U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley to Keynote The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony, March 30

SANTA BARBARA & VENTURA, Calif. – The Honorable Julia Brownley, member of the United States House of Representatives, will receive an honorary Doctor of Law degree and address The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law’s (COL) graduating Class of 2019.  The Commencement ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. Rep. Brownley will be honored for her more than 25 years of public service and leadership in the local community.

Rep. Brownley began her career in public service in 1994 after deciding to run for the local school board as a way to advocate for a better education for her daughter, who had dyslexia, and other special-needs students.  She won and was later elected to the California State Legislature in 2006.  Rep. Brownley was first elected to Congress in 2012 to serve the California’s 26th District, which includes the cities of Ventura, Oxnard, Ojai, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Camarillo, Newbury Park, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village.

“From the school board to the California legislature and now at the highest levels of government in Washington, I and many other Ventura County residents can attest to Congresswoman Brownley’s exemplary and responsive service to her constituents, in the past or currently, be they students, veterans, seniors, farmers, or victims of the deadly fires that swept our counties,” said Trustee Carmen Ramirez who sponsored Rep. Brownley’s honorary degree resolution to the COL Board of Trustees. “She is well deserving of this honor as a maker of laws that benefit our community.”

On Capitol Hill, Rep. Brownley serves on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, including as Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Health. Rep. Brownley also sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

 

 

“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Board Trustee Carmen Ramirez and the entire leadership of the Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law for this special honor,” said Rep. Brownley. “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to address the Class of 2019, as well as their friends and family, as they mark this momentous occasion. These graduates have worked extraordinarily hard to get to this special day, and I look forward to recognizing this tremendous achievement as they embark on their careers in the law.”

As commencement speaker, Rep. Brownley joins a distinguished list of local public servants invited to address a Colleges of Law graduating class.  Recent keynote speakers include Calif. State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson; the Honorable Lois Capps; Joyce Dudley, current District Attorney of Santa Barbara County; the Honorable Gregory Totten, current District Attorney of Ventura County; Judge Michele Castillo, Ventura County Superior Court and COL trustee; and Justice Steven Z. Perren of the California Court of Appeal.

Rep. Brownley will join trustees, faculty, staff, family, and guests gathering on March 30, 2019, to celebrate the 45 members of COL’s Class of 2019.  Representing the Santa Barbara Campus are graduates Joseph Beck, Martin Bender, Kiley Clevenger, Evelyn Cortes, Matthew Haas (Honors), Shannon Lofft, Devonnie Mann, Tyler Potter (Highest Honors), Nicolette Reeves, Keiran Schwoerke, Stephanie Sivers, Samuel Sosa, Stacy Tolkin Lowman, Joan Vignocchi, and John Weninger.

Representing the Ventura Campus are graduates Karina Almaguer, Ashley Brown, Megan Cooper (Honors), Emily Dixon, Larissa Garcia, Maritza Garcia-Lopez, Laura Garibay, Valarie Grossman (Honors), Amy Gunderson, Jonathan Gunderson (Highest Honors), Kryztofr Kaine, Alessandro Manno, Eddie Martinez, Daniel Moore (High Honors), Viktoria Morgan, Bryan Murotake, Sergio Prado, Esther Reynoso, Veronica Romero, Dianne Seaberg, Rogelio Tuazon, and Rodrigo Yanez.

Representing the Master of Legal Studies program are Francisco Aragon, Michael Barney, Ashley Barrios, Susan Foster, Daniel Hodorowski, Renee Paige, Tyler Thompson, and Jaclyn Zaragoza.

About The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law:
Established in 1969, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (COL) was founded to expand opportunities and broaden access to legal education.  COL is dedicated to a student-centered approach that affords students of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to pursue careers in law or legal-related fields. The Colleges’ faculty advances a real-world perspective and practicality on the application of law and includes practicing attorneys, judges, public servants, and leaders in business and non-profit organizations.  An accredited nonprofit institution, COL offers a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) program.  Starting in Fall 2018, COL became the first accredited law school in California to offer a hybrid J.D. degree. COL is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and the Juris Doctor program is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) of the State Bar of California.  For more information, visit www.collegesoflaw.edu.

The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law is an affiliate of TCS Education System, a nonprofit system of colleges advancing student success and community impact.

For more information, contact the COL Public Affairs Coordinator Kryztofr Kaine at (805) 765-9729; [email protected].

Graduates of the Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law form new Alumni Council

For the first time in its near 50-year history, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (COL) has a joint Alumni Council to support the interests of its more than 2,000 graduates.

The Council formally came into existence this spring with the adoption of a charter to advance a mission of serving COL and fellow graduates through advisement, engagement, and service. Among the Council’s founders is Jana Johnston (JD, ’03) who also serves as Chair of COL’s Board of Trustees.

“Collectively, our graduates are at the heart of the Santa Barbara & Ventura legal community,” Johnston said. “While many of us remain connected, the Council offers us a platform to do so much more to support each other, plus future alumni of the Colleges of Law.”

