Faces of CNM: Paule Shannon Atangana Essomba

An international student from Cameroon, Paule Shannon has big plans for the education she’s receiving at CNM
February 06, 2020

Paule Shannon likes to say that her country is currently “under construction.” It’s still rebuilding after a turbulent colonial past and she’s determined to help.

She’s currently working on her associate degree in Business at CNM and then plans to complete her bachelor’s and an MBA. With those degrees she’ll head back home to find a banking job where she can teach people about finance.

“I’m gaining the knowledge I need here in the United States and then I’ll use it back in Cameroon,” she says.

CNM has been an important first step in her plan. She started at UNM but felt lost in the larger lecture classes because she was still learning English. At CNM, however, Paule Shannon, who’s 20, immediately felt more comfortable thanks to classes that rarely top 30 students and professors who were more approachable.

She’s relied heavily on CNM’s ACE Tutoring Services for help in English and math. As an international student, she gets help from the Global Education Office as well. That department ensures she’s on track to get her degree and also provided a non-need work study job.

Paule Shannon is currently one of 29 international students enrolled at CNM and those students come from all over the globe. The biggest number of students are from Vietnam and China, but there are students from places as diverse as India, Italy, Syria, and Ecuador. All told, 59 international students have attended the college since CNM’s Global Education program gained federal approval in 2017 to accept international students with M and F Visas.

“I can’t recommend CNM enough to other international students,” she says. “It’s been easy to succeed.”

Paule Shannon has support on campus, but she has an off-campus support system too. Her two sisters are studying at New Mexico Tech—one is studying petroleum and gas engineering and the other is studying mineral engineering—and the three of them meet almost every weekend to cook traditional food or travel the state.

“We’ve driven a lot!” she says. “We’ve been everywhere from White Sands to Meow Wolf.”

Like Paule Shannon, her sisters plan to return to Cameroon once they complete their degrees. All three are thankful for their education and the opportunity to live in the United States, but they have work to do back home.

“We feel like it’s our duty,” Paule Shannon says.