More Simpson University anglers qualify for nationals

Published Sept. 29, 2020 by FLW Communications

CLEARLAKE, Calif. – The Simpson University team of Luke Blanchard of Vancouver, Washington, and Nathan Phillips of Kelseyville, California, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Clear Lake event Sept. 26 with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces. The victory advanced the Simpson bass club to the 2021 College Fishing National Championship.

The victory came a month after teammates Sheldon Reese and Taj White placed first in a college fishing tournament in the California Delta, qualifying them to compete in the national championship.

The Red Hawks duo won by a 4-pound margin over the second-place team of Ryan Beaty and Taj White, also from Simpson University, who weighed in five bass totaling 12 pounds, 13 ounces. The tournament launched from Redbud Park in Clearlake, California.

The top eight teams Saturday at Clear Lake finished:

1st: Simpson University – Luke Blanchard, Vancouver, Wash., and Nathan Phillips, Kelseyville, Calif., five bass, 16-13 (Pictured, left to right)

2nd: Simpson University – Ryan Beaty, Martinez, Calif., and Taj White, Glendale, Ariz., five bass, 12-13

3rd: University of California-Merced – Kalib Caples, Sebastopol, Calif., and Herbie LeBlanc, Gilroy, Calif., five bass, 12-9

4th: New Mexico State University – Marquez Perez and Wyatt Sandoval, both of Las Cruces, N.M., five bass, 12-0

5th: New Mexico State University – Daylon Smith, Frazier Park, Calif., and Bradley Jones of Las Cruces, N.M., five bass, 8-13

6th: New Mexico State University – Logan Cooper and Clay Stearns, both of Las Cruces, N.M., five bass, 8-3

7th: Simpson University – Austin Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., and Sheldon Reese, Witter Springs, Calif., two bass, 7-3

8th: Sonoma State University – Brook Spencer, Salinas, Calif., and Dawson Stroud, Modesto, Calif., zero bass

Complete results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.

The Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI event on Clear Lake was the third and final regular-season qualifying tournament for Western Conference anglers. The next event for College Fishing anglers will be this week, Oct. 2 – the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Ouachita River Open in Monroe, Louisiana.

Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI teams compete in regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 20 teams from the annual Abu Garcia College Fishing Open advance to the following year’s Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

About FLW
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.

FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).

# # #

About Simpson University Bass Fishing
The Simpson University Bass Fishing team completed its inaugural year of 2019-20 as the highest ranked college team in California and is listed in the top 100 teams in the nation. To learn more, contact coach Alex Thiemann at athiemann@simpsonu.edu. Follow the team on Instagram at SimpsonBass or Facebook at SimpsonBassTeam.

Simpson University Alumnus Takes Home Top ‘America’s Got Talent’ Prize

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University alumnus and Stockton native Brandon Leake took home the winner’s title and $1 million prize on season 15 of “America’s Got Talent.”

Leake, 27, made history as the show’s first spoken word poet, delivering moving pieces about his deceased sister, his estrangement with his father, and his mother’s fear of losing her son in the climate of recent deaths of Black men and women. His final piece was a prayer and poem for his baby daughter.

Show judge Howie Mandel advanced Leake from the audition round to the live shows with a “Golden Buzzer” award after Leake delivered a stirring poem about the loss of his sister.

“Brandon took us through the journey of humanity. And this is what’s missing right now: understanding, humanity and justice,” Mandel is quoted as saying in a USA Today news article. “This has been a hard time for all of us, but I thought that the win and the vote for him has given me and the world hope. I’m so thrilled America made this vote and listened to their hearts and their minds, especially on a day like today with what’s going on in the world. I hope that he is the light.”

Watch as Brandon Leake is announced the winner of “America’s Got Talent” season 15.

Leake graduated from Simpson University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. While at Simpson, he initially played basketball, then turned to writing. In 2012 he started Called to Move – CTM on campus with a small group of artists and began performing at open mic nights on campus.

When the group first performed, about 10 to 15 people showed up to watch. By the time Leake graduated, several hundred people were attending shows, and Called to Move was invited to do its own chapel service.

Simpson University student Brandon Leake in 2012 // Photo by SU Marketing

Leake is also one of the founders of “Hope is Alive! Open Mic” events, often hosted at Old City Hall in Redding and held to raise awareness about mental health struggles, substance use disorders, and suicide loss. The Shasta County Arts Council noted Leake’s role in a congratulatory Facebook post.  

After graduating, Leake has worked as an educator and speaker and led spoken word workshops. His debut album, titled “In My Thoughts,” lead to him traveling across the U.S. to perform at elementary and high schools, colleges, youth conferences, and poetry slams. He got married in 2017; and he and his wife had a baby girl in late February.

