April 21, 2014 by University of La Verne

Walking and running toward a common goal, footsteps will fill Ortmayer Field at the University of La Verne for 24 hours straight May 3-4, as the University hosts the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life global event.

This is the first year the university is hosting the event, where participants will be part of the more than 4 million people throughout 20 countries who come together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, bring an awareness to save lives and raise money to fund much needed research.

The event begins Saturday May 3 at 9 a.m. and will end Sunday May 4, at 9 a.m.  Relay for Life teams, some of which will camp overnight, will take turns walking or running the Ortmayer Stadium track. Because cancer never sleeps, each team is asked to have at least one participant on the track at all times.

La Verne administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni traditionally have many teams signed up for the event. This year Team Still-Well has been created in memory of a beloved colleague, friend, mother and mentor for many, Judi Stillwell. Stillwell, who worked for the university for 29 years, was diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago and recently lost her battle. Her positive outlook is reflected in the team name, whether it is toward those currently battling cancer, or to the families of those left behind, the message of “Still-Well” promotes her spirit and Stillwell’s wish for everyone to be well and healthy.

Another team participating is Cure-iffic!  The team led by Nusha Shishegar of the University Admissions office, is working hard to reach their $5,000 fundraising goal for their second year in a row. Cure-iffic!, the original team from the University, has been participating in Relay for Life for the past eight years. With the event being held at the University campus this year, Shishegar is happy to report that participation is at an all-time high, and that of the 38 teams registered for the event, 60% of them are La Verne teams.

“It’s a great family event. You’ll learn, you’ll have fun, you’ll laugh and you’ll cry,” Shishegar said.

To help reach their fundraising goal, Shishegar and her team are hosting “Laughter Therapy,” a fundraising dinner and comedy show at the Holiday Inn, in Ontario, on Friday, April 25. Tickets are $30 for students and $35 for non-students. The fully tax-deductible donation includes dinner which begins at 6:30 p.m., and the 18-years-and-over comedy show, beginning at 8 p.m. Those interested in attending can email nshishegar@laverne.edu for more information.

Team Cure-ageous was founded by Loreto D’Monte, a 39-year employee of the University, and her daughter, Sarah Berkowitz. The duo created the team in honor of D’Monte’s seven-year-old grandson George Coleman, who has battled leukemia and is currently in remission. Though her team participated in the Relay for Life in Riverside last year, they will bring their enthusiasm and energy to La Verne’s event this year.

“I’m thrilled to have it on campus, and am hopeful that George will be able to attend for a little while,” D’Monte said.

One of the favorite traditions at Relay for Life is the Luminaria Ceremony. This year, Professor of Education Peggy Redman, a cancer survivor, will speak at the ceremony, which will take place at 9 p.m. on Saturday evening.  Luminaria markers, which will be placed around the track and lit for the ceremony, can be purchased for $10 each and dedicated in memory of a loved one, or in honor of someone who is currently battling cancer. To register for the event and sign up for a team, please go to www.relayforlife.org/claremontCA.  To purchase a luminaria, email jgilmore@laverne.edu.

Relay for Life activities will also have accommodations for children, such as face-painting, a bounce house and an obstacle course designed specifically for kids. There will be a talent show for the teens and a movie screening after dark. There will also be live music, sports, as well as delicious food, guest speakers and many other surprises.

April 21, 2014 by University of La Verne

A unique juxtaposition of macro photographic work and freestanding suspended wood sculptures creates an intriguing new exhibit at the University of La Verne’s Harris Art Gallery.

“Natural Subjects” is a collaboration of two local university artists, La Verne Professor of Art Keith Lord and Scripps College Professor of Art Nancy Macko. The exhibit, which is open now and runs through May 22, brings together the intensely magnified and cropped garden views of Macko’s photography, which focuses on flowers and their life range from bud to seed. spaces

The images are mounted on sintra panels with Plexiglas faces, making the work appear as though it might float off of the wall. Suspended from the ceiling are the elegantly balanced wooden sculptures of Lord. Using different types of wood, often found or repurposed objects, Lord emphasizes exposed grain, natural color and a range of textures, as he creates his geometrically sculptured pieces. The towering objects create an elegant balancing act of structural integrity and playfulness in conjunction with photography.

