CCC student speaker plans on nursing career

File photo The CCC Spring Commencement is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at the Clovis Civic Center.

Liliana Castillo

About 150 students will graduate Friday from Clovis Community College.

Of those, 101 will graduate with a diploma and 55 will be awarded a certificate.

Clovis resident Kristie Hawk, 20, was chosen as the student speaker. She is graduating with an associate’s degree in liberal arts.

After graduation, Hawk plans to enroll in the CCC nursing program in the fall.

When she began classes at Clovis Community College, Hawk was planning to become an elementary teacher. A semester before finishing her degree, she decided to make the switch.

“I want to be a nurse,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of nursing students have success in the nursing program and heard they all get jobs as soon as they graduate so that was my motivation. And I like helping people, so I decided to do that.”

Hawk said she has always wanted to help people in her career.

“As a teacher, I’ll only help one age of children. Being a nurse, I’ll be helping people of all sorts of ages,” she said.

Hawk said she feels like it’s the right thing to do to help others.

“I’ve always had my mom there to support me my entire life. I hope to be a good helper like she was,” Hawk said. “I want to be able to support a patient when they’re really sick and there’s no one to visit them.”

Eight students were nominated and each submitted a speech to the board of trustees. The board chose Hawk based on her speech.

“I wrote a lot about things that other students can relate to, mainly just my experiences at CCC,” said Hawk, whose family moved to Clovis to be closer to family after her parents retired from the military.

CCC Executive Vice President Becky Rowley said the speaker for graduation will be Jackie Ingle, who works for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

Rowley said Ingle was chosen because she’s from the Portales area and therefore knows the area and the students.

“And she works with employment and employment abilities, which is good for students to hear about,” Rowley said.

The board will also award emeritus status to two former CCC faculty members, Mike and Michelle Schmidt. They worked at CCC for a combined 54 years.

Rowley said she enjoys graduation.

“It’s really nice to see students that you’ve worked with in different capacities finish,” Rowley said. “Sometimes students don’t just come through with an associates in two years, they take four or five. Seeing them finish, you really kind of understand why we do what we do.”