Santa Barbara Independent

Toboggan Run: UCSB Track Star Becomes U.S. Bobsled Brakeman

Push came to shove very early in Maureen Ajoku’s life. In 2007, the year she graduated from high school in San Jose and began her college education at UCSB, she lost both her parents — her father, Julius Chiedozie Ajoku, died suddenly of kidney failure in May; her mother, Nnenna Chinere Ajoku, succumbed to a lengthy bout with cancer in December. … Ajoku’s experience in the World Cup consisted of practice runs at every site, including the state-of-the-art facility at Sochi, Russia, host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics. With all that behind her, she returned to Santa Barbara in the spring to work out on the track at Westmont College and do strength training at Prevail Conditioning on Haley Street. more

Breaking Down S.B.’s Bread Revolution A Batch of New Bakers Are Crafting Artisan Breads

Genuine Bread — Bread Worth Breaking

The company was started by Westmont alums Andrew Elia and Jeff Appareti and Carpinteria native Geoff Jensen, also a Westmont grad. Inspired by the creations of Tartine Bakery and time spent baking in San Francisco, the self-proclaimed baking geeks wanted to embrace a new bread-making philosophy — one full of complexity and soul. “We hope to usher in a new wave of consciousness, both in flavor and in quality,” said Elia. more

New Students to Hike, Bond in Backcountry

Twenty first-year Westmont students will meet on campus Aug. 8 before heading into the California wilderness on a unique 12-day orientation program. more


Thirty-six of the world’s top high school science students have been tracking the course of an asteroid as part of the 55th annual Summer Science Program (SSP) at Westmont. The students, from 14 states and six countries, attend college-level lectures during the day and then measure the speck of light from the near-Earth asteroid during the evening. more

Strategic Healthcare Programs CEO Named 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year by South Coast Business and Technology Awards

The South Coast Business and Technology Awards have named Barbara Rosenblum, founder and chief executive officer of Strategic Healthcare Programs, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) healthcare data analytics company, the 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year. … The award was presented June 13 at Fess Parker’s Double Tree Resort. The event supports the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, which provides scholarships for students majoring in business and technology fields at UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, and Westmont College. more

Kristen Reed 1972 – 2013, Santa Barbara

Kristen passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 16th after a 6-year battle with breast cancer. Having been born with cerebral palsy, Kristen had been a fighter all her life and pursued life with gusto. Kristen taught us that life is to be lived with joy and dignity, that falling down only means standing up again, and that one must always keep going. Kristen did not want to be the poster child for anything. She just wanted to be herself and what a wonderful self that was. … Kristen was born and raised in Goleta, CA. She attended Westmont College and received a graduate degree from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, CA. more

Bright Lines and the Void at MichaelKate: Representation and Abstraction Meet in New Group Show

The only rule governing one of Santa Barbara’s most interesting ongoing curatorial collaborations has just been broken. When Brad Nack started organizing shows at the MichaelKate showroom on Santa Barbara Street, owner Michael McColm agreed to put his own considerable design expertise into the mix by rearranging the furniture each time to suit the show, but he did so on one condition — that there would be no traditional landscape paintings shown. … Although the show’s title, Bright Lines and the Void, dwells on subject matter, particularly that of John Carlander (Mr. Bright Lines) and Norman Lundin (as the Void), the ensemble holds together on another level. Like Lundin, a Seattle painter with a long and illustrious career as a professor of art at the University of Washington, Carlander can capture the look and feel of everyday life whenever he chooses. As a professor of art at Westmont College, Carlander’s ability to shift gracefully between representational and abstract work has been one of his many strengths. more

DP Track-and-Field Superstar: TRACK SHORTS

Westmont College sophomore Elysia Hodges sliced almost a second off her school record in the women’s 400 meters (53.77) to take the silver medal at the NAIA Championships… more

Circle Bar B Does The Importance of Being Earnest: Area Dinner Theater Troupe Takes on Oscar Wilde’s Classic

“In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing,” wrote Irish playwright Oscar Wilde, and Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre’s new production, running now for seven weekends, is promising plenty of style and deliciously twisted insincerity. Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, one of the most enduring and endearing of English comedies, is directed by Westmont adjunct professor and costume expert Miller James. more

Westmont Mourns the Death of Dallas Willard

Westmont is remembering the life and teachings of American philosopher Dallas Willard who died May 8 at the age of 77 following a battle with cancer. Willard taught at USC since 1965 and wrote many spiritual formation books including “Renovation of the Heart,” “The Spirit of the Disciplines” and “The Divine Conspiracy.” “Dallas has stood at the intersection of Christianity and culture throughout the last 50 years, and he has written on wide-ranging topics,” President Gayle D. Beebe says. “His well-known works and distinguished career at the University of Southern California are compelling. His willingness to engage spiritual thought, academic achievement and Christian community is especially noteworthy. Most significantly, during the last 25 years, he has emerged as the most compelling voice shaping this important conversation.” more

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