Student News: David Lovato

2 02 2016

David LovatoRecently, David Lovato was appointed to the Santa Clara County Social Services Advisory Council!  Congratulations, David!

The mission of this Council is “to act in an advisory capacity to the Board of Supervisors by assessing community social service needs, providing policy guidance to the Board of Supervisors and the Social Services Agency, and establishing effective working relationships with community organizations concerned with social services in Santa Clara County.”

David is a leader in his many roles – at Job Corps, at Levi Stadium, and to his two five-year old sons.  He is a husband, an advocate active in creating career opportunities, a visionary who created the Job Corps “Career Closet” as his Human Services capstone project, and an energetic voice connecting people in ways that benefit the community.  We are proud that he has been part of the NDNU community at our Mission College campus and are certain that the Santa Clara County Social Services Advisory Council will deeply value his many talents and contributions.

Again, congratulations!

Senior Capstone Projects

14 01 2016

Congratulations to the following students who presented the results of their capstone projects last month.  We had a wonderful celebration, everyone awed at the results and the meaning that they brought to both the students involved and to the organizations with which they worked.

Senior Seminar F15

From left to right:  Jesus Castaneda, Sandra Villegas, Connie Ruiz, Madge Warren, Erin Davis, Kristin Dawson, Bianza Zaragoza, Lonnie Rouser, and Leah Glaister.  (Not pictured:  Bettie Citizen).

Jesus Castaneda created an awareness program for The Sequoias, Portal Valley. Employees at this Northern California Presbyterian Homes and Services site have new access to EAP (Employee Assistance Program) services.

Erin Davis raised money for the Art of Yoga Project, a non-profit organization in Palo Alto that uses yoga and creative arts to help girls with a history of trauma and incarceration move toward creating a new sense of self. She coordinated a partnership with a local yoga studio, Peacebank, and raised several hundred dollars to support the project by hosting several donation-based yoga classes.

Kristin Dawson developed a training program for a Social Skills class for developmentally disabled adults. According to her project sponsor, the classes were full and had “full and enthusiastic participation,” which met project goals. In addition, her project sponsor said that Kristin’s positive outlook caused the staff to project her enthusiasm, reinforcing class goals. Her sponsor credits “the clear class outline and spirit [Kristin] has… brought to the group” and said that she is “delighted and grateful.”

Leah Glaister created free publicity for the Pomeroy Recreation and Rehabilitation Center, executing a Visibility Campaign that gathered client stories for use in social media, news publications, government reports, and donor appeals. Her sponsors reported that “we are delighted with the outcome of [this] project… the writing is excellent, lively and descriptive, and portrays our clients with dignity and respect.”

Connie Ruiz did a fundraising drive to assist Middle and High School students at Realm Charter School in Berkeley who aspire to travel to Hollywood for an upcoming musical competition. Thanks to the efforts Connie coordinated with parents, teachers, and the community, the school will be able to send approximately 40 students to this competition.

Madge Warren partnered with the McHenry House family shelter in Tracy on a project titled, “Hope Chest for Transitioning Families.” Through it, she began distributing household essentials to families transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. Pastor Clint Yandris, of Faith Tabernacle Church in Tracy, CA, said gratefully that, “so many churches in the area assist with providing meals… no one has previously thought of providing monthly household essentials.”

Sandra Villegas worked with CORA, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those affected by domestic violence. Her project involved raising money to purchase car seats for families in need.

Bianca Zaragoza worked with a youth group at an East Bay Catholic parish to raise funds to help send young people from an East Palo Alto parish to World Youth Day in the summer of 2016. This ongoing effort saw remarkable results during the official project and is well-projected to continue its positive work in the new year.

Alum in the News: The Grateful Garment Project

8 01 2016

TGGP3Human Services grad Lisa Blanchard and the organization that originated as her senior capstone project made the front page of the San Jose Mercury News recently, highlighting the important work that they do to support the victims of sexual assault.  Congratulations to Lisa, her son William Cotter (Human Services), and other recent graduates (Zita Agazzi, Lisa Swanson) who have supported this project with their talent and expertise!  Such important, wonderful work…

The article can be found here.

