Simpson University Alum Completes D.C. Internship, Publishes Articles

REDDING, Calif.—A Simpson University and Redding native who interned with The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., has two articles published on national news websites.

Austin Avery, who graduated in spring 2018 with a degree in history, co-wrote an analysis piece published Christmas Eve in The Washington Times titled “Washington should be alarmed at Middle Belt conflict in Nigeria.”

“Having the chance to speak on Christian persecution to a national audience is something I am extremely humbled by and definitely helped me grow as a person,” Avery said.

A second piece co-written by Avery, titled “This Little-Known Terror Group Poses a Greater Threat Than ISIS in Syria,” is posted on The Daily Signal.

“It was an honor to get this published and is an achievement I will carry with me for the rest of my life,” he said.

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Simpson University alumnus Austin Avery at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Avery was selected for a prestigious three-month paid internship through The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. The Heritage Foundation is a research and education-based think tank that seeks to influence public policy through research and analysis.

Avery conducted policy research on issues including terrorism, democracy, governance, refugees, and foreign aid and development. He focused on Africa and the Middle East, particularly on terrorist groups in those regions.

“Oftentimes I was doing investigative research for my analysts, who would publish work based on much of the information I gathered for them,” he said.

Helena Richardson, director of the Young Leaders Program, said Avery was “the ideal intern.” The foundation has about 200 interns a year; Avery was one of 55 this fall.

“He really went above and beyond,” she said, adding that she would list him as one of the top three interns this year. “He was always eager to learn and asking questions. He is one of those people you know is going to make an impact, and you just want to see how that translates.”

Avery, who recently returned home for the holidays, said additional highlights of his internship included touring the White House and visiting other historic locations in D.C. He also participated in a men’s mentorship class where they talked about the importance of upholding traditional values and how to be people of integrity, poise and character in every aspect of life.

His three months in D.C. were impactful beyond just his daily work. “I think the greatest lesson I learned from this entire experience involved my faith,” Avery said. “Before this internship I had the belief that God would meet me in the middle when aspects of life and this program got crazy. What I discovered, though, is that he was always there in the middle waiting for me, even before I moved an inch.”

Avery left Redding in early September, only a few weeks after the Carr Fire, and was in D.C. when the Camp Fire swept through Paradise. It was difficult to be so far away at that time, but it also motivated him, he said.

“Knowing I was leaving a community which housed so many people I loved who were suffering caused me to change as a person,” he said. “I became extremely focused, working as hard as I could and being intentional with everyone I met. People matter, and I wanted to represent those who’d lost so much in the fire as best I could while in D.C.”

Richardson said Avery was “constantly talking to his family and sharing stories of what he was going to do and take back to Northern California.

“His impact on the class as a whole will be long-lasting,” she said.

The Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation offers paid internships to college juniors or above. Learn more at heritage.org/internships.

Learn more about Simpson University’s history major 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 will celebrate its centennial in 2021. Simpson was named as one of the 2018 Colleges of Distinction. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

 

Simpson University Invites Community to ‘On the Same Page’ Featuring Brené Brown’s ‘Braving the Wilderness’

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University invites North State readers to join students, staff and faculty in its third year of On the Same Page, its common reading program. This year’s book selection is Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown.

Dr. Jennifer Costillo, chair of Simpson’s Psychology Department, said the book was chosen based on Brown’s significant voice in contemporary culture. The University of Houston research professor has written five New York Times Best Sellers, has one of the most viewed TED talks with over 37 million views, and has spent the past two decades researching courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy.

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Brené Brown / Photo by Maile Wilson

“One of the main aims of Brown in Braving the Wilderness is to invite us into deeper dialogue with one another as we vulnerably engage more fully in authenticity in order that we not remain in our own private ‘ideological bunkers’,” Dr. Costillo said. “I cannot think of a better time within our culture to thoughtfully consider and discuss her recommendations as to how to accomplish this.”

The On the Same Page common reading program was initiated to further develop the mind, faith, and character of Simpson students, faculty, staff and the greater Redding community through intellectual engagement and consideration of diverse topics and perspectives.

