Mathews Family Donates Race Truck

Mathews family presenting race truck to San Juan College President.
Calvin Mathews, Butch Mathews and Kasyn Mathews (inside truck) presented a race truck to Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass, San Juan College President, Danny Beyhan, President of the San Juan College Foundation, and Robert McCartney, Automotive Instructor

The Mathews family of Aztec is sharing their love for automobiles, racing and engines with San Juan College. They generously donated a race truck to the School of Trades Automotive Program through the San Juan College Foundation.

Through this donation, the Mathews family hopes to provide San Juan College automotive program students with a valuable learning tool, providing them with hands-on experience with the race engine.

“A donation such as this benefits the automotive students not just by hands on, but by fueling their passion for the automotive trade. I mean who doesn’t like race cars?”  comments Robert McCartney, San Juan College automotive instructor.

Calvin Mathews has been racing everything from stock cars, modifieds and trucks since he was 13 years old. His eight year old son, Kasyn is his co-pilot in a Razor 1000 Turbo in the pro class and he drives a Razor 170 under the sanctioning body of AZOP Racing in Arizona. Calvin’s father, Butch says, “Racing runs in the Mathews family blood.”

This #28 race truck was used in the ARCA West Truck Series on the West Coast.   The truck has a top speed of 90 miles per hour; however, it can be geared to run up to 150 miles per hour.

San Juan College’s Luke Renner appointed to Governor’s Council on Film and Media Industries

Luke Renner, Professor of Digital Media Arts and Design
Luke Renner, Professor of Digital Media Arts and Design

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez announced the four-year appointment of San Juan College professor, Luke Renner to the Governor’s Council on Film and Media Industries.

Mr. Renner is a professor of Digital Media Arts and Design at San Juan College. He holds a bachelor degree in English with emphasis in Communications from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Mr. Renner teaches digital media arts and design and leads students in creating projects with an emphasis on benefiting local government and civic organizations. He worked seven years in broadcast television and managed marketing and public relations for the Farmington Museum system prior to teaching at San Juan College.

“I am honored to be appointed to the Governor’s Council and look forward to serving the State during an exciting time in the New Mexico Film and Media Industry,” says Renner. “This is a great opportunity for me to represent this rural part of the state.”

Mr. Renner joins fellow San Juan County residents, Erich Cole, who was appointed to Division I of the San Juan County Magistrate Court and Tonya Stinson, executive director of Farmington Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, who also serves on the Governor’s Council on Film and Media Industries since 2015.

Farmington Cinematheque Series presents Served Like a Girl

The Farmington Cinematheque Series presents Served Like a Girl, Saturday, June 16, at 7 p.m., in the Little Theatre.

Five female veterans who have endured unimaginable trauma in service create a shared sisterhood to help the rising number of homeless female veterans.

This film is not rated.

The Farmington Cinematheque Series is sponsored by the San Juan College Henderson Fine Arts Center, the San Juan College Library and KSJE Radio.  It features documentaries and independent films not released on a national level.

Tickets are $5, and are available at the San Juan College Box Office. For further information, call the Box Office at 505-566-3430.

Kids Kollege: Hands-on Learning!

Kids Kollege StudentWhether it’s finger paint in Messy Messy Art, a keyboard in Beginning Piano, a ball in Basketball Central, or dough in Let’s Bake, Kids Kollege is literally a place to use hands to learn. A tried-and-true combination of learning and fun is back for 2018, with 189 classes over seven weeks beginning June 4 and running through the last week of July for students 4 to 15 years of age.

Some classes are perennial favorites, such as Indoor Rock Climbing, Lego Robotics, Become a Jedi, Checkmate and Colorful Cooking, and others are new and timely. New options include Beginning Ukulele, Crime Scene Investigations: An Intro to Forensics, Getting Gooey, Google Earth, Python Programmers, and Hogwarts Herbology, Recycled Clothing and Cooking Around the USA. With 189 classes being offered this summer, there are over 20 classes offered each week for a variety of ages.

Most classes run one week, so families can work around other summer plans or enroll out-of-town grandkids and cousins for a week of fun. Many classes are held two hours for five days, with other options including morning care beginning at 7:45 and pick-up at 5 p.m. for working parents.

Super Summer STEM Camp returns for a third year, offering students ages 6 to 11 a high-energy, immersive environment to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Thanks to generous support from the Bayless Foundation, the camp provides real-world challenges that promote the direct application of critical thinking and collaboration skills.

Most classes for ages 4 to 11 meet from 1 to 2:50 p.m. and from 3:10 to 5 p.m. at the main campus, with trained staff guiding students between the classes. Numerous morning classes as well as the Super Summer STEM Camp provide options for all day. The schedule includes some free classes; most cost $39, with others ranging up to $149 for all day camps.

Kids may be registered now at the Community Learning Center (Room 1911 in the West Classroom Complex), which is open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  A parent or guardian must sign a waiver and provide the child’s Social Security number or a San Juan College ID number for registration. Returning students can register online.

For more information, go to, or call the Community Learning Center at 505-566-3214.

John Boggs Named Dean of the School of Humanities

John Boggs, Dean of Humanities
John Boggs, Dean of the School of Humanities

John Boggs has been named the dean of the School of Humanities, following an almost year-long appointment as the school’s interim dean.

Boggs tenure at San Juan College began in September, 2016 as the senior director of the Student Success Center where he remained until August, 2017. Since coming to the College, he has been actively engaged in the Guided Pathways program, has served on a variety of committees, and is the current chair of the Professional Staff Association.

As the dean, he will oversee programs including the Associate degrees in Liberal Arts, Psychology, Native Studies, Education, and Human Services, as well as Certificate programs in Creative Writing and Alternative Teacher Licensure.

Prior to joining San Juan College, he held several positions at San Jacinto College in Houston, Texas, most recently as director of Evening/Weekend College, and instructor in Humanities and Student Success.

His extensive career in higher education began as a faculty member and program director in the School of Religion at Houston Baptist University. There, he taught courses in Religion and Philosophy and managed a scholarship program for undergraduate students.

“I am honored to serve the School of Humanities and San Juan College as dean,” Boggs said. “I look forward to developing new programs and aligning existing programs to meet the needs of students and our regional partners, especially the institutionalization of Guided Pathways at San Juan College.”

“The faculty and staff in the School of Humanities impress me with their collaborative efforts, innovative approaches, and creative thinking,” he continued. “I believe those traits are critical to the success of our students, the College, and our community.”

“John’s broad background in the humanities and in higher education make him the ideal choice for this position.  He has made excellent contributions to San Juan College since his arrival,” says Adrienne Forgette, vice president for Learning.  “John is committed to the mission and vision of the college and has a passion for student success.  I look forward to working with him, supporting his leadership of the School of Humanities, and seeing what all of us can accomplish together.”

Boggs holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Religion from Houston Baptist University, where he graduated summa cum laude. He continued his education in the United Kingdom, earning a Master of Arts degree in Theology from the University of Durham, and further post-graduate studies in Theology at the University of St. Andrews. Boggs also has master’s degrees in Organizational Leadership and Education from St. Mary’s University-Minnesota, and additional graduate studies in Philosophy at Houston Baptist University.

Boggs is married, and has four adult children and one grandchild, and one daughter who is a high school junior in Houston. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and camping, and more importantly, feeding his addiction to books and reading.

A Choice That Led To Success

Jason Hayes and Caitlin Brewster
Jason Hayes and Caitlin Brewster

Fire Science and Diesel Technology were the two programs Caitlin Brewster couldn’t decide between when she applied at San Juan College.  Brewster was a mechanic in the United States Army and knew she enjoyed working with her hands, but she also liked the fast pace and challenge associated with Fire Science.

Brewster waited until the last possible day to register for the Diesel Technology program.  She kept weighing the pros and cons between the two programs.  “They are both amazing programs that can lead to very fulfilling careers,” says Brewster. “However, my choice to enroll in the Diesel Technology program has been a good decision for me.”

San Juan College’s Diesel Technology program offers an Associate of Applied Science and several certificates.  Major topics covered in the program are diesel power trains, hydraulic systems, braking systems, chassis systems, electrical/electronic systems, and air conditioning. Students have many career opportunities in this growing field including working on trucks, generators, RVs, mining and construction equipment, and buses.

As one of the few females in the class, Brewster felt the respect and comradery with her male class mates.  “Everyone was always very supportive and encouraging in helping me succeed,” she said.

“I am pleased that Caitlin chose the Diesel program.  She enjoys working with engines and she has a natural ability,” says Jason Hayes, assistant professor and coordinator in the Diesel Technology program.  “Caitlin will do well in her career.”

Brewster also enhanced her skill set by participating in Skills USA each semester.  The Skills USA competition is available to students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupation. Skills USA encourages students to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens while improving the nation’s workforce.

She completed her classes for the Diesel Technology program in December 2017.  She accepted a position with Cummins on the Wednesday her classes ended and began her employment on the following Monday.  “I love my job.  I love working with my hands,” says Brewster.  “San Juan College truly prepared me for my work.”

The School of Trades and Technology offers a wide array of Associate of Applied Science degrees and certificates, which include Auto Body, Automotive Technology, Building Trades, Cosmetology, Diesel Technology, Drafting, Fire Science, Geographic Information Systems, Veterinary Technology and Welding. These programs provide training and experience that prepare students for today’s workplace. For more information, visit

Discovering A New Direction

Carl Bickford and Garrett Chavez
Carl Bickford and Garrett Chavez

For Garrett Chavez, picking a college major wasn’t easy; however, after taking his first engineering class, he knew he had found his course of study.

His family fully supports him continuing his education, as he was home schooled throughout high school while working in the family-owned business.

In the fall of 2015, Chavez enrolled at San Juan College believing a business degree would be the natural fit for his future in the family business.

When he registered for classes, he met with Taylor Haskell, an advisor in the Advising and Counseling Center. “He asked me about my interests and strengths in school,” says Chavez. “He suggested I take an engineering course after he found out I excelled in math and science.” Hesitant to take the Introduction to Engineering course his first semester, he registered for it his second semester.