Leake chronicled his “America’s Got Talent” journey on his Instagram account (@Brandon_Leake_CTM), where he offered these thoughts two days after his victory:

“Wow … what a journey, ya’ll. I must honestly tell ya’ll that I’m so humbled to be the winner of ya’ll choosing … this is OUR WIN! … Thank you to my wonderful and beautiful wife who played the role of a superwoman taking care of our child and a young puppy for a whole month in my absence. … And last but certainly not least, THANK YOU, GOD! I am but a mere man, redeemed by Christ and now given an opportunity to show the world what I got! This is an answered prayer beyond belief and I’m so grateful, so so grateful!”

###

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 mediacomputer 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 and No. 26 in the nation. 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 Receives $1.3M Grant to Help Students Graduate, Get Jobs

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University has received its sixth federal grant in three years designed to help students stay in school, graduate and find meaningful employment.

The university was notified in August it will receive $1.3 million over five years in federal TRIO grant funding for the Student Support Services (SSS) program. In 2017, Simpson was awarded $10 million to administer multi-year Upward Bound and GEAR UP programs that directly benefit North State middle and high school students.

The TRIO SSS grant will provide resources for a cohort of 150 Simpson University students, including academic tutoring, guidance in selecting postsecondary academic courses; information about and assistance with scholarships and financial aid; counseling to improve financial and economic literacy; and help with applications for graduate and professional programs, among other services.

The goal of the SSS program is to increase the post-secondary persistence and graduation rates of students who are the first in their families to attend college or who might face economic hardship in attending college.

“We are thrilled to be able to provide a higher level of resources and services to a number of our students through this TRIO grant,” President Norman Hall said. “Simpson University strives to provide personalized instruction to help ensure students’ success after they graduate, and this grant will be a tremendous help in allowing us to do that with further excellence.”

###

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 mediacomputer 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 and No. 26 in the nation. 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 Reopens for In-Person Instruction

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University welcomed new and returning students to campus over Labor Day weekend, marking the start of an unprecedented school year inside and outside the classroom.

“It’s a new normal,” President Norm Hall told news reporters who covered the university’s reopening. “Everyone has been very patient, and our students are saying they are thrilled to be here.”

New Student Orientation on Sept. 4-6 included staggered arrival and move-in times for residential students, who were limited to two guests each, as well as outdoor dining and events to allow for physical distancing. Hand-sanitizing stations and plexiglass shields are found throughout campus. Red signs on lawns and walkways remind students to wear face coverings and maintain distance.

Indicative of the “new normal” for this fall, the first day of classes Sept. 7 also included free COVID-19 testing in the gymnasium. All students were required to provide negative test results within 30 days prior to arrival, and periodic testing of the campus population will be part of the protocol this semester.

“We’re going to constantly monitor the situation, and we need you to be doing that, too,” Dr. Dale Simmons, provost, told parents during a weekend session. “We want to be able to give your students face-to-face education as long as possible.”

The university is utilizing a HyFlex learning format, with in-person classes that are livestreamed and recorded to allow for adequate physical distancing in classrooms and uninterrupted learning in the event of quarantine or isolation.

“Our distinctive learning environment is high interaction with our faculty,” Dr. Hall said.

Despite the weekend’s triple-digit heat, smoky air from wildfires to the south, and strict safety protocols, students expressed excitement and gratitude to be back on campus.

“I’m so thankful that we’re on campus, that I get to build those relationships with both teachers and students and be able to have that college experience rather than being at home and just doing it from my bedroom, the way we ended senior year,” freshman Kaitlin Hergbert said. “I’m just thankful we get to be here and have that true experience freshman year.”

Senior Zack Caples said putting up with the inconveniences of wearing face coverings and abiding by other safety protocols is worth it to be on campus. “I’m really excited to be back,” he said. “It’s been a long summer.”

The weekend included outdoor activities such as kayaking and relaxing by the pond, a cornhole competition, picnic on the lawn, and a worship service led by pastors from local Christian & Missionary Alliance churches. On Friday evening, President Hall led a family covenant communion service near the cross at the center of campus, sharing the biblical story of Esther – “a powerful reminder that God can bring about new life, redemption and freedom even when it seems impossible,” he said.

On Saturday morning, Dr. Simmons encouraged students to actively participate in their learning, to ask for help when needed and to reach out to their professors. He urged them to be persons of integrity. “Exercising your mind in the service of God is a way of loving God,” he said. “Your studies can be an act of worship.”

