Page 1


magazine from

California State University, Chico  Fall 2014






m a g a z i n e

F a l l

f r o m

2 0 1 4

C a l i f o r n i a

S t a t e

V o l u m e

U n i v e r s i t y ,

2 0

C h i c o I s s u e


Chico S T A T E M E N T S

D E PA R T M E N T S 2

From the President’s Desk Three million ... and counting


Editor’s Note Favorite nooks and crannies


CLIC Celebrates 45 Years Student-run program continues to offer vital legal help



Campus Collage What’s happening at the University


22 Fresh Faces New students bring mementos and advice from home

24 Alumni News Chapter News, Alum Highlights, Wildcats on the Move, and Wildcats in Our Thoughts

32 In Memoriam Faculty and staff remembered






Credential candidate Johnny Sanchez achieved cross country All-America status while getting his degree in four years.

F E AT U R E S 8 Balance, Commitment, Success | Student-athletes are as competitive in academics as they are in athletics

Cover photo by Beiron Andersson

12 Faculty


Focus | Discover how three of the University’s 37 new

faculty apply their research in the classroom

17 Promoting Solutions

for a

Healthy North State | Nutrition

center expands its mission as the Center for Healthy Communities

20 A Season


Discovery | North State Symphony conducts a

worldwide search for new musical director



From the President’s Desk


Three Million … and Counting

Editor | Marion Harmon


Associate Editor | Anna Harris

n the inside front cover of this issue of Chico Statements is an ad announcing The Class of 3 Million celebration organized by the Chancellor’s Office of the California State University. This event focuses on the fact that the CSU will surpass the milestone of having 3 million alumni with the graduating class of 2015. With well over 100,000 living alumni— including 107-year-old Lynn Balmer, Class of 1927, who, we believe, is CSU’s oldest living alum (see page 28)—Chico State has contributed significantly to The Class of 3 Million. After all, as the second-oldest campus in the CSU, we have been producing alumni since 1891, when our first graduates received their teaching credentials. As I reflect on our alumni, I am struck by two recent developments that have a bearing on what we are accomplishing on our campus and in the broader firmament of American higher education. First, the CSU has embarked on a new graduation initiative. It flows from a similar initiative in 2009 that established six-year graduation rates for all campuses to achieve by 2015. The goal for Chico State was 60 percent. We had already exceeded that mark by 2010. We are well positioned, and solidly committed, to move our six-year graduation rate closer to 70 percent, the 2025 target of the new graduation initiative. If we improve by just a half percentage point each year over the next decade, we will accomplish this goal. And we will continue to have a graduation rate among the top two or three in the CSU. Second, we are watching yet another story of widespread academic fraud unfold at one of the nation’s premier universities. In this case, it is the flagship University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where for more than two decades, professors, coaches, and administrators encouraged or acquiesced to a system that affected thousands of students by creating no-show, GPA-booster classes in order to help underprepared and unmotivated players stay eligible for intercollegiate competition. It is a story that threatens to expose—and, sadly, once again— the notion that an “opportunity for an education,” surely the most piously touted rationale for intercollegiate athletics, may be the ultimate fraud in an industry that, certainly at the Division I level for basketball and football, is largely about entertainment and money.



Art Director | Francie Divine Contributing Editors | Casey Huff, Sarah Langford Wildcats on the Move Kacey Gardner Editorial Intern Kacey Gardner Contributors Sarah Langford, Kate Post, Luke Reid, Elizabeth Renfro, Brooks Thorlaksson, Kim Weir, Joe Wills University Photographer Jason Halley

Chico State is a Division II institution, which has a motto of “life in the balance.” But we have not needed a public relations slogan to get it right. For, as the story on our student-athletes in these pages affirms, our coaches and athletics staff and administration operate along two basic understandings. First, we know that student-athletes come here both to get an excellent education and to participate in a competitive intercollegiate athletics environment. Second, we recruit athletes to help us develop successful—yes, winning—teams, and we know that such athletes and their performances can reflect favorably on our University. But, third and most importantly, we believe that there is compatibility between the first two assumptions. Reinforced by the high expectations our student-athletes find with their faculty and the staff who support them, what we witness at Chico State, year after year, are stories of success, not seasons of shame. As you read the cover story, you will discover that our student-athletes have done so much more than win championships, achieve personal bests, and garner All-Conference and All-American honors. They have succeeded in the classroom. Fifty-eight of them have earned conference All-Academic Awards, and all of them have contributed to cumulative GPAs and graduation rates for our student-athletes that exceed that of our student body as a whole. That is why our student-athletes “make the grade.” They contribute to the rich story of student success and high graduation rates that define our entire University. And this is where those in search of harmony between professed values and enacted values in these matters should look. Proud to be a Wildcat!} —Paul J. Zingg, President

Photography Beiron Andersson, Steve Pereira, Skip Reager ....... President Paul J. Zingg Interim Vice President for University Advancement Peter Smits Director of Public Affairs and Publications Joe Wills Creative Director Alan Rellaford Chico Statements is published for alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of California State University, Chico. The magazine is available in alternate formats on request. Please call 530-8984143 for assistance. Chico Statements welcomes contributions of articles, photographs, and artwork but does not guarantee publication of submissions. Please send to Public Affairs, California State University, Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0040 email


530-898-4143; fax 530-898-4264

The deadline for submissions for the fall issue is Aug. 1 and for the spring issue is Feb. 1. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and space. All submissions—textual, graphic, or photographic—may appear in the online version of Chico Statements. Please note that your name, address, phone number, email address, school or college, and year of graduation may be used by CSU, Chico for the development of university-affiliated marketing programs. If you do not wish to have this information used, please notify the Office of Advancement Services at 530-898-5297. © 2014, California State University, Chico, an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

Chico Statements is online.

Get the interactive version, send updates and letters, and more at Chico Statements is printed on postconsumer recycled fiber paper.

From the Editor Favorite Nooks and Crannies he Chico State campus is filled with spaces that invite us to linger, whether for a few moments of meditation or several hours of studying. Many of us return to these spots again and again. As changes have been made to the campus, Facilities Planning continues to create collaborative and contemplative spaces. This is a reflection of the goals of the 2005 Master Plan, which seeks to affirm the harmony between the campus’ natural and built environments and reinforce students’ educational experience. One of my favorite places to visit in the early ’90s was the old campus bookstore, in the basement of the original BMU building. It was small and dim and charming, crowded with books and emanating an indefinable feeling of “academia.” That space is still there but now houses study lounges and offices. The Wildcat Store in the adjacent building has become a new favorite spot, with its Chico State shirts and gifts, the latest computers—even those blue books that students still use for tests (they are now green). Those of us who work in Kendall Hall often take breaks on a bench near the building. There is a popular shady spot under a small maple that turns a gorgeous red in the fall. When I need some artistic inspiration, I visit one of the galleries on campus; the Third Floor Gallery in the BMU shows all types of art from students. What was your favorite place on campus? You may have had a special corner to study in, or a grassy spot that beckoned when spring came. Send your thoughts and photos to or Public Affairs and Publications; CSU, Chico; Chico, CA 95929-0040.} —Marion Harmon (Master of Public Administration, ’07)

David Harmon


CLIC Celebrates 45 Years of North State Service


he Community Legal Information Center (CLIC) at CSU, Chico will celebrate its 45th anniversary on April 11, 2015, in a big way with a dinner and program at Sierra Nevada’s Big Room. Alumni from four-plus decades will reconnect with friends and faculty to recognize the success of a program that now serves more than 16,000 clients a year. CLIC will also kick off its first-ever endowment campaign to raise $2 million, ensuring this important agency’s continued survival. Program founder and retired political science professor Ed Bronson developed the idea of having students provide free legal help to community members in need, often serving the disadvantaged and other students. This mission remains at the heart of the agency. CLIC is student run with two student administrators and 17 program directors who provide direction for more than 100 interns assisting clients (see most of this year’s board in photo at right). CLIC students work under the guidance of four supervising attorneys, all faculty in the political science department and CLIC alumni themselves. The experience serves as an invaluable entrée into the legal profession. Since 1970, CLIC has expanded to provide assistance in 12 areas of law. Chico Consumer Protection Agency intern Giovanna Gaivello says that CLIC has supported her interest in a specialized area of law: “I spend a lot of time conducting in-depth research on bankruptcy, contract disputes, and debt collection and learning to use primary sources … all of this benefits us professionally as we look further into becoming lawyers.” CLIC internships also attract students to CSU, Chico, according to Housing Law Program Director Lindsey Metzger. “I know that one of our interns came to Chico State just to have the CLIC experience—to get a feel for what it’s like to be a lawyer and see whether they would like it or not before going to law school,” she says. CLIC remains as vital today as it did 45 years ago for both Chico students and our community members in need of legal help. To learn how you can help support CLIC, call Lise SmithPeters, advancement associate, at 530-898-3641. If you need CLIC services, call 530-898-4354.}



Campus Collage

Reindeer-Herder Research Unearths New Insights


CSU, Chico professor’s work in Mongolia is shedding new light on prehistoric people. Professor Matt O’Brien, who joined the Department of Anthropology in August, is part of a research team studying one of the few remaining nomadic peoples left in the world: the reindeer-herding Dukha of northern Mongolia. Using time-lapse photography and photographic mapping, O’Brien and his Photos clockwise from top left: A Dukha cohorts, University of Wyoming professor Todd woman and her family have packed their Surovell and Dashtseveg Tumen of the National belongings onto reindeer and are beginUniversity of Mongolia, are studying the group’s ning the move to fall camp. Professor Matt movement patterns to develop a spatial theory O’Brien is part of a team studying the of human behavior that can be applied to patbehavioral patterns of the Dukha people of terns in archaeological evidence. Mongolia, who live in conical lodges called “The big issue we have in archeology is that ortz. Dukha women prepare blood sausage we find these patterns in the types of artifacts as from a reindeer. well as features, and they tend to be clustered together,” says O’Brien. “They should be telling us a story, but Chico professor and his research team, capturing this information is a unique and important opportunity. we don’t know how to interpret them. “This is the first time we’re aware of anyone doing this at this “Take stone tools found in clusters near a hearth. Why are they there? Why do we find pots in certain parts of a site? We scale,” says O’Brien. “We’ve switched to a study of where people can assume people were cooking there, but we don’t know are, which is new. We’ll study the Dukha, and eventually we’d like to apply this to other groups in the world to see if their for sure.” As descendants of the Tuvans in Russia, the Dukha have patterns are an anomaly or a generalized pattern of behavior.” For more information, visit been practicing their way of life for more than 3,000 years, says O’Brien. Their culture has changed dramatically since the Soviet ethnoarch/.} Sarah Langford, Public Affairs and Publications. Photography era. In recent years, the group has returned to a more traditional lifestyle, but their historic way of life is fading. For the CSU, courtesy of Matt O’Brien

Student’s Bat Box Project Aims to Fill Data Gap


ou could say Aithne Loeblich is batty about bats. The upper-division biology student and Air Force veteran spent much of her summer building shelters to attract the tiny winged creatures so she can study them more closely. As part of what will become a culminating undergraduate research project, Loeblich constructed 10 plywood houses to be placed at the University Farm and Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve. She used power tools and other equipment in the Department of Art and Art History’s workshop under the guidance of shop technician David Barta. Then, the 100-bat-capacity structures were installed at the top of 20-foot poles with special listening equipment that will collect data on the animals’ species and numbers and patterns in feeding, breeding, and migrating. Loeblich plans to share her research with area farmers and others to educate the community about bats and their potential uses in the area’s economy. Since bats feed on disease-spreading insects like mosquitos and moths, she says, they could be used to replace harmful chemical pesticides in farming and other applications. “There is an incredibly limited knowledge base about local bat populations,” says biology professor Colleen Hatfield. She and Butte College biology instructor Shahroukh Mistry, are advising Loeblich on the project. “Essentially, this research is going to



not only help us understand what bat species we have here and their history, but it will do two other things: It increases habitat for the bats—which is great because they’re a good species to have around—and it is a great way to do outreach to administration, students, and the community about the value of bats.”} Sarah Langford, Public Affairs and Publications

Biology student Aithne Loeblich worked with art shop technician David Barta in July to make 10 bat shelters.

Interim Provost Named

Susan Elrod, CSU, Chico alumna and dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at California State University, Fresno, has been named interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Elrod has taken a leave of absence from Fresno State and began her new post Oct. 20. She replaces Belle Wei, who resigned from the provost position. Prior to her dean appointment at Fresno State in January 2013, Elrod was a faculty in the Biological Sciences Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo for 15 years. At Cal Poly, she also served as associate dean for strategic initiatives (science and mathematics), special assistant to the provost, and vice chair of the Academic Senate. Elrod graduated from CSU, Chico with honors in 1986. She majored in biology with a minor in chemistry. Elrod earned her doctorate in genetics from UC Davis in 1995.

Interim Vice President for Advancement Named

Peter Smits, vice president emeritus at CSU, Fresno, has accepted a position as interim vice president for University Advancement. He began his post on Sept. 15. Smits replaces Richard Ellison, who accepted a new position in advancement at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. A national search for a permanent vice president for University Advancement will begin soon. Smits’ appointment is expected to extend at least into the spring. Smits was vice president for Advancement at Fresno State for 20 years and was responsible for Fresno State’s programs in development and fundraising, university communications, endowment management, and alumni relations. Prior to his appointment at Fresno State, Smits served as vice president for Advancement at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in western Pennsylvania. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York at Albany and a PhD from the University of Buffalo.

New Dean Named for Natural Sciences

On. Aug. 1, David Hassenzahl, most recently founding dean and professor at the Falk School of Sustainability at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, became dean of CSU, Chico’s College of Natural Sciences. He replaces Mike Ward, who served as interim dean since February 2014. Prior to his position at Chatham, Hassenzahl was chair of the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where he received the UNLV Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award and the UNLV Outstanding Department Chair Award. Hassenzahl received his BA from UC Berkeley and PhD from Princeton University. He is a senior fellow of the National Council for Science and the Environment, serves on the Executive Board of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors, and is a founding member of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences.

