Gomez honored to address Adams State graduates

(11-29-2012)

Through her experience as a world-class athlete and mentor to thousands of children, Zoila Gomez will inspire yet another audience. She is the Adams State University Fall 2012 Commencement Speaker.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, in Plachy Hall. Adams State will award 155 degrees, including 116 bachelor’s degrees, and 39 associate degrees.

Gomez' speech, “There Is No Shortcut to Success,” will address her experience in college and the essential importance of education. “This is a very personal topic for me,” she said. “My success is linked to education and what it has done for me.” Another positive influence for Gomez has been her “network of support” from professors, coaches, and others. “My story may not be the same as the graduating seniors, but we all share dreams and aspirations and now they are one step closer to who they want to be.”

As a mentor, Gomez has delivered many motivational talks over the last four years. “It is an honor for the Adams State President to ask me to speak to the graduating class.” She sees this as a great opportunity to reach out to young adults. “I am thrilled to share some of my journey with them.”

Gomez graduated from Adams State in 2004 with degrees in sociology and Spanish. She fondly remembers the professors who challenged her to do her best and coaches who inspired her to win six national titles and the 2004 Collegiate Women Sports Awards NCAA Division II Athlete of the Year. The first in her family of 16 children to graduate from college, Gomez came to the U.S. from the small mining town of Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in 1996. She ran - and won -- her first 5K at age 17, as a high school student in Costa Mesa, California.

After college, she focused on her professional career as a long distance runner. She finished fourth in the 2008 Olympic trials and represented the United States in the three World Championships – Japan in 2007, Berlin in 2009, and Korea in 2011. As an Adams State student athlete, Gomez was an 11 time All American and 6 time NCAA Division II National Champion.

Mary Griffin, vice chair of the Adams State Board of Trustees, will convey the greetings from the board, while Matthew Martinez will deliver the 2012 class message. Dr. Christine Keitges, professor of music, will lead the singing of the Alma Mater. A reception will follow the ceremony for graduates and their guests in the Plachy Hall Field House.

This event will be streamed live via www.adams.edu/live/