Joining Johnston on the Council’s inaugural board are nine fellow graduates:

  • Betty Jeppesen (JD, ‘80) Co-Chair
  • Deborah Jurgensen (JD, ‘06) Co-Chair
  • Virginia Fuentes (JD, ‘14)
  • Marietta Jablonka (JD, ’15)
  • Guneet Kaur (JD, ‘15)
  • Diana Mercier (JD, ‘17)
  • Bert Partida (JD, ‘06)
  • Lacy Taylor (JD, ‘15)
  • Walter Wood (JD, ‘15)

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to serve our Colleges of Law community as well as the community as a whole,” said Jurgensen. “The more we can reach out and help others, the more others will know about the wonderful tradition of service we have at the Colleges of Law.”

Brainstorming for the Council began last summer and involved alumni from the 1970s to today.

Together they shaped a charter with a vision of:

  • Further supporting professional development and mentorship for students and alumni
  • Further strengthening the bond between alumni and COL, especially with current students
  • Engaging in strategic planning activities in collaboration with COL
  • Giving back to the community through service and fundraising activities

The charter declares that all graduates of COL are members of the Alumni Council with governance provided by a 15-member elected board.

“Beyond the board, there will be many opportunities for graduates to get involved,” Jeppesen added. “We will continue to spread the word about the Council and seek input from graduates and the local legal community on how we can make a greater impact. We’re just getting started. It’s exciting.”

COL alumni interested in participating in Council projects are encouraged to contact Jurgensen at [email protected] or Jeppesen at [email protected].

Calif. State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson to receive honorary degree and COL keynote on April 28

SANTA BARBARA & VENTURA, Calif. – The Honorable Hannah-Beth Jackson, member of the California State Senate representing the 19th Senate District, will receive an honorary Doctor of Law degree and address The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law’s (COL) graduating Class of 2018. The commencement ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. PST on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at the Fess Parker Resort in Santa Barbara. Sen. Jackson will be honored for more than 20 years of public service and leadership in the local community.

A former prosecutor and practicing attorney, educator, and small business owner, Jackson was elected to the California State Senate in 2012 to represent the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

From 1998 to 2004, she represented the 35th Assembly District in the State Assembly, where she worked with Democratic and Republican governors to author more than 60 bills into law. She is currently chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and serves as a member of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water, the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, and the Senate Public Safety Committee. She is immediate past chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.

“Senator Jackson is a passionate advocate for the causes in which she believes,” said COL trustee Mary Jane Miller, a long-standing colleague of Sen. Jackson. “A fearless leader, she has championed equal rights for women, protection of the environment and improving access to early childhood education. Her legislative initiatives have significantly impacted residents throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties as well as the entire State of California. Her ongoing efforts to protect the rights of victims of the recent disasters are an example of her continuing commitment to our community.”

California State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
California State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson

“I am honored to present the keynote address for the Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law graduation ceremony,” said Senator Jackson.  “These graduates have worked hard in a rigorous program to achieve their dreams, and they should be proud of what they have accomplished. I am delighted to be sharing this important milestone with them.”

A graduate of Scripps College in Claremont, California with a joint major in government and sociology, Jackson received her law degree from Boston University Law School before returning to California to work as a deputy district attorney for Santa Barbara County. Eventually, she became the managing partner for the Law Offices of Eskin and Jackson, with offices in Ventura and Santa Barbara.

As commencement speaker, Jackson joins a distinguished list of local public servants invited to address a Colleges of Law graduating class. Recent keynote speakers include the Honorable Lois Capps; Joyce Dudley, current District Attorney of Santa Barbara County; the Honorable Gregory Totten, current District Attorney of Ventura County; Judge Michele Castillo, Ventura County Superior Court; and Justice Steven Z. Perren of the California Court of Appeal.

Jackson will join trustees, faculty, staff, family, and guests gathering on April 28 to celebrate the 34 members of COL’s Class of 2018. Representing the Santa Barbara Campus are graduates Dayton Aldrich, Tobias Bateson, Reanna Carrillo, Taylor Fuller, Hudson Hornick, Amber Leach, Andrew Miller, Joseph Poire, Eva Umejido, and Kevin Waddell. Candidates from the Ventura Campus are Benjamin Baumer, Dylan Beltran, Ambrosio Bigornia Jr., Arezoo Bolouhari, Mallory Clark, Katie Dimas, Anthony DiPaolo, Scott Doyle, Carla di Ruffano, Jason Goldman, Todd Pierce, Victoria Pinkosky, Luis Robert Ruano II, Zhanna Sanamyan, Chyanna Thrush, Kristine Ann Roxas Tijam, and Christina Wilson. Candidates from the Master of Legal Studies program are Andrew Cassens, Lisa Milanes, Marcus NelsonPringle, Gena Rios, Maria Sauceda, Jeanelle Warren, and Shawn Wiggins.

