The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

Cal Times

The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

Cal Times

The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

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Ms. B Keeps the Flame Ignited at PennWest California

AVI Staff worker awarded the coveted PASSHE Keepers of the Flame Award
Ms. B with Sophia Johnson and Sarah Seader

Congratulations to Ms. Brenda Adams for being awarded the second annual Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Keepers of the Flame Award for PennWest California! Ms. Brenda Adams, or as many students and staff refer to her as, Ms. B, is going on her second year as an employee at PennWest California. In such as short amount of time, her positive impact has spread like wildfire across campus.

Each year, PASSHE schools award one person from each campus to be honored as Keepers of the Flame (KOTF). Awardees are invited to attend the annual PASSHE DEI Summit to be honored for their achievements. As stated on the nomination form, “Keepers of the Flame are truly special people who embody a commitment to promoting environments that cultivate a sense of belonging.”

Staff, faculty, and students across campus were encouraged to submit a nomination for who they felt best exemplifies the qualities of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Ms. B’s nomination process was unique in that she was nominated by two different students. She was nominated for this award separately by two campus leaders: Junior, Sophia Johnson, and Senior, Sarah Seader. While the nominations were separate, the reasons for nomination were very similar, further highlighting the immense impact Ms. B has had at PennWest.

Johnson is a Health Science-Pre-Athletic Training Major, as well as a member of the Women’s Volleyball team and serves as President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for PennWest Cal. Seader is  pursuing a dual degree in Management Information Systems and Business Administration Management while serving as the SAI Board of Directors President and the PennWest Cal Student Trustee.

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The Assistant Vice President for Assessment & External Relations at PennWest Cal’s DEI Office, Sheleta Camarda-Webb, said Sophie and Sarah were the catalysts of the nominations, “we received verbal accolades from several other students who shared how special she is to them and how worthy she is of this honor.”

Upon receiving the nominations, Camarda-Webb was ecstatic to forward Ms. B as the nominee for the award given her statement, “I know and see how she continually engages, nurtures, encourages, and pours into students, ensuring and showing them that someone cares about who they are and wants them to know and feel that they belong here.”

Johnson stated about her nomination, “I nominated Miss B for the Keeper of the Flame Award because she is the embodiment of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She speaks to everyone with kindness and love. She is involved in the lives of the students as well as what students are doing on campus.”

Ms. B connects with students and attends as many events as possible including the Women United Fashion Show, BSU Showcase, and weekly Student Government Senate Meetings. Johnson noted, “It means the world to me that Miss B won this award. There is no one else that I could think of who has impacted this campus in such a profound way but her. The greatest part of it all- she hasn’t even been at PennWest California for two years. She has facilitated so much change in the lives of students in such little time.”

Seader wrote in her nomination, “Ms. B creates such a positive influence in so many lives. She is always upbeat and genuinely concerned for all the students. She is definitely a ‘Keeper of the Flame’ as she embodies inclusiveness for all and selflessly embraces goodwill. She demonstrates what it is to be a true Vulcan and blazes a path for others to follow.”

Ms. B received a letter from her two nominators inviting her to the upcoming PASSHE Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Summit, which is being held at Shippensburg University from November 8-10. The ceremony will be held on Thursday, November 9. Upon gathering for a picture, Ms. B was truly enlightened to know how much of an impact she has had on all students. Johnson said it best, “I just want Miss B to know how appreciated and loved she is by myself and the entire PennWest family. There is no one like her, and we are so grateful to experience her presence and wisdom here.”

Ms. B when asked about her impact on campus and the importance of this award, it came back to the students. She wants to allow them to shine.

Ms. B stated, “I want to be that beacon of light for each and every student that I come in contact with. Each and every person here. I have discovered my purpose, and it is here.”

Ms. Brenda Adams outside the Gold Rush holding her Keeper of the Flame Award Letter. (CalTimes)

Please join us in congratulating Ms. B on being recognized as PASSHE’s Keepers of the Flame. Next time you see the Vulcan Flames on the illuminated sign above the Convocation Center, think of Ms. B and her impact on others as she encourages us to spread a little more kindness and add some light back into this world.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Seader
Sarah Seader, Editor-in-Chief

Sarah Seader is the Editor-in-Chief and a Staff Writer for the CalTimes and a Senior Honors Student at PennWest California, pursuing two degrees in Business Administration Management and Management Information Systems with a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship as well as a Data Science Certificate. Sarah serves as the PennWest California Student Trustee.

Sarah is involved serving as the President of the SAI Board of Directors, President of DECA, President of Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD), Student Government Executive Board serving as Vice President, Vice President of Finance Club, Accounting Club Treasurer, and serves as the Treasurer on the Student Honors Advisory Board (SHAB).

Sarah is also a member of Women United, CUTV, WCAL, New Life, STAND, American Sign Language (ASL) Club, American Marketing Association (AMA), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Student Activities Board (SAB), Vulcan Gaming Club, President's Leadership Academy (PLA), The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), and serves as a Peer Mentor and Honors Coach.

Comments (7)

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  • A

    AtaviaOct 12, 2023 at 1:32 pm

    Congratulations! Auntie not sure why my previous comments haven’t posted. But we love you and continue to let your light shine.. love Tae Tati & Drew

  • A

    AtaviaOct 10, 2023 at 9:25 am

    Congratulations auntie! We are so proud of you. God allows you to shine your light so that everyone can not only see it but recognize it. Keep being a keeper of the flame you truly deserve it. We love you!! Tae, Tati and Drew.

  • D

    Destiny MuhammadOct 9, 2023 at 12:34 am

    Keeper Of The Flame Award Is Such An Honor To Be Bestowed Upon Anyone & If Anyone Truly Deserves It, It’s My Auntie, The Auntie Of CalU, The Loving Grandma Of CalU To All Students No One Other Than The Lovely …. Ms. Brenda Adams! She Is A Gift Sent From God Himself! She Will Turn Your Tears Into Laughter, Your Sadness Into Joy & Your Pain Into Relief! She Makes Everyone Feel At Home, Loved, & Included No Matter What Race, Ethnicity, Or Gender You May Be! She’s A Teacher, A Aunt, A Mother, A Grandmother, A Friend, A Confidant, A Guide To & For Us All But Most Importantly …. She’s A Blessing & An Amazing Human Being! We All Love You Auntie!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • A

    AtaviaOct 8, 2023 at 10:27 pm

    Congratulations Auntie! I’m glad they see how special you are the way that I do. No amount of words can be expressed to describe how big your heart is and how passionate you are about your work and being involved. I’m glad you able to let your light shine. You deserve all that God has for you. Love always

  • A

    AlecOct 7, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    We love you Mrs.B

  • B

    Brenda TurnerOct 7, 2023 at 12:17 am

    A Keeper of the Flame describes Brenda Adams perfectly. You are truly a shining star whose flame will never burn out. Your flame will forever be immortalized by the love, joy, and life that you speak into each student. One of my favorite things about you is how you pour into others. Your ever-burning flame provides a spark that helps the people around you shine brighter whenever we feel a little dim. All the love you give is returned back ten-fold. You are adored more than you can ever know. I can’t think of anyone who is more deserving of this award than my Auntie. So, so proud! Congratulations times a million

  • S

    SylviaOct 6, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    Congratulations my sister ❤️ if only they knew that your big personality makes its easy to be a keeper of the flame..keep doing what you love and you will always bring a smile and comfort to others..again Congratulations….your sis Sylvia ❤️