Fidel Cuevas

"Many years had passed before I returned to school again as an adult to pursue something I personally value; education. I started out studying for my GED ® at the UNM-Gallup North Campus in 2007 and I completed it in 2009. I really appreciated the opportunity to "walk" in the graduation ceremony as a GED ® recipient and I felt inspired to continue my education as an undergraduate. I liked that UNM-Gallup offered easy access to start college classes. I liked the small campus, the ability to connect with professors and tutors, and the reduced tuition compared to the Main Campus. I took a variety of classes at UNM-Gallup such as Sociology, Math, Education classes, Natural Sciences, and English. Looking back, I especially appreciate the early credits that I received from UNM-Gallup because I had the opportunity to get some of those credits in a smaller, more personalized setting. When I started classes, I was still learning English and I really appreciated the fact that the advisors, professors, and SSS Office were so supportive and understanding. In 2010, I transferred to UNM main campus to continue on my education."

"Now I am a senior working on my last semester to graduate from UNM-Main Campus with a Dual Major in Psychology and Spanish. I have worked hard to get to this point and I greatly appreciate the support that I received along the way. The dedication I put toward my education reflects on my grades, having a 3.8 GPA. Furthermore, I am helping other students to pursue their GED ® by giving GED ® classes in Spanish and tutoring on one to one in English and Spanish. I never thought that I would make it this far and now I am even considering pursuing a Master's Degree in the future."

Fidel Rivas Cuevas / GED ® Teacher - UNM-G Student / UNM Psychology and Spanish Student

"My formal education with UNM-Gallup began in 2000, shortly after I moved to Gallup. As a mother of two, it was important for me to wait until my daughters were in school before I started on a college plan and to schedule my classes at the same time they were in school so that they would not 'notice' that I was gone. I wasn't too sure what wanted to study, just that I loved learning and I figured that the advising staff and instructors would guide me based on my interests and performance in the classes I took. I soon earned my AA degree in Liberal Arts. From there I was hired in the Transitional Studies Department as a Senior Tutor for the Adult Basic Education Program. After gaining some experience and furthering my education to attain a bachelor's degree in University Studies (one of my favorite memories was during my graduation keynote address by Diane Denish, she made reference to my story, my experiences, I was aware that she'd be presenting about me that night and it made the night all that more exciting) I completed a Career ladder to be promoted to an Education Specialist for the Adult Basic Education Program. Part of my experience included applying and being selected as a Program Manager for a statewide pilot program that I called 'Transitions to College in Health Careers' this was designed to bridge GED ® Students to introductory college courses.

Karessa Bitsoie

"Through my experiences with UNM-Gallup I have learned to pay it forward. I learned from and was guided by some who have been formally educated by others who have gained their knowledge from this very institution as well. I have walked across a bridge that connected 'home' in the cultural sense, to a world of formal higher education, all while keeping my identity and my family close at hand. I am now a part of that bridge for others who are vying for that same goal."

Karessa R. Bitsoie / B.S. in University Studies / AA in Liberal Art
Program Specialist at UNM Gallup Nursing Program