From Students to Staff: Joshua Roberts
By | Contributing Editor
Dec. 21, 2014

For many, attending community college is a means to earn a degree in order to gain employment. For others, the “community” in community college means working with teachers who truly care about the future of their students in an effort to better themselves.

Not only did City College English professor and department chair Joshua Roberts experience the latter scenario, he decided to become one of those teachers.

A self-described poor student leading up to his graduation from Kennedy High School, Roberts began attending City College in 1991.

“I was a horrible student in high school,” says Roberts. “[It wasn’t] because I wasn’t sharp enough, I was just a bad student. When I came here, I was pretty clueless as to what I wanted to do. I kind of took classes on and off for about five years, just enough to still be in school but not really.”

It was at that point that Roberts decided he wanted to become a teacher.

“It was the instructors here that really helped me learn how to be a student and focus myself and go after the things that I wanted,” says Roberts, who shares with his students that he attended City College and went through similar struggles as a way to help them feel like he knows what they’re going through. “I…» Read More

By | Editor-in-Chief
Dec. 21, 2014

Chris Torres — once a young single father who dropped out of high school and, at one time, was sleeping on a friend’s couch — has come a long way.

Sitting in front of his desk at City College, where he serves as student affairs specialist, on a quiet Tuesday before the Thanksgiving break, Torres reflects on the journey that brought him back to work at his community college alma mater — the school, in his words, that “completely changed what was possible.”

In 2008, Torres graduated from City College with associate degrees in administration of justice and sociology. He then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Sacramento State in 2010, where he is also in the process of earning a master’s degree in counseling.

“I didn’t really have anything. I dropped out of high school — I had three kids at a young age — my son was born when I was 18,” says Torres. “I went into provider mode and took whatever jobs were willing to hire me.”

For Torres, who left Hiram Johnson High School before his 1992 class graduated, higher education was not a consideration. However, in 2005, after what he characterizes as a series of poor life choices and jobs without a future, he took some advice from his mother.

“I had just moved back from San Diego with about $75 in my pocket,” says Torres…» Read More

By | Guest Writer
Dec. 21, 2014

The haunting screams of sirens pierce the air. Heat sizzles off the asphalt, reflecting shards of broken glass strewn about. In the midst of it, a young man lies there, toeing the line between life and death.

Jerome Coleman woke up in a Tucson, Arizona, hospital with no recollection of anything. Surrounded by a cacophony of beeps and boops, he listened intently as a nurse informed him that he had been on the verge of death after being ejected from his friend’s SUV.

It was April 15, 1999, and Coleman and his friends were on their way to the joint Jay-Z, DMX and Method Man & Redman Hard Knock Life tour in Phoenix. Steady beats vibrated throughout the SUV. Excitement filled the air.

The dusty desert landscape stretched as far as the eye could see, bisected by six lanes of hustle and bustle. The SUV carrying Coleman and his friends hurtled down the northbound lanes of Interstate 10 toward a lone piece of construction rebar lying in wait for its unsuspecting victims. When the rebar appeared in the middle of the road like a mirage, the driver of the SUV swerved at the last second, causing it to roll over…» Read More

Loreen Willenbeg: Blooming with Health
By | Guest Writer
Dec. 21, 2014

It’s a chilly November day at the Leland Stanford Mansion, and all is quiet but for the sound of her voice, which is calm and authoritative, and the crunching snap of her pruning shears as she tends to the roses.

Unsurprisingly, one of her favorite topics is gardening. The other favorite is a decidedly less common one: immunology.

Loreen Willenberg, formerly the owner of her own thriving landscaping business, is now a City College bioethics major at the age of 60. How this came to be is part of two of America’s ongoing stories—HIV/AIDS and corporate exploitation.

Willenberg is HIV-positive, but totally asymptomatic—without benefit of HIV medication. It turns out that she has an extremely rare genetic endowment – Willenberg is one of only 1,725 HIV-positive people in the world whose genes appear to control progression of the infection. Altogether, she has five of the seven such disease-controlling genes so far understood. One of these genes is a mutation that allowed Northern Europeans to survive the Black Plague.

Like the flowers she tends so lovingly, Willenberg is blooming with health.

“I center myself with gardening, says Willenberg, as she bends her tall form carefully over her thorny “babies.” her voice…» Read More

Road to recovery
By | Editor-in-Chief
Dec. 13, 2014

When Laura Day and Linda Huizar met in their Sacramento City College chemistry class three years ago, they shared

» Read More

Helping students build confidence through debate
By | Guest Writer
Dec. 8, 2014

The décor in TEC 202 makes it evident that its occupant is a bicycle enthusiast. All four walls of this faculty office have varying bicycle décor that varies in size and style. A paper sign “Keep Calm and Bike On” covers the small window on the door, and below is a sign of the same size that reads “Lane Ahead.”

A wall-mounted bookcase on top of a horizontal mirror fashions a bicycle-themed bookends and two saddles just below the shelf. “Put fun in between your legs,” reads the framed vintage photo of a woman in a red dress riding a bicycle. A storage shelf with a Starbucks “Verismo” machine nestles on top with a box of coffee pods and a bottle of vanilla-flavored syrup next to it. Behind the office door is a full-sized black bicycle frame with three “I voted” stickers next to each other and other politically themed decals.

In a chair sits Jared Anderson with his legs crossed wearing a green shirt that reads “Hornet Debate” with a circular logo that has two G2 Pilot pen silhouettes in an “X” and the letters “CSUS” in each fractioned space.

An adjunct faculty member, Professor Jared Anderson teaches Argumentation…» Read More