NMJC Commencement Honors Graduates
5/18/2009 11:44:01 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. A sea of Thunderbird red and gold set the tone at the Lea County Event Center on Friday, May 8, as 190 students officially graduated with various degrees, diplomas, and certificates at New Mexico Junior College's spring commencement ceremony. Twenty-three of the graduates were GED recipients from NMJC's Adult Basic Education program.
Prior to the event, a reception was held for the graduates, their families, and guests. The NMJC College and Community Band, directed by Dr. Yau-Sun Wong, provided accompaniment for the prelude, processional and recessional portions of the ceremony, which aired live on U.S. Cable Channel 19 in Hobbs.
The annual Charge to the Graduates was offered this year by NMJC Board member Ron Black, who spent approximately 30 years at NMJC serving as men's head basketball coach and as a history and government professor. During his tenure at NMJC, Black estimated that he had taught over 17,000 students.
In his Charge, Black reminded the graduates that commencement, which means "beginning," is the start of great opportunities in which to reap the rewards of their efforts. He also cautioned them, however, that success is not necessarily permanent -- nor is loss -- and to stay the course, whatever the future might bring. Urging the graduates to remember the words of Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II, Black quoted, 'Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.'
Black also shared the wisdom of Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who once stated, 'Education is the most powerful weapon you have to change the world.' Black concluded by entreating the graduates to use their education "to change the world."
In addition to honoring graduates, commencement also honored their outstanding instructors. Mathematics professor Shyla McGill was named the Elliott and Waldron Title Faculty of the Year, while Charlotte Schmitz, also a mathematics professor, was named the Rotarian John Shepherd Faculty of the Year. Both award recipients received plaques and checks for $1,000 each for their outstanding contributions to education in support of students and their discipline.
Graduates received associate degrees in arts, applied science, and science, as well as certificates in various areas and General Education Development (GED) degrees.
Students receiving the Associate of Arts degree are as follows (* denotes Honor Graduate): Samantha Jonelle Acevedo; Susana Alvarado; Maurlean K. Aminga; Michelle A. Anaya; Samuel Anisha II; Cynthia A. Baeza; Amanda Nicole Baker; Richard Ray Barr; Cassie Barraza; Kassie Sue Bigham; Eric Boalman; Crystal Casillas; Esmeralda Petra De La O; Shantae Marie Dennie; Seth Dobbs; Amabilia Borunda Domingue; Tiffany Nichole Drannon; Jefferey Spencer Ellis II; Esmeralda C. Enriguez; Mireya M. Estrello; Billy Factor; Gabriela Franco; Chelsea Garret; Lori Nakay Gree; Jonathan T. Haines; Ashley Nicole Halliburton; Audelia Head; Jeffrey S. Heinz; Chole' L. Herrera; Audrey Laine Hester; Landon J. Hyvonen; Alexandra R. Jacobs-Chaboya; Mary Elizabeth Janousek; Kristen J'nell Jarrett; Martha D. Jimenez; Kallie Ann Irene Lamb; Cynthia Korina Lara; April Irene Ledgerwood; Ana B. Leo; Richard Lee Lewis III; Kristabelle E. Leyva; Amanda Lopez; Joel W. Lowery, Jr.; Audrey Nicole Madrid; Leo Martinez; Andre McFadden; Anna Maria Molina Palma; Maggie Ashton Moore; Lucero Munoz; Michael Mackenzie Mutcheson; Dayna Lynn Norman; Taryn L. Owen; Tatum Patten; Kathryn Price; Calley Jasmine Pritchett; Krystal Lynn Ramirez; Etta May Ray; Joshua Reyes; Fabio Ribeiro; Stephanie Lynn Rodriguez; Jake Coleman Skiles; Samantha Renae Stroud; Sarah A. Tarin; Maribel Del Real Villa; Diane J. Villegas; Leslie Anne Ward; Angela M. Watkins; Bonnie Whitley; and Kyle W. Young.
