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Merced College Student of the Month

October 2003

Sidney Rayford


Major:                           English

Interests:                      Martial arts and worship leading at a local church

Future Goals:                Transfer to a university to obtain a teaching credential

Nominating Instructor:  Dr. Shirley Kahlert

     Mr. Sidney Rayford was selected as outstanding student for October 2003.  He is a returning adult student after briefly attending Fresno City College in 1980-81 as an athletic student.  After a twenty-year hiatus and enough freedom and flexibility after having raised his children, he decided to return to college in order to major in English, with the objective of becoming a teacher.

     His teachers praise his performance, particularly in English classes.  One of his instructors, Dr. Shirley Kahlert, describes his work as follows:  "His papers showed a philosophical sophistication rarely encountered in undergraduate work, as demonstrated by the title of his final paper, Empiricism and Neoplatonism in the works of Austen, Dickens, Bronte, and Barker."  Furthermore, Sidney Rayford was lauded for being skillful at making difficult ideas accessible to his audience in his oral reports.

     Sidney Rayford's achievements in English are underscored by a deep commitment to family and community.  Throughout the years, he has been involved in doing consultant work for various football teams around the San Joaquin Valley, as well as teaching martial arts in several locations around town.  He currently holds a 6th Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate, and was inducted into the Masters Martial Arts Hall of Fame in Newport Beach, CA in 2003, where he was presented a lifetime achievement award.  Last but not least, he serves as the worship leader at Valley Baptist Church, where he delights his audience with his wonderful musical skills, particularly his fine piano playing. 

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Last updated on 6-2-04 by Caroline Kreide