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D E PA R T M E N T S 2

From the President’s Desk Cultivating Citizens of a Global Community


Editors’ Note

3 Letters Favorite nooks and crannies



Campus Collage What’s happening at the University


20 Years of Chico Statements


22 Honoring Our Distinguished Alumni 24 Alumni News Chapter News, Alum Highlights, Wildcats on the Move

32 In Memoriam Alumni, faculty, and staff remembered





Chico State sales student Remy Herfert and her teammates won the 2015 Western States Collegiate Sales Competition held in April. The University has placed first the past five years.


F E AT U R E S 8 Closing


Deal | The Seufferlein Sales Program is rapidly

becoming one of the country’s best

12 Faculty in Focus | International faculty bring fresh perspectives 18 Moved by Waters | Photographer Geoff Fricker turns his lens on the Sacramento River

20 The Decathlon ‘Ohana | Coach Oliver Hanf’s “family” is setting records and building a national reputation



From the President’s Desk

Cultivating Citizens of a Global Community Editors’ Note: President Zingg wrote this column prior to a recuperation period following heart surgery. See “Richmond Appointed Acting President” on page 5 for more on the president.



Editing Team | Anna Harris, Sarah Langford, Joe Wills Art Director | Francie Divine Creative Director | Alan Rellaford Contributing Editor | Casey Huff Editorial Interns Zach Phillips, Ernesto Rivera Contributors Jeff Barron, Emily Duran, Kacey Gardner, Leland Gordon, Forrest Hartman, Sarah Langford, Sean Murphy, Kate Post, Luke Reid, Elizabeth Renfro, Joe Wills, Ann Wilson


n this issue of Chico Statements, marking the 20th anniversary year of the publication, there are several terrific articles that underscore our University’s excellence through academic programs, faculty accomplishments, and alumni success. I am drawn, in particular, to the Q&A feature with faculty that has an international focus (see pages 12–15). For in this piece, there is powerful evidence of not only our faculty’s expertise and engagement in international issues but also the importance that these faculty place on bringing their interests to their classrooms and engaging students in their research. This commitment to student engagement reflects our faculty’s appreciation for a broad array of learning strategies that have recently been branded as “highimpact practices” (HIP) by the educational experts who like labels. Such practices include service learning, undergraduate participation in applied research, internships, first-year student learning communities, and studying abroad. In other words, things our faculty and University have been doing and promoting long before HIP entered the lexicon of higher education. Our faculty and campus program leaders in these areas have been doing this because they have recognized and witnessed the positive effect such programs and activities have on fostering student learning, driving student achievement, and supporting persistence to degree completion. When the understandings that guide high-impact learning practices connect with international study, we have a particularly fruitful condition with so many positive elements. It reminds us that our University is not just a state and local asset; it is a national asset with a global reach. It signals that we are not just part of a “global community”; it compels us to provide our students with the ability and inclination to be active and contributing citizens of that community. It affirms our commitment to developing a wide range of international and study-abroad programs for our students, and to being welcoming and gracious hosts for international students who come to our campus.


University Photographer Jason Halley Contributing Photographers Beiron Andersson, Jeff Barron, Geoff Fricker, Johnny Poon, Skip Reager, Sam Rivera ....... Acting President Rollin Richmond Director of Public Affairs and Publications Joe Wills

The consequences for our domestic students—whether studying abroad or studying on their home campus with international students in their classrooms— are extraordinarily rich for both the short and long term. Friendships will be made; awakenings will be had; connections will be found; lives will be transformed. These are among the reasons that Chico State is as engaged in sending students abroad as we are in hosting international students here. This academic year, we will have slightly more than 700 international students on campus. These students come to us from 45 different countries around the globe. And the number of our own students who traveled abroad to study last year was almost 500; they went to partner universities in 26 countries, to academic conferences, and on research trips with faculty. This is a remarkable balance in the “commerce” of such matters. But it is not surprising given the diligent work that comes from our Office of International Education, directed by Frank Li and ably supported by international exchange coordinator Jennifer Gruber and other staff. In the 20 years that Chico Statements has been chronicling the story of our University—as is evident from another feature in this issue, a collage of 20 years of covers (see pages 16–17)—nothing is more constant than our focus on student success and the evidence of that focus through the achievements of our alumni. Our emphasis on high-impact learning practices and international study ensures that we will not miss a beat in strengthening our story over the next 20 years.} —Paul J. Zingg, President

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. © 2015, California State University, Chico, an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

