Four outstanding professionals got their start at DACC and since then have established outstanding honors and accolades including from those who nominated them as this year’s distinguished alumni.
They took a different path than most; one started in higher education after gaining a GED while others earned a degree to start their second careers or found their dream job after more than a decade. On Saturday, October 6, the 2018 Distinguished Alumni will be celebrated in the East Mesa Commons area of the Student Resources Building, marking the 45th anniversary of DACC.
One student finished her academic career and left the Southwest to become the curator of a museum in Tahoe City, California. Barbara Bogucki originally left home at the age of 17 and after earning a GED was offered a free class at a community college. The class was Art History and it brought back memories of her favorite museum. When she moved to Las Cruces, Bogucki earned an associate degree in General Studies from DACC in 2006. She then graduated from New Mexico State University (NMSU) with several degrees including a bachelor of arts in History with a minor in Art History and then attained a master’s in Public History and a graduate certificate in Museum Studies.
In 2015, Bogucki accepted the position of curator at the Tahoe Maritime Museum where she serves as historian, collection manager and exhibition developer. She also gave back to the community by serving as adjunct faculty at the Fallon, Nevada Naval Base for two semesters and will continue to pursue opportunities to teach in higher education.
Another DACC student was already working when he went back to school to earn a certificate so he could enhance his career. Juan Holguin, a graduate of Gadsden High School worked in health care as a caregiver with ResCare New Mexico. For the past 12 years he has worked with Tresco Inc., a firm that impacts the lives of children with developmental delays, and people with disabilities. Holguin decided to advance his education by completing a certificate program as a pharmacy technician through the DACC Career Readiness Program.
Since then he has worked as an intern and then as an employee with Walgreens and has excelled in the field thanks to his work ethic, professionalism and collegiality. Holguin was nominated by his instructor who is also a supervisor at Walgreens.
Another student chose a DACC Radiology degree and will serve as the president of the national professional society of radiological technicians. Stephanie Johnston, a Mayfield High School graduate found the Radiologic Technology program at DACC 13 years after graduation. It was then she began her career in medical imaging. She graduated in 1997 and was honored with the Mallinckrodt Award of Excellence. Johnston also earned her bachelor degree in Community Health from NMSU.
In 2009, she earned her master’s degree in Radiologic Science Administration from Midwestern State University. Since then Johnston has been published in peer journals, has written education modules, has taught on-line and lectured. She was elected to the board of directors of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and will serve as the president at the centennial celebration in Albuquerque in 2020. Johnston currently serves as the director of the Texoma Breast Care Center in Wichita Falls, Texas.
This student worked in the grocery business for 19 years. Carlos Navarrete was left without a job when the grocery store chain he was employed by went out of business. Forced to choose another career, he attended DACC and completed his associate degree in Computer Aided Drafting. One of his instructors owned an engineering company and was so impressed with Navarrete that he hired him.
After working for another 10 years with the Underwood Engineering company, Navarrete wanted to expand his work experience and opened his own tech business, Nava Tech. Inc. The construction plan, production and coordination firm opened its doors in 2004. Since then he has succeeded as a businessman and as a mentor for the many DACC students.
A luncheon and awards ceremony will take place at noon in the commons area of the DASR building on the East Mesa Campus, 2800 Sonoma Ranch Blvd. on Saturday, October 28.
From left to right Carlos Navarrete, Stephanie Johnston, Juan Holguin, Barbara Bogucki