Doña Ana Community College (DACC) student Maria Carmona-Montalvo was named to the 2018 New Mexico All-State Academic Team for her outstanding academic accomplishments and community service.
Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), an honor society for two-year colleges, sponsored the award. The Alpha Omega Tau chapter at DACC nominated Carmona-Montalvo. She will receive her Associate of Science in General Engineering at DACC this spring and beginning this semester, is continuing at New Mexico State University majoring in Engineering. She hopes to finish with a Master’s Degree. She is a first-generation college student who was motivated by both her mother and father to go to school.
Her mother was a single parent who raised 4 children. Having no formal education it was difficult for her to find work, eventually learning a trade and then reuniting the family. Carmona-Montalvo learned much from her mother’s hard work and sacrifice.
“When I was young my father had a saying, ‘si no me invitan, me invito yo,’ which means if I am not invited, I will invite myself,” Carmona-Montalvo said. By inviting herself she has had a successful life eliminating barriers, overcoming odds and proving those wrong who said she wouldn’t succeed. “Recently, I have participated in recruitment fairs for students interested in STEM, and have showed young girls that you do not have to be the smartest girl to succeed in engineering, you just have to work the hardest,” she said.
Carmona-Montalvo was on the Dean’s List multiple times at the community college and also served as Secretary for the Women in Technology club at DACC.
The recognition was given as part of Community College Day at the New Mexico State Legislature in Santa Fe. PTK advisors Robert Doyle and Gus Pina of the Computer Information Technology program accompanied Carmona-Montalvo to receive her award. Students from New Mexico nominated to the national team comprise the All-State Academic Team.
Photo: from left Carmona-Montalvo, NM Secretary of Higher Education, Dr. Barbara Damron, President of NM Independent Community Colleges, Dr. Becky Rowley and Dr. Renay Scott, DACC President and President of the NM Association of Community Colleges.