In my conversations with our friends in the Sac State community, I am often asked about how we are dealing with the current state of the economy. I tell them that our resolve to serve our students is stronger than ever and that we have plenty of positive news coming from our campus.
Thanks to the hard work of several dedicated faculty and staff members, our budget is in better shape than many would expect. In fact, the prudent fiscal decisions we made over the last year have left us with a much smaller challenge to overcome now.
We continue to move forward with the construction of a brand-new residence hall, called American River Courtyard, and the student-approved Recreation and Wellness Center. Both are slated to be ready to serve students as scheduled.
Our campus also is broadening its reach in unprecedented ways. In the process, we are changing what it means to be a memeber of the Sacramento State community and creating a great deal of pride on campus.
In January, the College of Business Administration launched the Sacramento Business Review in partnership with the CFA Institute. The new, independent analysis focuses on the economy of the Sacramento region. It provides forecests, describes the impact of the national recession on our region and breaks down our economy's most crucial sectors.
Internationally, we have successfully launched new alumni chapters and created educational partnerships in the most dynamic countries. Three faculty members profiled in this issue also earned Fulbright scholarships to work overseas. Every connection like this we make gives our students greater opportunities for cultural unserstanding the global learning.
These successes-and our many others-demonstrate that our influence does not fall with the economic cycle. We remain committed to increaing the quality of a Sacramento State degree.
I am confident that we will overcome the challenges pressented by the economic crisis because the potential of the Sacramento State community is stronger than ever.
We are united by the world-c;ass educational oppotunities and unparalleled learning experiences we provide. So no matter whether you are making a difference in a local neighborhood, walking the halls of the State Capitol or succeeding on the global stage, I invite you to become more involved in our new, dynamic Sacramento State Community.
Professor involved in genesis of Eden restoration project
Before coming to Sac State, Environmental Studies Professor Michelle Stevens had a different calling—restoring the Garden of Eden.
From 2002 to 2004, Stevens was the project manager for the Eden Again project sponsored by the Iraq Foundation, a non-governmental agency started by Iraqi expatriates living in the U.S. The program was started to find ways to restore the Mesopotamian marshes in southern Iraq.
Stevens helped set up a team of international scientists to restore the ecological system and cultural heritage of the 12,000-square mile collection of interconnected lakes, mudflats and wetlands located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Based on biblical descriptions, some believe the wetlands are the famed garden.
“The area is considered by many Muslims, Christians and Jews as the site of Eden,” Stevens says.
The marshes support a vast network of plant life and are a natural habitat for millions of birds and large numbers of mammal and fish species. The wetlands are also the traditional homeland to about 500,000 mostly Shiite Marsh Arabs whose families have inhabited the area for thousands of years.
The wetlands once covered an area twice the size of the Everglades. Dam construction and water diversion projects in the 1980s reduced the size of the marshlands, but the greatest damage came in the 1990s when Saddam Hussein began systematically draining the marshes in retaliation for the Shiite uprising after the first Gulf War, Stevens says. “In the course of 10 years, the third largest wetland in the world had been reduced to just five percent of its original size.”
But, the garden is starting to flourish again. After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Iraqis began tearing down levees and other barriers set up by the former Iraqi dictator and releasing water back into the marshes. Continued restoration and monitoring is being conducted by Nature Iraq, an Iraqi non-governmental agency.
Almost 60 percent of the wetlands have been restored, Stevens says. “People have returned to live in the marshes, and the ecosystem has been revitalized. As one Iraqi said, ‘the bottom is boiling to the top,’ meaning things are all stirred up but ready to settle again.”
Stevens’ work on eco-cultural restoration of the marshes was recently published as a chapter in a book titled, Peace Parks: Conservation and Conflict Resolution. The book has been nominated for the Grawemeyer Award, presented by the University of Louisville and given for ideas that help improve world order.
Michael A. Ward
Edging out competition through fine dining
Imagine you’re a recently graduate, at a second interview for your dream job. The interview is in a fancy restaurant. You’re chatting up your soon-to-be bosses, when the cherry tomato you’ve been trying to stab with your fork rolls off the table. What do you do?
Situations like these won’t be as awkward if you’ve taken the “Business Etiquette” workshops, which are among the comprehensive services offered by the Sac State Career Center.
Open to all majors and CSU alumni, the highly popular etiquette courses are held in the campus’s University Center Restaurant.
“We’ve been offering these workshops to students and alumni for five years,” says Eva Gabbe, employer relations manager in the Career Center. “We have three keynote speakers for the class.”
And the speakers have all the bases covered for an appropriate dining experience. “The first speaker talks about etiquette and dining. Students learn protocol, for example, what fork and goblet to use and when to use it. They’re given the ins and outs of fine dining,” Gabbe says.
The second speaker addresses networking for students who attend mixers and are not sure what’s expected. “Some common questions we’ve had are how to shake hands when the student has food in one hand and water in another,” Gabbe says. “They’re also not sure what is considered appropriate conversation.”
The third speaker discusses food and wine pairing.
With around 60 spaces available per class, the workshop tends to sell out quickly. “The cost is only $12, and the students learn so much,” Gabbe says. The “lessons they’ll use for the rest of their lives.”
“The etiquette dinner gave me a chance to network,” says Jeremy McInturf, a recent Sac State graduate. “I sat next to a partner and head of Human Resources from Moss-Adams, who had sponsored a table.”
McInturf ultimately interviewed with the company and is now an auditor for the firm.
“The etiquette dinner was educational,” he says, “but the networking was worth its weight in gold.”
