Sonoma Raceway Hosts Make the Future California While They Put Fuel-Efficiency Records to the Test

Shell, in conjunction with Sonoma Raceway and Speedway Motorsports Inc., will welcome student teams from up to 100 high schools and universities across North and South America to Make the Future California featuring Shell Eco-marathon Americas, April 19-22, 2018.

Make the Future California provides a platform for innovation, collaboration and conversation around the world’s energy challenges, as part of a global series of events through 2018. At the heart of these events is Shell Eco-marathon – one of the world’s leading energy efficiency competitions for students – that, for the past 30 years, has been challenging future engineers and scientists to go the farthest with the least amount of energy.

For the past 11 years, students competing in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas have designed, built and tested ultra-energy-efficient vehicles, with some achieving more than 3,500 miles per gallon. 2018 marks the 12th edition of Shell Eco-marathon in the Americas and the return to California where the first Shell Eco-marathon Americas student challenge took place in 2007 with less than 20 teams competing on the inside track of the California Speedway in Fontana.

“We are excited to return to California, a hub for technology and innovation, as we bring together students, energy entrepreneurs and global and local partners to demonstrate collaboration and ignite conversations about how to meet the growing energy demand while reducing future CO₂ emissions,” said Bruce Culpepper, U.S. Country Chair and President, Shell Oil Company. “These ambitious students from all over the Americas have been preparing for the ultimate energy-efficiency challenge, and their bright ideas and innovations on the track show us all what could be possible for the energy solutions of the future.”

“The Shell Eco-marathon program helps to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers for tomorrow’s energy challenges,” said Shanna Simmons, Shell Eco-marathon Global Technical Director. “This competition provides students an opportunity to create a real impact in the world today by encouraging innovation and real solutions to address the global energy challenge.”

More than 1,000 student participants from across the Americas have worked for months to plan and construct their ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. By maximizing elements such as streamlined design, lightweight materials and driving strategy, teams aim to set new fuel efficiency records in two Shell Eco-marathon competitions at the iconic Sonoma Raceway in April:

  • Shell Eco-marathon Mileage Challenge: students compete to see whose vehicle design can go the farthest on the least amount of fuel.
  • Shell Eco-marathon Drivers’ World Championship Regional Final: energy efficiency and speed unite in a race to crown the regional champion and secure a place in the Drivers’ World Championship Grand Final, which will be held in London, 2018.

Student teams can choose to participate in one of two vehicle categories:

  • The Prototype – challenges teams to enter futuristic, streamlined vehicles designed purely to reduce friction and maximize efficiency.
  • The UrbanConcept – focuses on more “roadworthy” energy-efficient vehicles.

For both vehicle categories in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas event, teams can choose to compete with one of three drivetrains based on five official energy sources:

  • Internal combustion: gasoline, diesel, and ethanol
  • Hydrogen fuel cell
  • Battery electric technologies

Teams from Across the Americas Take on the Challenge Year-After-Year
Participating teams in 2018 include the Université Laval from Quebec, Canada, which last year recorded 2,731.1 miles per gallon with its ultra-energy-efficient gasoline powered prototype vehicle for first place in their energy and vehicle category. Last year’s runners-up, Brigham Young University and Mater Dei High School from Evansville, Indiana, will also be heading to Sonoma Raceway in April.

This year’s UrbanConcept competitors will include Mater Dei Supermileage Team, returning for their 12th year in the competition, who recorded top energy efficiency stats with 723.4 miles per gallon in its gasoline powered vehicle last year. Minnesota’s Saint Thomas Academy, Alden-Conger High School, and New York’s Newburgh Free Academy, last years’ podium placers, will also compete again this year.

Notably, Louisiana Tech University, which won the Vehicle Design Award in 2017 with its custom-designed UrbanConcept car, is aiming to take the top honors at Sonoma Raceway. This year, the team has partnered with Louisiana Tech’s School of Design to enhance branding and promotion for the team and represent the new era of the program.

