Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Basketball, Soccer Athletes Commit to Four-Year Schools

While the Salt Lake Community College basketball team fell short of their ultimate goal of returning to the NJCAA tournament, Salt Lake's talent-laden roster was once again highly recruited by notable figures throughout college basketball. The Bruins recently announced that four players have committed to NCAA programs across the country.

NCAA signees include Josh Colon, who committed to Fordham University. Others include Cameron Mack, who switched his commitment from St. John's to Nebraska, and Washington State-commit Daron HensonHunter Schofield also has signed to play at Dixie State in St. George.

Colon will join a Fordham program that went 12-20 in the Atlantic-10 Conference last season, an NCAA Division-I mid-major conference. Fordham is located in The Bronx borough in New York City. Mack was a player who originally committed to play at St. John's in the New York area but switched his commitment to Nebraska and new coach Fred Hoiberg. Henson kept with his commitment to play at Washington State University, holding even after the Cougars changed coaching staffs. Schofield has joined a Dixie State program that will enter its final year in Division-II next season, as the Trailblazers prepare for playing in the Western Athletic Conference starting in the 2020-21 academic year.

SLCC men’s and women’s soccer coach Mark Davis announced recently that a combined 15 student-athletes have received offers to continue their student-athlete careers, signing for a mixture of NCAA Division-II institutions across the West Coast. Additionally, five SLCC players have committed to playing for in-state Westminster College.

On the women's side, seven student-athletes have committed to four-year institutions. Zoe Moses and Jayne Schiess have committed to play at Adams State University in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, with Sydney Hathaway committing to Colorado Mesa and Litzy Serna committing to Colorado State University-Pueblo. Summer Miles has committed to play at Montana State University-Billings, while Sierra Heaton will travel east to play at East Central University in Oklahoma. 

Moses helped lead Salt Lake with 7 goals on the season, taking 23 shots. Hathaway also finished with 7 goals, including the title-clincher in the Region 18 championship match. 

The Bruins' men's team had eight players commit to NCAA institutions, with several committing to play for RMAC schools. Bridger Hansen, Reid Arne, Matt Penrod and Juan Pablo Taylor all committed to local Westminister College. Aaron Martinez committed to Colorado Mesa, Colin Horman committed to Metro State University in Denver and Moises Martinez committed to Adams State.

Jackson Brady is the lone NCAA Division-I recruit, committing to play for Cal Poly in the Big West Conference. Brady played in all 19 matches for Salt Lake, finishing with a team-high 9 assists.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Volleyball Team Also Excels in the Classroom

The Salt Lake Community College volleyball program is one of the nation's top junior college programs on the court but the Bruins are also one of the leaders in the classroom.

The program released its academic accomplishments from the 2018-19 academic year over the Memorial Day weekend, celebrating several individual and team accomplishments. SLCC's awards represent another year where the Bruins have been recognized for the success of their student-athletes. 

Salt Lake coach Sue Dulaney said the team focuses on academics in almost all of their team activities.

"We are very proud of the accomplishments that our team has achieved academically," she said. "These hard-working, competitive and dedicated individuals know the classroom is extremely important and that those habits carry over onto the volleyball court.  This is the best spring we have had in two years regarding our returning class. I cannot wait to see what accomplishments they will achieve on the court in fall."

The team celebrated five individuals who earned NJCAA All-Academic honors, nine players earning Scenic West academic honors and seven players earning institutional honors. Holland Vander Merwe was the program's NJCAA All-Academic First-Team mention, with Bruna Correa, Dawson Day and Hellen Lacava earning Second-Team honors. Talia Myers received Third-Team commendation.

All of the aforementioned players earned honors from the Scenic West Athletic Conference, along with Allie Beck, Ariane Pola, Lauryn Ritchie and Callie Whitney. Six players earned President's List (GPA of 3.8-or-higher) from Salt Lake Community College:  Correa, Day, Lacava, Vande Merwe, Whitney and Ritchie. Myers made the Dean's List, finished with a GPA between 3.6 and 3.79.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Houses That Build Students, Launch Careers

In September, 2018, the brick and stucco house that now stands at 2578 South Beagley Circle in West Valley City was little more than a concrete foundation. Associate professor Boyd Johnson was taking a handful of Salt Lake Community College students through the first phases of framing the structure under a blistering summer sun.