Program helps region’s children with autism
Sac State is partnering with United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Sacramento to help children with autism. The after-school program, called the Autism Center for Excellence, is the only one of its kind in the Sacramento region. It helps children ages 8-12 who have autism spectrum disorder develop skills to participate in community-based recreational and social programs. “Children with autism are typically compromised in their ability to appropriately respond to social interaction with peers,” says A.C.E. director and Sac State Department of Kinesiology and Health Science Professor Scott Modell. The staff at the center is comprised primarily of Sac State students who work under the direction of the professional staff.
Mom, dad, son graduate – on same day
It’s rare for a mother, father and son to attend college at the same time or to graduate in the same semester. The Harrington family graduated and attended Sac State’s Winter Commencement on the same day—Dec. 29, 2008. Mom Robin Harrington received her master’s degree in education, dad Ray received his bachelor’s degree, also in education, and son Ray Jr. got his bachelor’s degree in criminal science. “We didn’t plan it,” Robin says. “It just happened. My husband and I both wanted to model the importance of higher education for our son.”
New business forecast
A new independent business forecast that focuses on the economy of the Sacramento Region has been launched by Sac State’s College of Business Administration and the CFA Institute. The inaugural issue of Sacramento Business Review explores the impact of the national recession on Sacramento’s economy, focusing on sectors such as real estate, energy, capital markets, and the service industry. It’s available online at www.cba.csus.edu/ibrc/index.html.
For the record
The Winter 2008 profile of Adam Lane (’06, Recreation Administration) did not properly explain his job title. Although his job title as a State of California employee is “recreation therapist,” he did not claim to have completed a degree in recreation therapy or to be certified as a “recreation therapist” by the California Board of Recreation and Park Certification. The Board regulates recreation therapists under state law. We apologize for the misunderstanding.
By Michael A. Ward
Sac State’s marching band turned 50 last year, but it’s still high-stepping and entertaining crowds around campus and in the community.
“It’s the theatrics of it,” says band member Jill Sayles. “It’s fun, it’s loud, it’s cool to look at, and it’s cool to listen to.”
A marching band might seem a little old fashioned in an era of portable music players, digital music and guitar heroes, but the band is thriving with 65 very enthusiastic members.
“Human beings still respond to human beings performing,” says first-year band director Clay Redfield. “There’s an excitement level in seeing the group and feeling the sound.”
The band was started in 1958, 11 years after the founding of the University and in the infancy of rock ’n’roll.
“It was a really solid music department, and there was a lot of fun and satisfaction with what we were doing,” says Jim Kenward, a 1959 Sac State alum and former marching band member. “We played good music, we played well and we knew it.”
Back then, Kenward says, about half the music they played was classical and half modern music. Today, it’s everything from hip-hop to fight songs to the throwback “Hang on Sloopy,” a fan favorite.
Marching bands have evolved more than just musically. They have become more entertaining and complicated in their formations and movements.
“Back in the day, there were just flanks, forward march and backward march,” says band member Chris Peppers. “Now, we have left slides, right slides, left back slides, and right back slides.”
The trick to making it all look good is precision. Students practice three days a week, developing an uncanny sense of rhythm and balance to keep up visually and musically. “That’s why being in a marching band is so challenging,” Sayles says. “I can march, and I can play, but it’s putting it together.”
While musical tastes and styles may differ, marching band members past and present agree: The goal is to go out, have fun and get the crowd fired up.
“It gives me a huge rush and makes me feel really great,” Peppers says. “Some people might be nervous, but the attention makes me play better.”
Description: In Ron Reisner’s Technical Production: Stagecraft class, students are instructed in principles of scenic and stage prop construction. The course emphasizes the techniques of mounting and shifting stage scenery and the study of ground plans and construction drawings for theatrical production. Students are required to participate in at least one Department of Theatre and Dance production.
Class work: Students build sets for the semester’s shows and gain valuable hands-on experience in the methods of crafting for theatre. They build models, theatrical props and scenic treatments; paint sets; and learn to properly tie knots and rig ropes and cables. “Students build probably about 60 or 70 percent of what goes on stage here. We have theatre technicians who oversee that, but students do a lot of work for it,” Reisner says. The project will include safety training in basic tools and power equipment, along with ladder and building procedures.
Assignments: In order to gain real experience in stagecraft, students will select a play and draft a “limited” ground plan, build a model box and a simple painted set. Students will also be assigned knot tying and color wheel assessments to show mastery over stagecraft fundamentals. “I got involved in stage construction to work with my hands and the theater is a great way to do that,” says Brian Shaughnessy.
Division celebrates 50 years of service
The uniforms have changed over the years, but the commitment to service hasn’t.
From yesteryear’s white dresses and caps to today’s scrubs, Sac State’s nursing graduates have been essential to health care in the Sacramento area and beyond for 50 years and counting.
The Division of Nursing is working to meet the challenge of California’s nursing shortage, a problem that grows steadily with each passing year.
“I’ve been in nursing education long enough to see the cycles of demand wax and wane,” says Marilyn Hopkins, dean of Health and Human Services and an alum of Sac State’s Nursing program. “But I’ve never seen a shortage of this magnitude before.”
Hopkins says the aging population’s health needs, as well as attrition from retiring nurses, are factors.
“There’s a large increase in the number of people over 65, and these people are living longer,” Hopkins says. “There are more chronic conditions in a population that’s growing older, so the necessity for nurses—as well as all areas of health care—is increasing.”
According to the state Legislative Analyst’s Office, nearly 4.1 million Californians are senior citizens, and that number is expected to increase to 5.2 million by 2014. The LAO estimates the state will be 12,000 nurses short by 2014.
As the need for nurses increases, so does the number of students hoping to attain their degree in nursing. The University has taken several steps to meet the demand.