Events Surrounding Make the Future California Add Value
In 2018, Shell will help shape the future of sustainable mobility in the Bay Area by uniting the industries and individuals that will help drive a cleaner, brighter future. Shell events related to Make the Future California in April will foster dialogue about future energy challenges and near-term solutions, including:

  • Powering Progress Together, April 19: This year in San Francisco, Shell will convene leading thinkers at this action-focused event aimed to foster conversation about the future of energy. The event will invite fresh thinking, and encourage collaboration, dialogue and debate.
  • Synergy Food Truck: The unique Synergy Truck was developed by Shell Eco-marathon student participants who collaborated to re-imagine every aspect of the food truck experience using new energy technologies. The food truck will also be onsite during the Shell Eco-marathon events at Sonoma Raceway.
  • Shell B2B Showcase: Various businesses within Shell will be featured on site, such as Shell’s New Energies group based in San Francisco, showcasing hydrogen and electric automotive mobility; Shell Lubricants and its hyper-fuel-efficient Class 8 tractor-trailer, Starship; and the nearby Shell Martinez Refinery.

For more information on Shell Eco-marathon Americas, including additional details on vehicle class requirements, official rules and details on prizes, please visit the Shell Eco-marathon website at:


About Make the Future Festivals
Make the Future Festivals is Shell’s global platform for conversation, collaboration and innovation around the world’s energy challenges. With events hosted in countries around the globe, they aim to provide an opportunity for multiple stakeholders: including students, entrepreneurs, businesses, governments and the public, to experience, test and contribute bright energy ideas.

About Shell Eco-marathon
Shell Eco-marathon is a global program built to offer students hands-on opportunities to develop ideas and technology, knowledge and skills, within an arena of competition.

Currently held in Asia, the Americas and Europe and made up of two key competitions: Shell Eco-marathon Mileage Challenge, and Drivers’ World Championship, students from countries across their respective regions use innovative problem-solving skills to design and build their own cars. Looking at every aspect of design and technology, students compete to prove that their bright ideas will produce the most energy-efficient vehicle when tested on the track.

Shell Eco-marathon began in 1939 at a Shell research laboratory in the United States as a friendly wager between scientists to see who could get the most miles per gallon from their vehicle. In 1985 in France, Shell Eco-marathon as we know it today was born. In April 2007, the Shell Eco-marathon Americas event was launched in the United States, and in 2010, the inaugural Shell Eco-marathon Asia was held in Malaysia, up until 2013. In 2018 Shell Eco-marathon Mileage Challenge and Drivers’ World Championship competitions will be held in Singapore, California and London, with London hosting the Drivers’ World Championship Grand Final.

About Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with operations in more than 70 countries. In the U.S., Shell operates in 50 states and employs more than 20,000 people working to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future. Shell Oil Company is a leading oil and gas producer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, a recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology and one of America’s leading oil and natural gas producers, gasoline and natural gas marketers and petrochemical manufacturers.

About Sonoma Raceway
Sonoma Raceway, located in the Sonoma Valley, is Northern California’s premier motor-sports destination, featuring a world-class road course, drag strip and karting center.  Its annual race schedule is headlined by the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and Verizon IndyCar® Series. In addition, Sonoma Raceway boasts a motor-sports industrial park, which serves as home to more than 70 businesses, including the Simraceway Performance Driving Center. Sonoma Raceway is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., a leading marketer and promoter of motor-sports entertainment in the United States.

Exchange Bank, Large Business of the Year

Exchange Bank’s relationship with our local Chamber dates back to 1906. Following the great quake, Frank Doyle, president and co-founder of Exchange Bank, joined with other business and civic leaders to form the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce and help Santa Rosa rise from the ashes. The City Council challenged the new Chamber with the slogan, “Build a bigger and better Santa Rosa.” That special relationship continues today as the Bank works with the Chamber and its membership to create a new vision for downtown, find solutions to our workforce and transportation challenges, and once again, help our communities rise from the ashes.

In response to the October wildfires the Bank increased charitable giving, employees volunteered in the community, and the Bank was able to open ten of our eighteen Sonoma County Offices immediately after the fires to provide essential banking services and support to both our customers, non-customers, and our communities.

Since 1890, Exchange Bank has been serving the local community, not only through trusted banking and financial services, but also through its charitable giving. Exchange Bank differs from national and regional banks by investing 100% of its charitable giving in the communities it serves in Sonoma County and Roseville (Placer County). In addition, 50.44% of the Bank’s cash dividends go to the Doyle Trust which funds the Doyle Scholarship at Santa Rosa Junior College. Since 1948, the Doyle Scholarship Fund has provided $83 million to over 127,000 students.

