Congratulations on completing another academic year of student success! More of our students are earning degrees and certificates and more of our students are persisting year to year. The retention rate is the highest it has ever been and we have reduced the median years to graduate from 5 to 3.5 years. It is thanks to your collective efforts that students are achieving their educational objectives here at SFCC.
The culmination of these efforts is, of course, graduation. I look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday, May 12, at 10 a.m. in the William C. Witter Fitness Education Center. Our keynote speaker is New Mexico Cabinet Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Barbara Damron, and our student speaker is Mollie Leila-Rose Kelly. I know you will value hearing from both of them and celebrating the Class of 2018.
You are also invited to the High School Equivalency/GED graduation on Wednesday, May 16, at 5:30 p.m., in the gym at the Fitness Education Center. The Adult Education Department welcomes the college community, graduates, their families and friends to attend. Mayor of Santa Fe Alan Webber will deliver the keynote address. HSE and I-BEST graduate Norma Bustillos Martinez and HSE graduate Emilio Romero have been selected as the student speakers. HSE student Benjamin Phillip Trujillo will perform an original composition with Academic Adviser Gerard Martinez y Valencia and ACE Program Coordinator Michael Lehrer accompanying him.
Beginning June 4, SFCC will implement new hours on Sundays. The campus will be open Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. Effective June 11 and through July 27, the offices that provide frontline services for students will have summer hours: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Frontline service areas include the Welcome and Advising Center, Financial Aid Office, Cashier’s Office, and the Bookstore.
I am pleased to report that our collaboration with Santa Fe Public Schools continues to grow. Data show that high school students who complete college preparation before they finish their senior year are more likely to go to college and more successful in their college experience. Therefore, I met with SFPS Superintendent Dr. Veronica Garcia to explore how we might achieve this before the end of the school year. On short notice, and with great support from many staff, SFCC will be on high school campuses on May 14 and 15 to offer students assistance in filling out the FAFSA and to conduct the Accuplacer test. We will be offering the same assistance on our campus on June 12. I am excited that we were able to arrange to support our community by better preparing our students for a future in college.
The SFCC Governing Board unanimously passed a resolution at last month’s meeting opposing the construction of the Flying J Truck Stop at the intersection of N.M. 14 and Rancho Viejo Blvd. The Board cited safety concerns, increased traffic and congestion in an area that many students, faculty and staff travel through to access the college. Additionally, the Board felt it was very important to support the college’s surrounding communities, many of whom have expressed opposition.
The Executive Director of Human Resources Terence Donaldson will join the college this month. Terence has worked in public and private sectors for more than 25 years. While at the State of Tennessee, he served as the Executive Director and Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources as well as Executive Director of Human Resources for the Department of Children Services. He earned a master’s degree in Organizational Communication and a bachelor’s degree in Communication, both from the University of New Mexico. He is certified in Employment and Labor Law and is a graduate of LEAD Tennessee. Please stop by to introduce yourself and welcome Terence to campus.
Please note some changes: Safety Specialist Noe Villareal has relocated to the President’s Suite in Room 103E. Clayton Abbey has resigned as Executive Director of the New Mexico Independent Community Colleges, and Kathy Ulibarri is serving as interim. Kathy, who will soon be retiring as Vice President of Finance and Operations at CNM, will provide excellent leadership in that role. NMICC’s office is now located in Room 123B. Linda Cassel, who has served the SFCC Foundation as Advancement Associate and Art on Campus Collection Manager, will begin as Director of Art on Campus and the Visual Arts Gallery effective July 1.
Remember, you can stay current on SFCC news through the Campus Weekly, produced by the Marketing and Public Relations Department. Submit your news here: https://www.sfcc.edu/submit-news-sfcc-campus-weekly/. Read issues here https://www.sfcc.edu/weekly-newsletter/campus-weekly.
Thank you for all you do to empower our students and strengthen our community. I hope you enjoy a safe and happy summer.
Cecilia Y.M. Cervantes, Ph.D.