“We have substantially increased the size of the undergraduate program in response to the nursing shortage,” she says. “We get between 300 and 400 applications for slots per semester. So we’ve gone from admitting 58 a semester to 80 a semester.”
Sac State’s efforts to expand its nursing programs are precisely what the state needs. The Campaign for College Opportunity reports that demand for health care workers is growing so substantially that health care will be California’s third-highest market for college-educated workers by 2022.
In addition, the University offers online courses to registered nurses—most of whom have an associate’s degree—to help those who want to get a bachelor’s degree.
“The online program, as well as our graduate program, is not impacted,” Hopkins says. “The only impaction we have is for first-time nurses aiming for their degree.”
The division has also condensed the program without compromising the quality of the curriculum.
“We were a six-semester program, and this year we became a four-semester program,” says Division of Nursing chair Ann Stoltz. “It’s a full-time nursing curriculum with full-time students.”
Nursing student Ian St. Martin appreciates the additional help outside of the classroom that he and other students get from faculty.
“They support our involvement in the Student Nursing Association,” he says. “It really helps us understand our place within the whole spectrum of nursing.”
St. Martin also recognizes the collaboration between faculty and students. “There are two students allowed to sit in the faculty meetings and vote on the nursing curriculum,” he says. “We give our opinions, and they not only listen, they work with students to make a real difference in the division.”
In further recognition of the state’s health care needs, the University is also moving nursing to the former CalSTRS building, which was added to campus in 2007.
“This is absolutely a huge and phenomenal event for us,” Hopkins says. The move next year will provide more lab space, more classrooms and faculty offices.
“We’ll have new facilities that match the quality of the program,” Hopkins says.
The division will celebrate its future move to the building, as well as its past 50 years of educating nurses at an upcoming celebration, “50 Golden Years: Honoring a Legacy of Nursing Leadership,” on May 6 in the Alumni Center.
Six of the division’s pioneers, who are members of nursing’s first graduating class in 1958, will attend the event.
“The event will honor these original students, celebrate the nurses we’ve graduated since then who have made such a difference in the lives of patients, and revitalize the Nursing alumni chapter,” Hopkins says.
“We’re really on the advent of an exciting time in nursing,” Stoltz says.
By Michael A. Ward
The downward spiral in the nation’s economy has had a far-reaching effect, and college students are not immune from its impact. Higher educationcosts money, but smart planning can prevent financing college from becoming a financial crisis—as well as developing sound habits for life after college.
“Good money management begins with a spending plan or budget,” says Elena Larson of the Sac State Financial Aid Office.
For a budget to work, it must be reasonable and accurately reflect spending and income. Larson says many students have a tendency to guess towards the low end of how much they spend on things like food or entertainment.
“Students should track their spending for at least a month because the little things do add up,” Larson says. “If you buy a $3 coffee every day, by the end of the month you’ve spent $90. Is having that coffee everyday important, or can you have it once a week and save for something else? It’s about making choices instead of just spending by habit.”
Of course, the biggest college-related costs for most students are tuition and fees. These expenses also tend to increase when larger economic woes put pressure on public funding of higher education. In fact, students at California State University campuses could face a 10 percent increase in fees for the fall semester.
While there is not much students can do to bring down the rising cost of attending college, financial aid is available. And one-third of the funds derived from CSU fee increases is set aside for financial aid.
Students can reduce the financial impact of college by applying for grants and scholarships that do not have to be repaid as well as work-study opportunities.
Loans are also a viable option for many students. “Loans are not necessary bad,” Larson says. “The key is to be knowledgeable about them so you don't leave school with debt that is greater than you can handle.”
She says students should become informed consumers and understand the long-term consequences of loans. “We encourage students to use loan calculators before borrowing money to make sure they will be comfortable with their monthly payments.”
Larson says the Financial Aid Office will offer the students the maximum eligibility, but before accepting it, students should ask themselves how much they really need.
“Yes, $5,500 sounds great, but if you take out the maximum every year, you could leave school with more than $24,000 in debt.”
New residence hall to change the face of campus
Enter the campus from J Street and you’ll see a dream growing on the east side of the Esplanade. It’s the University’s first new residence hall since 1990 and a contemporary approach to student housing.
The rise of American River Courtyard fulfills two important needs: It will give students a place to live after their first year, and its 600 beds in suite-style configurations will deliver an unprecedented number of students living on campus.
Cynthia Cockrill, Sac State’s director of Housing and Residential Life, had long dreamed of more student housing, and the opportunity to make it happen blossomed under President Alexander Gonzalez’ Destination 2010 initiative.
“The President played the pivotal role in this project,” Cockrill says. “He met with consultants, market research firms, multi-unit housing experts and architectural firms gathering facts. He described his goal of ‘University-as-Home’ to them.”
The University’s research included many student surveys and focus groups. The data described a need to reach beyond the traditional residence hall. Most of the amenities incorporated into the architecture are the expressed desires of students asking for more of an independent lifestyle.
The first-floor convenience store is an example of a student-generated idea, and the enclosed courtyard and smaller secondary courtyard were inspired by international students requesting a more Continental ambiance.
Students can choose from a studio, 2-bedroom or 5-bedroom suite configuration. The per-student cost is competitive with the region’s apartments, but American River Courtyard offers something hard to find off-campus: community, proximity and security.
As for styling, the exterior architecture presents a majestic main entrance fronted by a plaza in the tradition of grand hotels. Sweeping curves invite the eye around corners, encouraging visual play and giving the building a bold confidence rarely seen in multi-unit structures.
The design hints at the joyous Deco styling popular in the 1930s. It all works together to create a familiar, friendly effect.
