Estero Bay News Briefs 3-14-2024

Written by Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Maria Wilson has been a journalist covering the North Coast and South County area for over 20 years. She is also the founder of Cat Noir CC and is currently working on a novel.

March 14, 2024

Aubrey Wins Education Award

Aubrey Kuan Roderick, of Cuesta College, received the Fulbright International Education Administrators Award

Aubrey Kuan Roderick, dean of instruction for Creative Arts, Humanities, & Communication at Cuesta College is the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright International Education Administrators Award.

“Dean Kuan Roderick’s Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award exemplifies Cuesta College’s dedication to promoting international understanding and collaboration on a global scale,” said Cuesta College Superintendent / President Dr. Jill Stearns. 

The Fulbright International Education Administrators Seminars offer fully funded opportunities for U.S. higher education administrators to immerse themselves in diverse educational landscapes abroad, cultivate cross-cultural perspectives, and establish collaborative partnerships worldwide.

“I envision this experience as a catalyst for Cuesta College to engage in global educational initiatives actively, fostering knowledge exchange and nurturing meaningful connections,” Kuan Roderick said.

Traveling to Taiwan from March 11-24, Kuan Roderick will meet with the country’s Ministry of Education, go on campus visits to 15 higher education institutions, and participate in immersive tours of Taiwan’s rich historical and cultural heritage.

“I am deeply honored to represent Cuesta College and return with valuable insights into Taiwan’s higher education system, cultural nuances, and culinary delights,” said Kuan Roderick. “I am also eager to showcase our institution’s exceptional work and explore collaborative opportunities that will enrich the learning and teaching experiences of our students and faculty.”

Kuan Roderick’s selection as one of only two administrators from a community college in the United States underscores her commitment to promoting community colleges’ unique role and value in higher education.

“My mission is to provide a clear understanding of what community colleges are all about and their integral role within our higher education system,” said Kuan Roderick. “I aim to spotlight the outstanding work of our Cuesta College faculty and establish connections with institutions interested in sending their faculty and students to experience the excellence of California’s community colleges.”

 Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has empowered more than 400,000 individuals – selected for their academic merit and leadership potential – to foster enduring connections, bridge cultural divides, and advance shared aspirations for global progress. 

Nominate District 30 Women of the Year

In honor of March being National Women’s History Month, Dist. 30 State Assemblywoman Dawn Addis (D — Morro Bay), recently sent out a notice asking for nominations for Women of the Year honors, which includes Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz counties.

“If you know a woman leader (including yourself),” Addis said in a release, “who is making positive change and building a better future for all of us, please nominate her.”

Deadline for nominations is March 31 at The only requirement noted on the website is, “Nominees must either live or conduct work within our 30th Assembly District.

“I would appreciate your help in nominating women and those who identify as women who have made significant and meaningful contributions to their community this past year,” Addis said.

If readers have questions, they are asked to call Addis’ San Luis Obispo District Office at (805) 549-3001.

Open Studios Tour 2024 Announced

The SLO County Arts Council announced the Open Studios Art Tour for 2024. The event is on October 13-14 and 19-20 throughout San Luis Obispo County during National Arts and Humanities Month. Fine artists and crafters open their studios to showcase their art and share their processes so viewers can visit art at its source. 

Visitors create self-guided tours using a printed catalog. There will be 5,000 of them in circulation available for pickup in early September. 

Applications close on June 21, 2024, and there will be an Application Assistance Workshop on April 24 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. for anyone interested in participating. Applications are available

Cambria Film Festival Winners

Cambria Film Festival announced the winning films of 2024. The program capped five days involving nearly 60 competition films, filmmaker talks, special programming and gala events. 

The Nancy Green Founder’s Award for the film that best exemplified the festival’s goal of exploring romance and the complexities of love went to “Night Morning” (USA). This feature length film, directed by Meredith Stedman and Jeremy Sender, explores two friends in a world of their own. 

The judging panel made its official selections from nearly 400 feature and short films submitted from around the world. They awarded Best Feature Film to “Peak Season” (USA), directed by Steven Kanter and Henry Loevner. They awarded Best Short Film to “Fiona” (Spain), directed by Rafa Cortés. 

The Best Animated Film went to “Roped “(Spain), directed by Córdoba González. The award for Best Long-Form Short (an award for short films 15 or more minutes in length) went to “Fate vs. Elena” (USA), directed by Laura Sedlak. 

Two additional awards were based on audience balloting. The Audience Award for Favorite Feature was given to “Peak Season” (USA), directed by Steven Kanter and Henry Loevner.. The Audience Award for Favorite Short was awarded to “The Pileup” directed by Oscar Toribio Carbayo. 

Additionally, the Director’s Award for Artistic Achievement, chosen by the organizing directors, of the Festival was presented to “Always” directed by Parker Harris. The Cambria Heart Award, given to acknowledge a unique or special exploration of the festival theme of love, was given to director John Gray for “The Overlook.”

The Cambria Film Festival is an official activity of the Cambria Center for the Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to local arts. 

The Festival returns in 2025 the weekend of February 6-9. For more information about the Festival, visit

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