Simpson University Championed as a College of Distinction for 2019-20

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University has again received national recognition for the integrity of its individualized and engaging education through its selection as a College of Distinction.

2019-2020-CoDIn addition, Colleges of Distinction awarded program-specific recognition to Simpson University’s School of Education and Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, ranked No. 8 among nursing schools in California.

This award is unique among popular college guide classifications, which typically rank schools on the basis of numbers like the size of endowment, selectivity, and faculty salaries. Simpson University instead earns its recognition for excellence exhibited in the classroom, incorporating high-impact practices throughout every student’s undergraduate education.

Such student-centered programs include first-year seminars, community-based learning programs, service-learning programs, national and global service trips, collaborative assignments and projects, capstone projects, study abroad programs, internships, intensive writing courses, and more.

“We are so proud to see Simpson University walking the walk,” said Tyson Schritter, Chief Operating Officer for Colleges of Distinction. “Colleges of Distinction knows that a truly valuable education can’t be measured by rank or reputation. Students learn and thrive best when they embrace hands-on learning in a vibrant, welcoming community.”

Colleges of Distinction’s selection process consists of detailed interviews and research for each institution’s freshman experience and retention efforts alongside its general education programs, career development, strategic plan, student satisfaction, and more.

Schools are accepted on the basis that they adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes.

“Colleges of Distinction doesn’t rank schools, because we know that every student is different in what they need to best learn, grow, and succeed,” said Schritter. “Instead, we value schools that embrace those differences. Simpson University puts the student experience first, providing all the tools and opportunities they need to become lifelong learners who are ready to take on any challenge in today’s ever-evolving society.”

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu.

2019-2020-Education-CoDThe School of Education, which offers master’s degrees and teaching and administrative credential programs, has graduated nearly 3,000 students. Learn more at simpsonu.edu/education.

2019-2020-Nursing-CoDThe Betty M. Dean School of Nursing offers a bachelor of science in nursing and an RN-BSN Track for registered nurses. The school has graduated more than 200 students with B.S.N. degrees since 2011, and more than 175 RNs have earned their B.S.N. degrees through the program. Learn more at simpsonu.edu/nursing.

About Colleges of Distinction
Since 2000, the Colleges of Distinction website and guidebook have recognized and honored schools throughout the U.S. for excellence in undergraduate-focused higher education. The cohort of schools in the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their focus on the undergraduate experience. The website and annual guidebooks provide dynamic college profiles, customized tools, and resources for students, parents, and high school counselors. For more information, and to learn how to become a College of Distinction, visit CollegesofDistinction.com.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

Redding Counselor Earns Degree Through ASPIRE Program

By Jacelyn Wedman

REDDING, Calif.–Richard Martin, Redding resident, completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology after one year of study in Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies ASPIRE program.

Martin, 49, has worked as a certified alcohol and drug counselor for nine years, and has lived in Redding for five.

ASPIRE is a degree-completion program that allows busy adults to finish their degree online or during evening classes in 12 to 16 months. For Martin, this program checked many boxes, including accessibility.

“Simpson is a Christian university, has night classes that allowed me to work a full-time job, and I was able to get 84 units at community college and complete ASPIRE in 12 months,” he said.

Although Simpson allowed him to get a degree while working full-time, Martin’s education wasn’t a smooth ride.

The program challenged him, compelling him to maintain a high GPA throughout his studies and apply the knowledge gained in ASPIRE to the workplace.

“Juggling full-time work and raising a family takes up a lot of time,” Martin said, mentioning that setting aside class and study time during the weeknights was challenging.

“Time management, dedication, and a positive attitude helped tremendously, as well as the support of family to be understanding,” Martin said. He began the ASPIRE program in spring 2018, and graduated in spring 2019.

As a counselor who is fascinated by the study of human behavior, Martin chose to major in psychology.

“My goal is to become a licensed therapist, and psychology was the right track to give me a well-rounded understanding of human nature and counseling,” Martin said. He hopes to continue counseling those struggling with addiction and mental health issues. He also plans to earn a master’s degree in social work from Chico State University.

Simpson’s ASPIRE program didn’t just give Martin a chance to grow in academic knowledge.

“ASPIRE and Simpson reminded me how God can be part of professional life, even in the mental health field,” Martin said.

“I enjoyed the class interaction, instructors that were able to speak on their faith, and the well-rounded education despite short five-week classes,” Martin said, reflecting on his time in the program.

“It was a positive step in ongoing personal and professional growth,” he said.

Learn more about the ASPIRE program, which offers degrees in organizational leadership, business management, liberal studies, and psychology, at simpsonu.edu/aspire.

About the author:
Jacelyn Wedman is a senior English and Communication major at Simpson University. She is the Executive Vice President of Simpson’s student government for the 2019-20 academic year. When she isn’t in meetings or in class, Wedman likes to adventure outdoors, watch “The Office,” and tell stories.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

Simpson University Staff Participates in Conference for Camp Fire Pastors

REDDING, Calif.–Simpson University Wellness Center Director Bev Klaiber spoke recently to Paradise and Chico-area pastors and their wives at a special event designed to offer care for them after last year’s devastating Camp Fire.

