Yearly Archives: 2016

Now That’s Rural: Jerry Blackstone

It’s time for the GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles. And the winner is….Jerry Blackstone, a renowned musician and choir director who comes from rural Kansas. Jerry Blackstone is a two-time GRAMMY award winner and internationally known conductor. His roots are found in rural Kansas. … Jerry went on to get a doctorate in choral conducting at the University of Southern California. He worked at Westmont College in California and Phillips University in Oklahoma. more

Santa Barbara Symphony Seeks Co-Investors to Expand Afterschool Music Education Program

The Santa Barbara Symphony is seeking additional funding partners for a proposed expansion of BRAVO!, the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s afterschool music education program for public elementary students in grades five and six. … In addition to the Symphony, SBUSD, and the Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN), funding partners include the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation and Westmont College, which will adapt the student internship initiative it developed in collaboration with iCAN to the new program. more

Former Gaucho Track Star Aims for the Podium at Debut Olympics

Four years after graduating from UCSB, former Gaucho track star Barbara Nwaba will be competing at her first Olympics in Brazil after winning the heptathlon at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon last month. … Shortly after her graduation, she joined the Santa Barbara Track Club, which was founded by Priester, a former assistant coach for Gaucho track and field. Priester, who specializes in coaching the multi-events (heptathlon and decathlon), now runs one of the premier running clubs in the country, training just down the coast at the Westmont College track. more

Faith-based colleges in Tri-Counties could lose funding

Religious-based colleges across the Tri-Counties stand to lose state funding or be exposed to anti-discrimination lawsuits if Senate Bill 1146 becomes law. SB 1146 went before the Assembly Appropriations Committee for review Aug. 3, preceding a vote before the session ends this month. … Between 13,000 and 16,000 students attending faith-based schools qualify for Cal Grants and could be prevented from enrolling if the bill moves forward, said Westmont College President Gayle Beebe in a letter sent to the Business Times on July 27. more

Schools Hire a Top Administrator

The Laguna Beach school board approved hiring Alysia Odipo as assistant superintendent of instructional services in a special meeting Tuesday, Aug. 2. … Odipo earned a doctorate degree in secondary education leadership from the University of Southern California, says an announcement. She also earned degrees in educational leadership from California State University, Los Angeles, and liberal studies from Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She teaches as an adjunct professor at UC Irvine, says the statement. more

Long journey from Walla Walla to Rio

Like a lot of athletes, Josh Priester had Olympic dreams growing up. The 2000 Walla Walla High School graduate competed in the decathlon from eighth grade through high school and continued on through college. Though he was good, he wasn’t quite Olympic caliber. … “We built it from the ground up,” Priester said. “We have a lot of contributors from all over the country, including Walla Walla. We are still growing and trying to figure some things out. I was a full-time NCAA track and field coach who gave it up to pursue this. We hold our practices at Westmont College, where I also coach.” more

Six Lee Faculty Promoted To Professor

Six faculty members were awarded promotion in rank to professor from associate professor by the Lee University Board of Directors and include Drs. Ron Brendel, Skip Jenkins, Patricia McClung, Megan Moe, Louis Morgan, and Jeffrey Sargent. … Dr. Moe (known to students as “Doc Moe”) joined the Lee faculty in January 2005 and is a professor of communication. She received her doctorate at the Pennsylvania State University, her master’s degree from the University of California, Davis, and her bachelor’s degree from Westmont College. more

Hayes Commercial brokers assume new roles on board of CALM

Two brokers with Hayes Commercial Group have been contributing their talents and personal time to CALM(Child Abuse Listening Mediation), a non-profit organization providing child abuse prevention and treatment programs throughout Santa Barbara County. … Liam Murphy was elected Secretary of the Board of Trustees. Liam joined the board in 2015 and was active as a volunteer for several years prior to that. A Westmont College alumnus, he has been a commercial real estate broker for nearly 10 years and is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM). more

Meet the Smiths who founded Daystar University on a verandah

You may have not heard of Donald Smith, but you have definitely heard of Daystar, Kenya’s first private university. … Julisa, the mother of Kendall and Nathaniel is an alumnus of Westmont College (which his paternal grandmother attended and grandpa taught education) in Portland, Oregon, USA ( where she graduated with a BA in  theatre arts and English); and Western Seminary (where she got her MA in intercultural ministries and PhD in missiology). more

Veterans, siblings to compete in Whidbey Triathlon

When the Whidbey Triathlon celebrates its 20th anniversary on Saturday, Langley resident Peter Oakley can happily say he’s been around since the first event in 1997. … Her current training regimen includes swimming, biking and running three days a week, which she says is a toned down version of what her younger self could accommodate. Competing in cross country and track and field at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., McInnes was a hall of fame inductee and four-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American. more