More than 1,350 students graduated from Colorado Mountain College over the weekend at campuses and sites in the college’s 12,000 square mile district, including Spring Valley and Rifle.
“This fact should offer us all hope and encouragement, as each of these graduates has a huge opportunity – and now the skills and education – to shape the future of our beloved mountain communities,” said said CMC President and CEO Carrie Besnette Hauser. a statement prepared at the end of two days of beginning exercises.
More than 80% of CMC’s students are from the college’s 10-county district, she noted.
The Spring Valley campus, near Glenwood Springs, hosted four commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, graduates of the Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy held an afternoon graduation ceremony, and Saturday morning began with a traditional pinning ceremony for nurses.
Later in the day, 345 graduates who attended CMC Aspen courses in Glenwood Springs earned various other diplomas and certificates.
Among them was Kallan Brumfield, who earned two Associate of Arts degrees in Graphic Design and Digital Media from CMC’s Isaacson School for Communication, Arts and Media. She also learned that she had won the Campus Outstanding Student Award.
“Kallan was dedicated to her degree and her studies before and during the pandemic,” said Erin Beaver, an English teacher. “She took on a leadership role in the Creative Writing Club, fostering connection among her peers through writing. Kallan will do great things beyond CMC.
Two other students also received special recognition. Adriana “Adree” Cabrera Topete of Basalt has learned that she has been selected as an outstanding Spring Valley Associate’s Degree student. Graduating with a 3.9 grade point average, she earned an Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education.
Cabrera’s educational journey at CMC began in 1999 with ESL classes, and she now works at a preschool in the Aspen School District.
“Adree is an inspirational role model for teachers and other students,” Professor Barbara Jackman, CMC Program Manager for Early Childhood Education Programs, said at the ceremony. “Seeing her get this award makes me so proud of her and CMC that her hard work, perseverance and positivity are seen and rewarded.”
Rachael Jones received the Outstanding Bachelor Student Award in addition to her Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies.
“Rachael is hands down the most talented and driven sustainability scientist in the class,” said Kevin Hillmer-Pegram, professor of sustainability studies at Spring Valley. “Basically, she single-handedly secured prestigious internships and permanent jobs with local and national partners. With her at the helm, the company might be fine after all.
More than 70 students have graduated from CMC’s nursing program, having completed their studies in Breckenridge, Spring Valley and Steamboat Springs.
College-wide, 50 students earned an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing, while 21 students earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
The centuries-old tradition of the pinning ceremony for nursing graduates invites students to choose a special person to present their nursing pins and share their accomplishments.
Spring Valley Associate Nursing graduate Noemi Bacia Garcia picked her 5-year-old daughter, and fellow graduate Katie Stark asked her mother to do the honors.
“My daughter represents everyone, my side of the family and my husband’s side,” Garcia said.
Eva Reyes Castillo’s mother was also instrumental in her daughter becoming a nurse.
“She went to college and was a nurse in Mexico,” said Reyes, who earned an associate’s degree in nursing with her Spring Valley classmates.
Now Reyes’ children are developing an interest in health care.
“My daughter says, ‘I want to grow up to be a nurse like you, mom,'” Reyes said of her 6-year-old daughter, “but I think my (4-year-old) son will probably go healthy to worry about. He gets up early with me and watches my lesson videos.
Reyes graduated from Glenwood Springs High School in 2010 and earned an associate’s degree in Spanish from CMC last August. Her goal is to work in community health care.
Saturday was also a busy day on the Rifle campus, where college and certificate graduates received their diplomas, as did more than 75 concurrently enrolled high school students and others earning high school equivalency diplomas. and manpower.
A separate ceremony in the afternoon was held for fire science graduates.
Two groups of brothers and sisters participated in the procession to receive their diplomas.
Nancy Espinosa and Jonathan Espinoza (Nancy’s last name was misspelled on her birth certificate) are from Silt. Both have earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Espinoza graduated last summer and her sister graduated this spring.
Parachute’s sisters Katie and Lainey Rhinaman had no plans to pursue associate’s degrees together. “It just happened like that,” Katie said.
“CMC has provided me with a very flexible schedule and lots of classes that I can apply to my daily life,” said Lainey, who volunteers at CSU’s extension office, while Katie is a longtime substitute. at Garfield 16 School District.
Katie, who earned an Associate of Arts degree in elementary education, plans to complete her bachelor’s degree at CMC, while Lainey will transfer to the University of Montana to pursue studies in wildlife biology.