Chad Crowther
Finance and Minor in Marketing and Management
La Jara, Colorado
Magna Cum Laude

Crowthers’ mother is also an Adams State graduate, so this second-generation Grizzly is very excited to move that tassel.

Chad Crowther
Chad Crowther

“The professors I had at Adams State University have been great, “ he says. “I especially feel that the Business Department has top class professors who genuinely care about their students’ futures.”

He starts his career after graduation with the San Luis Valley Federal Bank as a full-time mortgage loan office. “My major professor, Professor Zaro, was a great teacher and taught the materials in a way that made class enjoyable and interactive. It was definitely apparent that he was there for the students.”

Crowther held an off campus job throughout his three years at Adams State and appreciates all his supervisors for working around his class and homework schedule. “Without them, I would not be where I am today.”

He was the representative of the Adams State Bulls and Bears Finance Club and graduates debt free.

“I feel like I have made friendships and relationships with professors and classmates who will last a lifetime. I would not trade the experiences I had at ASU for the world.”

Hannah Eubanks
Theatre
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Actor, writer, director, as the first in her family to earn a college degree, Eubanks sets an example to her younger sisters.

“They see how rewarding it has been for me. I hope it makes them want to pursue a college education as well.”

Hannah Eubanks
Hannah Eubanks

She appreciates the relationships she built with peers and staff that would not have been possible in a larger university, where she would be just another student.

As well as applying to graduate school programs, Eubanks will finish her script, “6’ Apart” which she wrote, directed and produced last fall.

“My professors in the theatre program helped ensure I was successful by knowing me as a person. They got to know me as more than just a student and they were able to present opportunities to me that they knew would be successful. They were also there for me when life took turns for the worse.”

She received the Theatre Merit Scholarship as a freshman and worked on-campus in the Costume Shop and off campus at All-4-Paws and now at Milagros Coffee House.

“The connections I made outside academics helped me to feel like I had a good support system. Finances haven’t always been the easiest thing for me personally, but the Adams State staff always made things easily digestible.”

Eubanks graduated in four years with no student loan debt.

She was very involved in the Theatre Department, part of just about every show throughout her academic career. She also was in the Lost and Found Improv Troupe from sophomore to senior years.

“My growth from freshmen year to senior year was immense. I wouldn’t even describe myself as the same person. I came in so unsure of everything school, goals, myself… and now I am graduating with a better sense of who I am as a person and what I want to achieve in my life.”

Ian Fryday
Business Administration with an Emphasis in Management
San Marcos, California
Cum Laude

Fryday is so impressed with his Adams State education he’s sticking around for a year to get another degree.

Ian Fryday
Ian Fryday

“I am very pleased with my decision to come to Adams State. It has matured me and is preparing to send me off into the real world once I graduate with my MBA next spring.”

After a total of five years, Fryday will have earned his undergrad and graduate degree, debt free, thanks to parental support, academic and athletic scholarships and a job as a resident assistant.

He had a great internship with Cover 0 Sports Agency, and learned the ins and outs of being an NFL agent. He also was a tight end for the Adams State football team.

“I have grown from a boy to a man. I have matured greatly, and that will set me up for success in life.”

Emily Martin
Music Performance
Cortez, Colorado
Summa Cum Laude

Martin has found her rhythm at ASU.

“I am so thankful to have found Adams State. The music department is very special, with amazing faculty members, and a strong sense of community. I have been given incredible opportunities, and the ability to grow into a much stronger musician and person,” she says.

Emily Martin
Emily Martin

Martin plans on starting graduate school in the fall of 2022 to continue her education in music performance. “I came here with goals and dreams for my future, and my professors and advisors helped me to take steps and make plans so that I will be able to achieve my goals.”

Thanks to many scholarships she avoided graduating with much loan debt in four years.

Martin played in the ASU Winds and Percussion Ensemble and the Desert Winds Quartet. “I have gained a great deal of confidence over the years. I’ve learned to step outside of my comfort zone, and to get the most out of every opportunity that comes my way.”