 

About The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law:

Established in 1969, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (COL) was founded to expand opportunities and broaden access to legal education.  COL is dedicated to a student-centered approach that affords students of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to pursue careers in law or legal-related fields. The Colleges’ faculty advances a real-world perspective and practicality on the application of law and includes practicing attorneys, judges, public servants, and leaders in business and non-profit organizations.  An accredited nonprofit institution, COL offers a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) program.  Starting in Fall 2018, COL will deliver a pioneering hybrid J.D. degree, the first of its kind in California. COL is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and the Juris Doctor program is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) of the State Bar of California.  For more information, visit www.collegesoflaw.edu.

The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law is an affiliate of TCS Education System, a nonprofit system of colleges advancing student success and community impact.

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The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law Board of Trustees elects new member

Distinguished local attorney Catherine Swysen (J.D. ’94) joins governing board of region’s leading law school focused on access, opportunity and affordability

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Kryztofr Kaine

[email protected]

SANTA BARBARA & VENTURA – Catherine Swysen is the newest member of The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (COL) Board of Trustees. A 1994 graduate of the school’s Santa Barbara campus, Swysen joins the 13-member governance body that oversees the region’s oldest and largest independent law school.

Swysen comes to COL with nearly 25 years of experience as a practicing attorney—her areas of practice spanning criminal, death penalty, appellate, civil, and administrative. She is a partner with Sanger Swysen & Dunkle, a distinguished local firm—with offices in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria—that specializes in criminal defense and civil litigation in State and Federal courts.

“We have watched with pride Catherine’s continued contributions to the local legal community,” said COL Board Chair Marilyn Anticounti, a fellow COL graduate. “She brings to the board a stellar reputation and enthusiastic commitment to the ongoing success of the Colleges of Law.”

Swysen’s experience in governance includes board and leadership positions with the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, the Santa Barbara County Bar Association, Santa Barbara Criminal Defense Lawyers Bar Association, and Federal Bar Association. She is a recipient of the Beulah W. Engelsberg Award from the American Civil Liberties Union and was recognized by the California State Senate and the California State Assembly for Civil Liberties. Swysen was awarded the Order of the Reasonable Doubt by the Santa Barbara Criminal Defense Lawyers Association in 1999, named the “Lawyer of the Year” by the Santa Barbara Women Lawyers in 2001, and received the Richard Abbe Humanitarian Award from the Santa Barbara County Bar for her international relief work in 2009. She is the President of the Chad Relief Foundation (CRF) and has made numerous trips to the country to further relief efforts for refugees from the Central Republic of Africa and for the local population.

“I am honored to be invited to join the Board,” said Swysen. “The Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law is a valuable asset and an incredible resource for the people of our coastal communities.  Moreover, in my own experience, the COL provided an opportunity to study under professors who were accomplished practicing lawyers and judges. This education served me well in establishing a litigation practice and is equally valuable to those who pursue transactional work.”

“Few trustees better exemplify the Colleges of Law story than Catherine Swysen,” added Dr. Matthew Nehmer, COL’s Executive Director. “We are privileged to have her at the table as we approach our 50th anniversary as a school founded around the values of opportunity, excellence, and affordability.”

Prior to COL, Swysen earned a degree in history from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium before immigrating to the United States in 1980s. She has lived and worked in the Santa Barbara area for over 30 years.

 

About The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law:

Established in 1969, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (COL) was founded to expand opportunities and broaden access to legal education.  COL is dedicated to a student-centered approach that affords students of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to pursue careers in law or legal-related fields. The Colleges’ faculty advances a real-world perspective and practicality on the application of law and includes practicing attorneys, judges, public servants, and leaders in business and non-profit organizations.  An accredited nonprofit institution, COL offers a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) program.  Starting in Fall 2018, COL will deliver a pioneering hybrid J.D. degree, the first of its kind in California. COL is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and the Juris Doctor program is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) of the State Bar of California.  For more information, visit www.collegesoflaw.edu.

The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law is an affiliate of TCS Education System, a nonprofit system of colleges advancing student success and community impact.

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What you need to know about the new Hybrid J.D. program

In the Fall of 2018 The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (COL) will launch a first-of-its-kind hybrid J.D. degree in the state of California.

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Education Beyond Borders: Examination of South Africa

Our identity is shaped by the world around us. By examining identity through the lens of other cultures, a dynamic worldview emerges. Professionals that are imbued with this knowledge are able to competently approach decisions that have global implications—setting themselves apart as leaders in an evolving and complex international global workforce.

Identity in Context: Examination of South Africa is a cross-disciplinary, three-month course that culminates in a 10-day, study abroad experience in Capetown and Johannesburg. Known as one of the most culturally diverse nations on earth, South Africa provides a unique setting to experience the personal celebrations and challenges that exist in a country of 55 million people that speak 11 official languages.

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COLLEGES OF LAW TO HOST MIDDAY MAYORAL CANDIDATE FORUM, OCT. 25  

Four candidates vying for Santa Barbara Mayor have been confirmed for a downtown public panel to be broadcast on Facebook Live.

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