Merced College Staff Newsletter
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Rauno TikkannenRauno Tikkanen Is Merced College's New Fulbright Exchange Teacher And New Concert Band Director

Rauno Tikkanen is a long way from home. And while Merced may not look much like his native Finland, Tikkanen is settling into life as a Merced College professor of music.

“I’m here to meet new friends, have new ideas, and to enjoy a new life in this country,” Tikkanen said. “I’m also excited about sharing my musical experience with this community.”

The 46-year-old clarinetist, saxophonist, and conductor is participating in the College’s first Fulbright Teacher Exchange program, trading teaching assignments this year with music professor Mark Doiel, who has taken Tikkanen’s place at the Kuopio Academy of Music and Dance in the city of Kuopio in eastern Finland. The Kuopio Academy is one of Finland’s most prestigious teaching institutions and is responsible for training the country’s music and dance teachers.

Tikkanen has performed all across Europe and is currently the director of Kuopio Academy of Music and Dance. He was recognized as the Kuopio Jazz Musician of the Year in 1991 and has plans to perform in Estonia in the premier performance of a jazz opera written by Finnish composer Heikki Sarmanto. Sarmanto has composed for American jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins.

Tikkanen began studying music at the age of 6 and focused on the clarinet in his early teens. He has been a principal solo artist for the past 14 years. Finland, he notes, has a rich musical heritage and music education is stressed in the country’s schools. In fact, it’s common for each primary grade to have its own concert band.
While American community college students take music for a variety of reasons, Tikkanen says he’s discovered that his students are willing to learn and have been very cordial to him.

As the conductor of the Merced College Concert Band, Tikkanen has been in rehearsal for the band’s first concert on October 19. Selections will range from George Gershwin and Cole Porter to the music of the big band era. This concert will also feature Merced College instructor John Albano on the guitar. In return, Tikkanen will be playing with John Albano and his Merced College Jazz Orchestra on November 30.

And what were his musical inspirations growing up in Finland? “I listened to everything: Cat Stevens, Bad Company, Average White Band, Tower of Power. I love all kinds of music.”

Tikkanen is living in the Doiel residence in Atwater with his wife, singer Kirsi, their two teenage sons and five-year-old daughter.

Lawrence C. KingNew Face on Merced College Board of Directors

Larry King was born and raised in Merced. He is a partner in the law firm of King & King, where he practices in the areas of banking and estate planning law.

Larry represents banks and other lenders in the "silicon valley" that lend to technology and emerging growth companies. He also counsels individuals and families to help them achieve their estate planning and wealth transfer objectives.

Larry received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He began his law practice in the Northern Mariana Islands with the firm of Carlsmith Ball Wichman Case & Ichiki, and later practiced in Palo Alto with the firm of Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich.

Larry lives in Merced with his wife, Sandy, and two sons, Andrew and Matthew.

More Foundation News

For many years to come, Merced College students will benefit from a scholarship endowment established by long-time Merced College employees Ted and Catherine McVey.

Ted McVey recently donated $25,000 to the Ted and Catherine McVey Trust held by the Merced College Foundation. In November 2006, Ted donated $25,000 to establish a similar endowment for students attending the Los Banos Campus. In all, the couple has donated $50,000 for student scholarships.

“This is something Catherine and I were committed to doing, to provide perpetual scholarships for Merced College students,” Ted said.

Catherine, who has since passed away, and Ted held various positions at Merced College during their careers. It was their home and their passion. Ted has been retired for many years, but Catherine continued to work up to her death.

“I tried to get Catherine to retire with me, but she loved working and she loved the students she came in contact with,” he said.

Ted is currently living at the Courtyard Residences and would love to hear from his friends at Merced College. You may reach him at 384-9700.

"Study Central" Available To All Merced College Students

The Merced College cafeteria is quickly becoming the new hangout for students and instructors to connect with each other in an informal way. “Study Central” is a program designed to put an end to the myth that instructors and counselors are not approachable or “don’t have time for me.” It also serves as an informational hub for all student services and its goal is to improve academic success and retention.

“Research shows that once a student makes connections outside of the classroom, he/she is more likely to stay enrolled,” said Susan Flatt, Merced College SSPIRE Grant Coordinator. “And, if for some uncontrollable circumstance, a student has to drop out, he/she is more likely to reenroll when situations make it possible if the student had an outside of class connection.”

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Polynesian dancerSave the Date!

The Fifth Annual Merced College Scholarship Banquet, “An Autumn Affaire,” will be held at St. Patrick’s Parish Hall on Friday, October 12. This year's theme, "An Evening in the Tropics," will feature the Kiki Raina Polynesian Revue and a Luau dinner. Social Hour begins at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and entertainment at 8:15 p.m. A silent auction will also be held during the social hour. So, dress in your tropical favorites and join in the fun as we enjoy the tastes, sights, and sounds of the Polynesian Islands!

Tickets are $75 and proceeds go to support local Merced College students transferring to UC Merced.

For more information regarding the banquet, call 381-6471 or visit the Autumn Affaire webpage.


Arthur EmusArthur Emus is Merced College's New Student Trustee

Arthur Emus is the new Student Trustee for Merced College and has been attending the Merced College Board of Trustee meetings representing the students.

Emus was born and reared in Imperial Beach in southwest California. Growing up on the border of two countries exposed Emus to a wonderful mixture of culture, people and customs, complemented by summers with his beloved grandfather in southern Illinois. His parents, teachers by profession, encouraged his involvement in as many activities as he could participate in and his childhood flew by with activities such as surfing, baseball, Boy Scouts, and church activities.

"I had the privilege early on to attend a small Southern Baptist school until I was offered a sports scholarship to a Catholic high school," states Emus. "Because of this opportunity, I discovered so many more clubs and activities, that I practically lived at school, becoming even more excited by art, music, sports, and religion."

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Los Banos Campus TilesThe Los Banos Campus celebrated its grand opening on Friday, Sept. 7. Part of the event included the unveiling of the art mural project. Tiles were sold to donors and the project raised a total of over $39,000. The mural depicts the history of the Los Banos area beginning with the native Yokut Indians and moves toward the present day. The mural is a wonderful gift to the Los Banos Campus from its supporters and will be a centerpiece of the campus for years to come.

Merced College is pleased to inform our campus and community that the Community College Facility (CCFC) Coalition has announced that the architects of the Los Banos Campus, Lionakis Beaumont Design Group, has received an "Award of Merit" in the Campus Completion category of the 2007 CCFC Professional Design Awards Programs. Lionakis will be honored during the CCFC's 14th Annual Conference on Wednesday, Nov. 7 in Sacramento.

Lionakis Beaumont Design Group has also won a design award for the new Merced College Learning Resources Center. This award will be given to them by the Sierra Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects on Thursday, Oct. 11 in Modesto.




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Merced Community College District
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