Military Reservist Graduates from Simpson University Degree-Completion Program

Article by SU student Kaitlin Hergert

REDDING, Calif. — A reservist in the military and working full time, Jared Briggs was inspired by his pregnant wife to return to school. The couple already had a toddler at home, and taking classes when the baby would be due seemed like it would be especially challenging.

But the 34-year-old Redding resident, who hails from Sacramento, decided to return to college at Simpson University because of the positive experience his wife had. Valarie, Briggs’s wife, attended Simpson’s 18-month online adult degree-completion program and graduated in 2019 with a degree in psychology.

Briggs realized the university’s degree-completion program was a great opportunity. “The staff was very helpful and wanted to get me ready to succeed,” he said. He began the online program in 2019 and graduated in 2020 with a bachelor of arts in organizational leadership.

Simpson University’s Veterans Success Center made Briggs’s time at Simpson easier through providing computer and printing access as well as the opportunity to utilize quiet study rooms. The writing center was also very beneficial to Briggs by helping him with research project topics, more effective research strategies, and learning how to properly cite his research.

Briggs says that the Simpson professors were able to help him improve his writing using APA style format, as well as developing improved time management skills for studying and school work. He was also able to learn a lot from his classmates and all the ideas and experiences they brought into discussions.

“The most rewarding factor was participating in class meetings and learning from my classmates,” he said. “I also thought that praying before class was very rewarding.”

After graduating, Briggs hopes to use his degree to become an officer in the National Guard and earn promotions in his current position. He has even contemplated beginning a new career and exploring the many new opportunities now at his fingertips. He believes that he is now a “more versatile applicant for many competitive jobs.”

Briggs’s time at Simpson made his faith stronger because of time spent in prayer, as well as conversations both about faith and applying faith to the materials presented in class. He said he would recommend Simpson University’s adult degree-completion program to others. “I became a better person because of it,” he said.

Learn more about the adult degree-completion program at simpsonu.edu/degreecompletion.

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About the author
Kaitlin Hergert is a freshman from Hillsboro, Ore., who is planning to major in nursing. Kaitlin works in the university’s Marketing Department. When she’s not in class, she loves playing softball and piano, singing, and hunting.

Simpson University, a Christian university founded in 1921, moved to Redding in 1989 and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 20 traditional undergraduate programs, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its 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. The university has a highly ranked Veterans Success Center and partnership with the Army National Guard. Simpson has launched 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. 52 in the nation. 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

Redding Community Mourns Loss of Simpson University Alum, Homeless Advocate

REDDING, Calif.—The Redding community and Simpson University are mourning the loss of an alumnus known for his dedicated service to people experiencing homelessness.

Bill Hartman, who graduated with a bachelor of arts in organizational leadership from the School of Adult Studies degree-completion program in 2018, served as guest services manager at the Good News Rescue Mission in Redding. He was admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 on Dec. 18 and passed away on Dec. 23. He was 57.

Friends and family started a Facebook page requesting prayer for Bill when he became ill, with hundreds of comments shared by those who knew and loved him.

“This man had a very humble ministry, helping others,” wrote Tim Crow. “What’s unique about this is that he taught many to help themselves. When the gospel is preached, often we think of a sermon behind a pulpit … some preach through the steps they take and the hearts they touch.”

Tim talked about receiving a hug from Bill the last time he had seen him. “Bill saw me at my worst as well as my best, and both times treated me with respect and Christian love,” he said. “For a child of God, this rock we live on is only but a part of our journey. Bill knew that and lived that daily.”

TV station KRCR shared stories about Bill on-air and online, saying he had “a massive impact on our local community and a huge impact on those who are unhoused.”

Family member Tammy Fuller shared with KRCR: “His words were important, but the example of how much he loved God and was fighting for their recovery. … It’s a huge loss.”

Bill’s own struggles with addiction and recovery helped motivate him to help others, family and friends said. In a video tribute posted on Facebook and shared during chapel at the mission, Bill talked about what the rescue mission meant to him.

“This is the vehicle that God used to save my life,” he said. “When I came in, I was literally walking in circles, talking out loud, hearing voices. … God led me here – I didn’t even know the place existed. Once I walked on the property I felt so much weight released from me.”

As Bill worked through the mission’s recovery program, he felt a pull to get involved. “It came upon me that I wanted to be part of the mission for the rest of my life, whether it was to be a volunteer or employee, or through my old age retire here,” he said. “Since that time I’ve come to know and love the guests. I feel God has me here because I’ve been through a lot of the stuff they have and can relate to them.”

Flanked by his sons Josh, left, and Zack, right, Bill Hartman of Redding graduated from Simpson University’s degree-completion program in 2018. // Photo from Facebook

Bill completed his college degree at Simpson University, where others remembered his authenticity, kindness, humor and practicality as he sought to learn additional skills to help in his work.

“He was genuinely open and excited in his approach to his education, gleaning any information he could that would help him be a better mentor and leader to those he served at the mission,” said Ericka Jones, an instructor in the degree-completion program. “He was incredibly passionate about being in recovery and willing to speak into others’ lives in a way that brought so much richness in class.”

Jonathan Anderson, a Simpson University alumnus and executive director of the Good News Rescue Mission, said Bill’s loss hit the mission hard. “It’s devastating and words cannot express the sorrow and grief we feel,” he wrote on Facebook. “We are family here at the mission, and when we lose a member of our family, we feel it deep in our souls. … I’m grateful that one day, I’ll see Bill again in heaven.”

Bill leaves behind two sons and grandchildren. Plans for a memorial service are on hold due to the pandemic.

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Simpson University, a Christian university founded in 1921, moved to Redding in 1989 and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 20 traditional undergraduate programs, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its 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. The university has a highly ranked Veterans Success Center and partnership with the Army National Guard. Simpson has launched 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. 52 in the nation. 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 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

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 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 Adult Studies Graduate Now Works for the Program

REDDING, Calif.—At his lowest point after years of drug addiction, Sacramento native Rodolfo Saenz found himself “stranded and hopeless” in Redding five years ago.

“By the grace of God, I ended up at the Good News Rescue Mission and spent three years in the Men’s New Life Recovery Program,” he said. “It was a challenging time, but it brought me to the saving grace of God.”

When Saenz chose to put his faith in Jesus Christ, everything changed, he said. In his late 20s, his desire to finish his schooling returned. He enrolled in Simpson University’s ASPIRE adult degree-completion program, choosing organizational leadership as his major.

GRAD_SaenzIMG_5331Saenz was one of 130 graduates to walk the stage Jan. 11 at Simpson University’s commencement ceremony for summer and fall graduates. He graduated with highest honors, inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda national honor society for the top 20 percent of his graduating class.

He is already putting his degree to work as the new manager of Adult and Graduate Studies at Simpson University. The job gives Saenz an opportunity to exercise practical skills as well as servant leadership – and to help other students in a program he found ideal for his educational needs.

“ASPIRE is practical; it is hands-on,” he said. “It produces results that students can use immediately. And the faculty are an invaluable resource.”

The program offers degrees in business management, liberal studies, psychology and organizational leadership. An online option is also available for psychology and organizational leadership. Programs can be completed in 12 to 16 months.

Saenz, 30, grew up in Sacramento, the youngest of four children. He describes his life before returning to college as “very inconsistent.” Drug addiction made it difficult to stay in school and hold down a job, so he drifted in and out of several colleges and worked in multiple industries, including restaurant, retail, real estate, customer service, and manual labor.

After his years working through addiction and growing in his newfound faith, Saenz found himself living in a more stable manner. “I can confidently say my life is a much more consistent journey,” he said. “I credit Jesus Christ above everything.”

