Simpson University Confirms Fall On-Campus Instruction

REDDING, Calif.–With the long-anticipated release of state guidelines for higher education, Simpson University confirms its plans to reopen for fall in-person instruction and residential campus life. The university has been working closely with county health officials as it moves toward a Sept. 7 start. 

Classes will be offered in a HyFlex model, incorporating face-to-face instruction determined by physical distancing guidelines, as well as live streaming and recording of each class.

“We know that our students thrive in our uniquely community-based, personalized and experiential learning environment, and we are committed to providing this with measures in place to mitigate risks and promote safety,” President Norman Hall said. “We are thankful for our partnership with Shasta County Public Health and the advocacy of city and elected officials as we work together to ensure a safe return for students. Simpson University considers itself to be Redding’s hometown university, and we want to be conscientious neighbors as we offer programs and services that benefit the North State.” 

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The university first announced on May 5 its intention to move toward on-campus reopening, after an abrupt shift to remote learning in mid-March as pandemic concerns spread nationwide. Since that time, a COVID-19 taskforce comprising administrators, faculty, staff, and a retired physician/board member has met regularly to map out guidelines for safely returning to campus.

Simpson University has hired Capsid Consulting, an agency made up of doctors and researchers specializing in epidemiology and infectious disease management who advise several California hospitals and universities, to assist with daily guidance of operations.

Among other precautions, the university is implementing the following safety measures:

  • Required COVID-19 testing of students and employees
  • Required face coverings, physical distancing, and hand-washing 
  • Modified chapel programming and club activities
  • Fall athletics conference competition moved to spring
  • Outside and take-out dining service
  • Classroom sanitizing
  • Temperature screening stations
  • Office-specific plans to limit foot traffic and minimize personal contact
  • Plexiglass shields and signage
  • Staggered move-in times for residential students
  • Two-week “heightened safety protocol” period at the start of the semester
  • Travel restrictions
  • Limited-size gatherings

At this time, Simpson University is one of only a handful of Christian colleges and universities in the state planning to reopen for on-campus instruction. 

“One of the advantages of our beautiful rural area is that we have not seen the spikes in cases that have put other counties on the state monitoring list,” Dr. Hall said. “Simpson University is fully invested in helping that trend continue in Shasta County.”

Despite the pandemic, the university is seeing an enrollment increase thus far over this time last year. This would mark the third consecutive year of increased enrollment at the university, which will mark its centennial in 2021. The university serves about 800 students total, including undergraduate, degree-completion, teaching credential and graduate students.

A student and professor from the university’s Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, ranked No. 7 among California nursing schools, are featured on a national Christian radio podcast talking about assistance they gave to Shasta County Public Health during the early days of the pandemic. Two nursing school alumna traveled to New York this spring at the height of the crisis there to help in hospitals overwhelmed with patients.

Simpson University continues to update its COVID-19 website as it finalizes details on its reopening and response plans.

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Simpson University, a Christian university founded in 1921, moved to Redding 31 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 20 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 recognized nationally as one of U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 Regional Universities West. 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 ranked No. 1 in California. The university has a highly ranked Veterans Success Center and partnership with the Army National Guard. Simpson University contributes an estimated $50 million annually to Redding’s economy. It offers aggressive scholarships and is 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

 

Simpson University Welcomes New Director of Athletics

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University is pleased to announce the hire of Tom Seitz as director of athletics. His duties began Aug. 3.

AD Tom Seitz

Tom Seitz

Seitz brings more than 25 years of experience as a collegiate player, coach, administrator and commissioner. He has served as the athletic director and/or coach for colleges and universities competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, II and III levels.

Prior to coming to Simpson University, Seitz was director of athletics at Palm Beach State College (Fla.). Before that, he was commissioner of the Crossroads League in Indianapolis, where he oversaw the operations for a league composed of 10 higher education institutions. He has also served as the athletic director at California State University San Marcos, Jacksonville State University (Ala.), and Jacksonville University (Fla.); and as associate athletic director at Rollins College.

