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Local All-Academic students recognized


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Two Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell students have been named to the 2019 New Mexico All-State Academic Team in recognition of their top academic achievements.

Natalia Vital and Shyla Ervin are among a group of outstanding New Mexico community college students who will be honored Feb. 13 at a formal awards ceremony during the All-State Academic Team Recognition Day at the State Capitol in Santa Fe. The program for the day includes recognition of team members in the House and Senate.


Vital, 20, is a Presidential Scholar and has served as the president of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapter on campus, Alpha Mu Pi, for the past two years. She is enrolled in the occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program and will graduate with an associate of science degree in May. She is also vice president of the OTA club for the graduating class. Vital is active at St. John’s Catholic Church, serving as a lector and organizing youth group retreats. She also volunteers for Roswell High School student council and National Guard public service events. She has been on the Dean’s List since enrolling at ENMU-Roswell in fall 2016.

“My vision is to change public policy through research to help people with disabilities live a more independent life with small changes that can be implemented to make our state and/or nation a more sensory-friendly environment,” she said. “My current goals are to first graduate with my associate’s in OT; then to enroll for my bachelor’s at ENMU Portales in American Sign Language. Next, I will gain experience in the field of OT to enroll at St. Augustine University in Austin for my doctorate.”


Ervin, 20, is also enrolled in the occupational therapy assistant program and will graduate in May with an associate of science degree. She is a Presidential Scholar and serves as vice president of ENMU-Roswell’s PTK chapter and as president of the OTA club.

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“I have a passion for working in a pediatric setting, but I am also passionate about teaching dance to children and teens of the ages 3 to 18,” Ervin said. “I have taught, choreographed and assisted with productions. I have also been a student hire at the Health Science Center for the EMS department and have had a wonderful experience gaining knowledge and skills in the professional office setting.”

Ervin plans to pass the National Board Certification of Occupational Therapy exam to acquire her license. “I will then hopefully begin my career as a certified occupational therapy assistant while working towards a bachelor of arts in science and Spanish. Once I finish my bachelor’s, my ultimate goal is to be accepted and complete a master’s program or Ph.D. to become a registered occupational therapist. I also have the dream of applying and incorporating my dance background into occupational therapy,” she said.

Phi Theta Kappa annually conducts a national community college student achievement competition, the All-USA Academic Team for Community Colleges. New Mexico’s community colleges have participated in this program for many years and annually recognize the students who have been nominated by their institutions as members of the New Mexico All-State Academic Team.

To qualify for New Mexico’s All-State Team, students have to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5, with demonstrated leadership skills and active involvement in community service. These students are recognized for outstanding achievement with certificates and medallions.

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