Cristina Salazar Guerrero, a student at Eastern New Mexico University who is majoring in computer science with a minor in graphic design, has aspirations of becoming an animator.
"My ultimate dream is to work with Walt Disney Studios as an animator. Through computer science, I can achieve that dream by saving money to later pay for a great art school in New York or California," she says.
Cristina, who has been on the Dean's List every semester, states, "Computer science was something I've never done before, and it caught my attention. Turns out, it's more beneficial to me than I thought because it will help me accomplish my dream.
"After college, my goal is to continue working in computer science so that I can keep learning new things," she explains. "Technology is ever expanding and will bring bigger and better things, and I want to be a part of that down the road."
The Greyhound encourages other students with her degree path not to become disheartened, saying, "It's just like learning a new language. You have to practice over and over again because the questions you have can only be answered by your will to answer them. If you don't have that will, you'll find it harder down the road to ask new questions."
She mentions Dr. Regina Aragon, professor of mathematics, and Dr. Chunchao Lane, assistant professor of computer science, as professors that have made an impression on her academic success. She avers, "Dr. Aragon was very supportive of me joining the math department. Dr. Lane has been a big help when it came to stepping into something brand new. I didn't know anything about computer science, and he pushed me to just keep asking questions."
The computer science and art courses that Cristina has taken have been the most beneficial to her education. "Computer science classes make me feel accomplished, and my art classes make me feel open to expressing myself," she states.
The junior has been a part of the ENMU Tutoring Program since her sophomore year. She tutors for multiple math and computer science classes, where she is able to help students with their course work and offer them college advice.
Cristina recognizes the Mack Chase Scholarship, the Mary Ann Berliner Scholarship, the CVE Scholarship and the ENMU Academic Scholarship for funding her education.
The Golden Student Success Center is Cristina's favorite place on campus, as there are numerous resources offered and it is a place where she can "study or just hang out with friends."
Cristina was born in Delicias, Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in Artesia, New Mexico. Her father is an oilfield worker, and her mother is a housecleaner. She has one younger sister who is graduating from high school this spring and will be attending ENMU next fall.
"ENMU was a wonderful choice since it is so close to home. It's also such a beautiful and comfortable setting," Cristina states. "I love the support that professors will give you. I thought ENMU would be too small to go anywhere but the people here really do have your back, and that's the best feeling when you really become passionate about what you're doing."