Monday, April 18, 2016

SLCC Celebrates Poetry Chapbook Winner With Book Launch, Reading

Salt Lake Community College’s Publication Studies Press, the micro press at the SLCC publication Center, is hosting its annual spring poetry chapbook launch April 20, 6-7:30 p.m. in the Cultural Commons of the Academic and Administration Building on the SLCC Taylorsville Redwood Campus.

Katherine Taylor Allred

At the chapbook launch, Katherine Taylor Allred will read from her 2016 contest-winning collection of poems, “Light Passes Through.” Contest judge Danielle Beazer Dubrasky will also give a poetry reading. Everyone in attendance will receive a copy of Allred’s collection and have the opportunity to learn more about the publication process, which includes editing, design, layout, printing and publicity strategies.

Allred will answer questions about her work and her writing process along with other chapbook contest finalists Mari Orikasa (“Me, drove to the moon”), Taylor Sanders (“Age of Poems”) and Jarrod Barben (“In the Fall”). Allred was literary and managing editor of the SLCC arts and literary magazine Folio and an intern at the SLCC Publication Center. She has experience as a documentary film assistant producer, assistant librarian at Salt Lake City Public Library, copy editor and a “bagel monger.” Allred currently lives and writes in Salt Lake City with four children, three dogs, two fruit trees and, last but not least, one man.

Dubrasky is an associate professor of creative writing at Southern Utah University. Her chapbook “Ruin and Light” won the 2014 Anabiosis Press Chapbook Competition. Her poetry has been published in Contrary Magazine, Sugar House Review, ECOllective, Tar River Poetry, Weber Studies, CityArts and Petroglyph. Originally from Virginia, she has lived the past 20 years in southern Utah.

Monday, April 11, 2016

NBA D-League’s SLC Stars To Play at SLCC

The Utah Jazz D-League team Salt Lake City Stars will play their home games at Salt Lake Community College’s 5,000-seat Lifetime Activities Center-Bruin Arena at SLCC’s Taylorsville Redwood Campus, the NBA Development League and Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment recently announced.

SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

From November 2016 until April 2017, the Stars will host 24 home games at SLCC. In 2015 the Utah Jazz became the eighth team with full control over an NBA D-League team with the purchase of the Boise-based Idaho Stampede. The team’s new name pays tribute to its American Basketball Association roots in the 1970s when the Utah Stars won the league championship and to the WNBA team Utah Starzz that played in Salt Lake City from 1997 to 2002.

“As the only comprehensive community college in the state of Utah, we are happy to be the venue where communities and families throughout the state can come together to watch up-and-coming athletes play the game at the highest level,” said SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin during a press conference at Vivint Smart Home Arena. “The excitement of this new team will bring hundreds of fans to one of our largest campuses, exposing them to the high-quality learning and relevant workforce training opportunities SLCC offers. And I'm sure the cities of Taylorsville, Murray, West Valley City and others located just next door will also experience the energy this team will draw. We couldn't be happier to be working with the Utah Jazz organization and the Miller family again in yet another partnership. Salt lake community college is committed to making this venue a warm, welcoming and exciting place to watch quality basketball and to sharing this beautiful facility with an even wider fan base.”

SLCC Board of Trustees Chair Gail Miller offers comments.

Launched in 2001, the NBA D-League has expanded from an eight-team league to a record 22 teams for the 2016-17 season. All 19 teams for the 2015-16 season are singly affiliated with an NBA parent club, a first for the NBA D-League. The three teams joining the NBA D-League for 2016-17 are owned by the Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls.

“The relocation of our D-League team to Utah will further align our efforts in player development and basketball operations to support the Jazz,” said Dennis Lindsey, Utah Jazz general manager. “The close relationship will strengthen our team on the court by providing our younger players a chance to grow in an environment that is consistent with Jazz basketball. Additionally, it serves as a training ground for all aspects of our organization, from coaches to support personnel.”

A group portrait after the press conference.

The Salt Lake City Stars will begin play with the 2016-17 season and will host a 24-game home schedule between November and April at Salt Lake Community College. For more information on the Utah Jazz D-League affiliate, please visit or follow the team @slcstars on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Fans interested in purchasing Salt Lake City Stars season tickets can visit for information or call (801) 355-DUNK.

National Library Week celebrated at Markosian Library

It’s National Library Week 2016! 

Libraries today are less about what they have for people and more about what they do for and with people.

