Simpson University Celebrates Graduates at Spring Commencement

REDDING, Calif.— Simpson University honored more than 150 graduates during spring commencement on Saturday, April 28, featuring keynote speaker California State Sen. Ted Gaines.

A rainy forecast prompted the traditional outdoor ceremony to be moved indoors and divided into two events. Hundreds filled the James M. Grant Student Life Center for the 10 a.m. (traditional undergraduates) and 2 p.m. (ASPIRE, master’s programs, nursing) ceremonies.

Gaines, who was elected to his current role representing 11 Northern California counties in 2011, addressed the graduates at both services. “You are graduating from a very special place in so many ways,” he said. “When I think about Simpson, I think about spiritual enrichment.”

IMG_5831The university and its mission attract a special kind of person, he said. “If I had to choose between Harvard and Simpson, give me Simpson. It is doing more than train people for their vocations; through God’s word, it is training them in the business of the spirit,” he said.

Gaines encouraged the graduates to prioritize character virtues over worldly success. Referencing David Brooks’ book, The Road to Character, he talked about “resume virtues” and “eulogy virtues.”

“Go out and do your best,” he said. “Whatever business you choose to pursue, pour yourself into it with passion and commitment.” Money and wealth will follow, “but don’t let that material pursuit consume you.”

Live by a different ledger, he said, one where “you don’t measure by what you get but by what you give. You don’t win by conquering others but by surrendering to God.”

The ceremonies, which were livestreamed on the web, also featured hymns and special music by Simpson alumnus James Miller, and the presentation of several awards. Dr. Patrick Blewett, interim provost, introduced the professors of the year: Dr. Michael Lyons (traditional undergraduate studies) and Rebecca Luff (adult studies). Mark Endraske, dean of students, recognized students Stevielee Jansen and Andre Carrillo with the Student Life Award for overall excellence.

PresCupPresident Robin Dummer, who will retire from Simpson at the end of May, presented the President’s Cup to Rachel Crew for her all-around contribution to the life of Simpson University.

The 2018 spring graduates include students from the School of Traditional Undergraduate Studies, School of Adult and Graduate Professional Studies, Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, and the School of Education.

The week of commencement was filled with activities, including a pinning ceremony for 25 graduates from the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing; and a baccalaureate service for all graduates the evening before commencement.

Seniors Sydney Davis and Jackylene Gutierrez shared brief testimonies at baccalaureate. Gutierrez, an English major from Richmond, Calif., said she’s a first-generation American and the first in her family to graduate from a four-year institution.

“I am utterly grateful for the time I’ve spent here,” she said, offering a special thank-you to faculty, staff, her family and fellow students. “Simpson is a unique place that has helped curate the person I am now.”

Dr. Trenton Smith, associate professor of biology, was chosen to address the graduates. He spoke on Jesus’ parable in Matthew about the man who finds treasure hidden in a field, and sells all he has to buy the field. He described the treasure as peace with God, friendship with the Creator, and God’s love.

“Stay mindful of this amazing gift we’ve been given,” Dr. Smith said. “Then it’s easier to give away what we need to.”

Simpson traditionally holds graduation twice a year — in January for summer and fall grads, and in April for spring graduates.

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

Sen. Ted Gaines to Speak at Simpson University Spring Commencement

UPDATED 4-25-18

REDDING, Calif.— Simpson University will honor more than 150 graduates during two indoor spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, April 28, inside the James M. Grant Student Life Center at 2211 College View Drive.

Due to a rainy forecast, the traditional 10 a.m. outdoor ceremony will be divided into two indoor ceremonies. At 10 a.m., students from the School of Traditional Undergraduate Studies (except for nursing) will be recognized. At 2 p.m., students from the School of Adult and Graduate Professional Studies, Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary, and the School of Education will graduate.

The keynote speaker will be California State Sen. Ted Gaines. Sen. Gaines was elected to his current role in 2011 and represents the 1st District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, and Siskiyou counties.

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Sen. Gaines graduated with a degree in business administration from Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. He and his family live in El Dorado Hills, where he runs Gaines Insurance in addition to his service in government and other community and professional involvement.

Both commencement ceremonies will be live-streamed at simpsonu.edu/graduation.

It will be the final Simpson graduation for university President Robin Dummer, who will retire in May.

Simpson traditionally holds graduation twice a year — in January for summer and fall grads, and in April for spring graduates.

Simpson University was founded in Seattle, Wash., in 1921, and moved to Redding in 1989. In addition to offering 24 four-year bachelor’s degrees in its traditional program, Simpson has also helped more than 3,500 North State residents complete their degrees through the School of Adult Studies (ASPIRE) program, which offers classes online and on campus. The School of Education, which offers master’s degrees and credentialing programs, has graduated more than 2,500 students, many of whom teach or serve as administrators in Northern California.

For more information about Simpson University, visit simpsonu.edu.

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

Simpson University Honors Students During Awards Chapel

Awards Group Shot

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University honored numerous undergraduates during its final chapel service of the 2017-2018 academic year for achievements in academics, leadership and overall excellence. Faculty and staff were also recognized.

