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News Link - September 19, 2013


Students Urged to ‘Commit to Complete’ Their Degrees or Certificates During Pledge Event on Friday; Employees Also Asked to Join Pledge

Students from CNM’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community colleges, are urging fellow CNM students to sign a pledge to complete their associate degrees or certificates before leaving CNM. Alpha Upsilon Chi, CNM’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), will host a mass pledge drive on Friday (Sept. 20) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside of the cafeteria in the Student Services Center on Main Campus. Employees are also being asked to sign the pledge as a way to show their commitment to help students graduate. Similar pledges will be happening at community colleges around the country. Click here to read more.

President Winograd Talks About Convocation, Poetry and One of the Most Important Professions in the World; Join the Conversation

President Winograd blogs about the powerful poetry performed at Convocation, as well as one of the most important professions in the world – teaching. Check out her blog and join the conversation at

Four CNM Employees Honored with 2013 PNM Employee Awards

Four CNM employees were presented with the 2013 PNM Employee Awards for outstanding contributions to the college during the seventh annual CNM Convocation on Sept. 13. Click here to read more.

Purchasing Department Reorganizes

The Purchasing Department will be taking on a significant new initiative to automate and improve procurement processes. Through a recent reorganization of the Purchasing & Materials Management department, Charlotte Gensler will be leading this initiative as the Senior Purchasing Analyst. Wanda Helms has agreed to serve as interim director of Purchasing, in addition to her current role as director of Contracts and Grants, while a search for a permanent Purchasing director is conducted. Wanda will assume these responsibilities immediately and she can be reached in Purchasing at 224-4551 or ext. 52010.

CNM Instructor Challenges TEDxABQ Audience to Put Cell Phones Away, at Least for an Hour

At the recent TEDxABQ event, Sandia National Laboratories researcher and part-time CNM computing instructor Barbara Jennings issued a challenge to a Popejoy Hall audience of 2,000. Click here to read more.

College & Career High School Students Putting Goals on Fast Track

They look like typical high school students – jeans and t-shirts, sneakers and shorts. But there’s something different about these teenagers. They’re already in college, taking the fast track to being a college graduate. Click here to read more about the College & Career High School on CNM’s Main Campus.

Changes to Leave Policies and Employee Resident Requirements in Employee Handbook Now in Effect

CNM’s Human Resources department is conducting an ongoing review of CNM’s Employee Handbook to ensure that CNM policies are current and relevant. On Sept. 10, Governing Board Resolution 2013-50 was approved with the following revisions to CNM’s Employee Handbook.

  • Employee Handbook, Section 3, Employment Policies – CNM policy now requires all CNM employees to reside within the state of New Mexico.
  • Employee Handbook, Section 8, Leave Policies – domestic partner eligibility is now considered when CNM employees request to take bereavement leave due to the death of a domestic partner or sick leave and family medical leave to care for a domestic partner.  In addition, catastrophic leave may be considered when a CNM employee requests this leave to care for a parent. These changes will allow consistency in leave usage as it relates to “immediate family” members as defined in the leave policies.

Click here to see the most recent version of the Employee Handbook. If you would like more information or details about these revised policies, please contact Human Resources at 224-4600 or your HR consultant directly.

ABQRide Kicking Off ‘Clear the Air Challenge’ at CNM

The City of Albuquerque’s ABQRide transit service will kick off its “Clear the Air Challenge” in front of the Main Campus Student Services Center on Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is aimed at informing people of alternative transportation options that help preserve the environment and people will be encouraged to sign a pledge to increase their use of more eco-friendly transportation, ranging from biking to walking to carpooling to riding the bus. Those who sign up for the pledge will be entered into a drawing for prizes. Pizza will also be served at noon (while supplies last). CNM representatives will be on-hand with information on CNM’s student and employee bus pass program and will have bus passes available. Please bring your student or employee ID if you’d like to get a bus pass.

Health Benefit Costs Have Increased

If you have health insurance through CNM, you saw a change in your take home pay beginning with your last paycheck. Insurance premiums increased 6.6 percent for medical and 3 percent for dental as of the first paycheck for September. For example, an employee enrolled in Blue Cross/Blue Shield High Option with single coverage can expect to see an increase of about $6.41 for their health coverage. An employee with two-party coverage will see an increase of approximately $12.18, and family coverage will increase by $16.27. 

October Is Open Enrollment Period for Dental and Vision Benefits, and Switch Enrollment Period for Medical Benefits

The switch enrollment period for medical benefits and open enrollment for dental and vision benefits takes place throughout October. This is the time that New Mexico Public Schools Insurance Authority (NMPSIA) offers open enrollment for United Concordia Dental and Davis Vision. You can also switch healthcare plans on Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Presbyterian. All changes made will be effective Jan. 1, 2014. For more information, please contact Human Resources at 224-4600.

