Academic Corner


Afarah Board, Dean of Academics

Afarah Board, Dean of Academics

Afarah Board transitioned into the Dean of Academics position effective May 1.

We would like to thank Dean Gayle Linn for her extraordinary service as Dean and wish her well as she and her husband enjoy their retirement life.

Dean Board brings with her a background of over thirty years of experience in the corporate world as a senior leader and multiple years of experience teaching as Adjunct Professor at California Baptist University in the School of Education and School of Business. She earned her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Redlands in Business, and business studies at Harvard Kennedy School and Pepperdine University. We welcome Dean Board to the Oak Valley family.


As the Summer Semester began in May, we welcomed two new professors:

  • Professor Cammie Donaghy, Government and Politics

  • Professor Nathanael Heyman, Scientific Principles and Practice


Congratulations to the students who made the Dean’s list for the Spring Semester. Students with a 3.5 GPA or higher are eligible for the Dean’s List. We are pleased to give a shout out to these students:

  • Chloe Beitel

  • Matthew Lesseg

  • Lucia McDonald

  • Miquella Castorena

  • Lelah Hetrick

  • Natalie Allison

  • Adela Meza

  • Hanna Morris (graduated in May)

  • Whitney Hetrick (graduated in May)


Good news, the Writing Center was launched and is now available under the direction of Professor Glessner.

Why Higher Education Costs So Much

Why Higher Education Costs So Much

Fifty years ago, Harvard (and many private colleges and universities) charged around $2,000 for tuition. Adjusted for inflation, Harvard tuition should be just over $15,000 per year today. Needless to say, Harvard charges nowhere near $15,000. This coming Fall, the sticker price for Harvard is $47,730, roughly triple the inflation-based price

Enrollment Milestone at Oak Valley College

As a distinctly different kind of college, Oak Valley has tapped into the angst and pressure students often feel to either chase expensive private education, meander through the maze of community college to the Cal State system (it typically takes 6+ years to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the public system, or forgo college for the future.

Faith and Business Forum Covers Practical Ideas for Engaging Church and Community


Oak Valley’s first Faith and Business Forum, on May 31, was a great success with multiple pastors and community leaders coming together to discuss the intersection of business, church, and ministry aspirations. Through an engaging panel discussion, the group explored practical approaches to engage business and church leaders to better serve the local and regional community.

Hilda Kennedy, Founder and President of Ampac Business Capital, discussed how she formed a ministry for business leaders at her church. She described how business leaders face the same kinds of struggles as anyone else and need to join together to share their challenges and celebrate their successes like any other “affinity” group churches commonly form.

Business owner Joe Annunziato, President and CEO of Cerenzia Foods, discussed how he works ministry into his workplace and how he has helped lead several ministry connections with his congregation, Water of Life, in Rancho Cucamonga. He also described both personal and spiritual experiences he has explored over decades of church and business leadership.

Ray Blom from The Corporate Advocate, discussed the myriad ways he has grown in his faith through his business endeavors, and how he is building a nonprofit faith-based staffing company, economic development enterprise, and employment ministry to serve San Bernardino through The Way World Outreach. His pastor, Marco Garcia, is a long-time business leader, so the linkages and opportunities to align a business and ministry mindset is ingrained in their church culture.

Finally, President Eric Blum, Oak Valley College, talked about the challenges and opportunities Oak Valley has faced in partnering with local churches throughout the regions, with some churches understanding the intersection of education, business, and ministry, while other pastors are seem a little more reluctant to embrace the connection. Oak Valley’s host and partner, Centerpoint Church, through Pastor Dane Aaker, embrace these principles and has served as a model partner to advance Oak Valley’s mission.

Commencement Features Olympian

Commencement Features Olympian

Oak Valley’s Commencement features Willie Banks, Olympian, world-record triple jumper, and successful business leader. Mr. Banks will share the inspiration that helped him move from the Olympic stadium to serve in a variety of national and international leadership roles.

Mr. Banks’ path through Olympics and World Championships provides a fitting metaphor to students - spend years preparing yourself, then speed down a runway, timing your steps just right to hit your mark and stretch to reach your goal.

40% Default Rates Projected to Hit Student Loans...Soon!

40% Default Rates Projected to Hit Student Loans...Soon!