Forensics Students Headed to National Tournament

Outstanding student performances at a collegiate speech and debate contest have landed CSU, Chico its first bid to a national forensics tournament in 2015. Junior Colby Knox captured first place in two novice extemporaneous speaking events at the 2014 Golden Gate Opener, held at San Francisco State University Sept. 26–28. Knox and sophomore Kassandra Bednarski, who was selected as a finalist in the same event, have qualified to compete in the National Forensics Association’s national tournament, hosted at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, next April. Knox also took fourth place in both of the contest’s impromptu speaking events. Fifteen CSU, Chico students competed after preparing for just five weeks.

Animation Students Third in National Contest

Animation design students at CSU, Chico placed third in a national competition that asked them to create a 30-second film in just 24 hours. Two teams of students in CSU, Chico’s Computer Animation and Game

Development Program participated in the seventh annual 24-Hour Animation Contest for Students, Sept. 26–27. The contest theme was “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” from George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Both CSU, Chico teams completed and submitted films before the deadline. The team headed by senior Brittany Keyes captured third place for its film, Mathamanimals, a 3-D short that depicts the inequality between jungle animals. The teams were guided by CSU, Chico computer animation and game design lecturer John Pozzi.

Construction Management Faculty Receives Award

CSU, Chico construction management department lecturer David Shirah has received the Design-Build Institute of America’s 2014 Distinguished Leadership Award. Shirah, who has taught at CSU, Chico since 2007, has been a faculty advisor to the University’s awardwinning “Blitz Build” community service construction projects since 2008. He has also advised student chapters of the Associated General Constructors of America (AGC), Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), and Construction Management Association of America. Shirah received his bachelor’s degree in construction management and master’s in education from CSU, Chico.

$6.5 Million for Teachers

CSU, Chico has received one of 24 grants from the U.S. Department of Education to recruit, train, and support new teachers primarily in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. CSU, Chico’s Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant proposal was funded at about $6.5 million over five years. The successful CSU, Chico proposal is called the PRISMS Project (Promoting Rural Improvement in Secondary Mathematics and Science). It includes two programs: Residency in Secondary Education, housed in the School of Education, and Next Generation Mathematics Teachers, housed in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.}



Briefly Noted

Campus Collage

Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness, 11th edition Thomas D. Fahey, Kinesiology, senior author, with coauthors Paul M. Insel and Walton T. Roth Fit & Well is written for general education courses in fitness, wellness, and health. The book describes the role of exercise in health and longevity, the physiology of metabolism during exercise, stress management, disease, and more. Chapters include detailed descriptions of programming for cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, flexibility, and body composition and extensive laboratory exercises for reinforcing chapter contents. Fit & Well is used in 80 percent of the fitness and wellness courses taught in the United States and Canada. Identifying, Assessing, and Treating Bipolar Disorder at School Shelley R. Hart, Child Development, with coauthors Stephen E. Brock and Ida Jeltova This book presents practitioners with an evidence-based framework for accurate identification, assessment, and treatment of bipolar disorder in schools. It clears up misconceptions and outlines the complex presentation in young people (including comorbidity, which may offer challenges for treatment) and provides assistance in referrals, consultations, and recommendations for special education.


Israeli Life and Leisure in the 21st Century Edited by Michael J. Leitner, Recreation, Hospitality, and Parks Management, and Sara F. Leitner


Israeli Life and Leisure in the 21st Century provides an in-depth examination of life and leisure in Israel today. With contributions from 50 Israeli authors, the book


consists of 55 chapters broken down into sections that examine the unique aspects of leisure activities, diversity, services, and current research in Israel today. Subjects explored include popular activities, programs, terrorism, multicultural issues, sports, and tourism. On Being a Language Teacher: A Personal and Practical Guide to Success Denise Minor, International Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, with coauthor Norma López-Burton On Being a Language Teacher provides an innovative, personal approach to second-language teaching. Using illustrative anecdotes based on the authors’ extensive classroom experience, this text guides new and aspiring language teachers through key pedagogical strategies and also encourages classroom veterans to reflect productively on their own experience. Business Law, fifth edition James F. Morgan, Management This comprehensive text presents traditional principles of business law and delves into new arenas pertaining to the interaction of law and business that are relevant for business leaders of the 21st century. The book is suitable for use in undergraduate or graduate business programs and within related disciplines. Phylogeography of California: An Introduction Kristina Schierenbeck, Biological Sciences Phylogeography of California examines the evolution of a variety of taxa— ancient and recent, native and migratory—to elucidate evolutionary events both major and minor that shaped the distribution, radiation, and speciation of the biota of California. The book also interprets evolutionary history in

a geological context, reviews new and emerging phylogeographic patterns, and provides a phylogeographic survey of California’s diverse flora and fauna. Self-Studies in Rural Teacher Education Ann Schulte, Education, coeditor with Bernadette Walker-Gibbs There is little written about how to prepare teachers for rural schools. This book highlights the work of 12 teacher educators who use self-study to examine the ways in which identity impacts their teaching, their research, and/or their partnerships with rural school districts. Fire Up Your Startup and Keep It Up W. Gary Sitton, Computer Science According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, first-time entrepreneurs have only an 18 percent chance of succeeding. The goal of this book is to raise that percentage by offering sage advice from many who have learned much, often through hard knocks, while living the American Dream. Anarchy and Society: Reflections on Anarchist Sociology Dana M. Williams, Sociology, with coauthor Jeff Shantz This book explores the many ways in which the discipline of sociology and the philosophy of anarchism are compatible. The book constructs possible parameters for a future “anarchist sociology” by a sociological exposition of major anarchist thinkers (including Kropotkin, Proudhon, Landauer, Goldman, and Ward), as well as an anarchist interrogation of key sociological concepts (including social norms, inequality, and social movements).} Buy these books at

Campus Collage

Two Alums Lead Sacramento Soccer Team to Title Win


he crowd was buzzing on a warm September night at Bonney Field in Sacramento. White towels waved while the club’s fans sang “Glory, Glory Sacramento!” The atmosphere was electric for the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Pro Championship showdown between the host Republic FC and visiting Harrisburg City Islanders. And on the field were Dominik Jakubek (BA, Liberal Studies, ’09) and Octavio Guzman (BS, Exercise Physiology, ’13), who both have stories with roots in the cardinal and white of Chico State. Jakubek (in photo right), a 2003 All-American, captured the all-time single-season wins record while he and current U.S. Men’s National Team and San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski led the ’Cats to the NCAA Championship Tournament title match. Guzman helped lead the Wildcats to the 2011 NCAA Championship Tournament and two California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) North Division titles. This year, the pair joined forces to lead Sacramento Republic FC on its march to the title. In the 35th minute of a scoreless match

Smith Snags Third Straight NCAA Title

J Patrick Smith became the first Chico State athlete ever to win three NCAA titles by claiming the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships Decathlon crown in May. That was only the beginning of a sensational summer for Smith, who went on to finish sixth at the USA Track & Field Championships in late June and competed for the red, white, and blue at the Thorpe Cup in Marburg, Germany.

Best in the West!

The Chico State baseball team won its ninth NCAA Championship Tournament West Region title in 18 seasons last May. Led by West Region Coach of the Year Dave Taylor and All-Americans Nick Baker (drafted in June by the Arizona Diamondbacks), Luke Barker (the national saves leader), and Cody Slader (the National Defensive Player of the Year), the Wildcats finished the season 43-15.

that September night, Guzman slipped behind the defense and received a beautiful pass. Calm, cool, and collected, he slotted the ball past the diving keeper. The crowd roared as the ball hit the back of the net. And when the final whistle blew, Republic FC had won the title, 2-0. Guzman (in photo above, center) was his usual humble self as his ecstatic teammates and coaching staff raised the trophy. “It felt great to contribute a goal and help bring Sacramento Republic FC their first title,” he said. Jakubek, his heart still scarred by the Wildcats’ 2-1 loss in the 2003 NCAA Finals, finally got to hoist a championship trophy. Seen by teammates and peers as loyal, competitive, and passionate, Jakubek was unable to contain his happiness. Smiling ear to ear, he left the past behind once and for all, telling fellow Chico State alum Pat Fitzgerald of “This championship is dedicated to my 2003 Chico State national runner-up team. ... I love all you guys!” Chico State alums and fans in the Sacramento area can cheer on Guzman and Jakubek in person in 2015. The Republic recently re-signed both for the coming season.} Jordan Gorman, Chico State Sports Information

Cups Communiqué

The Chico State Department of Athletics claimed its fourth consecutive California Collegiate Athletic Association Robert J. Hiegert Commissioner’s Cup in 2013–2014. The award is presented to the CCAA’s most successful athletics department. Chico State earned Commissioner’s Cup honors after taking home CCAA Championship banners in men’s and women’s cross country and men’s and women’s track and field. Also contributing to the Wildcats victory were baseball and women’s basketball, both finishing second in the regular-season standings, along with men’s soccer and men’s basketball, which finished third in their respective conference standings. On a national level, 10 Chico State programs reached the NCAA Championships in 2013–2014, combining for a department-record 625 points in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings. Six of those teams finished among the nation’s top 10.

Men’s Basketball Celebrates 100th Season

The Chico State men’s basketball program is celebrating its 100th season in 2014–2015. The department will release a list of “100 Players for 100 Years” 10 at a time throughout the campaign. The season-long celebration will culminate in a special ceremony during the men’s basketball team’s final regular-season home game on Feb. 28, 2015, paying tribute to those 100 players and all Chico State men’s basketball alumni. Keep an eye on for this special list and all Chico State athletics news throughout 2014–2015.}




Student-athletes are as competitive in academics as they are in athletics are as competitive in byStudent-athletes Luke Reid academics as they are in athletics by Luke Reid photography by Beiron Andersson


hico State’s student-athletes have had a ton of experience performing in pressure-packed situations. But this was a whole new ball game. They sat in a tidy row of cushioned chairs facing a room full of dignitaries: CEOs, city leaders, and University President Paul J. Zingg, among others. Asked to accompany Chico State Athletic



Director Anita Barker to a presentation to the University Advisory Board, the student-athletes spoke about succeeding academically and athletically, and what they’ve learned along the way. They knocked it out of the park, sharing stories of dedication, discipline, and perseverance. “It’s very hard to be a student-athlete, but it’s also so rewarding to look back on what you’ve accomplished,” said Olivia Watt, a communication sciences and disorders major and cross country/ track and field athlete. “We’re here as student-athletes, but we’re also growing as human beings. I’m so grateful to be doing it here in such an encouraging place.” “I’ve learned the most valuable lessons in my life as a studentathlete,” added softball player Kayla Barber, a kinesiology major. “I’ve learned that I’m not perfect and that I don’t always get it right. But I come back even stronger the next time, determined to be better.” In all, a dozen student-athletes spoke as the audience listened intently. “I believe I speak for everyone on this board when I say we are proud of our student-athletes’ visions, commitment, dedication, and achievements at Chico State and in our community,” said board chair Farshad Azad. “Our community is a better place because of people like these.” Practice makes perfect Chico State’s student-athletes are racking up victories in the University’s classrooms and conference rooms at an everincreasing rate. Chico State student-athletes’ average GPA has risen in each of the past seven years to a modern-era high of 2.90 in 2013–2014, eclipsing the University’s average GPA each time. The department’s cumulative GPA was even higher at 2.95. And 51 percent of Chico State’s 319 student-athletes boasted a GPA of 3.0 or higher last academic year. An all-time high of 58 Chico State student-athletes earned the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) All-Academic award for achieving a GPA of 3.4 or higher as an undergraduate varsity athlete in 2013–2014. Seventeen student-athletes were recognized for their academic success at the national level, including Kasey Barnett, a recreation, hospitality, and parks management major, and track and field standout. She was named College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)/Capital One Academic All-America and the CCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year. Ten more athletes representing seven different teams earned CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District honors. Chris Doyle, (BS, Business Administration, ’14), received the Golf Coaches Association of America/Cleveland Golf/Srixon Division II AllAmerica Scholar Award. History major and distance athlete Tommy McGuan ran away with the University Advisory Board’s Student Service Award.

Springboard into the future Chico State’s Department of Athletics is churning out not only some of the best NCAA Division II athletes in the nation but also, more importantly, some of the best people. Take Johnny Sanchez, for example. Sanchez is the first in his family to earn a college degree. He did it in four years. “The last two semesters were very challenging,” says the kinesiology major and cross country All-American. “Waking up at 6 in the morning to get a run in, going to class, getting in your second run in the afternoon, and then going back and doing homework. It’s definitely taught me that nothing is given to you. You have to put in hard work.” Sanchez is now working hard on his single-subject secondary teaching credential while chasing his third All-America honor as a senior on the cross country team. He hopes to teach high school physical education. Barnett, who is a Chico native and graduate of Chico High School, needed only to walk across the street to attend college. But her collegiate journey led her much farther. She finished her degree’s course requirements in four years while leading the women’s track and field team to four straight conference titles. Barnett won three CCAA Championships—in the pole vault, long jump, and 4x100 relay—while qualifying for the NCAA Championships in all three. She claimed All-America honors by finishing fifth in the long jump at the National Championships. Along with her national awards, Barnett was the CCAA Field Athlete of the Year and Chico State Female Athlete of the Year. She is now a management trainee at the Pebble Beach Company, learning the role of restaurant manager at Roy’s at the Inn at Spanish Bay. “Athletics was my favorite part of my collegiate experience, but I also knew it would only last four years,” says Barnett. “My degree would be my springboard into the future.” Damario Sims’ road to success began on the streets of West Oakland. He was a partial qualifier coming out of high school, meaning his high school GPA or test scores did not meet the requirements to be eligible to compete as a freshman. “Coach [Greg] Clink and the staff made it clear that I wasn’t just coming to Chico to play basketball—academics were going to be the focus,” says Sims. “I remember getting a 3.0 my freshman year. They called me up, and we celebrated as much as we did when we won the conference championship a year later. “Coming from where I come from, there’s a stereotype that we can’t succeed academically. I knew I was smart. You have to be smart to make it growing up in West Oakland. You just have to transfer some of that street savvy to the classroom. I needed a community that believed in me and helped push me that way. I got that at Chico State, and I will always be grateful.” Sims, who graduated with a degree in criminal justice, is now working as a foster agency case manager at Bay Area Youth Center and as the assistant basketball coach at his alma mater, McClymonds High School.