Exchange Bank’s mission statement is “From generation to generation, we invest in people, business and community to build a strong future.”

Exchange Bank is proud to be a Premier Member of the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber.

Join us in honoring Exchange Bank – get your tickets for the 2018 Annual Gala

Star Staffing 20th Anniversary Talent & Recruiting Conference

Star Staffing is celebrating 20 years in business! As part of the celebration, Star Staffing will host a half-day Talent and Recruiting Conference on March 28 from 8:00am – 1:00pm.  This conference will be held at Sonoma State University, Ballroom B.

The half-day conference will include big names from Salesforce, Ameritech Financial, KeenHire, Communication Catalysts, Inc. and the local HR community. HR professionals and business owners are invited to attend. Topics include how to attract the best candidates, perfect the candidate experience, and leverage recruiting techniques for the digital age.

Proceeds will go toward two scholarships for HR students at Sonoma State University. Early bird pricing is $50, regular pricing is $75. There are also ten student seats available at no cost for those interested in the HR profession (must register and show student ID).

Registration available on Eventbrite,

Media Contact:

Ciera Pratt, Marketing Manager


About Star Staffing:

Founded in 1998, Star Staffing is Northern California’s premier staffing provider, holding offices in Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Napa, Fairfield, Sacramento, Lodi and in the school of business at Sonoma State University. Honored as a North Bay Best Place to Work and Fastest Growing Company by Inc. 5000, Star Staffing offers recruiting and screening, payroll and time attendance management, risk reduction programs, employee rewards and benefits, and superior service to a multitude of companies, including manufacturing, industrial, clerical, administrative, accounting, finance, and professional.

Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center Get New Physician Leadership

Michael J. Shulman, MD, a Santa Rosa urologist, was named the new physician-in-chief of the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center, helping guide the medical operation of the hospital and oversee physicians and medical staff.

Dr. Shulman, a Santa Rosa resident, joined the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center in 2006. He served as Santa Rosa’s Chief of Urology for over nine years (including two years as assistant chief), and he replaces Kirk Pappas, MD, who served as physician-in-chief from 2011-2017.

“Our work is now compounded by the devastation of the fires,” says Dr. Shulman, who became physician-in-chief just eight days before the fire storm. “Nevertheless, I hold vast optimism for our future as I witness tremendous dedication and caring by our medical physicians and staff toward the work of healing and building a better medical center. For me, it is truly an overwhelming honor and privilege to serve as physician-in-chief for Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center.”

Dr. Shulman was born and raised in central coastal California. He graduated from Occidental College, Magna Cum Laude, with a degree in Chemistry. He received his Masters degree in Chemistry from Harvard University and from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. He then moved to Honolulu, Hawaii where he taught high school chemistry at Iolani and Punahou Schools. He also worked as an environmental consultant for both private industry and the Hawaii State Department of Health.

To pursue his interest in medicine and service to patients, Dr. Shulman received his Medical Degree from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, where he graduated Cum Laude with election to Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA). He then completed an Internship in General Surgery and Residency in Urology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas, Texas.

“We’re pleased to welcome Dr. Shulman to the leadership team at the Santa Rosa Medical Center,” said Judy Coffey, RN, Sr. Vice President and Area Manager, Marin-Sonoma. “and we look forward to working together—physicians,  nurses, and staff—providing high quality care and service to our members.”


About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.7 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to:

The Buck Institute for Research on Aging Explores a New Therapeutic Avenue for Parkinson’s Disease

Systemic clearing of senescent astrocytes prevents Parkinson’s neuropathology and associated symptoms in a mouse model of sporadic disease, the type implicated in 95% of human cases. Publishing in Cell Reports, researchers in the Andersen lab at the Buck Institute provide a new potential therapeutic avenue for the incurable, progressive neurological disorder that affects up to one million Americans, robbing them of the ability to control movement.

Senescent cells, which stop dividing in response to stress, secrete deleterious factors that cause tissue damage and lead to chronic inflammation. In this study, senescence was triggered by exposure to the pesticide paraquat, a neurotoxin formally linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease in farmworkers in 2011.

“While senescence has been implicated in Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disease, we believe this is the first time that clearing the inflammatory cells prevented symptoms from developing in a live mammal,” said Julie K. Andersen, PhD, Buck professor and senior author on the paper. “We hope that the fact that we were able to do this in a sporadic, rather than genetic, model of Parkinson’s, highlights its relevance as a potential new way to tackle the most prevalent form of the disease.”