Students receiving the Associate of Applied Science Degree include the following: Krista Gayle Aguero; Richard O. Akers; Angelica Alvarado; Jessica Noelle Alvarado; Judith C. Antillon; Mary Elizabeth Atkins; Jesus Barrios; Cody Todd Breshers; Tammy Jane Brown; Marcus Burelsmith; Andrea Rhea Chance; Heather Lynn Cole; Cody Allen Collins; Stephanie N. Cone; Ashley Nichole Crowder; Bridgette N. Davis; Melissa DeLeon; Joseph Richard Edwards; Mary Ann Escalante; Bill Arthur Evans; Armando Fierro; Anthony R. Fuller; Christy M. Garcia; Jane A. Garcia; Tyla N. Harper; Katherine Marie Harris; William Robert Held, Jr.; Kimber Hicks; Monica Corina Hoecker; William Joseph Holland; Kelly Daniel House; Tricia C. Ichtertz; Milton Ricardo Jaime; Alexander Palis Jasmin; Donald Stewart Johnson; Meghan T. Jones; Laura Braulia Juarez; James Robert Meeks; Kevin J. Mitchell; Sandy G. Munoz; Jaime Michelle Nix; Miguel Orozco, Jr.; Robert Quesada; Jessica Ann Ray; Jamie Alan Richardson; Fabiola Lucia Romano; Reymundo M. Romero; Angelica Saenz; Kimberly D. Sanchez; Danielle Monique Sizemore; Stacey R. Sullivan; Jeffery P. Thurlow; Adrian I. Valenzuela; Francis Villarreal; Viviana Villegas; Joseph B. Whiteley; and Erin Alicia Woodell.
Students receiving the Associate of Science Degree are as follows: Elizabeth Lujan Aranda; Elisa L. Autry; Anthony J. Baeza; Amanda Lynn Baker; Toni Alyse Busch; Debra Ann Campos; Shevon Estella Castro; Rukhsana K. Farooq; Nwanneka Yvonne Ikemefuna; Kallie Ann Irene Lamb; Cynthia Korina Lara; Randy Lobb; Crystal Michelle Marquez; Jessica Anne McGraw; John Stephen McGraw II; Maggie Ashton Moore; Corin Michelle Olivas; Z'wuna Marie Tammara Payne; Kathryn Price; Calley Jasmine Pritchett; Regina Maria Rendon; Joshua Reyes; Stephanie Lynn Rodriguez; Averia Latrice Lyndell Rolle; Amanda Thompson; Janisha Lushay Young; and Lay'C K. Young.
Graduates receiving certificates include the following: Helena A. Albarran, Cosmetology; Brittany June Glover, Cosmetology; Kidra Leigh Hand-Moreno, Cosmetology; Anna Lozoya, Cosmetology; Amy D. Mapp, Cosmetology; Sabra Mapp, Cosmetology; Erica G. Martinez, Cosmetology; Maria Angelica Martinez, Cosmetology; Samantha Ontiveros, Cosmetology; Claudia Puebla, Cosmetology; Gloria Rosas, Cosmetology; Whitney R. Smith, Cosmetology; Elizabeth Valdez, Cosmetology; and Stacy Devin Wiley, Early Childhood Education.
The 2008-2009 GED graduates include Angelica Anaya-Lucero; Evangelina Chidester; Shannon R. Colvin; Carmen M. Cornelio; Gloria A. Duarte; Dexter Gonzales; Shuree L. Hill; Lucia Juarez; Gladys B. Mallery; Cynthia M. Mares; Donna Elaine Martinez; Victor T. Martinez; D'Kota R. McAdams; Marsha Lee Mendez; Stephanie H. Moreno; Angelia M. Robertson; Deanna E. Rodriguez; Kandice N. Smith; Jessica Graciela Soto; Mitchell Cole Timms; Brenda G. Twyman; and Stephen G. Witulski.