part of our job as staff members was to figure out how many credits a student would need to complete in order to meet the completion rate requirement of 66.67. Normally, we would have to add the hours attempted and completed numerous times to get the right number.

Alma came up with a formula that cut this time down significantly – the staff adopted the formula and are using it today to ensure quick and accurate service to our students. The formula is clear, easy, concise and works each and every time.

Kristen Roush
She created a Test Performance Reflection for students and graciously gave me, the Achievement Coach for CHSS, permission to share it with students. As a tool, it is one of the most well designed test evaluations I have used. It gives the student the opportunity to evaluate how they felt when taking the test as well as evaluate why they got a question correct and why they got it wrong.

I have used this with students to help them change how they study for a test, how they take the test, and more importantly, how it provides an opportunity for a conversation with the instructor.

In my experience, it has improved student test scores tremendously. I believe she should be selected because not only does she care about student success, but she created and shared a tool that can help students be more successful in their classes.

Veronique Kaemerer
Four years ago, Veronique established the Novel Slam as an annual event at Westside Campus. Since then it has grown in popularity and success. She has always involved other faculty, staff and students in planning, preparing for and carrying out this community cultural event.

This year, she successfully raised the level of the event to a funded student group/activity, and coordinated a diverse group of volunteers to produce not only the Fall Novel Slam, but also an additional Spring Arts Jam.

While many staff and faculty participated in making the Novel Slam and Arts Jam happen, it has been Veronique's leadership and innovative idea for a cultural event by, for, and about students that has moved it forward, attracted others to help, and kept it growing.

Scott Clapp
Every year MCO works on an event called CNM Day at the Legislature where we work to promote the college to our state lawmakers. The culinary program has always been part of the event by making stew and a dessert for the legislators.

This year we ran into a problem because the culinary curriculum had changed and students had less lab time. There wasn't enough lab time to let the students prepare the desserts. Scott came through and saved the day. Scott recruited students to work on the project outside of their class time, found a professional kitchen to prepare the cookies in and delivered the cookies in plenty of time for us to tie on the finishing ribbons. All of this was above and beyond what had happened in years past.

Scott also went on to find students to help serve the lawmakers stew that day. I really appreciate Scott's efforts and that he found a solution instead of telling me it couldn't be done.

Trish Holmes
Trish Holmes is the art technician at the Westside campus. While her commitment to the job is always above and beyond, her work over the past year in supporting the Art program in the Westside Phase III planning and implementation has characterized truly exceptional and outstanding support. Trish, with her wealth of knowledge about the art programs, and her commitment to ensuring the integrity of the art studio space being constructed in WS Phase III, has served as a critical liaison between the CHSS Art Department and the facilities department, the architects, and the construction managers.

She has spent countless hours researching equipment specs, pouring over architectural plans, and cross-checking furniture and equipment lists – far above and beyond her regular duties (and weekly schedule). Of particular note is her passion for ensuring that both the space and equipment will provide access to students with disabilities – not just in the art space, but in other spaces within WS Phase III.

Trish also consistently takes a leadership role in supporting the art techs at the other campuses. She also is a strong advocate for the art programs, for CNM students and for CNM faculty. Trish's years of service to the art program have been invaluable. She truly deserves to be recognized for the exceptional and outstanding support she provides to the art programs.

Mary Anne Snow
Mary Anne has provided outstanding support to the NAUC program in the area of lab management and management of classroom and lab inventory. This is a large program that operates at four separate campuses and has five functioning labs, four of which are fully in use at all times during all three terms. She has provided support to this program for the last year while the program has not had tech support to fulfill these required duties.

The support that she has provided for our program has been invaluable and an essential component needed to ensure program and student success. Mary Anne has stepped up to serve in this role as well as continued to provide outstanding commitment as a dedicated full-time instructor within our program. She works many extra hours to provide this service to students and faculty and works late into the evening hours most days of the week. Many times she comes in on weekends to fulfill needs that she cannot get to during the work week. While in this role, she serves the 180-plus students that enter and exit our program each term, as well as the 25-plus faculty that teach in our labs, clinical areas and classrooms. I am more than appreciative of her dedicated and outstanding service to our program, faculty and students, which in turn serve our community. Mary Anne is an invaluable asset to our program and an exceptional representative of CNM faculty.

