AUSB Celebrates Opening of New Downtown Campus

Antioch University Santa Barbara celebrated the opening and dedication of its new downtown campus located at 602 Anacapa, at the corner of Anacapa and Cota streets. Over 200 guests attended the event that including remarks from Victoria Risken, AUSB Trustee’s Chair, Tom Parker, Hutton Parker Foundation, Bob Kupic, campus architect and designer, Helene Schnieder, Santa Barbara City Mayor, and Dr. Nancy Leffert, AUSB President.

In Ms. Riskins opening remarks she said that nothing was more meaningful than Antioch’s “mission to educate young people and contribute to the community.” Tom Parker discussed the importance of the partnership between the Hutton Parker Foundation and AUSB and went on to say, “Yes, they educate their kids, but what they really do is teach them to engage the community, because that’s what they do.” Bob Kupiec discussed his creative thought-process behind his designs, for the 30,000-square-foot campus and 18 classrooms. “A wonderful piece of architecture cannot be created without a visionary partner,” stated Kupiec. “Nancy, Vicki, you are partners an architect dreams of.”

Nancy Leffert then took center stage to praise and thank all of the individuals and organizations for their help and dedication to this project. “To be here tonight is rather unbelievable,” Leffert said with emotion. “And it is the result of the work of many people who believe in the work and core values of this special education institution.”

Congresswoman Lois Capps had visited the new campus a few weeks ago, and described it as the “gateway to Santa Barbara.” “If I may use Congresswoman Capp’s words,” said Leffert with a smile, “I think that our new campus will serve as a gateway to new lives.”

Leffert then led Santa Barbara City Mayor Helene Schnieder to where the official ribbon cutting ceremony would take place, in front of the donor recognition wall located in lobby entrance of the building. Mayor Schnieder praised the work of AUSB and the importance of it to the Santa Barbara community. Both women were smiling and laughing as Leffert handed Schneider the over-sized dedication scissors to cut the large orange ribbon, symbolizing the official opening and dedication of the new university campus.

Antioch University Names Ms. Felice Nudelman Chancellor

On July 1, Antioch University will welcome its 5th chancellor. In a unanimous decision, the Antioch University Board of Governors has appointed Ms. Felice Nudelman to succeed Dr. Toni Murdock who announced her retirement last November.

Felice Nudelman is the Executive Director of Education for The New York Times Company where she is responsible for developing and overseeing education initiatives, including The New York Times Knowledge Network. She has helped lead the strategic thinking and implementation of their national and international education programs. She also led the development of a business model in e-Learning that includes collaboration with colleges and universities to create and deliver on-line courses.

Antioch’s long-standing commitment to social justice and the common good resonated with Ms. Nudelman, who has a deep appreciation for the quality of education Antioch University provides its adult learners, both inside and outside the classroom. “I am thrilled to join a community that has such exceptional faculty and academic programs like the PhD in Leadership and Change, and I am honored to serve Antioch during this next phase of development,” said Nudelman.

Before joining The New York Times, Ms. Nudelman served as executive director for Pace University’s School of Education, receiving Pace’s Outstanding Contribution award for her work. In her work with faculty, students, and administration at Bloomfield College, Ms. Nudelman’s leadership as associate dean of academic affairs led to increased focus on student-centered services and faculty support, gaining Bloomfield a national award in the area of academic advising.

Ms. Nudelman is known for her significant experience in national and international initiatives and excellent relationship-building skills.

In 2007, she led the creation of The New York Times Knowledge Network, a service that works collaboratively with colleges and universities in the design and delivery of e-learning courses and certificates. An innovative partnership, the Network worked successfully with the Texas Education Agency to launch Project Share in 2010.  Project Share is a learning community initiative which offers professional development programming to the 400,000 teachers and four million K-12 students across Texas (

Mr. Art Zucker and Dr. Charlotte Roberts, members of the Board of Governors and co-chairs of the search committee, expressed their excitement with the outcome of the committee’s work.  “I am extremely proud of the process we followed.  It was inclusive and collaborative, garnering input through various forums from the faculty, administration, staff, and our boards,” said Zucker, who also serves as the board’s vice chair. “Felice is clearly a creative thinker with proven strategic, organizational, and interpersonal skills.”

“We had a truly impressive pool of candidates in this search, and all of us feel a deep sense of satisfaction with the outcome,” said Roberts, president of an executive consulting firm whose work in systems and leadership extends to boards. “With representatives from all sectors of the University present around the table, we collaborated with one goal in mind and that was to select a leader who will take this institution to the next level and beyond. Ms. Nudelman’s track record for identifying opportunities and mentoring teams for successful implementation align perfectly with the challenges Antioch University faces.”

