SFCC announces NM Higher Education Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez will address graduates for Commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13 2023

SFCC announces NM Higher Education Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez will address graduates for Commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13 in William C. Witter Fitness Education Center, 6401 Richards Ave.

 The ceremony will honor fall graduates as well as those completing this spring and summer

Simultaneous broadcast on YouTube and SFCTV-16 on Comcast

Cabinet Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez

Santa Fe Community College announces that NM Higher Education Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez will address graduates at the Spring Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 14 in the William C. Witter Fitness Education Center, 6401 Richards Avenue. The in-person ceremony will honor graduates who graduated in Fall 2022, as well as those who are completing this spring semester and summer. Last fall, the decision was made to postpone the fall commencement and to combine it with the spring commencement due to a particularly active cold, flu and COVID season in December.

At commencement, the college will honor First-Generation graduates – the first in their families to complete a college credential – by having them wear special First-Generation honor cords. SFCC is proud that 70 percent of SFCC graduates are First-Generation students. The college recognizes they are now role models for their families and community members who are looking to them as trailblazers to a new life.

“We’re honored to welcome Cabinet Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez to join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our graduating students,” said SFCC President Becky Rowley, Ph.D. “We appreciate her dedication to higher education, as well as her work with the governor and legislature to expand the Opportunity Scholarship to include part-time students. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and I know she’ll inspire our graduates on this momentous day.”

In addition to a live broadcast at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfO7QXdLgjA , along with the simulcast on Santa Fe Community Television (SFCTV-16 on Comcast),  SFCTV-16 will re-broadcast the Commencement Ceremony on Tuesday, May 16 at 6 p.m. (MT), Wednesday, May 17 at 11 a.m. (MT), Thursday, May 18 at 6 p.m. (MT) and on Saturday, May 20 at 3 p.m. (MT) on the Santa Fe Community Television (SFCTV16), Comcast Channel 16 through cable.

Keynote Speaker bio: Stephanie M. Rodriguez, Higher Education Cabinet Secretary

Stephanie M. Rodriguez joined the New Mexico Higher Education Department as Acting Secretary in 2020 and was confirmed by the legislature in 2021. Previously, she served as Senior Policy Advisor under Governor Lujan Grisham and covered topics and policies surrounding education, military affairs and the national laboratories.

Prior to joining state government, Rodriguez worked for Governor Lujan Grisham in Congress from 2014 to 2018, where she reviewed the impacts of federal policies on New Mexico communities and engaged in local and statewide outreach efforts. She served as the liaison for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on state initiatives surrounding equity and inclusion.

Rodriguez is committed to ensuring that students can pursue education and career opportunities right here at home.

She earned a master’s and bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture and Planning, and she is a former provost fellow and guest lecturer at the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture and Planning.

Student Speaker bio: Monty Mangum

SFCC 2023 Student Speaker Monty Mangum

Monty Mangum, 26, received his Associate of Arts in Accounting in December.  The former Student Government Association treasurer shared he had a rocky start at another college and left discouraged with no plans for his future education. That all changed after he met Teagan, now his wife. Mangum said her passion to earn her biology degree inspired him to take a second chance at pursuing college.

At SFCC, Mangum said he found the resources to succeed, as well as access to valuable real-world experiences. “Mentors I met during Internships at CRI (CPAs and Advisors) and the N.M. Department of Tax and Revenue gave me solid career advice,” he said. He also gained confidence by serving as SGA treasurer and working with SFCC Foundation. “The SFCC Foundation helped tremendously with financial support and encouragement,” he added.

Mangum now works as a tax associate with H&R Block. He attended Eastern New Mexico University full-time as an online student this semester and is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration – with his sights on earning a master’s degree.


2022 Spring/Summer Graduation Fast Facts

Please note: This data is derived from those students who graduated either in the 2022 Fall semester or applied to graduate after the 2023 Spring semester or summer term. Data is from April 25, 2023.


435 SFCC graduates are eligible to receive 500 awards. 44 students will receive more than one award. Of those awards: 327 are for certificates and 173 are for associate degrees.

  • 59 percent are from Santa Fe; 8.5 percent from Albuquerque; 4.1 percent from Española; 1.8 percent from Rio Rancho; and 2 percent from Los Alamos. The remaining graduates are from 53 communities around the state (ranging from Abiquiu to Watrous) with the highest concentration from Northern New Mexico. Three additional states are represented by 11 students: Colorado (1), Illinois (1), Oklahoma (1) and Texas (9).
  • Graduates range in age from 17 to 76.
  • More than half 57. 2 percent (249) self-identify as Latino/Hispanic. And 6.7 percent (29) identify themselves as American Indian or Alaska Native.
  • 11 graduates identify themselves as military veterans, military spouses, or dependents of military veterans.
  • The total number of certificates to be awarded is 327.
  • The total number of associate degrees to be awarded is 173. The associate degrees to be awarded include Associate in Arts (80), Associate in Science (4) and Associate in Applied Science (89).
  • In the latter part of 2022, two certificates were given for the first time at the college: Certificate in Culinary Fundamentals (1) and Certificate in Film Tech Training (1).
  • The highest number of awards are in: Certificates: Community Health Worker Training (16), Early Childhood Development (31) and Phlebotomy (32).  Associate degrees: Nursing, A.A.S. (19), Accounting (15) and A.A, Early Childhood Education, A.A. (14).

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 sfcc.edu or call 505-428-1000.

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