About the Authors

Delta Winds cover 2011Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


About the Authors

These biographical statements were written for publication in 2013.

Robyn Puskaric is 23 years old, and has just returned to Delta after a four-year absence. She had this to say about her experience at Delta College: "I was incredibly nervous about being able to do well in my classes. The thought of taking an English class that required us to write essay after essay was terrifying to me at the beginning of the semester. However, that quickly changed after completing my first assignment, 'Finding Jeff,' in Professor Nugent's class. When she gave it praise in class and told me it made her cry, I felt so accomplished. I have never had a teacher give me so much confidence as a writer! Although I used to dread it, I thoroughly enjoy writing now. I have also overcome my nerves about returning to school, and love my continued journey towards becoming a nurse. Thank you, Professor Nugent, for all of your guidance and encouragement throughout the semester. You are an amazing teacher, and I have you to thank for this!"

Adrianne Silver was an escrow manager for a successful home building company when she realized that having a well paid job wasn't the same as having a career that she loved, so she decided to quit her job and go back to school full time to pursue a career in nursing. At the age of 46, she found returning to school after such a long absence (28 years) a frightening endeavor, but the support Adrianne receives from her husband and family has made all the difference for her. She would like to say to all the "adults" out there who have considered making a change in careers, "It's never too late to figure out what you want to be when you grow up!"

Rebecca Taylor, 22, is a Music, English, and French Language major at Delta. Her primary academic interests are music, languages, literature, and philosophy. When the Fates allow her and the Muse inspires her, she also enjoys thinking. She currently works as a French tutor in Goleman Library. She plans to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara and would like to teach English abroad
before eventually teaching French.

Kelly-Ray Morriston is a 22 year old Delta student. She is an extremely proud single mother of an amazing daughter. She has wanted to be a registered nurse since the age of 13, and is currently waiting to join the Delta ADN program. After graduation, she'll continue her education in the medical field, obtain a bachelor's degree, and hopefully achieve her master's degree. At the age of 19, she became an EMT. After working in Oakland, CA, she was able to view the world through the eyes of the ill, the injured, and the elderly. The lack of passion she has witnessed has sparked the urge to make change for those who depend on medical personnel. She hopes to become a nurse and influence others to use compassion in their professions. Her outlook on life is to treat others with complete kindness, and to give love to those who need a hand to hold every now and then.

Angelica Lopez did not provide a biographical statement.

Morgan Millunzi-Lasater is a mother, wife, and student. Returning to Delta College, she says, has been the best decision she has made for herself: "In a quest of furthering my education, and setting an example for my young son, I have found a treasure map to self-discovery. I have found that I enjoy writing, history, and dare I say, some science. I have also found that a student that was overlooked and brushed aside in high school can soar in community college. It has been my experience at Delta to have had great professors that have assisted in helping me grow and aiding me with tools that will last a lifetime—I am extremely thankful for that. I am now excited for my future and furthering my education. The sky truly is the limit."

Chad Hammerback is a very happily married father/step-father of nine with children ranging from two to twenty-one. He is also a grandfather to a three-year-old grandson. He is an avid reader and sometime writer hoping to one day publish a novel or two. As a South Dakota transplant, he quite often struggles to understand Californian society and many of his essays deal with this disparity as he pursues a degree in Philosophy and Religion.

Julius Durham did not provide a biographical statement.

Barbara Armstrong is a returning student to Delta College after a 43-year absence. After working for 40 years and experiencing many difficult twists and turns in life, she realized that a person doesn't go far with a limited education. She likes to pass on the wisdom of her years to her younger college counterparts by telling them, "You can't hit the 'delete' button to get rid of an old low GPA. Make your education count while you're young. It will serve you well in the long run."

James Wilson, 20, was born and raised in the Bay Area. Once he graduated high school he moved to Acampo and enrolled in classes at Delta. This is his last semester before transferring either to UCLA, CSULB or UC Santa Cruz. He is majoring in film production and hopes to someday work in the film industry. James loves making videos, watching movies and playing with his dog.

Ilona Rydel was born and raised in Stockton, California. She and her husband of twenty-five years own and operate a business in Lodi, California, and together are raising two children, aged eleven and five. She has been a certified massage therapist for seventeen years, and for the last six years has worked with terminally ill patients in a hospice care setting. She has been writing short stories, poems, and comedy sketches since childhood. She is currently taking classes at Delta College with the goal of pursuing a bachelor's degree in nursing at CSU Stanislaus in the future. She and her family love to hike and travel; California coastal towns are a favorite destination.

Vanessa Rodriguez was born in Lynwood, California, and was raised in the Bay Area. She then moved to Stockton and graduated from Edison High School. She is currently a full-time student at Delta College and is looking forward to transferring to a four-year university. With her strong passion for helping people, she hopes to one day become a paramedic and a registered nurse.

Cara Rappuhn was raised in Mobile, Alabama, and moved to Lodi, California, with her husband and children a few years ago. She is attending Delta College in hopes of completing her degree in English and Education. She is currently working as a caregiver and hopes to continue making a difference in the lives of others as a teacher. Cara is down-to-earth, loves people, and she never meets a stranger. She likes spending her free time with her kids, outside running, walking on the beach, hiking in the mountains, or at the gym working out, but she is happiest being at home curled up with a good book.