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INSIDE SFCC S A N TA F E C O M M U N I T Y C O L L E G E | W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

In this issue

College education improves community Pre-K wing opens at Kids Campus SFCC welcomes Interim President Cecilia Y.M. Cervantes, Ph.D. and more...


SFCC students and graduates use education to improve community

Andrés J. Mercado, Mobile Integrated Health Officer for the City of Santa Fe

SFCC students and graduates

are integrating the concept of “community” into every sector of the economy throughout the region. Welding grads are helping to build the new Presbyterian Medical Center, auto technician grads are repairing cars, education alums are teaching in the classrooms, art grads are showing work on Canyon Road and SFCC health care grads are working at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and other clinics. These are just a fraction of the places where you can find folks who are applying skills gained at the college. Conversations with a current student and an alumnus reveal that while every student is different, many discover their true passions while at SFCC. 2

An inspiration for creative problem-solving When Andrés J. Mercado, 38, was a teen, he faced many challenges and never finished high school. He was encouraged, however, to enroll in SFCC’s Adult Education program, where he first received a G.E.D., then began college classes. “I was a worker at the front desk of the Fitness [Education] Center when I saw people coming in to take a Fitness for Firefighters class. Instructor Sheila Beuler got me interested in firefighting,” he says. By age 19, he was working with the Santa Fe County Fire Department. He added that county tuition assistance and educational leave time helped him fulfill his educational goals.

He received state licensure as an Emergency Medical Technician-Basic following his studies at the college, which were a component of earning an associate degree in General Studies in 2003. “It was those gen. ed. classes that I never planned to take but needed to take, like philosophy and humanities, that got me looking at problems in more creative ways,” Mercado said. Realizing he wanted to delve further into those areas, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at the University of New Mexico and then a master’s degree from St. John’s College. Mercado said he draws on all of his educational experiences in his current job as the Mobile Integrated Health Officer for the City of Santa Fe. “These days, fortunately,

firefighters respond to fewer fires. But we respond to a high-volume of 911 emergency calls,” Mercado said. He said the city looked at the data and recognized that much of the budget was spent on repeat calls from individuals with chronic health issues. In 2016, the city collaborated with Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, Southwest CARE Center and other partners to create the Mobile Integrated Health Office. Mercado was involved in the initial planning as well as launch of the program. It was a way for him to tap into his creative problem-solving skills to help the city be more effective, as well as helping people in a more direct way. He sees the positive results. “We’ve identified about 150 people who we serve in a more proactive way,” Mercado said. “We help people meet their chronic health needs without continually delivering them to the emergency room.” “SFCC gave me the skills and confidence I needed to realize I could make a difference,” he said.

An incubator for creative expression Student John Francis Mustain, 28, was excited to be a part of Meow Wolf, a Santa Fe-based artist collective that launched its permanent installation, “House of Eternal Return,” in March of 2016. Part of his job included providing tours to the exhibit’s hordes of visitors, which in one year reached numbers of more than 400,000 and continues to grow. When Mustain learned that Meow Wolf would help pay for part of his tuition at SFCC, he jumped at the chance. “When I first came out to campus, I couldn’t believe what a wonderful place this was. I had no

John Francis Mustain, SFCC student and local artist

idea of all the different types of art classes it offered,” he said. He eagerly signed up for a variety of classes. “SFCC met my desire for new creative skills. The teachers are great and there’s a real community at the college,” he said. “I wanted to diversify my skill set. This is the place to make that happen. It’s the perfect incubator for creative expression.” During a letterpress class, Mustain had the opportunity to volunteer at the Palace of the Governors Press. “I made prints and was able to sell those in the Gift Shop at Meow Wolf, so that was terrific.” He enjoys a variety of art forms, but fell in love with fine woodworking. “I want to develop skills that are useable and marketable…to become a skilled furniture designer and fabricator.” Mustain credits SFCC for helping him develop new areas of self-discipline and focus. “Woodworking classes forced me to plan ahead and then execute a project. It’s been a great experience.” He plans to graduate this spring. Many SFCC students get tuition assistance through their employers or other agencies, including SER Jobs, the City of Santa Fe, Presbyterian Medical Services, and T.E.A.C.H., among others. For more information, contact Linda Peña, Staff Accountant, at 505-428-1871 or 3




Nursing Program at Capital High School The Con Alma Foundation has awarded SFCC funding to design and implement a licensed practical nursing (LPN) program at Capital High School. The program will be developed in collaboration with the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium with the goal of nesting the LPN program into the BSN pre-licensure program. This program will be replicable across the state and will provide a pathway for local nursing students to graduate with both a bachelor’s and an associate degree while staying in their home communities.