Samantha Margaret McDonald
Kinesiology Major
Exercise Science Emphasis
West Valley City, Utah

There is something very special about the first in a family to graduate from a four-year institution.

McDonald is a first-generation student to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. “Earning my degree is a huge accomplishment to me and a goal I have had since I was a little girl. I overcame all the hardships and doubt; I am so proud of myself for pushing through to achieve this milestone to not only better my future but make my family proud.”

Samantha McDonald
Samantha McDonald

Adams State helped McDonald grow academically and personally. She will begin the master’s program in dietetics at Washington State University this fall. “I plan to become a registered dietitian and work in sports nutrition or with special populations.”

McDonald has appreciated the many opportunities she experienced at Adams State. She received an athletic scholarship to play softball and along with a work-study position in the Rex Activity Center. She also participated in the Larry Holder Exercise and Cancer Survivorship Grant research. This semester in an independent study, she analyzed the diets of cancer survivors and studied food insecurity in college students.

“During my time here, I have been lucky to have professors who care about my future and success. They inspired me to focus on the goals I set for my future and helped me pave a pathway to reach them.”

She was a transfer student from Lamar Community College. “If I had the chance to tell freshman me what to expect for the next five years, I would tell her to live in the moment and trust the process. Great things take time, and this journey was so worth it.”

Victoria Medina
Clinical Psychology
Monte Vista, Colorado
Summa Cum Laude

Medina is very excited to be the first in her family to graduate and set a good example for her daughter. “She will one day know that I did this for her, and overcame many obstacles to ensure that we are successful in whatever comes our way.”

She appreciated the psychology professors who made every class enjoyable. “They are all so kind and awesome and they really love what they do, which is contagious. I was often in and out of their offices to chat about any questions that I had, to ask for help on assignments, or to go over exams and they were all very welcoming and more than happy to help.”

After graduation, Medina will shift to her passion for music. “I also love psychology, and I chose this degree as a backup plan, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I found myself coming back to school in the future because I truly love learning.”

Victoria Medina
Victoria Medina

For most of her college career, Medina worked at Three Barrel Brewing Company in Del Norte, Colo. This spring she accepted an internship at Monte Vista High School with Lara Gordon, the school counselor.

She is graduating with no student loan debt in three years. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Adams State after transferring from Trinidad State Junior College.

Her first semester at TSJC did not go well. She did not give up, instead changed her major to a subject she found more interesting. Three years later she completed her associate’s degrees and was just a few short weeks away from giving birth. “I worked ahead in all of my classes to ensure that I would not fall behind in time for the baby to arrive. When I gave birth to my daughter, I returned to school after two weeks. I did whatever I could to finish the school year strong. I maintained good grades and attended all of my classes while becoming a new mother and working part-time.”

In January 2020, Medina enrolled at Adams State University, eager to start a new goal, a degree in clinical psychology, she managed to finish in one year. She took six classes each semester, worked part-time and took care of her daughter. “I went from failing my first year of college to striving to graduate Summa Cum Laude. I learned that finding your purpose in life and a subject you are passionate about is a big part of college success. Running into obstacles is a huge part of life, but doing whatever it takes to overcome those obstacles truly matters and will lead to success.”

Isabel Rodriguez
Bachelor of Science in physical geography and conservation
Bachelor of Art in drawing
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Cum Laude

Even though she’s a second-generation Adams State grad, Rodriguez likes to draw her own conclusions about the school.

She is proud to carry on the legacy began by her parents who graduated from Adams State. “I have enjoyed the community building that came with being at a small school, the professors were always welcoming and helpful, and it was great being able to connect with classmates and experience so many different perspectives.”

Isabel Rodriguez
Isabel Rodriguez

She plans to attend graduate school in scientific illustration. Her dream job is working in the parks service as a scientific illustrator. “In both the science and art departments the professors were welcoming and easy to talk to, which really helped me feel at home here.”

She received several science and art scholarships while a student as well as being a program assistant for the ASU Rare AIR program and a peer mentor in the NSF mentorship and leadership program.

