CNM Celebrates Summer 2020 Values Champions

CNM values, exemplified by the outstanding employees below, are cause for celebration.
July 30, 2020

CNM held a virtual celebration on Thursday, July 30 to celebrate the Summer 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: MSE Instructor, Sierra Netz, nominated by Philip Lister

Lister said: "I couldn't decide which specific category this fit in, as I felt Sierra embodied Be Caring, Be Connected, Be Exceptional and Be Inspiring, in how she went above and beyond to help a student finish the Spring 2020 term. Sierra has always been one of the most thoughtful, engaging, and collegial members of our faculty, and the student support mindset is what makes Sierra such a special educator and mentor for students. This past spring, Sierra had a visually-impaired student in class who really struggled when COVID-19 forced us to transition from face-to-face to online delivery. This transition was difficult for so many of our students, but it was especially difficult for this student. To support this student, Sierra took the initiative to call him twice a week for the remainder of spring term to read his assignments out loud to him and help him continue progressing in the course. The student not only finished the term, but the student passed the course with an "A"! To me, this shows how much Sierra CARES for her students, how CONNECTED she is to her students, how EXCEPTIONAL she is to go so far above and beyond to support her students, and how INSPIRING she is as an educator."

Be Connected: EMS Instructional Technician, Frances Ohler, nominated by Jessica Medrano

Medrano said: "We have rapidly transitioned all EMS labs to online, virtual labs. This means that every single EMS student has to check out and drop off skills equipment to practice at home during their virtual labs. This is an extraordinary feat. We have 140 students to accommodate for the summer term. Frances quickly did inventory and drafted a plan to get each student what they needed to learn mandatory skills from home. Each student has the equipment and supplies for one week. This not only ensures student success in a time of crisis, but it also ensures public safety by making sure our EMS graduates have the proper skills to take care of the public. Frances has also had a great attitude about this, as well as all of the planning that has had to go into returning [equipment] to campus. On behalf of the entire EMS Program, Frances, we salute you!"

Be Courageous: Scheduling Director, Amanda Hamblin-Anderson, nominated by Samantha Sengel

Sengel said: "I want to recognize Amanda for her ingenuity and courageous work in adjusting the summer schedule of classes in partnership with Enrollment Services. Amanda took risks, made informed decisions, and determined a strategy to implement the new Summer 2020 schedule of classes that required less challenging work for each of the schools and reduced work for Enrollment Services. And throughout, Amanda had the impact on students at the forefront of her thinking. As a result of Amanda’s work, her team was able to implement a fully online schedule of classes in a timely fashion."

Be Ethical: Deans of Students, Chris Cavazos, nominated by Sonya Lara

Lara said: "I value Chris’s willingness to contend for truth. The college benefits tremendously from the equitable perspective which considers the best method of support for students from many backgrounds, emotional states, neuro-diversity, veteran status, and/or cultural practices. Chris’s ability to actively listen to and empathize with students in an impartial manner advances the mission of the college, changing lives building community. I am so grateful for his focus on being ethical."

Be Exceptional: Contact Center Tech, Maxwell Jacques, nominated by Sonya Lara

Lara said: "Maxwell sets the bar really high. Through our modified operations Maxwell never missed a beat. This involved onboarding four new team members to our work unitall online. The new members are all performing their duties at a high level of performance, which they credit to the support and development of Maxwell. Additionally, Maxwell eagerly jumped on board with managing training responsibilities for two critical programs, which support the workforce demand of the college allowing us to onboard 15+ temporary workers through the telework want ads. These employees have all found meaningful work as a result of his ability to leverage training in a manner that allows the temporary workers to excel. Maxwell also took on the training responsibility for the Student Ambassador program, which provides summer work for student employees. Maxwell's exceptionalism is clearly shining through a time that seems uncertain. His leadership and ability have propelled the work of the team as we support the mission of the college.

Be Inspiring: CHSS Instructor, Robert Bello, nominated by Susan Ruth

Ruth said: "Robert taught the class right after mine. At midterm, I noticed that it was a full class. The students even looked happy to be there and were talking freely about what was going on in their lives. By comparison, my students looked drained and devastated. When I asked Robert the secret, Robert said, “You know these students have so much going on, they’re tired and stressed. So, I give them a take-home midterm, which takes the pressure off a timed in-class exam.” As we talked more, Robert mentioned that he was being treated for cancer and he warned his students that he might lose his hair, feel weak, or miss class. It was then I realized that Robert translated his own vulnerabilities in fighting cancer into empowering and supporting his students, who may be experiencing difficult times as well. As a result, Robert's class is a space where students feel seen, can take risks, and maybe even have an epiphany or two. So much of teaching is about inspiration, and Robert has inspired me to not hide vulnerability, but use it to create a community of compassion, humanity, and learning."