When looking at options for completing his degree, Saenz said he found Simpson’s program very appealing. “The quick pace and cohort model made it an easy choice,” he said. “Further,  the Christian roots and values were important to me. Simply praying before class and having professors share their faith was a huge plus. Christian higher education goes beyond the mind – it incorporates soul and spirit as well.”

GRAD_SaenzIMG_5697

Simpson University graduate Rodolfo Saenz  with friend Chris Angel.

His biggest challenge, as a student again at age 28, was disciplining himself each week to finish his work, Saenz said.

“It is too easy to say, ‘I will do that tomorrow,’ and ‘tomorrow’ never materializes,” he said. “Because of the fast pace, ASPIRE is not a ‘tomorrow’ program. It required immediate action every day. I am grateful for the lessons this taught me.”

The program also helped boost his confidence in what he is able to do.

“When I entered the program I had some doubts about my capabilities in higher education,” Saenz said. “But the ASPIRE program and amazing faculty helped me realize how wrong I was. After the first class, I knew my capabilities were far greater than I had realized.”

Learn more about the adult degree-completion program at simpsonu.edu/aspire.

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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 has 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 Inducts Adult Studies Students into Honor Society

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies inducted five summer and fall graduates into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society on Nov. 18.

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.

ASPIRE_ASLNov2019

The following students were inducted:

Shawn Ruta (Redding) enjoys volunteering with the Shasta County Addicted Offender Program, sharing his story of recovery and hope for others, and coaching a variety of sports. His goal is to obtain a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and open a ranch-style facility with his family to help adolescents in need.

Kristin Benson (Redding) works as a special education instructional aide and has spent over a decade volunteering in classrooms, school functions, and extracurricular activities. She plans to earn a teaching credential through Simpson University’s School of Education.

Alexis Casiday (Redding) served in the U.S. Navy. She volunteers with the Child-Watch program and Veterans Home and is a representative at the Crime Victims Assistance Center for the Northern California Anti-Trafficking Coalition. She hopes to use her passion to help others in a missionary capacity.

Laura Martin (Redding) serves as a youth pastor, helping mentoring young girls. She was recently promoted to human resource recruiter at her current job. Her future aspirations include being a CEO of her own company and a public speaker.

Catherine Myers (Red Bluff) has served in the community, gone on mission trips, coached soccer, and co-led children’s ministry programs at her church. Her goal is to earn her teaching credential through Simpson University’s School of Education and become a fourth-grade physical education teacher.

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/aspire.

Top Photo: Alpha Sigma Lambda inductees from Simpson University, from left: Catherine Myers, Kristin Benson, Shawn Ruta, Laura Martin, and Alexis Casiday.

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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.

 

Red Bluff Resident Earns Simpson University Degree

REDDING, Calif.—In her early 40s, Jessica Evans-Field decided to return to school for two reasons: to qualify for better jobs, and to set a good example to her children.

“I wanted them to be proud of me and work hard to be what they wanted to be,” said the Red Bluff mother of two. “I also wanted to work my way up and have better opportunities.”

Jessica started at Shasta College, taking general education and business administration classes and earning credits that helped her gain admittance into Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies ASPIRE program. She continued at both schools through her graduation in April from Simpson with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. She graduated with highest honors, in the top 20 percent of her class.

“This whole program was very rewarding, and I feel like I gained so much in the 16 months I was there,” she said. “I am very proud and honored to be a part of Simpson University.”

Jessica works in the medical records field and learned about the ASPIRE program from a coworker who was in the program.

“She is a full-time mother of two small children, and I figured if she could do it, I could, too,” Jessica said. “I really liked that it offered a fully online option – it gave me a chance to make my own schedule and work around my busy life.”

Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies offers 12- to 16-monthlong degree-completion programs in liberal studies, business management, organizational leadership, and psychology. The psychology and organizational leadership programs can also be done online.

“I had to travel out of state a few times during my studies, to see a grandchild born and to see my son graduate from boot camp,” Jessica said. “The great thing was all I had to do was take a laptop with me and find reliable internet and learn how to pair a laptop to my phone.”

