Santa Fe Community College announces Santa Fe Municipal Court Judge Virginia Vigil to provide commencement keynote

Santa Fe Community College announces Santa Fe Municipal Court Judge Virginia Vigil will provide the keynote address to the 460 graduates of the Class of Spring 2019. Commencement begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18 in the Witter C. Fitness Center.

For the Academic Year 2018-19 there is a 20 percent increase in the number (331) of male graduates. Additionally, there is a nine percent increase of total awards (538) to be given this spring in comparison to (494) spring 2018.

“Commencement is the perfect event to round out our 35th anniversary year. One of the greatest privileges I have had during my tenure as interim president is to be able is to congratulate each of our graduates. I’ve gotten to know many of our graduates who will continue their studies and others who will soon join the workforce with their newly acquired skills. I’m so proud of all of our graduates who’ve worked so hard for their academic awards,” Cecilia Y. M. Cervantes, Ph.D. said.

Santa Fe Municipal Court Judge Virginia Vigil, who previously served as a two-term county commissioner, has an extensive history of community and public service. Judge Vigil was SFCC’s lobbyist for a decade. She lobbied for the creation of the Santa Fe Higher Education Center and the Trades and Advanced Technology Center among other projects.

A previous prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, Judge Vigil has been an attorney for more than 28 years. Judge Vigil has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Colorado. She received a Master of Arts and a Law degree from the University of New Mexico.

Two student speakers were selected to address the class – Manuel Kavanaugh and Linda Peña. Student Speaker Manuel Kavanaugh, 20, will receive both an Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technology and Certificate in Welding Technology. The Santa Fean credits his success to the support of his family and SFCC’s talented welding instructors. Kavanaugh, who grew up on a ranch, has been active in 4-H throughout his youth and plans to continue his involvement.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands and liked building,” Kavanaugh said. “I started with minimal experience in welding and now I’m excited to have a career in welding.” He has been offered a job with PGINM, a precision machining facility in Albuquerque.

Student Speaker Linda Peña, 36, will graduate with an Associate of Arts in Business Administration and an Associate of Arts in Accounting. The Santa Fe mother of four has worked hard toward her goal of graduating before her eldest child graduates from high school.

Peña began working at the college as a student in 2012 and now works as a full-time staff accountant in financial services. “I’ve gotten tremendous support from my family and my supervisors at the college,” Peña said. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree from New Mexico Highlands University at the Santa Fe Higher Education Center.

The Class of Spring 2019 includes 460 graduates ranging in age from 16 to 74. Fifty-five graduates will receive multiple awards, and 18 graduates are veterans or the spouse or dependent of a veteran. The college will award 196 associate degrees and 336 certificates, with the most associate degrees awarded in Nursing and Business Administration and the most numerous certificates in Nursing Assistant and Emergency Medical Technician-Basic. More than half of the graduates are Hispanic or Latino and seven percent are American Indian or Alaska Native.

The college will be granting some awards for the first time: AAS in Media Arts-3D, Animation and Game Design and Automotive Technology Certificates: Auto Maintenance and Light Truck Repair, Automotive Transmission and Transaxle, Automotive Heating and Air Conditioning, Manual Transmission and Drive Train and Steering and Suspension.

An online live-stream of the ceremony will be available during and after the event on the college’s YouTube channel.
Santa Fe Community Television (SFCTV-16 on Comcast) will broadcast the graduation ceremonies at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 28; at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 30; at 7 p.m. Friday, May 31 and at noon, Saturday, June 1 on Santa Fe Community Television (SFCTV-16), Comcast Channel 16 through cable. DVD copies of the ceremony will be available at the SFCC Bookstore 30 days after the ceremony at no cost to graduates.

Santa Fe Community College celebrates its 40th Anniversary as the pathway to success for individuals and the community. SFCC provides affordable, high-quality programs that serve the academic, cultural, and economic needs of the community. The college welcomes over 10,000 students per year in credit, noncredit, workforce training, personal enrichment, and adult programs.
A “Best for Vets” and a “Military Friendly” school.

Visit or call 505-428-1000.

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