Name: Martha D. Staab

Organization: ENMU Roswell

Phone: 575-624-7403

Email: [email protected]


ROSWELL, NM- Close to 150 candidates for graduation participated in Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell’s Eighty-First Commencement Convocation. The ceremony took place Friday, May 10, at 6 p.m. at the Roswell Convention and Civic Center, 912 N. Main St. A group of bachelor’s degree and master’s candidates from ENMU also participated in the ceremony.

ENMU-Roswell selected 2 student speakers for the commencement. Our first is Arianna Mendoza. Arianna was honored with an Associate of Science degree in Elementary Teacher Education, marking the culmination of an inspiring journey.

Hailing proudly from Roswell, New Mexico, Arianna’s upbringing was shaped by the love and guidance of her devoted parents. Following her graduation from Roswell High School in 2012, Arianna embarked on a life-changing journey by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. Driven by a thirst for adventure and with a sharp eye toward securing financial assistance for her college endeavors, she made the courageous choice to enlist. Arianna’s affinity for challenge and competition played a pivotal role in her decision to join the Marine Corps.

In 2013, while stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC, Arianna’s life took a beautiful turn when she encountered the love of her life. Their journey together has been marked by shared joys and challenges, leading them to the profound blessing of parenthood. Today, they are blessed parents to a beautiful six-year-old daughter. Reflecting on her journey, Arianna regards her decision to join the Marine Corps as one of the best choices of her life, leading her to not only her husband but also her cherished best friend. Amidst the trials of military life, her best friend stood as a steadfast pillar of support, offering solace and companionship during moments of solitude far from home.

Following a medical separation after six years of dedicated service due to an injury, Arianna embarked on a profound period of reflection, contemplating her next steps in life. She resolved to enter the field of education, aspiring to empower young students to unlock their full potential and believe in the boundless possibilities of their dreams. With aspirations of becoming a physical education teacher, Arianna seeks to instill in her students the values of an active and healthy lifestyle, coupled with a resilient spirit of competition.

A passionate athlete since her middle and high school years, Arianna excelled in sports such as volleyball, basketball, and track, demonstrating her unwavering determination and competitive spirit. Outside of her academic pursuits, Arianna remains active by regularly attending the gym, attending her daughter’s sports practices and games, and traveling with family. Her love for travel fuels her desire to explore new horizons whenever the opportunity arises. After attaining her degree, Arianna intends to immerse herself in the education field to garner practical experience and continue her educational journey. Additionally, she aims to explore job opportunities outside of her current state, seeking relocation to a city that offers greater prospects for career advancement and professional growth

Arianna extends heartfelt gratitude to her husband, daughter, parents, siblings, and countless family members and friends whose unwavering support has propelled her through her college journey. With every endeavor, Arianna strives to serve as a beacon of inspiration for her daughter, demonstrating that women possess the power to achieve anything they set their minds to.

Our second speaker, Paul Miller, is a testament to the enduring pursuit of knowledge and skill. Paul’s journey to this momentous occasion began with pursuing an associate’s degree in aviation maintenance technology, a feat for which he was duly honored. Remarkably, Paul holds the distinction of being the oldest student to graduate this semester, embodying the adage that learning knows no age limit.

Paul’s rich background includes a distinguished career in the military, where he served as a combat veteran during the Vietnam era. Throughout his military tenure, Paul undertook the rigorous training necessary to become a licensed airframe and powerplant aviation maintenance technician, a credential that would shape his professional trajectory for over five decades. His expertise spanned military, commercial, and general aviation aircraft, reflecting his unwavering commitment to excellence and safety in aviation.

Interestingly, Paul’s journey towards our aviation maintenance program began in 2002 when he stumbled upon a brochure that piqued his interest. This serendipitous encounter set the stage for his remarkable educational journey, culminating in today’s graduation ceremony.

Despite his absence in person, Paul’s presence was felt through a video presentation of his speech, a testament to his enduring dedication to sharing his knowledge and experiences with the next generation of aviation enthusiasts.

We eagerly anticipate the insights and wisdom Paul’s speech will offer, and we extend our heartfelt congratulations to him on this remarkable achievement.