Guiding Light
By | Guest Writer
Dec. 9, 2010

Pacing back and forth in front of a packed classroom in the Business building, 42-year-old Andre Jensen is doing what he loves most: teaching. As he addresses the audience of philosophy students, ideas seem to bounce around and permeate the crowd during a colorfully orchestrated lecture; the energy in his classroom is undeniable.

Like most people with an uncommon fervor for their profession, Jensen puts his heart into his work. For more than 13 years, Jensen has striven to structure his teaching around the individual needs of the student.

Believing that every student is capable of success, Jensen says he attempts to simply bring out those attributes most conducive to achievement and guide them in the right direction. Building affinity with the students is essential in this process.

“Developing the rapport with the students is absolutely critical,” says Jensen of his teaching style. “If you can get the student awake and feel like you care, then they’ll do the work.”

With uncompromising charisma and a passion for instructing, Jensen uses an unorthodox approach to engage his students. Utilizing a smooth flow, peppered with comedy and amusing anecdotes, Jensen provides students with a pleasant and insightful teaching style that is as unique…» Read More

Bahama Joe
By | Guest Writer
Dec. 9, 2010

Imagine traveling more than 2,775 
miles, spending 12 hours on a
plane and leaving family to follow your
 dreams. It is a risky move, but well worth
it when it comes to football for one City 
College student.

Joemeko Culmer, 19, also known
 as Meko, was born in the Bahamas and
 made his way to the United States for his
senior year of high school in 2008. He decided to start an adventure on his own, leaving his mom, dad and two sisters back home.

America is known as the land of 
opportunity; it promised him a better 
education, a job and freedom to make 
his way as an adult. Most importantly,
he says, it gave him the opportunity to 
play football.

“I always wanted to be a linebacker,”
says Meko, with a slight accent, which 
is what he became on the City College 
football team.

Weighing in at approximately 215
 pounds, Meko has a lot of muscle and a
lot of heart to offer the game. When he came here, it was the first time he had played football on a team. Only recently has football been played in the Bahamas.

“America’s more spacious, like bigger then home, but I don’t like how far everything…» Read More

Big PIO on Campus
By | Guest Writer
Dec. 9, 2010

Don’t be fooled by her diminutive size. She’s a petite professional who packs a powerful punch.

Standing at a self-described modest, but sassy, 5 feet even is City College’s public information officer, Amanda Davis, who handles the majority of incoming queries from the media and the public.

Like her vertical dimensions, her age, too, is a small numeral. At 29, Davis has grown accustomed to the responsibilities of the job she has now held for more than five years.

“When I came here at 24 years old, and all the people I’m working with have Ph.D.s and they’ve been working with community colleges for 20 years, it was very easy for me to feel like I wasn’t knowledgeable enough,” Davis says of her current position. “I had to remind myself that I’m knowledgeable about my field, which is public relations.”

Where her greenness could have been a downfall, hers is seen as a refreshing change on campus. As the youngest of the Los Rios Community College District PIOs, her youth is welcomed among her colleagues.

“She’s fun,” says Kristie West, Cosumnes College’s PIO, who has worked with Davis for the past five years. “It makes for great interaction and perspective.”

» Read More

The life and lilt of Eliza Larmena
By | Guest Writer
Dec. 9, 2010

During a West African winter, when the dusty, harsh Harmattan trade winds sweep in off the Atlantic and stir the slender tropical mangroves and tall, coarse elephant grass that coats the Pepper Coast, Liberians have to be ready to weather the storm.

Bring it on. Liberians like Eliza Larmena have endured far worse.

Larmena, a City College student in her 40s, has experienced more than most people. In fact, her life is its own miniature made-for-TV movie.

She spent her childhood days picking fruit and playing soccer with 12 brothers, dealt with the death of her father in the midst of military-led coups and genocidal civil wars.

But in addition to this, she left everything dear to her behind in Liberia to pursue a degree in the frigid climate of Russia, then reunited with her war-displaced family in the U.S. the day before 9/11, making Larmena’s story seem mythical.

Nonetheless, her smile is capacious, and the warmth it exudes hasn’t been chilled by a lifetime of trying circumstances.

“In this life you have to take things one day at a time,” Larmena says.

Larmena was born in Grand Bassa, Liberia, a nation established in the 19th century as a fresh…» Read More

All work, no play
By | Guest Writer
Dec. 8, 2010

Most 20 year olds mainly worry about the midterm they’re having next week or what their plans are for the weekend.

Most 20 year olds don’t have to worry about working a full-time job, establishing a career as a photographer or completing homework for six classes.

Describing Jerome Love as an overachiever would be an understatement. Love goes to school full time, and then some, works the graveyard shift full time at a halfway house for adults with mental illnesses, and is a full-time photographer who has big plans for his future.

“I sleep like four to five hours a day,” Love says. “I try to work around my schedule as best as possible.”

In the past, Love has shot for local bands, traveled and taken pictures at the Vans Warped Tour, a music and extreme sports festival that travels nationwide, and spent three months in Africa working as a photojournalist for a non-profit organization.