·         Library professionals facilitate individual opportunity and community progress.
·         Libraries are committed to advancing their legacy of reading and developing a digitally inclusive society.
·         Libraries of all kinds add value in five key areas: education, employment, entrepreneurship, empowerment and engagement.

So, stop by the Redwood Markosian Library and check out our Book Sale and other Library Week events! Or visit one of the other campus libraries. We look forward to seeing you!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Cooking up a long, successful career: Utah chef moves beyond dyslexia, rough academic start

There will always be a place in chef Zane Holmquist’s kitchen for underdogs—because he used to be one, back when few people in school gave him a chance and when cooking meant time spent not having to bear the ridicule that came from being dyslexic. Once voted in high school most likely to go to jail, Holmquist, 48, is now vice president of food and beverage operations for the Stein Eriksen Lodge Corporation. Not bad for a “punk” kid who sported a Mohawk haircut, tattoos and an attitude and, by all appearances, looked like he might be headed down a path of obscurity. On the contrary, he’s become a star in his profession.

Zane Holmquist

Despite skipping a lot of class time his senior year, Holmquist managed to graduate from Cottonwood High School. His biggest criticism today of schools is that educators often don’t teach to a student’s strengths, a flaw in the system that he says actually pushed him toward cooking. Recently he attended his 30th high school class reunion. People from the same school where he was made fun of for his dyslexia—a “reading” disorder that meant he also had a horrible time spelling even simple words—and poor grades now say things like, “Hey, I saw you on TV,” he recalls. He admits to the cliché, but he goes there anyway. “It’s an interesting world, and I have an interesting life,” he says. “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. That’s kind of the dichotomy of my life—don’t judge just what you see, because there’s a whole lot more there.”

Holmquist’s father and grandfather were realtors and property developers, and it was assumed he’d follow in their footsteps. But his mother ran restaurants where, back as early as the 1970s, Holmquist started to learn how to cook. “This is literally what I’ve done my entire life,” he says. “In the kitchen I found solace. One of the things I tell people about this job whether you’re in the front or back of the house is that it’s truly an equalizer. It doesn’t matter if you speak English, if you can read or write, if you’re from the Ukraine, Russia or Mexico, whether your mom and dad were rich—we open our arms to and accept everyone. I grew up working around people from around the world from every economic scale.”

Zane Holmquist in the kitchen at Stein Eriksen Lodge.

He cooked throughout high school, graduated and inched forward professionally while working two or three jobs at a time. One of those jobs was working as a line cook for Melvin Harward, executive chef at Salt Lake Country Club. He remembers being hard on Holmquist, who still sported that punkish attitude. But they also talked about Harward’s career path, how much it paid and what Holmquist needed to do if he wanted to become a chef. “He had that raw talent,” says Harward. “And I told him he would do better going to culinary school and getting that piece of paper if he wanted to get his foot in the door. I think he’s extremely talented. He puts his whole heart and soul into it. He has a love for it.”

Holmquist headed back to school, a humbling experience for someone who already had a cache of cooking competition victories to put on a resume. He also had gaping holes in his academic history. “What filled the gap for me was Salt Lake Community College,” Holmquist says. “It got me back in the flow after being out of school for five years.” He took basic math and English and honed his skills and talent in SLCC’s culinary program. “SLCC put me on the path and gave me the skills to go away to The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park (New York). And CIA is really the Harvard of culinary schools, the finest in the world in my mind.”

Zane Holmquist talks about his career as a chef.

From the finest learning environments to one of the finest ski boutique hotels in the country, Holmquist eventually landed at the Goldener Hirsch Inn in the Deer Valley Resort area. He cooked at the inn for six years before bringing his grandmother’s Swedish meatball recipe to Stein Eriksen’s Lodge, where he has been for the past 15 years. Using the Scandinavian flavors and influences he grew up with, Holmquist crafted a menu for Stein’s that creates lifetime memories for the customers who eat there. “It was about creating a sense of who Stein’s is and creating an overall theme to the food, which is rustic refined American,” says Holmquist. “It’s very eclectic.” And the menu undergoes two full changes each year, with beloved mainstays like his signature wild game chili.