When: Exhibit runs through May 22, 2014.  Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Where: Harris Art Gallery located in the Landis Academic Center at the University of La Verne.
1950 Third Street, La Verne, Calif.

Gallery Hours: Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment.

Details:  This two person exhibit features Keith Lord and Nancy Macko

Contacts: Dion Johnson, Director of University Art Galleries, University of La Verne, (909) 593-3511 ext. 4273, djohnson@laverne.edu.

April 16, 2014 by University of La Verne

Disciplining children is often dictated by tradition, but methods that have been used throughout past generations do not bring about long-term positive change.

Parents and educators are invited to learn more about “Conscious Discipline” at the University of La Verne’s Child Development Program’s Institute for Early Childhood Education event Thursday, April 17 and Friday, April 18 2014.

“Traditional discipline models are based on the concept that punishing and depriving children will teach proper behavior,” Associate Professor of Education Dr. Lynn Stanton-Riggs said. “Most schools today use a behavioral method of discipline: putting children’s names on the board, keeping children from play at recess, or sending them to the principal’s office. Most parents employ time out methods or physical punishment to teach desired behaviors.  These time-worn practices may show temporary behavioral change, but don’t effect long-term outcomes.”

Parents and educators who attend the program will learn new ways to address disciplining issues and how to enact long-term change in their children’s behavior.

Certified Conscious Discipline Instructor and Former High School Teacher Donna Porter will present along with one of her former students, D.J. Batiste.

Porter, who is also a motivational speaker, teaches how connections between adults and children have the “power to transform relationships that lead to more positive home and school environments.”

Batiste, who learned how to better handle conflict at home and in the classroom, will give a first-hand account of his struggles with his former gang lifestyle and the triumphant transition to his new life through what he learned from Conscious Decision.

When and Where: 

How Long Does it Take to Change the Life of a Child?

April 17th 6-8:00 p.m. – Parents and teenagers learn how to communicate effectively through authentic connections (all are welcome)
Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center, 601 West McKinley Ave, Pomona, CA

From Punishment to Empowerment: Beyond the Common Core

April 18th 4-6:00 p.m. – Pre-K through high school teachers and administrators learn alternatives to punishment (all are welcome)

University of La Verne, 1950 3rd St., La Verne, CA, La Fetra Hall (free parking in Lot D)

April 14, 2014 by University of La Verne

The University of La Verne, in partnership with Fairplex, is hosting a free screening of the 2013 documentary “If You Build It,” which features two designer/activists and their work with struggling high school students in North Carolina.

The screening will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 21, in the Ludwick Conference Center on the third floor of the Abraham Campus Center.

The film highlights work of Matt Miller and Emily Pilloton in North Carolina’s rural Bertie County. Brought in at the invitation of the local school superintendent, the pair used their vision to establish a design class for high school juniors in which students learned the tools to design their own futures.

As described by the team involved in making the film: “Living on credit and grant money and fighting a change-resistant school board, Miller and Pilloton lead their students through a year-long, full-scale design-and-build project that does much more than teach basic construction skills; it shows 10 teenagers the power of design-thinking to reinvent not just their town but their own sense of what is possible.”

According to Dr. Carol Sawyer, Professor of Organizational Leadership in La Verne’s College of Business & Public Management, the film has a direct appeal to the university community.

“The film and story are grounded in core values of respect, leadership, transformation, giving back and making a positive difference,” said Sawyer. “It is an ideal match for us at the university, and an inspiration.”

Reviews have described the film as “provocative,” “honest and engrossing,” and “a heartening story about the power of design!”

Additional information on the film and a trailer is available online. A video of Emily Pilloton talking about the project is available here.