This research is unusual given that it focuses on senescence in astrocytes, so called “helper” cells that perform a variety of tasks, from axon guidance and synaptic support to control of the blood brain barrier and blood flow. Even though astrocytes are the most numerous cell type within the central nervous system, Andersen says they have been underappreciated “stepchildren” in most basic neuroscience research. She says the vast majority of Parkinson’s research has focused on toxicity that directly affects specific neurons implicated in the disease, “but no one has come up with an effective treatment based on that approach. This research suggests that senescent astrocytes may contribute to the development of the disease and we’re excited to explore this avenue.”

The research, led by adjunct faculty Shankar Chinta, PhD and postdoctoral fellow Georgia Woods, PhD, showed that postmortem tissue from patients with Parkinson’s displays increased astrocytic senescence, and that cultured human astrocytes exposed to paraquat become senescent as well.

The mice used in this research were six months old, the human equivalent of about 34 years of age. Andersen’s lab hopes to study the impact of astrocytic senescence in mice at varying stages of lifespan to see if Parkinson’s can be reversed in addition to being prevented. “Chronic inflammation fueled by senescence drives many age-related diseases and it’s quite possible that Parkinson’s is among them,” says Andersen, who adds that astrocytic inflammation may play a role in other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. “This model gives us a way to expand how we look at and potentially treat a range of maladies,” she says.

There is a desperate need for treatments for Parkinson’s. An estimated seven to 10 million people are living with the disease worldwide. In addition to resting tremor and difficulty with walking and balance, Parkinson’s also leads to cognitive decline and depression with symptoms becoming more severe as the disease progresses. About 5 percent of cases are caused by genetics. The remainder are believed to be caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors such as family history, genetic mutations, drinking well water and exposure to pesticides or metal.


Citation: Cellular senescence is induced by the environmental neurotoxin paraquat and contributes to neuropathy linked to Parkinson’s disease DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.017.12.092

Other Buck researchers involved in the study include Shankar J. Chinta, Georgia Woods, Marco Demaria, Anand Rane, Ying Zou, Amana McQuade, Subramanian Rajagopalan, Chandani Limbad, David T. Madden and Judith Campisi.

The work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health grant AG009909, T32-AG000266, Michael J. Fox Foundation, the Ellison Senior Scholar in Aging award, a training grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the American-Italian Cancer Foundation and the Buck Institute Impact Circle.

About the Buck Institute for Research on Aging

At the Buck, we aim to end the threat of age-related diseases for this and future generations. We bring together the most capable and passionate scientists from a broad range of disciplines to study mechanisms of aging and to identify therapeutics that slow down aging. Our goal is to increase human health span, or the healthy years of life. Located just north of San Francisco, we are globally recognized as the pioneer and leader in efforts to target aging, the number one risk factor for serious diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, macular degeneration, heart disease, and diabetes. The Buck wants to help people live better longer. Our success will ultimately change healthcare. Learn more at:

Kaiser Permanente Coming Together on MLK Day to Build Community

Working in partnership with Rebuilding Together Petaluma, more than 50 Marin-Sonoma volunteers gathered in Petaluma as part of Kaiser Permanente’s 14th annual MLK Day of Service.

Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to community health includes addressing the underlying social circumstances that influence it, such as homelessness. That’s why this year’s volunteer efforts focused on Petaluma People Services Center (PPSC) and the Kids First Emergency family shelter at the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS).

“As a nonprofit, we are often so focused on the work, and struggling to survive, that we neglect self-care,” said PPSC Executive Director Elece Hempel. “Projects like this one are so appreciated! It allows us to continue to do what we do, to care for the community.”

PPSC is dedicated to improving the social and economic health of the community through counseling and support services, including those aiding seniors, the unemployed, and people without a place to live. One of PPSC’s programs, Petaluma Bounty, is the current recipient of a KP Community Benefit grant.

COTS offers assistance with case management, income development, counseling, and housing searches. KP sponsors COTS’ annual breakfast fundraiser and helps fund the Petaluma Sober Circle.

“We couldn’t ask for a better, more responsive partner,” COTS CEO Mike Johnson said.