In addition to presenting yellow cords to students graduating with honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude), professors and staff presented the following awards to students:

Stanley Clark Research Awards: Jared Neusch, Best Graduate Student Paper; Kelsey Reibsamen, Best Undergraduate Student Paper; Christine Vivit, Best Undergraduate Presentation

Faculty Scholarship Award: Lydia McGaffee

Business Student of the Year: Kyle Martin

Outstanding English Major: Rachel Crew

Outstanding Music Student of the Year: Noah Wang

Outstanding Cross-Cultural Studies Major: Thidavanh Phaouthen

Zondervan Biblical Languages Award: Garrett Struwe

Outstanding Youth Ministry Major: Samuel Sexton

Psychology Student of the Year: Hannah Wallace

Excellence in Outdoor Leadership: Christopher Shughrue

Communication Student of the Year: Tre Keys

Most Improved Communication Student: Jaleen Dupree

Spanish Student of the Year: Marcella Baker

Most Improved Spanish Student of the Year: Andre Carrillo

History Student of the Year: Chloe Lynch

Biology Student of the Year: Rachel Last and Julianna Gilson

Student Life Awards: Stevielee Jansen and Andre Carrillo

Alumni Association Community Service Award: Michelle Brady

Scholar-Athletes of the Year: Rachel Esse and Craig Stieler

Red Hawk Awards: Josh Brakkee and Fallon Greenhaw

Team Scholar Award: Women’s Cross-Country

Rotary Club Award: Megan Simpson

President’s Cup Award: Rachel Crew

The following faculty and staff were also recognized:

Professor of the Year: Dr. Michael Lyons

Student Development Professional of the Year: Isis Martin

Frances P. Owen Distinguished Scholar: Dr. Dan Pinkston

ASBSU Staff Appreciation Award: Mark Endraske

Yearbook dedication: Dr. Robin Dummer and Dr. Len Wallmark

Photo by Sarah Barrows

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

Simpson University Inducts 40-Plus Students Into Honor Societies

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University is recognizing the academic and leadership achievements of more than 40 undergraduate students this spring with induction into honor societies for nursing, history, adult studies, and veterans.

On March 19, the School of Adult Studies honored six students with induction into Alpha Sigma Lambda, a national honor society for continuing education students in the top 20 percent of their graduating class.

On March 20, the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing welcomed 15 new inductees into its Honor Society of Nursing. The class of 2018 honorees include students from the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program who comprise the top third of their graduating class.

An April 5 ceremony on campus honored six students who were inducted into the university’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, a national honor society for history; and five new inductees for Alpha Chi, a national college honor society that includes all academic disciplines.

In addition, nine student veterans were scheduled to be inducted April 23 into the university’s chapter of SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society.

Nursing professor Rebecca Swartzman told Honor Society of Nursing inductees, “You are being honored because you’re turning into the gatekeepers of the nursing profession. It is a high calling. You will raise the bar.”

President Robin Dummer and Interim Provost Patrick Blewett addressed the students at the welcome and conclusion of the April 5 ceremony, commending their academics and character. Dr. Blewett told them, “Scholarship looks different for each of us … Don’t be afraid to explore things outside your discipline.”

The SALUTE (Service, Academics, Leadership, Unity, Tribute, Excellence) chapter is an initiative of Simpson University’s Veterans Success Center, which opened in November 2016. To qualify, undergraduate students must have completed 12 semester hours and have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0; graduate students must have completed 9 semester hours and have a minimum 3.5 GPA.

Phi Alpha Theta has more than 350,000 members and 820 chapters. Simpson University’s History Department received approval for a chapter in 2013. To become a member, undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours in history, achieve at least a 3.1 grade-point average in history and an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. Dr. Tim Orr, assistant professor of history, presented the 2018 new members.

Alpha Chi National College Honor Society admission is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of undergraduate juniors and seniors who demonstrate both superior scholarship and character. The 2018 inductees were presented by Dr. John Ayabe, associate professor of history.

The following students were inducted:

Alpha Sigma Lambda
From left, Alva Ward, Hilary Jones, Barbara Perry, Heather Snook, Libby McNeilly, and Kristi Hokema.

Honor_ASL2018

Honor Society of Nursing
From left, Megan Watkins, Nicole Faulknor, Sabrina Mantei, Kathrynne Raglin, Amber Whitehead, Aubrey Cronk, Jennifer Leaf, Christopher Smith, Shannon McKenna, Alliece Maxwell, and Misha Thompson. Not pictured: Jacklyn Miller, Janette Comas, Robbin Borden, and Kate Bode-Guzman.

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Phi Alpha Theta
Starting second from left, Thomas Scriven, Joshua Ladner, Austin Avery, John Sturges, Julianna Buckholtz, and Michelle Brady.

Honor_PhiAlphaTheta

Alpha Chi
Dr. John Ayabe congratulates Katherine Hollingsworth, left, and Michelle Brady. Not pictured: Mackenzie Alldrin, Amanda Bush, and Kelsie Jurin.