In 2003, Nudelman partnered with The American Association of State Colleges and Universities to launch the American Democracy Project, a multi-campus initiative involving more than 240 institutions focused on higher education’s role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens for our democracy (

She has brought her insights and wisdom to her service on the Board of Trustees for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), and as a board member of Epsilen LLC, the Education Writers Association, NYU-Poly Enterprise Learning Board, and SXSWedu Advisory Council.  She is also a member of the College Board Innovation Advisory Board, has served on the University of North Texas Board of Visitors, and was Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors for The National Teachers Hall of Fame.

An alumna of the 1995 Harvard Management Development Program, Ms. Nudelman obtained her B.A. in Fine Arts and Philosophy from Allegheny College, and her M.F.A. from the Pratt Institute.

Chancellor Murdock, who has known Felice since they served on the CAEL Board together, is pleased with the Board’s selection of the next chancellor.  “Felice’s enthusiasm for Antioch’s core values – excellence in teaching and learning, nurturing student achievement, supporting scholarship and service, a commitment to social engagement, and building and serving inclusive communities – will serve the system well. This University is in good hands.”

A native of New Jersey, Ms. Nudelman will make her new home in southwest Ohio.

For additional information please contact:

Lynda Sirk, Director of University Communications
Antioch University
O 937.769.1222
C  614.394.4070

Leadership Coach, Speaker, Author, Alumni: Jennifer Van Homer, Class of 2003

This month we feature Antioch University Santa Barbara graduate Jennifer Van Homer (B.A. Class of 2003) in our spotlight on alumni.

Jennifer Van Homer, BS, MSC, CHIC firmly believes that excellence in leadership is crucial in order to address organizational challenges and create sustainable change. Jennifer works with leaders and organizations to increase their personal and professional effectiveness by bringing their actions into alignment with their most important commitments and goals.

One of Jennifer's goals was making time to complete her Bachelor's Degree. She entered Antioch University Santa Barbara in 2000, working as a full-time professional with two children as well. It was at Antioch that Van Homer gained the knowledge and experience of working with others that led her to her current position as a Master Somatic coach, trainer and organizational consultant. She uses sound principles and practices of adult development and somatic awareness.

Van Homer graduated from Antioch University Santa Barbara, in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with an emphasis in Business. Her interest in the well being of young people led her to co-create a leadership program for youth at the Strozzi Institute in Petaluma, California. In addition to being a Master Somatic Coach she is also a certified Hudson Institute Coach.

Jennifer is a sought after leadership coach, author and speaker. Before becoming a coach she worked extensively in Human Resources Leadership, including ten years at Patagonia, a local maker of outdoor clothing, apparel and gear for climbing. She contributed to the formation of the unique corporate culture at Patagonia.

When asked about WHY she chose AUSB to claim her education, Jennifer Van Homer said: 

"I chose Antioch because it offered me the flexibility I needed to complete my degree being the mother of two children and working full-time!"

Read more about the Antioch Santa Barbara Difference.

Jennifer shares this message for prospective students of Antioch University Santa Barbara: 

"Antioch is a great place to expand your perspectives and learn to coordinate and collaborate with others. The teachers are fantastic and the learning environment is fun and challenging. I was a student in the weekend program which required a lot of collaboration with my cohort. It was a great experience and taught me a lot about teaming. It’s great to be in an adult learning environment and to be in a place that invites the whole student!"

Jennifer Van Homer lives in Santa Barbara, where she enjoys spending time with her two children and yellow Labrador. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, surfing and skiing. Jennifer recently released the book "A Princess and Her Garden – A Fable of Awakening and Arrival" co-written with her mother, Patricia R. Adson, Ph.D. Van Homer is also the co-author of "The Relating Game: 96 Ways to Sustain Passion Over Time", which is a deck of cards designed to stimulate conversation and emotional intimacy with your partner. For more information on this Antioch Alumni please visit her websites at:

A Princess and Her Garden

The Relating Game

Leadership Coaching & Consulting 

Lifelong Learner: Sharon Woodlief, Class of 2005

This month we feature Antioch University Santa Barbara graduate Sharon Woodlief (M.A. Class of 2005) in our spotlight on alumni.

Sharon Woodlief's interest in lifelong learning began in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After moving to Santa Barbara to pursue a graduate study program in Political Science she found herself drawn to Psychology.

Sharon researched graduate programs that could provide a course of study that was rigorous yet consistent with her personal philosophy of Social Justice and Experiential Learning. Once she found Antioch University Santa Barbara, Sharon knew she would be on the right course both academically and personally (an added bonus was the University was located around the corner from where she lived downtown).