April 11, 2014 by University of La Verne

Arthur ArzolaThe University of La Verne is mourning the loss of graduate student Arthur Arzola, the only victim identified thus far in Thursday’s tour bus accident involving high school students traveling to visit Humboldt State University. Arzola, a staff member in the Admissions Office at Humboldt State, was one of 10 fatalities in the accident.

A student in the Educational Counseling and PPS Program, Arzola was scheduled to graduate this May. Aside from being a student at La Verne, he was an Admissions Counselor for Humboldt State. He was chaperoning the group of high school students for a campus visit.

“It is with a heavy heart that we receive this news,” University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman said. “Arthur has been described by his colleagues as one with a passion and commitment in helping students reach their academic dreams. Our campus community extends our deepest condolences and prayers to his family, as well as the other victims involved. There are no words during times like these that can fully express our sadness.”

Arzola, 26, had recently wed Krystle Barbosa, an alumna of La Verne. They resided in Rancho Cucamonga. A campus memorial will be held at 7pm on Wednesday, April 16 at Morgan Auditorium. Funeral services will be held at 10am on Friday, April 18 at SkyRose Chapel at Rose Hills Memorial Park.

April 10, 2014 by University of La Verne

What: The College of Arts & Sciences Presents a musically enchanting evening with LA Opera’s Domingo Colburn-Stein Young Artists.

Created and overseen by Plácido Domingo, the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program features singers and pianists of exceptional talent who are currently in transition from academic training to a professional career in opera.


When: Sunday, April 13th. Doors open at 5:30 pm with 6:00 pm curtain for the performances.

Where: Ann & Steve Morgan Auditorium located in Founders Hall on the University of La Verne main campus.

Cost: $20 Suggested Donation / Students are Free.

Reserve your seat by calling 909 448-4408.

March 31, 2014 by University of La Verne

With a commitment to producing prepared and caring educators tracing back 87 years, the University of La Verne’s teacher education program can point to countless graduates who have been honored as being among the best in their profession.

Thanks to a new ranking, those La Verne graduates can now proudly refer to their alma mater as one of the state’s best.

The Online College Database’s inaugural Top Colleges in California: Shaping the Next Generation ranking rates the La Verne as one of the state’s top colleges for teacher education. The list highlights those post-secondary institutions statewide that produced the most education and teaching professionals in 2012.

“We work hard to be current in the latest methods and ideas. We look to be at the forefront of the best practices in preparing teachers,” said Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Redman, holder of the La Fetra Family Endowed Chair for Excellence in Teaching and Service at La Verne. “Even years ago, when California made the first revisions to its statewide standards in 30 years, we were one of the early adopters, which meant going to Sacramento and participating in all the discussions. That’s what it means to be a leader.”

The College Database is considered the most current and comprehensive source of U.S. college and university data. According to founder and CEO Doug Jones, the idea behind the ranking was to spotlight those institutions that help the entire educational system by preparing quality teachers.

“Many colleges and universities have tremendous teacher education programs,” said Jones. “But which ones are producing the most young educators today? We wanted to identify the colleges making the largest impact on our students.”

The ranking lists La Verne 16th among the 73 colleges and universities determined by The Online College Database to offer the very best education degrees in California. The evaluations were based on reputation, facilities and academic opportunities of those institutions meeting a core criteria – fully accredited; public or private non-profit institutions (no for-profit schools); four-year colleges; and at least 10 graduates from education or teaching disciplines in 2012.

La Verne’s teacher education program had its beginnings in 1927 when it first offered elementary and junior high school credentials. Today it is part of the University’s College of Education & Organizational Leadership, which offers undergraduate, credential, masters, and doctoral programs that provide students the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed by professional educators.

“Really, the foundation of our teacher education program is that we care about the students we are preparing to become teachers. And as they go out into the world, they show that same care for the students they teach,” said Redman, who has been in the teaching field since 1960 and who served as director of La Verne’s teacher education program for more than 20 years.

“Even in national studies, we always compare very well with the best when it comes to looking at the students we’ve just graduated and who are out there teaching. They rate highly and they receive top marks from their supervisors.”