Coach [Greg] Clink and the staff made it clear that I wasn’t just coming to Chico to play basketball—academics were going to be the focus.

Johnny Sanchez, a senior on the cross country team, is the first in his family to earn a college degree. He did it in four years while earning All-America honors.



were doing everything in their power to turn things around.” In fact, academic achievement was the first goal Head Coach Greg Clink set for his team when he took over the men’s basketball program at the start of the 2008–2009 season. “We started by recruiting guys who felt it was important to get a degree,” says Clink. “Then we set up workshops on how to take tests, how to take notes, and how to read a textbook. We did class checks and grade checks. When we won the Team GPA Award in my third year here, we celebrated that the same way we did when we won the conference championship. That was a great night for our program.” After Barker’s announcement, and after the men’s basketball players finished dancing on the tables, head baseball coach Dave Taylor stood up and congratulated Clink’s team. But then he added: “We’re coming for the championship belt this year.” One year later, it was the baseball team celebrating the honor. Nine of the department’s 13 programs have won the Team GPA Award at least once during its nine-year existence. The women’s golf team has won it four times, and the men’s track and field team, three. “Some of the coaches made it a high-priority goal for their teams, and that got the competitive juices flowing,” says Barker. “It doesn’t take much to get coaches and student-athletes wanting to win something. So now it’s become a badge of honor to be the team with the highest GPA. “Every coach, every year, when I ask them to set the goals for their program, one is either bettering their GPA or getting the highest team GPA.”

I know it sounds cliché, but it takes a village. There are people all over campus who are supporting our students and helping them to succeed.

Anything you can do … Sims was at the center of a memorable moment that raised the academic stakes for Chico State’s athletes. At the 2010 student-athlete welcome-back barbecue, Athletic Director Barker announced the winners of the University Foundation Board of Governors Team GPA Award, presented to the men’s and women’s programs with the highest average GPAs. Sims then stood and announced that the men’s basketball team was going to win it the following year. Much hooting and hollering from his teammates and other teams followed. One year later, at that same barbecue, Barker announced that the men’s basketball team had, in fact, won the award. This time, the hollering was deafening. The competition for the honor has been fierce ever since. This fall, the men’s golf team (3.14 GPA) and women’s soccer team (3.18) won with the highest marks yet. “I think the award is genius,” says Sims. “It shows the direction Anita [Barker] is trying to take things in and what’s important to her. We heard about what other teams were doing, and we wanted to top it. We’re naturally competitive. We really attacked it. We held each other accountable. We made sure our teammates were getting to class, and when someone was struggling, we made sure they

Every step of the way All of Chico State Athletics’ coaches, athletes, and administrators stress that academic success is not a product of their hard work alone. They described faculty and staff campuswide who have supported and encouraged student-athletes. “I know it sounds cliché, but it takes a village,” says Barker. “There are people all over campus who are supporting our students and helping them to succeed. That might be academics,” says Morgan. “We believe the financial aid office, Student that student-athletes can have a terrific Learning Center, tutoring, a facexperience as athletes while having the ulty member who spends a opportunity to prosper academically. The little extra time.” administration and coaching staffs have Barker notes that while it’s championed this notion, and it’s really payimpossible to name everyone, ing off.” they have relationships all Morgan points to Chico State’s unique over campus. “If there’s a stuenvironment as well. dent-athlete in need, we can “The residential nature of this campus plug him or her in to get the attracts faculty and staff who want to have help they need,” she says. “At relationships with students and engage the end of the day, if studentthem in their personal pursuits and chalathletes want to be successful, lenges,” he explained. “They tend to see they’re going to be if they their jobs as so much more than just walkput in the work, because the ing into a classroom and lecturing. They people of this campus will be care about the whole person, which is what there supporting them every helps make this place so special.” step of the way.”

Division II Athletics: Life in the Balance Jim Morgan, a professor in the Department

of Management, is Chico State’s faculty athletics representative to the NCAA and CCAA. He’s constantly singing the praises of Chico State’s student-athletes and believes that the NCAA Division II model is an important piece to the puzzle. In 2010, Division II shortened athletics seasons to allow more balance in student-athletes’ lives. “Our model, ‘Life in the Balance,’ connotes a balance between athletics and



Sanchez, Sims, and their peers have experienced it firsthand. “I’ve definitely had a lot of support,” says Sanchez. “I was part of EOP [Educational Opportunity Program] that works with firstgeneration college students. I went to Summer Bridge with EOP, and that really helped me adjust to college. I had a supervisor and advisor that I met with for the first two years. I did struggle during my freshman year. There were times when I wondered if I was going to make it. Without having them there, helping get me back on track and motivating me to keep working hard, I don’t know if I would have.” Sims also appreciates the support he received from the campus community. “I don’t care if you’re a superstar or a 12th man— Chico State is a brotherhood/sisterhood kind of place,” says Sims. “You can experience camaraderie throughout the whole University. There was never a time I didn’t feel cared for. That’s special.” With a little help from my friends Professor of African-American literature Tracy Butts believes she’s seen an evolution in the attitudes of the student-athletes in her classes. “I’ve definitely seen a change in the way student-athletes in my class are emphasizing academics,” says Butts. “Generally speaking, they show up to class, they’re prepared, and they check in with you about how they are doing. I’ve even had student-athletes come to my office hours to check on their teammates to make sure they’re showing up to class and keeping up on their work. It’s refreshing to see the way they care for one another.” For Sanchez, Anthony Costales played the role of caring teammate. Costales was one of the team’s older runners and would become one of Sanchez’s assistant coaches. “He was a huge help,” says Sanchez. “Having guys like Anthony who were in the same major and watching what they did was really important. I knew I had my work cut out for me. I saw how dedicated they were to their studies and the time they spent in the library. They helped me set goals, which has been one of the most important things to my success.” That kind of peer-to-peer encouragement is becoming commonplace in the department. “It’s important to our coaching staff that we approach academics with the same attitude we do our sport,” says Luke Barker, an exercise physiology major and Academic All-District pitcher on the baseball team who led the nation in saves last season. “It’s part of the culture on our team. If you’re not on board with the academic side of things, you aren’t on board with the team, and you’re not going to be a part of what we do moving forward.” Athletes also rely heavily upon their professors, who take the time to help them overcome the scheduling challenges that come with being a student-athlete. Volleyball player Lindsay Quigley attributed many of her academic successes to the help of Professor Randy Miller, the chair of the chemistry department.

Coach Gary Towne (right) at the 2014 NCAA Track & Field Championships with distance athletes Barron Maizland, Alex McGuirk, Isaac Chavez, Olivia Watt, and Ayla Granados

Competitive Spirit on the Court and in the Classroom It doesn’t take a rocket scientist

to know that double-majoring in chemistry and biochemistry with a minor in math has its challenges. Add the student-athlete element to the mix, and you have the life of two-time All-West Region volleyball player Lindsay Quigley. “I feel like my competitiveness gives me a leg up in the classroom,” says the senior three-time All-Conference middle hitter. “I’m just as competitive in class as I am on the court. I don’t like to do poorly in anything.” She rarely does. Quigley earned Capital One Academic All-District honors the past two seasons, and she’s a threetime CCAA All-Academic Award recipient. She set the program’s single-season and career hitting-percentage records and surpassed 1,000 kills this year. She is sure to take this competitive drive into grad school to prepare for a career in chemical engineering or physical chemistry. “He’s really gone above and beyond,” says Quigley. “His office is always open. Whenever I have a problem, he’s always there to help me.” “I didn’t have a professor that I didn’t enjoy,” says Sims. “I was in and out of each one’s office hours. We talked about the class, but we also talked about life and my plans for after graduation. I still talk all the time with three of my professors: Jonathan Caudill, Michael Coyle, and Matthew Thomas. I also talk to Tray Robinson [director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion]. He’s always checking in and quick to respond if I text him. That’s just the community of Chico. We care about one another.” A special place The village is encouraging, and the village is motivating. But at the end of the day—and at the beginning and in the middle—it takes special student-athletes to put in the hard work. “I see a group of young people who are really hardworking and committed,” says Professor Butts. “Being able to sustain that kind of focus despite being pulled in so many directions is truly impressive. I don’t know that we talk enough about how they balance their schedule and can be so committed to so many things. They are sacrificing some of their college experience to succeed in the classroom and as athletes, and that sacrifice is truly remarkable.” “It’s definitely a lot more challenging than people realize,” says Quigley. “But you kind of get used to it. You get into a rhythm. You learn how to manage your time and multitask because you always have a lot of things going on at once.” The end result is something to behold. “It’s all beginning to sink in,” says Sanchez, whose family came to Chico to see him graduate last summer. “All the hard work I’ve put in is starting to pay off. It’s definitely a great feeling. I owe so much to my coaches, teammates, and family. But also to my professors, the EOP program, and people all over campus who encouraged me along the way. Chico is a very special place, and I will always be grateful for my time here.”} About the author Luke Reid (BA, History, ’04; MA, Kinesiology, ’09) is the sports information director at Chico State. CHICO STATEments


Faculty in

F cus

by Elizabeth Renfro photography by Beiron Andersson In his 2014 fall convocation, President Paul Zingg announced that California State University, Chico plans to hire 100 tenure-track faculty over the next three years, and 37 of them have already hit the ground running. Drawn from near and far—UC Davis to Berklee College of Music in Spain—new faculty have been added to each of CSU, Chico’s seven colleges. Their names already appear in print, exploring bereavement experiences (Janell Bauer, Journalism), social entrepreneurship (Colleen Robb, Management), and the use of robotics to aid stroke patients (Matt Simkins, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering and Sustainable Manufacturing). Like their colleagues, the three featured here—Robin Jeffries (Mathematics and Statistics), Tal Slemrod (Education), and Darin Haerle (Political Science)—enrich their classrooms with their research. Jeffries applies computing and statistical skills to big data analysis; Slemrod uses iPod Touches to make science education accessible; Haerle links current brain science research and rehabilitation possibilities for youth offenders. Each in their own unique way, they provide Chico State students with the tools and opportunities to make a difference in the world.

Taking on Big Data BIG DATA—HUGE QUANTITIES OF INFORMATION collected by businesses and the government on everyone and everything—is all around us. And while “some of this might sound a bit creepy,” says Fortune magazine’s David J. Kappos, if proper quality and use standards can be developed, big data has the promise to be a “huge creator of value.” Enter biostatistician and new faculty member Robin Jeffries. As CSU, Chico moves to be at the forefront of training professionals in big data’s proper quality and use, the Chico native has come home to help develop a cross-disciplinary data science program at her alma mater. Data science, Jeffries explains, is “an application of statistics for efficiently extracting practical knowledge” from vast quantities of information in order to respond effectively to “real-life situations and answer real-life questions in any field you can think of.” How did you get into data science and biostatistics? I started out at Butte College as a biology major, but I kept taking math mainly because it was moderately easy and I had friends in those classes. When calculus instructor Alice Neath told me I should take statistics, I did and immediately fell in love with the application of mathematics in the real world. Later, after I transferred to Chico State [BS, Mathematics and Biological Sciences, ’05],



chemistry professor David Ball told me that a field called “biostatistics” was a real thing. I kept getting sucked into the usefulness of the field. People come up with great ideas, and I love being able to apply my statistical expertise to help them answer their questions. While earning my doctorate in public health at UCLA, specializing in biostatistics, I worked with HIV epidemiologists and the LA County public health department to implement and evaluate a teen pregnancy prevention program—very interesting projects. What do you find most exciting about your current work? What I get to do now that I’m at Chico State excites me a lot. The CSU system has always been about preparing students to have the skills needed to be competitive in the job market or graduate school. These days, companies are throwing money at people who have the skills to bring organization and meaning to information, to help companies come up with informed and moneymaking decisions about products or services. But only in the past year or two have there been educational programs that provide training in those specific skills. It’s Chico State’s turn to find its approach to this emerging field, and that’s where I come in. My hire was part of Chico’s response to this growing need. We’ll be looking at other college models, seeing what types of programs are being put forth. What has worked, and what hasn’t? Should we offer an entire degree, a minor, or just a certificate? Can we add to existing courses or do we need to build the program from the ground up? We want to give students the skills to manage, search, analyze, and predict using vast amounts and types of data, but we should also educate them on privacy and intellectual property laws, along with ethics regarding personal information—such as having them complete a HIPAA training course on health information privacy laws.

Robin Jeffries, Mathematics and Statistics

How do you plan to excite students about getting into data science? In data science, the concentration is on a third field (biology, economics, marketing, hydrology) where computer science and statistics provide the needed tools to effectively answer emerging questions in the chosen field. Ideally our program would recruit students from all over campus, bringing their field-specific knowledge to the table, moving students out of solely department-specific boxes. I want to try to find ways to get students to start asking their own questions, exploring the data on their own, being their own investigators. Tons of academic fields and thousands of companies are producing and collecting so much data in so many different forms that human beings can’t keep up with how to make sense of the “data deluge” and what to do with it. Hal Varian, the chief economist at Google, remarked in a 2009 New York Times interview that “the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians.” Here we are five years later and everyone wants to be “sexy.” Everyone wants to hire a data scientist, or someone who knows data analytics or who can handle big data. Do you have a secret ambition? To travel to Okinawa with my karate dojo family and train under the grandmaster.