In those roles, he helped build new facilities (baseball stadium; soccer/football/track stadium; field house; practice and training center; baseball/softball complex); developed strategic plans and procedures; more than doubled the number of student-athletes; increased revenue; and began new sports programs in basketball, volleyball and football.

“Tom Seitz was selected after a national search with a finalists’ pool of five candidates,” Chief Operating Officer Wally Quirk said. “He has the credentials and experience with the widest variety of skills ever presented to Simpson University for an athletic director.”

Seitz earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, where he played basketball and subsequently coached; and a master’s degree in business administration from The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. He also coached basketball at Charleston Southern University.

As Simpson University’s Director of Athletics, Seitz will oversee staff members, coaches and intercollegiate sports teams (men’s and women’s soccer, cross-country, track and field, swimming and diving, basketball, wrestling, and volleyball; women’s softball and men’s baseball). Simpson University is part of the NAIA.

Seitz stated, “I would like to thank President Hall, Wally Quirk and the search committee for having confidence in me to lead the Simpson athletic program during this time of extreme growth.”

“I look forward to working with the administration, coaches and community to help take Simpson athletics to a new level of excellence,” he said. “I consider this a great opportunity to serve and can’t wait to dive in.”

Follow Simpson University athletics at simpsonredhawks.com.

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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 recognized nationally as one of U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 Regional Universities West. 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

Simpson University Inducts Adult Studies Students into Honor Society

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies recently inducted five Shasta County graduates into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honors Society during a special virtual ceremony.

Alpha Sigma Lambda is a national honor society for continuing education students who are in the top 20 percent of their class and who demonstrate superior scholarship and leadership abilities.

20SU ASL Zoom photo with inductees with guests

The following students were inducted during the Zoom ceremony, which was also attended by university President Norman Hall, School of Adult Studies faculty and staff members, and families of honorees:

April Brown (Redding): April has held roles in pastoral leadership, children’s and youth ministry. She has taught classes, led small groups, volunteered at conferences, and co-led mission trips. This fall, April plans to start Simpson University’s Master’s in Counseling Psychology program. Her goal is to become a certified Marriage and Family Therapist and clinical counselor, working in faith-based counseling and opening her own counseling center.

Laura Price (Redding): After volunteering in her daughter’s classroom, Laura immediately knew teaching was her passion. Her educational goals are to participate in Simpson University’s School of Education credentialing and graduate program. Her career goals as an educator are to help establish a system of education that addresses all areas of growth in children.

Christopher Fulton (Anderson): Christopher serves as a paramedic and volunteer firefighter. He uses his woodworking skills to collaborate with Girl Scouts, teaching them how to build birdhouses. His goal is to obtain a master’s degree and become a physician’s assistant to better serve his community.

Megan Ide-Sandefur (Anderson): Megan has volunteered at Project Homeless Connect, Enterprise Junior Eagles Cheerleading, Shasta Lake Youth Soccer League, Teen Advocacy Group, and Anderson Cubs Cheerleading Program. This year, Megan has done over 100 hours of training for work in order to learn more about the community. Her degree from Simpson University will help her move to a role as social worker with her own caseload. Megan plans to earn a master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her career goals are to open a community center for teens.

Sharyn Toso (Redding): In addition to being a single mom and a fulltime employee, Sharyn has obtained two associate’s degrees with honors, helped at her son’s school, and volunteered for the Shasta Lake Firefighters Association. She has led significant projects, major fundraising events, and fire safety and education events. She was awarded Administrator of the Year from Shasta Lake Fire District and the Firefighters Association. Her career aspirations include advancing in the fire industry and working for a nonprofit. She is also exploring the possibility of opening her own business.

Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies degree-completion program offers bachelor’s degrees in organizational leadership (online or on campus), business management, psychology (online or on campus), and liberal studies. The programs are designed for working adults and allow students to complete their degree in 12 to 16 months. Learn more at simpsonu.edu/as.

Top, Alpha Sigma Lambda inductees clockwise from left: Laura Price, Christopher Fulton, Megan Ide-Sandefur, Sharyn Toso, and April Brown. Middle: Honorees and their families are joined by School of Adult Studies faculty and staff and Simpson University President Norman Hall.

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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