La Verne’s College of Education & Organizational Leadership is accredited by the California Commissions on Teacher Credentialing and the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

The complete rankings are available online at www.onlinecollegesdatabase.org/online-colleges-in-california/#Best-Colleges-Shaping-the-Next-Generation-California.

March 27, 2014 by University of La Verne

Championing entrepreneurship and inspiring creativity proved to be the overarching themes at the University of La Verne’s inaugural CEO Summit Thursday, March 20, 2014.


Hector Barreto

As part of an initiative to expand its community outreach, the College of Business & Public Management Advisory Board hosted CEOs and presidents from around the Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley to a full day of innovation and perspective on how to successfully grow their businesses.

Dean Abe Helou and CBPM Advisory Board Chair Paul Brower ’74 took the lead in working with community volunteers to secure an impressive line up of influential keynote speakers and panelists to facilitate the day’s events.

“My hope was for attendees to take home several ideas and strategies that will help keep the engine of the American economy running,” Dean Helou said.

Three keynote presentations by Hector Barreto (Barreto, Inc.), Elizabeth Mower (Business Enterprise Institute) and Jose-Luis Saavedra Jr. (Tapatio Foods) drove the idea home that good business starts with a solid foundation.

IMG_1388“In the words of Abraham Lincoln, ‘Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe,’” Barreto said. His talk focused on the important role a university plays in inspiring entrepreneurship and providing not only tools but skills too.

Between keynotes addresses, attendees were divided into four groups and given the option to participate in one of four breakout sessions titled Creative Marketing for Increasing Sales, Effective Exit Strategies, Attracting and Retaining Talent and Financing for Growth.

From networking with CEOs and presidents to hearing practical advice from experts on how to successfully grow a business, nearly 70 business leaders were exposed to new ideas and fresh perspectives on how to remain competitive and thrive in today’s competitive world of commerce.

The next CEO Summit is scheduled for March 18, 2015.

March 26, 2014 by University of La Verne

Books and numbers came to life for more than 700 children and their families at the 9th annual Literacy and Math Conference at the University of La Verne Saturday, March 22, 2014.

Professor of Education Marga Madhuri, who is responsible for orchestrating the event, is passionate about finding ways for parents to make reading and math fun in the home and not just at school.10014621_667112660014692_417639206_n

“Although most people ‘know’ that it’s important to read with your child, they have a much different sense of it after coming here,” Madhuri said. “They get ideas for doing fun literacy and math activities at home, and get a better sense about why they should do so.”

Veronica Chavez’s daughter, who attends Lexington Elementary in Pomona, brought home a flyer about the event and was excited to attend.

“It’s nice because it’s a free event and the kids get to be with other kids and interact with them,” Chavez said. “Reading is knowledge. I tell them if they read, they’ll know a lot.”

Volunteers from La Verne as well as other local organizations helped check in families and pass out free snacks along with bags containing free books appropriate for the child’s grade level.

Melissa Candell, a student at Mt. San Antonio College, found out about the event on Facebook and participated to help promote math and literacy.

“When I was in grade school I don’t think reading and mathematics was emphasized enough,” Candell said. “For kids to have this opportunity at a young age means they are starting out their academic journeys on the right foot.”

As families waited for the day’s sessions to begin they were welcomed by La Verne President Dr. Devorah Lieberman and other key supporters of the event such as Webb Family Enterprises and Pomona Unified Superintendent Richard Martinez.


“Parents loved the presentations, felt welcome on campus, thought it was very well organized and run,” Madhuri said. “They like coming to campus–it’s the first time for many of them to be on a college campus, and this is one of my outcomes–that parents see that college can be a welcoming place to send their children.”

The day was filled with presentations about books, math and animal shows to engage the students and their families.

“Being a part of the event makes a big difference,” Junior Liberal Studies Major Gabrielle Cervantes said.

“I am absolutely thrilled with this year’s event,” Madhuri said. “I had a lot of student volunteers who really helped make it run smoothly, and look welcoming. I am grateful for our sponsors who donated a lot of money and time to make it so successful, and appreciate the teachers and principals from the schools who took so much time to help plan and promote the event, and encourage their families to attend.”