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From the Editors

Jack Windsor: A lasting example


There is a bowl filled with onions on my counter: the first one I made, in September 1973. I was surprised to read in the very last paragraph on the very last page of the fall issue of Chico Statements that Jack Windsor had recently died at age 98. When I have thought of my two years at Chico, I have always first remembered my time in the ceramics studio and all I learned from Jack. From pots to pizza in the kiln, to precision, curiosity, chemistry, dedication to your art, and even how to inspire young learners—Jack was a lasting example of what a real artist could be. —Sandy Thomas, Art, ’75

Favorite nooks and crannies CS: In the last issue, we asked for your favorite campus places. Below is a sampling of your responses. My favorite spot to study was in the stacks inside the library; we called them “stacks” because hardbound journals, magazines, and the like were all housed inside of those books—decades of journals and literature and all types of findings could be found up in the stacks. Also, in the springtime, sitting on the lawn listening to the birds and watching the creek lazily drift downstream. Smelling those luscious trees and knowing Pioneer Days was about to come to Chico. —Linda Puzio, Dietetics, ’84 My favorite place was the old amphitheater with Chico Creek running past. I hope it’s still there. It was such a peaceful place, a great escape in the late ’60s and early ’70s. —Michael Quinn, Health Science, ’72 CS: It’s still there, Michael! See photo below by University Photographer Jason Halley. There were many great spots that I remember and love: the library (a great place to focus) and the walkway along the

hen longtime Chico Statements editor Marion Harmon (MPA, ’07) retired earlier this spring (congratulations, Marion!), Public Affairs and Publications and Creative Services banded together to produce the issue you’re now reading. Though hectic at times, the process was fun and allowed us to collaborate together in new and interesting ways. Public Affairs and Publications Director Joe Wills took the lead in planning, writing, and editing this issue’s feature stories, while Digital Communications Coordinator Anna Harris and I tackled standing sections like Wildcats on the Move and Campus Collage. Graphic Designer Francie Divine and University Photographer Jason Halley devoted many hours to creating cover shoots and other great photography, and Creative Director Alan Rellaford and Digital Media Specialist Kate Post lent their expert guidance and perspective throughout the entire process. While we have worked closely together on past issues, this joint effort seems especially appropriate during the 20th anniversary year of Chico Statements. The magazine has always been characterized by wonderful contributions from many people—not just staff, faculty, and students on campus but also alumni and friends off campus. As we move forward in hiring our next editor, we’re more committed than ever to keeping alive that Wildcat spirit of working together. Here’s to the next 20!} —Sarah Langford, Public Affairs Coordinator rose garden (sitting/relaxing and people watching). But the best place on the entire campus for me was the amphitheater along the creek near the [physical] sciences building. It was a place of solace for me. I found peace there in whatever negative or positive circumstance I encountered. Missing home, a girlfriend breakup, and/or a low point while boxing for our school. On the positive side, I would take dates there after dinner, read or study to get inspired, or just hang there for a while between classes. That spot was church-like: it was safe, quiet, and peaceful. Whenever I return to Chico, I do my best to stop by and reflect on just how great my Chico State experience was, and how it molded me into what I am today. —John P. Kelleher, Communications, ’85 I worked as a staff member in [Meriam Library] from 1979 to 1993, when I retired and moved to Arizona. But I do love Chico, and I so enjoyed your little article about favorite nooks and crannies. [Old Hutch’s Plaza] was a favorite spot for many. I do remember Professor

Hutchinson would often be found there, and although I never took a class from him, he was delight to talk to, and I was so glad they named that lovely little spot in his honor. Then there was the old tree behind Kendall with the hollowed-out trunk. Someone had painted a most whimsical picture of an old wood sprite peeking out from the center of the tree. Another favorite spot which predated my working years by quite a bit was the theater in the glen. Before court theater came into being, it was the theater in the glen on the north side of the creek. What a wonderful way to spend a summer evening. We stayed in student housing, which was in Quonset huts where the student health services are now, until we could find a house to rent. My husband [John C. Otto] was Chico State’s first financial aid officer. He and his secretary, Mary Crawford, shared a little office upstairs in Kendall Hall. It was so small that if they wanted to open the filing cabinet, one of them would have to step out into the hall. But they had the only balcony, which you can still see up on the northwest corner. Oh yes! And there was the old, old structure built near the corner of Warner and Sacramento for ski practice covered with almond shells! Can’t believe anyone actually tried it! —Carolyn Otto, Meriam Library, ’79 –’93



