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 http://aprincessandhergarden.com/

The Relating Game http://therelatinggame.com/

Leadership Coaching & Consulting http://jennifervanhomer.com/ 

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 http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sharon-woodlief-ba-ma-phd/3/84b/8ab

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.

Featured Antioch Graduate Melinda Kincaid is Passionate about Psychology

This month we feature Antioch University Santa Barbara graduate Melinda Kincaid (M.A. Class of 2008) in our spotlight on alumni.

Melinda Kincaid's passion for psychology stems from her belief in establishing a therapeutic bond in the working relationship between client and therapist. She has four years of experience in working interpersonally in the object relations, family systems, and experiential therapies.

Kincaid began her journey into the study of psychology with an interest in human behavior. She was intrigued with learning about how the brain works and why we do what we do. Kincaid learned that human behavior is varied and diverse, but there are certain commonalities. She found herself drawn to psychology in general from the need to grow personally. To learn more, understand and be content with herself were part of her goals and studies. Lastly, Melinda Kincaid knew that she wanted to help others.

When asked about her experience at AUSB, Melinda Kincaid said:

"My Antioch experience was wonderful. They make it a priority not only to educate you, but also to prepare you for actually doing the job when you are done with the academics. Self-awareness, examination, and growth are also important aspects to the Antioch education. Especially in this profession, as a licensed marriage and family therapist, it is essential to challenge and know yourself very well."

Melinda shares this message on WHY she chose to attend Antioch University Santa Barbara:

"I chose Antioch SB for a few reasons. I wanted a very experiential program experience and Antioch Santa Barbara offered that. Also, the accelerated program and schedule worked for me. I was able to attend without having to move from my home in San Luis Obispo, given the one day/week with some weekends class schedule. The Antioch staff and philosophy offers a very well rounded educational experience."

Mrs. Kincaid is married to her husband, Aaron who is supportive and loving. The two met in high school and were married nine years later in Yosemite, Ca. Having lost both of her parents, Kincaid credits her husband for helping her stay grounded and balanced. The Kincaids recently welcomed the birth of their son, Aden. Since then Melinda has become adamant about living sustainably and consciously with respect to the planet.

Melinda enjoys spending time in nature: camping, running, hiking, biking, swimming, snowboarding, dance and Bikram yoga. Her volunteer work has included working with at risk youth, informing and inspiring them toward higher education (EAOP). She has also worked with children on their literacy and social skills in JumpStart.

Melinda Kincaid, MA, LMFT provides individuals, couples and family therapy. She specializes in relationship issues, trauma/PTSD and adolescents. For more information on this Antioch Alumni please visit her Psychology Today profile.

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: http://www.antiochsb.edu/courses-and-programs

AUSB hosts Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Networking Event

Antioch University Santa Barbara will host the Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce business networking mixer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on September 22 on the school’s roof top patio at the new campus at 602 Anacapa St. The mixer is a kick-off for Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, announced AUSB Trustee and Chamber President Luis Villegas.

Also at the mixer, businesses who join the Hispanic Chamber will reap the benefits of SBcoupons.com, a free website that provides discounts for a variety of South Coast companies. Joining the chamber will mean $100 off SBcoupons.com service, a free business website and free TV ads. The cost for the mixer is $5 for chamber members and $10 for nonmembers. Food and beverages will be served. For more information, call (805) 233-3690 or visit www.sbhcc.org.

Antioch Alumni Graduates and Organizational Professionals – Steve and Sara Caputo

Today we feature not one but two Antioch University Santa Barbara graduates – Steve and Sara Caputo! The couple met while attending AUSB in pursuit of their Master’s Degrees through our Academic Programs.

Steve Caputo, Class of 1997 graduated with a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management. Since his graduation Steve has been on the adjunct teaching faculty of Antioch Santa Barbara. He is known for engaging his students in experiential learning and drawing from his own professional experience. Steve is a dynamic and creative management professional with over twenty five years of experience in organizational management, corporate training, team building, and facilitation. He calls his style of training methodology, “entertrainment” (a combination of training and entertainment).

Mr. Caputo currently holds the position of Manager of Organizational Development for Cottage Health System (Cottage Hospital). Of his position at Cottage Steve said, “I feel like I get the opportunity to not just make a difference in the organization but within the community every day.”

