Archive for News Releases

CMC selects regional vice president to serve campuses spanning Rifle to Aspen

Higher education executive Richard Maestas begins new role June 1
Richard Maestas will begin his new position as regional vice president for Colorado Mountain College’s western region – overseeing campuses from Aspen to Rifle – June 1, 2015.

Richard Maestas will begin his new position as regional vice president for Colorado Mountain College’s western region – overseeing campuses from Aspen to Rifle – June 1, 2015.

After receiving more than 200 applications and a search process involving dozens of Colorado Mountain College staff and faculty, a well-regarded community college administrator has been selected to fill a new position at the college.

On June 1, Richard Maestas will become the first regional vice president in CMC’s history, overseeing the college’s western region. Maestas’ territory will include five locations in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys, where he’ll work with existing campus deans and administrators at the college’s locations in Aspen, Carbondale, Spring Valley, Glenwood Springs and Rifle.

“I am delighted that Richard Maestas has agreed to join the Colorado Mountain College family,” said CMC President and CEO Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser. “Richard is not only a highly accomplished higher education executive, but he absolutely believes in CMC’s mission, values and future.” Read more

CMC Culinary Institute director featured on Rocky Mountain PBS

Kevin Clarke, Director of Culinary Education at CMC Breckenridge, will be featured in a Rocky Mountain PBS series this Sunday.

Kevin Clarke, Director of Culinary Education at CMC Breckenridge, will be featured in a “Hittin’ The Road” segment on Rocky Mountain PBS Sunday, March 22.

Kevin Clarke, director of the Colorado Mountain College Culinary Institute, will take the spotlight this Sunday, March 22, when the PBS television series “Hittin’ the Road” features him cooking in the institute’s commercial teaching kitchen at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge.

The educational program, produced by Rocky Mountain Adventure Quest, features different aspects of life in the American West, from gold mining and dinosaurs to Colorado’s wine country. The episode featuring Clarke traces the origin of olives at an olive grove in Arizona and highlights some of the uses of olive oil.

From left, Donna Vessey, host of "Hittin' the Road" and CMC's Kevin Clarke in in the kitchen at CMC in Breckenridge.

From left, Donna Vessey, host of “Hittin’ the Road” and CMC’s Kevin Clarke in in the kitchen at CMC in Breckenridge.

Clarke, along with host Donna Vessey, prepares several dishes made with olive oil – among them a bread and tomato appetizer with grilled garlic and olives, and a pistachio olive oil cake.

“Hittin’ the Road” featuring CMC Culinary Institute’s Keven Clarke airs Sunday, March 22, at 11:30 a.m. on Rocky Mountain PBS Channel 6.

CMC Board of Trustees approves changes in tuition discounts

At its meeting in Rifle on Monday, the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees unanimously voted for modifications in tuition discounts, including expanding the college’s “in-district” classification to include Colorado residents, and their dependents, who also own residential property in the six-county CMC district.

This means that for the first time, students with second homes in the CMC district, who are also Colorado residents, will be able to take advantage of the most affordable tuition Read more

CMC offers $1,000 scholarship to all local high school seniors

A personalized letter going out this month from Colorado Mountain College President Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser outlines a new scholarship designed to capture the attention of graduating high school seniors living in the college’s 12,000-square-mile service area.

The letter offers all graduating seniors the Colorado Mountain College President’s Scholarship of $1,000, to be used for tuition during the student’s first full year at any one of the college’s 11 locations from Rifle to Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs to Leadville and Chaffee County, Edwards to Aspen, and the Roaring Fork Valley. “It is an invitation to students to keep CMC top of mind for their college choice and a message to all young people in our communities that they are college material,” said Hauser. “We welcome them to pursue their dreams with us in an exceptional, inclusive, and highly personalized setting.”

The scholarship is also designed to incentivize proven actions and behaviors for success in college. “We also want to encourage students to attend full time because we know that those who do so are more likely to complete a college degree, which has become a minimum requirement for most jobs in Colorado and nationwide,” said Dr. Matt Gianneschi, chief operating officer and chief of staff at the college. “This initiative helps us fulfill several of our strategic goals: to increase access and success for our students and to Read more

CMC’s Common Reader art and writing contest winners explore ‘Cabin Fever’

"No More" by Colorado Mountain College student Henry G. Maxwell of Carbondale won second place in the college's Common Reader art and creative writing contest.

“No More” by Colorado Mountain College student Henry G. Maxwell of Carbondale won second place in the college’s Common Reader art and creative writing contest.

Colorado Mountain College sponsors an annual collegewide art and creative writing contest based on the Common Reader book that is read by students, staff, faculty and community members. This past year, the college community collectively read “Cabin Fever,” a modern-day memoir by Tom Montgomery Fate along the lines of Thoreau’s musings on nature and society’s place amongst it. Contestants focused on the notion of “‘enough’ in a culture of more,” and winners were selected by a seven-member panel of CMC faculty and staff.

