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


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