Accepting Support for Scholarships More SFCC students of Mexican origin and descent will benefit from scholarships thanks to the Institute of Mexicans Abroad Scholarships (Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior, IME), a division of the Mexican Federal Government. This is the fourth year that the SFCC Foundation Left to right: Norma Ang Sanchez, Consul of Mexico; Marcos has secured the funding Arias, Consul of Legal Affairs and Community Outreach; for these students. Carmen Gonzales, Ph.D., SFCC Foundation President; SFCC Interim President Deborah Boldt, SFCC Foundation Executive Director; and Cecilia Y.M. Cervantes, Cecilia Cervantes, Ph.D., SFCC Interim President. Ph.D.; SFCC Foundation President Carmen Gonzales, Ph.D.; and SFCC Foundation Executive Director Deborah Boldt, along with 13 students and Student Development staff met with Mexican Consul Norma Ang Sanchez to accept the support. The SFCC Foundation has also established the Randy W. Grissom Presidential Endowed Scholarship. Gifts may be made by contacting Deborah Boldt, Executive Director of the Foundation, at 505-428-1855 or

Katie Besser Writing Awards The Honorable Mayor of Santa Fe, Javier Gonzales, addressed the college’s first Fall graduation class on Dec. 9, 2017 at our William C. Witter Fitness Education Center. SFCC has graduated more students each year, more than 450 this fall and 725 last spring. Over 89 percent of SFCC’s graduates find work or transfer to another college.

The Student Writing Awards have been renamed the Katie Besser Writing Awards in recognition of long-time SFCC benefactor and former Governing Board member Bruce Besser’s late wife, Katie. Mr. Besser’s contribution honors Katie’s love of literature and creative writing. Also to honor her, the Katie Besser Memorial Poetry Library has been established in the Liberal Arts Program Office.

Preventing Gun Violence The Guns-to-Art Benefit Show at the form & concept gallery in November, drew a large and captivated audience. Proceeds from the show support the nonprofit New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence and the Foundation’s scholarship fund. Special thanks to form & concept owner and chair of the SFCC Foundation’s Art on Campus Committee Sandy Zane for her generous contributions. 5

NOTEWORTHY SFCC welcomes Interim President Cecilia Y.M. Cervantes, Ph.D. Dr. Cecilia Y.M. Cervantes was appointed by the SFCC Governing Board and joined the college in November. “Santa Fe Community College is an outstanding higher education learning community consisting of focused, hard-working students and dedicated employees,” said Dr. Cervantes. “I am honored to serve as the college’s interim president and to work with the college’s team in supporting students as they accomplish their educational goals.” “Dr. Cervantes has the experience to build on the progress the college has made in increasing graduation rates and fostering student success,” noted SFCC Governing Board Chair Linda Siegle. “She has a strong background in collaborating with community partners, business and industry to provide greater opportunities to students.” Board member Kathy Keith added, “The students were particularly impressed by her commitment to diversity and that she is bilingual.” Cervantes most recently worked as a consultant in curriculum development at the Minneapolis Public Schools. From 2008-2015, she served as president of Hennepin Technical College in Minnesota. Prior to that, she was the president of College of Alameda in California. She also served as Associate Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Career Technical Education at El Paso Community College; Provost at the Transmountain Campus in the El Paso Community College District; Associate Campus Director (Chief Instructional Officer) at Doña Ana Community College; Vice President of Academic Affairs at Western New Mexico University and as Dean of Continuing Education and Dean of Arts and Humanities at the Community College of Denver. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado and an M.A. and a B.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso.


