CCBC names Ixtle Montuffar as the 2023 President’s Distinguished Graduate
May 18, 2023 | by Lisa Harlow | 443.840.4668 (office) | 443.610.3246 (cell)Community College of Baltimore County has named Ixtle Montuffar as its 2023 President’s Distinguished Graduate award recipient. The award, which comes with a $2,500 transfer scholarship and the opportunity to serve as commencement speaker, is given annually to a student who has shown exemplary leadership and a commitment to help others. Montuffar, will be presented with the award during CCBC’s Commencement ceremony, 1:30 p.m., Sunday, June 4 at CCBC Essex.
Intellectually gifted, exceptional and a strong sense of social justice are descriptors used by CCBC professors in characterizing Montuffar. A first-generation college student, Montuffar is very humble, yet exudes a clear sense of self, confidence and maturity beyond their years. Notably, that wasn’t always the case, self-assurance is a trait that was built over time.
A member of the LGTBQ+ community as well as Indigenous, more specifically Hñähñu, a Native group from lands now called México, Montuffar faced many uphill societal battles growing up causing feelings of doubt and low self-esteem. Montuffar fought hard to overcome those feelings while in high school and after enrolling at CCBC, felt happy to find a place of belonging.
“My experience at CCBC has been filled with academic stimulation and celebration of the college’s diverse population,” said Montuffar. “It’s been so amazing to be able to connect with so many different people from literally all backgrounds, all ages, all religions, all cultures … I can find similarities with students, and yet we all hold so many different perspectives and experiences to learn from one another.”
Montuffar thrived at CCBC exploring different classes and seeking out their passions. They joined the Progressive Student Alliance, the CCBC Essex Garden Club, became a CCBC Fresh Face ambassador and participated in a faculty-led study away program where they explored the history, culture and natural environment of the Great Smoky Mountains. Graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in General Education and a certificate in Global Studies, Montuffar now knows that earning a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and pursuing a career in ethnobotany are next steps.
“In my career, I dream to work within ethnobotany as I am deeply enamored by cultures and their connection to the plants they have been connected to for generations,” said Montuffar, who wants to work with Indigenous communities globally. “I know I will be able to incorporate my own culture into this pursuit as well.”
While Montuffar’s time at CCBC is quickly coming to an end, they expressed gratitude for all the wonderful CCBC experiences and is feeling fully prepared to begin the next chapter in life.
“This school [CCBC] in particular has definitely made me a better communicator, more confident and more celebratory of the differences between people,” said Montuffar. “CCBC creates that classic college experience in a place where we are told we could never find it. Community college can effectively prepare students, no matter what future they desire.”
About the Community College of Baltimore County (www.ccbcmd.edu)
Since 1957, CCBC has opened the doors to accessible, affordable, high-quality education empowering generations of area residents to transform their lives and the lives of others. Each year, nearly 50,000 students enroll at the college’s main campuses, extension centers and online to make their starts, earn degrees, launch and build careers. CCBC offers the region’s most expansive selection of degree, certificate and workplace certification programs that prepare students for transfer, job entry and career advancement in such industries as business, education, health care, information technology, cybersecurity, construction, and transportation. Designated as the “Best Community College” among the Maryland Daily Record’s 2022 Reader Rankings, CCBC is also nationally recognized as a leader in innovative learning strategies and among the nation’s top associate degree producers.