Simpson University Honors Students During Virtual Awards Chapel

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University honored students, faculty and staff for academic achievements and outstanding contributions to the community in an end-of-the-year awards chapel service.

With the campus closed due to the coronavirus shutdown, the Academic Office gathered videos from faculty and staff announcing the award winners and compiled them into an hourlong presentation that premiered on Facebook during chapel hour on April 29. Watchers offered congratulatory comments in “real time” to the honorees.

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 2.41.24 PMDr. Dale Simmons, provost, directed his opening remarks to students, referencing quotes from philosopher and essayist Henry David Thoreau and the movie, “Dead Poets Society.”

“Whether by vision or by virus, your life is going to go through a number of radical twists and turns, and therefore it behooves you to take this foundational educational experience very seriously,” he said. “I urge you to do this not just to enhance the quantity of your career options but also to enrich the quality of your life itself.”

He concluded: “Let us seize the day, or at least the next hour, to suck the marrow out of life by celebrating all of your wonderful achievements.”

During the ceremony, professors, staff and administrators presented the following awards to students:

Stanley Clark Research Awards: Colleen House, Best Graduate Paper and Best Graduate Poster; Haley Muri, Best Graduate Presentation; Connor Rowe, Best Undergraduate Paper; Baylee Wiechecki, Jessilyn Ellenson, Brooke Larson, and Alexis Thompson, Best Undergraduate Poster; Isabel Harris, Rebecca Carmona, Claire Cozby, Tayler Lennier, and Jonathan Liu, Best Undergraduate Presentation

Faculty Scholarship Award: Eva Palacios

Outstanding Music Student of the Year: Mackenzie Alldrin and Jordan Palmer

Outstanding Cross-Cultural Studies Major: Isabel Harris

Business Student of the Year: Jonathan Carter

Outstanding English Major: Jacelyn Wedman

Zondervan Biblical Languages Award: Shawna Lyter

Psychology Student of the Year: Patience Wallace

Communication Student of the Year: Jacelyn Wedman

Biology Student of the Year: Erika Thompson

Phi Alpha Theta Honors: Paul Bigelow, Josh Ladner, John Sturges, and Madison Whitmer

History & Political Science Department Outstanding Research Award: Mariah Moss

History & Political Science Department Outstanding Student Award: Paul Bigelow

Liberal Studies Outstanding Student Award: Sandy Lule

Liberal Studies Overcoming Challenges (Dolores Huerta) Courage Award: Bigane Perez

Nursing Honor Society inductees: Brooke Ele, Rebecca Cessna, Autumn McCuller, Abigail Melo, Annalise Buletti, Cierra Jewett, Anthony Garaventa, Jennifer Douglas, Chelsea Swetka, Amber Mulieri, Rachelle Edwards, Sarah Sullivan

Nursing Core Values Awards: Rizia Swedbergh and Abigail Melo (Community); Rebecca Cessna (Excellence); Samantha Plotkin (Accountability); Connie Hanson (Integrity); Anthony Garaventa (Service)

Red Hawk Awards: Marianne Soria (volleyball) and Collin Bovee (baseball)

Female and Male Athletes of the Year: Mia Olvera (softball) and Tom Higdon (swimming)

Student Life Award: Naomi Hollgarth

Rotary Honor to Youth Award: Isabel Harris

President’s Cup Award: Bryce Perez

The following faculty and staff were also recognized:

Professor of the Year: Dr. Tim Orr

Student Development Professional of the Year: Julie Engelsman

ASBSU Appreciation Award: Brooks Duggan

In addition, students graduating with honors and distinction in the traditional undergraduate and degree-completion programs were recognized.

