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Making American Dreams come true

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — I was recently at a Central New Mexico Community College event where some students had the opportunity to address a large crowd. It’s always powerful when you get to hear students speaking from the heart about why they’re in college and what helps them to be successful.

One particular student described how she was working on her “American Dream.” She talked so passionately WINOGRAD Katharine W_ 2014about the people who have had the biggest influence on helping her make that dream a reality – her CNM faculty members.

At CNM, our students work every day on their American Dream. In our classrooms, they find faculty members who are passionate and exceptional at teaching their subject matter. That’s to be expected in an institution of higher education. Many times, however, what our students don’t expect when they first arrive on campus is the level of individual attention, encouragement and caring that so many of our faculty members generously offer to any student who needs it.

It’s that personal touch from our faculty members that goes so far in helping our students persevere, graduate and achieve their American Dream.

There are more than 1,100 faculty members at CNM and each one of them has been a hero for countless students over the years. It’s the best group of community college faculty members in the country.

Their effectiveness in the classroom helped CNM win the 2013 Student Success Award from the American Association of Community Colleges, which represents community colleges nationwide. In the 2014 Top 100 Associate Degree Producers rankings, CNM was No. 2 in the country for the number of degrees we conferred to Hispanics and Native Americans. We ranked 11th overall for the total number of associate degrees awarded, thanks in large part to our wonderful faculty.

This past year, we began a new faculty recognition program in which 11 faculty members were nominated by their peers to represent each CNM school as Distinguished Faculty Members. From those 11, Khaled Kassem was chosen as the part-time CNM Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year and Carol Rogers was chosen as the full-time CNM Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year. Hearty congratulations to Mr. Kassem and Ms. Rogers for their exceptional skill and passion for teaching.

While every one of our faculty members deserves to be celebrated, our new faculty recognition program gives us a unique opportunity to bring attention to some of our most deserving and most outstanding faculty members. And that’s important to do.

For the start of our fall term on Aug. 25, CNM hired 55 new full-time faculty members. CNM welcomes them, and we look forward to the positive impacts they will have on our students and our community.

To all of our CNM faculty members, and to all teachers at every level, thank you for caring about the success of your students. And for making American Dreams come true.

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