Image courtesy

Happy Holidays!

21 12 2015

Happy Holidays

We hope that you and your families have a wonderful holiday season,full of relaxation, joy, and fun!

NDNU will be closed from December 24 to January 4.  Classes for Spring Term I begin on January 19.  If you have any questions, need to register for spring classes, or want more information, feel free to contact us and we’ll return emails as soon as possible:

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The Power of Gratitude

26 11 2015

Thank you 2

Happy Thanksgiving!  We hope that you are enjoying a day of rest and of joy, however you celebrate.  We are grateful to each one of you for your many contributions in the classroom and are awed by the many things that you do within the organizations at which you work, in your families, and in the community.  We know that the very best thing about our programs is you, the students who are in them.

On the theme of gratitude, this short blog post about the value of gratitude within organizations is especially appropriate.  It includes this excerpt about research about gratitude that was done at USC:

“…grateful brains showed enhanced activity in two primary regions: the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). These areas have been previously associated with emotional processing, interpersonal bonding and rewarding social interactions, moral judgment, and the ability to understand the mental states of others…

In other words, gratitude isn’t merely about reward—and doesn’t just show up in the brain’s reward center. It involves morality, connecting with others, and taking their perspective.”

In other words, being grateful is an act of social justice and relates direcctly to NDNU’s Hallmarks and mission!  The whole post is called, “On Thanksgiving, Remember the Connecting Power of Gratitude at Work” and it is a good (short) read  that can be found at the hyperlink.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving. Know that we are deeply grateful for YOU!

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Ask An Advisor: What is CLEP?

19 11 2015

ask-an-advisor1“Have you CLEPped any classes?” your adviser asks.  What is CLEP?

CLEP stands for “College Level Examination Program.”  It is administered by the college board and billed as “the most widely trusted credit-by-examination program for over 40 years, accepted by 2,900 colleges and universities….  This rigorous program allows students of a wide range of ages and backgrounds to demonstrate their mastery of college-level material in introductory subjects and earn college credit.  Students can earn credit for what they already know by getting qualifying scores on any of the 33 examinations.”

NDNU students have used the CLEP exams to supplement their unit counts in a variety of lower division classes and for some prerequisites.  Is it for you?  Well, it depends.  Some of us, no matter how smart, don’t enjoy being tested and may not perform well on examinations.  For most, the answer is case-by-case, depending on the examination and our level of experience with that subject.

CLEP offers study guides (about $25) and practice examinations (about $10 each), so you can help determine its appropriateness to your needs in a relatively low-risk way.  The exams themselves are offered at various testing centers in the Bay Area and cost about $100 each to take.

If uncertain, talk with your adviser.  Judy and Vicki, Therese, Lillian, and Helene are all here to help both with your experience while in classes and to get you to graduation on a pace that makes sense within your individual career and personal goals.

KEEP IN MIND  that some of the units offered for CLEP exams just changed. (We were notified this week.)  Ask your adviser if you were hoping for a certain number of units from an individual exam and we can compare against the new list.


Ask An Advisor

10 11 2015

ask an advisorIt is November, which means it is time for advising for spring classes.  We thought this would be a good time to include some links to previous posts with questions and answers about advising.   Is your question not here?  Let us know… we’re glad to feature new questions or simply to answer yours in a one-on-one meeting.

Where can I find a list of current Transfer Credit Agreements so that I make sure the Lower Division class I take at a community college will transfer?

Where can I find a list of online classes to take?

Why do I have to keep submitting my transcripts?

What is residency?

Which classes do I have to take at NDNU; which can I take elsewhere?

How do I make sure that I graduate on time?

Any tips on satisfying my math requirement?

Why can’t I take 12 units?

Is college worth it for me? Not sure about juggling work and school or facing friends or family who aren’t convinced? Articles about the value of an undergraduate degree.



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