Paradise Alliance Church sponsored the All Community-Church Grief and Trauma Training Conference and Pastor’s Retreat in late June. Chico Alliance Church hosted the conference; the retreat was held at Butte Creek Country Club.

“These are folks who have been frontline helpers,” Klaiber said. “Some lost their homes, some still live with other families, and some are still hosting other families after all these months. Their marriage and families have been affected by the huge toll the Camp Fire has taken on their community.”

Klaiber, a licensed marriage and family therapist, was asked by Dr. Cathy Sigmund of Allegheny Center Alliance Church in Pittsburgh, Penn., to speak to the group. She was one of three speakers at the retreat.

“It was a beautiful setting for a day away for these couples to learn how to take better care of themselves, their marriages, and their children after the devastating tragedy of the Camp Fire,” Klaiber said. “It was very well received, and all who attended were grateful for the support, tools and resources.”

Students from Crown College in Minnesota volunteered as support staff and child care providers. Simpson University and Crown College are both colleges of The Christian and Missionary Alliance.

In response to 2018’s deadly Camp Fire and Carr Fire, which destroyed thousands of homes and acres in Northern California, Simpson University is offering a Carr and Camp Fire Scholarship for young people impacted by either blaze.

Top: Photo courtesy Bev Klaiber / Front row, from left: Dr. Cathy Sigmund; Gail Warner, M.S.N., M.Div., CRNP; Paradise Alliance Church Director of Disaster Relief Steve Bolin and his wife, Hope. Back row, from left: Simpson University Wellness Center Director Bev Klaiber and students from Crown College in Minnesota.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

 

 

 

Simpson University Welcomes New Executive Leaders

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University is pleased to announce the appointments of a new provost and chief financial officer, who join President Norman Hall’s leadership team.

Dr. Dale Simmons, who served most recently as interim provost/senior vice president at Fresno Pacific University, started June 3 as the administrator in charge of the university’s academic programs, including traditional undergraduate, adult studies, and graduate studies.

Dale Simmons.png

Dr. Dale Simmons

Dr. Simmons has served in administrative roles at Fresno Pacific University (provost and senior vice president), Aurora University near Chicago (vice president of academic affairs), Judson University in Elgin, Ill. (provost and vice president of academic affairs), and at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind. (associate dean of curriculum and academic development).

Dr. Simmons holds Ph.D. and M.Phil. degrees in modern history and literature from Drew University. He earned an M.A. in theological and historical studies and a bachelor’s degree in biblical literature from Oral Roberts University.

His doctoral emphasis was on late 19th/early 20th century religion and culture, with a focus on the Holiness/Higher Christian Life movement, of which A.B. Simpson—founder of The Christian & Missionary Alliance for whom Simpson University was named—was an intimate part.

TimDietz

Tim Dietz

Simpson University also welcomes Tim Dietz as its new chief financial officer. Dietz studied accounting at Greenville University in Illinois, then received his MBA at Emporia State University in Kansas. He has worked for State Farm Insurance and served in multiple leadership roles for more than 15 years, receiving multiple insurance and accounting licenses. He worked as CFO of Greenville University prior to coming to Simpson University and received two of the past three awards for best practices at the annual Central Association of College and University Business Officers Conference.

In other leadership news, Dr. Patrick Blewett, who has served as interim provost and dean of A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary, has been named executive dean of Tozer Seminary and Special Projects.

Other members of the president’s leadership team include R. Walter Quirk, chief operating officer; Mark Endraske, dean of students; Ken White, dean of advancement; and Dr. Dan Pinkston, faculty president.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

Simpson University Student Recounts Marine Biology Experience

By Jacelyn Wedman

I remember attending field trips in public school. My classes visited the museum, the zoo, national monuments, and many more locations I don’t remember. When my school district cut funding for field trips, I thought the end of my school-sanctioned adventures had come.

But then, as a college junior, I found marine biology. I was scrolling through Facebook one night, aimlessly watching cute dog videos and smirking at funny memes when my thumb landed on an article for Simpson University’s May-term Marine Biology class.

I have always been interested in marine biology. As a freshman in high school, I wanted to enter the field, but settled for BBC documentaries narrated by David Attenborough. I knew Simpson’s marine biology class took a weeklong field trip, and since I was already interested in the field and needed a lab credit, I registered for the class the next day.

The May-term class was only in session for three weeks. The first two weeks consisted of intense class-time: four hours every day, Monday through Saturday. As the hours passed, we learned about ocean currents, taxonomic classification of marine animals, and marine communities. By the end of the second week, I could — with some prompting — give the taxonomic name of a horseshoe crab, as well as its habitat and environment.

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Two weeks and three tests later, we packed up for the highlight of the class: the weeklong field trip to the Humboldt coast. All five students admitted that the prospect of the field trip persuaded them to take the class.

We were a strange group: two biology majors, two business majors, and an English/communication major, all learning at different rates and interested in different aspects of the class. The biology majors were excited to collect and study samples. Those of us outside the department were looking forward to the adventure.

