UNM-LA Holds 32nd Annual Graduation
May 12, 2013
The UNM-Los Alamos Graduation Convocation was held Wednesday, May 8 at Crossroads Bible Church in Los Alamos. Two doctoral degrees, two master’s degrees, three bachelor’s degrees, 54 associate’s degrees and 16 general education development diplomas were awarded at the ceremony.
Melissa Torres spoke on behalf of those receiving associate’s degrees. Torres and her husband Paul are both enrolled at UNM-LA. The couple has three children and are members of San Ildefonso Pueblo. Torres was receiving her Associate of Science in Pre-Professional Health Science degree. Eventually, she plans to apply to a Ph.D. program in physical therapy at UNM.
Torres left school to raise her daughters and returned to college after 11 years.
“My husband and I were out of work and not very employable because we lacked skills,” Torres said. The couple discovered the Accelerate program at UNM-LA and are now on a path to good careers.
Returning to school was scary for Torres. “Don’t be afraid, just do it,” she urged.
Torres encouraged the graduates to celebrate their success. “This is a big deal and we deserve it,” she said. “We’ve reached this diploma and no one can take that away from us.”
This year’s graduation included 12 students from UNM-LA’s Fire Science Program. The group was the first to graduate from the program. UNM-LA Executive Director Cedric Page thanked Chief Troy Hughes and Capt. Joseph Candelaria of Los Alamos Fire Department for their contributions to the program’s success.
Page closed the ceremony by bidding farewell to Dean of Instruction Kate Massengale, who is retiring in June after many years of service at UNM-LA a member of the faculty and staff. The audience recognized Massengale with a standing ovation.