Forging Campus Collaborations KIDS ARE “FASCINATING, INSPIRING, OFTEN HILARIOUS, AND AMAZING,” says new faculty member Tal Slemrod. The special education professor, who in addition to his doctorate in special education also holds a master’s degree in environmental biology, has already begun forging collaborations with campus colleagues and community members. As Slemrod explains, the School of Education provides a supportive environment where he can bring together his expertise—and passion— in science, technology, and education to benefit students of all ages.

Tal Slemrod, Education

How did you first become interested in this area of research? I love science and all of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. Growing up, I always thought I’d become a scientist of some sort, but during my master’s program, my enjoyment of teaching led me to become a high school science teacher. Once in the classroom, I found a calling to support my struggling students—especially my students with disabilities. But I discovered there were few teaching resources and little research on science learning for students with disabilities. My passion led me to earn my doctorate focused on discovering effective and engaging ways to solve that. Given those challenges, what keeps you going? First and foremost, I always try to remember why I am here; I keep some of my former high school students’ work, cards, and pictures on my office wall or in my desk drawer. They were and are my inspiration. I think the greatest challenge is also what I find most intriguing about my research: There is so much to learn. Only a handful of other researchers are studying science and special education. I aim to show that students can learn science in new, fun ways that best suit their own learning styles. It’s a challenge I enthusiastically accept. Another highlight is that my research lets me collaborate across disciplines. I have begun to work with faculty in science education and to have great conversations with faculty in child development. I hope to expand my collaboration to the other STEM subjects as well. How do you bring that research enthusiasm into the classroom? In the School of Education, where teaching and research go hand in hand, I have support to research practical applications in the field, develop partnerships in the community, and bring those experiences into the classroom—which to me is essential in supporting our teacher candidates to become the best teachers they can be. For example, my current research is on how to incorporate iPod Touches into learning science vocabulary in a way that not only increases a student’s academic skill but also is fun and engaging. I’ve begun to see some amazing results that have not only benefited the high school students and teachers that I work with but also can now be used by my teacher candidates in their classrooms for years to come. Do you have a secret ambition? I wouldn’t say my ambition is a secret: to create academic interventions and programs that revolutionize education to support all of our students, especially those who typically struggle.



Advocating for Juvenile Justice CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSOR DARIN HAERLE brings to CSU, Chico a conviction of “the need to include socio-legal perspectives in criminological work.” Although California, like the rest of the country, has increasingly moved juvenile offenders to adult courts for trial and sentencing, recent legislation has the state now shifting many offenders to the county level for probation or incarceration. Haerle believes this shift, coupled with recent Supreme Court decisions that appreciate research in psychology and neuroscience, opens opportunities “to move juvenile justice in the right direction,” back toward the rehabilitative ideal to provide young offenders access to better rehabilitative resources. How did you come to focus on prison systems and youth?

Darin Haerle,

My undergrad work was in kinesiology and psychology. But working as a group living counselor with juvenile offenders opened my eyes to the often frustrating and convoluted state juvenile justice system. I gained an appreciation for the challenges these youth face, most of whom were really just dealt a bad hand, bounced around in foster care and into incarceration facilities with minimal understanding of the complex legal system in which they found themselves. I’ve seen struggling youth work to rehabilitate themselves, and I believe it to be possible with the right resources. Now I actually have the opportunity to connect those professional experiences to research and to teach others how to hopefully make the justice system more just.

Political Science

What do you find most exciting about your research and teaching? I find it exciting that juvenile justice has received attention from the U.S. Supreme Court. Beyond banning the juvenile death penalty in 2005, two recent judgments have now opened conversation acknowledging the diminished capacity of youth and the importance of empirical research in judicial decisions. I was trained that no matter what our perspective, liberal or conservative, empirical research drives advocacy. There’s no way to study the concept of diminished capacity for juveniles if we have no knowledge of why juveniles behave differently from adults. For example, neuroscience findings indicate that the brain’s prefrontal cortex (where risk-taking behaviors are processed) isn’t fully developed until people are about 25. Further, the adolescent brain is still malleable—something rehabilitation programs can capitalize on. My first semester here, I’ve gotten to teach a research methods course, which lets me share the importance of coming face-to-face with the topic or population that you aim to study and understand. Most of these undergraduates are within a few years of being juveniles themselves, so they can easily grasp the gravity of a juvenile being transferred to adult court and receiving a sentence of 23 years to life for a crime he committed at 14 or 15. I look forward to facilitating internships and research projects in Butte County to provide my students with a bridge between the classroom and the “real” world. What is the greatest challenge for you in your current research? Patience. Seriously, your hard work in grad school gives you so many great ideas and ambitions. Then you get to start a job that you love, but at the same time, it’s unbelievably difficult to find time to kick off new and exciting projects—all the while knowing these projects will take time to produce results. I need a Post-it on my wall to remind me that patience is a virtue. Do you have a secret ambition? To save the world, one struggling youth at a time. As naively optimistic as that may sound, it’s the truth.



Helping New Faculty Thrive


he heart of a university’s reputation is its academic reputation. And the foundation of a university’s academic reputation is its faculty.” With these words, CSU, Chico President Paul Zingg welcomed the university community to the start of the 2014–2015 academic year. Just as important as making great hires, Zingg added, is “signaling to our new faculty, our current faculty, and our future faculty that this University will choose excellence in the ranks of its faculty and dedicate the resources necessary to build and sustain it.” An expanded Faculty Development Program, run by Interim Director Kate McCarthy, is one such resource. McCarthy is taking a “grassroots,” collaborative approach to supporting new and established faculty, she explains, initiating new, Universitywide components as well as building on existing services like the E-Learning Academy, which helps faculty integrate the latest technology into their teaching. Peer mentoring, another revitalized program, links the newest members of each college with a tenured colleague, like Chris Fosen (Department of English, College of Humanities and Fine Arts), who is meeting with the four new HFA faculty monthly to answer questions and share ideas “about working with students and student writing.”

For students, professors, and administrators, the Chico experience encompasses more than just the campus, so faculty orientation sessions also provide what McCarthy calls a “zoom in, zoom out” tour. The usual practical elements (where to get copies made, etc.) are, of course, covered, but experiences like a hike in Upper Bidwell Park introduce new faculty to other elements making up the “sense of place” that makes this university and town special. That Chico is a special place didn’t come as news, however, to a number of these recently hired faculty: Nine are themselves Chico alums. College of Agriculture faculty member and alumna Kasey DeAtley (BS, Animal Science, ’05) says, “I loved my Chico experience. As a student, I worked at the University Farm, conducted individual research, and was involved in four clubs. But it was the enthusiasm, compassion, commitment, and high expectations of the faculty that made me want to come back as a team member. There was always a feeling of family in the College of Agriculture, and I wanted to be a part of that. Now I am and couldn’t be happier!”}

A few days before the start of the fall semester, the new faculty were welcomed by President Paul Zingg (left) and Provost Belle Wei (third from right). The CSU, Chico alums who joined the faculty this year are David Alexander (’92) and Matt Simkins (’04), both Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and Sustainable Manufacturing; Kasey DeAtley (’05), Agriculture; Robin Jeffries [see page 12] and Christopher Marks (’99), both Mathematics and Statistics; Carl Pittman (’78), Nursing; Michael Smith (’07), Kinesiology; Laura Sparks (’04, ’08), English; and Anne Kinney Stephens (’02), Science Education. For more on this year’s new faculty, including their names and departments, go to



Promoting Solutions for a


Nutrition center expands its mission as the Center for Healthy Communities by Kim Weir photography by Jason Halley


n 2001, there was no health education program anywhere quite like the one that Cindy Wolff envisioned. It was then that Wolff, registered dietitian and nutrition professor at California State University, Chico, received an initial $40,000 grant from the Butte County Children and Families Commission. That modest seed funding from California’s new cigarette and tobacco taxes launched the OPT (Overweight Prevention and Treatment) for Fit Kids program, which offered preschoolers from low-income families age-appropriate information about the importance of good nutrition and physical activity. Subsequent funding supported OPT’s rapid evolution into the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion (CNAP). It added health-promotion programs for older children, including the family-based Lifelong Eating and Activity Patterns program, designed to educate entire families about the need for change.



In 2004, the center received a $4.9 million grant from the California Nutrition Network to fund CNAP’s Sierra Cascade Nutrition and Activity Consortium education outreach projects. Parents, educators, and public health officials were expressing alarm about rapidly rising rates of obesity in children. They were also concerned about increases in high blood pressure, diabetes, and other weight-related health problems that were once rare in childhood. In the decade since, obesity has become an international crisis, and the center has been widely recognized as a leader in researchbased nutrition, physical activity, and policy approaches intended to help reverse the trend. What’s in a name? Broadening the center’s focus—to emphasize the importance of community change as well as changes in individual and family lifestyles—led to a new name. In October 2014, the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion became the Center for Healthy Communities (CHC). “We were implementing services, before,” says Stephanie Bianco, the center’s assistant director, also an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science and a registered dietitian. “Now we’re the leader in this area. We serve as a resource for other agencies offering these services, though we subcontract with many Northern California counties and in that sense do still provide services. But we’re increasingly interested in policy change, for effective and lasting solutions.” The need for a name change came slowly, says Bianco. “The center has evolved into the Center for Healthy Communities,” she explains. “Where we once offered nutrition education to participants who were low income, we’re now covering one-third of the state of California in all demographics. We’re including multiple disciplines in our research, from all of the University’s colleges.” Bianco, whose first job was working in a Fresno packinghouse alongside Hmong growers, spent many years in the for-profit foodservice industry. She arrived at the center in 2006 with considerable experience in management and human resources. Because of her work in private sector business, Bianco has pushed for the development of the center’s fee-for-service programs. “We’re not just supporting healthy families,” she says. “We also provide worksite wellness services, weight management, nutrition education, medical nutrition therapy, and lactation counseling, and we prepare and serve fresh food for seniors—none of which we’d done before.” Bianco hopes to see the Center for Healthy Communities double in size within the next five years—an increase that would at least double the number of CSU, Chico students the program can recruit and mentor. “There are so many opportunities out there, in terms of providing preventative health service,” says Bianco. “Utilizing university students to help deliver services is not just for our benefit and for the community’s, but for their own—definitely a win–win–win.” Opportunities for students CSU, Chico students are “mission central,” says Bianco, which means the center is committed to providing opportunities



for “interdisciplinary service learning, civic engagement, and research to serve the educational, cultural, and economic needs of communities.” Currently, that translates into about 120 graduate and undergraduate interns and 80 paid student employees at the CHC every year. According to Bianco, the center initially attracted nutrition students almost exclusively. But now nutrition and food science students make up only about 50 percent of the intern-employee mix. Other students come from academic disciplines including public health, social work, kinesiology, business and marketing, computer science, graphic design, journalism and public relations, political science, and women’s studies. Bianco says that providing handson, real-world experience through internships requires a commitment to extensive training. “We have a system in place that is essentially constant training—staff training students, students training students—and it’s very well organized,” she says. “We definitely have a model internship program.” The center’s training programs, in fact, mimic most features of professional employment—starting with an initial “meet and greet,” a fast-paced prescreening and interview experience that involves 50 to 100 students every semester. This process introduces students to the CHC and allows center staff a chance to get an idea of the students’ individual interests and abilities. Once accepted, CHC interns go through several days of intensive training. Ongoing training makes expectations absolutely clear, from appropriate attire and conduct to email and social media etiquette, from standard work practices and self-organization to learning how to work independently and take initiative. Students also track their tasks and hours each week, and work with their supervisors on goal setting and performance evaluations. Only students who succeed as interns are eligible to apply for paid student employment positions at the center. The competition for paid positions is stiff—just as it will be for entry-level positions after graduation. A respected regional influence The center began in 2001 with just one health program, in Butte County. Today it offers 23 programs and provides services in every county within CSU, Chico’s service area. To support its broad community health goals, the CHC partners with county and state public health and social services departments, county education offices, school districts, tribal organizations, health care centers and clinics, Community Action Agencies, and various other community organizations and service agencies. The center’s health-related research currently engages 14 faculty members from 12 departments and, in a typical year, produces six publications in peer-reviewed journals, 15 presentations at professional conferences, and 20 poster papers at state, national, and international conferences. In little more than a decade, the CHC has grown into a respected regional influence, serving Northern California—on many levels—while also attracting and inspiring regional residents and partnerships.

The Student Experience: How Healthy Is That Résumé?


lturas in Modoc County is home for nutrition graduate student and CHC employee Jennifer Joyce. The highly regarded nutrition program at CSU, Chico attracted Joyce because she was an athlete. “I always noticed that the way I fueled my body affected my performance, in sports and also in everyday life,” she says. Joyce (in photo below, left) found her way to the center and started working there as an intern. She works on administration, but she’s also gotten plenty of nutrition field experience because there are frequent calls for “more hands” on projects.

“That’s something the CHC has taught me—how to be adaptable,” she says. “When I first started, it was a struggle to learn so many things, then accept, after you’d just learned something, that it was changing. “But the CHC is a very supportive work environment. We’re encouraged to do our best. We all learn that everything we do is just part of a process. That process keeps changing, so we have to change right along with it.” The center provides a safe, structured environment in which to learn, to grow, and to develop professional skills, explains Joyce. Her own résumé “started with nothing” and now includes two pages of solid experience. How does work in administration help Joyce prepare for a career in nutrition? “As a dietitian, I’ll have to do a lot of paperwork,” she says. “I’ll have to communicate with staff and with other organizations, and I do a lot of that now in my job. I also know how to keep myself organized. I have improved my communication skills greatly, and my professional skills in general.” Joyce has also had the opportunity to meet nutrition and health professionals throughout Northern California. She quickly realized that the center has a very good reputation. “So I can easily see myself approaching a future employer or a future partner and letting them know where I’ve worked, the experience I’ve had, and then discussing what I’d like to do next,” she says.