“The connections I made through work study helped me to expand my social and emotional education, pushing me out of my comfort zone and allowing me to grow and become more confident and outgoing,” she says. “My work-study supervisors pushed me to become a better public speaker, better writer, and better critical thinker. They gave me the space to pursue my own path to combine both my scientific and artistic sides and become a modern renaissance woman.”

She was a member of the League of the Arts and secretary for the Pride Club. “Freshman year, I was a little scared, a little homesick, and a little lost trying to find my path in both my passions. As a graduating senior, I feel I have come a long way, I challenged myself, overcame struggles both academically and socially, tried new things, and carved my own path where I embraced both sides of myself.”

Adeline Sabido
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Alamosa, Colorado

Compassion and caring led Sabido to her chosen career.

Sabido’s parents immigrated from the Philippines to give their children better lives, and as a first-generation college graduate, she is happy to bring their dreams to fruition. “To be able to say I have a college degree makes me feel so proud, grateful, and blessed.”

In high school Sabido did not plan to attend Adams State, but has no regrets. “I met my lifelong best friends here, worked with very supportive nursing faculty and staff, and established amazing mentorships with nurses that work in the local healthcare facilities. I have been provided such a wonderful support system in our small community and I could not be any more grateful.”

Adeline Sabido
Adeline Sabido

She currently is a nurse intern at SLV Health in the OB Labor and Delivery unit. She looks forward to applying to a full-time position, once she graduates and receives her license. “My advisor and major professors were able to teach me for the entirety of nursing school so it was amazing to notice the growth in our relationships. They were all invested in my personal and professional growth, which was always evident. There were times I could just sit and share my fears with them and they would listen, no matter how irrational I was being.”

She received several scholarships and worked on campus as a tutor in the STEM Center and the Writing Studio and also held many off-campus jobs. “My work-study supervisor in the Writing Studio, Julie Waechter, made my life so much easier. She allowed me to work whenever I could and when my schedule changed because my nursing cohort was quarantined, she allowed me to work from home.”

Sabido was active in the Adams State Nurses Association. “I think my confidence has grown exponentially in the last four years. Entering college, I was scared of everything, which made me close-minded to opportunities and different perspectives. Now I feel like I am more willing to try new things and have new conversations about anything. I used to avoid situations where I might be proven wrong or have to adopt a new way of thinking. However, every aspect of college has forced me to re-evaluate my opinions, beliefs, and standards. If you were to show myself from four years ago who I am today, I think she would be utterly shocked at the difference and most likely refuse to believe it.”

MacKenzie Swanson
Bachelor of Science in Kinesiolgy
Houston, Texas
Cum Laude

Swanson knows how important college graduation is to parents.

Although she is not the first in her family to earn a college degree, it is still a very special moment. “My family has always been so supportive of me and I will do anything in my power to make them proud and repay them.”

MacKenzie Swanson
MacKenzie Swanson

Small classes sizes have been very important to her success at Adams State. “All of my professors know me as more than just another student, they all want to know every student in their class and I am so thankful for each of them.”

She has been accepted to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at New York Medical College. Swanson is graduating in four years with no student loan debt.

A starter on the volleyball team, Swanson has expanded her horizons since freshman year. “I came from being top of my class with a 4.0 . I would cry if I got a B in very difficult classes. I learned when you give your best, you can’t give any more. I learned I can be a very outgoing person when I put my mind to it. When I came in, I would only talk to my teammates. I have grown into such a respectful person when it comes to other people’s opinions. Before college, I was only exposed to people who thought like myself. I am so thankful to Adams State for helping find all the great things inside of me that I was too scared to show people when I was a younger student in all my challenging exercise science classes.”

Chelsea Todd
Music Education, Music Performance, and Music Business
Monte Vista, Colorado

As a “local” student, this San Luis Valley girl hopes to give back to her community what she’s learned at Adams State.

“I was able to expand my horizons and build meaningful relationships with both professors and students,” she says. “Along with these mentorships and friendships, Adams State has excellent classes that prepared me for my career and gave me an education and skills I can draw from for years to come. The small class sizes, supportive faculty, and amazing content knowledge have made me grateful that I chose Adams State.”

