Past hardships inspire student to aim higher and live life to the fullest
By |
May 14

Crisply pressed button-up shirt, fresh dark jeans, polished boots, topped off with a classic Movado Museum watch wrapped around the wrist of his tattoo-free arms. The sharp, educated appearance shows no trace of the past that has helped mold him into the scholar he is today.

Stuart “Andy” Winn, 37, is a student in his last semester at City College. Winn has been waiting to hear all semester if his application to the University of California, Berkeley, was approved for transfer. Berkeley is his dream university. Winn has a good chance. He holds a 3.7 transfer GPA and is completing his Associates of Arts degree in sociology.

Winn has been accepted into his backup school, University of California, Los Angeles. But he is waiting to hear from Berkeley. A transfer specialist has told him that he has a 90 percent chance of being accepted. There, he plans to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. After Berkeley, Winn would like to pursue his master’s in business administration at Stanford through a transfer program established between the schools.

Despite setting forth this plan, Winn has not always had such a clear vision of the road he was heading on.

“The…» Read More

Rock on, lucky one
By | Staff Writer
May 13

Kathryn Stanton often accessorizes her work outfits with a stylish, chunky, silvery necklace. It isn’t obvious from across the classroom, but the metal links are actually aluminum pop tabs.

In several ways, that necklace represents her. It’s unconventional, much like Stanton’s education and career path. The piece is made from recycled materials for the Escama Company by women near Brazil and was given to her by her husband.

“He knows that my tastes don’t run to the typical, and, of course, it was sustainably made,” Stanton says. “The better story would be that I drank all the beer and made it myself, but I can’t claim that story.”

Stanton holds a doctorate in paleontology and began teaching at City College in 2004 while still a graduate student at University of California, Davis.

“The job opening came up, so it was either apply or miss the opportunity,” says Stanton.

Teaching geology at City College is her dream job, she says.

“I just never thought I’d get lucky enough to have a job opening here while I was looking for work,” says Stanton. “And when I did get lucky enough that there was an opening, I didn’t think I’d ever get lucky…» Read More

Student performer illuminates the stage on piano, bass, drums or guitar
By | Guest Writer
May 6

It is the night of his first performance with his band, and they’re up next. The current band is finishing up, and Casey Groat can feel his heart beating a million miles a minute.

He and his band have been practicing their songs for the longest time, and he is finally going to introduce his voice to the masses. He hears the band’s name being called: It’s finally their turn.

Groat is a 21-year-old City College student who spends most of his time writing and producing music in genres from electronic to folk. The singer/songwriter has been making music for many years now and is a musician on the rise. He delights in playing local coffee shops and open mics.

Ever since his first experience with an instrument at 12 years old, Groat has made his primary profession as a musician, playing a variety of instruments that include, but aren’t limited to, piano, guitar, drums and bass. Having an account on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, both websites for musicians to upload music to share with the online community, Groat has been producing songs and uploading them online, as well as spreading the word of his work on his Facebook page.

He…» Read More

Student’s passion for rap propels him ForWord
By |
May 6


He places his order. The bartender mixes equal parts vodka, gin, tequila, rum and triple sec, with one and one-half parts sour mix, and a splash of cola.

It’s a warm, yet breezy, spring day, perfect to enjoy a Long Island iced tea while lounging at an outdoor patio. He prefers to meet at a bar called the Mercantile, or the Merk. It’s a popular bar among locals who favor and appreciate midtown’s Lavender Heights district for all its colorful personality.

Meet Shane Franklin Delano Salter, 27, a City College communication major who is also pursuing a cosmetology license is an intern at 101.9 The Wolf, an employee at Pizza Rock, a participant of the underground rave scene, a country music fan, poet, and freestyle rapper. His world is indeed full of color.

Salter is a lover of life and has many aspirations, but his biggest aspiration is to become a well-known rapper. The average person may think, “Where’s the real struggle in that?”

Unlike other stereotypical rappers, Salter already has two strikes against him: He’s white and he’s gay.

Mainstream rap is infamous for its darker side of urban, street and thug life.The rap world is far from…» Read More

Athlete-turned-musician fills summer days with beats
By | Guest Writer
May 6


As you direct your eyes from his all-black Oakland Raiders hat all the way down to his size-14 sneakers, you begin to wonder who this man is. In the room, no celebrity sticks out who would require a towering bodyguard for protection. A bear wouldn’t stand a chance in a height competition.

Then you begin to wonder if he himself is some sort of celebrity. Is he a football player? He used to be. At one time, college recruiters from several colleges had their eyes locked on him during his high school football games. Is he a basketball player? He used to be. Did he go pro?

Nick Rhodes, the 6-foot-4 man you are mystified by, is just another student here at City College. Though he has all the size and all the talent required to succeed in college football, his heart belongs to something else. That passion of his is music.

