Mesalands Community College holds 2017 commencement ceremony

Former Senator Clinton D. Harden, delivered the commencement address. He encouraged the graduates to implement strategic plans for their lives and “plan to work and work to plan.”

May 8, 2017

Mesalands Community College held their commencement ceremony last Friday, May 5, 2017 at the Tucumcari High School Auditorium. This year’s graduating class represented 70 certificates and degrees, 14 high school equivalency diplomas, and two bachelor’s degrees.

“It is indeed an evening of honor and celebration. We honor the graduates for the accomplishments that they have achieved,” said Dr. Thomas W. Newsom, President of Mesalands. “Our graduates have committed long hours and have sacrificed time away from their family and friends to reach this new level of achievement.”

Former State Senator Clinton D. Harden, delivered the commencement address. He spoke about the importance of community colleges, especially with half of the undergraduates in the nation attending community colleges.

“I am a firm believer that one of the best investments we can make in America’s future is in the community college system,” said Senator Harden. “Community colleges are essential to making the dream of improving life through education, come true for millions. They can prepare students for new opportunities in emerging fields in a heartbeat. Community colleges can also help ensure that employers have the skilled workers they need to serve communities and foster economic growth.”

Sadie McAllister from Moriarty, NM was the student speaker at commencement. She inspired the 2017 graduating class to continue to pursue their aspirations in life.

Mesalands graduate and student speaker Sadie McAllister from Moriarty, NM, inspired the graduates to celebrate the next chapter of their lives.

“Shoot for the next degree, shoot for that new job, shoot for a better you, and Mesalands has given you the first step to get there. Dreams don’t become a reality until you set goals and work every day until you reach it. Then you do it all over again and set higher goals,” McAllister said. “Nothing can replace an education and nobody can take this pretty piece of paper from you, and tonight this is your night to show off your hard work and dedication and celebrate the start of your next chapter.”

McAllister graduated with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Agri-Business from Mesalands. Due to completing dual enrollment courses while at Moriarty High School, McAllister earned her degree after only one-year, following her high school graduation.

The following dual enrollment students from Tucumcari High School received a degree and/or a certificate from Mesalands during last week’s commencement ceremony: Anna Elebario, Kaycee Lease, Kayla Cherry, Jordyn Diaz, Destiny Zukevich, Regan Runayn (not included in picture) and their academic advisor, Donna Garcia, Director of Academic Affairs at Mesalands.

During the ceremony, Dr. Newsom recognized a group of dual enrollment students at Tucumcari High School, who each received a degree and/or a certificate from Mesalands, prior to graduating from high school in a few weeks. Those students included the following: Kayla Cherry, Jordyn Diaz, Anna Elebario, Kaycee Lease, Reagan Runyan, and Destiny Zukevich.

The final two degrees of the night were presented to two Mesalands staff members, who completed their associate’s degrees at Mesalands, and then transferred to a university, to acquire a bachelor’s degree.

“Mesalands Community College is fortunate to partner with a number of four-year institutions in order to provide opportunities for our graduates to seek bachelor’s degrees through articulation agreements,” Dr. Newsom said. “Through these agreements, we have seen a number of students complete their associate’s degree and then move on to be successful at a four-year institution.”

Dr. Thomas Newsom, President of Mesalands, recognized Kimberly Husman Enriquez, Administrative Secretary to the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Mesalands, for her completion of a bachelor’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University.

Kimberly Enriquez, Administrative Secretary to the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Mesalands, earned a Bachelor’s of University Studies degree in Business/Information Systems from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM. Margaret Ragland, Administrative Assistant/Specialist in the Wind Energy Technology Department at Mesalands, received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in General Studies, Information Technology from the online campus at Southern New Hampshire University, located in Manchester, NH.

Dr. Newsom also recognized Margaret Ragland, Administrative Assistant/Specialist in the Wind Energy Technology Department at Mesalands, for her completion of a bachelor’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University.