Honor_AlphaChi 

SALUTE
New inductees include Nicola Calderon, Troy Boudro, Timothy Janson, Abram Verdugo, Christina Houser, Kari Piazza, Voletta Molofsky, Ethel Mckay-Quinn, and Steven Splechter.

For more information about all Simpson University programs, visit simpsonu.edu. Learn more about the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing at simpsonu.edu/nursing. Information about veterans services at Simpson can be found at simpsonu.edu/veterans. Read more about the history program at simpsonu.edu/history.

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

Simpson University Biology Students Present Research at National Council

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REDDING, Calif.—Three Simpson University biology students were selected to present research at the 2018 National Council on Undergraduate Research’s annual meeting this spring.

Julianna Gilson of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., Rachel Last of Grass Valley, Calif., and Corinne Schali of Cottonwood, Calif., gave presentations focused on ongoing work by students and faculty in the Biology Department aimed at cleaning up acid mine drainage at Shasta County’s Iron Mountain Mine. The mine, located 9 miles west of Redding, has been designated a federal Environmental Protection Agency “Superfund” site.

The presentations focused on the identification of microorganisms that thrive in acid mine drainage as well as methods Simpson biology students are using to stimulate those organisms to neutralize the acid, to clean up the mine.

 

Gilson and Last presented their research in March at Simpson University’s 8th annual Student Research Symposium. Their and Schali’s work was selected from among 4,000 applicants to present at the national council’s early April meeting in Oklahoma City.

 

Biology professor Brian Hooker and his student team began the Iron Mountain Mine Research and Environmental Education Project (IMMREEP) in spring 2013 with collection and analysis of soil samples taken from several locations around the mine. The second phase involved measuring sulfate levels in microbial samples from the mine to test for conditions where microbes could reduce the acid concentration.

This was the second time Simpson students have presented on IMREEP at the National Council on Undergraduate Research. In spring 2014, graduate Siby Sabu was selected to present a project titled “Phylogeny of Soil Microorganisms in Runoff at an Extreme Acid Mine Drainage Site.”

Sabu’s team included classmate Taylor Polk, Dr. Hooker and science professor Trent Smith. In 2016-2017, student Dillon Stetler also worked on the project, winning an award for Best Research Presentation in Simpson’s 2017 Student Research Symposium, on the topic of “Extremophilic Bacteria in Acid-Mine Drainage.”

Gilson, Last, and Schali’s work builds on that of their predecessors, Dr. Hooker explained.

“Julianna, Corinne and Rachel have extended the work completed previously on the IMREEP project through additional studies to identify and characterize bacteria that neutralize acid mine drainage,” he said. “Their work has far exceeded my expectations and will help develop mine clean-up strategies.”

The three women will graduate from Simpson University this month with bachelor’s degrees in biology. Gilson and Last are looking into graduate school options; Gilson hopes to work someday for the Centers for Disease Control. Schali is planning to enroll in a physician’s assistant program.

The IMREEP team has received support from the Long Foundation, the Rev. Charles Dale, and Mrs. Frances Owen. Learn more about Simpson University’s biology program at simpsonu.edu/biology.

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Photo courtesy Brian Hooker / Simpson University biology students Corinne Schali, left, Rachel Last, and Julianna Gilson were selected to present their findings at the National Council on Undergraduate Research’s annual conference in Oklahoma in April.

Videos courtesy Brian Hooker / Julianna Gilson and Rachel Last presentations at NCUR 2018.

 

Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

 

Simpson University Outdoor Leadership Professors Travel Internationally

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University Outdoor Leadership professors gained international exposure this year, traveling to China and Denmark on trips related to scholarship, teaching and service.

Amy Smallwood, associate professor of Outdoor Leadership, traveled to Denmark in early March, where she presented research at a conference hosted at the University of Copenhagen’s “Forest School” campus.

The International Udeskole Conference was billed as the first of its kind, focused on sharing international perspectives among researchers and academics interested in “education outside the classroom.”

ODLE_AS Denmark

Smallwood, who will be on sabbatical next semester to pursue doctoral studies, presented research titled, “A Multidisciplinary Enquiry into the Phenomenology of Place Encounters in Outdoor Experiential Education.”

In conjunction with her sabbatical, she will also be acting as a visiting international academic with the Department of Sciences, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies at the University of Cumbria in the UK.

During spring break in March, Dr. Scott Barnett, associate professor of outdoor leadership, traveled to Shanghai to teach Chinese church leaders how to use experiential learning principles in their camp programming. Barnett works with an organization called Global Outreach Group, whose mission is to train local leaders to use camp programs in their cultural context. He has done similar training in Russia and Kenya.

Learn more about Simpson University’s Outdoor Leadership program at simpsonu.edu/outdoorleadership.

Top photo: Simpson University Outdoor Leadership professor Scott Barnett, center, traveled to China over spring break to train leaders to run camp programs.

Simpson University Outdoor Leadership professor Amy Smallwood presents research at an academic conference in Denmark in March.

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

 

Contact: SU Public Relations
mediarelations@simpsonu.edu
(530) 226-4737