May 27, 2015
Mesalands Community College held their commencement ceremony earlier this month at the Tucumcari Convention Center. This year’s graduating class represented 38 certificates and degrees.
“This is the time of year that we can celebrate our student’s success through certificate and degree obtainment,” Dr. Thomas W. Newsom, President of Mesalands Community College said. “As a College, this is the most rewarding day of the year.
Dr. Richard Luarkie, former Governor of the Pueblo of Laguna, delivered the commencement speech and told the graduates that this was only the beginning. He said now they have a responsibility to pay it forward and to continue to grow and improve.
“Graduates you now have an incredible responsibility to pass your knowledge on to others and encourage those that will come after you. A degree is a valuable tool, but with or without a degree, you should still be a good person,” Dr. Luarkie said. “Look at the obvious. Be creative. Be curious. Graduates continue to look at ways to advance your mind and your heart.”
Mesalands graduate Cynthia Anaya, was the student speaker at commencement. Anaya shared her story on how she overcame obstacles in her life, including dropping out of high school and being a young mother of two boys. Anaya said she did earn her General Education Development (GED) in 2010 from Mesalands. In 2013 she began taking college courses at Mesalands. Anaya stated that the graduates should cherish the small strides in life because they can lead to larger achievements.
“I have to remind myself, why walk (at commencement), I am only halfway to getting my (nursing) license as a registered nurse, which is no means to celebrate. But this is not the case,” Anaya said. “In looking at the glass half empty, I have to come to the realization that we cannot let our grand ambitions get in the way of our small, but meaningful accomplishments.”
During her speech, Anaya thanked the staff and faculty at Mesalands and her family for their constant encouragement and inspiration. Anaya graduated with a Certificate in Pre-Nursing. She plans to begin the new certified nursing assistant (CNA)/phlebotomy program at Mesalands in the fall.
Another graduate, Nicaela Padilla was recognized for her prestigious honor of being selected to the 2015 All-State New Mexico Academic Team. Padilla was awarded a scholarship to pay the tuition costs of any public university in the State,, to continue her education towards a bachelor’s degree. Padilla graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree in Pre-Medicine.
During commencement, a special presentation was given for Tonie Martinez, a Mesalands graduate that was recently killed in a tragic car accident. Martinez began taking classes at Mesalands in the spring of 2012. In the fall of 2014, Martinez earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration from Mesalands. On her behalf, Martinez’s family accepted her degree during commencement.
The final degree of the night was presented to Beth Sisneros, Director of the Educational Services Center at Mesalands. Sisneros received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Franklin University.
Bachelor of Science Degree
Associate of Arts Degree
Bishop, Bethany Ann
Cox, Khaeden J.*
Guerro, Cassie Jane
Harvey, Ed Miles
Padilla Nicaela L.** +§
Sandoval, Lila Grace*
Associate of Applied Science Degree
Garcia, Maylene A.
Martinez, Tonie E. **
Pack, Betty Jo*
Pivirotto, Forest Trevor**
Stines, Charles R*+
Cordova, Joshua C.
Garcia, Daniel T.
Romero, Sara Mae
Sisneros, Devyn M.
Slyter, Weston F.
Vega, Dalton J.
Webster, Joshua William‡
***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