TRADITIONAL UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES

Graduating with honor (cum laude) – cumulative GPA 3.5 – 3.9:
Meangeldil Azuma Malsol
Blanca Casamort Vila
Katelynn Deville
Halle Piper
Cierra Jewett
Daniel Oberg

Graduating with high honor (magna cum laude) – cumulative GPA 3.6 – 3.85: Charisma Anderson
Annalise Buletti
Benjamin Burkwhat
Franchesca Carrera
Rebecca Cessna
Jennifer Eblen
Brooke Ele
Autumn McCuller
Abigail Melo
Alexis Thompson
Patience Wallace
Maddison Whitmer
Baylee Wiechecki

Graduating with highest honor (summa cum laude) – cumulative GPA 3.85 – 4.00:
Mackenzie Alldrin
Paul Bigelow
Adam Dinius
Crista Gibeson
Nathan Granger
Katherine Hollingsworth
Brijesh Joshi
Jordan Palmer
Jonathan Liu
Silas LaGroue
Sandy Lule
Shawna Lyter
Nicole Masciola
Mariah Moss
Jake Riley
William Schumacher
John Sturges
Erika Thompson
Jacelyn Wedman

SCHOOL OF ADULT STUDIES DEGREE-COMPLETION PROGRAM

Graduating with Distinction – cumulative GPA of 3.8 and above
Marisa Andrews
Linda Clares
Stacy Demoss
Gina Heckinger
Barbara Niles
Ashley Peluso
Jenn Scala
Erika Twitchell

Graduating with Highest Honor – top 20% and members of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honors Society:
Carrie Arthur
Sasha Greenberg
Alyssa Kersten
Jamie King
Jamie Kostrab
Kaitlyn Maddox
Zeva Knuckles
Johanna Nordlund-Snider
Heather Sheltman

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Simpson University, a Christian 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. 7-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is listed in U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 Regional Universities West and recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction. The university is launching new programs in digital media, computer information systems, and engineering, and recently added 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. Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

Simpson University Hosts Virtual ‘Open House’ to Finish Semester

REDDING, Calif.—With spring commencement rescheduled to December, Simpson University professors and staff created a special way to honor the class of 2020 during what would have been their graduation week.

A virtual “open house” was set up for the evening before graduation, designed to connect students and their families with professors and classmates.

The open house, which included “rooms” for each academic department, as well as other offices, was held from 7 to 8 p.m. April 24, the time originally scheduled for baccalaureate. Seniors were invited to “drop in” starting at 7, with other students joining for the final half-hour.

“We are excited to take this opportunity to mark the end of this semester through connection, celebration, and reflection,” the invitation read. “Please know that we continue to be in prayer for you and your families as we all navigate the present time, and we are grateful for each of you.”

In addition, faculty and staff were invited to post messages of encouragement to graduating seniors on the site. These included videos, letters, and audio recordings. Using a whiteboard to illustrate, science professor Trent Smith talked about “Chromosone ‘20,” specifically the “missue-bad gene,” which would be transcribed at a higher rate, he said, due to the “C-19 pandemic enhancer” and the “graduation enhancer.”

“The saving grace is when the C-19 pandemic enhancer is dissolved, there’s always the chance to undo this (graduation enhancer) if you come back and visit us,” he said.

President Norman Hall and Provost Dale Simmons also joined faculty and staff in offering messages of congratulations, hope, and prayers to the graduates.

“We recognize that your graduation is not what any of us expected and we hope that these opportunities will provide some meaningful ways of connection as you attempt to mark these important years of study and growth, complete this chapter, and begin writing the next,” wrote professors Jennifer Costillo and Michelle Stinson. “It has truly been a privilege to walk alongside of you during this part of your journey, and we look forward to seeing what is next.”

Spring commencement, originally scheduled for April 25, has been moved to Dec. 19, at which time the university will hold two ceremonies to honor graduates from spring, summer and fall 2020.

Update 4.29.20: Simpson University hosted a Facebook “live” video premiere for its traditional end-of-the-year awards chapel, recognizing students, faculty and staff for their academic achievements and outstanding contributions to the community.