“I think the hardest thing in life is learning to live a long way from home, surrounded by strangers and looking at the beginning of your adult life” Cockrill says. “My aim was to ease the transition and create a safe, secure home and foster a sense of camaraderie among our students.”
The studios, lounges, meeting rooms, halls, great rooms and suites are wrapped in appealing colors such as cranberry, sage, gold, rust and soft beige.
Living accommodations are reminiscent of classic hotel suites. Each features large, light-friendly windows; a living room; a kitchen with a full-size refrigerator, microwave and sink; an in-suite bathroom; and separate bedrooms that ensure late-night study without disturbing one’s roommates.
The 209,000-square-foot hall will be the model for the University’s future residence halls, in both architecture and attitude. It is being completed on time and on budget, and the University will be handed the keys on July 17. Student inquiries have already started.
“American River Courtyard, combined with the completion of the Recreation and Wellness Center next year, will change the very essence of our campus. More students will live here, and with access to a state-of-the-art facility, they will have even more reason to stay,” University President Alexander Gonzalez says.
As the hall nears completion, so does Cockrill’s final year at Sac State. She will leave after shepherding her dream for the better part of five years.
“After a 33-year career, I think I can exit now,” she said. “I think we’ve done it.”
Stone Tower: The Political Theater of Arthur Miller
Jeffrey D. Mason, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters
(The University of Michigan Press, 2008, $49.50)
Immediately following the end of World War II, American theater was transformed by the works of playwright Arthur Miller. In Stone Tower: The Political Theater of Arthur Miller, Jeffrey Mason takes a fresh look at Miller’s ideas.
“The prevailing view of Miller for years has been that he’s a social dramatist, which means he deals with man’s exploration of his relationship to his community,” Mason says. “I wanted to push that perspective a little farther, because if social drama is about society, political drama is about its dynamic and the interplay of forces.”
Early chapters address the political as personal and the personal as political. Mason uses All My Sons as an example. “Miller takes a highly political situation—a small company whose partners knowingly ship defective cylinder heads for fighter planes in World War II, causing 20 pilots to die—and makes it personal.”
The play focuses on how the families of the partners deal with the moral consequences.
Mason adds that political theater is about power relations—who asserts authority over whom, how they do it and how power influences relationships and shapes communities.
“In Miller’s novel Focus, a gentile man’s neighbors believe that he’s Jewish,” Mason says. “They don’t trust him, so they harass him. He starts to feel powerless because of the label.”
He also touches on how power relations drive society. “In Miller’s work, whoever has power can shape other people’s lives and destinies.”
A Tale of Survival: From War Ravaged Europe to the Promise of America
Thomas Kando, Professor of Sociology
(European American Publishing, 2008, $19.95)
The story of Tom Sanders, born in Hungary during the Holocaust, narrates the emotions of success and failure involved in escaping fascism and communism in Eastern Europe until he is able to make his way to the land of opportunity – America.
Thomas Kando writes his autobiography using Sanders to lead readers on a journey through his life.
“This is the life story of a refugee from war-torn Europe, someone who found in America what he was looking for,” Kando says. “The first half of the book is the very eventful and traumatic life I led as a child and as a young man in Europe. The second half is about my experience of America, the greatest place in the world.”
Kando was inspired to write his autobiography after being told by friends and co-workers that his experiences in a war-torn Europe and civil-rights America were worthy of a novel.
In the novel, Sanders’ family flees the Holocaust, war and tyranny, eventually making it to the slums of Paris and Amsterdam, where he worked until he was 18. Then he bought a single boat ticket to cross the Atlantic.
He came to America alone but became involved in world-changing events such as civil rights protests led by Martin Luther King Jr., the peace movement and Woodstock.
“The ‘soul’ of the book, in my view, is its celebration of America, as I discovered it when I first came over, when I explored its grandeur, Jack Kerouac-style,” Kando says.
Kando is currently working on a novel about the history of the future. More information and writings can be found on his blog at http://european-americanblog.blogspot.com.
Let Slip the Dogs of War: A Memoir of the GHQ 1st Raider Company (8245th Army
Unit) a.k.a. Special Operations Company
John Connor, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology
(Merriam Press, 2008, $36)
Many accounts have been written about the wars our nation has fought. None, however, are as poignant as the first-hand narratives of those who were soldiers in battle. John W. Connor has written one such account of his experience in the Korean War as part of the 1st Raider Company of the 8245th Army unit, also known as the Special Operations Company.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur authorized the creation of the GHQ 1st Raider Company on July 15, 1950 to demolish bridges and railway tunnels behind enemy lines. Of the original 115 Raiders who left Japan on Sept. 9 of that year, only 68 remained when the unit was disbanded on April 1951.
Writing the memoir wasn’t easy.
“I told my wife I’d rather have a root canal than write something like that again. It was very painful,” Connor says.
He talks of combat horrors, such as shooting at “terrified, screaming civilians, because they were being used as human shields,” as well as other atrocities of battle.
“Combat is so psychologically and emotionally intense that it cannot be processed all at once,” Connor writes. “Grief, especially, is put on hold.”
Connor was prompted to write the memoir in 2000 after the first reunion with his old Korean outfit. The book includes stories of the stark sadness of war and accounts from other members of his unit, as well as humorous anecdotes and events.
“If you don’t have a sense of humor, you won’t survive combat,” Connor says. “I think that’s the only reason humans have survived this far.”
In the book Connor often talks about the valor and bravery of his friends and superiors. “In short, when I reflect upon the past, I must admit that I have never thought of myself as being especially courageous. But there was a time, long ago, when I, too, was privileged to live in the company of heroes.”
