Kathy Fong has an itch to pitch
By |
April 28, 2011

All it took was a swift swing of a bat, and the ball flew into the unknown as the batter ran toward first base. The dirt on the bottom of her shoes blew every which way like a sandstorm in the desert.

City College social science major Kathy Fong pitches for the college softball team. She not only stands in the middle of the field serving swift pitches to the opposing players, but also is an offense player.

“The best part about being on the field is the opportunity to play and just being with my team,” said Fong.

According to Head Coach Robert Maglione, the team has been doing well this season with a 14-3 winning streak.

“We are in the middle of the tough part of the conference schedule,” Maglione said. “This team in comparison to other softball teams has been doing well.”

Fong had ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) surgery last fall and, as a result, says she’s not being doing as well as she did the previous season. However, that hasn’t stopped her from going out on the field and giving it her all.

Though Fong spends a great deal of her time on the field, she…» Read More

The art of living, Alforque style
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April 28, 2011

Whether it’s singing, dancing, acting or a combination of all three, life in the industry can be a roller coaster for striving artists and yet also, possibly, rewarding.

City College Theatre Arts and Film Professor Angela-Dee Alforque is known for her prolific contributions from campus theater productions to Sinag-tala, a Filipino theater and performing arts association outside of campus. As a professor, a performer and a mother Alforque attributes her career to her passion in art and culture.

“I knew it when I was 5 that I wanted to be in theater. There’s no question about what I was going to do with my life,” said Alforque.

Born in San Francisco and raised in Sacramento as an only child to immigrant Filipino parents, Alforque still keeps in touch with family in San Francisco and in the Philippines.

Alforque said her parents were always supportive of her decisions when it came to her career and choice of education, especially her father who was a theater arts major. She auditioned for her first musical at the age of 9.

“[Most] of [the] times Filipino families would want their only child to be a doctor or a lawyer [or] something more traditional,” said…» Read More

Hooked on anthro
By | Guest Writer
April 28, 2011

When Dr. Pamela Lindell entered college she had no idea what she wanted to do with her life.

If you ask her, she’ll tell you that she’s a “bad role model” for students because she had “no direction.” In fact, she hadn’t even planned on attending college.

Lindell, 44, a City College anthropology professor, has accomplished things she never thought possible. Once a small town kid, she’s now been around the world. Once a directionless teenager, she now has her Ph.D. in anthropology and inspires young minds for a living.

Dr. William Doonan, a fellow City College anthropology professor who has known Lindell for 11 years, describes her as  intelligent, creative, caring and resourceful.

“She is a very effective instructor,” he says. “She presents concepts in holistic ways and brings her own field experiences to bear on the topics she is working with.”

Lindell’s passion in life is culture, be it dancing hula, watching samurai movies, experimenting with new foods or being fascinated by music. She even plays guitar, although if you ask her, she’ll tell you that she isn’t very good.

“I just like learning about the world through all these different things,” she says. “When it boils down…» Read More

Freedom to believe, or not
By | Guest Writer
April 28, 2011

At City College, there is a veteran student who is president of the Sac City Freethinkers club and simultaneously carries another interest that may be surprising.

“I like religion,” says 34-year-old Steven McIntosh, head of the only group at City College that offers a gathering specifically for non-religious students. He has been with the group for two years and was voted president last fall.

McIntosh says he grew up in a household with strict Mormon beliefs until he began drifting from the dogmatic aspects at age 18 and took more of an interest in science and other religions. McIntosh is still officially and actively part of the Mormon religion. He still holds some Mormon beliefs. In addition, he also associates himself with Catholicism and a handful of other religions.

McIntosh says believing in a dogma (a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof) is an “integral part of the human experience,” although he has been a self-proclaimed atheist for some time.

“McIntosh uses his experience with religion to teach others,” says Donald Peat, a student who has been a member of the Sac City Freethinkers for one semester.

According to the faculty adviser of the group, graphic communication professor Don Button, one way McIntosh teaches others is by dispelling stereotypes about both religious and non-religious people. “He does that very well,” Button says.

McIntosh also uses…» Read More

Counterintuitive beauty
By | Guest Writer
April 28, 2011

Have you ever considered math beautiful? This professor hopes so.

Math professor Alex May’s class may be livelier than your average math class, as he attempts to make the subject as interesting to the students as it is to him.

“He finds a way to make the class enjoyable,” says Austin Albaugh, one of May’s students. “He doesn’t talk about math the whole hour and a half.”

May, 50, has been teaching for more than 18 years. May’s enjoyment of math is clearly expressed through various ways. His office bookshelf is lined with miscellaneous textbooks and old, interesting math books from his college days. He gets excited when talking about math, especially when it comes to math’s “beauty.”

Many students find math difficult, which May says is because math is counterintuitive. No one, he says, wakes up and comes up with something like the quadratic formula. May also enjoys other things that may not be intuitive, such as paradoxes. Math is full of paradoxes, which May says he is constantly amazed by. That’s part of what he likes about math.