In a richly symbolic service exercise Saturday, students gathered in small groups to plant trees around campus, marking them with brass plaques naming numerous individuals who have contributed in some way to the nearly 100-year-old history of Simpson University. The trees line the university’s Pathways of Remembrance, which commemorate the three locations in Simpson’s history: Seattle (1921-1955), San Francisco (1955-1989), and Redding (1989-present).

“These plaques represent people who came before us, who lived and served on campus,” Dr. Hall said. “As we lean into a new century, it seemed appropriate to connect them with you in a tangible way.”

He asked the students to stop and pray for each family represented by the plaques they installed next to the trees.

“When you come back for homecoming, you will inevitably return to the tree you planted,” he said. “You’ll remember when you became part of the legacy of Simpson University.”

On Sunday morning, new and returning students gathered for an outdoor church service led by staff and faculty that culminated in prayer for the year ahead.

“Remain in this posture of faith and hope as we head into the semester,” Jose Palos, director of Spiritual Formation,” told the Simpson community via email Sunday night. “We are off to a great start, but there is still much work to be done.”

He shared the exhortation found in I Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). 

###

Related media coverage:

9.07.20 – Students back on campus at Simpson University for the first time in months
ActionNewsNow interviewed President Norm Hall and two students for a story and “live” shots on the first day of classes.

9.07.20 – Simpson University students began class on Monday
KRCR-TV returned to campus for the first day of classes, filming nursing students and interviewing the provost for this story.

9.04.20 – Students return to Simpson University
KRCR-TV visited campus as new students moved in to do a story featuring some of the new COVID-19 protocols in place.

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 mediacomputer 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 Bass Fishing Team Wins Tournament

Published August 25, 2020 by FLW Communications

OAKLEY, Calif. – The Simpson University team of Sheldon Reese of Witter Springs, California, and Taj White of Glendale, Arizona, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at the California Delta event Aug. 21 with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the Simpson bass club $2,000 and qualified them to compete in the 2021 College Fishing National Championship.

From far right, Simpson University Bass Fishing team members Sheldon Reese and Taj White won a recent tournament that qualifies them to compete in the 2021 College Fishing National Championship. Team members Nathan Phillips and Ryan Beaty came in fourth place. // Photo courtesy FLW Communications

The Red Hawks duo won by a 4-pound, 9-ounce margin over the second-place team of Daylon Smith from New Mexico State University, who weighed in five bass totaling 10 pounds, 10 ounces while fishing the two-man team event solo. The tournament launched from the Big Break Marina in Oakley, California.

The teams that now advance to the 2021 College Fishing National Championship are:

1st: Simpson University – Sheldon Reese, Witter Springs, Calif., and Taj White, Glendale, Ariz., five bass, 15-3, $2,000

2nd: New Mexico State University – Daylon Smith, Frazier Park, Calif., five bass, 10-10, $1,000

3rd: University of California-Merced – Kalib Caples, Sebastopol, Calif., and Herbie LeBlanc, Gilroy, Calif., five bass, 10-5, $500

4th: Simpson University – Ryan Beaty, Martinez, Calif., and Nathan Phillips, Kelseyville, Calif., five bass, 8-8, $500

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

The Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI event on the California Delta was hosted by the City of Oakley. It was the second of three regular-season qualifying tournaments for Western Conference anglers. The next event for College Fishing anglers will be on Sept. 4 – the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama.

Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI teams compete in regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 20 teams from the annual Abu Garcia College Fishing Open advance to the following year’s Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

About FLW
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.

FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).

# # #

About Simpson University Bass Fishing
The Simpson University Bass Fishing team completed its inaugural year of 2019-20 as the highest ranked college team in California and is listed in the top 100 teams in the nation. To learn more, contact coach Alex Thiemann at athiemann@simpsonu.edu. Follow the team on Instagram at SimpsonBass or Facebook at SimpsonBassTeam.

Simpson University Remembers Trustee, Nursing School Namesake

REDDING, Calif.–Dr. Betty M. Dean, a beloved member of Simpson University’s board of trustees for more than 12 years, passed away on Aug. 24, 2020, after a lengthy battle with cancer.

The university’s Betty M. Dean School of Nursing is named after Dr. Dean. During one of her final visits to the Redding campus in December 2019, Dr. Dean addressed nursing graduates at a pinning ceremony inside the James M. Grant Student Life Center, encouraging them to “guard your heart and let it guide you in the skills you have learned.”

IMG_4678 copy

“What you share and how you share it will have an eternal impact,” she told the students. “The final impact is known only to God. Your caring heart is what will make the greatest difference.”

