CMC Steamboat Springs celebrates students who earned 175 degrees, diplomas and certificates this year |

CMC Steamboat Springs celebrates students who earned 175 degrees, diplomas and certificates this year

Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs bachelor’s degree graduate and ski team member Cheyenne Brown delivers her student commencement address on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Steamboat Grand.
Colorado Mountain College/Andy Colwell

Colorado Mountain College held two commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, for students from the Steamboat Springs campus.

According to the college, since summer 2022, 142 local students have earned 175 bachelor’s and associate degrees, diplomas and certificates of occupational proficiency, or credentials. Some graduates earned more than one credential, though not all walked at the commencement ceremonies. 

As the students received their accolades and acknowledgements from CMC faculty, staff, family and friends, they joined their fellow CMC students at commencements this weekend from 11 campuses throughout the CMC system.

“These graduates demonstrate how relevant Colorado Mountain College is in our communities,” said CMC President and CEO Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser in a news release. “CMC offers learners — regardless of age, background or education — ways to pursue a wide variety of liberal arts degrees and career-relevant pathways to become teachers, business leaders, nurses, law enforcement officers, public lands stewards and more. Along with the CMC Board of Trustees, we are so proud of them.”

CMC Steamboat Springs’s nurse pinning and graduation ceremony was on Friday and Chief Nursing Officer Kelly Gallegos from the UCHealth-Yampa Valley Medical Center gave the keynote address before the nurse pinning ceremony.

From left, Beth Poulos, CMC dean of nursing, looks on as CMC graduate Christian Duncan hugs his mother after the nursing pinning and graduation ceremony at CMC Steamboat Springs on May 5. Duncan received Steamboat campus’s outstanding nursing student award.
Colorado Mountain College/Theo Stroomer

The following day, Carlos Fernandez, the state director of The Nature Conservancy for Colorado, gave the keynote address at the Steamboat Spring’s main commencement ceremony at the Steamboat Grand. 

Each year, a committee made up of CMC employees recommend soon-to-be graduates to serve as commencement speakers. This year, the committee selected Ben Mathis as the associate degree graduate speaker and Cheyenne Brown to be the bachelor’s degree graduate speaker. 

Mathis earned a 3.99 cumulative grade-point average and has been a leader in student government. He is also a representative on the collegewide emergency response team. Also, Brown is a member of the CMC ski team and has a 3.8 cumulative gpa.

Brown has earned two associate degrees and is graduating this spring with a bachelor’s degree in leadership and management. 

Another Alpine ski racer, Elena Dziura, also competes with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. She took most of her classes in Steamboat Springs, and she received her associate’s degree.

According to the college, Dziura’s goal is to ski at a Division 1 college, be a biology major and attend medical school. She credited concurrent enrollment for allowing her to maintain a more flexible schedule with skiing and classes.

Elena Dziura graduated with an associate degree through CMC’s concurrent enrollment program while still in high school. The Alpine ski racer from Salida trains with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. She attended CMC Steamboat’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6, 2023.
Colorado Mountain College/Andy Colwell

The Steamboat Springs’s sustainability studies faculty also highlighted a handful of current graduates including Alex Verachtert, who earned a bachelor’s degree in sustainability studies. A long-term employee at Ski Haus, he is interested in water issues in the West and particularly the Colorado River. 

Also, Bryce Bonner is committed to sustainable business and graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration. In addition to serving as a student assistant ski coach for the CMC ski team, he’s been involved in the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

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