On KP’s MLK Day of Service, more than 1,500 KP physicians and employees gave back about 10,000 hours to serve communities at 22 sites across Northern California. In Petaluma, KP volunteers – including family members, retirees, and members of the Teen Advisory Council – pitched in with painting, landscaping, flooring work, and cleaning.

Rebuilding Together, which organized the Petaluma volunteer effort, repairs about 60 homes and the facilities of several nonprofits each year.

Executive Director Jane Hamilton sees such projects as a win-win for everyone involved. “For the companies that participate, volunteering allows colleagues to work together for the first time or in a new way,” she said. “For the nonprofits, it shows the organizations how much they’re appreciated by the whole community.”

Kaiser Permanente Contributing Funds to Support Community Health

Kaiser Permanente understands that total health extends beyond the doctor’s office or hospital, to the places where people live, work, and play. We also understand that building healthy communities requires financial backing for supportive resources and services.

Last year, Kaiser Permanente Northern California provided more than $40 million in grants and donations to nonprofit, community based organizations and agencies. In the fourth quarter of 2017 alone, Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit funded more than 50 substantial grants to support diverse community health needs.

In addition to state and regional grants, local CB contributions include:

Family Justice Center Sonoma County (FJCSC), Ensuring Comprehensive Services for Victims of Family Violence: Funding allows FJCSC to remain fully staffed with two full-time navigators, three full-time victim advocates, a full-time attorney, and a full-time bilingual legal assistant to support family violence victims. The goal is to enable clients and their children to live stable, well-adjusted lives ($95,000 grant for 1 year).

Partnership for Children and Youth (PCY), HousED Northern California Learning Community and Action Network: Funding allows PCY to support Marin and 12 other Northern California housing providers with training, coaching, quality assessment, and communications support. Goal is to expand and increase the quality of housing-based learning programs, reaching low-income children in at least 120 affordable and public housing developments ($300,000 in funding over 2 years).

SF-Marin Food Bank and Redwood Community Health Coalition, Building Local Outreach Capacity (BLOC): Aims to increase CalFresh (California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) so participating organizations can enhance service and delivery capacity to provide high-quality outreach and effective application assistance for eligible individuals and families (year-long grant totaling $1,194,000 supports 15 regional grantees).

Redwood Community Health Coalition (RCHC), Regional Clinic Consortia: One of six CB Northern California consortia grants that support community health centers to grow and successfully: meet patient choice demands; accommodate patient expansion under the Affordable Care Act; advocate for access to health coverage for low-income Californians; implement payment reform focused on value-based care; and address health needs of the uninsured ($250,000 in funding per consortium over 2 years).

Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation, Park Accessibility for Resilient Communities (PARC): Aims to increase accessibility in communities facing inequitable access to safe parks and open spaces, and significant usage disparities by ethnicity, age, and gender (particularly in low-income and underserved communities). Developed with community input, incorporates sustainable programming and maintenance (year-long grant totaling $750,000 to support 10 regional grantees).

In response to the North Bay fires and a growing homelessness crisis, Community Benefit also fast-tracked the following grants and donations:

Mental Health Groups for Patients Affected by North Bay Fires, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers (SRCHC): Support for up to six months of weekly and monthly mental health groups for patients impacted by the Sonoma County fires. Includes administrative and outreach support, and bilingual trauma and depression groups, therapy for adults and families, and access to evaluations by licensed psychiatrists for high-risk patients ($200,000 cash donation for 6 months).

UndocuFund for Fire Relief in Sonoma County, Grant Makers Concerned with Immigrants & Refugees (GCIR): UndocuFund was established to assist undocumented residents who were displaced, lost wages and jobs, and suffered other losses due to the North Bay fires—including many undocumented wine and hospitality workers. GCIR is the fiscal sponsor of a $250,000 cash donation for 6 months.

Vista Clinic Fire Recovery, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers (SRCHC): Funding to assist 24,000 patients and 180 employees of Vista Clinic (SRCHC’s largest site), which was severely damaged by fire. Assistance to include providing patient transportation to other sites, covering the loss of payments, and providing post‐trauma support ($50,000 cash donation to help meet immediate needs).

Redwood Credit Union Receives Heart of Marin Corporate Community Service Award

Redwood Credit Union (RCU) received the Corporate Community Service award at the 25th annual Heart of Marin awards held January 11, 2018 at the Marin Center, hosted by the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL). The Corporate Community Service award recognizes a local company that has fostered and encouraged volunteerism and philanthropy among its employees.

