ENMU graduates take final step

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

One was looking for a voice and found it at Eastern New Mexico University. Another became the voice of ENMU.

Paul Hahn and Betsy Chavez represent two different ends of the spectrum for the 368 students who graduated from the college Saturday morning.

Hahn, who first came to ENMU in 2003, was finishing up a semester of school at Columbia College in Chicago and was looking for a change.

“I just found a Web site and came here because it seemed nice,” said Hahn, who came to ENMU for its music program but settled on a degree in university studies.

Chavez, meanwhile, attended school in Las Vegas, N.M., at both Luna Community College and New Mexico Highlands University. She attended school off and on starting in 1987, as she and husband Steve raised a family and did some traveling. When she came back to ENMU in 1997, she was classified as a junior.

She originally majored in human resources management, but changed to psychology with a minor in business. Chavez said she had a desire to work in the Federal Emergency Management Agency and figured each area of study would help.

Though both Hahn and Chavez ended up in different areas of the college, they each found direction with jobs they picked up at the university.

Chavez took a job in 1999 at the information desk, and became the first person callers would hear when they dialed the university’s main number — 562-1011. It wasn’t too long before coworkers dubbed her the voice of ENMU.

Hahn became a resident assistant in January 2004, and stayed with the housing department up to his current position as the assistant hall director at Bernalillo Hall.

Living on campus and encouraging residents to get involved became motivation for him, and he’s hoping to take that motivation to a housing department at another college.

“The experience of meeting all of these new people getting invovled with their life and having an impact (is the reward),” said Hahn, who is weighing options but hopes for California.

Chavez, meanwhile, will keep her voice in Portales. She now has two teenage sons and is active with many community organizations. Also, she and Steve are deciding if one or both will further their educations at ENMU.

“I’m not thinking of moving on,” Chavez said. “It was more of a personal goal for myself.”