Associate of Arts Graduates

RESTART After serving in the military, Noelle Brigden enrolled at CMC. She’s now a Fulbright Scholar pursuing a Ph.D. in Government with a fellowship from Cornell University.

Graduates of the Associate of Arts degree at Colorado Mountain College pursue Bachelor’s degrees and beyond

Kyla Duffy
CMC grad Kyla Duffy

Easy Transition to University

“Colorado Mountain College was great for me. The teachers were just amazing. CMC gave me a strong foundation to pursue my business goals. It made an easy transition to the University of Colorado.”

Kyla Duffy transferred to the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, then earned a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership at the University of Denver. She recently founded her third successful business in Boulder, Colorado, where she works as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado.

Sarah Chase

CMC grad Sarah Chase

Getting a Push

“The teachers I had at Colorado Mountain College pushed me to not just do the minimum. They encouraged me to keep my curriculum rigorous and not slack off. CMC is a great place to put your roots down and get good grades. It is a fun place to be, but at the same time, it’s a feeder system to the big schools.”

Sarah Chase transferred to Colorado State University, and then moved on to California Western Law School. Now, as an attorney for Crocs, Inc., she finds herself immersed in contract review, employment law and intellectual property law.

Kara Norby
Photo of Kara Norby and chimp.

Transferring was Easy

I would have had trouble transferring credits back to my University in Wisconsin, but since I had obtained the actual AA degree I had no problems transferring and moving right into my BS in Psychology with a minor in Biology.”

Kara Norby earned a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She has habituated red leaf monkeys and observed orangutans for a research project in Borneo and has volunteered at two different primate sanctuaries in Cameroon. She hopes to attend graduate school after a few years spent working at a camp for children with learning disabilities in the summer and coaching skiing in the winter.

Esgar Acosta
CMC grad Edgar Acosta

Setting a Standard

“Coming to CMC provided a base for me when it came to knowing what I liked in schools. When I transferred I looked for something that met CMC’s standards.”

Esgar Acosta transferred to the University of Northern Colorado. He hopes to continue to a master’s degree in counseling. He is very optimistic about all the opportunities available to him because of the encouragement and assistance he received in the Colorado Mountain College Associate of Arts Degree program.

Samantha Blea
Photo of CMC grad Samantha Blea.

Online Options

“I took online classes through CMC because the classes that I needed to take simply weren’t offered in a classroom. It was really convenient to be able to work at my own pace while staying on top of the syllabus for each class and allowed me to do my high school work at the same time.”

Samantha Blea earned her Associate of Arts while still a student at Rifle High School with dual credit, graduating from both institutions in 2007. From there, she went on to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics from the United States Naval Academy. She is now stationed on the USS Ford in Everett, Washington, where she is training to become a Naval Surface Warfare Officer.

Terence Sinclair-Wood

Faculty & Staff Made a Difference

If it weren’t for the encouragement of the CMC faculty and staff I would have never been able to achieve my dreams.”

Terence Sinclair-Wood recently received his Doctorate of Education from Hamline University, and is currently teaching at Cretin-Derham Hall, a private high school in Saint Paul.

Noelle Brigden
Photo of CMC grad Noelle Brigden

New Beginning Goes Far

“Where would I be without CMC? I don’t know. If it weren’t for the small classes and the support I got from the advisors, I don’t know if I would have finished school.”

Noelle Brigden transferred to the University of Denver, earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in International Studies, and graduating with a nearly perfect GPA. She minored in Economics, Mathematics and Spanish. She received a fellowship from Cornell University where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Government.

Dave Kolstad
CMC grad Dave Kolstad

Life Changing Experience

“This honor would not have happened to me without Colorado Mountain College and Dave Harmon, the professor who took me to Nicaragua and exposed me to understandings that have changed my life.”

Dave Kolstad transferred to the University of Colorado and was named one of five students nationwide to receive the Howard R. Swearer Student Humanitarian Award in 1999. He was also named the winner of the Jacob Van Ek Award, the highest honor given in the College of Arts and Sciences for academic excellence and outstanding contributions to the community at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Terence Sinclair-Wood

Faculty & Staff Made a Difference

“If it weren’t for the encouragement of the CMC faculty and staff I would have never been able to achieve my dreams.”

