A focus on student success has helped more than 25,000 students graduate in the last decade
The College of Southern Nevada expects to graduate its largest class ever at its 47th annual commencement ceremony May 20 at the Thomas & Mack Center.
A record 3,667 students are eligible to receive 3,721 degrees and certificates, according to preliminary data. Official numbers for spring 2019 will be available once grades are final. In the last decade, CSN has seen more than 25,000 students earn their degrees and certificates and go on to fuel the growth and diversification of the southern Nevada economy.
“We strive to put our students first to ensure that they get the best chance we can give them to receive a world-class education,” said CSN President Dr. Federico Zaragoza, who will preside over his first commencement ceremony this year as CSN’s president. “That effort is paying off, with record-sized graduating classes for 10 years in a row. I am very much looking forward to celebrating our students’ successes at this year’s commencement ceremony.”
More than 90 percent of CSN’s graduates remain in Nevada after graduation, electing to either continue their education or join the workforce and fuel the region’s economy.
The following is a look at just seven of the outstanding students set to graduate this year:
Narée Asherian was named a Regents’ Scholar by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents. As a CSN High School student, Asherian is scheduled to earn both a high school diploma and an Associate of Business degree from CSN. While at CSN High School, Asherian has balanced more than nine college credits per semester, as well as juggling her high school workload. She has maintained a 3.8 grade-point average and plans to transfer to UNLV and earn a bachelor’s degree in business. Asherian is an ambassador for Positively Arts, a nonprofit that uses arts to inspire, empower and heal. She helped created an anti-bullying program called Happy Notes Revolution, which encourages students to be positive on social media.
Andrew Boswell will be the first in his family to graduate from college. His dream to attend college had to temporarily be put on hold after finishing high school because of financial difficulties his family faced in affording higher education. Boswell is studying to be a teacher and has not let anything stand in his way. Boswell juggles his schoolwork, two jobs, volunteering at Opportunity Village and family obligations. Boswell was named the 2018-19 Outstanding Student for the CSN English Department.
Thomas Calvin, a Jazz vocal major at CSN, has been selected as the 2019 Student Commencement Speaker. Calvin considers himself an old soul and has a passion for Jazz music. He is primarily a vocalist, but is no stranger to branching out musically. He has performed at numerous venues around town, large and small, including the Smith Center, Thriller Villa and local churches. Pulling inspiration from his birthplace of Chicago, Illinois, he is a determined student, maintaining a 3.9 GPA for consecutive semesters. He plans on continuing his education and receiving his bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance.
Polly Flores sold her cosmetology business to enroll as a student at CSN at age 34. She left behind the business she had run for five years because she believed she should be more passionate about what she chose as a career. Many questioned her move, but Flores said she knew deep down she was unhappy with her life and needed a change. CSN was the catalyst for her. Flores is graduating with her business administration degree and is moving on to UNLV.
For most of his time at CSN, Carlos Gomez commuted 90 miles from Mesquite, Nevada. Last summer, he and his wife finally had enough. They bought a small-fixer up near the CSN campus. It didn’t take long to realize he hid bitten off a little more than he could chew. Carlos, a U.S. Army veteran, dropped his classes for the Fall 2018 semester so he could get his house in order. The temporary hiatus could have turned permanent without a push from his mother, who repeated a Spanish phrase to him, encouraging him to give it his all and finish his degree in architectural design technology. Carlos re-enrolled in the spring and was able to finish his degree this semester.
Looking to fulfill volunteer hours for high school credit, Monique Moreno joined her mom working in the CSN computer labs when she was 14. Twelve years later, she will earn two associate degrees and plans to complete a bachelor’s degree at CSN as well. She juggled finishing her degree with full-time work in the casino industry and as a network administrator at CSN. She helped formalize CSN’s Cybersecurity Club and serves as its president. The club helps cybersecurity and networking students find resources, scholarships and learn soft skills, like networking. Moreno’s mother, father and sister are all employed at CSN as well, working in the computer labs helping students. Moreno was named the 2018-19 Outstanding Student for the CSN Computing and Information Technology Department.
Michael Saladino first attended CSN at age 3 as a preschool student at the Early Childhood Education Lab on the North Las Vegas Campus. He came back to CSN as a teenager, enrolling in the CSN High School program, which allows students to complete college-level course while finish their high school diploma. By completing additional coursework and enrolling in classes during the summer, Saladino has finished an associate degree even before completing his high school diploma. Saladino believes people should not wait for their time, but rather they should make their time.