One of those partners is Jake Brimlow, who earned his BA at CSU, Chico (Economics, ’98) before going on to get his doctorate and is an assistant professor of agricultural business in Chico’s College of Agriculture. Brimlow grew up in Humboldt County, surrounded by small farming and the timber industry. His research interests focus on how to increase the profitability and resiliency of farms and food businesses through local foodsystem development. As one of the center’s research partners, Brimlow is working with CHC graduate students on an Agriculture Research Institute grant to determine—through an agricultural producer survey—barriers to local food production and distribution. He also received a USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture grant that creates partnerships with the CHC and the Northern California Regional Land Trust. “CHC’s support and promotion of interdisciplinary projects has increased its reach and helped it leverage existing knowledge bases,” says Brimlow. “Whether or not farmers are profitable in our region is important for multiple reasons,” he says. And it can be beneficial for local economies if food is processed and distributed locally, “with all that value-added income captured here.” Jenni Dye, a registered dietitian and nutrition education specialist at the CHC, grew up in rural Fall River Mills. She was active in school sports and competed in track and field as well as rodeo events. She was involved in both 4-H and the Future Farmers of America. She and her sisters even had a pig-breeding business. “It was the quintessential small-town childhood,” says Dye, “where the village helped raise you. It was wonderful.” Not so wonderful, though, was her family’s high risk, genetically, for diabetes. When Dye was in junior high, her grandmother started to suffer complications. She had a stroke and could no longer walk. Then, halfway through college, her mother was diagnosed with diabetes. “My interest in health became central,” she says. “I knew that my family had a high risk of diabetes, and I was worried. I wanted

to know how to prevent it, or successfully deal with it. My first focus was my family, getting the education I needed to be able to help.” Dye was working at Feather River Hospital as a dietary aide at the time, and she was ready for work that focused more on prevention than treatment. She started as a CHC intern when she was a CSU, Chico graduate student. And she’s happy to report that her family is now doing well with diabetes management and prevention. “With my help, my mom’s done great with her diabetes, and it’s under control,” she says. “My nephew has a very strange food allergy, so I get calls about that. I think my family really enjoys that I have this knowledge, because they can just call and say: ‘What should I do?’ When my grandparents were in the hospital for gallbladder problems, they called me too. Not just what to do nutritionally, but what to ask the doctors: ‘If a doctor says this to you, what do you say?’ And knowing their rights: ‘Yes, you can look at your charts!’ ” Alyson Wylie of Red Bluff, a self-described “curriculum geek,” was also attracted by the center’s education emphasis. She was amazed by the Harvest of the Month “produce appreciation” work being done in Red Bluff schools and asked a staff member: “How can I do what you do?” Wylie, now a full-time program manager, started as a part-time site assistant in Red Bluff. At the local market, she often ran into youngsters who would start dancing, imitating the giant zucchinis or avocados—college students dressed up as vegetables and fruits—they remembered from the classroom presentations. “I just love this job,” she says.}

About the author Kim Weir, a CSU, Chico graduate (BA, Environmental Studies and Analysis, ’77; Master of Fine Arts, ’07), is communications and media director for the Center for Healthy Communities. She is also founder and editor of Up the Road, a nonprofit public-interest media project. CHICO STATEments




North State Symphony seeks new conductor


hen CSU, Chico announced in 2013 that it was looking for a new musical director for the North State Symphony (NSS), 43 candidates from around the world applied to the organization. What began in 1905 as the Chico State Normal School Orchestra is now a university-affiliated orchestra with professional musicians offering a four-concert season with holiday and other events to the residents of Northern California. The symphony also has close ties to CSU, Chico’s academic mission through its student musicians. “As a student in the NSS, I get the amazing opportunity to play alongside such talented musicians, and to play in such a professional environment,” says Eric Bolstad, music major and trombonist. “This is the type of experience that really prepares you to be able to go out and play professionally after graduation.” Over the course of a season, the NSS includes at least 10 CSU, Chico students and several faculty members onstage. Robert Knight, dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts (HFA), arrived in Chico in 2013 just as NSS conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett announced plans to leave the area to lead two orchestras in Kansas and Missouri. Knight became an enthusiastic supporter of the NSS and was impressed by the commitment of the

by Brooks Thorlaksson

Redding League, the Chico Guild, the board, and concertgoers. “The response to our call for applicants has been gratifying,” he says, “and it’s a tribute to the orchestra that Kyle helped build. I am looking forward to the selection of the new conductor and a robust new season to continue the growth of the NSS.” Back in the late 1990s, it was just a wild idea to create an orchestra to unite the North State region. James Bankhead, former chair of the music department at CSU, Chico, recalls conversations with Chico Symphony conductor David Colson and HFA Dean Donald Heinz about the dream of a symphony that would play in both Redding and Chico, and perhaps in other venues in the North State. As with most dreams, the vision required some negotiation with stakeholders. The Chico Symphony had a nearly 100-year legacy, while the Redding Symphony had recently discontinued its season. But Gene Nichols, board chair in Redding, was an early and enthusiastic believer. Others joined in as the word got around. “The North State Symphony is a great example of two communities and a local university pulling together to form a really outstanding organization,” says Bankhead. “Maestro Pickett’s artistic leadership and dedication to the entire region was an essential ingredient, along with committed board members from both cities and administrators at Chico State who believed that the region is an integral part of the University. I have used this example many times to show the critical role a university can play in the artistic, social, and economic life of a community.” Since 2001, the North State Symphony has made a name for itself in two concert halls, the Cascade Theatre in Redding and Laxson Auditorium in Chico. Guest artists have joined students and professional players from California and Oregon to provide the region with inventive programming, old favorites, and new works. Kyle Wiley Pickett conducts his final performance with the North State Symphony in May 2014. Pickett introduced his audiences to many accessible and exciting new works for the orchestral repertoire.



i in n Chr istia


Brian Stone is a conductor with experience in concert and opera pits across the United States and Europe. He was director of the University of Delaware Orchestras for 10 years, where he developed three ensembles that doubled enrollments, tripled performances, and quadrupled attendance. Scott Seaton is music director of the Minot Symphony Orchestra and assistant conductor for the Festival Opera in Walnut Creek, California. He has conducted orchestras throughout the country and has competed in several international competitions. Most recently, he placed among the top 10 conductors at the Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. Peter Jaffe is music director of the Stockton Symphony and Folsom Symphony, as well as a longtime conductor at the Aspen Music Festival. He has conducted orchestras throughout the country and has recently won recognition for using symphonic music to engage in crucial social issues.

Pet er

Ja f fe




Christian Baldini is a conductor, composer, and current music director at the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and Camellia Symphony Orchestra in Sacramento. He has conducted several international ensembles, including the Acanthes Festival in France, and has presented more than 70 world premieres.



About the author Brooks Thorlaksson (MA, English, ’78) retired as associate dean of the CSU, Chico College of Humanities and Fine Arts in 2012.


With a thriving and supportive fan base for the NSS, the University launched a search for Pickett’s successor. Associate HFA dean Joe Alexander developed a plan for recruitment and a selection committee including musicians, faculty and staff, community members from Redding and Chico, and board members. “The applications began coming in, and we had a great field to choose from,” says Alexander. “The range of talent was extraordinary, and the committee was impressed and daunted at the same time. We had applications from Europe, South America, and many states.” With all this talent to choose from, the question became, “How best to proceed?” The League of American Orchestras provided guidelines for selecting a new conductor, which were only slightly complicated by the unusual configuration of the North State Symphony. As an academic program in the Department of Music and Theatre with administrative oversight provided by the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, NSS is advised by two community boards that do the heavy lifting in fundraising. The new conductor will not only conduct and champion the symphony but also hold a faculty position at CSU, Chico and teach courses. The selection process included video performances of all the candidates; phone interviews and programming ideas from semifinalists; and then selection of the final four for tryouts with the NSS (see sidebar to the right). Each finalist takes part in a 10-day residency in Chico and Redding to conduct rehearsals, do interviews and presentations on campus and in the community, attend social events, and meet with faculty. Alexander worked with the Office of Institutional Research to devise a system of feedback for everyone, including season-ticket buyers and concertgoers who interact with the finalists. In addition, all orchestra musicians are invited to respond to each candidate. Music major Eric Bolstad is grateful to be part of the process: “Being able to see firsthand the conductors and to take part in much of the process is a unique experience.” Alexander will compile the data and work with the committee after each concert so the final decision can be made in May 2015. All of the information will be forwarded to Dean Knight, who will then make a recommendation to the provost. Stay tuned!}


tt Sco



CALLING ALL SYMPHONY ALUMS When did you play in the orchestra (North State Symphony or Chico Symphony)? What instrument? And what are you doing now? We would love to hear from our alums; send us an update to symphony@ Free North State Symphony tickets will go to the first 10 people who reply! Choose the Chico or Redding concert date you can attend.

For more detailed information about each of the finalists, please see CHICO STATEments



photography by Jason Halley and Christie Landrie

As the members of the Class of 2018 moved into the residence halls in August, we were there to capture the moment. The students and their families were understandably emotional, both proud to be part of this big step and sad to be parting from each other. We asked students to share something special they brought from home, and families to share parting advice. The answers made us smile.



“Just remember that we love you and are going to be here for you.”

“This note! My dad left this for me before I came here this morning.”

—Rosa Alejo to daughter Amy of Norwalk

—Avery Wick, Grass Valley

“I brought this Sharks poster to remind me of home because I'm from San Jose and my dad used to work for them.” —Brendan Arnold, San Jose

“You have a job: to be a learner. Make good choices. Am I embarrassing you?” —Denise Tracy to her son Kevin of Lodi

“My hat collection. I have the A’s on to represent!” —Joplin Debose, Durham

“My godmother made this for me for my Sweet 16.” —Izzy Edwards, Arizona

Brittany York (right) of Westlake Village shares a hug with her mom, Wendy.

“Call your mom.”

—Linda Villalobos to daughter Danielle of El Dorado Hills



A Message From the Chico State Alumni Association to provide the activities, communications, and services you expect. Chico State Alumni Association programs are only partially state funded, and we rely on membership dues and affinity programs for our development.

programs, or credit cards. In addition to discounts for alumni, affinity partners give a portion of the revenue these programs generate back to your Chico State Alumni Association in support of its mission, while also providing sponsorship opportunities for other events and programs such as student scholarships.

Dear Chico State Alum: We are excited to share some important information with you regarding the California State University, Chico Alumni Association and the affinity program bill (Assembly Bill 1971) passed by the California legislature in 2010. An affinity program is an agreement between the Chico State Alumni Association and a carefully screened partner to offer valuable services to alumni in areas such as travel, insurance

Choosing to not receive affinity program mailings from our trusted partners will not remove you from other mailings the Chico State Alumni Association or CSU, Chico may send.

Partner candidates compete for the privilege of marketing their services and products to highly desirable Chico State graduates. We select these partners based on the quality, price, and appropriateness of their offerings and their reputation. We hope our judgment is sound and you find any partner solicitations useful and relevant. But even if you don’t respond to such offers, you’re still helping us simply by allowing us to continue sending these offers to you.

We remain committed to your privacy and comfort. Below is an important privacy notice as well as the contact information needed if you choose to request that we stop sending these offers to you. I encourage you to take a moment to read the material provided. Go Wildcats!

AB 1971 was passed to allow the continuation of programs that greatly support the Chico State Alumni Association’s effort

Susan Anderson Assistant Vice President, Alumni & Parent Relations

Six Ways to Keep Connected to CSU, Chico n Follow us on Twitter

@ChicoStateAlum. n Join our Facebook and

LinkedIn groups, “Chico State Alumni Association.” n Visit

alumni and keep up with alumni activities and events. n Volunteer to be on a net-

work or chapter board and help alums in your area stay connected. n Mark your calendars for

Oct. 9–18, 2015, to visit Chico State and enjoy our sixth Chico Experience Week. n Read Chico State’s 2014–

2015 Book in Common, The Distance Between Us, and attend one of the related campus events or join a reading group (for more details, see

Important Privacy Choice You have the right to control whether we share your name, address, and electronic mail address with our affinity partners (companies that we partner with to offer products or services to our alumni). Please read the following information carefully before you make your choice below: Your Rights You have the following rights to restrict the sharing of your name, address, and electronic mail address with our affinity partners. This form does not prohibit us from sharing your information when we are required to do so by law. This includes sending you information about the alumni association, the University, or other products or services. Your Choice Restrict Information Sharing with Affinity Partners: Unless you say “NO,” we may share your name, address, and electronic mail address with our affinity partners. Our affinity partners may send you offers to purchase various products or services that we may have agreed they can offer in partnership with us. Time-Sensitive Reply You may decide at any time that you do not want us to share your information with our affinity partners. Your choice marked here will remain unless you state otherwise. However, if we do not hear from you, we may share your name, address, and electronic mail address with our affinity partners.

If you decide that you do not want to receive information from our partners, you may do one of the following: 1. Reply electronically by visiting our website at (click on the link “Important Privacy Information”). 2. Fill out, sign, and fax this form to 530-898-4407. 3. Call us toll-free at 800-598-6472. 4. Fill out, sign, and send this form back to us at the following address (you may want to make a copy for your records):

Chico State Alumni Association ATTN: AB 1971 California State University, Chico Chico, CA 95929-0050

( ) NO, please do not share my name, address, and electronic mail address with your affinity partners. Name _____________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________ City/State/Zip ______________________________________________ Email _____________________________________________________ Signature __________________________________________________ Date ______________________________________________________



A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N   N E W S

Dear Alums


s I write this, we are just finishing up a very successful fifth annual Chico Experience Week. During this 10-day period, the Chico State Alumni Association (CSAA) hosted seven different events, both on campus and around the state, including three alumni mixers in one night—in Chico, Sacramento, and Berkeley. We’d love to grow this program for next year and hold up to six events for our chapters and networks during Chico Experience Week, so stay tuned for more details. Other highlights of the week included the unveiling of the fifth and final print in Jake Early’s Chico Experience series, a young-alumni mixer sponsored by in Chico, and a celebration of the Class of 1964 at the Golden Grad reunion. I’d like to do a special shout-out to the Chico Experience Week sponsors and preferred partners—without your support, we could not do what we do! Thank you to Mercer, Liberty Mutual, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Italian Cottage, Spice Creek Café, Mom’s Restaurant, Madison Bear Garden, Oxford Suites, and our media partners at Deer Creek Broadcasting: The Blaze 103.5, Mix 95.1, KPAY 1290, and Radio Mexico. Also a big “thank you” to Chico Paper Company for their collaboration over the past five years with the Chico Experience series. We have several exciting projects coming up, including the possibility of partnering with Associated Students and Chico State Athletics to erect a bronze Wildcat statue on campus. The CSAA board of directors has recently set aside an allocation to assist with this project. In addition to our scholarship program and alumni outreach, the CSAA also focuses on campus beautification projects—you may remember that several years ago we raised the funds to revitalize Alumni Glen, which is used by students and alumni alike. We believe that the Wildcat statue project will stand the test of time for generations to come. From Summer O tours to Wildcat Welcome to Commencement and alumni reunions, the statue will be an iconic reminder of the Chico Experience. Celebrating Chico, Jimmy Reed (‘03, ’08), President Chico State Alumni Association

Nearly two dozen alums from attended the Young Alumni Network event in Chico.