Terence Sinclair-Wood recently received his Doctorate of Education from Hamline University, and is currently teaching at Cretin-Derham Hall, a private high school in Saint Paul.

James Skurupey
Photo of graduate James Skurupey

Knowledge and Power

“CMC’s Outdoor Education program gave me the knowledge and power to strive ahead in my higher educational goals and life’s experiences. My degree in outdoor education provided valuable knowledge that transfers to my current profession as an environmental scientist.”

James Skurupey instructed and assisted with outdoor education courses while completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Colorado at Denver. From there, he obtained a position with the Bureau of Land Management as a recreation technician and wildlands firefighter. Currently, he is pursuing a M.S. degree in Environmental Science at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

Amy Marino
grad Traverse Zink

More than Teachers — Mentors

“My instructors were extremely passionate about the courses they were teaching. The leadership skills and sense of place I developed through CMC play an integral role in my work. I now see those educators as more than just teachers, I consider them mentors for life.”

Amy Marino graduated from the Outdoor Education program in 2009 and transferred to Prescott College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree. She is now pursuing a master’s degree through CSU at the Walking Mountains Science Center, with the help of a National Science Educator Fellowship. She works as a program coordinator for the Vail Youth Foundation.

John Guerrerio
Photo of graduate John Guerrerio

Creates Lasting Awareness

“The perfect synthesis of technical outdoor skills and teaching methodologies, the Outdoor Education program at CMC gives its graduates the necessary tools needed to become an effective instructor in the field and in the classroom. By providing direct wilderness experiences, the program at CMC made me a lifelong environmental advocate and has inspired me to become an active participant in the effort to create awareness of our collective responsibilities to learn about and protect the earth.”

John Guerrerio currently teaches English in a high school in Brooklyn, NY. He also manages two websites and writes regularly on the topics of energy and environment. During the summers, he is an instructor in the Wilderness Education Experience, a two-week program that brings high school students from NYC to CMC for an experience that hopes to inspire environmental advocacy in youth.

Chad Mickschl
Photo of graduate Chad Mickschl

Superior Faculty

“The outdoor program gave me a great foundational knowledge and set of skills to build upon and start a career in the outdoors. The staff is some of the most qualified and student-centered staff that I have experienced. They are there for their students first and want to see them succeed. I am still great friends with the OUT staff at CMC.”

Chad Mickschl continued his education after the Outdoor Education program by receiving a B.A. from Lake Forest College and Avalanche Level III certification. He has worked as a mountain guide, avalanche forecaster, and outdoor education instructor. Currently, Chad’s occupations include teaching snow-related courses at CMC’s Spring Valley and Timberline campuses, traveling around Colorado as a teacher of avalanche safety courses through the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education, and working as an Avalanche Rescue Technician for Flight for Life. He works for the Bureau of Land Management as a Recreation Technician during the summer.

Michael Whigham
Photo of graduate Michael Whigham

Skills and Knowledge

“Throughout m professional and personal experiences, I have utilized the leadership, teaching, technical and interpersonal skills which I learned in the Outdoor Education program. These skills and knowledge have allowed me to excel in the fields of experiential education and leadership development.”

Michael Whigham transferred to the Recreation program at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, where he graduated Cum Laude. He later returned to CMC and served as Interim Assistant Professor, Adjunct Faculty and Director of Teambuilding programs, as well as maintained employment with NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School). Michael received a M.S. in Environmental Education at Antioch New England graduate school.

Alex Sanchez
Photo of Alex Sanchez.

Great Support

“I had great support from staff, from faculty, and from peers at CMC. The professors love the community. They’re highly qualified in their field. CMC helped me find my way as a first generation student. It’s where my interest for public policy, politics, and community service began.”

Alex Sánchez transferred to CSU from CMC and earned a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications. He was a successful political organizer and communications director in Colorado before relocating to Florida. Alex now works as the Chief Strategic Communications Officer for the Palm Beach County School District.