Associate of Science Graduates Share Their Experiences
“I’m really glad I went to Colorado Mountain College before I went to CU. It helped me figure out the direction I wanted to go. College would have been a lot more difficult if I had not taken those courses.”
Ian Derrington graduated as the salutatorian for Roaring Fork High School. While still attending high school, he took classes from Colorado Mountain College, transferring to the University of Colorado as a sophomore. He graduated from CU with honors and a double major in applied mathematics and engineering physics. He was awarded a teaching fellowship by the University of Washington, where he earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics.
“I was well prepared at Colorado Mountain College. The professors in academics were comparable to those at the private college to which I transferred. The low-stress environment also kept me from becoming burned out before med school. It gave me a good perspective on life.” Dr. Crystal Walden Roney transferred to Westmont College in California, then attended the University of Colorado Medical School. She is now a family physician.
“Through the Associate of Science program at Colorado Mountain College, my mind was opened to the incredible wonder of science as a way to deeply explore the natural world that I had always loved. With care and gentleness, I was nurtured past my math anxiety and challenged to discover and develop my passion, my skills, and my confidence.”
Dr. Aileen A. O’Donoghue, is an Associate Professor of Physics at St. Lawrence University. Dr. O’Donoghue is pictured atop the 90-inch Bok telescope on Kitt Peak near Tucson, Arizona, where she is studying spectra of nearby stars for NASA’s Space Interferometry Mission, ultimately searching for Earth-like planets.
“My chemistry professor at CMC took a real interest in us. He was able to explain very complex material in a way that made sense… Whatever we needed, he helped us. He equal to any chemistry professor I had at the School of Mines.”
Keegan Hammond transferred to the Colorado School of Mines, where she graduated with the highest GPA in her specialty of Extractive Metallurgy and earned a prestigious scholarship to continue on at the School of Mines for her graduate degree.
“Colorado Mountain College was an excellent place to begin my career. Large universities are great places later… when research, laboratories and major libraries become critical. In my first two years, it was much more important for me to have excellent instructors and opportunities for personal attention.”
Dr. Chris Dionigi is assistant director for Domestic Policy for the National Invasive Species Council in Washington, DC. The NISC, part of the department of the interior, was established by presidential order to coordinate the invasive species efforts of more than 30 federal agencies.
“Physics classes were hard, but my teacher, Joe Reining, had such a passion for physics and gave me a lot of help. Being the first in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree is proof that goals can be attained no matter where we come from or what our status is.” Gethze Grajales earned an AS in Physics at CMC and then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration.