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Convocation Reflects on Accomplishments and Frames Vision for More Progress in Future

August 31, 2017 -- The theme of Friday’s CNM Convocation was “Lift Up,” and there was indeed a lot of reasons to be inspired about the trajectory of the College.
Convocation Reflects on Accomplishments and Frames Vision for More Progress in Future

Aug 31, 2017

Speakers shared their positive reflections of the college, including current and former students, community leaders and President Kathie Winograd. A CNM alum and former City of Albuquerque Poet Laureate read an inspirational poem she wrote about the school, and a break dancer who launched his dance studio business at the IGNITE Community Accelerator gave an animated and rousing performance. A CNM student who has started his own business talked about how CNM has helped him overcome problems and create a very bright future for him and his family. Celina Bussey, cabinet secretary for New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, and Gary Tonjes, president of Albuquerque Economic Development, talked about how critical CNM’s role is for our community’s workforce and economic development.

The final salute to CNM was provided by President Winograd, who shared her thoughts on why she believes the college is the best in the country. She applauded CNM faculty and staff for their exceptional work over the past year, which led to CNM setting records for the number of graduates and graduation awards, as well as setting a new record in the graduation rate.

Convocation has been held every year since 2007, just prior to the start of the academic year. It brings together CNM faculty and staff to set the college’s vision for the year ahead and celebrate the accomplishments of the year past.

Speakers included Christopher "Check-It" Lim, CNM Ingenuity IGNITE Community Accelerator participant and break dancer; Jessica Helen Lopez, CNM alum and former City of Albuquerque Poet Laureate; Sammy Mena, CNM student; Gary Tonjes, Celina Bussey and President Winograd.

A comedic moment occurred just before President Winograd gave her speech. Break dancer, Check-It, came out wearing jeans, a CNM shirt and grey wig -- looking from a distance vaguely like President Winograd -- and he did a quick, bouncy, break-dancing performance, just before President Winograd traded places with him on the stage. She played along with some heavy breathing in an amusing moment.

Also at Convocation, the Distinguished Faculty Awards and PNM Staff Awards were presented to faculty and staff.

Winograd told Convocation goers that during the 2016-17 academic year, CNM awarded 13,777 associate degrees and certificates to 9,074 students, both of which are all-time highs for the college. She said that CNM also continued to raise its official graduation rate, which hit 24 percent, another CNM record.

She thanked all faculty and staff for their hard work on behalf of the students.

“CNM is a matter of the heart,” she said. “Convocation reminds us before the semester starts how important our work is to our students, our community and our economy.”