During May’s classes, a common request is for students to ask questions. May enjoys students asking questions, which he says is the most useful part of his classes, because it means they are awake and want to learn…» Read More

Commemorating civil rights activist Cesar Chavez
By |
April 13, 2011

“Believe in what you do and that you can do it,” City College cosmetology professor Norma Olivarez proclaimed to a group of students at the Cultural Awareness Center March 29 to commemorate civil rights activist and labor leader Cesar Chavez on the anniversary of his historic marches in California.

Olivarez presented her story in a PowerPoint presentation titled “Mis Recuerdos de Cesar”, or “My Memories of Cesar.” She explained how in 1965 migrant grape pickers went on strike demanding a raise from the $1 an hour they were paid. Striking workers faced threats from farm owners and labor contractors. As a young woman, Olivarez took part in Chavez’s movement to improve working conditions for undocumented farm workers.

Olivarez came from a family of farm workers with 10 children, and she said her parents believed they had no choice but to accept their labor conditions. Through her work with Chavez, Olivarez came to believe she not only had a choice but a right to not be afraid to go to the bathroom in an open field for all to see and where snakes were common. She said that unions were seen as a way to secure basic standards of safety and…» Read More

A president's perspective
By |
April 6, 2011

Becoming president of a large community college is not an easy task. However, when the path is filled with inspiring people and positive influences, it becomes less daunting.

Dr. Kathryn Jeffery has been City College’s president since March 2008. Her journey to the top spot has been filled with many stops and role models, but it began in Oklahoma City where she was born and raised.

An early family influence for Jeffery was her grandmother.

“I would call her a business woman,” says Jeffery about the woman who sold eggs.

Jeffery’s grandmother lived in Arcadia, Oklahoma, a small town northeast of Oklahoma City.

She had a few cows and roughly 30 chickens. On weekends she would travel to Oklahoma City to sell the eggs.

Teachers and friends noticed that Jeffery had an aptitude for academics at an early age. Her neighbor, Ms. Gracey was a teacher and Jeffery remembers that she would visit Ms. Gacey often.

“She would use me as a test pilot for her class,” Jeffery says with a laugh. “I thought they were games, but because of those I was never fearful of a test.”

Jeffery attended Oklahoma State University and received her bachelor’s degree in music…» Read More

Digging deeper
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March 23, 2011

It’s not always easy to find a place in this world, but often the path to its discovery inspires compassion and action that otherwise would never be realized.

City College history professor Riad Bahhur is known on campus for promoting awareness and a sense of global citizenship. He attributes his advocating nature to his own struggles as a young Palestinian growing up in the U.S.

“A very important life lesson for me was when I became grateful for feeling like an outsider,” said Bahhur. “There is a valuable richness to feeling like an outsider. It’s a gift to see the world in a different perspective.”

Bahhur was born in Venezuela and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His father left Palestine in the 1950s after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, which drove many Palestinians from their hometowns and villages.

Bahhur says he became aware at a very young age of conflicts and struggles happening at a global level. Unlike most kids and even young adults in the U.S who struggle to find a connection with international counterparts, Bahhur has always been actively seeking truth and spreading awareness.

“It’s one of the effects of being Palestinian in the U.S: being aware of the struggles…» Read More

Blue jean beauty queen
By |
March 23, 2011

Beauty pageants can be viewed as superficial, self-promoting and vain to some or entertaining, esteem building and classy to others. City College student Claire Johnston didn’t give the issue much thought until she was given the opportunity to compete for Miss California USA 2012. Now Johnston finds she is focusing on the impact she can make while she assimilates herself to pageant life.

Johnston considers herself to be many things — a scholar, athlete, humanitarian and missionary — but until she was offered the title of Miss Greater Sacramento, she never considered herself beauty pageant material. In fact the opportunity took her by surprise.

“I never saw this as something I would ever be a part of,” said Johnston. “But it really does fit my strengths and personality.”

While waiting in line at a coffee shop, Johnston made small talk with another woman in the line. She told the woman about a recent trip she took to Mozambique, Africa, where Johnston spent the summer volunteering with Iris Ministries, a Christian missionary organization. What she thought was a casual conversation turned into an unexpected opportunity when the woman told Johnston she was a representative from the Donald Trump Miss USA pageant…» Read More

James and the giant personality
By |
March 10, 2011

Everything you need to know about Stephen James you can tell from his office. A bookshelf overflowing with science books.  An aquarium that acts as a partition between his desk and the office he shares. All suggest that he is an open guy and an academic eccentric. James represents a rarity on college campus—a professor who’s not afraid to hang out with students and who’s so accessible that one could imagine sitting down and socializing with him outside class.

James is a biology teacher, but he has kept the energetic and quizzical nature of a student. With his MacBook open, he prepares to share another YouTube video with the class.He is a frequent viewer of the “Daily Show,” “Colbert Report,” and “Two and a Half Men,” but he also immerses himself in modern science texts to interpret the material concisely to students.

“He is hilarious,” exclaims student Jane LaBass.“I sat in the front of the class and just laughed while taking notes. He is an engaging instructor.”

Class erupts in laughter when James tells stories of his experiences as a young adult while attending Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara. He says he wants to change the perception…» Read More