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Mesalands students selected to All-State Academic Team

February 7, 2012

Mesalands Community College is pleased to announce that Shelley Giannino and Alex Nielson have been selected to the 2012 All-State New Mexico Academic Team. This honor recognizes their commit­ment to academic excellence. Each student will receive renewable full-tuition scholarships for up to four consecutive semesters towards a bachelor’s degree at a New Mexico public university or college.

“We are very proud of Shelley and Alex. They both are committed to achieving academic excellence and are very involved in this community as members of Phi Theta Kappa,” Dr. Mildred Lovato, President of Mesalands Community College said. “We wish them future success as they continue their educational goals to acquire a bachelor’s degree.

Giannino will be graduating in May with a degree in Early Childhood Education from Mesalands. She says she waited over 30 years to begin her college career, because she was supporting her family. Giannino says pursuing a college degree was one of the best decisions she has ever made.

“I actually learned to love education at Mesalands. This College has changed my perception of college and classes immensely. I actually enjoy it!” Giannino said. “The award ceremony was wonderful; we received a gold medal and certificate. It was an honor to be recognized.”

There were 31 students from 18 public institutions named to the 2012 All-State New Mexico Academic Team.

“It felt amazing to be recognized,” Nielson said. “I felt like I was part of an elite group.”

Nielson and Giannino have big plans for the future and this scholarship will make many of their ambitions a reality.

Nielson will be graduating with a degree in Liberal Arts in May. He is still deciding on which university to attend in the fall, but wants to major in either English or Computer Science.

Giannino plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Eastern New Mexico University and has already started the admissions process to start in August.

Giannino and Nielson were recognized at a ceremony held at the State Capitol in Santa Fe on February 1, 2012. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez issued a proclamation that February 1 was “Community College Day.” This proclamation recognizes the significance of community colleges that provide high quality, post-secondary education at a reasonable cost to approximately 160,000 New Mexicans each year.

Community College Day was not only used to honor the new Academic Team members, but also to recognize state legislatures. This year State Senator Clinton Harden and Representative Andy Nunez were presented with a plaque at the event recognizing their strong support of community colleges over the years. Giannino and Nielson were also recognized at the New Mexico Senate’s 50th Legislature Second Session and attended an Education Committee Meeting.