Owner of Radiant Organizing and established productivity coach, Sara Caputo (who was recently profiled on the AUSB blog) received her M.A. in Organizational Psychology in 2003. Sara published her first book this year, “The Productivity Puzzle: What’s Your Missing Piece?”. Mrs. Caputo uses the book in her employee trainings which helps guide the clientele toward creating workflow systems and building on strengths. Sara assists a wide spectrum of organizations and people, including large corporations, non-profit groups, small businesses, independent contractors, educational institutions, financial advisors, and residential clients. Her consulting work ranges from speaking seminars, to time management and priority setting trainings. Sara Caputo also contributes a column in the Santa Barbara News-Press called the Productivity Corner.

Steve and Sara live in Santa Barbara and are actively involved in the community. The couples greatest creation are their two sons, Benjamin (3.5 years old) and Zack (6 months old).

When asked about their decision to attend Antioch University Santa Barbara, The Caputo’s said:

Steve, “I wanted to make a change from finance & accounting to organizational development. I looked at many different programs and chose Antioch because of the program flexibility and content.”

Sara, “I had heard about Antioch from many people in the community when I started thinking about getting my masters degree, so I toured it, met with a few professors to assess whether it was right for me and immediately loved the feel of it, so I enrolled. Steve was a friend at the time and really encouraged me to go to Antioch, so this was and continues to be a really nice common bond that we share in our life.”

Steve and Sara share how their AUSB education has helped them with career and life goals:

Sara, “Antioch helped me to grow up in a way that I didn’t recognize that I needed at the time, but looking back now I know it was where I was meant to be on many levels. The care of the instructors, the personal relationships developed and the ability to create my own path and forge ahead into the next level of my life was integral.”

Steve, “I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing had it not been for stopping what I was doing and starting something new.  An important practice in my life is meditation and journaling, which I try to do daily. Before Sara and I got married I took a solo camping trip and brought my stack of journals to read. As I was reading through countless entries I found one that was written about 2 years before I went to Antioch that said, “Today I talked to someone that is doing what I want to do…he teaches at a university and does organizational development for an organization” as I read it I thought to myself…“Wow – that’s exactly what I am doing!” So I tell people – be careful of what you dream…because you will get it.”

The Caputo’s shares this message to prospective students of Antioch University Santa Barbara:

Sara, “Come ready to “claim your education”! As with anything you will get out of it what you put in. I put a lot into my education and still hold the professors, the classes, the high level people that I met along the way near and dear to my heart.”

Steve, “I would agree with what Sara said and add that one of the greatest things about Antioch is that it allows you to have flexibility within the structure. So create your own path…one that fits and works for you. Don’t limit yourself to what is in the course catalogue; create your own path within the boundaries.”

Read more about the Antioch Santa Barbara Difference.

For more information on Steve Caputo, M.A. visit http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-caputo. To find Sara Caputo, M.A. Radiant Organizing on the web go to radiantorganizing.com and theproductivitypuzzle.com (e-Book).

Read more AUSB featured Alumni stories.

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.

Antioch Graduate Tamie Beeman-Gangloff Facilitates Healing as an Eating Disorder Specialist

Tamie Beeman-Gangloff, M.A. in Clinical Psychology Class of 2009, often refers to herself as “The Wounded Healer” after having overcome her own battles with an eating disorder. Tamie’s approach in helping others recover is eclectic, one that includes work on relationship and personality issues, cognitive behavior, and feminist perspective.

The Antioch University Santa Barbara 2009 Graduate received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. Since her graduation, Tamie has been working with men, women and adolescents in treatment for severe eating disorders in an inpatient and outpatient level. Tamie Beeman-Gangloff  also has experience in treating clients with substance abuse, sexual identity issues, and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

As a “recovered professional”, who leads her practice in Pennsylvania, Ms. Beeman-Gangloff has facilitated many scale bashing events. These events inspires clients to do away with the negativity associated with the numbers on the bathroom scale. Tamie ensures a safe environment where clients can began the healing process through discussion and action. Women bring in clothing articles and even food scales. Hammers are provided for the bashing!

When asked about her experience at Antioch University Santa Barbara, Tamie Beeman-Gangloff said:

“I chose Antioch because of the small classroom environment and the focus on the experiential process. Antioch focuses on what is important – the true experience with the client – face to face, learning the detailed skills that you cannot learn from a book. We didn’t focus on memorizing material for tests, but we were pushed to the limit to study cases and come up with the best treatment for our clients. The education was also of a very personal nature – forcing us to look inward and to rediscover ourselves. Of course, it is a requirement to attend therapy while in the program, however – with each new class and subject, I started to look more at myself and began to grow and change more personally and professionally. The teachers at Antioch helped to provide a safe environment for learning and self-exploration.”