Campus Collage

Students Create Computer Games in 48 Hours


reativity and storytelling were in high demand at the 2015 Global Game Jam at CSU, Chico, which tasked dozens of computer animation and game development students with creating video games from scratch in just 48 hours. Hosted at numerous locations on the same weekend, the annual event challenges developers around the world to design video games around a central theme, kept secret until the start of the event. Over the weekend, 41 computer animation and game development students worked in teams to develop games in just two days. Thousands of their counterparts participated around the globe, in locations including the Google campus, Facebook headquarters, MIT, and USC. “I kind of see it as the ultimate form of entertainment,” said junior Michael Kennedy. “You have everything that you need in a movie in a game, only the players are active at the same time. So the person being entertained is directly involved, which adds a whole different dimension to your traditional storytelling or entertainment medium.” By the end of the weekend, nine video games had been created around the theme of “what do we do now?” Game concepts that emerged included a ruler at the beginning of time tasked with creating the universe from scratch; a spaceship that becomes stranded during a mission to find life in other solar systems; and a virus trying to break through barriers to infection. Students were encouraged to design their games in compliance with proposed constraints such as making the game playable on an electronic wristwatch or including elements from their hometowns. A special hashtag, #ggjLive, included live broadcast feeds from competition sites around the world.

Since the first event in 2009, Global Game Jam has grown to encompass 72 countries; 23,000 participants; 488 locations; and 4,292 game projects. “Events like this can help developers break out of their routine work cycles,” said Jeff Underwood, a lecturer in the Computer Animation and Game Development Program who helped organize the Chico Game Jam. “This particular weekend is about being really, really creative.” For a video about the weekend, visit and search for “Chico State Global Game Jam.”} Sarah Langford and Jeff Barron, Public Affairs and Publications

Nicholas Dinapoli, a junior computer animation and game design major, sketches out his idea for a video game at the 2015 Global Game Jam at CSU, Chico in January. (Jeff Barron)

Study Abroad Program Thrives, Maintains Top Ranking


ourteen CSU, Chico students received prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships in 2014–15 totaling $56,000 to assist with their study-abroad program costs. Civil engineering senior Emma Hesz and sociology junior Nicollette

Moore were the latest recipients, and they traveled to Sweden and Thailand, respectively, in spring 2015. Hesz and Moore are among 700 undergraduates across the United States to receive the competitive grant for the spring from among 2,600 students who applied. The Gilman Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and aims to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions to which they go. Earlier this year, the national Institute of International Education (IIE) ranked the CSU, Chico studyabroad program third in the nation among master’s-granting institutions for number of long-term (yearlong) participants. The University has ranked second or third in the nation for six years running in this IIE category. In addition, CSU, Chico was ranked second by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) for the number of students it sent abroad in the 2013–14 academic year, the last available ranking. Jennifer Gruber, coordinator of CSU, Chico’s Study Abroad and International Exchange program, said the University sent approximately 400 students Business administration major Rylee Theodore was one of 400 CSU, Chico students to abroad to 27 countries around the world during the study abroad in 2014–15. She spent the fall semester in London, England, and took this 2014–15 academic year.} photo on a trip to Athens, Greece.



Richmond Appointed Acting President

Rollin Richmond, retired president of Humboldt State University, has assumed the position of acting president at CSU, Chico while President Paul Zingg recovers from bypass surgery. Richmond was asked to serve in his new capacity by CSU Chancellor Timothy White following Zingg’s surgery on March 15. Richmond retired from Humboldt State last year after almost 12 years as president. In a March 18 email message to the CSU, Chico campus community, White wrote that Richmond will serve until Zingg is medically cleared to return to work. Prior to his tenure at Humboldt State, Richmond served as provost and professor of zoology and genetics at Iowa State University for three years. From 1995 to 1999, he was provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at State University of New York, Stony Brook. He did his undergraduate work at San Diego State University and earned his PhD in genetics at The Rockefeller University in New York.

Boura Named Vice President for University Advancement

Ahmad Boura, vice president for institutional advancement at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, has been named vice president for University Advancement. Boura replaces Peter Smits, who served as interim vice president for University Advancement until late March. Boura begins his new position June 29. In his role as vice president for institutional advancement at Morningside College, Boura managed the offices of development, advancement services, and alumni relations and managed a $50 million comprehensive campaign. Under his leadership, the college received best practice awards in alumni relations and annual scholarship fundraising from the Council for Advancement and

port of Education’s sixth district. Prior to his appointment at Morningside College, Boura served as vice president for institutional advancement at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire. He holds a MBA from Franklin Pierce University and a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Beirut Arab University in Beirut, Lebanon.

Vela Selected as BSS Dean

Eddie Vela has been selected as the dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, where he has served as interim dean since 2013. Vela has served at CSU, Chico since 1989, when he joined the Department of Psychology. He has been recognized as an outstanding professor and has held numerous leadership positions, including associate dean, director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, and interim chair of the Department of Multicultural and Gender Studies. Vela has chaired or been a member of committees at all levels of service; he currently serves on the University Internship Policy Committee, University Diversity Council, Liberal Studies Advisory Board, Academy e-Learning Advisory Board, and Academic Planning Committee. He completed his undergraduate work in psychology and philosophy at Texas State University. He received his master’s degree in 1987 from Texas A&M University, where he subsequently earned a PhD in cognitive psychology in 1989.