Flexible Spending Account Can Save You Tax Money

By joining CNM’s Cafeteria Plan (Flexible Spending Account), you can guarantee tax savings for yourself, and therefore, put more money into your own pocket. The plan allows employees to allocate money from their pay before taxes are taken out and have the funds put into an employee account that can be used to pay for medical expenses throughout the year. An amount of your choosing is withdrawn from your paycheck each pay period for the account. You simply submit receipts for reimbursement. The plan can reimburse twice each month. The deadline to apply for the Cafeteria Plan is Oct. 31, 2013. The plan goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014. Your payroll taxes are calculated at about 25 percent of your pay. When you put some of your salary into the Cafeteria Plan, that 25 percent stays in your pocket instead of going to taxes. How much would you save?

If you defer this amount annually: 

You will save approximately this amount on taxes:












For more information, contact Human Resources at 224-4600.

CNM Welcomes New Hires

Click here to see who is new to CNM, which includes more than 60 faculty members.

For Your Information

Isotopes Parking Lot C Unavailable on Election Day, Oct. 8
On Election Day, Oct. 8, the city will be using Isotopes Stadium as a voting location. Isotopes Parking Lot C will be reserved for voters. Isotopes Lot B off of Avenida Cesar Chavez will be available for CNM students and employees.

Students Can Meet Tutors at Montoya Campus Event
Montoya Campus students are invited to meet and greet the tutors from the Assistance Centers for Education and learn about CNM’s free tutoring services. The meet and greet will be held Sept. 24 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the H Building commons area. Call 224-5524 for more information.

Montoya Campus Hosts Discussion on Cultural Understanding – ‘Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys’
The CNM Montoya Campus Library is hosting a new reading and discussion series called "Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys.” The discussion series is part of a grant-funded effort called “Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys.” These discussions are designed “to help public audiences in the United States become more familiar with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims around the world and within the U.S. The Bookshelf is intended to address both the need and the desire of the American public for trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations.” Students, employees and community members are invited to attend the first discussion focused on the book “The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam” by F.E. Peters. The discussion will be held in the J Building, Room 124 on Oct. 9 from 3-4:30 p.m. For more information, email Bridget O’Leary-Storer at

Academic Advisement to Close for Staff Meetings on Select Dates
Academic Advisement will be closed for department staff meetings on the following dates and times:
Friday, Sept. 20, 8:30-10 a.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 25,  8:30-10 a.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 2,  8:30-10 a.m.
Friday, Oct. 11,  8:30-9:30 a.m.
Friday, Oct. 18,  8:30-10 a.m.

Payroll Moves to New Location
The Payroll Office has moved to its new location in Room A-110 (the former Foundation Office, down the hall from Human Resources). 

SAGE To Host State Conference for Teachers of ESL and Adult Basic Education Students
SAGE will be hosting the annual NMTESOL-NMAEA state-wide conference at CNM’s Workforce Training Center Oct. 25-26. This is a professional development conference for teachers and tutors of ESL and ABE students.  Since CNM is hosting the event, all CNM employees can attend for a reduced fee of only $50. The conference includes 28 professional development workshops and panels. Consult your department for available funds and help with registration. Consult the website for group registration instructions or more information. If you want to pay your own fee and register independently, click here. If you would like to present (presenters pay only $25 for the whole conference) submit a proposal by clicking here. 

Make a Difference by Joining Leading the Way Campaign Committee
The 2013 Leading the Way Campaign is gearing up for the CNM employee giving campaign that starts later this fall. Campaign chairs Kathy Ulibarri and Erica Volkers are seeking interested individuals who would like to serve as committee members. A Leading the Way meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 23 in the Student Resource Center, Room 202-D from 9-10 a.m. as an information session to review the structure of this year's campaign. For more information, contact Marshall Quam, campaign manager, at 224-4686 or\

Retirement Celebration

Stop by and Wish Blaine Henderson a Happy Retirement
Blaine Henderson, director of Mechanical Services for the Physical Plant Department, will be retiring from CNM on Sept. 30. Please stop by to wish him well during a retirement celebration on Friday (Sept. 20) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Physical Plant department.

Professional and Personal Development Opportunities

Employee Training Department Offers Valuable Opportunities this Fall
The Employee Training department is offering a variety of valuable employee trainings this fall designed to help employees gain the knowledge, skills and abilities required to progress personally and professionally. Go to the Employee Training website to find full descriptions of all the classes and instructions on how to enroll. Among trainings being offered are:

  • Mental Health Brown Bag Lunch Series: Sept. 27, 12-1 p.m., Main Campus, KC-25
  • Communicating for Effective Customer Service (for student employees): Oct. 10, 10 a.m.-noon, Montoya Campus, J-124; Oct. 17, 10 a.m.-noon, Westside Campus, WSC I-313; Nov. 11, 10 a.m.-noon, South Valley Campus, SV-10; and Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-noon, Advanced Technology Center, Room 108.
  • Interested in Developing Team Building for Your Department? Scheduling options are: Oct. 4, 8, 9, and 10.
  • Mental Health First Aid Training: Oct. 24-25, 1-5 p.m., Main Campus, SB 132
  • Developing a Plan for Wellness: Wednesday evenings Sept. 11-Nov. 20, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

About News Link

News Link is a weekly e-newsletter provided by the Marketing and Communications Office for CNM faculty and staff. To submit an item for inclusion, please email the Marketing and Communications Office. Please include “News Link” in the subject line of the e-mail. The deadline for News Link is 3 p.m. Wednesdays.