Read more about the Antioch Santa Barbara Difference.

Tamie shares this message of her own self-growth for prospective students of Antioch University Santa Barbara:

“I was referred to as a wounded healer due to my own personal recovery and experiences. As you can see from my website – this is an identity I have grown into. In school, we learn that self-disclosure is to be very limited and focused on what will help the client. I do this but in a more personal way. All of my clients know that I am in recovery – I feel that this helps us to connect and relate to one another on a level that could not otherwise be facilitated. My own pain and healing has become one of my tools for helping others.”

Tamie Beeman-Gangloff, M.A., provides individual, group and family therapy. Her treatment is very individualized for each client. For more information on this Antioch Alumni please visit http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tamie-gangloff


Antioch University Receives Top Honor for Community Service

USA Today has named Antioch University one of the “Top 20 Colleges Most Committed to Community Service,” the second such major honor the college has received this year.

USA Today, the second largest circulation newspaper in the nation, cited Antioch in a July 2011 report it released on its web site in partnership with OnlineColleges, a leading internet education service. The report highlighted Antioch University’s service projects locally, around the country, and throughout the world, calling it “one of the more inspiring schools” in the U.S. for its community activities.
The honor follows the national recognition Antioch University received in May 2011, when the college was admitted to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, for the strong institutional commitment and support of its campuses for volunteerism, service learning and community partnerships that produce measurable results.
Dr. Nancy Leffert, President of Antioch University Santa Barbara (AUSB), said she was proud of the honors because they reflect the emphasis the institution places on community service as a core element of its educational philosophy.

“Civic engagement is a key component of our educational values and deeply-held philosophy,” said Dr. Leffert. “We teach our students the importance of service learning in the classroom and the community. Being recognized as an educational institution for our service commitment is especially meaningful to us.”

Locally, Antioch University Santa Barbara collaborates with non-profit organizations, community programs and businesses, including the Fund for Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, around the region’s issues of importance. Students connect with community groups and leaders through service learning that includes internships, practica and independent studies, plus a social justice film series and a lecture series on environmental issues. Antioch is one of the few universities in the U.S. to award academic credit for learning gained outside of the classroom.
AUSB has offered quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs locally for 34 years. All AUSB students are required to participate in community service, serving locally on average one year in schools and more than 100 social service agencies and non-profit organizations. Experiential learning opportunities are created both in the classroom as well as in the community through internships, practica, and independent studies. AUSB is also one of the growing number of universities in the U.S. to award academic credit for prior learning gained outside of the classroom, earned for example in the military, corporate training and other non-classroom settings.
Antioch University serves more than 4,000 adult students around the world and across the country, online and at its five campuses in four states. Each campus offers degree programs that meet—and often anticipate—the pressing needs of its region and the wider world. The University is also home to the landmark PhD in Leadership and Change; Antioch Education Abroad, an exceptional opportunity of immersive service and study programs; and WYSO, a leading public radio affiliate and an essential source of global news and opinion.
AUSB is particularly distinguished with its unique undergraduate degree completion program in liberal studies and graduate master’s and doctoral programs in clinical psychology and education that integrate students’ academic experience and experiential learning. Additionally, students in all of AUSB’s programs can specialize in relevant and applied specialized concentrations. OnlineColleges offers features, news items and trivia about college traditions, campus life, and practical tips for thriving at school. Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the presidential Honor Roll, admitted colleges and universities on the basis of their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at risk youth. “Congratulations to Antioch University and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick A. Corvington, Chief Executive Officer of CNCS. “We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service.”

Antioch Graduate James Kyriaco Excels in Local Leadership

This week we feature Antioch University Santa Barbara graduate James Kyriaco (BA Class of 2009), a fundraising and management consultant, in our spotlight on alumni.

James Kyriaco knows how to 'keep it local' with thirteen years of experience and success in managing political campaigns in the Santa Barbara community.

The Antioch University Santa Barbara 2009 graduate received his Bachelor of Liberal Studies with an Area of Concentration in Social Services Administration paving the way for James to climb the ranks in the political world and help many candidates win victories in elections.

Mr. Kyriaco was born and raised in Santa Barbara. He attended Santa Barbara High School and completed coursework at Santa Barbara City College. James has held many leadership positions with a number of non-profit organizations including the Santa Barbara Family Care Center (President, Vice President), Goleta Valley Historical Society (Executive Director), Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County, Citizens Planning Association, and the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons (Board Member).

James Kyriaco has consulted for numerous political clients ranging from County Supervisor Janet Wolf, Santa Barbara School Board Trustee Monique Limon to Goleta Mayor Margaret Connell, former Santa Barbara Councilmembers Roger Horton and Brian Barnwell, and Goleta Water District President Bill Rosen.

James has also been active in serving the Santa Barbara community through his work on the Santa Barbara County Historic Landmarks Advisory Committee, and as a former longtime member of the City of Santa Barbara Community Development and Human Services Commission.

When asked about his experience at Antioch University Santa Barbara, James Kyriaco said:

"I chose Antioch University because it offers a flexible schedule, strong faculty, and proven commitment to social justice through examination of individual and organizational behavior. I especially appreciated Antioch's powerful online learning tools, and its recognition of the value of experiential learning."

Read more about the Antioch Santa Barbara Difference.

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

"My experience at Antioch was transformative, and impacts the way I look at the world around me every day. The instructors offer "real world" as well as academic knowledge, and their commitment to students is top notch. Many of the students are very accomplished as well, and the seminar format of many classes offers opportunities to learn from the student body as well as the instructor. The online platforms used at Antioch are technologically advanced, intuitive and complement the classroom and experiential elements of the curriculum."

Mr. Kyriaco has just completed a Master's Degree program in Public Administration through California State University, Northridge. James lives with his wife Angie (also an Antioch University Alumni) in Goleta, along with their cat, Guiseppe. For more information on James Kyriaco visit his profile at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/james-kyriaco-jr/a/967/11

Read more AUSB featured Alumni stories

Featured AUSB Graduate Conrad Torres is a Career and Life Coach

Conrad Torres believes in living life to the fullest and staying healthy both physically and mentally. His passion is to help others reach full potential in their professional and personal lives.

The Antioch University Santa Barbara graduate received his Master's Degree in Organizational Management in 2008. Conrad serves the local community with his work as the founder of TLC (Total Life Coaching). Conrad Torres specializes in career and life renewal coaching. Directing professional and personal potential, Conrad aids people of all ages in filling their lives and businesses full of purpose and passion. He draws on his counseling and organizational management experience to help clients find and clarifying their current life purpose and vision, then taking what is identified and make it a reality through a structured process of resourceful discovery.
When asked about his experience at Antioch University Santa Barbara, Conrad Torres said:
"I chose Antioch for a number of reasons. I actually had a very polished academic record throughout my schooling and could have gone to almost any University of my choosing, but after visiting several different campuses, I couldn't compare them to the feeling I felt while visiting the Antioch campus. First off, it wasn't a HUGE campus, where you needed a road map to find every building."

"It was personal, quiet, manageable and more importantly, I didn't feel like a small ant lost in a maze, but more like an elephant walking amongst the herd. That feeling was my assurance that I could learn as much as possible if I put in the effort. The sky was the limit at this University and I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity."

"I can still recall the first day of orientation meeting my new classmates one by one as they arrived on campus. I do admit I was a little nervous at first, but as I got to know each and every one of them, I felt a sense of calm, like I had known my fellow cohorts since childhood. From that first day, I was part of a family and have remained a part of that family ever since."
Conrad shares this message for prospective students of Antioch University Santa Barbara:
"It's been several of years since I graduated from Antioch and I still find myself going back to visit the faculty and staff from time to time."

"I am always recommending the University to friends and family members who are interested in continuing their education. All of my friends and family know that I not only received my B.A. from Antioch, but also my M.A. I learned so much and had the opportunity to interact act with so many people from all walks of life during my B.A. program, that there was no question in my mind about where to go for my graduate degree. Even after a two year break from receiving my B.A., I still felt Antioch was the one and only choice for me."

"As I'm sitting here, I am reminiscing about all the fun I had while obtaining both of my degrees. It was truly an experience like no other. As human beings, we are constantly evolving by learning new ways of doing things and that's exactly what Antioch challenges you to do. The professors don’t just go through the so-called “motions,” they challenge you to think outside of the box. They give you the necessary tools to not only better yourself, but also those around you and because of that, I feel the Antioch experience rivals even the most prestigious Universities." 