Grad Student Selected for Public Policy Award

Biology graduate student Taylor Herren (BS, Animal Science, ’14) has been selected for the 2015 American Institute of Biological Sciences’ Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award. Herren is one of two recipients of the award, which recognizes biology graduate students demonstrating an interest in and aptitude for making contributions to science

Briefly Noted

Campus Collage and science policy. She traveled to Washington, D.C., in May to meet with her congressional delegation and participate in a training program on communicating with policymakers and a briefing on the federal budget for scientific research. Herren serves on the board of directors for the California State Student Association, a student advocacy group, and recently finished serving a second term as president of the Associated Students, a CSU, Chico auxiliary.

OLLI Receives Second $1 Million Grant

The Bernard Osher Foundation awarded CSU, Chico a second $1 million endowment for its Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). OLLI is an organization of more than 1,100 members, ages 50–94, who participate in educational classes, lectures, special events, and study groups in Chico, Oroville, Paradise, and Willows. The Osher Foundation made the gift to CSU, Chico’s OLLI in recognition of the ongoing excellence of the institute’s programming and the unstinting commitment of its members. It cited the pioneering efforts and vision of the founders of the program, saying they established a standard of excellence and a model of active member involvement.

Student Contractors Take Top Chapter Award

Students in CSU, Chico’s chapter of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) were awarded first place in AGC of America’s Outstanding Student Chapter contest, recognizing chapters dedicated to community and

public service. During their Blitz Build community service project in March 2014, construction management students used their spring breaks to construct two duplexes for families transitioning out of the Chico Salvation Army’s rehabilitation programs. This marks the third time since 2009 the chapter has captured the top prize and the fifth time in as many years it has placed in the top three. The chapter received a $1,500 prize for its efforts.}



Campus Collage

Taking Seattle by Storm


lthough former Wildcat and women’s basketball star Alisha Valavanis recently moved to Seattle for her new job as the president and general manager of the Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Seattle Storm, she still considers Chico to be home. Valavanis, who earned a bachelor’s in journalism in 2000 and a master’s in physical education in 2004 and went on to coach women’s basketball at the University, says the lessons she learned while a student, athlete, and coach had a direct impact on her journey to the Storm’s front office. That journey started early. She grew up in Indiana and moved to California when she was 10. “In Indiana, they throw you a ball before you can walk,” Valavanis said. “It’s kind of a part of our DNA.” Indeed, it was basketball that led Valavanis and her twin sister, Alexa Benson- Alisha Valavanis (BA, Journalism, ’00; MA, Physical Education, ’04) was named president and genValavanis (BA, Journalism, ’00) to Chico. A eral manager of the Seattle Storm in 2014. (Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE) package deal of sorts, they both committed to play for CSU, Chico and legendary head coach Mary Ann Laz- side and what it takes to drive a business forward,” Valavanis zarini in 1995. With Alisha at shooting guard and Alexa running said. “There was a lot of alignment with the group in values the point, the duo became known as “the Back Court.” and interests.” Valavanis graduated as the team’s all-time leader in three-pointAt the Storm, her roles include building up the organization’s ers, sinking 139 in her four years. internal team, delivering on the Storm’s mission to stakeholders “It was phenomenal,” Valavanis said. “I can’t speak highly and fans, and driving the business forward. With a new head enough about the opportunity to play at the college level. coach and first and third picks in the 2015 WNBA draft, Valavanis There is so much more to it than being on the basketball hopes to instill into the organization one of her main philosocourt. It’s about being a part of the University and being a part phies—teamwork. of the community.” Based on her personal and athletic experiences, she underIn 2002, two years after earning her bachelor’s in journalism, stands its value on and off the court. she began working as assistant head coach for the University’s “I am one of six kids; talk about a team,” Valavanis laughed. women’s basketball team. Under the leadership of Valavanis and “I would say my entire journey up to this point has been about head coach Lynne Roberts, the Wildcats made four straight Na- connections and people, and that support is directly responsible tional Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship tour- for where I am. I hope to offer that in return.” nament appearances, including a run to the Final Four in 2006. Her mother and five siblings all currently reside in Chico; acThat same year, she followed Roberts to University of the Pa- cording to Valavanis, they fell in love with the town after discovcific in Stockton, California, where she served as assistant and lat- ering it during Alisha and Alexa’s basketball careers. Alexa is now er associate head coach and was involved with fundraising. She president and CEO of the North Valley Community Foundation. worked with the Golden State Warriors, before the Storm sought While Alisha still considers Chico home, she is settling into her out at her Seattle nicely. next career stop, “The Seattle community is very special,” Valavanis said. “I feel University of Cal- that every day when I am engaging with folks in the community. ifornia, Berkeley, That has helped the transition because they are very much a part in 2014, where of wanting the Storm to be successful.” she worked as Although she expects challenges to come, she looks forward the assistant ath- to immersing herself in a career centered on something she letic director of deeply believes in. development. “The WNBA and college sports are a platform to make a differ“I thought ence,” Valavanis said. “They are showing the world what is posit was a really sible, and showing it’s possible to play in professional sports, and great conver- showing little boys and girls what it’s like to see women playing gence of my at this level. I take very seriously this role and what needs to be love for basket- done to continue to have this opportunity for women.”} ball, interest in Emily Duran, Chico State Sports Information Intern Valavanis sits with University of Connecticut wom- building teams, en’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma at a 2014 and the business Storm game. (Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE)