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Simpson University, a Christian 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. 7-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is listed in U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 Regional Universities West and recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction. The university is launching new programs in digital media, computer information systems, and engineering, and recently added 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. Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

 

Simpson University Degree-Completion Students Place in Top 100 in Worldwide Business Contest

REDDING, Calif.—Two Simpson University School of Adult Studies students recently earned a Global Top 100 ranking in a worldwide business simulation contest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 1.31.23 PMRedding residents Sasha Greenberg and Zeva Knuckles, students in professor Paul Wood’s Strategy, Policy & Ethics seminar, earned the ratings when they competed against 190 colleges and universities worldwide and 3,129 teams in the Business Strategy Game.

The Business Strategy Game is described as “an online exercise where class members are divided into teams and assigned the task of running an athletic footwear company in head-to-head competition against companies managed by other class members.”

Companies “sell” athletic footwear in a global market arena, with all aspects paralleling the functions of a real-world athletic footwear company.

During the week of March 16-22, Greenberg and Knuckles were notified they had made it into the Top 100 worldwide in several categories:

Overall Game-to-Date Score: Their overall score of 107.5 tied for the 83rd best performance of the week

Earnings Per Share: At $16.26, their EPS was the 70th best EPS performance of the week

Stock Price: Their stock price of $382.78 was the 93rd best stock price performance of the week

“You should be quite proud of your students for such an excellent performance — a performance that reflects quite well on you and the caliber of instruction that students are receiving in your course,” the Business Strategy Game author team said in an email to professor Wood.

Greenberg and Knuckles said they experienced all aspects of opening and running a business through participating in the Business Strategy Game.

“We had the opportunity to manage all our images, marketing, sustainability, profitability, and made educated guesses on what other business were projected to do,” Greenberg said. “We made good decisions to buy our leftover products and stocks and learned how to continually refinance our loans.”

Knuckles said she gained valuable experience in assessing market conditions, determining how to respond to the actions of competitors, and making the hard decisions from plant production and distribution operations, to worker compensation and social responsibility.

“Knowing that we ranked in the Global Top 100 out of some 50,000 other students internationally was not anything we expected, but certainly worked hard for and we welcome with open arms,” she said.

Greenberg and Knuckles are both graduating this month with bachelor’s degrees in Business Management, one of four degrees offered by Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies degree-completion program (the others are liberal studies, organizational leadership and psychology).  

“This business strategy class and game was not only mentally stimulating and enjoyable, but it also drew upon many of the standard topics I have studied in the Simpson program such as business management, production operation management, psychology, leadership, and human resources,” Knuckles said.

Both women said they would highly recommend Simpson’s degree-completion program. “I was able to build my confidence working with like-minded fellow students and engaging in many projects with a lot of intellectual value,” Greenberg said. “I grew a lot as a professional and a person. The Christian values made the experience more enjoyable and filled the program with positivity.”

“All of the professors have so much real life knowledge and truly understand what we’re going through with juggling kids, family, careers, and school work,” Knuckles said. “Everyone at Simpson wants to see you succeed, and it is so rewarding when you do.”

While the degree-completion program typically offers on-campus and online program options, all courses moved to a remote delivery format in mid-March due to coronavirus concerns. Courses are taught by experienced working professionals. Students complete their classes in a cohort, lock-step sequence that enables them to finish a bachelor’s degree in 16 months or less.

“We have graduated more than 4,000 legacy-makers and are so proud of our students and alumni,” said Wendy Smith, director of the program. “We look forward to the future and how God will continue to use our students in mighty ways.”

Learn more at simpsonu.edu/aspire.

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Simpson University, a Christian 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. 7-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is listed in U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 Regional Universities West and recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction. The university is launching new programs in digital media, computer information systems, and engineering, and recently added 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. Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

Simpson University Bass Angler Places in Online Tournament During Coronavirus Shutdown

REDDING, Calif.—What does a collegiate bass fishing team do during a pandemic shutdown?

If you’re Simpson University bass fishing angler Ryan Beaty, you participate in the Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA) “online” tournament.