After playing football at Humboldt State University, Rhodes returned home to Sacramento to be with his family and to focus more on academics. Outside a full load of challenging classes, he keeps busy by helping out his family, working and further developing his passion for making music,…» Read More

Local comedians go into the deep end
By | Staff Writer
April 28

Of the many professions in the world, stand-up comedy could be considered one of the most difficult. Having to stand in front of a crowd and make them laugh for 30 minutes or more can be terrifying. However, for City College comedy duo Jon Gomora and Mazzy McDaid, these things come easy.

Every Thursday night, two comedians transform Photobox, a small photo studio on S Street, into “The Deep End,” a comedy show that features a diverse lineup of local comedians, musical guests and artists.

“We book interesting and unique talents,” explained McDaid. “We put aside all the photography stuff, put up chairs, a mic and order pizza.”

Gomora, 19, says the feel for “The Deep End” is laid back and original, which, according to McDaid, is ideal because it helps her keep her composure and not get nervous.

McDaid, 21, has been a comedian since late 2013, but before that she was in theater. She said her theater experience not only helped her discover her knack for comedy, but also helped develop her comedic act.

“I like to embody a character on stage and people love it,” said McDaid. “I find mannerisms really funny. I even do a bit…» Read More

Composing from nature and the heart
By | Staff Writer
April 24

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon once said, “Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die. Music should be able to grow and mature with the artist, and it follows the person until death.”

City College musician Casey Groat admires Simon and, accordingly, shares the musician’s philosophy. As such, Groat says, he and says he wants to expand upon what he knows today, and, in 10 years, hopes to see himself be a producer because he wants to help others succeed.

“I want to help others through making their song ideas become a reality”, says Groat. When I act as a producer, I’m shaping the artist’s creativity in a formidable, successful product.”

Groat, 21-year-old audio production major at City College, says his specialties are the folk and electronic genres, and much of the inspiration for his music comes from his youth and from the world around him.

“As a child I wanted to pursue music because I found learning music myself to be incredibly easy”, says Groat. “In other words, I was really good at it, so it became something I needed in my life.”

Groat says the development of one of his…» Read More

A delicate balance of survival and success
By | Guest Writer
Feb. 25

Beep, beep, beep, snooze. Beep, beep, beep, snooze.

Five more minutes, and the alarm clock still manages to win the fight every morning. Wake up, wash face, brush teeth, and eat breakfast.

It’s a routine most parents live by.

Especially single mother of four Ursula Yost-Johnson, 33, a City College student. She never stops to think about herself as she strives to make life better for herself and her children. Through all the trials and tribulations, she never stops or gives up. She fights every day, not to fail, even when life says, “Give up.” Instead for Yost-Johnson, hope whispers, “Just try one more time.”

When Yost-Johnson was 24, she says she made a regretful mistake that ended with her going to the Central California Women’s Facility, also known as Chowchilla, for two and a half years while pregnant with her third child.

“I thought my life was over,” says Yost-Johnson. “I thought I would never see my babies again. It was like dying.”

She says life was telling her to stop fighting, to just let go. But she couldn’t, at least not with a bun in the oven. She eventually made contact with prison offi cials and was approved…» Read More

From football to fugues
By | Guest Writer
Feb. 25

Beside her desk is a brown push-pin corkboard with pictures telling the story of her life. She turns her head to look at them, staring at each one in turn. Her daughter in tap shoes in one. She playing tackle football in another. She glances over them as if counting to make sure they were all there. Turning away, a smile forms on her face, but not just any smile. It is a smile that tells a dual story of accomplishment and triumph.

Kathleen Poe, despite obstacles and a multi-occupational life, chooses to spend her time giving the gift of knowledge and empowerment to her students. Yes, she is a music teacher, but music is not where the lesson stops. She shows her students how music and perseverance can help lead to any goal their hearts are set on.

Poe, the City College music department chair, started teaching music on campus in 1996 before graduating from Sacramento State.

“I just went into music completely with my whole heart,” says Poe, now in her 40s. Poe composed a piece for a concert held in November 2014 by the City College Music Department.

“I think my students don’t really influence my composition as…» Read More

By | Guest Writer
Feb. 23

Through evolution, early humans struggling to survive developed a taste preference for foods that were high in sugar, salt and fat. Fast forward a few hundred thousand years to the current day: Students with busy schedules and a taste preference for fatty foods often end up with a diet filled with highly processed foods like Top Ramen, Doritos and DiGiorno pizzas.

Foods that are highly processed might contain artificial flavors, preservatives, food coloring and other unnatural ingredients to boost flavor and maximize shelf life. Although these foods are engineered to taste good and last a long time, many healthcare professionals say that it’s best to just say no to these foods.

Standing at 5 feet, 10 inches and armed with a 10-speed road bike, a trendy faux-hawk haircut and skinny jeans is 19-year-old City College student Tomas Woolston, one of the rare individuals who chooses to completely abstain from eating commercially processed foods that we all know, love and love to hate. For Woolston, living a simpler life is not only about taste; it’s a lifestyle that goes beyond the dinner table. He is so dedicated to this mindset that he chooses to not own a car to reduce his…» Read More