One Heck of a 100th The Chico State men’s basketball team capped the program’s 100th season in style, winning its second California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) title in the past four years and earning an unprecedented fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. Head Coach Greg Clink (right) claimed CCAA Coach of the Year honors for the second time in four seasons, while Jordan Semple secured honorable mention All-America, First Team All-West Region, and First Team All-Conference accolades. Semple graduated as the program’s career record holder in rebounds (927), blocked shots (153), double-doubles (22), and games played (126). He ranks third in steals (139) and sixth in scoring with 1,300 career points.

Alums on the Run Five Chico State distance alums have already qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles, and at least two more hope to join the party. Kara Lubieniecki leads the Wildcat five after posting a 2:35.25 time at the California International Marathon in Sacramento in December. That’s the 30th fastest time by a woman in the qualifying window. Tori Tyler, Alia Gray, and Lindsay Tollefson are also set to toe the starting line. On the men’s side, Anthony Costales (left) captured a qualifying mark, while Scott Bauhs and Isaac Chavez are sure to make a run at qualifying marks as well.

Celebrating 50 Seasons More than 100 former players gathered over the weekend of May 1–3 to celebrate 50 years of Chico State men’s soccer. U.S. Men’s National Team player Chris Wondolowski was a guest speaker at the celebration dinner, held at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Big Room.

Championship Showing The Wildcat women’s softball team put up a good fight at the NCAA championship tournament in St. George, Utah, but it wasn’t enough to advance to the finals. On May 7, the No. 6 seeded Wildcats beat the No. 7 seeded Saint Martin Saints 6-4 in the first game of the double-elimination competition. The game was won by junior catcher Brynn Lesovsky when she hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Chico State past Saint Martin.

In a tough final game the next day, Chico State never overcame a three-run lead established by the Cal Baptist Lancers. The ’Cats lost to the Lancers 9-2, ending the season with an overall 29-22 record. The tournament showing marks the first time since 2012 the ’Cats earned the right to compete for the national championship, and Head Coach Angel Shamblin’s fourth time since taking over the program in 2010.

Tip of the Cap to Tommy Longtime Chico State baseball manager Tommy Wigton (right) retired after 21 seasons in the dugout. He was honored on April 12 with one of the department’s rare lifetime passes after throwing out the first pitch on that warm, sunny Sunday. Wigton, who will still work with the men’s basketball team, witnessed one of the most amazing runs in the history of collegiate baseball. During his tenure, Chico State won two national titles and advanced to the Division II College World Series nine times in an 18-year span.

Historic Streak The Chico State men’s cross country team won its 13th consecutive CCAA crown in November in San Bernardino, matching the longest string of consecutive conference titles, in any sport, in the CCAA’s storied history. Alex McGuirk (right) won the race and Conference Runner of the Year honors, becoming the 15th conference champion in the history of the program, joining the likes of Isaac Chavez and Scott Bauhs. The Wildcats went on to win their third straight NCAA West Region crown and 11th in the past 13 years. In doing so, they qualified for the NCAA Championships for the 16th straight season. The women’s cross country team won the CCAA title as well, marking its seventh in a row.} Corrections Patrick McIntosh of was incorrectly identified as Patrick Fitzgerald in the story titled “Two Alums Lead Sacramento Soccer Team to Title Win” on page 7 of the fall 2014 edition. In “Smith Snags Third Straight NCAA Title” on the same page, we stated that J Patrick Smith is the first three-time NCAA champion in Wildcat history. In fact, he’s the first three-time champion in any of the Wildcats’ 13 current intercollegiate athletic programs.