Woodlief graduated from Antioch University Santa Barbara, in 2005 with a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. The photo is of Sharon Woodlief from her graduation from Louisiana State University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree. It was significant time for her as it was at that graduation that she confirmed her objective to go to graduate school and ultimately find a path that would allow Sharon to continue to enrich her life as well as to encourage Ms. Woodlief to appreciate the world around her.
When asked about her experience at AUSB, Sharon Woodlief said:

"My classes at Antioch consisted of an array of diverse students, and the class environments were open to allowing all of those hungry and thoughtful scholars to think and challenge one another as well as being encouraged to challenge the brilliant faculty. I felt my knowledge base grow academically because the faculty was prepared to teach with skill and competence. Moreover, I felt my sense of intellect and self-confidence intensify, as I applied theories and ideas not only in my school work but in my community, and even with my family and friends."

Sharon shares this message for prospective students of Antioch University Santa Barbara:

"There is so much that I learned at Antioch that I still find myself routinely recalling themes and lessons, and in all manner of circumstances in my life. That is what education at Antioch is: taking what is learned in the classroom and applying what is learned throughout one’s life."

Since graduating from Antioch Santa Barbara in 2005, Woodlief has gone on to earn a Ph.D. in Education from the UCSB, with an emphasis in educational leadership and organizations. Her dissertation research was focused on multicultural awareness education. Sharon worked in Admissions at Fielding Graduate University’s School of Psychology. It was there that she began work with Antioch University Santa Barbara’s current President, Dr. Nancy Leffert
Sharon Woodlief is an Editor at Out of the Woods Publishing, Inc. She has just finished work on editing a novel titled: "The Farmhand" authored by former Louisiana correctional officer David Bruce. Woodlief's role in editing this tale on the psychology of people in the Louisiana prison system was based on her background in Clinical Psychology. Sharon Woodlief states, "When you see this book on the New York Times bestseller list and on the silver screen, you heard about it here first, from an Antioch Grad! I am so honored to have been chosen to participate in this work, and I am excited about what the future holds for me." For more information on this Antioch Alumni please visit her LinkedIn profile at

Antioch University and Santa Barbara City College Announce Collaborative Transfer Program

Antioch University Santa Barbara (AUSB) and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) will sign an official agreement on Wednesday, November 16, at 10:30 a.m. formalizing the unique transfer arrangement between the two institutions that signifies another benchmark in their maturing and developing relationship. The signing ceremony will take place at SBCC’s Luria Conference and Press Center at the top of La Playa Stadium on East campus at 721 Cliff Drive.

AUSB’s Bridge Program with SBCC permits SBCC students to transfer up to three years of college credit to AUSB, one full year more than is accepted in transfer units to most four-year colleges and universities. After transfer, students may need to complete as little as one year of study at Antioch in order to complete their BA degree.  The “80-40” program provides a cost-effective means of completing the college degree, allowing students to complete as many as 80 units at a community college and the remaining 40 credit hours at AUSB.  The Bridge program allows students to stay in Santa Barbara, rather than leave the area, to complete their bachelor’s degree.

SBCC’s Transfer Center and AUSB’s Office of Admissions work closely with these students in developing an academic transfer plan, including financial aid that best suits their needs. In addition to the Bridge Program, SBCC and Antioch have a Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) that ensures that qualified SBCC students are automatically guaranteed admission to any Antioch concentration.

 “Never before have community colleges and four-year colleges and universities needed to work more closely together to ensure that  students finish their lower-division studies, successfully transfer and complete their bachelors’ degrees,” said Dr. Jack Friedlander, Acting SBCC Superintendent/President. “Our evolving global economy has raised the bar substantially for students to acquire the skills and training needed to gain employment in jobs that pay competitive wages.”  He added, “SBCC and Antioch have a long-standing relationship of working together to best serve our students.  More than 50 percent of Antioch students in Santa Barbara have had some ties to SBCC, either through coursework or transfer.”
    “Intentional efforts must be made in order to increase access to higher education and these efforts must provide students the ability to fit their education into their busy lives. At a time of great economic uncertainty and severely constrained opportunities to transfer to four-year colleges and universities, collaborative efforts like this are responsive to the needs of our community, which is at the heart of our strategic partnership with SBCC,” said AUSB President Dr. Nancy Leffert. “By establishing the Bridge Program and guaranteed transfer admission agreement, Antioch and SBCC have stepped forward and demonstrated that these students are important. This innovative program accommodates the needs of students today.”

