First Blue Jay Weekend Ushers in a New Tradition

This year, several events that traditionally happened during the spring were combined into one Blue Jay Weekend in order to unite the Manor College community in school spirit. The week started with the Graduation Prayer Service and the graduation picnic. Students, faculty and staff came together and enjoyed picnic-style food and numerous games and activities, including a bounce house race, giant jenga, and a photobooth with props. On Friday, everyone got into school spirit for “On Fridays, We Wear Blue.” Accepted Students Day followed, during which new students, along with family and friends, were introduced to faculty and staff, toured the campus, and participated in numerous fun activities – DJs played music while current students helped serve cotton candy, and everyone had a chance to spin the prize wheel. Vice President of Admissions Stephanie Walker confirmed that it was a highly successful event, with a high yield of students committing to Manor. The weekend wrapped up with the Athletic Reunions, with soccer, volleyball, and basketball alumni returning to campus to catch up with old friends and play several competitive games along with current students. To view more photos, visit Manor’s Flickr albums.

Alumni Story: Danene Birtell

Responding to wildlife emergencies, and improving the care protocols for dealing with injured animals – this is part of Manor alumna Danene Birtell’s everyday routine. Danene now works at the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at UC Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center. “I was always interested in working with wildlife,” Danene explains. When Danene decided to enroll at Manor, she already had a B.S in Biology and Marine Sciences and was working in California. But she realized that she didn’t always understand the reasoning behind what she was doing. “I wanted to know why we were using certain techniques, and expand my medical knowledge,” she says. Danene worked in the field while studying at Manor, an experience she recommends to current students – especially those who are visual learners, like her. “It is so helpful to work part time [with animals], or volunteer while you’re in school. It puts things in perspective, opens doors, builds relationships, and allows you to apply what you’re learning.” After graduating, she went on to work as a Vet Tech in a clinic for several years, and notes that her education at Manor gave her the hands-on experience she needed in order to feel comfortable suggesting new ways to improve the clinic’s day-to-day operations. “Manor did an excellent job of preparing us for our careers.” Danene is now a Readiness Coordinator who works with a team of veterinarians, coordinators, and care specialists. An average day consists of teaching students, educating member organizations, examining and improving protocol, and conducting research. Over the past several years she has contributed to multiple spill response exercises, training workshops, and response plans. People might be surprised that wildlife emergency rehabilitation isn’t always what one might expect after seeing commercials or documentaries that condense the experience. “Although we do a lot of admin, there is urgency when emergencies happen,” explains Danene. “And it’s important to stabilize them first.” In fact, after an oil spill, animals are typically not cleaned off for the first 48 hours – during this period they receive a full health exam and initial care to ensure they are strong enough to survive the stressful cleaning process. Danene was part of the team that responded to the infamous Deepwater Horizon/BP spill, the largest marine oil spill in history. “Careers in wildlife and exotic care are obtainable, and they are available.” Vet Tech students today may wonder whether these types of opportunities are available to them, and Danene assures them that the answer is yes. “Careers in wildlife and exotic care are obtainable, and they are available. Zoos and rehabilitation centers are more medically-focused than ever, allowing for numerous opportunities for veterinary technicians to get involved.” Have an alumni story to submit? Contact!

2019 Student Awards Ceremony Honors Exemplary Students

On April 29, 2019, Manor College honored many students, as well as several staff and faculty members, who upheld the college’s mission statement and showed impressive leadership in sports, academics, and student organizations over the past academic year. To view more photos from this event, visit the college’s Flickr album.

Freshman Excellence Academic Awards and PTK Event Honors Achieving Students

On April 4, students, staff, faculty and family gathered to honor the students receiving the Freshman Excellence academic award, as well as the students being inducted into PTK (Phi Theta Kappa). The event took place in the Basileiad library. Students receiving the Freshman Excellence award had demonstrated a commitment to academic achievement throughout their first year at Manor. PTK is the world’s largest and most prestigious honor society for two-year college students.   

Student Emergency Fund: Giving Back to Students Who Need It

Doesn’t it feel great to give to a good cause? Something you can do that will directly impact Manor College students is donate to the Student Emergency Fund. Amanda Irwin, Assistant Director of Annual Giving, heads this fund. “My role as the assistant director of annual giving is to coordinate giving initiatives that support the emergency fund, as well as coordinate different tactics to get students interested in giving back,” explains Irwin. “The emergency fund helps students facing unexpected financial hardships that will make it more difficult to pay for their education at Manor.”  Financial setbacks can contribute to students not continuing with their studies. This fund was introduced back in Spring of 2018. How the Fund Works This fund can help in different situations. Irwin explains: “The unexpected financial hardship would be something major like a death in the family, a house fire, or sudden loss of employment. So something really big that would cause them to switch their financial focus.” Rather than creating a class gift last spring, students donated to the fund. “It started as a way for students to give back to their peers, and as a way for students who do experience these financial hardships to continue their education.” Future of the Fund Any student experiencing emergency hardship can apply to the fund. Irwin further explains this:  “Students who do experience these financial hardships would complete an application with the Dean of students Ali Mootz. She would decide then who would get the fund. We raised over $200 from students last spring from the fund. It was nice to see students get involved and give back last year.” Irwin thinks that this fund will have a large impact in the future.“If this tradition of students giving to the emergency fund every spring continues, it will grow and impact more and more students that may face this hardship. And other donors, not just students, have donated to this fund. Outside supports will really increase this fund as well.” Upcoming Events There are many opportunities coming up in which students and employees at Manor can donate money to enlarge the fund. One event is Coin Wars, which will begin today, April 15th. This is a way for the Manor community to donate to the fund while also participating in a fun, school-spirit competition. This event will go for two weeks, ending until the first day of final exams. Another event coming up for this fund will be the Graduation Picnic dunk tank. Ten students, professors, or advisors will get dunked after money is donated. Making an Impact Where it Counts Irwin has worked very hard to make this fund happen. Why? For Irwin, it’s all about knowing the difference this fund will make in students’ lives. “I think my favorite part is how impactful this is for a student going through a tough time in their life. Like any major financial situation like a house fire or death in the family. Those are very emotional and stressful times for people. And because of the student emergency fund, it’s nice that students not paying for school is one less thing they have to do during this tough time.”  If you would like more information, email Amanda Irwin at or Allison Mootz at  by marketing intern William Rodebaugh