Jessica said the support of family, friends and professors was key to her success. She found her classes immediately relevant and helpful to her job.

“So much of what I learned I could apply to my current work life, and I was able to write about real-life situations for classes,” she said. “I also noticed, along with my colleagues, how much growth I obtained. I had many ‘ah ha’ moments while reading and learning in each course.”

Learn more at simpsonu.edu/aspire.

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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.

Weaverville Resident Earns Simpson University Degree

REDDING, Calif.—Returning to school was not on Cassandra Telles’s radar as she raised two children on her own and worked full time. But when a friend told her about the ASPIRE degree-completion program at Simpson University, she decided to give it a try.

Telles, a Weaverville resident, graduated April 27 from Simpson University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She was one of about 130 graduates, including 30 from ASPIRE, which offers evening and online classes for adults to finish their degree in 12 to 16 months.

“I did not think that obtaining my degree was possible, let alone with distinction,” she said. “However, I found the ASPIRE program to be everything recommended to me and more. This is a decision I will never regret making.”

Telles, 50, had an associate’s degree from Shasta College and worked for the Trinity County Office of Education when she decided to return to college.

“Being a single parent and working full time made it difficult to do traditional brick-and-mortar classes,” she said, noting a commute from Weaverville to Redding would also have been challenging. “Having always had an interest in psychology, I found that Simpson’s online courses would allow me to pursue my education in this field.”

Even with the flexibility of online classes, Telles was faced with challenges during her time in the program. Her father was diagnosed with cancer.

“This heartbreaking news became a significant personal struggle,” she said. “I needed to be more than just a suffering daughter and bridge the gap for my children and their grandfather. I knew my children were watching their mother handle the situations that life was dealing us.”

The attention of ASPIRE faculty and staff was key in her success, Telles said. “Many of the professors went out of their way to make sure I not only completed the tasks but had an understanding of the curriculum,” she said. “What makes the ASPIRE program so unique is the attentiveness of all involved — everyone showed a genuine desire to graduate students with full knowledge in their chosen fields of study.”

Telles said she is already using skills she learned in her studies, both in her professional and personal lives.

“I plan on using my degree to advance my position in employment and then to continue my education,” she said.

Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies offers degrees in liberal studies, business management, organizational leadership, and psychology. The psychology and organizational leadership programs can also be done online. Learn more at simpsonu.edu/aspire.

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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.

Weed Resident Earns Simpson University Degree

REDDING, Calif.—Weed resident Eva Escatel-Pimentel knew she needed to complete her bachelor’s degree in order to be more competitive in the job market.

Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies ASPIRE program offered her a way to accomplish that goal in just a year.

Eva was one of about 130 students who graduated from Simpson University on April 27, including 30 from ASPIRE. ASPIRE, which offers evening and online classes, allows busy adults to complete a bachelor’s degree in 12 to 16 months.

Eva majored in liberal studies, one of four majors offered in ASPIRE. The others are business management, organizational leadership, and psychology. The psychology and organizational leadership programs can also be done online.

“ASPIRE allows you to quickly and efficiently complete your degree and work or take care of your family during the day,” Eva said. “All of the instructors and advisers are helpful and understand the needs of a non-traditional college student.”

Eva attended College of the Siskiyous in Weed after high school and earned an associate’s degree in natural science. She took some time off and began working for the U.S. Postal Service—a job she continued throughout her time in the ASPIRE program.

Managing the demands of home life, work and school was challenging, she said. “Making the drive home from Redding late at night and having to work the next day was hard, but it was worth it in the end,” Eva said.

The most rewarding part of the program, she said, “was being able to learn in a classroom filled with like-minded students in similar stages of life. Even though our class was diverse, I knew that we were all serious about our education and eager to participate.”

ASPIRE’s structure of completing a course every five weeks was also rewarding, Eva noted. “It makes you feel accomplished and like you are progressing quickly.”

