The Veterans Affairs office at ARC is like no other

Bryce Fraser, writer

American River College has about 1300 veterans attending its campus and is one of the largest veteran populations in the state within community colleges and universities. The Veterans Affairs center is the only school in the district to offer Wrap around services for its veteran students, according to Daniel Avegalio Student Services Supervisor at Veterans Resource Center.

“They created my position recently back in October as a supervisor to oversee the program because the need was there based off of our numbers,” said Avegalio.

In 2014 The Chancellor’s Student Success Award was given to the American River college Veterans Resource Center for it’s one a one-stop service center for student veterans, originally reported in an article in the Sacramento Bee by Loretta Kalb.

The Veterans Affairs Center on campus offers students help with issues such as Veterans Benefits, the  registration and application process at American River College, counseling, and other issues as well.

The Veterans  Affairs Center center contains their very own computer lab where Veterans can go to do homework and study in, as well as print for free at the lab. There are eight computers available. “A lot of vets come in they feel at home because it’s a space for them,” said Avegalio.

They are  fully staffed with student help who are VA work study students. They are all veterans, or family members of veterans, who are receiving Veterans benefits in some way themselves and understand the process of receiving those benefits, according to Avegalio.

Student Personnel Assistant, Robert Heryford has recently been hired and explained that his own experience transferring to Sac State can help American River College students who are transferring because he understands their situation.

Heryford understands how hard it is to transition back to civilian life and going to school.

“It’s a whole other ballgame when you’re coming back from working in that type of field and your back sitting in a classroom,” said Heryford.

The services offered at the American River College Veterans Affairs Center has helped ARC Student Honglu Johnson with getting classes and figuring out what to take as well as getting her military benefits.

“It’s a Nightmare getting Your benefits  and your benefit packets they did all that for me, said Johnson “They’re super organized about it,” said Honglu.

The Veterans Affairs center moved to a larger space as recently as last Fall Semester. “Other schools in the district have Veteran Resource Centers but its very small closet like, said Avegalio.


ARC Students chosen for Theater Festival in Denver

Bryce Fraser,writer

The hard work of the American River College Theatre Program students  just got some major recognition for their work.

The American College theater program and their production of “Cabaret” has been chosen to be a part of the national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Denver where they will perform their production of “Cabaret.”

“In sports it would be higher than winning a state championship because it is regional,” said “Cabaret” director and American river College Theater professor Nancy Silva.

For the American River College Theatre Program to travel to Denver to perform it will cost the department 54,ooo dollars, according an ARC Theater Department press release.

They were chosen from region seven, from the national festival that features eight regions total around the US. The festival is suppose to “encourage and reward excellence in academic theater,”said Silva.

American River College  won at festival 18 years ago with the play Equus directed by Theater Professor  Pamela Downs. Siva herself  has been runner up twice with the plays  Keely and Du and Sweeney Todd.

American River College was chosen as one of three colleges out of 200 a part of region seven that included Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Northern California, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming, with other community colleges as well as Universities.

“Its excruciatingly timely,” said Silva, “we are presenting the dangers of having a demagogue take over your county.”

There were two separate events this month to showcase the student’s work and to promote the opportunity to donors.

The “Cabaret Gala” which showed the ARC theater production “Cabaret” for American River College students and other audience members.

“An Evening of Scenes” where acting candidates nominated  by the Kennedy Center showcased their 6-minute competition packages that range from drama all the way too comedy.

Jordo Medina who is about to graduate from American River College this spring looks at the festival as finishing out the semester with a bang.

“As an actor it’s the best trophy you can get to hear your show is going to compete in regionals,”  said Medina “when we got the news everyone was in tears nobody knew how to react we just never expected this.”

Another student who plays a Kit Kat girl in the production of “Cabaret”, Jazz Sunpanich has been going to American River College ever since she traveled here from her home country of Thailand to study theater. “We are doing it for love and we love doing this thats why we doing this,” said Sunpanich.

At the festival there will be 16 regional and two national scholarships from the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. A judicator comes from a different college or university and offers opinions on each show and chooses actors in the production that stand out for them to be a nominee. who then go out to compete for their region.

Two students nominated this year for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship are Angelina Steshenko and Micah Smith. “Both on and off the stage you represent your college,” said Smith.

“It’s also an honor just that a complete stranger came and saw your show and that they liked you performance, that you stood out for them,” Said Steshenko.