CNM Celebrates Fall 2020 Values Champions

CNM values, exemplified by our outstanding employees, are cause for celebration.
December 09, 2020

CNM held a virtual celebration on Thursday, Dec. 10 to celebrate the Fall Term Values Champion Awards recipients. The awards, which will be given out each semester, highlight employees who exemplify one or more of CNM’s Core Values—Be Caring, Be Connected, Be Courageous, Be Ethical, Be Exceptional, Be Inspiring.

Be Caring: Enrollment Services, Lisa Smith, nominated by Sheila Brown

Brown said, “When reaching out to gain assistance on a tricky issue during peak busy time, I was unable to get the issue resolved. Lisa Smith noticed that I and the student I was assisting needed support; she reached out to me personally to try and help me and ultimately the student. Lisa problem solved, collaborated with other departments and employees and even ended up contacting the student personally. The issue was resolved after a few days and Lisa stuck with it until the end! She was so quick to reach out and offer the extra help that was required to get this student set up for success and increase the school's registration numbers!! Thank you, Lisa, and everyone else who helped; I appreciate you!”     

Be Connected: Education, Sandra Arpero, nominated by Catron Allred

Allred said, “Sandra has done an amazing job connecting our Spanish-speaking students to resources during the transition to online. She created a drive-by book drop off so students could return their materials. She has created multiple online guides for how to access Blackboard, EduNav and other CNM resources in Spanish for the students. She has been hosting online information sessions about the program in Spanish and doing everything possible to support this population successfully transition online. She is an amazing student support advocate for our Spanish-speaking students.”

Be Courageous: Human Resources, Travis Thompson, nominated by Mildred Adams Bellah

Bellah said, "I nominate Travis Thompson for being Courageous. Travis has been essential in CNM's response to COVID-19 and has displayed every attribute of CNM's core value of being Courageous. Instead of fearing all the changes COVID-19 has brought us, Travis embraced the challenge and brought together stakeholders. This drove results and enabled CNM employees to be able to return to campus. The solutions that Travis created to the problems he was given have been innovative and have enabled faculty and staff to be prepared to welcome students in the Summer and Fall semesters.

When COVID-19 hit Travis had to turn New Employee Orientation into a virtual orientation in less than four days for the new hires who were starting the second week of March. He dove in headfirst and did not come up for air until he had a version that could provide the level of experience CNM strives to give its new employees. This was only the first of many long weeks ahead for Travis.

As the months have gone by and the increasing need for CNM to be able to provide COVID-19 specific training and comply with new federal and state mandates, Travis has been working 60-hour weeks including weekends to create and implement all the new content that has been required. Without Travis CNM would not have been able to implement the Return to Work plan in such a fast and seamless manner.

Travis has taken on this challenge without question. The lack of fear or hesitation most people would have responding to a crisis of this magnitude was never evident with Travis. I believe that even the most steadfast employees at CNM would have seen the challenge Travis was presented with to be insurmountable, yet he chose to act, taking initiative and creating innovative solutions. He took each day in stride, when every request that came in was urgent and needed immediate attention and priority. He has done not only his job but has also taken over all duties of the Training's technician role, as our co-worker Melissa Peese has been on maternity leave. His perseverance in the face of adversity is a hallmark of being Courageous.

Over the last five months, as CNM has had to go remote, Travis has been responsible for the creation and implementation of the following:

  • Continuity of Operations Plan Development (COOP) Overview
  • New Employee Orientation, Benefits for FT & PT Staff & Faculty
  • CNM's Public Health Leave Overview
  • Security Beyond the Office - PROOFPOINT
  • Pandemic Risk Assessment Policy - Overview
  • Coronavirus Awareness: CDC Guidelines for Making & Using Cloth Face Coverings- SAFE COLLEGE COURSE, Keeping CNM & CNM Ingenuity Safe: COVID-19 Training (English and Spanish)
  • Attack Spotlight: COVID-19 (coronavirus) Phishing Scams & How to Report a Phish Awareness Videos - PROOFPOINT
  • Going Remote - Guidance for Managers & Employees
  • Coping with Stress and Uncertainty During COVID-19
  • Identity Theft Protection Training - The CNM Way
  • Best Practices for Supervisors & Leaders for Remote Workers
  • EduNav Coach & Advisor Training
  • Return to Campus - Faculty & Student Overview"