As part of the ASPIRE coursework, students take two classes that explore the Bible and world religions. “I learned about the Christian faith from a more academic perspective,” Eva said. “I really enjoyed this aspect of the ASPIRE program and learned a lot.”

Eva chose the liberal studies major to give herself the option of pursuing a teaching credential. “I am hoping to find a more stable and fulfilling career now that I have earned a B.A.,” she said.

Learn more about Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies at simpsonu.edu/aspire.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding almost 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. 12-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized 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.

BBC Top 100 Honoree Speaks at Simpson University ASPIRE Alumni Luncheon

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University welcomed about 75 adult graduates of its ASPIRE program to a special luncheon March 22 that featured alumna Jenny Davidson, one of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Top 100 Most Influential and Inspiring Women of 2018.

Davidson, who graduated in 2010 with a degree in organizational leadership, shared the gripping story of her journey from an abusive childhood, through deep grief at the loss of a son, to her current role as CEO of Stand Up Placer, an internationally recognized agency that works with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

In 2015, Stand Up Placer offered 37,000 services to the community. That number grew to 111,000 in just three years. In 2015, they helped 10 victims of sex trafficking; in 2018, they helped 229 victims.

“The thing that touches me most is knowing how we help kids,” Davidson said, noting that Stand Up Placer helped 100 children in 2015 and 450 children in 2018.

“We want to encourage people who have gone through trauma, that yes, you’ve had this nightmare, this storm, but you can get through it,” she said. “I’m happy to be able to share my story to show people you can go through a hurricane but still come out the other side alive and thriving and changing the world.”

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Davidson was presented with an award for Outstanding Service to Vulnerable Populations. Redding Police Chief Roger Moore, a ’95 ASPIRE alumnus, was also honored for his professional contribution in community leadership.

Simpson President Norman Hall welcomed the alumni, inviting them to stop him in town to tell him their stories. “Adult learners who have stepped out of the momentum of life to finish their degree are some of the most heroic people I have ever met,” he said. “You are doing some of the most inspiring stuff in our city.”

Simpson University’s ASPIRE program has graduated almost 4,000 North State adults. It offers convenient evening, weekend and online classes for those wishing to complete a bachelor’s degree in as few as 12 months. Learn more at simpsonu.edu/aspire.

Photos by Holly Kiker / Top: Jenny Davidson, left, CEO of Stand Up Placer, receives an award for Outstanding Service to Vulnerable Populations from Simpson University ASPIRE professor Beckie Luff.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding almost 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 almost 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a highly ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership.

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.

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

 

Adult Studies Students Earn Honors at Simpson University

REDDING, Calif.—Fourteen North State residents graduated with honors in January from Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies.

These students qualified for Alpha Sigma Lambda, 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.

2018SU

Shasta County honorees include Redding residents Jenna Barnes, Benjamin Leftwich, Emily Booth, Ariel Card, Christina Houser, Vanessa Long, Tonya Lowe, Abbey Perry, Nichole Schumacher, and Rhonda Steed; Palo Cedro resident Simrann Birk; and Shasta resident Maggie Joyce.

Other North State honorees are Lisa DeFonte of Red Bluff, and Mount Shasta resident Christine Montgomery.

The ASPIRE degree-completion program offers bachelor’s degrees in organizational leadership (online or on campus), business management, psychology (online or on campus), and liberal studies.

For more information about Simpson University’s ASPIRE program, visit simpsonu.edu/aspire.

Top photo:
Fall 2018 graduates and ASL honorees, from left: Vanessa Long, Simrann Birk, Rhonda Steed, Tonya Lowe, Benjamin Leftwich, and Lisa DeFonte.

Middle photo:
Summer 2018 graduates and ASL honorees, front row, from left: Ariel Card, Abbey Perry, Christina Houser, Emily Booth; second row: Christine Montgomery, Nichole Schumacher, and Maggie Joyce. 