There was also a special recognition for Rebecca Darrup from Mifflinburg, PA who was named to the 2017 Phi Theta Kappa – USA Today All-American Academic Team. With this prestigious award, Darrup will receive a renewable full-tuition scholarship for up to four consecutive semesters, towards bachelor’s degree at a participating New Mexico public institution. Darrup plans to graduate from Mesalands next year.

Lastly, during Senator Harden’s commencement address, he ended his speech encouraging the graduates to develop and implement a strategic plan for their lives.

“Your diploma you will receive is symbolic of completion. It shows that the holder has the ability to set goals, lay out a plan of action, and implement those plans,” Senator Harden said. “If I had any words of wisdom for the graduating class, after a fairly long-term career, it’s this, plan your work, and work your plan. In other words, stop talking about doing things and do it! Good luck to you guys!”

Mesalands Community College Graduating Class of 2017

High School Equivalency Diploma 

(Left) President Dr. Thomas Newsom;   Dr. Philip Kaatz, Math and Physical Science Faculty Member; and Dr. Forrest Kaatz, Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research, present Rebecca Darrup from Mifflinburg, PA with a 2017 Phi Theta Kappa – USA Today All-American Academic Team certificate, during the ceremony.

Daniel Chavez, Jr. Andrea McKinney
Jessyka Cooksey Nicole McKinney
Kirsten DeGeest Autumn Mossor
Yasmine Donovan Dulce Ontiveros
Lottie Eddins Martinez AJ Pacheco
Tommy Alex Garcia, Jr. Victoria Pacheco
Marcus Gonzales Julianna Sanche

Occupational Certificate

Carmen Alarcon Kenneth Mirabal
Felipe Ray Anaya Ashley Osborn
Barbara Arguello John Pinto
Kasy Lane Baker Amy Raines-Baxter
Eric Burgdorf Patrick S. Romo, Jr.
Kayla Cherry Matthew Rottman
Brighton Denham Mia Ryen
Alyssa Diaz Mikayla Salazar
Jordyn G. Diaz Daniel Sanchez
Dennis Earle Michael K. Stull
Anna M. Elebario Joseph Turley
Kristen B. Garcia Luz Maria Ureste
Marka D. Gomez Jaime L. Vigil
Casey Gordon Maribel Villa
Wade C. Kane Myron Yazzie
Andrew Martinez

Applied Science Certificate

Peter James Elliot Ron T. Schmitt
Harrison D. McClure Jose M. Torres
Lowen G. Munsell Noah A. Torres

Liberal Arts Certificate

Kayla Cherry Reagan Runyan
Jordyn G. Diaz Destiny Zukevich
Kristen B. Garcia

Associate of Arts Degree

Kayla Cherry*** Nina Hatfield-Montano*
Merissa R. Cooper* Lahquanna Sue Parris
Cody Dominguez** Katrina Smith*
Erlinda Garcia Monica Trillo-Barraza**+
Jenelle Hansen***+ Roseanne Willebrand
Kaycee S. Lease*

Associate Applied Science Degree

Miranda Archuleta Robert Patrick Lopez, Jr.*
Kasy Lane Baker* Sadie Brooke McAllister
Cindy G. Brown**+ Frederick Martinez
Derrick X. Chavez** Guillermo Najera, II*
Caitlin Marie Elebario Ashley Osborn
Cathy Evans Patrick S. Romo, Jr.*
Payten Frost** Arthur Tixier
Quintasha Harris* Casey S. West*
Tess Lucero*

Bachelors of University Studies Degree

Kimberly Ann Husman Enriquez
Business/Information Systems
Eastern New Mexico University

Bachelors of Arts Degree

Margaret Ragland
General Studies, Information Technology
Southern New Hampshire University


***Summa Cum Laude (GPA 3.80 or higher)
**Magna Cum Laude (GPA 3.50 – 3.79)
*Cum Laude (GPA 3.25 – 3.49)
+Member Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
Veteran or Active Military

  • New Mexico All-Academic Team