Brandman News

Giving thanks at Brandman University

November 25, 2014 by Brandman University

Brandman_ThanksgivingThanksgiving was always one of my favorite holidays as a kid growing up in the Midwest. It still is. I think fondly about my grandmother on this holiday because she was such a magician in the kitchen, but also because of her Thanksgiving tradition: before we could dig in to the tantilizing feast that she worked so hard to prepare, everyone around the table had to share what they are most thankful about. It always seemed to create a pleasant atmosphere for my family on Thanksgiving, and it turns out my grandmother was wise with this approach. As John Tourney explains in the New York Times, cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others.

I asked people in the Brandman family to share what they are thankful for this year, and here’s what they said:

Students and Alumni

Doug Seubert: I am thankful for family and friends, and for my graduate certificate in health risk and crisis communication.

Jamakka Wilkins: I am so very thankful for the experience I had in obtaining my BA with Brandman University. The staff, my academic advisers, and my family for the support. It was all worth it!

Candace Burke: is thankful for a patient academic advisor.

Roselene Plazola: I am thankful for the opportunity I was given to obtain a B.A. at Brandman and for my family that supported me through it.

Melissa Smith: I’m thankful that I’m almost done with my MA in Organizational Leadership in Education! Four more weeks of this term, 16 to go till graduation day!

Jamie Kincaid: I am thankful for the opportunities I have had here at Brandman and within my community.

Melissa Smith: I’m thankful that I’m almost done with my MA in Organizational Leadership in Education! Four more weeks of this term, 16 to go till graduation day!

Christie Campos: I’m most Thankful for the ongoing support of my family as they have been behind me beginning in 2010-12 as I worked on my BA and now as I continue working on my MA. With graduation in 2016, my plans are to Finally walk and my family will be there, like they’ve been this entire time. Thank You to my husband and kids…Team Campos!

Michael Brantley: I’m thankful for the support by the Brandman staff. The same support has helped me reach the finish line of my BBA degree after three years of sea duty and 2 back to back deployments in the navy.

Kathleen Dacy Bates: I am grateful for people who stretch themselves continuously in life to learn and to love; they make the world a better place to be in.

Nadeya Sara: I am thankful for so many things. God, a Brandman education, friends, dot dot plus…

Satoshi Sharon Nakama: I am extremely thankful to be an Alpha in the O.L. Ed.D. Program at Brandman. We are the trailblazers of such a great program!

Faculty and Staff

Shelly Neal: I am thankful for each and every one of my amazing team at Brandman, their hard work, positive attitude and can-do spirit.

Belinda Falk: I’m thankful for pink post-it notes, a cubicle by the balcony, friends at Brandman, and a supervisor I like. Who could want more?

Catherine Pearlman: I am thankful for my job at Brandman University and thankful that they make it possible for so many students to get their education where it might not have been possible at a more traditional school. I am thankful to work at a place where I can fully stand behind the mission.

Diana Cabori: I am grateful for the partners and adult learners I have met along the way who have allowed me to be a part of fulfilling their academic dreams. As C. S. Lewis put it, “You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.”

Shiela Bishop: I am thankful for having a healthy family, amazing friends, and people at work who I respect, admire, and genuinely like. And, this year I’m especially thankful for the arrival of Brandman’s newest strategic brainchild – ECC!

George Peraza-Smith: I am thankful for a healthy and fulfilled life. Our family will be growing this coming year as we are adopting four adorable children. I am thankful that we have the capacity to give these children a new forever home.

Barbara Bockman: I am thankful for a healthy family; my husband, children and grandchildren and the many family and friends that bless my life daily!

Helen Eckmann: I am grateful that I am surrounded with amazingly bright and hard working people at Brandman, students, faculty, staff and administrators. I love being an educator and an innovator at the same time. Working on CBE this last year has been like putting together a New York Times Sunday puzzle that had an astonishing number of complex variables.

Nick Lacy: I’m thankful for all the collaborative efforts, innovation, and teamwork of the Brandman team.

Anthony Potter: I am thankful for the new colleagues I have enjoyed spending time with and working together with. They have made the transition process for a new job so smooth.

Kerri Melnikoff: I’m thankful for being employed and working with such an amazing team of individuals at Brandman University.

Dona Sheets: I am thankful that my husband has survived 4 years with ALS, which is beating the odds. I am thankful that God allows me to care, love, nurture, and bring joy to his life each day. I am thankful that I have been given this valuable time.

Laurie Dodge: I am thankful for the Institutional Assessment & Planning most awesome staff for their leadership and exemplary service but mostly for their amazing care for each other and of course, their refreshing wicked sense of humor. We have yet to have a gathering (some call these meetings) without laughter.

Sue Yockelson: I am thankful for faculty retreats, when I get to spend time with my FABULOUS Brandman colleagues and leaders! The breakfast buffet at the Ayres hotel isn’t too bad either :-P.Pindy Gill I’m thankful for great. Brandman staff who I work with everyday. Thankful for a great team!

Megan Shults: I am thankful for my brand new baby girl and the 3 week (leave) vacation I get to take because of her.

Diana Cunnignham: I am thankful for the gift of redemption given to us by Christ dying on the Cross. I am also thankful for the gift of prayer, which brings us closer to Our Lord. Finally, I am thankful for the gift of human life from the moment of conception to natural death. God blesses all humanity with many wonderful gifts to be thankful for.

Shannon Frith: I am thankful for students that pre-register using their education plan!

Holly Williams: I’m thankful for the amazing opportunities and people my journey with Brandman has brought to my life!

LeAnn Akins: I am thankful for my family, my friends, my faith, and my co-workers at the Santa Maria campus.

Diana Cabori: I am grateful for the partners and adult learners I have met along the way who have allowed me to be a part of fulfilling their academic dreams. As C. S. Lewis put it, “You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.”

Jolene Johnson: I am so grateful for the kind, intelligent, and direct people I work with at Brandman University. This is soooo important since once spend the greatest portion of their day at work!

Monica Hally: I am thankful for the amazing opportunity to join the BU team! What an awesome group of people here Thank you!

Lata Murti: is thankful for her wonderful students and full-time faculty colleagues at Brandman, who inspire me every day.

Rebecca Hahn-Hooten: I am thankful for four days to start my holiday Crafts while my hubby and son start the light decorations so our house can be seen from Mars, and especially for my mom who volunteers to cook so we have the time to create and decorate!

Linda Montenegro: I am thankful for my family, friends and the wonderful students, staff and faculty that I have the pleasure of working with each day.

Charmaine Felder: I am thankful to be a new member of the Brandman faculty family this year. So much kindness has been shown to me—a true welcoming spirit.

Michael Brouillette: I’m thankful to my partner for being my best friend, lifting me up, always forgiving my weaknesses and constantly appreciating my strengths!

For me, I have many things to be thankful for this year, especially my serendipitous return to Brandman University. I am thankful for the awesome community spirit at Brandman and the hard working faculty who make students their priority. I’m also thankful to those who posted on Facebook or replied to the invitation to participate in this blog. Brandman wishes you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.


Joe-CockrellAbout the author
Joe Cockrell is the Vice Chancellor of Communications and Chief Communications Officer at Brandman University. He is the primary spokesperson for the university and manages the news bureau.

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