March 25, 2014 by University of La Verne

Six seconds. For many, six seconds may seem like a brief moment: a moment that is fleeting and easy to forget. However, for University of La Verne senior distance runner Lenore Moreno, six seconds will never be forgotten; Lenore broke an 11-year NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championship meet record by six seconds.

“Going into the meet, I had no idea what the record was, and I was hoping to come away with a simple win,” said Moreno. “I didn’t know that I was capable of breaking a record until I heard the announcer on the intercom say that if I pushed hard the record could be mine. So right then and there, I really wanted to win, and breaking the record would be an added bonus that would be really exciting.”

The 5,000-meter record from the 2003 Division III Indoor Championship was previously held by Geneseo State’s Melissa White with a time of 16:39.16.

Moreno’s winning time of 16:32.85 adds to her collection of All-American awards, putting her in the company of a select few in La Verne history. According to Athletics Communications Director Sean Lee, Moreno is the third female All-American at La Verne and fifth athlete overall for the Division III Indoor Championships.

“Lenore breaking the national meet record was impressive. There have been a number of excellent runners in Division III, but in the 30-year history of the meet, no one has done it faster” said assistant track and field coach Bryan George. “Six seconds may not seem like much, but is actually quite a large margin.”

Lenore has competed at indoor meets at Northern Arizona and Washington earlier this year, well as one or two indoor meets in past seasons. Nonetheless, this win also reaffirmed her passion for running, that this is the sport she loves the most.

“I’ve always wanted to achieve an NCAA title and that was the one goal missing, so to finally achieve it was an incredible feeling,” said Moreno. “There are hardly any words to explain it. Honestly, I just wanted to break down and cry right there because I couldn’t believe it. It’s a moment that I wish could have lasted longer; it was definitely unbelievable.”

From the academic to athletic aspects of her time on campus, she attributes her success to the positive environment found across the entire University.

“I feel that it’s a huge honor to be able to represent such a special group of student athletes at La Verne, and I’m very fortunate that the faculty, staff, and professors are all very supportive of me,” said Moreno. “My teammates are always rooting for me and they help me and pick me up when they know I’m struggling.”

She continued, “It’s just a very good environment and a great team atmosphere to be a part of, and I know I wouldn’t have been so successful if I didn’t have all the support from everybody.”

In addition to the well-rounded support received on campus, each Leopard athlete receives a unique training plan to prepare for meets, and Moreno says she has been training very hard for a long time. Coach George can also attest to that.

“Most people can relate to running a mile or two, but Lenore would typically run between 70 and 90 miles a week,” he said. “The plan is different for every runner, but she thrives on high mileage. Lenore has such a strong work ethic and is so determined; she makes my job as a coach pretty easy.”

He continued, “She entered the meet as the top-ranked girl in the 5K, but being ranked number one and actually winning are two totally different things. I was proud that she was able to come through on such a big stage.”
The training plan Moreno tackled was well-received, and she believes it definitely contributed to her indoor success.

“If my coach didn’t encourage me about that training routine, I never would have done that much on my own, and I never would have thought something like that much mileage would help me,” she said. “I just put all my trust and faith in my coach, and he told me ‘you’re capable of winning an indoor title as well as an outdoor one – you’re just going to have trust me and this training plan.’ So I did and I’m so grateful that the outcome was right. I owe a lot of credit to him.”

With the historic record behind her, Lenore is doing everything but forgetting it.

“It’s something I’m never going to forget, and I feel that it gave me a boost of confidence in all aspects of my life, not just in running. If I want something, I know I can work hard and achieve it,” she said.

Up next for Moreno is the 2014 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship, which will take place in May at Ohio Wesleyan University.

She is using her win as motivation and is focusing on training even more as she hopes to win an outdoor title as well.

“The record is kind of an added pressure with other teams being on the lookout and knowing, but I feel like I can turn that around into motivation and use it as energy to hopefully achieve it again,” said Moreno. “That would be great.”