Inside CMC Day – Introducing the ‘Student Vertical’

Last Friday, high school students from around the world converged on campus for “Inside CMC Day,” a full day of events and activities geared to acquainting students who’ve decided to attend CMC in the fall (and those who are on the fence) with what the College has to offer.

It was billed as a “Student Vertical,” which, according to President Hiram Chodosh in his welcoming remarks in Pickford Auditorium, was meant to give the touring students a sense of trajectory at CMC — that each step they take while at college will be part of a larger, overarching development cycle.

“At times,” President Chodosh said, “when you enter a college like CMC and see how much above our age and weight we are punching in terms of student value, it’s an extraordinary array of opportunities with almost every facet having a special cluster of expertise.”

That said, he cautioned students to remember the importance of regarding CMC and what it offers as “a central portal, so that from the day you first step onto our campus, you’re here to learn as well as learn how make a difference in the lives of others.”

According to President Chodosh, the number of applications received this year was nothing short of amazing, with a current acceptance rate of 9.4 percent. “I can’t even begin to tell you how impressive even the wait-listed list of students is,” he told the students. “We are really excited about you coming, but it helps us to see through your eyes, in some ways to rediscover what’s special about what we’re doing and where we’re headed.”

Even on such a compact campus, students had a lot of ground to cover horizontally and vertically. The day began with breakfast, and then groups of students broke off to attend discussions that covered the academic trajectory at CMC and the wide range of student support services and experiences.

The lunch break at the Athenaeum featured two alumni guest speakers: Christopher Reina ’07 and Jessica Garcia ’14.

“The person that I am today is not the person that I was when I arrived at CMC four years before,” Garcia said. She is currently completing a second AmeriCorps term with City Year Seattle/King County as Team Leader at Denny International Middle School in Seattle. “Coming to CMC, I developed in a way that I never would have done at any other school.”

Echoing President Chodosh’s words about serving others, Garcia (who worked 2½ years at the Ath as a dining room server) said that CMC pushed her to become a responsible member of society. “I lead a team of eight people who are helping to close the achievement gap by working with underprivileged kids who are failing mathematics and language arts, to succeed, graduate high school, and attend a college like CMC.”

According to Garcia, she felt the need to take what she’d learned at CMC, expand it and give it to others. “CMC, if you choose to come here, will push you to see yourself as a leader that you can – and will – become.”

Reina, after graduating from CMC as a first-generation college student, received a doctorate in Business Administration for the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

“CMC reinforced for me the notion that if you work hard, you can be anything you want to be,” he said. “It gives you a set of skills to take them and leverage them and make them work for you.”

“Leadership is in our veins, in the very fabric of the school,” he continued. “The students today will be the workforce of tomorrow and its leaders.”

Reina currently consults and teaches seminars on mindful leadership, negotiation strategies, and managing the emotional space within organizations.

After lunch, the afternoon “vertical” discussion sessions included how to best transition to life at CMC, resources available across the 5Cs, balancing life as a scholar-athlete, professional development opportunities, and exploring the campus. A networking resources fair, ice-cream social, and closing reception for parents and families were also part of the crowded agenda.

Georgette DeVeres, Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission & Financial Aid, said if there was one word that she wanted to impart to the visiting students, it would be “community.” “We prize that sense of community that we have here at CMC,” she said. “If there’s anything at all that you leave with today, that’s the understanding that we want you to have.”

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