Twin alumni behind pickup basketball app are featured on Capital Public Radio

The day after their beloved Golden State Warriors won the NBA Finals, twin brothers Dominic ’11 (Marketing) and Donte ’11 (General Management) Morris were taking a bit of a victory lap of their own. During an interview with Capital Public Radio on June 13, they said that their pickup basketball app, Hoop Maps, now has more than 50,000 users.

The app lets people find pickup basketball games anywhere in the world, and earlier this year was featured in news outlets ranging from Sacramento’s CBS 13 to ESPN. But the success of Hoop Maps has not entirely been a shock, they told Capital Public Radio, given how hard they worked before launching to get feedback from actual pickup game players.

“Once it was built out, the spike of users wasn’t a surprise to us because we went out there and tested it on the ground to see how people accepted it,” Dominic said. “Sacramento is a real bustling pickup town, but you have markets like New York where it’s actually our most successful market, where there are … so many people looking for games. So we’re learning different markets now, and how to address different markets.”

The brothers say they hope to duplicate the app’s basketball success in other sports, such as soccer, tennis, and golf.

Click here to read our original post about Donte and Dominic Morris.

 

 

Lead Sacramento schools nurse cherishes her chance to ‘make a difference’

Terri Fox, Credential ’04 (Health Services) is blunt about her career path. For most young women entering the workforce in the 1950s and early 1960s, options were limited: “Your choices were teacher, nurse, or secretary.”

So she went into nursing, earning her associate’s degree in 1979 and building more and more on that foundation to the present. She is not only a registered nurse practitioner with Sutter Health but also the lead nurse for the Sacramento City Unified School District, where she says she enjoys seeing the effect of her work daily.

“I feel like I can make a difference in the lives of kids that might be underserved,” Fox says. That could mean making a doctor’s appointment for a family with limited resources, or buying them a bus ticket. We find out whatever the barrier is and we try and help with it.”

Lately, much of her time has been spent responding to the potential outbreak of norovirus in the district as well as nearby Yolo County school districts (she was quoted in a recent KCRA story about the issue). She has been working closely with the city and county health offices to draw up cleaning and hand washing procedures and ensure that parents get important prevention information.

“We have 44,000 students, so it’s like this little microcosm of a city of people under 21,” Fox says.

Building on her associate’s degree and her early career as a registered nurse in Redwood City, she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from CSU Dominguez Hills in 1991 and her master’s degree in nursing from UC San Francisco in 1996. She came to Sacramento State for her post-master’s school nurse credential, which she earned in 2003, then returned to campus in 2008 and 2009 as a lecturer and clinical instructor in the School of Nursing.

“I felt really lucky (at Sac State) to be around such experienced school nurses as my professors,” Fox says. To be in the program, she adds, you had to already be employed as a school nurse. “It really helped to be working while I was going through that program because it helped me know the questions I had and that I should ask in class.”

Prior to her current position, Fox has worked as a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, and lactation consultant in Santa Clara, San Mateo and South San Francisco. She also spent nine years as a family nurse practitioner with the Shingle Springs Tribal Health Clinic.

The School of Nursing is one of the strongest at Sacramento State, graduating more than 200 skilled nurses annually, and those who take the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s licensure examination average a 95-98 percent pass rate.

Each semester, 40 bachelor of science in nursing students are placed in Sacramento public schools as part of the program’s community health and mental health clinical rotations, helping in a variety of capacities from teaching nutrition, to supporting immunization efforts, to conducting mental health assessments and counseling. These clinical experiences expose students to school nursing as a career option – many have gone on to serve in schools – and helps to fill a critical shortage of nurses in public health settings, says Samantha Blackburn, an assistant professor of nursing and school nurse program coordinator who works with Fox on partnership programs.

“Our partnership with Sacramento City Unified is essential for us to be able to teach students about the role of school nurses and to get them thinking about working as a school nurse in the future,” Blackburn says. “We encourage students to think about community-based nursing roles, and it’s hard for them to conceive of those roles if they don’t get clinical experience in them.”

Alumni couple are community leaders in West Sacramento

Oscar and Katie Villegas’ first date was probably not the most romantic – they were working on a Sacramento City College professor’s campaign for the Yolo County Sheriff – but it certainly presaged their years as a couple since.

VillegasThe Sacramento State alums have been active in politics and in the community virtually their entire post-graduation life, Oscar ’89 (Criminal Justice) as a longtime city councilmember in West Sacramento and now as a member of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, Katie ’89 (Psychology), MSW ’92 as the executive director of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance and a former member of the Washington Unified School District Board of Education.

“My parents were always involved in social issues,” says Katie. “It was a natural thing for me to go into this. It was just kind of what we always did, like my kids have always been involved in social issues. It’s a cool thing to do that as a family and feel like you’re making a difference in your community.”

Katie spent plenty of time on the Sacramento State campus growing up, since she lived in East Sacramento just a mile from campus. But no matter where she lived, she would have been connected to the University: Her mother, brother, and sister are fellow alums. Oscar, who grew up in West Sacramento, was the first in his family to attend college. Both of their children now attend Sacramento State, making three generations of Hornets in the family.

Throughout both Oscar and Katie’s careers, public and community service is a common thread. After graduation, Katie went to work for the Sacramento Children’s Home before returning to Sacramento State for her master’s degree. From there, she trained HIV counselors at the state’s Office of AIDS before moving to the Yolo County Children’s Alliance, where she has been since 2006. She also served on the school board in West Sacramento from 2012 to 2016.

Following his graduation, Oscar landed one of several newly created positions in the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs’ (ADP) investigations unit. He stayed with the department for more than a decade, was appointed by Gov. Gray Davis to be the deputy director of the California Mentoring Partnership in 2003, and in 2008 began working as a field representative with the Board of State and Community Corrections. He was a member of the West Sacramento City Council from 2000 to 2014, when he was appointed to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

While at Sacramento State, both Oscar and Katie participated in internships that ultimately led to jobs following graduation: Katie worked at the Office of AIDS as a graduate student, while Oscar interned at ADP. Both say the ability to learn from professors with real-world experience was instrumental in preparing them for their careers.

“I actually got to sit in a class and listen to a former FBI agent, a Sacramento County district attorney, the current probation chief for Sacramento County, police chiefs,” Oscar says. “These were folks that had very real-world experience and could share their experiences in a way where they engaged you in a very real way.”

For the Villegas, West Sacramento is a town on the rise, where everyone knows each other and has bought into the city’s success, and where it’s easy to see the impact of your hard work.

“In West Sacramento, one of the things I hear often is, ‘Hey, I want to get involved,’” Oscar says. “And I say, ‘What are you actually interested in? Not what you think will get you where you want to be, but what are you interested in today? Where does your heart tell you that you want to be impactful, and in what arena is that? And I can guarantee there’s an opportunity for you to volunteer, to participate where you can make a difference.’”

And as for the advice they would offer to current Sacramento State students like their two children?

“Just soak it all up, really enjoy your college years, make friends and have fun” Katie says. “Appreciate it for what it is. You’re not going to love every class that you have to take, and that’s OK, because in the real world, you’re going to be working in environments that aren’t necessarily the best. It’s important to learn to know what you like and learn to know when you need to make a change.”