April 27, 2023


CONTACT: Donna Oracion, College Development Director, 575-624-7403

[email protected]




Close to 150 candidates for graduation are expected to participate in Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell’s Seventy-Ninth Commencement Convocation. The ceremony is scheduled for Friday, May 12 at 6 p.m. at the Roswell Convention and Civic Center, 912 N. Main St. A group of bachelor’s degree candidates from ENMU will also participate in the ceremony.

The commencement speaker will be candidate for graduation, Mark Ludwig Labastida. He will be receiving an Associate of Science degree in Nursing. Mark Ludwig Labastida grew up in the Philippines.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Teacher Education, specializing in Biological Science. He later earned a Master of Arts degree in Education, majoring in Teaching Science. In the Philippines, he worked as a high school chemistry and biology teacher and a part-time college instructor. In 2018, he moved to the U.S. and obtained his New Mexico teaching license. He taught Earth and Space Science at Mesa Middle School for three years.

“At first, I did not have any plans to change my profession,” Labastida said. “However, when I started exploring ENMU-R, I noticed that the university offers a variety of programs and opportunities, including nursing.” Labastida began taking prerequisite classes at night while teaching middle school in the morning. He said the instructors’ flexibility and willingness to work with his schedule enabled him to complete all of the prerequisite classes and requirements for the nursing program.

In the fall of 2021, after ten years as a classroom educator, seven years in the Philippines, and three years in the U.S., Labastida retired from teaching and started the nursing program at ENMU-Roswell. Upon graduation with his Nursing degree, Labastida would like to pursue advanced practice in nursing, like Nurse Anesthesiology.  He is also considering earning a Ph.D. in biochemistry and may also return to teaching when he retires from his nursing career. “I would like to apply to a community college or university offering a nursing program and other STEM-related programs, not just to return the favors to my nursing instructors, but because they have inspired me to become one.”

At ENMU-Roswell, Labastida was a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. He received the Eastern New Mexico Medical Center Auxiliary scholarship every semester while in the nursing program. “ENMU-R has helped me expand my education and to have another profession I never thought possible. I am thankful to the people of Roswell, the Roswell Independent School District, and the ENMU-R university administrators, students, and most especially, the nursing program faculty, for welcoming me and helping me grow and develop to my fullest potential. Being away from my family since 2018 has been difficult, but the support from Roswell and ENMU-R community has made it easier.”