Karen Cator Speaks in Santa Barbara on Transforming Education with Technology

Antioch University Santa Barbara is proud to host Karen Cator, the Obama Administration's Director of Educational Technology, US Department of Education. Cator's address to the Santa Barbara community is titled Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology, and the event was held on Wednesday, March 2, 6:00 – 7:30 pm, at the Canary Hotel.

Karen Cator has been instrumental in shaping the Obama administration's vision of 21st century opportunities for students using technology to transform teaching and learning. She has been a leading voice at the intersection of education policy and research, emerging technologies, and the reality faced by teachers, students and administrators. Prior to joining the Department of Education, Ms. Cator directed Apple's leadership and advocacy efforts in education. She has been a leading voice at the intersection of education policy and research, emerging technologies, and the reality faced by teachers, students and administrators.

KEYT "Key News" Channel 3 was on the scene to cover the event – Here is the News Story on Karen Cator's visit to Santa Barbara.

Below is a video from the evenings presentation.

The event is a continuation of AUSB’s community collaboration surrounding the presidential inauguration of Dr. Nancy Leffert.

New President, New Era for AUSB

AUSB is proud to announce President Nancy Leffert was inaugurated on February 26, 2011. Watch the inauguration ceremony to hear Dr. Leffert's vision for a new era at AUSB and integral role in the Santa Barbara community.

Dr. Leffert’s inaugural comes at a time of dramatic change for AUSB. As resources for public education continue to decline, the 34-year old institution is moving aggressively to strengthen its curriculum and faculty, to revitalize its governance and leadership and to upgrade its physical facilities to better serve the rapidly changing needs of its students and the community.

The formal academic installation of Dr. Leffert is the first in a month-long series of public events hosted by AUSB that will highlight the theme of her inaugural – “access, engage, and collaborate.”

"Antioch has an important role to play in providing access to educational dreams. Students tell us they want and need flexibility," said Dr. Leffert in her inaugural address. "I am determined to ensure that motivated and qualified students have increased access to that transformative education experience."

Dr. Leffert had been Provost and Chief Executive Officer of AUSB for only three months when was asked to step into the role of Chief Executif Officer in 2009. She quickly met the challenge of her new role, and the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint her president as of July 2010.

Prior to joining AUSB as its top administrator, President Leffert was the Associate Dean for Student Services and Program Evaluation in the School of Psychology at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara. She is a nationally-known scholar of adolescent development, known particularly for her work delineating factors that contribute to the positive development of young people. One aspect of this work was the creation of the Developmental Assets framework, which is currently used across the country in over 500 communities as a tool to help mobilize around raising healthy children and adolescents. In addition to her lengthy list of published books and scientific articles, President Leffert has authored many reports and technical manuals, and has frequently been invited to give scholarly and community presentations.

“Dr. Leffert was unanimously selected by the Antioch University Santa Barbara Board of Trustees to become the new President,” said Victoria Riskin, chair of the AUSB Board of Trustees, noting the new president’s 35 years of experience in research, social service and higher education administration. The Trustees cited her impressive academic background, dynamic energy and passionate commitment to the growth of our campus in pledging their full and enthusiastic support.”

READ:  Noozhawk.com published Dr. Leffert's op-ed piece titled "A Vision for Antioch University Santa Barbara."

Many thanks to the Santa Barbara Independent and Journalist Avery Hardy for her piece on AUSB's Inauguration titled "Springtime at Antioch" – University Elects Nancy Leffert as New President to Usher in a New Era.

Local News coverage of the Inauguration and colorful photos of the event were featured on Noozhawk.com in an article by contributing writer, Sonia Fernandez titled "Nancy Leffert Puts Own Touch on Inauguration as Antioch University's New President"

WATCH:  Hosts Cathy Murillo and David Pritchett of the "Off-Leash Public Affairs" Program on Cable TV 17 & 21: The Santa Barbara Channels, documented the AUSB Inauguration Event at the Museum of Natural History with video footage and an interview with Dr. Nancy Leffert.

LISTEN:  The University of California at Santa Barbara's Radio Station, KCSB 91.9-FM ran two news-story's covering the AUSB Inauguration and an Interview with Dr. Nancy Leffert. 

Here is the link to the full podcast: http://www.kcsb.org/news/kcsb-community-news-march-1-2011

Dr. Nancy Leffert was interviewed on the Mark Macintire, “Minds That Matter” Radio Program. She explains her vision for Antioch Santa Barbara's future and her philosophy of education.

To hear the interview click on the link: