UNM-LA Holds 35th Annual Graduation Convocation

UNM-LA 2016 graduates at the 35tth annual Graduation Convocation Thursday at First Baptist Church in Los Alamos. Courtesy photo

Dr. Terry C. Wallace, Jr. delivers the Convocation Address at Thursday’s UNM-LA Graduation Convocation. Courtesy photo

Staff Report:

UNM-Los Alamos held its 35th Graduation Convocation Thursday at the Los Alamos First Baptist Church.

Approximately 100 students completed a recognized level of study this spring. Fifty-eight earned Associate of Arts, Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science degrees at UNM-Los Alamos. In addition, 11 students completed Doctorate, Master’s or Bachelor’s Degrees with UNM Extended Learning. Through the Adult Basic Education Program, 32 students earned their High School Equivalency, formerly known as the GED.

Jemima Spill (Associate of Arts, Liberal Arts) and Craig. T. One Feather (Associate of Applied Science, Robotics) spoke on behalf of students receiving associate degrees and certificates.

Dr. Terry C. Wallace, Jr. delivered the Convocation Address. Wallace, Principal Associate Director for Global Security at Los Alamos National Laboratory, was raised in Los Alamos and returned to work at LANL in 2003. Wallace holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in geophysics from California Institute of Technology and B.S. degrees in geophysics and mathematics from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Text of Dr. Wallace’s speech:

Graduates I say congratulations, and hooray and I greet you with an old Scottish proverb – When the will is ready the feet are light!  You have accomplished something special and significant, you have pursued education, personal betterment, and frankly you done so against all sorts of challenges, which makes this accomplishment even the more outstanding. When I thought about this celebration today I pondered all the challenges that you had to overcome. Fifty eight of you will be awarded Associates degrees, 32 of you will acquire your HSE. There are PhD, masters and bachelors here. All of you faced a challenge – reasons why you shouldn’t or wouldn’t finish your degree. But, you persevered, and in a way that mostly is glossed over by the world at large. 

The circumstances of your graduation remind of one of my very favorite poems, “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost. 

If you will indulge me just a bit, a couple of the verses:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I have always loved that last stanza – realizing that taking the path less traveled is really an insight into who we are. Each of you took the path less traveled. You know the expectation – Finish high school, go off to college and then everyone says “follow your dream” and suddenly, like magic, everything falls into place. But that is not reality for anyone – success is not a formula or some well trodden path. It is in your heart. I don’t mean that from the standpoint of desire – we will want things – I mean it from your passion and hard work. Many of you chose to get your degrees while working, or caring for families, or squeezing in course work into the nooks and crannies of time that hectic lives allowed. It was your will power and your desire that culminated in this graduation today. 

Never under estimate will power. It is that drive to over come circumstances, or disappointments – it is something that only you own. I could tell you to follow your dreams, and you will find success but that is just not true. You must battle, you must believe, and you must do. It is your will power that will make you successful. 

Now back to the Scottish proverb I greeted you with: When the will is ready the feet are light. I have been blessed with many gifts, but I know that will power is perhaps the most important. A very brief story if I may: I am not a “fine physical specimen” or a natural athlete. I am just sort of an average guy with lots of physical issues.  I had my left hip replaced before I was 42 years old; I had my right knee replaced in 2009; I no longer have a functioning thyroid. But I run – I love to run to the tops of mountains. I love to run through canyons and woods, and scramble across boulders.  I was told I should never run again in 1998 – pick something else to do, I was told swim or read a book.  But I decided that was not my destiny. I willed myself to relearn to run – okay, very slowly, but still I run – and today, despite the various metal parts throughout my legs I run ultra races of 50 kilometers or 50 miles. I have been in many a race where the “winners” finish 4 or even 5 hours before I do. But I always finish – it is the same race as those gazelles ran. There are no headlines and news stories when I finish a race – no one notices but myself. But I know I finished the race.  I know that accomplished something hard. I know that I am in control of my destiny.

You, the 2016 graduates of UNMLA are travelers on the path less taken.  You have prevailed – and I am sure your course work and all that you learned has prepared you for the future. But I believe that destiny is something we control and, you will succeed because of your will power. The same thing that caused you to finish your degree – that flicker of desire that only you own – will be the tool of your success. And that is far more important than the paper of a diploma. I congratulate you, but even more importantly, I respect you for what you have done.