Athletics Roundup

Campus Collage

CLOSING THE DEAL Seufferlein Sales Program rapidly becoming one of the country’s best by Joe Wills photography by Jason Halley


ne job Chico State freshmen think they know something about is… “Sales,” says College of Business professor Tim Heinze (BS, Business, ’94), with a smile and a shrug. “It’s the one thing they think they’re familiar with—as in, ‘You want fries with that?’ But they don’t see it as a career choice.” What students didn’t learn working at Burger King, though, is that high-level sales professions are a world apart from super-sizing orders or slapping on a company name tag. “There are two types of sales positions,” says College of Business lecturer Bill McGowan. “The one where you are dead tired at the end of the day, and another where you make a hundred thousand your first year.” Creating a professional sales program Chico State is in the vanguard of U.S. universities elevating sales as a subject of scholarship and applied learning, which has resulted in corporations vying for well-trained Chico grads and young alums making six-figure incomes. Thanks to the efforts of Heinze, McGowan, and others in the College of Business, Chico State is one of only three schools west of the Rockies and 60 schools in the world with a sales program



recognized by the University Sales Center Alliance, which initiated a certification process for the teaching of sales in 2008. That same year the college launched a professional sales certificate, a 21-unit sequence of courses open to all majors. Since 12 students signed up in 2008, the program has increased to 60 students this academic year, with more than 80 expressing interest for 2015–16. “A lot of corporate recruiters looking for salespeople will now only recruit at a university that has a recognized sales program,” says McGowan. An April 2015 article in Comstock’s magazine, titled “Sales Pitch: Why More Universities Should Offer Sales Training,” lauded Chico State for producing well-prepared sales executives, comparing the value of sales recruits with pro sports draft picks. Research cited in the article found sales positions among the top 10 hardest to fill in U.S. industry, costing companies $100,000 in recruitment, training, and lost sales for each failed recruit. Even prior to the success of the certificate program, Chico State was beginning to assert itself in sales competitions, where corporate experts judge the skills of students in role-playing business situations. Chico’s team came in second at the first California Collegiate Sales Competition in 2005 and won it all the following year.

The event is now called the Western States Collegiate Sales Competition, attracts 16 universities from across the country, and is hosted at Chico State. The University has won first place the past five years over schools such as Arizona State; Baylor University; CSU, Fullerton; CSU, Fresno; CSU, Sacramento; Georgia State; Oregon State; San Diego State; University of San Diego; and the University of Texas, Dallas. Alumni support signature program Not surprisingly, Chico State students exiting the sales program do extremely well in the job market. Typically, 100 percent of alumni have secured positions within three months of graduation, and it’s not unusual for top students to have multiple offers prior to graduation. Sales program enrollment, as well as success in competitions and job placement, will certainly increase thanks to a generous alumnus’s gift. In early 2015, Chuck Seufferlein (BS, Business, ’74), the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus for the College of Business, gave the college a major six-figure gift to revamp a portion of Glenn Hall to accommodate the growing interest in sales by students. The newly named Seufferlein Sales Program honors Chuck and his son, Luke (BS, Business, ’09), both of whom have been successful in commercial real estate and share an ardent desire to support their alma mater. The remodeled area in Glenn Hall will include offices, a conference space, and high-tech meeting rooms where sales trainings and competitions can be recorded and streamed live. “The Seufferlein gift adds capacity to one of our signature programs that allows us to create a dedicated home base for sales students that is equipped with state-of-the-art training technologies,” says College of Business Dean Judy Hennessey. “We are extremely thankful for this important and generous gift.” Real-world skills with a rigorous curriculum Chico State’s leadership in teaching and learning about sales began as Heinze, McGowan, and other faculty realized the need in the marketplace, and the opportunity that presented. “Slightly more than 50 percent of college graduates enter a sales or sales-related job,” says Heinze, who is executive director of the Seufferlein Sales Program. “Corporate recruiters have found that collegiate sales training dramatically reduces ‘ramp-up time’ and job turnover.” Prior to their academic positions, Heinze had worked in sales for Ford Motor Co., and McGowan, administrative director for the Seufferlein Sales Program, had worked for Atlantic Richfield, so both knew the exigencies of corporate life. They sought to marry real-world skills—“sales techniques and the street smarts to close the deal,” says McGowan—with a rigorous curriculum that includes the building blocks of sales: marketing theory, communication theory, psychology, negotiations theory, and decision analysis. Not until the University Sales Center Alliance was