It was a similar beginning to many of the homes with a Beagley Circle address. They started out as SLCC project houses built by students, and they’ve ended up as ranch-style homes with full unfinished basements for folks who don’t mind having a few horses for neighbors in this transitioning, once-rural enclave in the Salt Lake Valley.

By this past spring, the final SLCC project house in that area was completed. A few of the proud students who worked on the project showed up for an open house on a cool, breezy day in May. Along with Johnson, instructor Chad Fail and some SLCC support staff from the college’s Construction Management program, they surveyed and admired the culmination of months of hard work.

“It’s been a great experience,” says Ricardo Herrera, looking around a large, sparkling open kitchen and dining area. “I love all of this stuff.”

Herrera, 19, first came to SLCC thinking he was going to take a cabinet-making class. But he heard of the wide range of skills he could learn through the Construction Management curriculum and started thinking bigger. In 2020 he expects to graduate with an associate’s degree in the program. Someday he would like to be a contractor and build or flip homes.

Every Tuesday and Thursday since last summer, Herrera, Brendon Moser and Landon Bangerter, the three students who showed up for the open house, would be at the job site in West Valley City, tools at the ready.

Brendon Moser (l-r), Ricardo Herrera and Landon Bangerter

Moser, 22, had some drafting skills and a bit of construction DNA in his system by way of his uncle and father, but the experience of building a home starting with studs was new to him. Though his future is probably as a fire sprinkler engineer, Moser is certain of one thing. “I’ll build my own home, and I’ll know how to build it right, thanks to Boyd (Johnson),” he says.

“I absolutely loved this program. I loved the interaction between students and teachers, and I loved the program and the way it’s set up. I’ve learned a lot that I can actually use in my life. This program has taught me a lot about how to make money and how to be successful.”

Johnson, who has been with SLCC since 2006, estimates students in that time have worked on about 20 project houses around the Wasatch Front, including Herriman, Park City, Heber and West Jordan. “I see students gain a lot of knowledge and understanding of how construction works,” he says. “I try to keep them involved in every aspect of the build.” Enrollment has been increasing since fiscal year 2015, up from 131 students to 167 in FY 2018. About 10 percent of each student body, Johnson notes, are females. “My biggest goal is to find students a good job so they can make a good living in a career they love,” he adds. “I love to build. That’s the main reason I’m still in it. I just love taking a piece of ground, building a home on it and knowing someone will live in it the rest of their lives.”

Boyd Johnson (right) guides students through the framing process.

Once the houses are complete, usually about one house per year, they’re listed and sold. The previous SLCC project house next door in Beagley Circle sold for about $400,000, a little below the price for this newest listing. The profits from each sale are put into an account to help finance construction of the next house. The lots for the next five project houses are located at about 3200 South and 3000 West in West Valley City.

Moser, who has financed his education at SLCC solely with scholarships, and Bangerter expect to graduate at the end of 2019 with two degrees, associate of applied science and associate of science, both in Construction Management through SLCC’s School of Applied Technology and Technical Specialties. Classroom work includes OSHA, law and math, all specific to construction and owning a business. Students gain hands-on experience in framing and finishing carpentry, flooring, drywalling and cabinet making. And upon completion they’re ready for jobs as construction managers, first-line supervisors, carpenters, cost estimators and more.

Bangerter, 26, grew up around residential construction and, in a sense, is earning his stripes through SLCC as he moves up in the family business, Bangerter Homes, where he currently works full time. “I really like homebuilding,” he says. “I’d like to stay in that.”

The students who worked on the Beagley Circle house haven’t ruled out more school, possibly a four-year degree. They’ll miss epic lunches with their new buddy, Boyd, now that the home is finished. And they’ll continue telling friends, family, anyone who will listen, about SLCC’s program. “With a program like this, with hands-on experience, you can actually make money from this knowledge,” Moser says. “There a lot of opportunities in this Construction Management program to help kids get the degree and make money.”