The Brookings Institute reports that default rates for students entering college in the early 2000’s could top 40% by 2023. As we reported earlier, student loans continue to weigh heavily on consumers.

You may have read that loans on cars and other consumer debts are rising steadily and, in some cases, are at record levels. This is troublesome in an economy that is at, or near, its peak.

When YOUR Student Loan Becomes MY Problem

When YOUR Student Loan Becomes MY Problem

While the title off this article may sound absurd, it is not.

In March of last year, Federal Reserve Chief Jay Powell testified before Congress that student loan indebtedness could have a material impact on economic growth. For the first time in our country’s history, some analysts feel that student loans may trigger, or at least help initiate, the next recession. How did we get here?

Powerful Themes

Oak Valley’s Board engaged in a visioning exercise yesterday where four major themes emerged:

  1. Transforming Lives

  2. Growing Community

  3. Free of Debt

  4. Full of Purpose

If you have been around for a while, you probably already know what this means. If you are new, learn more about how Oak Valley is pursuing this vision in powerful ways. Be part of Oak Valley and see higher education reimagined.

Catch the Vision

Join Oak Valley College this spring at the Vision Dinner, April 23 at Benedict Castle. To RSVP, click here. This is the signature event of the year. Come and celebrate Oak Valley’s inaugural graduating class. This year’s Vision Dinner continues to be a free event. There will be a request at the end of the Dinner to support Oak Valley with your financial gift. The goal for 2019 is to raise $250,000 to provide scholarships for students and boost the College to next level in its development and maturity. Sponsorship opportunities for the Dinner are also available.

For information and details, contact Mark Leonard,

Accent on Academics

By Dean Gayle L:inn

As I interview students year after year, the number one problem that all struggle with is time management. Far greater than any lesson learned in class are those learned in dealing with schedules, prioritizing and facing the “tyranny of the urgent.”

Learning to budget time, like learning to budget one’s finances is a matter of allocation. The only difference is money can be earned again even after it is wasted or lost – time cannot. Your time is exactly that – YOURS. You determine how you will use it or how you will allow others to use it. One student who had fallen behind in her assignments this semester got help from an older sibling. Her sister suggested a calendar/appointment book. The student related how she spent an enjoyable time in a bookstore looking at many different options until she settled on one. She proudly showed me how she color-coordinated her different responsibilities and classes into her weekly schedule. She then went on to prioritize assignments in order to catch up and then remain current. She was rewarded when she saw her grades improve and her stress level lessen.

Another student was frustrated with family members who kept pulling him away from his studies to help out with “emergencies” or activities that would just “take a few minutes.” He had to calmly explain to them at a family gathering that he loved them all very much, but he needed their help in assisting him in being successful in school. He assured them that he would attend as many family events as he could, but that there would be times he would need to study. They needed to hear that “no” was not a rejection but rather a choice to use his time wisely in achieving his goals.

“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” – M. Scott Peck Each of these students is learning that as they value their time, they are investing it more wisely and are closer to reaching their goals.

View from Above

By Professor Terry Morrow

When we think of heaven we often think of our loved ones who have gone on before us. What are they doing right now? We might think of how wonderful it will be to be with them, enjoying the pleasures of paradise. We might even think about what it will be like to see Jesus, the One that we adore and yet have never seen nor heard his voice. Or perhaps we are excited about seeing the Seraphim who right now are flying about God’s throne proclaiming his holiness.

So it begs the question for each of us to ask, who are followers of Jesus, what will heaven really be like? Is it possible for us to get our minds around how wonderful it will be? Is there any way for a child of God to comprehend what our eternal home is going to be like, look like and sound like?

Paul tells us that he experienced being in the presence of God. He saw things that he was not allowed to share. Why? Was it too difficult for him to put into words? Was it nothing that he had imagined? Did God tell him that he couldn’t tell us? What did he see? What did he hear? So many questions flood our minds.

It is the hunger of every believer’s heart to know what heaven is like. We long for our earthly journey to be over. We can’t wait to be with Jesus and those we love. Each day is just another day closer to being in this place that we call heaven.

The next time you look up into the heavens, may your heart swell with joy and your mind be overcome with the anticipation of being in the presence of our Savior. Set your eyes on the heavens. Home is just around the corner.