Over the years the demands on Holmquist’s family and personal life have meant a steady diet of 80-hour workweeks, never being home for the holidays and missing many of his 21-year-old son’s events in and out of school. “I love what I do,” he says. “We all look back and say, ‘What if I could have done things differently.’” However, to become an executive chef, Holmquist notes that the hours mimic that of an emergency first responder, someone in the military or a doctor. “A lot of chefs don’t want to work like that,” he adds, singling out the next generation of chefs now in their 20s. “I think it’s good and bad for the industry,” he says. “It will be a rough transition. It’s an evolution, but I think it will overall be better for the industry.” If someone is willing to work hard for him, then their chances are “infinite,” Holmquist adds. And he has a “soft spot” for underdogs, the types who might be a little rough around the edges—like Holmquist was—and seem like more of a risk to take on as an employee. “To me, it’s everything for me,” he says about giving people chances. “To me, it’s about the second chances.” Holmquist’s definition of success in life, personally and professionally, is hearing about the chef he mentored who was able to finally buy that first home or that chef he might meet someday on a beach when he’s retired who just wants to say, “Thank you,” for the time they had at Stein’s.

He quips about still not being able to spell the word February, but he has cooked for kings, presidents and celebrities, newlyweds, the very rich and those of more modest means who save up for an experience in Stein’s dining room, where Holmquist—that punk attitude and tattoos tucked away—is often found roaming around, talking to customers about their meal or their stay at the lodge. “I love hearing from guests,” he says. “It means everything. I read every comment card. And I get back to people. I take those things very seriously.” For Holmquist, a good or bad day on the job is determined less by spreadsheets than by making sure customers leave happy. He lives to hear things like, “’You made my anniversary. You made my wedding,’” and so on, he says. “To me, that’s what this job is about.”

Holmquist has loved being “on the mountain” for the past 21 years working in the Deer Valley area, riding his mountain bike when the roots and rocks are showing and slipping in a few runs on his skis when the powder piles up. And lately he’s been into competing in half ironman events. He spends some of his spare time with his “wiener” dogs and his wife, who works in the hospitality industry, at home maybe over a simple meal from a “one pan” recipe, or they’ll pedal to some local restaurant where the conversation drifts in and out of work and business. Yes, work, the type of which is really who Holmquist is as a person in and out of the kitchen, inevitably comes first, whether it’s cooking, talking to customers, working with the 200 people he manages or sitting at his desk with an $8 calculator to figure out a $15 million budget. “Being a chef is a cool thing,” he says about the path that led him to the top of his profession. “I love it, being at Stein’s. I truly have the best job in the world, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m pretty lucky. I have a great kid and a great wife. I am the American dream.”

SLCC West Valley Center opens

Kylie Farmer isn’t sure what area of environmental geology she will pursue when she transfers to a four-year institution, but for now she’s grateful for Salt Lake Community College’s new West Valley Center. SLCC’s newest location opened this past fall, and more than 30 different courses are being taught there for the spring 2016 semester. Farmer, who recently moved back to Utah with college credits from Washington, looked at places like University of Utah and Westminster College, but SLCC was the right fit at this point in her life. “I really go off of my gut, and SLCC really felt right,” Farmer said.

Kylie Farmer

“I like it because it’s close to home,” Farmer added. Now she lives in Magna and is attending college using military benefits earned by her father, a disabled Army vet who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I think I have half of my teachers’ phone numbers, just because they say, ‘Call if you need help with any assignments.’ They all know my name, which isn’t always the case in college. It’s a really close connection. They’re always willing to stay after class if I need to talk about anything. I really like it.”

SLCC staff and faculty welcomed community members and leaders last year to open the new location, 3460 S. 5600 West in West Valley City. A ribbon cutting was held with special guests, Utah Rep. Sophia DiCaro, Utah Sen. Luz Escamilla and West Valley City Councilman Corey Rushton. Guests were given tours of the facilities.

The ribbon is cut on the new West Valley Center.

“Our new presence in West Valley City is collaborative, intentional and according to the enrollment numbers, already successful,” said SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin. “We are proud to have worked with the local community leaders to determine the courses needed by the residents and to have created such a vibrant, welcoming place to learn.”

Whether it’s the basics, such as English or math, or more off-the-beaten path, such as astronomy or yoga, West Valley Center offers a variety of subjects to fit many goals and aspirations. The Center will also have student services for veterans, people with disabilities, and those in need of financial assistance.

A computer lab inside West Valley Center.

Close to Granger, Kearns, Hunter and Cyprus high schools, SLCC is collaborating with community, government and business leaders to ensure the West Valley Center meets the needs of the area and its residents. Just like SLCC’s many other locations in the Salt Lake Valley, the new West Valley Center gives students an affordable, convenient option for fully transferrable general education courses as well as classes for the lifelong learner.