Fulbright Faculty Excel at Home and Abroad
Last year, Sac State faculty members Patrick G. Cannon, Thomas L. Decker and Susanne W. Lindgren were awarded prestigious Fulbright Scholar grants to teach or conduct research overseas.
The Fulbright Program has been the U.S. government’s premier initiative for international educational exchange since 1946, and its scholars return to the United States with greater cultural understanding and expertise. Scholarship recipients are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential.
Leading the fight against a deadly bacteria
A little pathogen that can invade our bodies can cause big problems for populations around the world, and a Sac State biology professor is traveling to Germany to learn the latest techniques in trying to control it.
Susanne Lindgren left in March and will spend seven months conducting research on E. coli bacteria as a Fulbright Scholar at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin.
E. coli is found in the digestive tract of cattle and other warm-blooded animals and is responsible for the outbreak of many food-borne illnesses. It spreads to humans who eat contaminated foods such as undercooked meats and raw milk and can be found in vegetables grown in manure-based fertilizer. Last year, an outbreak linked to an Oklahoma restaurant sickened more than 200 people and killed at least one person.
The Koch Institute is one of the world’s premier biomedical research organizations. It is the German federal institution responsible for disease control and prevention, similar in function to the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control in the United States.
Before leaving, Lindgren said she will be working with “internationally recognized scientists on state-of-the-art molecular techniques to better understand how these organisms cause disease.”
She will expand her research into the Shiga-toxin producing E. coli, a strand associated with many of the recent large-scale outbreaks. “Unlike the E. coli that causes traveler’s diarrhea, these E. coli can cause severe illness and sometimes death,” she says.
Lindgren will also be working on a newly identified E. coli strain that some researchers believe may be a factor in the development of colon cancer.
“Sacramento State’s faculty members are using their talents, expertise and dedication to make a difference in our world. Professor Lindgren’s cutting-edge E. coli research has the potential to help millions of people,” University President Alexander Gonzalez said.
Lindgren has taught at Sacramento State for 11 years. “I really enjoy teaching. It only takes a moment in the classroom, and I’m excited and motivated,” she says.
Lindgren will be in Germany with her husband and three daughters. “Our children were part of the decision-making process,” she says “We couldn’t get near a globe or atlas. The girls were all over them.”
Lindgren will return to Sac State in August.
“The Institute has all the newest tools and fun laboratory toys,” she says. “I can’t wait to get there and learn all about them then bring those skills and knowledge back to share with my students.”
Examining social issues beneath an international tragedy
The headlines and photos begin to tell the tragic story of 5 million lives lost from genocide, malnutrition, disease and violence, but Patrick Cannon wants students to gain a better understanding of what is known as “Africa’s First World War.”
He’s is in the Democratic Republic of Congo doing just that.
The associate professor of government left for the University of Kinshasa in late December and will stay until this August.
He is teaching two courses—Theories of International Relations and International Political Economy with an emphasis on African development—that complement what the African university offers now. He is also serving as a guest lecturer in other professors’ classes.
“I’ll be speaking on a variety of subjects, including the 2008 American presidential elections, which I’m very excited to talk about,” Cannon said before heading to Africa.
Another topic will be U.S. foreign policy toward Africa, which Cannon says “has not always been positive.”
“The reception I expect to receive on that subject will be mixed,” he said, adding that he wants to have an open dialogue with those who may be “cynical or suspicious.”
“This trip shows how one can become engaged with the world and that you don’t have to be rich or famous to address issues like poverty alleviation and social development,” he said. “By studying Africa, students can become aware of why that marginalization is taking place.”
Sacramento State Provost Joseph Sheley praises Cannon’s work as an example of the University’s growing international influence.
“Sacramento State’s location in the nation’s most important state capital has long given our students a tremendous advantage,” Sheley says. “With his Fulbright award, Professor Cannon will now be able to share his considerable expertise in government with students across the globe.”
For Cannon, one of the many benefits of the Fulbright is that he’ll be able to live and practice what he teaches.
“I’ll be in the capital of a developing African country, able to witness the economic reconstruction of the country. As a result, it makes me more dedicated to what I teach, and when I come back to the classroom, I’m that much more excited about it.”
Restoring a tradition of ceramic art
Travelers to other countries often go there to build something—schools, houses, water systems. Tom Decker built a ceramic art program.
Decker recently returned from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, where he worked with the administration to establish an awareness of ceramic art as an academic pursuit to the faculty and students of the campus’s College of Fine Arts. Decker was in the Philippines on a Fulbright Scholar grant.
Before his visit, the country’s strong tradition of ceramic art was kept alive by the culture outside of campus, because there was a marked absence of formal training, he says.
“What I feel most proud of is that in the short time I was there, I was able to work with the students and the administration to make sure that in the coming academic year there will be a new elective course in ceramics,” Decker says.
In his six months at the university, Decker built the foundation for a ceramics curriculum including a fully functioning facility complete with four kilns, a colloquium series that played to packed houses and instruction for nearly 500 students.
“Sacramento State’s faculty are leaders in their fields. Dr. Decker’s contributions in the Philippines will extend our University’s reach and help educate and inspire students for generations to come,” says Joseph Sheley, University provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
And while Decker’s desire to provide more recognition for ceramic art partially drove his efforts, there was also a wish to introduce more students to the courses as desirable electives in a well-rounded education. “I think if you can come away from any course at the university feeling like you really enjoyed it, maybe that feeling sticks with you. And it will add to the way you feel about education in general.”
He notes that at Sac State, 90 percent of the students who take ceramics are majoring in something else.
“I think that the course itself—even for those who aren’t studying art—can become a metaphor for how you fulfill your creative needs in life. You can apply the sense of learning how to do something, making an object.”
