Residential advisors at Colorado Mountain College are mentors to students, providing peer-to-peer guidance while living on campus.

Dakota Roark perfected the role of the RA in his six years at the residence halls at CMC Spring Valley. He graduated May 15 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration, though that was not always his major. First drawn to study education, and then possibly to develop a career in the field, he worked with CMC staff to develop his degree path.

Dakota Roark

After working through numerous career changes, Dakota Roark is graduating from CMC Spring Valley with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

“Lisa Runck [CMC Spring Valley associate dean for student affairs] helped talk me through the 18-plus career changes that I worked through while here,” he said.

He is also grateful for Alisha Maes, CMC Spring Valley director of student life and housing, who he said “was my boss, mentor and friend throughout my entire time as an RA at CMC.”

Roark said he especially appreciated the connections he made with faculty while he studied at CMC Spring Valley. Even if he only had one class with one professor one semester, those connections remained.

“CMC has changed who I am for the better, and I am excited to tackle the future with the skills that I have learned here,” Roark said.

Due to efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, like most colleges in the country Colorado Mountain College decided to hold a virtual commencement this year. Launched at noon on May 15, 2020, CMC Commencement 2020 will be on view throughout at least the summer.

The site contains videos for seven different commencement ceremonies and information about the nearly 1,200 students invited to participate. Each ceremony features recorded speeches from the college president and Dr. Angie Paccione, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Each campus’s ceremony also includes a keynote speech from one of seven trailblazing Colorado women (in honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage), as well as speeches from student speakers and campus representatives.