Be Ethical: Gwen Weishapl, Mary Ann Geeze and Patty Justice (HWPS Full-Time Faculty for Level Two Nursing Program), nominated by Liz Alongi

Alongi said, “This team is extremely busy with our Level Two Nursing Students. They work full time and always demonstrate a very caring, ethical and inspiring atmosphere. I am a part-time faculty member and am fortunate to work with this amazing team. I always have questions and always need help with so many things. This team always answers my emails, answers their phones when I call and is very patient with me. This to me portrays how connected they are and how exceptional they are. I feel they are champions and should be awarded the 2020 CNM Values Champion Award.”

Be Exceptional: School of Math, Science and Engineering, Jennifer Buntz, nominated by Philip Lister

Lister said, “Jennifer is a full-time faculty member teaching Biology. In addition to the increased efforts Jennifer and other faculty are putting forth to support students and colleagues during the pandemic, Jennifer is also sharing her skills as a NM EMT-Basic to care for COVID-infected patients. Working through the Medical Reserves Corps, Jennifer volunteers her time and medical skills weekly at an Albuquerque COVID quarantine center.  This quarantine center established at the Super 8 hotel on Yale Boulevard is a critical support for our homeless population during the pandemic, a population which is so often underserved.  As the pandemic continues to escalate, the need for medical support staff at quarantine centers across New Mexico is increasing, as well. To help meet this need, Jennifer is actively involved in outreach to recruit students and colleagues that can share their skills as EMTs, Registered Nurses, Paramedics, Medical Assistants, etc. For her efforts to support CNM and our greater Albuquerque community during this challenging pandemic, it is my pleasure to nominate Jennifer Buntz for the Exceptional Value Champion Award.”

Be Inspiring: Devonna James (CNM Ingenuity - Deep Dive), nominated by Dana Oliveri

Oliveri said, “Devonna is a powerhouse! I joined the team mid-COVID and Devonna has been great at helping me navigate all our different communication platforms, helping me set up dashboards, and learning all our processes and procedures. Somehow, she can find the time to do professional development and share her knowledge, as well as being on the ball with communication, being proactive about tasks and meetings, and managing her own programs as well. Did I mention she always has a great attitude? She is a key part of our ability to help Deep Dive students have a great experience and keep our back-of-house operations running efficiently - she is a true inspiration!”          

Team Values Champion: CNM Maintenance Crew, nominated by Roslynee Perez

Perez said, "I cannot say enough about this crew! When CNM first shut down last March, our Maintenance Crew was more than ready to get back to work. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty during this unusual and unprecedented time. They have learned to adapt to new situations, such as having to help design and install Plexiglass in areas where staff and students must interact. They were the first on Main Campus during an early Fall snowstorm to clean up sidewalks, and the last to leave that night because the freezing temps caused a water line to rupture after hours. Then, the crews were back on campus at 6 a.m. the next day to make sure sidewalks were shoveled and de-iced in order to keep our staff and students on campus safe, all the while making sure that classrooms were nice and warm.

These guys have shown up, time and time again, with no complaints and eager to get the job done. As CNM continues to change and adapt to all the challenges COVID-19 has brought to our campus, our Maintenance Crew has consistently been on-site and working behind the scenes in order to ensure we are doing all we can to keep our campus moving forward as safely as possible.

I wish I had all the cinnamon buns and cookies in the world to show them all just how much I appreciate working with them. I hope this nomination will convey the joy it brings me working with these guys. I miss each and every one of them and I cannot wait until I can be back on campus with them!"