In the future, Decker hopes to do a similar program in another country. “There might be other opportunities in other nations and other universities that are looking for similar assistance or—as the Fulbright puts it—contributions,” he says. “I think that’s a great word. That was how I was supposed to think about what I was going to do, to contribute.”
Californians are no strangers to controversies, disputes and plain old bickering over any number of issues such as water, energy, transportation and land use, but answers are often difficult to find.
Bringing competing factions to the table to forge a solution is the job of Sac State’s Center for Collaborative Policy.
The concept sounds simple: “We work with individuals and organizations in conflict over major policy issues to help them figure out what their real needs are—beyond the positioning, demands and rhetoric,” says Susan Sherry, director of the center. “Then we work to understand the legitimate needs of others with whom they disagree.”
The challenge, she says, comes in “ensuring that the stakeholders are ready to listen with an open mind and look for creative solutions that meet everyone’s interest.”
The center has been the unifying force for resolution behind for some of the state’s most visible debates, such as the northern pike infesting Lake Davis in the northern Sierra. In this case, the center worked to engage an entire community in problem-solving.
The California Department of Fish and Game’s initial attempt in 1997 to eliminate the invasive species by poisoning the lake with rotenone could not have gone worse. Not only did the pike return, but the action “alienated almost everyone in the community,” says Jodie Monaghan, associate mediator with the center.
Before the second attempt, the Center for Collaborative Policy was asked to create collaboration among Fish and Game, the local community and other local, state and federal agencies.
The center provided project planning, strategic advice and outreach assistance, including project newsletters and weekly newspaper articles. And local residents voiced their concerns at 12 workshops—a number practically unheard of for a community of 2,200.
The result was an approved environmental document and a project implemented without a single legal challenge. Fish and Game was even welcomed with a billboard on the way into town.
“The facilitation of public meetings was really important because the department wanted to interact with the public, but we needed to do so in a way that was neutral and unbiased,” says Ed Pert, manager for Fish and Game’s South Coast Region and project manager for the Lake Davis Eradication Project.
The center began in 1990 when the State Legislature approached the University to negotiate a compromise with four competing growth-management bills. Sherry mediated that effort and later proposed the concept of an ongoing center for resolving disputes.
In the 1990s, the center conducted contentious negotiations between dozens of water purveyors, environmental groups and business interests that led to the Water Forum Agreement that is guiding the future of the American River watershed into 2030.
In 1995, the center became a self-supporting institution. Federal, state and local government clients come for assistance and are charged on an hourly basis.
We also work with communities and public agencies to prevent conflict in the first place,” Sherry says, “through long-range planning and visioning efforts.”
And while service to state is the center’s prime objective, there is a campus component as well, stressing teaching and research.
The center has a two faculty members in the Department of Public Policy and Administration, and public policy master’s students can earn a certificate in collaborative governance. Under the guidance of faculty member and research director Bill Leach, the center has also produced more than 20 scholarly publications.
Most college students look forward to the summer for an internship, a job or just rest and relaxation outside the classroom. For some Sac State student-athletes and coaches, however, the summer is a time in which they do their best teaching.
Sac State is planning numerous sport camps for youth throughout the Sacramento region.
Camps are scheduled for baseball, softball, boys and girls basketball, football, volleyball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls tennis.
Each camp offers instruction from Sac State coaches and student-athletes in a fun environment, and many provide discounts for multiple family members.
The camps are open to kids with all skill and experience levels. Age requirements vary for each sport but start as young as 5 years old for soccer.
“Our hope is that every camper not only leaves our camp as a more skilled player but also has fun in the process,” Sac State assistant soccer coach and camp director Jason Gantt said.
While some camps focus their attention on younger athletes, others are designed to provide an edge for campers prior to their competitive season.
“Our camps are late enough in the summer that it allows the camper to get a great a jump on their high school and junior high season,” head volleyball coach Ruben Volta said.
For the latest information on all Sac State athletic summer camps, visit the Hornet Web site at http://www.hornetsports.com//about/Youth.asp.
Philosophical about success
With four restaurants in Beijing so popular they’re turning away customers, Sac State alumnus Alan Wong says his philosophy major has been a big part of his success.
Wong (’00, Philosophy) also has three restaurants in Shanghai, and he’s poised to open two more upscale eateries in Beijing.
Wong’s family moved from Los Angeles to Sacramento shortly after he was born. His entrepreneurial voyage began in 2002 after graduating from Sac State when he was searching for some direction in life. Wong was working at Tokyo Sushi in Folsom when his father called from Beijing and invited his son to join his real estate business.
“It was not really my style,” Wong says of the arrangement, adding that he saw the work as tedious and stressful.
He looked around for something else, decided to put his working knowledge of the restaurant business to the test and opened Hatsune Sushi. Even though there were 300 other Japanese restaurants in Beijing at the time, Wong’s was different. Rather than serving traditional Japanese cuisine, Wong served up his dishes in a modern California style, targeting non-Japanese expatriates and international tourists. “It was a completely different market, and I took all of their foreign customers,” he says.
So how does the study of philosophy help someone build a successful business?
“I look at any given problem from various directions so I have a wider insight to find a solution,” Wong says. “Critical thinking, logic and theories of metaphysics train you to be open minded.”
With Hatsune a runaway hit, Wong could have just repeated his success by opening more restaurants with the same theme. Instead, he went with totally different styles for his next two endeavors.
Kagen is a hot pot barbecue restaurant, where hot coals are brought to diners’ tables along with skewers of raw meat. The third restaurant is a teppanyaki eatery, similar to a Benihana, with the food prepared on an iron griddle at a large table.