Cutbacks in the state and the increasing costs of public four-year institutions have reached an inflection point that makes the four-year-old Bridge Program much more viable.  SBCC and AUSB continue to strengthen their relationship and Antioch’s new location and new campus offer greater opportunities for collaboration between the two schools.

Background Santa Barbara City College
A public, two-year community college accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges , Santa Barbara City College currently enrolls more than 19,000 credit students and 12,400 non-credit  students each semester.  In 2011 SBCC was named one of the Top 10 Community Colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Award Program and one of the 101 Best Colleges for Veterans in 2010 by Military Times Edge Magazine. In 2009, the college celebrated its Centennial anniversary recognizing 100 years of service to the community.

Antioch Faculty Profile: Dr. Elizabeth Wolfson, Chair of the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology (MACP) Program

This week we feature Antioch University Santa Barbara Core Faculty Member: Dr. Elizabeth Wolfson, PhD, LCSW (Chair of the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology (MACP) program in our spotlight on AUSB.

Dr. Wolfson comes to Antioch after heading the Jewish Family Services in Santa Barbara as Director for the past nine years. Wolfson has been teaching for over nineteen years including her time as an instructor at AUSB and New York's Columbia University.

Elizabeth Wolfson has background experience in psychodynamic, humanistic-existential, narrative, and systemic theories. Highlights from her professional career range from creating an innovative intervention program for youth who are at risk with Holocaust survivors to work on issues of diversity and violence among youths to being one of the creators of Santa Barbara Village, a community-based membership organization focused on empowering older adults to live happily, healthfully, and successfully in their own homes as they age. 

Elizabeth received her PhD in Clinical Social Work from New York University School of Social Work. In addition to teaching and overseeing the traineeship of students in the MA in Clinical Psychology Program, Dr. Wolfson operates a private practice of psychotherapy in Santa Barbara. 

Dr. Elizabeth Wolfson answers the question "How is the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology (MACP) Program designed to set students up for success in the professional field?":

"We are an expanding yet relatively small program so that that the unique interests and needs of each one of our students is attended to by faculty and staff. Our class sizes remain small and our instructors are experienced, knowledgeable professionals most of whom are currently practicing in their fields. This means that what is current in professional practice is brought directly into the classroom along with live case material and extensive knowledge of the settings in which students themselves are placed for their learning. The academic program itself is carefully designed to prepare students for California state licensure as Marriage and Family Therapists so that, we have an impressive success rate for our graduates. Finally, because of our stellar reputation in the community, Antioch graduates are welcomed into community agencies and tend to be hired as clinicians who eventually grow their career paths as supervisors and managers as well as private practitioners."

When asked,"What do you think is the difference between Antioch University Santa Barbara and other universities?" Dr. Wolfson said:

"In addition to Antioch's standards for excellence and dedicated focus on supporting students' success, I see some essential differences between Antioch Santa Barbara and other universities which are the reasons I am proud to be affiliated with Antioch. Foremost among these is AUSB's commitment to social justice, not just in theory, but in the practice of embracing diversity, inclusivity and multiculturalism in all aspects of what happens here. Related to this, is the Antioch's rootedness within the community which sets it apart from other "Academic" institutions. This is reflected in ongoing collaborations with community organizations, educational programs reflective of the needs of our community and where students and alumni are significantly represented as professionals in organizations throughout the community. Finally, our commitment to a small group experiential education model, which we all know has been demonstrated to be the most effective means of learning,  provides a unique and memorable experience for our students."

Read more about the Antioch Santa Barbara Difference.

Elizabeth shares this message to prospective students looking to claim their education at AUSB:

"The opportunity to study at AUSB is a rare educational experience unlike any other. You would be most fortunate to have that opportunity for all of the reasons described above."

To learn more about Antioch's MA in Clinical Psychology Program and Academic Programs visit:

Antioch University Midwest President Comments on Higher-ed Costs in NY Times

Michael Fishbein, president of Antioch University Midwest, in a reply to an op-ed piece in the August 22 New York Times, wrote that "The main cost drivers in higher education are not the outsourcing of tuition management or the prepayment of tuition by wealthy families but the fact that its business model has been obsolete for decades." He goes on to recommend steps for reducing the costs of higher education. 

Fishbein was commenting on "The Hidden Costs of Higher Ed," by Noah S. Bernstein. Find the rest of his letter here.

We Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King

AUSB will be closed Saturday, January 14 through Monday, January 16  in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Day. The campus will be open on Tuesday, January 17.

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The “tide in the affairs of men” does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: “Too late.””

From a speech titled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” delivered by Dr. King, on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City.