Greg (’91) and Jana Strong (’92), owners of Chico Paper Company, with artist Jake Early (’94) and the final print in the Chico Experience series. Early also received a proclamation from Chico mayor Scott Gruendl (’86) declaring Oct. 10, 2014, “Jake Early Day.”

Golden Grads from the Class of 1964 celebrated their 50-year reunion during Chico Experience Week.

Upcoming Events and Reunions Saturday | Jan. 31 Alumni Association Annual Board Meeting Chico Chapter Basketball Reception Saturday | Feb. 28 Bay Area Chapter: Sharks vs. Senators Thursday | March 12 CSU NYC/Tri-State Alumni Reception Friday | April 10 Distinguished Alumni Dinner Monday | April 13 CSU Alumni Seattle Reception

Wednesday | April 15 Bay Area Chapter Warriors Game

October 9–18 6th Annual Chico Experience Week

Tuesday | April 28 Senior Send-Off

Oct. 15–17 Golden Grad Reunion: The Class of 1965

Thursday | April 30 Chico Chapter Tri-Tip BBQ

For more information, visit www.csuchico. edu/alumni or call 530-898-6472.

May 14–17 2015 Commencement

Like us on Facebook: Chico State Alumni Association. Follow us on Twitter: @ChicoStateAlum

Saturday | June 13 San Diego Alumni Event at Petco Park: Padres vs. Dodgers

Join our LinkedIn group: Chico State Alumni Association



Alumni Board Fall 2014

Wildcats ON THE MOVE

President Jimmy Reed 2003, 2008, Rio Lindo

We want to hear from you—

Vice President Aaron Skaggs 2010, Sacramento

what you do for a living, for a hobby, for fun.

Treasurer Paul Maunder 1993, El Dorado Hills Secretary Christina Nichols 1969, Chico Past President Michelle Power 1992, Chico Assistant Vice President, Alumni and Parent Relations Susan Anderson Chico At-Large Members

Please send your update to Wildcats on the Move Coordinator Public Affairs and Publications California State University, Chico Chico, CA 95929-0040 Email Phone 530-898-4143 Note: Only cities outside California will include the state name.

Rick Callender 1994, San Jose Bob Combs 1980, Danville Board Advisors Paul J. Zingg President, CSU, Chico Tim Colbie 1992, Alumni Council Representative Taylor Herren 2014–2015 AS President Board Members Tom Carter 1970, Chico Kathy Hardin 1972, Chico Bob Kohen 1966, 1970, Chico Frank Marinello 1991, Chico Megan Odom 2002, Chico Nicholas Spangler 2004, 2008, Chico Kelly Staley 1985, Chico Monica Turner 2005, San Jose Mary Wallmark 1987, Chico Thomas Whitcher 2006, Davis

ALUMNI CHAPTERS AND CLUBS Bay Area Chapter Monica Turner 2005, President Chico Chapter Dino Corbin 1975, President Chico-Area Young Alumni Network Kaitlin Tillett, President Sacramento Chapter Lauren Grimes 2011, President San Diego Network Jessica Puccio 2010



1960s GUY ANDERSON (BA, Business Education, ’61) completed his 44th year and 900th career win as the varsity baseball coach at Cordova High School in Rancho Cordova. W. DAVID HERBERT (BA, Psychology, ’65) ran for justice of the Montana Supreme Court in 2014. He is an attorney specializing in mediation and arbitration and a licensed podiatrist with a practice in Billings, Montana. He received a doctorate in podiatric medicine from Kent University in 1976 and a law degree from University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in 1986. He was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force but retired as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Army medical department, putting in 28 years in active duty and reserves. MIKE HURLEY (BA, Psychology, ’68; MA, Psychology, ’70) has been self-employed for the past 44 years as an insurance agent and financial

advisor at DBA Hurley & Associates and M&L Hurley Insurance & Financial Inc. Now semi-retired but still serving his clients, he recently agreed to become North State coordinator for Run Ben Run, a PAC purposed to urge Dr. Ben Carson, renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and author, to run for president of the United States. MICHAEL HALLDORSON (BA, Art, ’69; Credential, ’71) joined the U.S. Navy reserve out of high school, and after a first attempt at college, decided to leave the reserve to join the active-duty Navy. He served as a gunner on a five-inch gun mount on the destroyer USS Hopewell, (DD-681). After leaving the Navy in 1971, he returned to Chico State and studied art under Janet Turner. In May 2014, Halldorson, a Chicoan, had prints displayed in a veterans art exhibit at the Museum of Northern California Art in Chico.

1970s JEANNIE MAES (BS, Nursing, ’72) retired in 2009 after 47 years in various nursing positions. In her career, she designed a gastrostomy tube, edited and was a contributing author for People Controllers: Interdisciplinary Group Communication, and was a contributing author for Preceptorships in Nursing Education and various journals. She helped found the greater Oroville Homeless Coalition, shares her property for community gardens, and has two grown daughters, Margie (BA, Music, ’86) and Katie. Maes spends her time gardening, traveling, and volunteering. RICK LYONS (BA, Physical Education, ’74) retired after 29 years of teaching in June 2014. His career began in 1975 at Poway High School, where he taught driver education, driver training, and physical education and coached football, softball, track, and golf. He and his wife and their two young sons moved in 1980 to Fresno, where he became the head football coach and taught physical education at Kerman High School. After his third son was

Distinguished Naval Career Spans Four Decades DICK CARLSEN (BS, Business Administration, ’68) has worked with the Department of the Navy for 41 years as a civilian employee managing and overseeing quality-of-life programs for sailors, marines, and their families. He was hired in 1973 and was a field representative in his early years, traveling 90 percent of the year to Navy bases worldwide. In 1983, he was the deputy officer in charge of a military cross-country team competing in Khartoum, Sudan. In the 1980s, he worked at Navy headquarters in Washington, D.C., as a deputy in the recreation policy branch, and in the 1990s, he served as the deputy and then the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) director at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, the largest naval base in the world. Among other achievements as the director, he laid the groundwork for a multifaceted recreational and fitness complex. He also developed the first Enlisted Recreation Center on a Navy base on the East Coast. The Navy installations in the Norfolk area were regionalized in 2000, and

Carlsen served as the first regional MWR director. In that capacity, he was tasked by the regional commander to reorganize MWR on the bases. He took a 10 Navy-base organization, with more than 200 facilities, 2,000 employees, and a $100 million budget, and tipped it upside down to construct a new organization. He is currently the deputy fleet readiness director, helping oversee a regional MWR operation with 20 Navy bases from Maine to North Carolina, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. Carlsen is a recipient of the Fellow Award and Executive Fellow Award from the Armed Forces Recreation Society of the National Recreation and Park Association, the inaugural Ben Lewis Achievement Award from Navy MWR headquarters, the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award from the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, the second-highest award recognizing Navy civilian employees. He and his wife live in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Wildcats ON THE MOVE

JOE DIVITTORIO (BA, Special Major, ’75; MS, Agriculture, ’82) retired after more than 35 years of federal service. His professional career included natural resource, environmental, and biology positions with the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Navy as a civilian specialist, and the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation. He sat on several national science-related advisory panels and has authored, co-authored, contributed to, and presented many works. He is a 2010 winner of the Department of the Interior Green Challenge Award, a 2003 graduate of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Leadership Development Initiative, and a co-recipient of the 2001 Albert Gore Vice President’s Hammer Award for Reinventing Government. WILLIAM FREY (BA, Psychology, ’78; BA, Chemistry, ’78) recently earned a master’s degree in education from North Carolina State University. He works as a learning and development specialist in the Office of Human Resources at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and teaches mindfulnessbased stress reduction for the university’s School of Medicine. He is the author of a monthly blog titled Stress Tips, which has surpassed 140 issues. He lives with his wife, Patty (in photo above), in rural North Carolina.

Surf Culture Pioneer Writes New Book


idely known as a founding father of surf culture, JOHN SEVERSON (BA, Art, ’55) recently published the book SURF, which examines his life as the founder of Surfer magazine and the evolution of surfing as a sport. Among his many accomplishments, Severson is a highly regarded artist and photographer, an early pioneer of surf films, and a graphic artist who designed the iconic “Surf Fever” typeface, aloha shirts, and movie posters that remain collector favorites today. Surfer magazine, which Severson founded in 1960, was the first major magazine dedicated to wave riding; while he sold the publication in 1971, it remains in circulation with its mission to bring readers “a slice of the entire surfing world with each issue.” Severson received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2011 Surfer magazine poll. Severson, now 80, still rides the waves once in awhile and enjoys life in Maui with his wife, Louise, in a house he built himself. Not one to seek the limelight, he was urged by family and friends to finally write a book about his life. In a New York Times review, SURF

Beiron Andersson

born, Lyons moved to Hoover High School, where he taught and coached for 29 years. In 2011, he began coaching football at Fresno City College. He currently coaches tight ends and punters there. He and his wife, Ginny, live in Fresno and enjoy their growing family.

is described as serving a dual purpose, both “a celebration of a Zelig-like life to envy” as well as “an implicit slap across the cheek of those status-conscious, white-collar elements that are getting ever fresher in their advances upon the wave-riding lifestyle he helped start back in the 1950s.” For more on Severson and his new book, visit A Chico Statements feature article can be found at feature_03.html.}

JANICE KLOPFENSTEIN (BA, Social Work, ’81) retired as a medical social worker in May 2014. She worked as the director of social services at her local hospital and nursing home for 29 years. She is looking forward to traveling, motorcycling, and spending time with her husband of 33 years.

2015 James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching. Ball is the second teacher in California to receive this award since its inception in 1973. She has taught at Chico High School since 1987. She also received the Lloyd Ryland Award for Outstanding High School Teaching from the ACS California Local Section in 2010 and was named the Chico Rotary Club Educator of the Year for 2009–2010.

of Geography and the Environment and fellow of the C.B. Smith Sr. Centennial Chair in United States-Mexico Relations No. 2 at the University of Texas at Austin. Beach (in photo below, with husband Timothy) previously worked at George Mason University, where she was professor and acting chair of geography and geoinformation science, and also served as associate chair and director of Academic Programs for the department since 2008.

JENELLE BALL (BS, Chemistry, ’82) was recognized by the American Chemical Society with the

SHERYL BEACH (BA, Geography, ’82) has been named professor and chair of the Department

DAN JENKINS (BA, Industrial Arts, ’84) has owned and managed The Grapple Hook Group, marketers and representatives of industrial products and services, since 2006. He was a college professor for 10 years at the University of Tampa, Webster University, and St. Leo University. He is also the owner of The Iron Ox, a specialty chemical products line for heavy industry. He has worked with the largest oil companies in the United States, including Shell, BP, and Chevron, on crane safety. He has an MBA from the University of Southern Florida and currently resides in Florida.


TIMOTHY BEACH (BA, Geography, ’82) was elected 2014 Faculty of the Year for excellence in teaching by Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, commonly known as the nation’s highestrated School of International Affairs. A professor of geography and geoscience at Georgetown University from 1993 to 2014, Beach (in photo with wife Sheryl—see above update) was Georgetown’s Cinco Hermanos chair in the environment and international affairs and served as director of the Science, Technology, and International Affairs Program and the Center for the Environment for 10 years. He also received the university’s only Distinguished Research Award bestowed by Georgetown University in 2011. His extramural honors include election as fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Guggenheim and Dumbarton Oaks Fellowships, and the Association of American Geographers’ 2010 G.K. Gilbert Award in Geomorphology. In 2014, he became a professor in the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Geography and the Environment, where he was named C.B. Smith Sr. Centennial Chair in United States-Mexico Relations No. 2.

