Instructor to Speak at GED Graduation
: CNM full-time faculty member Huong McDoniel, a former Vietnamese refugee who started her American educational experience by earning a GED at CNM in 1989, will share her inspirational story at CNM’s 2008 GED Graduation Ceremony at the Kiva Auditorium on June 14 at 10 a.m. At age 18, McDoniel was among thousands of Vietnamese refugees who were evacuated during the fall of Saigon in 1975. After spending time in several refugee camps, she eventually settled in Albuquerque and began to pursue her dreams of getting a college education and becoming a teacher. After earning her GED, she continued at CNM to earn an associate’s degree before going on to receive a bachelor’s and master’s from UNM. She’s been a full-time math instructor at CNM since 2006. “I had a dream and now I’m teaching at CNM, doing what I love,” she said. “Along the way, I struggled to get my education and I will talk to the students about that. Struggling makes you stronger. My message will be to follow your dreams and goals. And I believe education is the best way to do it.” About 200 GED graduates are expected to participate in the cap-and-gown ceremony. More than 1,100 students from around the state passed the exam at CNM during the last year. Most of the students who passed the exam in 2007 were able to take advantage of a popular PNM program that paid the $25 exam fee. The program expired in December 2007, but it was available since 2000 and helped thousands of New Mexicans earn their GED and improve their prospects for the future. PNM paid $46,000 in GED test fees for CNM students alone.
More CNM Courses and Programs on the Way to Rio Rancho: Beginning in the fall term, CNM will start offering a variety of courses at Rio Rancho Mid-High School, including a pathway to an associate’s degree in General Studies that will be transferrable to all New Mexico four-year universities. The program can be completed in four terms and CNM will also offer a certificate in General Studies that can be earned in three terms. CNM will offer career technical courses at the Rio Rancho Mid-High as well. A complete schedule of offerings will be finalized soon. For more information, call 224-4238.
CNM Foundation Director Joins Governor’s Poverty Task Force: Robin Brulé, executive director of the CNM Foundation, has been appointed to Governor Bill Richardson’s Poverty Reduction Task Force. The task force will develop specific recommendations for legislative, regulatory and infrastructure initiatives to reduce poverty and income inequality in New Mexico, as well as increase accessibility to higher education. “I look forward to working with other members of the task force to address the issues of poverty and income inequality in our state,” Brulé said. “The CNM Foundation recognizes that many of our own CNM students are attempting to provide better opportunities for themselves and their families through education.” Governor Bill Richardson said that the 20 members of the task force were chosen because “each of these individuals is on the front lines of this fight everyday, making significant differences in their own communities.”
CNM to Hold Forums on ‘Going Green’: CNM’s Sustainability and Climate Control Task Force is continuing to progress in its mission to meet the goals of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment that the college committed to last year. The CNM task force will be conducting Sustainability Forums in June and July to discuss strategies for reducing the college’s carbon footprint on the environment. Forums will focus on issues relating to transportation, waste management, landscaping, water and energy use, and academic programs.
The first graduating class of the Early College Academy – which is a unique high school experience through a partnership between Albuquerque Public Schools and CNM – was celebrated last month at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The ECA opened in 2005 and it’s the first school of its kind in New Mexico. It gears its curriculum toward high-tech career pathways and ECA students begin taking college-level courses at CNM during their sophomore years of high school. The inaugural graduating class consisted of 15 students, 13 of which will be attending college in the fall. The school is expecting larger graduating classes in the coming years.
CNM Providing Students Easier Access to Online Services: When students seek out CNM’s online services prior to the coming fall term, they’ll log on through “my CNM,” an improved portal that provides easier access to registration, financial aid, e-mail and many other services. “With ‘my CNM,’ students can log in once and everything they need to take care of their business will be right there,” said Eugene Padilla, assistant vice president for enrollment services. The new service is scheduled to be available on June 30.
CNM Hires New Dean of HWPS: Nicholas Spezza has been named as the new dean of CNM’s School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety. Spezza possesses talent and experience gained from private, not-for-profit and college environments. His most recent work with the University of New Mexico in its UNM World of Wellness, an initiative to support employee health and wellness, allowed him to focus skills from previous positions into a complex program serving a diverse audience. He’ll start at CNM June 15.
TAX HELP New Mexico Returns Big Numbers: CNM’s free tax preparation service – TAX HELP New Mexico – served 29,155 clients and returned more than $21.6 million to the state’s economy in the form of tax refunds. The program also saved New Mexico taxpayers over $3 million in tax preparation fees.
New 2+2 With NMSU in the Works: CNM is closing in on finalizing a 2-plus-2 articulation agreement with New Mexico State University that will allow CNM students who earn an associate’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism to transfer seamlessly into NMSU’s Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management bachelor’s degree program. NMSU’s courses will be offered at CNM’s new Rio Rancho Campus when it opens in 2010.
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Kathie W. Winograd