Santa Barbara Independent

Westmont Mourns Death of Dr. Alex Moore: Kinesiology Assistant Professor, 31, Died Following Complications from Surgery

Dr. Alex Moore, an assistant professor of kinesiology at Westmont College, died Wednesday following complications from surgery. He was 31. Moore is survived by his wife Kirsten. The couple met at Westmont in 2005 when Moore was an adjunct instructor and Kirsten became the school’s head women’s basketball coach. They married in 2008, and their first child is due this July. more

The Fever: Mitchell Thomas in Wallace Shawn’s Cautionary Monologue

The illness has now incubated for more than a year, and Mitchell Thomas’ delivery of the unyielding monologue The Fever Saturday night was contagious. Following playwright Wallace Shawn’s own approach twenty years ago, Thomas first performed The Fever last year in private living rooms for small audiences in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Spokane and even London. But this week the quarantine was breached, and the gyrations of the nameless narrator, made sick by his own hypocrisy, went public at Westmont’s Porter Theater black box ‘The Space,’ Trinity Episcopal Church’s Parish Hall, and at Municipal Winemakers. more

First Click and the Fine Art of Web Marketing: Web Development Firm Boosts Business in Santa Barbara

Business consultant Jacques Habre’s greatest marketing triumph may have been finding his lost cat, Majnoon, who disappeared for six weeks. After an all-out electronic media blitz, Habre found enough people who had spotted his cat that he could triangulate its location. … One of the typical indices for whether web browsers are staying on a website is called “bounce rate.” It measures how many viewers leave a website (or bounce) rather than click to a page on the same site. First Click, however, focuses on “conversions,” some tangible contact with a potential customer — an email, a phone call, an RFP. They do their best to create media that engages customers such as the weekly web video on the real estate market featured on their client, Pacifica Real Estate Group’s website. Other area customers include Westmont College and Steve Handelman Studios. more

4th Annual School Games Competition for Children With Special Needs: Hosted by Special Olympics Santa Barbara

Opening Ceremonies begin at 9:30am at the Santa Barbara City College Track followed by track and field events for all ability levels including wheelchair races. … The event has been organized by Special Olympics staff and volunteers including Arts for Humanity, Deckers Outdoors, Jenny Schatzle and Team Schatzle, National Charity League, UCSB, SBCC, & Westmont students, Starbucks, Sports Authority, Kiwanis of Santa Barbara, UCSB EOP Staff, Vetronix Etas Group, Law Enforcementand, and many community volunteers. more

Rafael Perea de la Cabada at Westmont: Art Seen: Retrospective of Santa Barbara Artist in New Museum

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: The new Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art gives the city another exciting space for mounting important public exhibitions, and one could not ask for a better introduction to its potential than the Rafael Perea de la Cabada showAlien Heartland. Cabada’s bold, imaginative work in multiple media has never looked better, or more complete, than it does in this handsome room, and in this context; it’s currently paired with Mexican Prints: Selections from the Gil Garcia and Marti Correa de Garcia Collection. Fortunately, the Cabada exhibit will live on after that show closes on Saturday, March 31, as the museum has put together a great catalogue that includes an introduction by Judy Larson of Westmont and an essay by Peter Frank, along with several dozen color plates. Cabada is a central figure in our art community here in Santa Barbara, and his is a story and an oeuvre that we should all both know and celebrate. more

Rath Shelton: 1923-2012

Open heart, open mind, open door. Rathburn Wiley Shelton was all about welcome. His friendliness came from a spirit of both affection and curiosity, and from a conscious sense that we don’t endure life, we celebrate it. The Greeks of Homer’s time believed that every stranger might be a god in disguise. Rath had no doubts about it — there was divinity, as well as great potential, in us all. Rath lived near Westmont for most of his life and had a 30-year career with the college, as director of public relations and then as director of the Alumni Association. more

Santa Barbara Choral Society: A Classic and a West Coast Debut

No work of modern French composer Maurice Duruflé is better known than Requiem (1947), his setting of the Latin liturgical texts of theMissa pro defunctis, the “mass for the deceased.” On Saturday night, the audience at San Roque Catholic Church was blessed with a large-scale, electrifying performance of this 45-minute wonder by the Santa Barbara Choral Society, bolstered by the Westmont College Choir and area orchestral players. San Roque’s interior surfaces of stone and wood paneling are notable for their acoustical bounce — a bane for speech, but a sumptuous reverb for choral music. more

Westmont Hosts Longtime Secretary of Defense: Robert Gates Speaks During Annual President’s Breakfast

Robert Gates, the United States Secretary of Defense from 2006-2011, delivered a rundown of the most crucial issues now confronting the country during the annual Westmont President’s Breakfast on Friday. Gates began his morning talk at the DoubleTree Resort on a light note, explaining how pleased he is to get out of the D.C. daze and into the Santa Barbara sun for a bit. He followed by inspiring plenty of laughs, as well as some murmurs of astonishment, when discussing his time advising eight U.S. presidents. “Perhaps the most egotistical was Lyndon B. Johnson,” said Gates, mentioning that Johnson would belittle those under him. more

The Founding of Westmont: In 1945, Montecito Became Home to the Christian College

Westmont College is largely the result of one woman’s vision. In August 1937, Ruth Kerr awoke from a sound sleep. God had spoken to this deeply religious woman and had told her the time was right to open a Bible school. This was the beginning of Westmont College. Ruth Kerr became president of the Kerr Glass Manufacturing Company (anyone who does canning or preserving should recognize the name) in 1930, five years after her husband’s death. Using funds from her successful company, she opened the Bible Missionary Institute in Los Angeles in 1937 with 72 students and 16 staff. Two years later, the school added some liberal arts courses and changed its name to Western Bible College. The metamorphosis continued the following year under the leadership of Dr. Wallace L. Emerson. The school moved to larger facilities in Los Angeles, became a four-year liberal arts college built upon Christian principles, and changed its name one last time to Westmont College. more

International Chiari Association Announces Board Member: New Nonprofit Organization’s Board of Directors Coming Together

The International Chiari Association (ICA) is pleased to announce the addition of Katherine O’Connor Morgan to its Board of Directors. This new Santa Barbara-based nonprofit organization was recently launched to educate both the general public and the medical community about this little-known, serious neurological disorder. Katherine Morgan has been an elementary teacher for sixteen years and feels blessed to be able to work with children everyday. Morgan is excited to be a part of the International Chiari Association and will be the team leader in creating programming specifically developed for children. She feels enriched by working with others around her and is eager to spread awareness about Chiari malformation to the general public and to those in the field of education. Morgan received her BA in English from University of California, Santa Barbara (with a year at St. Patrick’s College in Ireland) and acquired her teaching credential from Westmont College. more