Three artists and three writers received cash awards, ranging from $100 to $250, for their contributions to the contest:

1st: “Stroke of Hunger” by Dara Marquardt, Spring Valley student
2nd: “News Crawl” by Jose Alcantara, Carbondale community member
3rd: “Clean Underwear Day” by Becca Katz, Leadville community member Read more

World renowned environmentalist, author to speak at CMC in Edwards March 11

Photo of author Maude Barlow.

International best-selling author Maude Barlow will speak about the global water crisis at a free event at CMC in Edwards on March 11. The event is part of the Women in Philanthropy Distinguished Lecture Series. Photo: Wolfgang Schmidt.

As part of the Women in Philanthropy Distinguished Lecture Series, international best-selling author Maude Barlow will speak about the global water crisis and the solutions needed to avoid a worldwide water shortage. The free talk will take place on the evening of March 11 at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards.

Barlow’s lecture, “Blue Future: A Marshall Plan to Protect Water and People Forever,” is also the title of the final book in a trilogy she has written about recognizing water as a human right instead of a privately held commodity.

The author of 17 books, Barlow is the recipient of 12 honorary degrees and many awards, among them the 2009 Planet in Focus Eco Hero Award, and Read more

Poetry Slam goes multilingual this year

Flyer for CMC Breckenridge's annual Poetry SlamA beloved Summit County literary tradition is less than a month away, so it’s time for local poets to prepare for Colorado Mountain College’s eighth annual Poetry Slam on March 26.

The slam gives local poets a venue to present their works (either memorized or read) to fellow poetry aficionados. The rules are minimal:
– The poem must be your own.
– The poem must be three minutes or less in length.
– Presenting poets are not allowed any props except for a folder.
– Poems must be presented solo – no group pieces or music.

This year, poems in Spanish are encouraged – or any language, though all poems must be translated to English. And if you’d like Read more

Student photography on display at CMC ArtShare Gallery

Poster for CMC student photography showThe CMC ArtShare Gallery in downtown Glenwood Springs is hosting an exhibit of wide-ranging photographic works by Colorado Mountain College professional photography students March 6-April 28.

Because the college’s professional photography program encourages its students to develop their own ways of seeing, the show’s common denominator is the high quality of the photographic explorations in each image.

The photos range from award winners in the College Photographer of the Year competition; to journalistic, commercial and art prints; to unusual portraits and reflections on the human spirit. The college’s professional photography program is under the umbrella of CMC’s Isaacson School for New Media.

The exhibit will be on display through April 28 at the CMC ArtShare Gallery at 802 Grand Ave. in Glenwood Springs. An opening reception is set for Friday, March 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

The CMC ArtShare Gallery winter hours are weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call 947-8367 or visit

Students invited to CMC’s Next Generation College Day on March 7

Colorado Mountain College in Leadville is hosting a free conference for regional middle and high school students and their families preparing for college and future careers. The Next Generation College Day on Saturday, March 7, will be held at the college’s Leadville campus and is open to students in grades 6-12 from Chaffee, Lake, Summit and Eagle counties. Participating students will receive a free T-shirt, and lunch is provided.

During the day, counselors and representatives from a variety of Colorado colleges and local organizations, including CMC alumnus William Mundo who now attends the University of Colorado – Denver School of Medicine, will provide information about high school and college success, college preparation, financial aid and scholarships, and more.

The event, showcasing not only CMC but also other Colorado colleges, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Climax Molybdenum Leadership Center at CMC in Leadville, 901 S. Highway 24. Spanish translation will be provided. Students can register for the conference through their school counselors or contact Jan Krueger at Colorado Mountain College at 719-486-4266,

Colorado Mountain College scholarship honors Eagle woman’s life

Friends of Mylissa Memorial Scholarship supports future teachers. By Carrie Click.

mylissa eckdahl in wheelchair

The late Mylissa Eckdahl, who taught developmental education at Colorado Mountain College, has inspired a new scholarship that will help to train teachers.

It has been nearly six years since Eagle resident Mylissa Eckdahl passed away as a result of respiratory failure, leaving two teenage daughters and a life filled with learning, teaching others, giving back and overcoming extreme challenges.

In January 2001, Eckdahl was working on a doctorate degree from Colorado State University and teaching developmental education at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards. That’s when she was severely injured in a rollover car accident after hitting black ice near Wolcott. Living life as a quadriplegic, Eckdahl learned how to flourish in a new way, serving as an inspiration to many in Eagle County.

Out of Eckdahl’s strong belief that learning is a lifetime activity, a new scholarship has been established at Colorado Mountain College.

“Mylissa was first and foremost an educator,” said former colleague and Professor Jan Attoma, who teaches English as a second language at the college’s Edwards campus. “She had great passion for the success of her Read more