Paul Skiles
Paul Skiles should be nominated and honored for being an excellent teacher. Paul was my teacher for my 750 and 950 English classes on Main and Westside campuses. He went beyond the duties of a normal teacher. He teaches his English classes very well. He teaches life lessons about maturity, adulthood, responsibility and wise choices. He has a unique straight forward, serious, interesting and informative teaching style. Paul has the intelligence to know when a student is not understanding a concept in class just by the look on their face. If he noticed a student wasn't understanding, he would try a new way of explaining the concept until the student understood the information completely. If a student was too shy to raise their hand to ask a question, he would not leave the student behind in the lesson. I have been going to CNM for two years now, and I am on a successful path to completing college.

I will have many teachers in my college career, but there are only a few who will have a positive impact that I will remember for my entire life. Being a teacher is not just a job for Paul, it is one of his passions to teach his students lessons for college and life. Therefore, he deserves recognition for his hard work as a teacher that inspires, educates and advances his students from the moment of the first step into his class on the first day until the last step out the door on the last day. Thank, you. Dedicated CNM student, Amber Wilson

Jessica Forbes
On short notice, Jessica was asked to co-lead the Student Employee Appreciation/Recognition charter with Willie Smoker. Without hesitation, and as a strong supporter and advocate for student employees, Jessica stepped right in to put into action her experience and expertise in helping to organize this event. For the last two years, Jessica was a member of the Student Employee Appreciation team, so her experience and knowledge is invaluable to the success in celebrating CNM's student employees.

Nichole Rogers
I cannot express my thanks enough to Nichole and all she has done for the Nursing program at CNM. The program was facing a faculty shortage crisis and Nichole went above and beyond her job duties by organizing four very successful Nursing open houses. There was not a detail skipped. The events were organized to perfection and Nichole streamlined the process for everyone involved. She fielded all the emails and questions and took ownership to ensure every step of the application and hiring process was accounted for. She takes such good care of us and I don't know how we would have survived the last few terms without her. Her collaboration with Nursing and her need for excellence has had a direct and extremely positive effect on the Nursing program and the success of the students.

Diane Evans-Prior
Diane has single-handedly changed CNM's Nursing program, and has it headed in the right direction. Since Diane has taken over the program, CNM Nursing students have averaged a 950 on the NCLEX Exam, whereas the national average is an 819. She is an amazing teacher and person. She offers her students her cell phone, Twitter, email, you name it... We can contact her all hours and she is there for us. She teaches three lectures a day (and is never in a bad mood), and oversees all of the Level 1 program (do you know how much stuff that entails?!).

I am so proud to be a CNM Nursing student, and that is 100 percent due to what Diane has done with this program! She's truly special and one-of-a-kind. She loves teaching, and nursing, and it truly shows. I wish all teachers were like her. And I speak on behalf of all Level 1 Nursing students!

Mark Love-Williamson
When presented with an idea for a series of spring events to celebrate student creativity and participation in the arts and humanities at Westside Campus, Mark enthusiastically stepped up and took the lead, and suggested the name Arts Jam. He worked collaboratively and cooperatively with the Novel Slam team members to develop each of the unique events: a reading of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," a poetry slam and reading, an exhibition of exemplary student artwork paired by live performances by our talented students who are also musicians, and a storytelling event.

Mark did a wonderful job of bringing all of these elements together into a cohesive series and producing four distinctly different student-focused events which were entertaining as well as educational. It brought faculty, staff and students together as partners in their production.

Mark was open to others suggestions and needs while taking a great deal of personal responsibility for the quality of every aspect of the Arts Jam.

Nariman Arfai
I have been a student of Mr. Arfai's for the last two semesters (PSYCH 1105 & 2220) and have had the opportunity to see a professional at work. His sincere interest in his student's success is a pleasure to watch. He makes presentations with PowerPoint that are available online for review as well. His friendly and humorous way gives a relaxed and comfortable learning environment. I have been fortunate enough to be able to attend his two-hour study group sessions on Fridays for the last two terms as well. I really did not like this subject in the beginning and would have done poorly without the patience and assistance he made possible to learn this very tough subject.

The fact that he goes the extra mile for his students is why I am writing this recommendation for him being presented an excellence award. I am 52 and truly know when someone goes above the call of duty and if you would like to know more I would love to give the committee who reviews these matters an ear-full of the things he does beyond this. I have a serious attitude toward school and find it refreshing to see a teacher with a strong commitment to his students versus his own interests. I just wish more of my teachers were as committed to seeing their students succeed. It would be my pleasure to speak to his peers about how I feel about him and his work. An award for his efforts is truly due him and it's time for Monie my mentor to see some gratitude from his students and peers.