1990s DONNA JENSEN (BA, Social Work, ’91) was named the California State Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Work in 2014. CHICO STATEments


Wildcats ON THE MOVE

She was honored with the award Oct. 25 during the organization’s annual conference in Burbank. This year, she also received a PhD from Fielding Graduate University and left her position as a distributed learning coordinator at Chico State’s School of Social Work to become a faculty member teaching gerontology at Sacramento State. She lives with her husband, Alan, in Magalia. JEFF AZZOPARDI (BA, Public Administration, ’92) was selected by the city of South San Francisco as its new chief of police. Azzopardi will lead all police department operations and partner with the community to facilitate neighborhood-oriented policing. He is a 22-year veteran of the South San Francisco Police Department, starting in 1993 as a patrol officer and working his way up the ranks to police captain, overseeing the police department’s patrol division and criminal investigation bureau. Azzopardi was two-time recipient of the SSFPD Captain’s Supernumerary Award. He has a master’s in public administration from Notre Dame de Namur University and is a graduate of the Los Angeles Police Department Leadership Academy. JILL FORTINO (BA, Child Development, ’93) is an elementary school teacher in the Gilroy Unified School District and a mother of two. Her oldest

A Day to Celebrate


eulah Lynn Lemm Balmer, a 1927 graduate from Chico State Teacher’s College, had a surprise waiting for her at her Sept. 12 birthday gathering in Chico. CSU, Chico President Paul Zingg was there to recognize her with an award for being the oldest living CSU alum, reading a letter from Sen. Jim Nielson along with a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate. She had just turned 107. Balmer says she was thrilled to receive the award and reminisced with her guests, including her sister and niece, about various moments in her life. She has lived through 17 presidencies and witnessed the emergence of technological marvels from radio to the Internet. When asked what her favorite year has been, she said, “This one.” Balmer, the oldest of nine children, was born in Faniani Meadows in Plumas County in 1907, the same year her family moved to Chico. She began teaching in 1927, served as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1943 to 1945, and finished her teaching career in Seattle from 1946 to 1967. She was married to husband Charles for 55 years, and among her favorite activities was ice skating; she even qualified for the Olympics but says she wasn’t interested in participating. Nowadays, Balmer lives in Country Village Retirement Facility in Chico, and can often be found sharing stories with friends and family.}

Mary Ellen Landers

A Lifelong Friendship MARTIN “MARTY” BREKAS (BA, Industrial Arts, ’70), CYNDEE (VESTAL) BREKAS (BA, Art, ’70), and GLORIA BRACCO (BA, Social Science, ’70) have maintained their friendship since their Chico State College days. Marty recently retired from Caraustar Paper and Packaging Company after 26 years of service. Artist Cyndee continues to paint, has illustrated children’s books, and designs her own Christmas cards each year. Her paintings have graced homes all over the United States. Gloria recently retired from 42 years of teaching primary grades for the Riverbank School District. She has published art ideas in teaching magazines as well as an article in the Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, an international journal for professional educators. In 1994, she was chosen an Outstanding Women of Stanislaus County, and in 1995– 1996, she was listed in Marquis’ “Who’s Who of American Women.” Gloria continues to be actively involved in her community. Marty and Cyndee live in Maineville, Ohio, and Gloria lives in Modesto.

son is planning to attend Chico State in fall 2016 as an agricultural business major. She is married and resides in San Martin. KYLE WILEY PICKETT (MA, Music, ’93) left his position as music director of the North State Symphony in 2014 after more than 14 years. He was selected as music director for symphonies in Topeka, Kansas, and Springfield, Missouri. He and his wife, Alice, and their two children now live in Springfield. DEANNA BERG (BA, Liberal Studies, ’95) is the executive director of Reading Partners, a national education nonprofit dedicated to improving students’ reading skills, based in Sacramento. She resides in Elk Grove. JAMES “GRAY” KNOWLTON (BA, Communication Design, ’97) is now the chief information officer of Upsher-Smith Laboratories in Maple Grove, Minnesota. He resides in Plymouth, Minnesota. HEIDI HANNAMAN (BA, Political Science, ’98; BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’98) is a legislative aide to Senate Republican leader Bob Huff and is in part responsible for a school EpiPen bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014. She pitched the idea for what became Senate Bill

Alums Make National Rugby Team NAIMA REDDICK (BS, Recreation Administration, ’08) and CARRIE WHITE (BS, Exercise Physiology, ’08) were selected for the USA Women’s National Rugby Team, the Eagles, in 2014. They traveled with the team to France as reserves for the 2014 World Cup. White currently lives in Seattle, Washington, and plays for Seattle Rugby Club. Reddick plays for San Francisco Golden Gate and works at Play Rugby USA as a youth development manager.



1266, which requires K–12 public schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors and train at least one staff member at each campus to use them in case a student goes into anaphylactic shock—a life-threatening allergic reaction. Hannaman, who has two elementary school-aged children with food allergies, participated in writing the legislation and orchestrated it throughout the bill process.

2000s JANELLE WILSON (BA, Multicultural and Gender Studies, ’03) is in her 10th term as the coordinator for Southern Oregon University’s Queer Resource Center. Her position is centered on ensuring that LGBTQ+ students are supported and that the campus is well educated about queer identities. For a second consecutive year, the national organization Campus Pride has awarded her campus a five-star rating for its LGBT-friendly climate. She was also chosen to be an honorary grand marshal for the Southern Oregon Pride Parade in October. Her partner, Robin, is also a Chico State graduate. “I am so grateful to Chico State for providing the space where I first was able to discuss identity in the classroom,” says Wilson. REANETTE FILMER (BA, Public Administration, ’05) was named to the Chico City Council in 2014. A conservative, she worked as a human resources manager for Target, for Sacramento Superior Court, and as Tehama County’s human resources director before starting her own business as a human resources consultant in 2012. She hopes she can help the city address some of its fiscal and safety challenges.

Wildcats ON THE MOVE JEROME HUEZE (BS, Applied Computer Graphics, ’05) is a senior software engineer with Lifelock in San Francisco. COURTNEY WARD (BS, Mathematics, ’06) is an energy engineer in Sacramento. She volunteers her time monthly to female engineering students at Chico State. Her father, PATRICK (BA, Physical Education, ’75; MA, Physical Education, ’81) is also an alum. GAYLE SMITH (BS, Agriculture, ’07) is the new agriculture teacher at her alma mater, Half Moon Bay High School. She previously taught agriculture in Fresno and Sonoma. She grew up in El Granada, where much of her family remains. CHRISTINA CORTINO (BS, Geosciences, ’08) graduated with honors from McGeorge School of Law in May 2012 and in December 2013 moved to her current law firm, Harrison, Temblador, Hungerford & Johnson LLP, where she is an attorney specializing in mining, environmental, and land-use law. “I have my dream job, and it merges my undergraduate background in geosciences on a daily basis,” she says. ROXANE BEIGEL-CORYELL (BA, Special Major, ’09) is the sustainability and recycling coordinator at Southern Oregon University, where she earned her master’s degree. CASSANDRA (BA, Liberal Studies, ’09) and CHRISTOPHER (BS, Mechatronic Engineering, ’09) CORDER had their first son, Ryan Edward Corder, on Nov. 22, 2013. They look forward to trips to Chico with Ryan and hope for a future CSU, Chico alum. BRAYDAN YOUNG (BS, Business Administration, ’09) recently became the vice president for business development of FirstJob, a startup that offers a marketplace that helps millennials find internships and jobs. He has lived in San Francisco for five years.

2010s CARLY McHENRY (BS, Exercise Physiology, ’10) has opened a new business in San Diego called Car’s Jars. She has developed a line of layered craft salads in Mason jars that are delivered weekly to homes and offices. She says her education at Chico State “helped her to focus, prioritize, and strive for self-confidence in order to venture out as a young female entrepreneur.” JOSHUA STEWART (BA, Political Science, ’10; MA, Political Science, ’13) is a recruiting coordinator at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View. He has worked there since March 2014 and says a “major contributing factor to my hiring was my experience at CAVE, where I served as a volunteer program coordinator in the national parks.” He also worked as an adjunct faculty member in the

Department of Political Science from fall 2013 to spring 2014. He resides in Walnut Creek. STEFANIE COX (BS, Mechanical Engineering, ’11) moved to Las Vegas to be closer to family in October 2013 and worked as a mechanical engineer designing slot machine cabinets. She has since left that position to work for Goodfellow Crushers designing rock-crushing equipment. In her spare time, she acts as a consultant engineer. She plans to start her own consulting firm in the future. JACOB PETERSON (BS, Business Administration, ’11) founded the Junior Leadership Development

Program, a nonprofit mentoring program for North State youth, which he runs at high schools and other institutions in the region. MARISSA BROWN (BA, Liberal Studies, ’12) is a teacher in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. She resides in Vallejo. DUSTIN COOK (BS, Civil Engineering, ’12) and KATIE FITZGERALD (BS, Civil Engineering, ’13) went to Napa following a large earthquake there this year to examine building damage. They are taking part in two related research projects with several universities. The schools received

From Goats to Elephants


rom the time she was a young child, Keleigh Beehler (BS, Animal Science, ’12) has loved animals. She had cats, dogs, and hamsters in her home; read animal magazines voraciously; and cherished those special times when she was able to be around horses near her father’s house in Sebastopol. When it came time to go to college, she chose CSU, Chico partially because of Chico’s small-town feel but also because of the reputation of its animal science department. While her mother, Karen Dias Chavet (BA, Spanish, ’81), is also a Chico State grad, Beehler says she didn’t push her in that direction. “She wanted me to make my own decision,” says Beehler. “But when I did decide to go there, she was happy.” Beehler enjoyed the animal science department because of the teachers and advisors, whom she always found to be helpful. Perhaps the close relationship between teachers and animal studies students is cemented on CSU, Chico’s farm. There, students perform all the necessary tasks of running the farming operation. If you want a group of teachers and students to bond, there is nothing like working together in the dirt. When Beehler graduated from CSU, Chico, she went to work for a goat farm in Marin County. She absolutely loved working with the goats because “they will get into anything and do everything.” She could always tell the goats apart because of their unique personalities. She recently left the goat farm, however, because she really wanted to work with something bigger. Much bigger: elephants. In 2013, Beehler

lived and worked with elephants in Thailand for three months. “I lived in a hut in a tiny village,” she says. “Our job was to reintroduce elephants into the wild. We went out to them every day, studying their behavior. Elephants are where I want to be.” Now, she is making plans to return to Thailand to learn more about the largest land animal on the planet. Then she wants to find a position in the United States where she can put her elephant expertise and her passion for animals to good use.} Tim Hauserman (BS, Political Science and Geography and Planning, ’81) met Beehler’s mother as a freshman in Whitney Hall. He has authored four books including the official guide to the Tahoe Rim Trail and his latest effort, a children’s book, Gertrude’s Tahoe Adventures in Time.

Keleigh Beehler working with an elephant in Thailand.



Wildcats ON THE MOVE a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to research and test how reinforced concrete buildings would fare in extreme quakes. MICAH MINOR (BS, Civil Engineering, ’12) is a project engineer with Cupertino Electric Inc. in San Jose.

Marriages/Anniversaries STEPHEN CHRISTENSEN (BA, Political Science, ’68) and wife Carol celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary on June 13, 2014. CYNDY (BA, Child Development, ’80) and MARTY BUCKLEY (BA, Physical Education, ’80) celebrated their 31st anniversary in March 2014. They recently returned to Chico. He retired after 29 years coaching men’s and women’s soccer, teaching PE, and serving as an administrator in the athletic department of the U.S. Air Force Academy. She retired as vice president of instruction at Pikes Peak Community College, having served as dean of the Business, Social, and Behavioral Sciences Division of the Child Development Program. They met in Chico in 1979. “We are happy to be home, closer to family and dear friends, and look forward to becoming involved in the Chico community,” says Cyndy. RISING SUN “SUNNY” GISCOMBE (BA, Psychology, ’01) and LOWREN McAMIS (BA, Geosciences, ’05) were married May 31, 2014. She works for J.E. McAmis Inc., and together they began a home renovations and property management business. They reside in the Chico area. ANTHONY (CADE) WEBB (BS, Computer Science, ’02) and ANDREA HAMEL (BA, Psychology, ’07) were married in September 2014 in Fortuna. She is a transfer and graduation counselor at Humboldt State University, and he is the director of Client Technology, also at Humboldt State University. The couple resides in McKinleyville.


DAVID WENDLAND (BS, Business Administration, ’04) and Beth Arnold were married May 17, 2014, in Walnut Creek. He works for Apple as an iTunes Store engineering project manager; she is pursuing her own custom paper products and invitations business, BethLovesPaper. They reside in San Mateo and are expecting their first child. EMILY (HASKELL) ROSE (BS, Nursing, ’04) and NICK ROSE (BS, Computer Science, ’06) celebrated their fifth anniversary Aug. 8, 2014. They welcomed a daughter, Piper Ella, into their family on Feb. 6, 2014. He works as the regional software architect for Cloud Custom Development Americas at SAP America; she is an assistant nurse manager in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UC San Francisco Medical Center. They reside in Redwood City. LAUREN ROSSI (BS, Business Administration, ’04) and Dennis Schnug were married Oct. 18, 2014, in Carmel. The wedding was attended by friends and family from all over, including many Chico State Wildcats. She works for Visa in San Francisco, and he works in the hospitality industry. They live in San Francisco with their dog Hank. ALLYSON POPP (Credential, ’06) and Mark Dibert were married May 24, 2014. She is a third-grade teacher at Kyrene School District in Tempe, Arizona;

he works for Honeywell Aerospace. They reside in Phoenix, Arizona. MEGHAN MATTINGLY (BA, Liberal Studies, ’07) and Ryan Stone were married Dec. 14, 2013. She is a toddler teacher at Kindercare in Vacaville and an online stylist for Stitch Fix; he is a flight engineer in the U.S. Air Force. They reside in Fairfield. CHRISTOPHER (BA, Communication Design, ’08) and ROBIN (BROWN) BELZ (BA, Communication Design, ’08) were married in August 2013. He is an account manager for Marketo; she works in technology sales for Cisco Systems. They met at Chico State in a communication design class by sharing snacks. They now reside in Burlingame with their two cats, Tux and Boots. BLAKE MORILLAS (BS, Heath Services Administration, ’09) and Danielle Wheeler were married July 24, 2014. He has worked at for the past six years; she has worked at UnitedHealthcare for three years. They reside in Magalia. KIM KEYAWA (MA, Communication Studies, ’12) and WILLIAM MUSSELMAN (BA, Business Administration, ’12) were married June 21, 2014. He works for Keyawa Orchards Inc. They reside in Chico.} Kacey Gardner, Public Affairs and Publications

Parent Advisory Council: Supporting Our Students

he Chico State Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of parents of current Chico State students committed to doing what they can to improve the Chico Experience for every Chico State student. The 54 members of the PAC meet twice a year and host many events including the 10 Ready, Set, Chico events held each summer. Ready, Set, Chico events take place in Sacramento, the Bay Area, and Southern California. New students, returning students, family members, and alumni gather to share experiences and learn about life at Chico State. These events are hosted by members of the PAC: parents who have already been through the home-to-college transition and have lived to tell the tale. Returning students and their parents provide incredible reassurance to new students— and their parents—as they start their Chico State adventure. For those interested in joining or learning more about our Parent Advisory Council, please contact us at} Students get together at the 2014 Ready, Set, Chico event in Redwood City.