In 2017, RCU’s staff provided over 2,000 hours of volunteer support at 115 events supporting local nonprofits and community organizations in Marin, including the Marin/San Francisco Food Bank, Novato Human Needs Center, Marin YMCA, Conservation Corps of the North Bay, and many others. RCU regularly hosts “Bite of Reality” financial events at local high schools to help teens learn important real-world money management skills—more than 3,000 Marin students benefited from these programs. In addition, RCU supports SchoolsRule—a coalition that provides literacy, technology, arts and health education to all Marin public school students—through a unique program that generates a donation for every RCU credit or debit card transaction made by a Marin County Member, providing more than $30,000 to support SchoolsRule programs annually. In 2017, RCU also raised more than $31 million dollars through the North Bay Fire Relief Fund to assist people who were impacted by the devastating fires last October.

“RCU is extremely honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Matt Martin, Vice President of Community and Government Relations for RCU, who accepted the award at the event. “Giving back and supporting the well-being of our local communities is an integral part of who we are as an organization, and we are continually inspired by the amazing spirit this community has for giving and helping people in need.”

RCU also sponsored the Heart of Marin Volunteer of the Year award, which was presented to Kim Lambert of Canal Alliance by RCU’s Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer Ron Felder at the event.

Redwood Credit Union has 17 branch locations throughout the North Bay and San Francisco, including 3 Marin branches in San Rafael, Mill Valley, and Novato.

About Redwood Credit Union

Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, wealth management and investment services, and more. The Credit Union also offers insurance and discount auto sales through their wholly-owned subsidiary. RCU has over $4 billion in assets and serves more than 300,000 Members with full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah, more than 30,000 fee-free network ATMs nationwide, and convenient, free online and mobile banking. For news and updates, follow RCU on Facebook at and on Twitter at @redwoodcu. For more information, please call 1 (800) 479-7928 or visit

Dominican University and the City of Novato Team Up on Youth Civic Engagement

Novato students studying at Dominican University in San Rafael this fall will be able to pursue civic engagement through public service — and be eligible for a $100,000 scholarship.

In a unique partnership between the city of Novato and Dominican, 10 students a year can participate in “Reimagining Citizenship” — a program enabling students to earn a bachelor’s degree while working as interns at Novato City Hall. Students can receive up to $100,000 in scholarship funds over four years and a $10,000 stipend for two summers of work with the city.

“It’s a win-win because it gives young people the opportunity to gain valuable experience and skills,” said Novato Mayor Josh Fryday, who last month pitched the project to the city for further discussion. “It’s a huge benefit to the community for the services and projects the young people will be working on, and it helps create and shape civically-minded and civically-engaged citizens.”

The Novato City Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed to support the public-private arrangement, expected to launch with students working in various city departments this summer. The city will set aside $50,000 for stipends from next year’s budget.

“I think this all sounds phenomenal,” Councilman Eric Lucan said Tuesday. “I remember my summer after my high school year and it looked nothing like what we’re talking about tonight. It really provides some great opportunities.”

Councilwoman Pam Drew said she can support the program if it helps low-income students, but said she wanted more information.

“I support public-private partnerships if it can be shown to aid Novato high school graduates to have access to college,” she said. “But I want to see the parameters, the basics, of the program.”

High school seniors living in Novato who plan to study any major at Dominican this fall can join the program. Fryday said the opportunities at City Hall this summer are still being fleshed out, but he envisions students working in unique ways.

“(I see) everything from working in the parks and recreation department to put on programs for all citizens, to helping our engineering teams, assisting the police department with their work to keep the community safe,” he said. “The idea is there are a variety of opportunities to work on different kinds of meaningful projects for the community.”


Dominican President Mary Marcy said students, who will progress through the program as a cohort, will engage in work that helps their education and the city.

“We plan to sit down with the team at the city and have them go through the list of greatest need, and to talk about aligning students’ capabilities,” she said. “The ideal position is where they can make genuine contributions right away but where they’re exposed to the way city government works — how it can make a difference.”

Over four years, students will take a series of courses that will earn them credits toward the university’s minor in community action and social change, which provides an understanding of issues affecting communities and the nation. The minor requires the completion of four courses, but more classes would be required.

Marcy said young people have become more civically engaged over the past two years, but they need the tools to learn how they can become even more involved.

“I know our students are very interested in politics, whether it’s local or national,” she said. “I think they need avenues for using that interest to actually make a difference. They’re interested in more than just protesting or voting. They want to make a difference in the community. We’re providing an opportunity for them to do that.”


At Dominican University, students are encouraged to become involved in community engagement — one of four pillars making up what is called the “Dominican experience.” The school in 2016 held a two-day workshop, dubbed “College Debate 2016,” focused on encouraging young people to vote. The school invited 138 college students from 47 states to the event. The campus has sponsored forums on issues, hosted speakers and opened its doors to allow young voters to watch the presidential debates.

The “Reimagining Citizenship” program was pitched by Fryday after meeting with Marcy about providing a platform that encourages young adults to get involved.

Fryday and Marcy said the program model can be expanded not only to other schools across Marin and the Bay Area, but statewide.

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, said in a written statement said he applauds Marcy and Fryday for their investment in the effort.

“This unique program — a potential model for other communities — is about investing in the future of America,” he said. “It should serve as a national model for public/private sector partnerships focused on creating more engaged citizens and education opportunities.”

Interested students can contact Maria Upmeyer in Dominican’s admissions office at 415-257-1307, or

“There are a lot more details to come and lots for the community to learn about this program and the service opportunities,” Fryday said. “All of us have work to do now to get the word out to make sure every student in Novato knows this opportunity is available to them.”

College Of Marin To Present Private Art Collections From Locals

The Art Department at College of Marin (COM) had its beginnings in the Butler Barn in 1931 under the direction of William F. Rauschnabel. Since then, students have received instruction from award-winning artists such as Harry Crotty and world-renown sculptor Robert Ellison.

Over the years, a number of donors have contributed important works of art to COM’s permanent collection as well as a variety of pieces currently on loan. Two sculptures by Robert Ellison are installed at the Kentfield Campus. COM is also home to six original William Keith paintings depicting Mt. Tamalpais, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and other local vistas.

The availability to view art created by emerging and established artists is a critical component of the Art Department’s curriculum. This engagement, whether active or passive, provides opportunities for students and the community to study and experience art.

Reviewing potential artwork to be installed on District property now falls under the purview of an advisory group. This process was formalized in a new administrative procedure approved by members of the board of trustees in May 2017. Formed by the Fine Arts Department chair, the group includes Art Department faculty and staff and a representative from the Advancement Office. After reviewing requests for installations on campus, the group’s recommendations are considered by the Office of the Superintendent/President for a final decision.

“Art exhibited at College of Marin’s campuses—whether in the gallery or other locations—can provide a vehicle for dialogues to take place across disciplines,” said Superintendent/President Dr. David Wain Coon. “The upcoming exhibits broaden the conversation farther out into the community as they feature pieces with direct connections to Marin.”

In 2018, COM’s commitment to the arts takes shape in the form of new biannual exhibits. Opening in March, Marin Collects showcases significant art and design from the private collections of Marin County residents. The inaugural exhibit will feature works on loan from the Blunk Foundation, the Parker family, and the Cella family.

Marin Collects is intended to celebrate the passion that moves people to acquire art. Just as community colleges draw a diverse group of people, the exhibit seeks to bring unique pieces together in support of sharing an appreciation of the arts.

Opening in fall 2018, Made in Marin will feature works by local makers—designers and manufacturers, artists and craftspeople—based in Marin. This reoccurring exhibit highlights art from emerging makers who live and work in this community. Made in Marin lauds the county’s heritage of creative artisans. The inaugural exhibit will include art by Ido Yoshimoto and Grayson Kent.

COM’s Fine Arts Gallery hosts five to six exhibits each academic year and serves as a classroom which gives students hands-on training in the fields of exhibition installation and gallery management.

More information about gallery hours and exhibits is available online at

About College of Marin
Established in 1926, College of Marin remains committed to educational excellence, providing equitable opportunities, and fostering success in all members of its diverse community. With campuses in Kentfield and Novato, students of all ages have affordable access to an exciting variety of credit and noncredit courses as well as community education classes for lifelong learning. College of Marin is one of 114 public community colleges in California and approximately 13,000 credit, noncredit, and community education students enroll annually.

College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.