Wong learned the basics of business management from his father, Steve Wong, a Sacramento land developer, then applied what he learned from Sac State philosophy professors such as David Long and Matt McCormick to his wider view of operations.
The unique puree of philosophy and capitalism has paid off. Hatsune has won the best restaurant award in Beijing five years in a row and been mentioned in The New York Times.
Wong says he misses California—his apartment is designed along the lines of a Lake Tahoe cabin—and would like to come back some day to open a smaller venue, perhaps 20 seats.
On the road, saving lives
Misty Dailey (’99, Communication Studies) sees the work she does as more than just a job. For her, it’s a ministry—one that can save lives.
Since October 2006, Dailey has been presenting the “Driving It Home” program to Sacramento County and area high schools, church groups and civic clubs. The program encourages teens to make good choices when behind the wheel of a car and addresses the duty of even just being a passenger.
“I start by saying, ‘Let me show you exactly what happens to your body in a crash, what they can’t show you on TV,’” Dailey says of her presentation. “’Let me tell you what happens to your mom, your dad, your brothers and sisters when you’re gone.’”
Dailey came by the job she loves through serendipity rather than strategy. “I had a successful career in sales when I burned out and decided to explore a path with more gratification at the end of the day,” she says.
The Communication Studies graduate drew upon her experiences in the Sac State classroom to make an informed decision about her career path. “I can be very emotive when it comes to my life decisions,” Dailey says. “The critical thinking skills I learned in class really kicked in. I draw on these skills every day.”
After some volunteer work with the Elk Grove Police Department, she was offered a position as a community services officer. “I thought, ‘I haven’t really left sales, I’m selling safety,’” Dailey says.
The Elk Grove chief of police informed her that the city had passed two ordinances prohibiting street racing. He asked her to talk to students about racing and show them a video, which she says teens and adults believe is the real deal.
“The video is a re-enactment of an actual street race,” Dailey says. “It shows two cars racing to see who can get to the party first. There’s a crash. The girlfriend flies out of the car and dies on impact. Her boyfriend was the driver and ends up in jail. He is interviewed in his orange jail jumpsuit and talks about how his life has changed since his girlfriend died. It is very emotional and very effective.”
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office heard of the program and, after watching Dailey’s presentation, asked her to take her presentation to Sacramento County high schools.
“Jan Scully felt all the area high schools should have access to the program, rather than just Elk Grove,” Dailey says of the Sacramento County district attorney and 1973 Sac State graduate.
So far, Dailey has made more than 440 presentations to 27,000 teens and adults. “Out of that group, we have no report of any of our participants having been killed in a reckless driving-related crash, or having caused a reckless driving-related fatality,” Dailey says.
Overall, Dailey’s new career path has given her the gratification most people dream of.
“Every time I present the program, I know we’ve saved at least one life. I remember a girl coming up to me months after I had given the presentation to her high school, and she said, ‘I told my boyfriend that if he cared about me, he would slow down, and he did.’
“That’s why I do this.”
Jacqueline (Jackie) Walden, Ph.D., '68, B.A., Psychology and '89, M.A., Anthropology, writes, "I moved three years ago to the woodlands of Grants Pass, Ore., where I serve on the board of directors and ethics committee of the local Lovejoy Hospice. My specialization in gerontology prepared me well for these challenging positions. In addition, I've authored one of the chapters in Left Coast Press' new publication Women in Anthropology: Autobiographical Narratives and Social History. In it, I give thanks to my mentors, Professors George Rich and Melford Weiss of the Anthropology Department at Sac State, for their help in my career."
Donna Bledsoe, '70, XYZ B.A. and '75, M.A., English, was awarded her master's degree in English on the basis of her fine arts project, a book of poetry called Scars (a copy is on file in the Sac State library). She is an active poet again and has published a blog with her newer works. The address is: email@example.com and she invites Sac State students—past, present and future—to visit and make comments.
Brian Purtill, '77, B.S., Criminal Justice, has been counsel to the Santa Rosa law firm Spaulding McCullough & Tansil LLP. Recently, he was a faculty member at the Empire School of Law, teaching civil procedure. Purtill and his wife, Jymmey, '78, B.S., Nursing, live in Sebastopol.
Edward Winkler ’79, XYZ B.S. and M.S., Civil Engineering, recently accepted a position with the engineering firm CH2M Hill as a regional client services director in Northern California after completing 28 years of public service in the water industry. Most importantly, he says, “Family life is great as my wife, Trish, and I will soon be ‘empty nesters.’ We will be sending our youngest daughter, Chelsea, away to college next fall. Our eldest daughter, Krista, will graduate next year from Chico State with the goal of becoming a schoolteacher."
Charles Johnson, ’86, B.S. and ’92, M.A., Criminal Justice, went on to earn his doctorate at Washington State University in December 2008. He is a retired California Highway Patrol officer and lives in Spokane, Wash. with his wife, Sharon, and children Nicholas and Alexandra. Johnson is currently an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Washington State University in Pullman.
William Eaton, ’89, B.S., Criminal Justice, joined the Los Angeles Police Department after graduating from Sac State, where he also played football. He has risen through the ranks and in August 2008, was promoted to captain. His wife, Elizabeth Free Eaton, '89, B.S., Criminal Justice, is also with the Los Angeles Police Department. She is a detective in the Mission area. They live in Santa Clarita and have two sons adopted from South Korea.
Max Santiago, ’95, B.S., Criminal Justice, is a 26-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol and serves as the assistant commissioner and inspector general. He provides executive-level oversight to departmental operations to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations and statutes. He has served throughout the state and in 2005, he served as a special officer of the Louisiana State Police and as Gov. Schwarzenegger’s representative to the Louisiana State Police and the Louisiana governor during emergency operations in the New Orleans region. He is a graduate of the 214th Session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., and a member of Class 43, California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training Command College. Santiago is a member of the International Association of Highway Patrolmen and the FBI National Academy Associates. He lives in Elk Grove.