Anthony Calisterio, Love’s good friend of five years, thinks Love has done a lot more than any other 20 year old.  “He’s always been on top of everything,” Calisterio says. “He doesn’t do something unless he does it all the way. ”

Love’s track record speaks…» Read More

Bike chic
By |
Dec. 8, 2010

The fountain quad at City College resembles a street fair at times—students with guitars sit on the benches outside the cafeteria, poised like troubadours; others can be seen playing hacky sack in the quad. Nearby, the bike racks are filled to capacity.

Biking has long had a reputation for being a sensible means of transportation and hard economic times have made it more popular among students—stylish even, according to City College students.

“You see it in a lot of Urban Outfitters’ ads, people being really fashionable and biking,” says Jamie Santiago, City College journalism and international relations major.

Lorena Beightler, a former City College student, chronicles the burgeoning bike culture in Sacramento on her blog She is also the founder of the Sacramento-based bike tour, Cycle Chic Sunday, which is inspired by Copenhagen Cycle Chic and commences every third Sunday of the month.

Often, Beightler takes photos of stylish bikers for her blog and says she wants to demystify the bike. For her, it’s another way of getting around town since giving up her Kia Sport convertible. “I have been car-less for two years,” says Beightler.

Beightler is both environmentally conscious and a vegetarian, but these are not the reasons she…» Read More

Back to the history class
By | Guest Writer
Dec. 8, 2010

In a small, unassuming office with stacks of CDs on the windowsill sits the Doc Marten boot-wearing Dr. Carl-Petter Sjovold, City College History Department chair.

He is immediately friendly despite the relatively early hour, although Monday through Thursday his first class begins at 7:30 a.m. Rodda Hall South is quiet at this time of morning, save for the occasional grumblings of students schlepping by Sjovold’s office on their way to or from class.

Sjovold’s iceberg-blue eyes shine like prisms when he speaks of his students. Teaching both U.S. and world history, the good doctor encounters many a learner.

“I meet new people every semester,” he says. “They all have a story.”

Apparently, so does he.

Sjovold has an interesting résumé. He once had a part-time job digging ditches. He says, “It was fun for awhile, but that kind of life has its limits.”

He once was employed at a cannery in Alaska, and also worked in the advertising department of the Oakland Tribune as a production assistant. A job at a cannery, for instance, doesn’t seem like one is on the way to earning a Ph.D., but don’t be fooled. How Sjovold got back to California is fascinating and proves,…» Read More

Like a true sensei
By |
Nov. 23, 2010

In Japan there are different titles attached to the end of people’s names, called honorifics. One who teaches is respected, and the honorific attached to a teacher’s name is “sensei.” The literal translation is “lives before others.”

When one thinks sensei, the description is usually a wise, philosophical soul who teaches honor and respect, but there is so much more. Sensei is someone to look up to, who inspires others, who not only teaches respect and honor, but shows it. One who mentors. One who counsels.

Like a true sensei, Keith Muraki, 50, is a counselor and program director for the RISE (an acronym of Respect, Integrity, Self-determination, and Education) program at City College. Muraki inspires others with his non-judgmental and encouraging aura that allows students to come in, sit down and just talk about what they truly want in life. He listens.

“He embodies RISE’s spirit,” says Joseph Guiliano, 29, a student teacher at RISE. “He believes in wanting students to succeed.”

The hustle and bustle of college can become overwhelming and disconnecting with blurs of other students passing by. New surroundings can be nerve-wracking, but a friendly smile can wash the nerves away. Take a step out of…» Read More

David Martin's hidden city
By |
Nov. 23, 2010

Much like an archeologist digging up significant artifacts, David Harper Martin dusts off particular subjects and events he finds essential to reveal. He uncovers the unnoticed civilization of City College and does what he does best: document short videos about people, places and events here at City College through the program he created—”Hidden City.”

“Hidden City” is a program about events and people that make the college special, produced and hosted by Martin, a City College educational media design specialist. He has shot about 16 short documentaries about the college since 2007, each between 10 and 20 minutes long.

If you have ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of a play or how props are made, Martin’s first documentary takes viewers on a tour of the City Theatre production of William Saroyan’s play, “The Time of Your Life,” directed by Luther Hanson in the Art Court Theater.

In “Urban Forest,” Martin and Luanne Leineke of the Sacramento Tree Foundation talk about the wide variety of trees on campus and consider their practical, cultural and historical values.

“He’s been able to do his interests and incorporate what things the college might be interested in as a community,” says Martin’s longtime…» Read More

Out of Africa
By |
Nov. 15, 2010

From the sprawling animal reserve in the Tsavo National Park to the glacial peaks of Mt. Kenya, the African continent boasts a vast array of sights and sounds. For Diana Muhoro, a 24-year-old theatre arts major at City College who grew up in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, Africa is with her always.

“I’m definitely proud to be Kenyan and I thank God,” Muhoro says. “Being born in Kenya has shaped me to be the strong woman I am today.”

While in Kenya, she gained an interest in politics. Her father campaigned in elections as a counselor for Embakasi constituency, one of the eight constituencies in Nairobi Province.

“My father and a few of my extended family members were the ones who were involved in politics,” Muhoro says. But instead of working in politics like her father, Muhoro decided to follow another career path.

“I wanted to pursue medicine, not just because I have a huge heart for serving people and helping people, but also my family and the situation I was in, influenced me,” Muhoro says. “It’s hard to have great opportunities from where I come from if you don’t have a ‘good’ degree.”

When Muhoro came to the…» Read More