The ACA introduced the tournament after being tagged in posts and receiving daily pictures from student anglers “adhering to social distancing warnings and continuing to fish at the same time.”

From April 2-8, collegiate anglers were invited to submit photos of measured fish with a keyword provided by the ACA. While typical tournaments have a five-fish limit, the ACA Online Tournament was a “big fish” contest, with only the angler’s longest fish counted, explained Alex Thiemann, coach of Simpson University’s team.

IMG_0528Beaty placed in the top 50 with an 18-inch bass caught in the Bay-Delta region. “I was out fishing for the day on our boat and probably caught 15 fish,” he said.

“It was really cool to be able to complete in a tournament given our current situation and go up against other schools across the country.”

Other members of Simpson University’s bass fishing team had a more difficult time participating due to lake closures; and, in the case of angler Luke Blanchard, a statewide fishing closure in Washington, Thiemann said.

In February, Beaty and teammate Nathan Phillips placed No. 14 in the Yeti FLW College Fishing National Championship, out of 160 teams.

At the end of its inaugural season, Simpson University’s bass fishing team is the highest ranked college team in California and is No. 98 in the nation.

The Simpson University bass fishing team is recruiting for the 2020-21 school year. To learn more, contact coach Thiemann at athiemann@simpsonu.edu. Follow the team on Instagram at SimpsonBass or Facebook at SimpsonBassTeam.

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Simpson University, a Christian 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. 7-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is listed in U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 Regional Universities West and recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction. The university is launching new programs in digital media, computer information systems, and engineering, and recently added 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. Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

Simpson University Nursing School Ranks No. 7 in California

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University’s Betty M. Dean School of Nursing is listed as the seventh best nursing program in the state, according to Nursing School Hub’s 2020 rankings.

nursing-school-hub-2-6-20-02-300x300“Simpson University is one of the best schools for nursing in California, with its focus on faith-based nursing education and curriculum,” Nursing School Hub states. “The core value of the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing program is caring, with personalized faculty mentoring, hands-on experiences, small classes, simulation labs, and engaging discussions.”

The rating comes as the School of Nursing graduates its spring 2020 cohort of 22 four-year students during the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19. As the university shifted to remote course delivery, nursing faculty and staff created online coursework and helped students complete their required clinical hours through small-group sessions in the university’s state-of-the-art simulation labs.

While completing coursework, many of the nursing students also stepped up when Shasta County Public Health asked for help in fielding phone calls from the concerned public as the coronavirus spread. The students were trained to answer calls from medical providers in addition to answering health-related questions from community members.

“Our students earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree that provides an opportunity for them to be employed by governmental health agencies such as the public health department,” said Misty Smith, dean of the School of Nursing. “This opportunity meets community need and promotes student achievement of our program learning outcomes.”

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The spring 2020 graduating cohort of Simpson University’s Betty M. Dean School of Nursing

The Betty M. Dean School of Nursing has consistently earned high ratings by nursing school ranking agencies. In 2019, it was listed as one of the best nursing schools in the country and No. 8 in California by RNCareers.

Nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the School of Nursing has a three-year average of a 96.5 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), the nationwide exam for the licensing of nurses in the U.S. and Canada.

Named after Dr. Betty Dean, a longtime Simpson University trustee, former nurse and former Butte College president, the School of Nursing has graduated more than 205 four-year bachelor of science in nursing students since the BSN program began in 2011. In addition, more than 175 students have graduated from Simpson’s RN-BSN Track, designed for registered nurses who want to obtain their bachelor’s degree.

“The need for bachelor-prepared nurses is great, and the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing administration and faculty are committed to helping our students grow spiritually and professionally for success in their professional roles,” Smith said.

In addition to its CCNE accreditation, the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing is also accredited by the Western Senior College and University Commission and approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Learn more at simpsonu.edu/nursing.

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Simpson University, a Christian 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. 7-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is listed in U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 Regional Universities West and recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction. The university is launching new programs in digital media, computer information systems, and engineering, and recently added 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. Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.