established in 2002, says Heinze, was sales seen as a scholarly area of research for business schools. Now Chico State students in a variety of classes study research about sales, and some are participating in new research. Since 2011, students have assisted with research for six peer-reviewed journal articles on sales authored by Heinze and fellow finance and marketing department professor Casey Donoho. The famous line in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, that selling is about “a smile and a shoeshine,” is no longer true, if it ever was. Sad sacks hoisting sample cases into an old car, or smooth talkers with too little integrity and too much cologne, persist in people’s consciousness, but they aren’t relevant to the multifaceted sales work for which Chico State students are being prepared. The serious business of role-playing To provide the practical side of sales training, the faculty developed classes with extensive role-playing practice. In a recent upper-division sales class taught by McGowan, students had to perform as sellers and customers in a scenario fraught with plot twists: A home owner remodeling a kitchen is meeting with an appliance company sales rep, but a) the home owner has found cheaper prices elsewhere; b) the home owner’s spouse, who’s been involved in the process, is not home; c) the sales rep is pinch-hitting for the sales person the home owners know; and d) appliances must arrive before the home owner’s relatives visit in two weeks. From a faux knock on the front door through the happy denouement—customer signing on the dotted line—the mock meeting took about five frantic minutes. At first glance, the students’ role-playing appears fun, like practicing a skit for summer camp or trying out a corny joke as an icebreaker. But seeing the students study their notes going in, and take a deep breath afterward, you realize it is seri-

It’s incredible what the competition and my education at Chico State have done for me.

Sales alumnus Danny Van Attenhoven (right) recruiting at a spring 2015 Chico State career fair; some stars of the sales program (facing page): Sal Ortiz Jr., Professor Tim Heinze, Stephanie Firenze, Myles Amitin, Professor Bill McGowan, Dylan Brix, JB Harrell, and Remy Herfert.



ous work. Not only are grades at stake—McGowan evaluates them on 20 criteria, including product knowledge, verbal communication skills, and needs identification—but a lucrative job offer could rest on such a performance in the not-too-distant future. The best students will compete in the Western States competition, using the same skill sets in even more challenging scenarios. And all these scenarios will relate to companies that are sponsors of the sales competitions and are hoping to hire the top performers. Corporations such as ADP, TEKsystems, Frito-Lay, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car pay sponsorships ranging from $3,000 to $12,000 for the opportunity to see students in action. Watching uber-ready students skillfully tout their products works a sales magic all its own on corporate executives. Frequently, once the role plays are over, the best student competitors have entreaties for job interviews. “Tim [Heinze] said companies would be watching us, but I didn’t necessarily expect anything,” says sales program graduate and 2013 alumnus Danny Van Attenhoven. “I was pretty nervous, but in my first competition I took second place—then 10–15 company reps walked up with business cards. It felt great that they wanted to sit down with me.” Based on an interview after the sales competition, Van Attenhoven was offered a position at TEKsystems, where he is now an account manager based in Sacramento. Jaypinderpal Virdee, a business major who graduated last spring after a year as AS president, found out the day before the Western States competition that he had landed a job at Hewlett-Packard. Virdee says a company representative had seen him role-play previously and told Heinze he was ready to make him an offer. “It’s incredible what the competition and my education at Chico State have done for me,” says Virdee. Brittany Brennecke, a 2012 sales program alumna, says she

Chico has won the Western States Collegiate Sales Competition five years in a row.

Professors Tim Heinze (left) and Bill McGowan combine scholarly research and real-world skills in Chico State’s sales certificate program.



Luke (left) and Chuck Seufferlein are proud Chico State alumni and former business majors who are helping propel the sales program to national prominence.

couldn’t keep track of all the role plays and presentations she made in front of recruiters in business classes and competitions. But the recruiters were keeping track of her. “Walking around the Chico State career fair, it seemed like everyone knew who I was,” she says. “It really built my confidence.” Federated Insurance, a competition sponsor, first interviewed Brennecke as a junior. She joined the Minnesota-based company after graduation and made more than $100,000 her first year—at age 22. “I never expected that,” she says. “Paying off college loans, buying a car at my age—my mom can’t believe it. She tells me I should write a book about how to make money at a young age.” Making a positive contribution But just as the old salesman stereotypes are out of date, so are aphorisms like “Show me the money” and “Always be closing” that purport to define a salesperson’s motivation. For all her early-career earnings, Brennecke is most proud of the way her clients trust and respect her. “The money sparked my interest, but the great part is the responsibility you get,” she says. “Last week, I’m sitting with the owner of a $15 million business, and he’s asking me for advice.” Van Attenhoven works with clients that include Apple, The Gap, Sutter Health, and Hewlett-Packard, and he finds a great reward in “building relationships, networking, truly listening to problems they are having, and coming up with solutions for them.” Virdee says he loves the challenge and competitiveness of sales, but what’s most important is “to go home at the end of the day and feel like I’ve made a positive contribution in my work.” McGowan agrees. “Research has shown that intrinsic rewards have significant meaning to salespeople,” he says. “They perform an activity for its own sake rather than always looking for an external reward of some type.” Alumni helping alumni One of the rewards for these Chico State alumni is seeing their fellow graduates also succeed in sales. The University has long had a stellar reputation among corporate recruiters, but alumni take particular pleasure in bringing more Chico State graduates into their firms. Van Attenhoven came back to Chico in February to recruit for

Typically, 100 percent of alumni have secured positions within three months of graduation.

