The Diversity Committee brought CSUS Professor Satsuki Ina, author of Children of the Camps to the campus. Dr. Ina was born at Tule Lake.
Kimi Hill, the granddaughter of artist and UC Berkeley professor Chiaru Obata, discussed Obata's work especially in Yosemite in an presentation at the Natural History Museum lecture series March 15, 2002.
Anthony Gill of the Art and Applied Art & Design departments created an art installation with over 1800 tea bowls to visually represent each person from Placer County who was interned. The tea ceremony is an art form in itself and the tea bowl is symbolic of striving for perfect imperfection in art and in life. Anthony incorporates the Japanese concept of wabi sabi in art making. Wabi sabi finds beauty in the humble and rustic objects of everyday life. The installation was the week of March 11-15, 2001 in front of Dietrich Theatre.
Sumie Ward conducted a Sierra College Flex Workshop at her teahouse in Penryn. A native of Japan, Sumie studied the way of tea in Kyoto before building the teahouse and opening her school. Her students conducted the ceremony as Sumie explained the importance of each step. Before the actual serving of tea, Sumie lectured on the design of the tea garden, the architectural features of the teahouse and the history of the ceremony itself. Sumie is a member of the Sierra College Patron's Club, has been both a teacher and speaker in classes, and is a member of the Standing Guard Steering Committee.
A special weekend field trip with students, staff and community members to the site of the Tule Lake Internment Center near the Oregon border was taken on October 20-21, 2001. Most Placer County residents were interned at Tule Lake after first going to the Assembly Center at Arboga near Marysville. The camp eventually held over 18,000 people.
Debra Sutphen with assistance from Rebecca Gregg escorted a group of Sierra College students and staff to the camp site in Newell, CA. Many barracks still stand in the community. The Officer's Club is the present grocery store. Today the stockade walls bear the marks made by internees in 1943-46.
On November 9, 2001, veterans from the World War II 442 Regimental Combat Team and the American Legion presented a United States flag to the college. This special ceremony honored veterans from the community and the campus. Fifty Japanese American men from Placer County served in the Nisei fighting unit. Approximately 100 Sierra current students are veterans. Mary Kleinbach from the office of Educational Programs and Services coordinated the event. Mary worked with the Standing Guard Steering Committee, Veteran's Affairs Office, Dean's Council, ASSC, and the Sierra College Music Department to plan the presentation.
National flags are filled with emotional symbolism for citizens. In America during the past months, flags have perhaps never been more visible. The U.S. flag on car antennas, in store windows, on tee shirts expressed national support and unity. The significance of the November ceremony takes on special meaning because of our national mourning and resolve as the honor of connecting with veterans who served the country.
Standing Guard and the Oral History project were one of the highlights of the August 2001 convocation in Dietrich Theatre. Rebecca Gregg, project coordinator and photographer professor, presented an overview of Standing Guard on campus and historical background of the local community in 1941. History 35 professors Lynn Medeiros and Debra Sutphen gave an overview of the course and later introduced the fourteen narrators who were in attendance. Students read brief excerpts from the oral histories.
Narrators George Goto, Ida Otani, Shigeo Yokote and Ted Kitada were former Sierra College employees. Several, like Homer Takahashi, had attended Placer Junior College in Auburn while others served in the 442nd. At the end of the presentation the audience rose to its feet for a heartfelt standing ovation and tribute.
Anita Creamer, columnist for the Sacramento Bee, attended and interviewed Loomis resident and WWII veteran Frank Kageta and student Ed Buhrans. Ed like so many of the 60 students in the History 35 course found the opportunity to hear the stories from another generation profoundly moving and one of the most significant educational experiences ever. Ed transferred to CSUS as a history major. He hopes to be a teacher himself someday. He and Mr. Kageta became friends in the process of the oral history interview. Frank affectionately calls him "Eddie".
Creamer's article on the presentation appeared in the August 22, 2001 edition in the Scene section. Homer Takahashi writes for the Loomis News. His August 23 column very favorably reviewed the convocation event and the college's role in Standing Guard.
Standing Guard was again a focal point for the Spring Convocation January 2002.