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1000 Words: It’s Almost That Time.

Plastic palm tree lit with white Christmas lights

Defining Sustainability: Riders

CMC sustainability studies student & semi-pro snowboarder Jake Black shares his thoughts on greening up the planet, taking a stand, and the need for positive, creative thinking. First printed in Snowboard magazine. Black is also a talented photographer who shoots conceptual black & white images with a 4×5 Toyo field camera.

Black and white photo of tree roots by Jake Black.

Vancouver Island. Photo: Jake Black.

Nicolas, a lifelong vegetarian, understands the impacts our meats have on the world. A major portion of deforestation, water contamination, acid rain, carbon pollution and ocean dead zones are all due to our meats and grazing patterns. According to University of Leeds Professor Tim Benton, reducing beef consumption would reduce our carbon footprint more than giving up our cars.

Sometimes the thought of criticism and resistance can keep us from taking action. As Edmund Burke said centuries ago, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Marie is working to confront this harsh reality: “You can always find faults in everyone. We have to change that mentality. Everybody is scared to take a stand and do something because they are scared of the critics. I am no exception. I never wanted to talk about this subject my entire career. But click for full article

PI photographer headed to Africa

CMC professional photography program grad Christopher Mullen is off to Africa to photograph for the non-profit CURE International. This article was published in the Glenwood Post Independent. By Will Grandbois.

 Christopher Mullen photographs an abandoned building by the Salton Sea in Southern California, September 2 . Photo: Tyler Eichhorst.

Christopher Mullen photographs an abandoned building by the Salton Sea in Southern California, September 2 .
Photo: Tyler Eichhorst.

After years looking for a steady job in photography, Christopher Mullen landed two of them.

A week after signing on part time with the Post Independent after months of freelancing, Mullen, 23, got an offer to serve as a CUREkids coordinator in Uganda. He departs in late January and will spend a year sharing the stories of children treated at the CURE Children’s Hospital in Mbale.

CURE International is a Pennsylvania-based Christian nonprofit that takes its mission from Luke 9:2: “…and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”

It operates hospitals throughout Africa and the Middle East and has a presence in more than 30 countries, with a particular emphasis on children suffering from orthopedic and neurological conditions.

For Mullen, it’s the perfect fusion of his passion for photography and his faith.

“I like projects that positively affect people and tell the story of a person in need,” he said.

“They’re actually doing something. They’re living out the Bible.”

Although he’ll be without a car and relying on a translator, Mullen says he isn’t worried. After all, he’s made a cultural adjustment before click for full article Read more

Patients benefit when nurses have advanced education

This CMC Corner column by Judy Evans, MS, RN ran in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on Dec. 8. Evans is an associate professor of nursing at Colorado Mountain College and an acute care nurse who has been in the nursing profession for 38 years. For more information on CMC’s nursing degrees, visit

Were you to find yourself as a patient in a hospital, you would want to know you are receiving the very best care and the best monitoring of your health status. Because nurses have the greatest amount of contact with patients, your progress is to a large extent dependent upon their care and intervention. One factor that consistently shows benefits to patients is having nurses with advanced education.

Consider the statistics: hospitals that have a higher percentage of nurses who hold bachelor’s degrees in nursing have patients with better outcomes, lower mortality rates and fewer adverse effects from treatment or hospitalization. These hospitals also have lower “failure to rescue” rates – that is to say, the patient Read more

Avalanche safety classes available at CMC

Snow near summit of Williams Peak.For those wanting to venture into the backcountry this winter, now is a prime time to plan to take an avalanche safety course at Colorado Mountain College. Both lecture and field classes are filling up quickly in preparation for the winter season.

Colorado Mountain College’s locations in Edwards, Breckenridge, Leadville, Aspen, Glenwood Springs-Spring Valley and Steamboat Springs are offering avalanche classes, courses and/or workshops that can teach backcountry recreationists how to recognize and avoid dangerous terrain and unstable snow conditions.

Students can take their knowledge as far as they’d like to go, from learning how to make sound personal decisions about traveling in winter environments, to Read more

1000 Words: Dedication

Four students arrived at CMC’s Rifle campus at 4 a.m. last Monday with blankets and pillows to register for classes – and try to secure a spot in CMC’s certified nursing program. From left: Lynn Shackelford, her daughter Brooke Shackelford, Vanessa Bracamontes and Kristen Ford.

Four students camped out at CMC Rifle last Monday, hoping to secure a spot in the certifed nursing program.




Don’t just buy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Give.‪ #‎GivingTuesday‬, Dec. 2, is day dedicated to giving back. Countries around the world are initiating their own #GivingTuesday movements to encourage individuals to give back to their communities.

Find a way to give between now and Tuesday, Dec. 2, to a favorite non-profit whose work you value. If CMC has made a positive impact on your life, please consider a gift to the CMC Foundation to support students in need: . Then download and share this image and post to your own social media to share the good word of your deed.

Graphic for #GivingTuesday

Get Cosmic for the holidays

Cover of CMC Professor Jimmy Westlake's 2015 astrophotography calenderCMC professor Jimmy Westlake’s Cosmic Calendars are back for 2015! The theme of the 2015 Cosmic Calendar is “Fire and Ice” and features twelve celestial images from Westlake’s travels in Hawaii, Alaska, and across the United States. Westlake’s full-color,  8.5”x11”, heavy card stock glossy finish calenders are full of  information about cool celestial events that will be taking place in the coming year, including meteor showers, eclipses, and more.

Five dollars from the sale of each calendar goes directly to the CMC Sky Club, the CMC Steamboat Student Astronomy Club. You can order your calender by emailing Jimmy Westlake directly with your order at  Alternately, visit professor Westlake’s website at Prices for calenders are listed below. Happy skywatching!
Special CMC Pricing:
1 calendar is $18
2 to 5 calendars are $17 each

6 to 9 calendars are $16 each

10 or more calendars are $15 each

Innovators in education: Tennessee – and CMC

This column first appeared in the Nov. 5, 2014 Glenwood Springs Post Independent. By Herb Feinzig

I was recently invited to attend the New York Times’ Schools for Tomorrow program, where some 250 individuals from the public and private sectors (including government) came together to discuss the future of American higher education. It was an opportunity to learn about the latest innovations and how we could apply those at Colorado Mountain College. I was exposed to new ideas, but I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that CMC has many of the same plans as some of the country’s most forward-thinking educators.

One of the most impressive speakers was Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who spoke about a program his state has implemented called “the Tennessee Promise.” This program gives every high school senior who graduates two tuition-free years of attendance at either a community college or technical/trade school. The program also has community volunteers acting as mentors to students in those first two years. I also heard that students needing any remediation will take that remediation during their senior year in high school, rather than in college. This program has many similarities to programs already Read more

Less talk, more action

The Colorado Climate Summit moves past the conversation about climate change and toward solving the problem

The following article on the Colorado Climate Summit was published in the Boulder Weekly. CMC Rifle instructor Chris Ellis, who teaches in the college’s solar energy program, is featured at the end of the article. Ellis shares his thoughts on the importance of creating energy literacy in kids. By Caitlin Rockett.

Illustration for Colorafo Climate SummitRobert Castellino has worn a lot of hats over the last 20 years — he ran the ski-racing program at Eldora in the early ’80s, worked in telecommunications, founded his own greeting card company, supported adolescents as a youth minister and, as a lifelong photographer, has authored five photographic story and guide books about Boulder, Denver and Colorado at large.

Now he’s donned another hat — environmental activist.

“I’ve always had a passion for the environment and the books I’ve written in the past … have always had a component about the ecology of commerce and our place in relationship to nature in Colorado,” Castellino says. “Nature has always driven my experience in Colorado and everything I know click for full article