Short Takes relates brief news updates from La Sierra University’s students, alumni, and faculty.
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Roadrunner Review pieces garner prizes

Cover art for the 5th issue of “The Roadrunner Review” by Natalie Bradford

Three pieces originally published by La Sierra’s literary journal, “The Roadrunner Review,” have received attention from other industry publications. “Burials” by Despy Boutris was selected by judge Amber Sparks for inclusion in the upcoming Best Microfiction 2021 anthology, while “My Cat” by Lassiter Wraith and “Look at This Young Foreigner” by Q.M. were both chosen as finalists for Best of the Net’s 2020 anthology. Senior Editor Melissa Knopp, who works alongside the journal’s other editors to create a growing platform for student publication, is excited about the selections, saying, “These writers are all so deserving of acclaim. This shows that we’re doing our job and working toward our mission— to create a journal where students are happy and proud to publish.” Similarly, “this is great for both our student writers’ careers and our literary editors’ CV lines,” says the journal’s faculty sponsor Sari Fordham, professor of English. “I’m so, so proud of them. They are showing the value of student literary work and perspective.” To read past issues of the journal, please visit

Social work alumna co-hosts mental health podcast

Co-hosted by IEHP Clinical Behavioral Health Director Amrita Rai ‘99, Chat and Chai is a new podcast discussing physical and mental health through candid conversation. Begun during quarantine with IEHP’s Behavioral Health Medical Director Gayani DeSilva, the series explores topics ranging from preventative health to systemic racism, and provides both advice and accessible tools for listeners and members of the Inland Empire community. Check out the podcast for free at or via Apple Podcasts.

Higher education experts launch college prep and parenting podcast

Anthony and Jankel Cadavid recording College Metropolis in their home studio.

Professor Anthony Cadavid ‘99, ‘01 and his wife, college admission pro Jankel Cadavid ‘04, began a podcast in August 2020 as an avenue to empower parents of new college students with the “information, tools, and resources to become the best parents [possible] through the college admission process.” College Metropolis now has nearly 30 episodes that discuss everything from conquering the SAT to the right questions to ask when applying to higher education institutions. Anthony, who has been teaching at East Los Angeles College since 2004, says “We help high school kids and their parents navigate everything, including finding the colleges that offer the best fit.” Listen to the podcast for free at or via Apple Podcasts.


Music Department shares interviews with students, faculty, and staff

The Department of Music at La Sierra University is creating “Department Stories,” a new series of videos showcasing our remarkable musicians. Get to know members of the department, particularly those with upcoming events, through interviews that discuss their love of music, their goals, and much more. New episodes are planned for release every other week, and can be viewed on the department’s Facebook page @lasierrauniversitymusic and YouTube channel

La Sierra faculty release new books on Adventism and music

The Idea of an Adventist University, Griffin & Lash
Gary Chartier, ’87, Associate Dean, Distinguished Professor of Law and Business Ethics, Tom & Vi Zapara School of Business

The Idea of an Adventist University was published in 2020 as Gary Chartier’s thirteenth singly authored book. In this work, he invites students, faculty members, staff members, donors, church leaders, and community stakeholders of Seventh-day Adventist higher educational institutions to “reflect on why Adventists should proudly nourish institutions of higher education, how those institutions can flourish, and what they can offer to Adventism and the rest of God’s creation.” With a forward by La Sierra University President Emeritus Lawrence T. Geraty and multiple endorsements from current and past leaders of Adventist universities and colleges, the book delves into the pivotal matters with which Adventist higher education currently wrestles. Chartier reflects on an Adventist university’s theological identity, discusses ways in which teaching and scholarship can and should contribute to human learning, examines the importance of academic freedom, offers reasons for decentralized decision-making, discusses a philosophy of budgeting, explores ethical issues related to endowments, employee compensation, and matters concerning donations, and considers important features of community life on campus and relationships with wider communities. “An Adventist university’s primary gift to the church and to the rest of God’s world, I suggest, is to be itself,” Chartier writes.

The Horizon Leans Forward: Stories of Courage, Strength, and Triumph of Underrepresented Communities in the Wind Band Field
With an Annotated Bibliography of Works by Underrepresented Composers
Gia Publications, Inc.

Three compositions by Giovanni Santos, ‘04, Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Wind and Percussion Studies, are included in the annotated bibliography of this 576-page book compiled by Erik Leung and published in December 2020. The work showcases more than 200 gifted composers from underrepresented communities along with more than 400 of their best compositions for wind band, Grades I–VI. “This significant volume takes an honest look at the past and present state of the wind band profession and lays out a bold and promising vision for the future, one in which there is an equitable and universal representation of all people in all areas of the field,” states a book description by Gia Publications.


Says Santos, “I’m thrilled and honored to be included in this wonderful book that celebrates underrepresented composers. It’s even more exciting to be mentioned alongside composers that I admire and often program in concerts at La Sierra.”

Endurance athlete and physical therapist Sergio Florian breaks Oahu Circumnavigation Run record

Sergio Florian ‘02 broke the record for the fastest run around the perimeter of Oahu on February 27 and 28, 2021. The old record was just under 33 hours—Florian ran the 135 miles in 27 hours and 15 minutes. His original goal was to complete the circumnavigation run in 24 hours to honor the perseverance and determination of his physical therapy clients who suffer from neurological or spinal cord conditions. “Movement is life,” Florian said in an article from Hawaii News Now, “and I feel like I’m passing that on to [them].” To learn more about Florian’s record-breaking trek, check out this video: