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Read about Felice Armijo in the Feb. 3, 2017, Greyhound Gazette. #ENMU #ENMUNEWS

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Originally from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Armijo decided to major in education right before her senior year of high school ended.

She graduated from ENMU with a bachelor’s degree with honors cum laude. Now, she is a graduate assistant and master’s student, working in The Writing Center.

Armijo hopes to have a full-time job in the classroom within the next year, while continuing to earn her master’s degree. She also hopes to earn a doctorate sometime in the future. “As the semester has started, I’ve realized how blessed I am to be a GA,” she said.

Felice also substitutes in Portales Public Schools, an opportunity she discovered through her mentor, Dr. Kathleen Wagner.

Armijo felt inspired to become a teacher her senior year, after having a teacher with a doctorate. She was “the only teacher with a Ph.D.” at her high school. After thinking, “Wow. This woman actually made something of herself,” Armijo decided to do the same.

Felice found English education a good fit because she frequently found herself “tutoring classmates” growing up.

“Dr. Wagner affirmed my decision,” she said.  Her professor reassured her so she “never had any doubt.”

Though Armijo is working for her master’s degree, she has overcome a plethora of challenges along the way.

Her freshman year, her parents filed for divorce, challenging her personal life. In addition, Armijo is “a first-generation college student,” which presented challenges in itself.

Felice has also overcome relationship struggles, financial hardships and academic obstacles.

She admitted to really struggling with math while attending ENMU. Finally, she “broke down and went to the supplementary instructor.”  She thought, “I have to see a tutor or this isn’t going to work.” Though she was nervous to ask for help, Armijo said she is now “not afraid to cross the hall and ask for help.”

Armijo loves ENMU because of the “Eastern experience.” She feels connected with her peers and professors, an experience her friends from other universities aren’t getting. Professors don’t know “just your name, but who you are. I genuinely believe the teachers here care about their students,” she said. “If you don’t connect with anybody, you’re going to miss out on that experience.”

Felice has “really found a mentor” in Dr. Wagner.  Armijo loves ENMU professors’ abilities to “teach life outside of the classroom because of the size.” Dr. Wagner has not only taught her academically, but about life itself.

Armijo finds importance in students seeking out mentors. “You’re not going to know right away,” she said, “but you need to find someone to bounce ideas off of.”

Dr. Wagner has helped Armijo plan out her courses and discover resources to succeed. “We don’t come here with those answers already, so you have to ask somebody,” she said.

Felice hopes to inspire students in the way Dr. Wagner inspired her. “I don’t know if that’s even possible,” she said. “If I can make a student feel half as encouraged as she’s made me feel then that would be an accomplishment for me.”

She hopes to develop a connection with her students both in and out of the classroom.