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College night draws record crowd

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By Highlands University

A record crowd estimated at just over 500 people attended the 10th annual College Night last week to learn about making the successful transition to college life at New Mexico Highlands University or Luna Community College, primary sponsors for the event.

Jenny Arguello of the Highlands recruitment office organized the event, noting there were also a record number of information tables, with each college staffing more than 40 tables.

“It’s a good experience for all of us to come to see what opportunities we have,” said Adrianna Allemand, a senior at Robertson High School. “I was surprised to learn that Highlands has a criminal justice program, and it was interesting to learn about the jobs in that field.”

For the third year in a row, Christina Vigil, a counselor at Springer High School, brought a group of her junior and senior students to College Night.

“Each time we attend, students learn to ask better questions, whether it’s about a field of study, financial aid or housing,” Vigil said. “College Night is definitely very helpful for my students.”

Highlands faculty like geology professor Mike Petronis see College Night as a chance to raise awareness about their disciplines.

“So many people don’t know that we have a geology program at Highlands,” Petronis said. “College Night gives a face to what’s available at our university across all the academic departments.”

Gil Gonzalez, director of the Highlands recruitment office, said, “I think the best outcome of College Night is that the students and parents have a place where they can get their questions answered about transitioning to college. The collaboration between Highlands and Luna gets stronger each year as we work together on this event to help meet the educational needs of Northern New Mexico.”

College Night participants were treated to a free buffet, and entertainment by the Highlands Salsa Dancers and Los Jinetes Arrojados de Luna, the Rough Riders of Luna mariachi group.  

Co-sponsors for College Night 09 include AlphaGraphics, Alta Vista Regional Hospital, The Bank of Las Vegas, Charlie’s Bakery & Café, Imprinted Impressions, NMHU KEDP 91.1 FM, KFUN/KLVF Radio, KNMX/KMDZ Radio, Las Vegas Optic, Luna Community College Montañas de Norte AHEC, New Mexico MESA, Inc., New Mexico National Guard, New Mexico Student Loans, Coca-Cola, and State Employees Federal Credit Union.