Chelsea Todd
Chelsea Todd

A native of the San Luis Valley, Todd hopes to start her music education career in one of the public schools.

Professors and small class were instrumental in her success as a student. “My professors were authentic, caring, and always willing to be available for questions, concerns, or just to say hello after a long day. These professors helped me through both academic and personal hardships, and without their never-ending support I would not have been able to grow as both an academic and as a human being. This is a unique experience that you can only find at institutions like Adams State.”

Todd received many scholarships and through work-study positions gained valuable professional experience, including as an audio/visual technician and managing the Richmond Recording Studio, located in the Music Building. She also managed chamber ensembles for educational outreach to schools across Colorado.

“My supervisors never put limits on what I could achieve and pushed me to apply what I had learned to real life experiences.”

Todd was a member of the National Association for Music educators (NAfME) for five years, including serving as president for two years.

“As I grew more comfortable and gained more connections, I started to step outside of my comfort zone,” she says.” This newfound confidence led to getting involved in the music club on campus, as well as joining several ensembles. This gave me the opportunity to be involved in world premieres of culturally diverse composers, participating in national performances, as well as educational workshops and hands-on teaching labs. With encouragement from my professors, I also conducted research projects and became involved in a foreign exchange program.

“Looking back as a graduating senior, I realize that my confidence blossomed here as did my communication, interpersonal, and team-building skills. I am thankful that I attended Adams State because of their values on education and culturally diverse learning because it has taught me how to become a well-rounded educator.”

Alfredo Villa II
Mass Communication, Public Relations and a Minor in Marketing
Tucson, Arizona

This first-generation college graduate hit it out of the park.

As the first in his family to gain a college degree, Villa says,  “It means a lot to me, because it is an accomplishment that no one in my family has achieved. I feel I can change the outcome of my life.”

Alfredo Villa II
Alfredo Villa II

He will continue playing on the baseball team as he finishes the MBA program.

He spoke to his advisor and professor regularly to stay on track and graduate on time. He received an athletic scholarship and academic scholarships. He was a summer intern and held off-campus jobs, including coaching baseball for Center High School. “These connections gave me the opportunity to pay for my college and I got great letters of recommendation.”

Along with being a student athlete, Villa was a New Student Orientation leader. “I understand my priorities a lot better. I have created friendships I will have for the rest of my life and the life lessons I learned throughout my college career are unforgettable.”

Kyler Welch
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry
Richland, Washington
Summa Cum Laude

Welch’s family will now have to call him “Dr. Welch,” for two good reasons.

He is not the first in his family to earn an undergraduate degree, but is the first to earn a doctoral degree. He will start dental school in the fall of 2022.

Kyle Welch
Kyle Welch

“My professors, including Dr. Christina Miller, Dr. Benita Brink, and Dr. Frank Novotny, have always been super supportive of me since I got to Adams, and have always taken the time to check in with me and see how life and my academics were going, even if I wasn’t taking a class of theirs at the time. They were all also keen to direct me with certain resources and opportunities when applicable to help me along my journey to dental school.”

As a high school student, Welch was a concurrent student and the credits he received from a community college transferred to Adams State, where he completed his degree in three years, with little debt. “It is another thing I like about Adams: It is very inexpensive, especially compared to the education I received.”

Welch played on the men’s lacrosse team, and earned RMAC academic all-conference. He was also a member of the Adams Atoms Chemistry Club.

The many scholarships Welch received helped him reach his academic goals, as did assistance from staff members. “Angie Sandy, STEM center coordinator, has been phenomenal in helping me reach my goals. She has been a super supportive tutor supervisor, she has lent a hand in helping me with my personal statement for dental school, and nominated me for the CoRE Academic Student Mentor Award that I recently received.”

Along with becoming a better student, Welch said he grew in many ways while attending Adams State. “I have really developed in becoming very perceptive about myself and my capabilities. I have really honed my skills in becoming a well-rounded and competent individual, which I have found makes navigating life and certain situations much easier. I also found that I am much better able to handle busy and stressful situations. All of these things will help me out a lot as I go into dental school.”