Simpson University welcomes all who would like to join in this endeavor. This year, the following engagement opportunities are available:

Monday, Jan. 14, 6:30 p.m. (LaBaume-Rudat Hall, Room 204) – “Brown as Storyteller Researcher”
Wednesday, March 13, 1:30 p.m. (LaBaume-Rudat Hall, Room 204) – Student Panel at the 9th annual Simpson University Student Research Symposium
Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 p.m. (LaBaume-Rudat Hall, Room 204) – Multi-Disciplinary Faculty Panel

 

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In the 2016-17 inaugural year of On the Same Page, participants read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and met for monthly discussions on campus led by university professors who explored the novel’s themes from various academic disciplines.

The 2017-18 book selection was Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy. Three forums featured speakers Dr. Todd Allen, founder of The Common Ground Project; California Parole Board Commissioner Randy Grounds; and a panel comprising Shasta County Superior Court Judge Stephen Baker; Shasta County Public Defender Jeffrey Gorder; and Yolo County Supervising Probation Officer Zachary Grounds.

More than 350 colleges and universities nationwide have similar common reading programs to foster a culture of reading and community conversation, according to the National Association of Scholars’ 2016 report.

For more information, visit simpsonu.edu/onthesamepage.

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university will celebrate its centennial in 2021. Simpson was named as one of the 2018 Colleges of Distinction. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

Simpson University to Host Free American Mathematics Competitions

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University’s Science and Mathematics Department will host free American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) on Thursday, Feb. 7, for area high school students.

The events – AMC 10 and AMC 12 – will be from 4 to 6 p.m. in room 204 of the Owen Student Services Center on campus, 2211 College View Drive.

The AMC 10 is for students in 10th grade and below; the AMC 12 is for students in 12th grade and below.

The AMC 10 and AMC 12 are the first in a series of competitions that lead to the International Mathematical Olympiad. The IMO is the world championship mathematics competition for high school students, held each year in a different country.

Attendees at the Feb. 7 event have a chance to win prizes and scholarships. Register online at simpsonu.edu/amcexam.

In addition, Simpson will also host a free practice SAT for high school juniors and seniors on Saturday, Feb. 16 (check-in starts at 8 a.m.). Register free at simpsonu.edu/freepracticesat.

Learn more about Simpson University’s science and math programs at simpsonu.edu/science and simpsonu.edu/math.

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university will celebrate its centennial in 2021. Simpson was named as one of the 2018 Colleges of Distinction. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

Simpson University to Host Free Practice SAT

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University’s Science and Mathematics Department will host a free practice SAT test Saturday, Feb. 16, for area high school students.

Check-in starts at 8 a.m. in LaBaume-Rudat Hall, room 203 on the campus at 2211 College View Drive. The test will end at noon, and results will be available by 3 p.m. the same day.

“This is a great opportunity for college-bound students to assess their strengths and weaknesses and prepare for test day,” said Michael Austin, assistant professor of physics. “Juniors and seniors taking the SAT on March 9 or May 4 will find this especially beneficial.”

Participants are asked to bring two pencils with erasers and a scientific or graphing calculator.

Register free online at simpsonu.edu/freepracticesat.

Learn more about Simpson University’s science and math programs at simpsonu.edu/science and simpsonu.edu/math.

Spring 2019 SAT

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university will celebrate its centennial in 2021. Simpson was named as one of the 2018 Colleges of Distinction. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

Simpson University to Graduate 140 Students in January

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University will honor approximately 140 graduates during a commencement ceremony Saturday, Jan. 12, inside the James M. Grant Student Life Center on campus, 2211 College View Drive.

The 10 a.m. ceremony, which will be livestreamed at simpsonu.edu, will recognize the achievements of students from Simpson’s traditional undergraduate, ASPIRE degree-completion, and graduate programs.

The Rev. Ray Van Gilst, superintendent of the Central Pacific District of The Christian and Missionary Alliance and a university board member, will be the keynote speaker.