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding almost 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 almost 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and more than 2,500 from its School of Education. It has a highly ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, 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 Alumna Named to BBC’s 100 Women of 2018

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University alumna Jenny Davidson has been named one of the 100 most “inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2018” by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Davidson, 50, graduated from the School of Adult Studies’ ASPIRE program in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. She is executive director and CEO of Stand Up Placer, a nonprofit organization with offices in Auburn and Roseville dedicated to helping survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

standup-logo1Among its programs and services, Stand Up Placer runs a shelter that accepts survivors and their pets, as well as a thrift store in Roseville whose proceeds and merchandise support clients in their programs.

28379579_1690376487694289_3447495460233674752_nThe BBC’s 100 Women list includes the first female Secretary General of the UN, president of the New York Stock Exchange, Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Chelsea Clinton, and scores of inspirational authors, entrepreneurs, and social activists.

Davidson is one of only eight women from the United States on the list. Under her leadership, Stand Up Placer expanded its mission to include survivors of sex trafficking. Stand Up Placer has expanded its safe house services to be gender-inclusive and pet-friendly.

Services to survivors have more than tripled in the past two years. In 2017, Stand Up Placer provided 98,975 services to Placer County. Governed by a board of directors, the organization has 45 paid staff members and more than 30 volunteers.

“I’m really humbled by this honor,” Davidson said. “I am very proud that the compassion I have cultivated has combined with the education I received at Shasta Community College, Simpson University, and Drexel University to allow me to serve survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.”

Her education through the ASPIRE program was instrumental in helping her get to where she is today, she said.

“My degree in Organizational Leadership from Simpson University did a fantastic job of preparing me to lead this organization,” Davidson said. “Learning about disruptive social entrepreneurship, individual and team strengths, as well as psychology of social leadership introduced me to a world of knowledge that is now changing the landscape of social services in California.”

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Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies ASPIRE program has graduated nearly 4,000 North State adults through its 12- to 16-month evening and weekend degree-completion program that includes online options. ASPIRE offers degrees in organizational leadership, business management, psychology, and liberal studies. Learn more at simpsonu.edu/aspire.

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.

 

Weed Resident Earns Online Degree through Simpson University

REDDING, Calif.—Working full time with three children who are active in sports, Tina Schoffstoll knew it would be a challenge to earn her college degree.

But when she learned she could complete her bachelor’s online in 16 months through Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies ASPIRE program, she said yes to the opportunity.

GRAD_TinaS“I only live 72 miles from Redding and have friends who attended,” she said. “They always had good things to say about Simpson.”

The 40-year-old Weed resident was one of 150 students who graduated from Simpson University on April 28. She earned a degree in organizational leadership, one of four majors offered through ASPIRE.

“While attending Simpson I felt like I was learning something useful and I was interested in the courses. I know attending Simpson will be beneficial in my current position,” said Schoffstoll, who works at College of the Siskiyous in the Human Resources Department.

A longtime Weed resident, Schoffstoll was working toward becoming a dental hygienist when she became pregnant. She put those plans on hold and began working in a dental office as an office manager. There she realized she had an interest in human resources.

The ASPIRE program offered convenient, manageable courses, as well as helpful staff and professors, she said. “Everyone that I dealt with was wonderful. The professors were approachable and seemed to really care about my success,” she said.

With her husband traveling about 70 percent of the time, and juggling her job and children’s schedules, it took discipline and focus to stay on task. But Schoffstoll found the courses immediately relevant to her career and her life.

“These courses have taught me how to communicate better with people in both my professional and personal life,” she said. “I have more confidence in my abilities as a leader as well.”

Schoffstoll plans to continue working in human resources. “This degree will help me advance in this area,” she said. “The tools I have learned will help me be successful.”

Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies ASPIRE program offers degrees in organizational leadership, psychology, business management, and liberal studies, for those interested in becoming teachers. Coursework can be completed in 12 to 16 months. Learn more at simpsonu.edu/aspire or call Leslie at (530) 226-4198.

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. 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.