The summer class was offered as both an introductory course and an upper-division biology elective. Those of us taking the introductory course in order to satisfy our lab requirement — Adam Bynum, Ethan Wulfestieg, and me — attended class from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday to Saturday. On top of this shared class time, the biology majors — Kristopher “KC” Kranich and Jessica Ayabe — were scheduled for an extra two hours of class in the afternoon, from 1 to 3 p.m. By the 12th day of intensive lecture and study, every student was itching for adventure.

As in most classes, we sat next to the people we knew the most, interacted only when necessary, and weren’t forced to pair up with classmates we didn’t know.

The field trip changed that. Even while talking in class about the upcoming trip, we began to grow closer as a team, not just as classmates. When we arrived at our ‘50s-themed cabin in Trinidad, Calif., we felt unified, or at least resigned to our fate of spending a week sharing one bathroom.

Dr. David Rice, assistant professor of biology, had sent a packing list, as well as a screenshot of the weather in Trinidad for the week we would be there. As the date drew closer, I looked at my own weather app. My app forecasted rain the entire week, opposite of the screenshot.

It was clear that about half of the class — Dr. Rice and his wife, Diana, included — hadn’t checked the updated weather, trusting the screenshot. Only Wulfestieg, Kranich and I brought rain-proof gear.

All but one adventure during the week was punctuated by rain. Those of us with rain jackets, boots, or other waterproof gear were comfortable — even happy — to be adventuring in a drizzle. As we picked through rocks or fished through plankton samples, those wearing only sweaters and tennis shoes checked their phones for the time, waiting for Dr. Rice to announce that it was time to head back to the house.

Because I was warm, dry, and itching for adventure, I took my time getting to and from the vans we used for transportation. While Dr. Rice and Kranich hurried ahead, I hung back, taking photos and ignoring shouts of “Hurry up, gang!”

Our adventures along the Northern California coast included hours of lab time at the Humboldt State University (HSU) marine lab. Dr. Rice and Kranich showed the most interest in hunting for life on wet-mount microscope slides. While they searched, Ayabe, Bynum, Wulfestieg and I inspected the larger creatures we had caught, then preserved in formaldehyde.

We collected samples at different locations along the coast, including Trinidad Beach and Patrick’s Point. We learned that the differences are vast: different terrain, different weather, different specimens, different experience.

Exploring beaches only comprised half of the planned adventures. A pontoon boat excursion, kayaking/whale watching trip, and adventure to the Redwoods made up the week’s itinerary. Because of the constant rain and wind, the kayak expedition was canceled, so we embarked on a field trip within a field trip, traveling to HSU’s main campus for a tour of their marine biology department.

The pontoon boat excursion was a highlight for the majority of the class. The HSU marine lab staff piloted the boat in Humboldt Bay and aided us in conducting two separate trawls and a benthic grab. The first trawl was intended for larger sea creatures, like fish and crab, while we second trawl would catch much smaller animals, like plankton. The benthic grab (essentially a metal bucket with jaws) grabbed sediment and — hopefully — critters with it. None were very successful, but doing the things we had learned about in class was both fun and rewarding.


My favorite part of the trip was purely the adventure. Most of the time, Dr. Rice was the only one who knew the plan, and he went to bed hours before the rest of us, telling us nothing regarding the plan for the following day. Our class adapted, preparing for any and all possibilities.

It was a challenge for me to “go with the flow,” learning how to sleep at night while not knowing what was in store the next morning. By the end of the week, I almost looked forward to the unknown adventure that awaited us the next day.

After lab and adventure time was over, we piled in the vans and headed back to our one-bathroom cottage. We ate dinner together, sitting seven around a table meant for six, elbows touching as we ate tacos, burgers, spaghetti.

Once dinner was cleaned up, dishes washed and leftovers eaten by Kranich, Wulfestieg, and Dr. Rice, we had some free time to debrief the day, play never-ending rounds of Uno, and play Legend of Zelda on Wulfestieg’s Nintendo Switch.

As I unpacked my sea-salt-soaked suitcase, I realized that this class was more like a science camp than a lab requirement. I was able to experience the lessons I learned in the classroom. As a believer in experiential education, I maintain that doing things provides a better learning experience than taking tests on things.

This class allowed five students to fulfill Simpson’s science lab requirement without sitting in a crowded classroom for 15 weeks. It allowed us to poke, prod, and collect the creatures we learned about, not just recite the taxonomic name and gaze at them through a jar of formaldehyde. It allowed us to fulfill a lab requirement by embarking on an adventure, getting our feet wet, and exploring science firsthand in the field. It was a memorable opportunity.

Learn more about Simpson University’s Science Department at simpsonu.edu/science.

About the author:
Jacelyn Wedman is a senior English and Communication major at Simpson University. She is the Executive Vice President of Simpson’s student government for the 2019-20 academic year. When she isn’t in meetings or in class, Wedman likes to adventure outdoors, watch “The Office,” and tell stories.

Top photo: Simpson University students participate in a May-term marine biology course. From left, Kristopher “KC” Kranich, Jacelyn Wedman, Jessica Ayabe, Adam Bynum, and Ethan Wulfestieg.

Related links:
Simpson University Students Explore Marine Life in Humboldt Bay (June 2018)