UNM-Los Alamos 3016 graduates:

Doctorate Degrees

  • Gabriel C. Baca Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Master’s Degrees
  • Nels W. Webber Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
  • Curtis P. McHaley Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering
  • Katherine C. Drypolcher* Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering
Bachelor’s Degrees
  • Adam M. Warniment Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Nathan E. Martin Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Matthew D.Scarborough* Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Jacob O. Sutton Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Benjamin S. Stone* Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services
  • Nathan Wingate* Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services
  • Yvette E. Valdez Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Associate Degrees
  • So Young Choi Liberal Arts
  • Gale Sue Jones* Liberal Arts
  • Jesse Lee Kelly Liberal Arts
  • Bradley A. Lungstrom*+ Liberal Arts
  • Elicia R. Ramirez* Liberal Arts
  • River E. Rogers* Liberal Arts
  • Rebekah Laine Schofield Liberal Arts
  • Alison Faith Shurter* Liberal Arts
  • Jemima Spill*+ Liberal Arts
  • Katherine L. Weinland+ Liberal Arts
  • Kelsey Jean Worley Liberal Arts
  • Carlos M. Castellano*+ Pre-Business Administration
  • Tyler Dalmas Pre-Business Administration
  • Gabrielle A. Fresquez Pre-Business Administration
  • Cassidy Ann Gardner* Pre-Business Administration
  • Jesirae Lucero Pre-Business Administration
  • David Rascon Pre-Business Administration
  • Loni Lynn Tolk* Pre-Business Administration
  • Natalia M. Moore* Environmental Science
  • Sean Atchison* Pre-Engineering
  • Tybur Q. Casuse* Pre-Engineering
  • Joshua Brandon Catanach Pre-Engineering
  • So Young Choi Pre-Engineering
  • George M. Duran Pre-Engineering
  • Christopher J. Kutyreff Pre-Engineering
  • Sheri B. Lopez*+ Pre-Engineering
  • John A. Matterson* Pre-Engineering
  • Helen Marie Milenski*+ Pre-Engineering
  • Robert Arthur Rieke* Pre-Engineering
  • Dawn M. Romero Pre-Engineering
  • David A. Siebe Pre-Engineering
  • Michael Spach Pre-Engineering
  • Sarah M. Terrill Pre-Engineering
  • Jacob Valdez Pre-Engineering
  • Ryan M. Villazon Pre-Engineering
  • William West Winton* Pre-Engineering
  • RoseAnna Archuleta Pre-Professional Health Sciences
  • Katherine C. Leon Pre-Professional Health Sciences
  • Elena H. Osburn* Pre-Professional Health Sciences
  • Cheriece Margiotta Science
  • Alexandre F. Mills Science
  • Cynthia L. Waisner* Accounting
  • Mario Santiago Lucas Quintana Accounting
  • Savannah Trujillo Accounting
  • Adrian Rojelio Martinez Fire Science
  • So Young Choi General Studies
  • Natasha Gill General Studies
  • Jesirae Lucero General Studies
  • Joshua Roybal General Studies
  • Rocio Serrano General Studies
  • Kiersten Temple* General Studies
  • Juan F. Valdez*+ General Studies
  • Jocelyn Warner* General Studies
  • Michael Elliot Robotics
  • Scott Newman Robotics
  • Craig T. One Feather*+ Robotics
  • Marylou Apodaca Web Technologies – Web Design
  • Natalie Glass Web Technologies – Web Development
Certificate
  • William James Hunter*+ Solar Technologies
*Graduating with Honors
+Member of Phi Theta Kappa
 
High School Equivalency Diploma
  • Maer Adams
  • Yessica Aguilar
  • Cayla Aikin
  • Lord Leidy Andrade Romana
  • Caleb Biggs
  • Guendalyn Brennan
  • Luke Brown
  • Salvador Calderas
  • Travis Cameron
  • Kyle Cisneros
  • Orlando Crespin
  • Krista Gleiforst
  • Christina Gonzales
  • Ocean Gross
  • Shantana Howard
  • Nathan Lawson
  • Bennie Lovato
  • Angel Martinez
  • Ramon Martinez
  • Richard Naffziger
  • Monica Montoya
  • Nicholas Osborn
  • Lance Pena
  • Mark Rodriguez
  • Jesse Romero
  • Frank Sandoval
  • Stacey Simpson
  • Armando Soto
  • Coleen Tafoya
  • Laura Tena
  • TJ Thomas
  • Guadalupe Vanchaik
LOS ALAMOS

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