Simpson University traditionally holds commencement twice a year—an indoor ceremony in January for summer and fall graduates, and an outdoor event in April for spring graduates.

Established in 1921, Simpson is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate and teaching credential programs. The university has been in Redding almost 30 years and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. Simpson was named as one of the 2018 Colleges of Distinction and is home to a 2-year-old Veterans Success Center. Academic programs include 25 undergraduate majors, the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary, School of Education, and School of Adult and Graduate Professional Studies.

Nearly 4,000 North State residents have completed their bachelor’s degrees through Simpson’s ASPIRE program, which offers classes online and on campus during evenings and weekends.

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

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City of Redding Donates Police Cruisers to Simpson University

REDDING, Calif.—Campus safety at Simpson University has a new look.

Two surplus Redding police cruisers—painted white with the university’s name in red—now patrol the 92-acre campus 24 hours a day. One cruiser was completely stripped of police gear; the other, which is only driven on campus, still contains a separation rack and light bar.

The Redding City Council approved the donation of the cruisers, which normally would have been sold at auction for $1,000 to $2,000 each. A report to the council gives the following background:

“Recently, the Campus Security Department of Simpson University reached out to RPD with a request for a donation of two (2) surplus vehicles. The University’s Security Department currently employs three full-time and six part-time officers that patrol campus 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The current security vehicle is in a non-operational state due to needed major repairs. With the loss of the security vehicle, officers patrol on foot or with a facilities truck that is not identifiable as a security vehicle. The vehicles would be utilized for campus patrol, safe ride shuttling at night, and would be a visible deterrent to unwanted visitors. Any vehicles donated by RPD to Simpson University would be used to keep students and staff safe on campus.”

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From left, Simpson University Director of Campus Operations Paul Davis, Redding Police Chief Roger Moore, North State Security officer Kiel Patin, and Simpson University President Norm Hall stand in front of the two police cars donated to the university.

The Police Department has donated surplus vehicles to Shasta College’s security office in the past and recommended the donation of the vehicles to Simpson “as is.”

“This would save Fleet Maintenance staff time of having to prepare these vehicles for auction,” the report states. “None of the equipment left in the vehicles is compatible with the current vehicle platforms and is not needed by RPD.”

Simpson’s director of campus operations, Paul Davis, said the donations saved the university the significant cost of replacing a needed campus safety vehicle.

The university added an armed security guard to its campus safety staff this year. The presence of the cruisers also acts as a visual deterrent against crime, Davis said.

“Keeping everyone safe on campus is our main priority,” he said. “With this generous donation from the city of Redding we now have more tools to maintain a safe educational environment.”

Photos by Chyna Xiong / Simpson University marketing

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university will celebrate its centennial in 2021. Simpson was named as one of the 2018 Colleges of Distinction. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

Simpson University Christmas Concert Fills Grant Center with Music, Hope

REDDING, Calif – Simpson University’s 16th annual Christmas concert drew more than 925 people for an afternoon of choral and instrumental holiday favorites, including Handel “Messiah,” one of the most widely sung choral works in Western music.

The Dec. 2 concert in the James M. Grant Student Life Center was nearly standing-room-only by the time the Shasta Symphony Orchestra—a collaborative effort between Shasta College and Simpson University—opened with “Sleigh Ride,” directed by Dr. Jeff Specht.

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After a welcome and opening prayer from Simpson University President Norm Hall, the audience was invited to sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” directed by Music Department chair Dr. Dan Pinkston.

The Simpson Chorale and Foothill High School Mixed Chorus combined for “A Christmas Praise,” featuring Simpson student soloist Bailey Agness and Foothill High School director Mitch Bahr on piano.

Simpson music faculty and alum Sarah Meng-Cummings and Dr. Pinkston sang “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” an arrangement by Dr. Pinkston, who also played guitar.

The audience rose to its feet after guest vocalist Kittinant Chinsamran of Thailand and Simpson music faculty member Carrie Grosch sang “The Prayer” by David Foster. Another audience favorite, “Mary Did You Know” was performed by Blended, a new a cappella group at Simpson.