Wildcats IN  OUR THOUGHTS In Memoriam–Alumni 1950s GERALD “JERRY” DOTY (BA, Business Administration, ’55; Credential, ’59) died Dec. 15, 2013, at the age of 81. He was born in Chico and attended local schools. He worked in the business office of PG&E until he moved to Sacramento in 1960. From then until his retirement nearly 40 years later, he worked as a systems analyst for the California Department of Water Resources. He is survived by brothers Darrell and Errol. THOMAS McLAUGHLIN (BA, Business Administration, ’59) died June 9, 2014, at the age of 83. He was a special education teacher for the San Leandro School District for more than 30 years. He grew up in Northern Ireland, immigrating to the United States as a teenager. He enlisted in the Army at 18 and served during the Korean war. After graduating, he returned to Ireland, where he attended the University College of Dublin. He met and married Edith after returning to America. He is survived by daughter Deirdre; son Noel; and grandchildren Kevin, Katrina, and Ella.

1960s GERALD DAVIS (BA, Business Administration, ’62) died in June 2014. He was an IRS agent from 1962 until his retirement in 1990. A longtime IRS instructor, he developed and taught the first personal–income-tax course at Butte College. He served in the Army 1954–1956 and attended Fresno State, El Camino College, and Chico State through the GI Bill. He met his wife at Chico State and enjoyed gardening, cooking, reading, and ballroom dancing. He is survived by wife Susan; children Jennifer, Michael, and Matthew; and grandchildren Melanie, Will, and Walker. GARY DUTRO (Certificate, Agriculture, ’62) died May 9, 2014, at the age of 71. He was a leader, mentor, and farmer with a ranch in Tehama County. He attended Chico High School and married his high school sweetheart, Judy, in 1963. He farmed sugar beets, kidney beans, wheat, walnuts, almonds, and other crops and enjoyed racing at Silver Dollar Speedway and Shasta Speedway. After Judy passed away, he married longtime friend Christie. He is survived by wife Christie; son Stephen; daughter Anne; granddaughters Madison, Gillian, and Hailey; stepsons Bill and Bob; and step-grandchildren Robert and Raquel. ESTHER MARIE SABIN (BA, ’64; Credential, ’64) died June 12, 2014, at the age of 83. A lifetime Orland resident, she taught at Hamilton City Elementary School for 23 years. She was active in the California Teachers Association and a huge fan of the 49ers and Giants. She was preceded in death by parents Edward and Sue and brothers Raymond and Ernest. She is survived by son Greg, daughters Pamela and Marcia, 12 grandchildren, 22 greatgrandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren.

1970s LARRY PATANE (BS, Agriculture, ’72) died April 5, 2014, at the age of 67. He and wife Myra lived in Biggs, where they farmed for 44 years and raised

1990s three sons. He was a longtime member of the Sunsweet Growers Board of Directors and the Lake Madrone Water District. For the past 12 years, he worked for Caltrans in Truckee and Fort Bragg. He was a passionate outdoorsman. He was preceded in death by father Joe Sr. He is survived by wife Myra; sons Jason, Aaron, and Gino; and grandchildren Hannah, Brandon, Marissa, Maddox, Stella, Ava, Austin, and Abigail. ERNEST “SKIP” LOHSE (BA, General Anthropology, ’75) died March 2, 2014. He obtained a master’s and PhD in anthropology from the University of Utah. His career as an anthropologist and archaeologist included work for the State of Utah, University of Washington, the Smithsonian, and since 1989, Idaho State University, where he was a professor of anthropology. He always spoke highly of the field experiences and education he received at CSU, Chico. He is survived by wife Dotty and children Sam, Keith, and Gretchen. FRANKLIN RIEHLMAN (BA, Art, ’75) died April 22, 2014, at the age of 61. While attending Butte College, he was an All-State football player and champion wrestler, and he was later inducted into the Butte Junior College Hall of Fame. In 1976, he moved to New York City to work for artist Leroy Neiman. From there, he worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was a paintings expert at Phillips Son & Neale Inc. Eventually he founded his own company, Franklin Riehlman Fine Art. With a gallery in Manhattan, he traveled the world purchasing art, specializing in 19th- and 20th-century paintings. He was preceded in death by father Pete and nephew Josh. He is survived by partner of more than 30 years Mary; mother Peg; brothers Mark, Troy, and Donald; and sister Ann. KENNETH MOYES GEIGER JR. (BS, Business Administration, ’78) died April 14, 2014, at the age of 57. He worked for Bank of America for 15 years in Citrus Heights, Fall River, and Redding and then moved to Union Bank in Redding. The last 10 years, he worked in business and loan consulting. He served on the consulting board for Prairie Creek State Park in Orick and was a Mason and a Shriner. He was also a member of the Asphalt Cowboys since 1999 and awarded Top Hand in 2009. He is survived by parents Ken Sr. and Marion, and sister Jan.

1980s KIMBERLY ORDAZ (BA, Art, ’80) died Aug. 9, 2013, at the age of 55 from breast cancer. She attended high school in the Marshall Islands before attending Chico State. Ordaz taught kindergarten for most of her 30 years in the Gilroy Unified School District. She enjoyed gardening and following the 49ers. In 2010, she was named as Santa Clara County Teacher of the Year. She is survived by husband of 25 years Chris and daughters Kaylyn and Claire. THOMAS REID (BA, Drama, ’86) died April 7, 2014, at the age of 51. He was born in Sacramento and attended Roseville High School. His hobbies were reading, taking road trips, and watching baseball. He was a St. Louis Cardinals fan. He is survived by parents Larry and Nancy, brothers Mike and Barry, and many more family members and friends.

MICHAEL NUNES (BS, Industrial Technology, ’96) died March 30, 2014, at the age of 44. He worked as an auto mechanic for Highway Patrol for the past 15 years. He also served in the Naval Reserves for 24 years and was mobilized in Operation Desert Storm and three tours of Iraqi Freedom. He is survived by his parents, brothers Tony and Steve, and many other extended family members and friends.

2010s AHMAD ALSAGER (undergraduate, Business Administration) died Aug. 7, 2014, at the age of 32 in an auto accident in Saudi Arabia. He came to Chico as a conditionally admitted undergraduate to study language at the American Language and Culture Institute in August 2010. While at ALCI, he worked hard and made friends easily with students, faculty, and staff. In spring 2011, he matriculated to the University, studying business administration. The accident also took the life of his 1-year-old daughter. He is survived by his wife and sister. AARON DRANGE (undergraduate, Recording Arts) died July 15, 2014, at the age of 20. He enrolled at CSU, Chico in fall 2012. He played saxophone and piano and sang. He was heavily involved in the music department, performing in the Chamber Singers, A Cappella Choir, Jazz X-Press, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and other groups. He also sang in the Bidwell Presbyterian Church choir and had a band called the Upstairs Neighbors. Joe Alexander, music professor and associate dean, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, said Drange was a superstar in the music department and everybody loved him. SAMANTHA LEWIS (undergraduate, Nutrition and Food Science) died Oct. 13, 2014, at the age of 20. She came to Chico State from Clayton in the fall of 2012. She was a member of the University A Capella Choir. She is survived by her parents, two sisters, and a brother. Kathryn Silliman, Nutrition and Food Science chair, said Lewis had a caring heart and was always concerned with others. GRANT MEYERS (undergraduate, Political Science) died Aug. 7, 2014, at the age of 21. He transferred from San Joaquin Delta College in spring 2014. Political science professor Diana Dwyre remembers Meyers as a vibrant, energetic, and positive person who was keenly interested in landing an internship or job in Washington, D.C. He is survived by parents Nolan and Kris; brothers Adam and Jacob; grandparents Mary Ellen, Dan, Noni, and Frank; stepmother Lori; step-grandmothers Gail and Sue; and stepbrothers and sister Chris, Joshua, and Kailey. MARC THOMPSON (undergraduate, sociology) died Sept. 3, 2014, at the age of 25. He transferred to CSU, Chico in 2011 from Butte College. Known for speaking out on issues of diversity and equality, in 2012 he was elected AS Commissioner for Multicultural Affairs. He helped organize the campus Diversity Summit and recently participated in a documentary on diversity. Jon Slaughter, director of AS Programs and Government Affairs, said those who worked with Thompson will always remember him as a passionate, honest, and dedicated leader.} Kacey Gardner, Public Affairs and Publications CHICO STATEments


In Memoriam–Faculty and Staff JEAN MARIE COAKLEY, Nursing, died Aug. 14, 2014, at the age of 97. She joined the nursing department as chair in 1979. At the time, the University lacked the resources to house a full nursing program, so many classes were held as what was then the David Grant Hospital at Travis Air Force Base in conjunction with Sonoma State University. “One of the first things she did was close the campus at Travis and bring everyone back to Chico,” said Professor Emerita Carol Leedom, Nursing. “The other thing she did was she got the master’s program approved by the then-National League for Nursing.” Coakley is survived by a number of nieces and nephews and many friends and acquaintances. ESTHER CONWAY, University Police, died Aug. 15, 2014, at the age of 54. She worked for 27 years as a 911 public safety dispatcher and supervisor at agencies including the city of Redding’s police and fire departments, the Shasta Area Safety Communications Agency, and the University Police Department. Those who knew her in UPD remember that she loved working for the University and with faculty, staff, and students. Conway is survived by brother Dave, sisters Ruth and Mary, nephews Sam and Will, and niece Hannah. CAROLYN DANKERS, (BA, Education, ’65; MA, Education), Education, died July 30, 2014, at the age of 75. She began teaching at the University in 1979. During her tenure, she spoke at many education conventions and was involved with state textbook adoptions in California. After retiring in 2001, she moved to Washington to be closer to her daughter and become active in volunteer service. She is survived by daughter Sheri. CAROL HARDY (BA, German, ’70; MA, Music, ’75), Meriam Library, died Oct. 18, 2014, at the age of 82. She came to Chico in 1965 to pursue



her studies in music at Chico State College. She also earned a graduate degree in library science from San Jose State University. Hardy directed the newly formed music library at CSU, Chico and brought her unique combination of training to what was then the instructional media center. She was instrumental in establishing the cataloguing and archiving of music records and other non-print media in Meriam Library, and she introduced videocassettes, audio cassettes, and compact discs to the library. She is survived by daughter Deborah Sue; son Frank; sisters Ann and Cathie; brother James; and grandsons Tobias, Christopher, and Chad. EDGAR GUERIN KNOX, Foreign Languages, died Oct. 24, 2014, at the age of 85. He joined the faculty at Chico State College in 1965, where he taught German and served as chair of the thenDepartment of Foreign Languages from 1970 to 1973. He was also a member of the Academic Senate. He was devoted to his students, encouraged their mastery of the German language and led various student groups to Europe as participants in the nonprofit Experiment in International Living. He was predeceased by his first wife, Erika, in 1978. He is survived by wife Missy; daughter Kate; stepdaughters Anna and Melissa; stepsons Edward and Jackson; and nine stepgrandchildren. LYNN LAYTON (MA, Psychology, ’67), Psychology, died Nov. 4, 2014, at the age of 90. Following completion of her master’s, she was hired as an instructor in the psychology department. She eventually was promoted to full professor and became director of the campus counseling center. She was awarded emerita status by the University in 1983. Her daughter, Leslie Layton, is a part-time journalism instructor at CSU, Chico. She is survived by daughter Leslie, son Barry, and granddaughter Tania Flores.

SANDRA “SANDY” MARGARET WILLIAMS McLEAN, (MBA, ’82), Business, died June 4, 2014, at the age of 79. She and her husband Raymond moved to Chico after he retired from the military. She began teaching in the College of Business in 1982, but had previously taught at Portland Communication College and other schools near where her husband was based. She was very involved in community groups, including the Chico Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters, University Choir, Campfire, and St. John’s Episcopal Church. McLean is survived by her brother and his children, her stepchildren, and many step-grandchildren and friends. RICHARD SORENSEN, (BA, Social Science, ’55; credential), Facilities Management and Services, died Feb. 4, 2014, at the age of 91. He attended Chico State College on the GI Bill, living with his wife and children in campus veterans’ housing until he received his degree. He began working as an electrician for the University in 1960. He also volunteered as a timekeeper at Wildcat home basketball games, not missing a game in 30 years. He was inducted into the CSU, Chico Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988. JACK WINDSOR, Art and Art History, died Oct. 18, 2014, at the age of 98. Windsor began teaching art at CSU, Chico in 1948 and is credited with establishing the program in ceramics. He is also remembered for his involvement in planning and placing equipment in Taylor Hall when it was first constructed. He retired from teaching in 1986. An exhibition award in the Department of Art and Art History, the Jack Windsor Ink/Clay Prize, commemorates his contributions to campus.} Kacey Gardner, Public Affairs and Publications

Securing future Securingaa path totothe your financial future is easier than you might think.

Secure your income—for life. The University Foundation can help you increase your income and create a family legacy with Chico State by GIFT ANNUITY INCOME establishing a gift annuity. Find out how you RATES FOR 2014 Age Rates can achieve a steady monthly income and 65 4.7% tax savings. For a confidential and personalized illustration, please call our Office of Planned Giving at 530-898-5297 or email Gary Salberg at









California State University, Chico Public Affairs and Publications Office 400 W. First Street Chico, CA 95929-0040


Chico State’s Organic Vegetable Project sells farm-fresh produce on campus. For more, visit

Photo by Kaycee Green



Non-profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Chico, CA Permit #217

Chico Statements Fall 2014 issue  

Chico Statements, Fall 2014 Alumni Magazine issue of California State University, Chico