Daphne Cox
During spring 2012 registration, Daphne was exceptionally helpful to me and a student I was assisting. The student was attempting to register for PSY 1105 and the system was telling them that they didn't meet the pre/co-requisite for the course no matter what section they tried. I looked into the sections that were learning communities and we tried again, avoiding those designated sections. I went to the Enrollment Services office here at JMMC and spoke with a technician and they were also baffled by the error and told me that all of the sections being offered at JMMC must be learning communities.

I have worked with Daphne in Enrollment Services before and she has always been very knowledgeable and friendly, so I decided as a last attempt to call her for assistance. I was not going to accept that this student couldn't get into any PSY 1105 course at JMMC because the student met the prerequisite and I wasn't sure that they were all learning communities. Daphne was also baffled but went out of her way to get answers. After some investigation it was discovered that it was an error within the registration system.

She gave my student's information to her supervisor to clear them for the class and assured me that the problem was being corrected as soon as possible. She also said that if any other students in the meantime were getting this error, to contact her so that we could clear them while the problem was being fixed in the system. When no one else had an answer, Daphne went to every length possible to get the answer and to get the problem corrected. I appreciate her persistence and dedication to the students and her willingness to take the time to get answers for me. She is a valuable asset to the CNM team and I am grateful to her for helping me each and every time I have questions about registration.

Michael Cartwright
Mike Cartwright has served as the Chair of the SAGE Developmental Math discipline for three years. During that time, he has made himself available to answer faculty questions and help solve problems 24/7. Mike has served as a leader and mentor in instituting a new math software program. He answers all questions any time of the day and on weekends. He has been a tremendous leader for the Math Department and we want to acknowledge his contributions.
Rachel Buchen
Rachel assists the (financial aid) director and assistant director with new year and new process testing. She sits on many FASS committees and her extensive knowledge is helpful to make sure systems run smoothly. Rachel does her job so well she has been given the added responsibility of training. She is able to relay information to the management team, Pell technicians, front desk, advisors, and Contact Center to ensure all members of the FASS team are kept current. Rachel has taken the lead to implement the new Onbase Scanning System; this system will allow our office to run even more efficiently. Without Rachel this office would literally not function as efficiently. Her knowledge and intelligence keeps this office running effectively and smoothly.

She gives the finest training in the basics of Pell grant and continues to answer questions no matter how busy she is (there are times she can't be seen over stacks of papers).

Susan Chavez
Susan has been involved with office outreach and Financial Aid Awareness Week. In 2011, she planned a luncheon for all of Student Services. In 2012, she helped to plan the event and provide decorations to make the office more festive. She brings good ideas to the office and helps make sure Financial Aid is promoted in a positive way.

She had amazing leadership during Financial Aid Awareness Week. She created unique ideas and got a lot of employee participation. She had a lot of enthusiasm. She kept the committee members energized and focused in all that needed to be accomplished.

She provides a positive environment that promotes team work. She is always available to answer questions.

Kristofer Gaussoin
Kris was my adviser while I was the president of the Executive Council of Students. He met with me weekly and provided excellent feedback and insight that helped me grow tremendously as an individual. The most difficult part of stepping down from my position was knowing that I would lose my time with Kris. This, it turned out, was not the case. In the four months since leaving ECOS, Kris has taken time out of his very busy schedule to act as mentor, friend, and adviser whenever I have needed him. When I look back at my time at CNM, it will be Kris that stands out to me as the person who most changed my life for the better.

Mark Pfannenstiel
Professor Pfannenstiel has a great passion for his subject that gets other students motivated. The amount of effort he puts into helping students and giving them every opportunity to meet with him to understand the material is moving. He has office hours Monday-Thursday and came in today on Friday to give students an extra opportunity to come in and ask questions. We have a project due that does not require Excel, but I wanted to further my knowledge and input my data into Excel. Professor Pfannenstiel took the time to show me how to do linear regressions on Excel for my data. Statistics are not easy, and not everyone in the tutoring center can help – it's just a handful. His motivation, passion, and eagerness to help has made a subject that seems impossible actually possible of achieving. I have a disability that can make learning difficult, but with more professors like Professor Pfannenstiel we can all achieve no matter what our barriers might be.