Debbie Chan, ’97, B.S., Accountancy, has been promoted from manager to senior manager at Macias Gini & O’Connell LLP, a statewide certified public accounting and management consulting firm. Chan has 10 years of experience and has been with the firm for seven years. Her expertise is in working on financial and compliance audits for governmental entities and retirement systems. She lives in Sacramento.
George D. Singewald, ’97, B.S. and ’03, M.S., Criminal Justice, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award and a Life Saving Award from the Sacramento Police Foundation. Singewald has been a member of the Sacramento Police Department SWAT team for the last 10 years. He was recognized for his dedicated and valuable service to the department and for heroics in providing emergency aid to an injured child. Singewald, his wife and 6-year-old son live in Sacramento.
David Enns, ’99, B.M., Music and Music Management, says he never thought his degree would lead to the job he has now—“honking bulb horns under my armpits and ‘leg-pits.’” Enns has been on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno”; “America’s Got Talent,” where he was a semi-finalist; “The Gong Show,” which he won; and many other domestic and overseas media. He’s been in half-time shows at NBA, NHL, MLB, AFL, Eurocup All-Star, college and minor league games. Enns has also been the emcee at concerts, churches, Magic Castle in Hollywood, and colleges across the nation. He invites you to check his website: www.davethehornguy.com. Enns and his wife, Amy, ’99, B.S., Speech Pathology and Audiology, reside in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Rebecca Gardner, ’99, XYZ B.A., Government and Humanities, has joined McDonough Holland & Allen PC, a California law firm representing both private and public sector clients. Gardner is an estate planning and probate associate in its Business Services Practice Group. She is a director of the Sacramento Estate Planning Council, a founding member of Professionals in Estate Planning and a member of the Sacramento Area Special Needs Trust Study Group. Gardner earned her juris doctorate from the UC Davis School of Law in 2003 after graduating summa cum laude from Sac State. She is a board member of the Sac State Alumni Association and lives in Citrus Heights.
Danielle Roberts, ’99, B.S., Biological Sciences, has worked for the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff’s Criminalistics Laboratory for the last seven years. Currently, she is a forensic toxicologist who is assigned to the Forensic Alcohol Unit. Roberts is responsible for the blood and breath alcohol programs for Contra Costa and Solano counties. She maintains more than 30 breath alcohol instruments in both counties as well as analyzing alcohol and the effects of alcohol on the human body. Currently, she owns a home in Brentwood.
Prudence Pugeda, ’02, M.S., Accountancy (Taxation), has been promoted from senior manager to director at Macias Gini & O’Connell LLP in Sacramento. Pugeda has more than 16 years of accounting and tax experience. Her expertise includes tax planning and compliance for multi-faceted businesses such as consolidated corporations and multi-state companies. She assists businesses in the preparation and review of complex tax provisions and provides tax and financial solutions to high net-worth individuals. She lives in Elk Grove.
Theresa Bazacos, '04, XYZ B.A., Psychology, is a graduate student at the California School of Psychology and has completed her third year of a five-year clinical psychology doctorate program. Her dissertation topic explores the events and pathways adults of Mexican origin encounter on the way to receiving public health services. Bazacos lives in Sanger.
Sarah Keesling, ’04, B.A., Communication Studies, is the business development manager at Brower Mechanical Inc., a commercial air conditioning contractor in Rocklin. She is responsible for commercial account management, commercial maintenance projects and assisting in the growth of the company. Keesling was formerly a business development officer at Granite Community Bank in Granite Bay and has eight years of sales experience.
Nancy Van Leuven, ’04, M.A., English, received her bachelor’s degree from CSU Fullerton and began her first career in journalism, publishing a well-respected book. Twenty-five years later, at the age of 49, she returned to the classroom to earn a master’s degree at Sac State. With the encouragement of many of the University’s English faculty, Van Leuven applied to, and was accepted by, the Communications Department at the University of Washington, where she began her doctoral studies in the fall of 2004, graduating in 2007. She was offered a tenure-track faculty position in communications at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts. She now lives in Quincy, Mass., with her two golden retrievers.
Tyler Oaks, ’05, M.A., Spanish, had her debut mystery novel Ruby Rest released by Sterling House Publishers under their Pemberton Mysteries imprint, and it is available at Sacramento-area bookstores. A synopsis of her first novel can be found at www.tyleroaks.com. Oaks finished her novel while living in Modesto where she was teaching Spanish at Modesto Junior College. She now lives in Napa.
Candace Dodge, ’06, B.A., Communication Studies (Public Relations), is the executive assistant and scheduler in the office of Rep. Howard McKeon in Washington, D.C. Prior to this position, Dodge served as executive assistant and scheduler to Rep. John Doolittle. She resides in Washington, D.C.
Lo N. Saeteurn, ’06, B.S., Criminal Justice, has completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. The eight-week program included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. The final exercise is “Battle Stations” which gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. He makes Sacramento his home base.
Linda Park, ’07, B.A., Journalism, is the Elk Grove Citizen’s lifestyle editor. Park is a Vietnamese immigrant who moved to Marysville when she was an infant. Her family relocated to south Sacramento after the 1986 flood when they were ordered to evacuate. After graduating from Hiram Johnson High School, she studied at Sacramento City College and then enrolled at Sac State. She continued to attend college while pregnant with two children, who are now 8 and 1. Before graduating in the summer of 2007, Park was a writer and the feature editor for The State Hornet. The Park family lives in Elk Grove.