Artist Christy Hengst, left, and SFCC Creative Writing Program Founder and Instructor Miriam Sagan, right center.

Haiku Pathway Installed in Courtyard SFCC Creative Writing Program founder, instructor and author Miriam Sagan launched the concept of installing a Haiku Pathway in the central courtyard on campus. Sagan curated poems from those written by students and local poets. She then enlisted the creative contributions of artist Christy Hengst, who pressed the haiku into ceramic stones. The stones are embedded in the gardens around the courtyard to inspire reflection and respite.

The installation is presented by the SFCC Foundation’s Art on Campus Program with support from the Liberal Arts Department and is funded in part by the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry.

NOTEWORTHY Pre-K wing opens at Kids Campus The new Pre-K Wing has opened at Kids Campus, the college’s early childhood development center. The two new classrooms are bright and airy and accommodate more prekindergarten students. Pre-K students are joined by (left to right) Kids Campus Administrative Coordinator Amelia Bryne Gonzales; Director of Kids Campus Michelle Rosen-Hatcher and Director of the Early Childhood Center of Excellence Jennifer Duran-Sallee, Ph.D.

PNM Awards Energy Efficiency Star to SFCC Executive Director of SFCC Plant Operations Management Henry Mignardot represented SFCC at the PNM awards ceremony where SFCC was recognized with a 2017 PNM Business Energy Efficiency Star Award for achieving significant energy savings in the PNM Business Energy Efficiency rebate programs. The PNM Business Energy Efficiency Star Awards are given to PNM business customers who saved the highest kilowatt hours (kWh) among all energy efficiency rebate projects paid.

Grissom Receives Sustainability Award Serving Community SFCC Graduate Cordell Pacheco has been serving delicious creations throughout Santa Fe. Here he’s seen at Maize Restaurant. He has also worked at Bouche French Bistro and New Mexico Fine Dining.

Cordell Pacheco, Chef, received an Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts, in 2016

Randy W. Grissom, who recently retired as President of SFCC after nearly 30 years in service to the college, received first place in the Sustainability Leadership category of the annual Mayor’s Sustainability Awards. He was acknowledged for his part in creating the School of Trades, Technology, Sustainability & Professional Studies which offers sustainability-related technology education and training, and provides stimulus to the local economy.

In Memoriam Former SFCC President James N. McLaughlin passed away in October from complications related to MDS, a blood cancer. After joining SFCC in 2001 as Dean of Administrative Services, Jim was appointed as Interim President in 2003, and served as the college’s fifth President from 2004 to 2006. He is survived by his wife, Sheila Ortego McLaughlin, who was president of SFCC from 2007 to 2012. 7

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S A N TA F E CO M M U N I T Y CO L L E G E Empower Students, Strengthen Community. Empoderar a los estudiantes, Fortalecer a la comunidad.

Inside SFCC

Published by Santa Fe Community College SFCC Governing Board and President Linda S. Siegle Chair Jack Sullivan Vice Chair George Gamble, Ph.D. Secretary Martha G. Romero, Ph.D. Member Kathleen D. Keith Member Cecilia Y.M. Cervantes, Ph.D. Interim President Contact Board Members at governing-board or call 505-428-1148. Produced by SFCC’s Marketing and Public Relations Department, 505-428-1667 Executive Director: Todd Eric Lovato Writing & Editing: Jennifer Bleyle, Emily Drabanski, Todd Eric Lovato, Laura J. Mulry Design & Layout: Sonja Berthrong, Dorothy Perez y Piriz

ABSENTEE VOTING RUNS JAN. 12-FEB. 2. EARLY VOTING RUNS JAN. 17-FEB. 3. ELECTION DAY IS TUESDAY, FEB. 6. Go to for information. SFCC is an equal opportunity/ADA-compliant institution. SFCC es una institución de igualdad de oportunidades en conformidad con ADA.

Photos: Jeffrey Atwell, Chris Corrie, Todd Eric Lovato, Dorothy Perez y Piriz, Kerry Scherck

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