Chavez admits being intimidated by the course and confirms it was a tough decision, and says he was still torn between Engineering and Business. “I immersed myself into my studies and began forming friendships with fellow engineering students,” he recalls.

He looked up to Carl Bickford, professor of Physics and Engineering. “Professor Bickford would stay after class and visit with students about careers in engineering.” All of this support was instrumental in his decision to continue in the Engineering field.

Proud of Chavez’s accomplishments, Bickford says, “I first met Garrett in my Introduction to Engineering class in the spring of 2016, and I recognized his level of motivation and ability to understand concepts.”

Chavez will graduate with an Associate of Science degree in Engineering.  He was recently honored at the Student Academic Excellence Awards Reception in the Math, Science and Engineering category.

“Beginning my education at San Juan College was the best move for me,” smiles Chavez. “Thanks to all of the support I have received, I feel prepared to transfer to New Mexico Tech to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.”

“Engineering teaches us to explore every facet of a problem – I know I will have the problem solving skills to be able to look at things from different perspectives,” says Chavez.

The School of Science, Math and Engineering prepares students for successful careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Students typically earn their associate of science degree and transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a baccalaureate and/or graduate degree in one of the STEM fields. Degree programs include Associate of Science degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, and Pre-Medical Sciences. For more information, visit

One Simple Gift Inspired a Career

Haeleigh Martinez and Dawn Myers
Haeleigh Martinez and Dawn Myers

For Haeleigh Martinez, it all started with giving a blanket to a cold person in the park.  She was at a ball game, saw a gentleman in need and gave him a blanket from her car.  Martinez knew at that point she wanted to help people improve their lives, no matter what their situation.

Martinez graduated from Piedra Vista High School and left home to attend school to major is Psychology.  After her first semester away, Martinez returned home to Farmington. “I loved college, but felt like I needed to be closer to my mom and grandparents,” says Martinez. “They raised me and were my foundation.”

Martinez enrolled in classes at San Juan College, thinking she would continue with her degree in Psychology.  She also enrolled in an Introduction to Human Services class with Dawn Myers, assistant professor of Social Science and History.  This class changed Martinez’s career path.

“I felt a little intimidated in the first class I took with Dawn,” Martinez said. “Most of the students in her class had been in class with her before.  I wasn’t sure I would really fit in.”     Martinez began to feel more relaxed in the Human Services class because Myers reminded Martinez of her mother.  Martinez says, “Dawn had high expectations of me, yet at the same time, she became one of my biggest cheerleaders.”

“Haeleigh has been committed to academic excellence in all of the Human Services classes she has taken with me,” commends Myers, “The feedback from her Honors Service Learning and Practicum site supervisors indicate that she has natural talent and ability when working in a counseling setting. I am confident that Haeleigh will be an asset to the Human Services profession.”

Collecting and giving blankets to those in need is still something Martinez does.  Martinez has also completed her required practicum and Honors Service Learning hours at Cottonwood Clinical Services, Inc. where she works directly with people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Both of Martinez’s grandparents were substance abuse counselors.  Martinez would like to follow closely in their footsteps.  Upon graduation with her Associate of Arts in Human Services- Substance Abuse, Martinez plans to enroll in New Mexico Highlands University to major in social work.

The School of Humanities comprises five departments: Behavioral and Social Sciences; Language and Education; Fine Arts, English; and Community and Public Events. The School offers general education courses in humanities, behavioral and social sciences, and fine arts; courses in student success, developmental English and reading; Associate of Arts degrees in liberal arts with concentrations in many of the disciplines; Associate of Applied Science; and Associate of Arts programs in Early Childhood Education, Elementary, Secondary, and Special Education, Psychology and Human Services, and Alternative Licensure Teaching Certificate. For more information, visit

Past and Present exhibit by Crystal Hazen

Crystal Hazen will showcase her work in an exhibit titled Past and Present, at the Henderson Fine Arts Center Art Gallery, June 1 to June 22.

An opening reception will be held Friday, June 1, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the Henderson Fine Arts Center Art Gallery.

The show titled, Past and Present will feature Crystal Hazen, a self taught artist who works in mixed media and social commentary. She often uses black with bold colors, rich textures and experimental materials. Her signature style is her unique way of studying humanity and nature and expressing it through art. Her art is always changing.

The Henderson Fine Arts Center Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For further information about this exhibit or other Gallery events, contact the Art Gallery at 505-566-3464.

Cinematheque Series presents London Town

The Farmington Cinematheque Series presents London Town, Saturday, June 2, at 7 p.m., in the Little Theatre.

After his father is injured in a work accident, Shay takes over driving his cab and one fateful night, picks up Joe Strummer (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), the lead singer of The Clash. Through being forced to take care of his family, his friendship with Strummer and his relationship with Vivian, Shay passes some important milestones on his way to adulthood. This film is rated R for some sexual material and language.

The Farmington Cinematheque Series is sponsored by the San Juan College Henderson Fine Arts Center, the San Juan College Library and KSJE Radio.  It features documentaries and independent films not released on a national level.

Tickets are $5, and are available at the San Juan College Box Office. For further information, call the Box Office at 505-566-3430.