Colton von Pertz, ’15, is a graduate of the CBU College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design. He had a concentration in video and animation and a minor in marketing, which he has turned into a career in journalism. Colton is the Aerial Photojournalist & Reporter with Angel City Air and is stationed with KTLA. He reports on live, breaking news like police pursuits, brush fires, commercial fires, swift water rescues, protests, and more.

Colton’s journey to finding his purpose started at CBU as a commuter student while working for Apple. Dirk Dallas, assistant professor of graphic design, challenged Colton to find new perspectives while telling stories through photography and videography and using drones to do so. This encouragement, coupled with real-world opportunities to learn the industry, helped Colton succeed after graduation. First, taking a job at Amazon doing product photography and now in his current role capturing breaking news from the clouds. He loves the thrill of never knowing what story he will capture next. He has found his passion in a field he loves and everyday lives his purpose communicating truthful and timely news to the communities served by KTLA.

Colton hopes to continue chasing the next story, but also could see himself in a management role one day. When off the clock, Colton volunteers at his church on the production team, enjoys playing with his family’s four dogs, boating, traveling the world, and finding just the right angle to capture the perfect sunset.

To see Colton’s introduction video for KTLA, click here!



Meet Tracy Waters, a 4th-grade teacher at Starlight Elementary in Beaumont, California, and the 2020 Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) Teacher of the Year. Tracy is a 2012 graduate of the CBU Online and Professional Studies, Master of Science in Educational Leadership program. While at CBU, Tracy credits her professors for guiding and mentoring her in becoming a servant leader and learning how to implement a Biblical worldview into teaching and educational leadership


Growing up on a farm gave her a strong foundation of hard work, responsibility, and perseverance. Lessons she passes on to her students and other teachers she mentors. She was nominated for this award because of her “service above self” perspective. She involves her students in service projects like clothing drives, canned food drives, trash clean up, purchasing supplies for students in Africa, and more! She shows her students how they can make an impact on their community and the world. “She sees the possibility and the potential in every single student,” said Todd Oldenburg, parent of a student.


Tracy feels that public education is a sort of mission field in itself and the Lord has placed her in her role as an educator to be able to bring Jesus to those that need Him. She is living her purpose by encouraging, loving, inspiring, and teaching each child that crosses her path and helping them find and share their gifts—their purpose—with the world. Tracy says, “It is both a joy and an honor that He has chosen me to serve Him in this way.”


This past year, like many teachers, Tracy has had to look to technology more than ever before to navigate teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has tried to build relationships and engagement with her students and their families through phone calls, snail mail surprises, home visits to drop off and pick up materials, and making sure to have fun while online with dance parties and games. She has taken on the task to virtually build upon her teaching philosophy that through creativity, variety, and choice students are able to find their true potential and that every student plays a unique part in the orchestra of the learning experience.


Tracy and her husband Pat have two children. Owen is 13 and an eighth-grader and Jenna, 19, is a Liberal Studies major at CBU. They are heavily involved in their church, leading Home Fellowship for the past 15 years. They also enjoy camping, the beach, and any excuse to hang out with family and friends


Learn more about Tracy and her award in this video from RCOE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YccWkol6SPg&feature=youtu.be





Micah Emerine, ’18, and his wife Rebecca Emerine, ’18, own a wedding videography business. Micah and Rebecca credit their time at CBU and in the College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design for not only building their academic and spiritual foundation but giving them both hands-on experience. As student-workers and studying in Los Angeles in their final semester, they learned many of the skills they use today in their business.

Micah and Rebecca actually began their business when they were students at CBU, which allowed them to start building their portfolio very early on. They have filmed over 80 weddings, many of which are CBU students and alumni! Micah has worked with many different businesses, local musicians, and the Riverside International Film Festival in his freelance endeavors, using his skills in videography, aerial cinematography, editing, and design. He is also very dedicated to his work in the drone industry. He has been finessing his aerial coverage and piloting skills. But for Rebecca and Micah, their main focus and passion are weddings.

Currently, Micah works for the Inland Vineyard Church in Corona as the Media Coordinator. He handles everything from graphic design and animation to website design, photography, and videography. Rebecca works full-time for California Baptist University as an Admissions Communication Specialist.