Dr. Dean’s caring heart guided her through a successful nursing career and into college administration. She eventually became president of Mission Community College in Santa Clara, and retired in 1998 as the superintendent-president of the Butte-Glenn Community College District. She also taught at the graduate level for Webster University and California State University, San Jose.

Due to her experience, Christian commitment, and dedication to higher education, Dr. Dean was invited to become a Simpson University board member after her retirement. After prayer and consideration, she decided she had something to contribute and accepted the position in October 2007.

Dr Betty M DeanShe served for nearly 13 years, including as vice chair from 2009-2011, board chair from 2011-2015, and again as vice chair from October 2019 to August 2020. She worked with three university presidents during her tenure on the board. Dr. Dean and her husband, Clyde Powers, also donated generously to support the university and its students.

“Betty was a truly remarkable woman of God; she is leaving a legacy of loving wisdom and tangible care and concern for God’s work in the world,” said Dr. Norman Hall, president of Simpson University. “Simpson has been the grateful recipient of her commitment to excellence in all things. We will miss her deeply.”

As a board member, Dr. Dean was responsible for helping shape policies that impacted the university in a broad way. She recognized that what impacts the university also impacts its students — and those students impact the world.

Dr. Dean’s prayer for all students was that they “will have had a very personal encounter with Jesus Christ as their Savior and that they will have developed a base that will aid them in their spiritual walk and growth for the rest of their lives,” she said during a 2008 interview for the university’s Transform newsletter.

Dr. Dean was also instrumental in helping Simpson launch its Science and Nursing Center, which opened in 2014. The Science and Nursing Center was renamed the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing during a March 2016 ceremony.

Video of the March 2016 naming ceremony for the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing. Dr. Dean speaks at around 17:40.

Dr.  Jo Anne Cripe, a fellow trustee who knew Dr. Dean for more than 25 years as friend and mentor, spoke at the naming ceremony about Dr. Dean’s thoughtful professionalism, strong character, and profound Christian faith—“I found the whole package in Betty Dean,” she said.

“She blends the traits of absolute integrity, loving empathy, sometimes even silly good humor, and she consistently puts the needs of others ahead of her own,” she said. “She is a faithful, in-for-the-duration friend.”

Dr. Cripe recalled meeting Dr. Dean for coffee in June 2015 and learning of her cancer diagnosis.

“I got to witness how that faith became her absolutely firm foundation through one of life’s fiercest storms,” Dr. Cripe shared with the audience. “Like the house built upon the rock, Betty’s faith simply never wavered. Every time I asked how she was, she’d start out by saying, ‘I’m blessed. I’m so very, very blessed.’ She expected God to give her strength and resilience and joy every step of the way, and sure enough, he did. And she received it and gave it right back to the world.”

Dr. Cripe encouraged Simpson University nursing students to embody Dr. Dean’s qualities and bring them to the world. The university’s longstanding motto is “Gateway to World Service” and its mission is to develop “each student in mind, faith and character for a lifetime of meaningful work and service in a constantly changing world.”

“We are confident that God will do great things over many generations as a result of the work of the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing,” Dr. Cripe said.

Those seeds are already bearing fruit. Since the School of Nursing began its bachelor of science in nursing program in 2011, it has graduated more than 225 students; more than 175 students have also completed the RN-BSN program. These graduates are making an impact in healthcare around the world.

In 2020, the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing was ranked No. 7 among California nursing schools in NursingSchoolHub.com’s annual ranking, which looks at first-time NCLEX passing rates, accreditation, program offerings, and more. In 2019, it was listed as one of the best nursing schools in the country by RNCareers.

Betty Dean Luncheon Group Photo-12-6-2019

A special luncheon in December 2019 introduced friends of Betty Dean’s to the School of Nursing that bears her name. At the far left are Betty’s husband, Clyde Powers, and friend and fellow board member Dr. Jo Anne Cripe. 

Regina Erickson, who has served four Simpson University presidents as executive assistant and works closely with the board, described Dr. Dean’s strengths as endless. “She was a tremendously strong, considerate, smart, and thoughtful leader,” she said.

Dr. Dean is survived by her husband of 24 years, three stepdaughters and nine grandchildren.

Those wishing to make a memorial contribution might want to consider a gift to the Dean-Powers Scholarship Fund for Simpson University nursing students (online at simpsonu.edu/givenow or by check mailed to Simpson University’s Advancement Office, 2211 College View Drive, Redding, CA 96003).

Read online obituary in the Chico Enterprise-Record.

###

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 mediacomputer 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