The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Graduate finds her passion at ENMU


Last updated 5/7/2019 at 4:52pm

Courtesy photo

Eastern New Mexico University student Breanna Smith designed her sunflower graduation cap.

PORTALES - While some students enter higher education with a set plan for their next four years, others do so in hopes of finding their passion.

Breanna Smith, one of 795 candidates for graduation from Eastern New Mexico University on Saturday, found that passion in graphic design.

Smith, a Clovis High School graduate, said she was undecided on what she wanted to study so she chose ENMU based on cost and location.

After meeting someone from the graphic design program, Smith took an interest in the field, in part because the small class sizes allowed her to interact one-on-one with her professors and fellow classmates.

Smith found success in graphic design, as she told The News she received ENMU's excellence in graphic design award for the second time this year based on her work with the department.

"Honestly if I hadn't come here, I'm not sure if I would have even done graphic design with my degree," Smith said.

Since last fall Smith has combined her graphic design skills with the concepts she learned minoring in business at ENMU to start her own T-shirt business, designing and printing New Mexico-themed shirts out of her garage.

Following graduation, Smith said she hopes to continue that side business while looking for a job that would allow her to continue to learn under an experienced graphic design artist.

Smith worked for three years in ENMU's communication services department as a graphic designer working on billboards, brochures, posters and other university branding. She said she will miss that job and interacting with her fellow classmates.

"I've connected with all of my fellow people in (communication services) so much and they've taught me so much and I know I wouldn't have the skills I have if it wasn't for them," Smith said.

"I will also miss my classmates. There were a few classmates who we all really pushed each other and it was really nice to have people give honest feedback because I know when I graduate I won't have that. So that's something I'll definitely miss."

ENMU will have two commencement ceremonies this year, with students from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences honored at 10 a.m. Saturday and students from the College of Business, the College of Education and Technology and the College of Fine Arts recognized at 2 p.m. Saturday, both at Greyhound Arena.

Jeff Elwell, president of ENMU-Portales and chancellor of the three-college system, said ENMU decided to break graduation up into two commencement ceremonies because the university's record-setting number of graduates in recent years have led to large crowds in Greyhound Arena with not enough seats.

"It's a pretty good problem," Elwell said, noting that ENMU will likely maintain one ceremony for fall commencement and make future spring commencement decisions based on the number of graduates.


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