Micah and Rebecca believe they live their purpose by using creativity to be a light in the world and further the Kingdom of God through their work. They hope to continue to grow their business to a point where they can both be full-time and eventually travel the world, capturing the beauty God has created.

To see Micah and Rebecca’s work, visit micahemerine.com and micahrebeccafilms.com or visit their Instagram at @micahrebeccafilms.


Michelle Moore, ’14/’16, is in her first year working at Harvest Christian School as a physical education teacher and the athletic director. She attended CBU’s online and professional studies program later in life as a non-traditional student and is the first in her family to receive a college degree.

Michelle’s path to CBU started with a 100lb weight loss; she felt that if she could make choices that helped her reach her fitness and health goals, Michelle knew she could help motivate others to do the same. She chose to major in kinesiology and physical education. During her time in the program, her passion grew. She decided to continue her studies in the graduate program at CBU, eventually earning her M.S. in kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise science and cardiac rehab. She then went on to earn another Master of Education degree and her single-subject teaching credential from Alliant International University.

Michelle credits CBU professor Monica O’Rourke for guiding her with faith and expertise to help fuel her already passionate love of physical education. Because of this support, Michelle was able to participate in conferences and share her testimony and journey to a healthier life. She was also able to co-teach several physical education clinics. She credits CBU with being able to help her integrate a biblical foundation into her educational endeavors, helping her experience become more of a personal journey.

Michelle feels that God has led her to serve by finding her purpose in educating youth on the importance of physical activity and how it leads to a healthier lifestyle. She can combine her passion for fitness with her love of the Lord, all while making it fun!

Michelle feels blessed to be a physical education educator and an Athletic Director. These roles are not only her dream jobs, but they put her in a position to help her students find their purpose just as she has been able to find hers.

Michelle is a mother of five, Andrew (30), Kaylee (26), Faith (20), Blake (15), and Austin (9). Though attending school was a challenge, she had the encouragement of her husband, Jerald, and the rest of the family. She has set an example for her children, of which she is proud. First, the example of it never being too late to take an educational journey and then the joy in living your purpose every day.




Methode Maniraguha, ’13 is the founder and CEO of Current Renewable Engineering, Inc. (CRE), a company he started in 2018. CRE provides engineering services for the solar industry. Their expertise is in the engineering of solar PV systems, battery storage systems, and electric vehicles charging infrastructure. The team at CRE includes senior licensed professional engineers and project engineers, enabling them to offer solar industry-leading turnaround times and reliable engineering services nationally. Currently, they are licensed in over 30 states with the possibility of expanding their reach even further. They are working to continue creating tools, products, and services that will help achieve a sustainable energy future.


Methode came to CBU in 2009 under the Government of Rwanda and the CBU Presidential Scholarship program. He entered the engineering program studying electrical and computer engineering. CBU not only provided Methode with the foundation for his engineering education but was also a place where he learned the U.S. culture, made lifelong friendships, and grew in his faith as a follower of Jesus Christ. Methode states, “I am grateful for the government of Rwanda, CBU and their partners and donors that created an opportunity for a kid from Rwanda to get an education in the United States.”


Methode was recently awarded the 2020 Emerging Entrepreneur Award from the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce for his work with CRE. Methode believes his purpose is to create, launch, and successfully build stable, sustainable, and customer-centric businesses that address real-life problems and empower people through employment. He and his wife also have hopes of utilizing their resources to support the education of disadvantaged girls through Christian missions or however God leads them.


To read more about Methode, visit this article recently published by pv magazine: From Rwanda to Riverside


JUNE 2020

Sarah Beene, ’15, Zachary Norton, ’16, and Kaytlyn (Contreras) Blank, ’17, all met while graduate students in the Athletic Training program at CBU. For Zach and Sarah, the long hours spent doing their clinical rotation led to a quick friendship that evolved into a relationship, and they are now engaged to be married in 2021. Kaytlyn met Zach while they were both in the program at CBU. Kaytlyn then ended up doing her clinical rotation with Sarah, who was working full-time as a certified athletic trainer for the University of Redlands. They worked together for the 2016-17 basketball season and formed a close friendship.