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Grosch’s voice filled the gymnasium in her moving interpretation of  “O Holy Night,” accompanied by Simpson music faculty member and alum Lauren Dillon on piano.

Attendees enjoyed cookies in the lobby area during intermission before returning for the Christmas portion of Handel “Messiah,” with additional solos by Chinsamran, Grosch, Dash Waterbury and Raphaella Medina of Redding. As is traditional, the audience stood and sang along with the grand finale – “Hallelujah Chorus.”

Afterward, one audience member was heard to say, “The music thrilled us. The concert radiated a sense of hope and, in fact, the room itself seemed filled with hopefulness. How appropriate that it was presented on the hope Sunday of Advent.”

The concert was a highlight of Chinsamran’s visit to Simpson University as an artist-in-residence for 2018-19. In addition to performing in several venues, he also conducted masterclasses and gave private voice lessons.

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Simpson President Norm Hall, center, with Dr. Kieun Steve Kim, left, and Kittinant Chinsamran.

The recent devastating Carr and Camp fires in Northern California were very much on the minds of the vocalists and musicians as they rehearsed for the concert, noted Dr. Kieun Steve Kim, Simpson University’s director of choral activities. “We wanted to provide individuals and families with an afternoon of uplifting and hope-filled music after the heartbreak of this fire season,” he said.

Learn more about Simpson University’s Music Department at simpsonu.edu/music.

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Top photo by Chyna Xiong: Carrie Grosch and Kittinant Chinsamran sing “The Prayer” during Simpson University’s 2018 Christmas concert. // Slideshow photos by Chyna Xiong

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university will celebrate its centennial in 2021. Simpson was named as one of the 2018 Colleges of Distinction. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

Upward Bound Siskiyou County Students Experience Big City on Trip

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University staff members working for Upward Bound took 31 Siskiyou County high school students to visit college campuses, the state Capitol, and a museum during Veterans Day weekend.

The trip was part of the federally funded Upward Bound program overseen by the university in partnership with College OPTIONS Inc. Simpson University was awarded a $5 million grant in 2017 to administer the program, which helps high school students from low-income families and families where neither parent has earned a college degree to prepare for college entrance.

The students, from Mount Shasta and Dunsmuir high schools, visited California State University, Sacramento, and the state capitol, as well as the University of San Francisco and the California Academy of Sciences. They were accompanied by Jeanine Masciola and Kevin Luce, Upward Bound advisers for Mount Shasta and Dunsmuir, respectively.

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“Many of my students had never been to a big city like San Francisco before,” Masciola said. “It was not just an academic experience, but also a new cultural experience for these students. They had an opportunity to see what life is like beyond the smaller, more rural community in which they live. For some, this trip may have been the first time they have considered going to college or seeking a career that involved relocation to a big city. This trip expanded their world-view in a very real way.”

In addition to the two Siskiyou County schools, the Upward Bound program also works with students at West Valley and Anderson high schools. During the summer, approximately 150 students from all four schools stayed in Simpson University residence halls and attended educational sessions designed to give them a taste of college life.

Upward Bound staff members share an office on Simpson’s campus with employees for GEAR UP, another federally funded, multi-year program that works with more than 800 students in 10 middle schools and nine high schools in Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity and Modoc counties. Simpson was awarded a seven-year, $4.8 million grant to administer the GEAR UP program.

This fall, GEAR UP advisers took more than 130 students from Butte Valley, Burney, Los Molinos, and Trinity County on trips to visit College of the Siskiyous, University of California, Davis, Simpson University, and Chico State University.

Between Upward Bound and GEAR UP, Simpson University has the opportunity to impact an estimated 1,000 North State students and their families by working with them toward higher education and career training.

Top photo: Upward Bound Siskiyou County students visit the Golden Gate Park Observatory of Flowers. Middle: Students visit the California Academy of Sciences.

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university will celebrate its centennial in 2021. Simpson was named as one of the 2018 Colleges of Distinction. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.