During the summer of 2016, while attending a conference, Sarah and Zach met other CBU Athletic Training program alumni. They realized how many alumni there were and that they had no idea who they were. They had all attended the same program at the same school and hadn’t crossed paths until now. It was then that the idea for the Lance and Shield Association (LSA) formed. They took their idea to Kaytlyn, and with the help of Chase Paulson, ’11 developed the model of the association that is still used today. Zach, Kaytlyn, and Sarah then incorporated the Lance and Shield Association (LSA) as a non-profit organization.         

The goal of LSA is to bring alumni of the CBU Athletic Training program together and give back to the alumni and current students. LSA provides an annual professional grant to alumni for continuing education, which is required of all certified athletic trainers. The grant intends to help offset registration costs, travel, or any other expenses that accompany these conferences. The LSA also offers two scholarships a year to current students of the program in hopes of fostering involvement in the profession and promoting networking. They also provide different programming to help develop skills students are learning in class and clinic. These skills may be tangible, hands-on skills such as injury evaluation or emergency response, or soft skills, like advocating for themselves, that will help them professionally. In addition, they host study sessions every spring for students preparing for their Board of Certification exam. The session focuses on critical thinking and gaining confidence in their knowledge.

But it’s not all work; every year, the LSA tries to plan at least one social event at the annual conference. This event encourages networking, mentorship, and information sharing between alumni, students, and friends of the program. Last year, during the second annual LSA Social, over 50 CBU alumni and current students from classes 2009-2020 attended.

In addition to working with the CBU Alumni & Parent Relations office as an affinity group, countless individuals have reached out to find ways to give back and get involved. The LSA credits this community with its success as an organization. Alumni who have helped the LSA with the study sessions, social media, and the annual social include Todd Conger, ’11, Ashley Musick, ’12, Megan Williams, ’15, Lauren Hoyt, ’16, Tyler Hoyt, ’16, Cami McCallum, ’17, and Becca Brown, ’20.

The LSA hopes to continue inspiring others to get involved and to begin more significant fundraising efforts. They aim to eventually be able to provide more continuous, long-term financial support to alumni and current students. The LSA is thankful for the support they have received. Those who have chosen to give back to the association each year are the inspiration to continue its growth and progress.

To find out more about the Lance and Shield Association, visit lanceandshield.org.


MAY 2020

Dakota McMahand, ’15, established Budding Artists, an arts education nonprofit, with her friend, Sarah Tanberg in 2018. Dakota is a higher education professional, classical pianist, and first-generation college graduate. Dakota graduated from CBU with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Public Administration. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts in Education Administration from the University of South Dakota.


Budding Artists provides free process-based art experiences to preschool-aged children who live in underserved communities within Los Angeles county. The organization helps prepare children for participation in STEAM disciplines, by focusing on arts education to peak children’s interest in science, technology, engineering, and math.


Through the various program offered by Budding Artists, children learn how to think critically and problem-solve while using creativity—making them lifelong learners and engineers of creativity. Several programs support their mission, including the Exploration Program. The Exploration Program is a tuition-free, one-hour visual arts workshop that is held once a week for eight weeks during the summer. The program helps children make art to express and create meaning of their thoughts and ideas, which in turn helps them gain an understanding of a variety of subjects. Budding Artists also offers an Adult Process-Based Art Workshop, Adopt-a-Book Literacy Program, and the Gift of Play Project.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, Budding Artists pivoted their work to “bring creativity home” with the launch of process-based art kits for families with young children as art not only supports the development of necessary STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills, it also brings healing during uncertain times. They have given away over 100 free art kits in the South East Los Angeles area. Funding from The Pollination Project, The Awesome Foundation, and Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (AD-63) have supported the project.


When Dakota is not volunteering her time with Budding Artists, you can find her working full-time in the Office of Academic Affairs at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, supporting the next generation of physicians.


To learn more about Budding Artists and how Dakota is not only living her purpose but is living for others, visit  https://www.budding-artists.org