Two University of Missouri students (above left) prepare before competing in a role play. Student Dylan Brix (above right) heads to the Western States Collegiate Sales Competition held in Chico State’s Student Services Center. Professor Bill McGowan (right) talks with sales program intern Daren Minetti, who managed 25 other students volunteering at the competition. Video monitors show the rooms where students compete.

TEKsystems at the Chico State Career Center’s Business and IT Fair, which has five alums in its Sacramento office and more in other locations. “My new manager wants to recruit from other schools, but the other students don’t compare,” says Brennecke. “We’re going back to recruiting at Chico, where the professionalism is so much higher.” Virdee says that, as a new Hewlett-Packard employee, it’s almost impossible to go anywhere at the company without running into a supportive Chico State alum. With 400-plus Chico State graduates on the payroll, HP is an alumni chapter unto itself. Alumnus Art Cox (BS, Business, ’87) has helped other graduates achieve success in sales by wearing two hats: as a recruiter and a career advisor. When Heinze was a Chico State student, it was Cox who recruited him into his first sales job. In 2008, when Cox was a district manager at Federated Insurance and still recruiting Chico State students, he became a judge of the sales competitions and convinced Federated to be a sponsor. Three years later, Cox joined the Chico State Career Center as an advisor and became even more involved, encouraging more corporate sponsors for the Western States competition—there are 22 currently—and more students to consider a career in sales. He takes great pride as an alum at the success of Chico State students he has helped, like Brennecke, who was the highest-ranked graduate in her cohort during Federated Insurance’s nine-month training program in Minnesota. “A lot of big-name Midwestern schools like Purdue send graduates there,” says Cox. “They all want to know where Chico State is, because our students are on top of them.” He says of the top 10 percent of Federated’s 520 sales reps nationwide, about half are Chico State alums. “How do they do it? There’s a certain essence to Chico State, the experience students have,” Cox says. “Our students come out ready to work.”

The Chico Experience—a strong foundation for business Chuck Seufferlein fondly recalls how his Chico Experience as an undergraduate prepared him for a successful career. “You find yourself there in a college town, an extremely social experience—different groups, sports, intramurals, frats, dorms, lots of opportunities to be a part of something,” he says. “It puts you in a position where you are forced to relate, where you stretch

yourself—like a business environment.” Seufferlein says he became comfortable talking in front of groups and gained other skills he later put to use in the business world. Chico State was also the place where he met his wife, Sylvia (BS, Social Welfare, ’75), and where their son, Luke, chose to go to school. “Now, like me, he looks back at Chico State and its role in his success,” says Seufferlein. “When I talked with him about the sales center, he wanted to be a part of it, to give back.” The future for the Seufferlein Sales Program looks indelibly bright—it’s well on its way to being one of the premier programs of its kind in the country. The new Glenn Hall facilities should be ready for fall, and late this spring, Chico State was awarded an elite member status by the University Sales Center Alliance enjoyed by only 22 other universities in the United States. The program’s outstanding corporate connections and support from an ever-growing group of alumni in sales will only increase. Even as the Seufferlein Sales Program’s prestige grows, Heinze and McGowan will still have to talk to those skeptical freshmen, year after year, and convince them to consider sales during their academic career and beyond. “It’s a constant reeducation process,” says Heinze. Fortunately, the Chico Experience—qualities that include a caring and committed faculty, lots of civic and social interaction, and almost endless opportunities to shine in and out of the classroom— provides a foundation for successful careers in business, available when students are ready to utilize it. No sales pitch needed.} About the author Joe Wills (MS, Psychology, ’07) is director of Public Affairs and Publications at CSU, Chico. CHICOSTATEments


Faculty in

F cus

The International Connection by Elizabeth Renfro photography by Jason Halley

A bit over 50 years ago, Walt Disney’s animatronic dolls began singing, “There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware / It’s a small world after all!” Since then, Time magazine estimates, this call to embrace the view that humans are more similar than different has been played some 50 million times around the world. People of the 21st century are still singing along. At the same time, we are increasingly moving to embrace the importance of studying and celebrating human and cultural diversity, while also recognizing the complexities of our differences and similarities as groups and individuals. One of Chico State’s goals is to help students become informed, engaged citizens of the world, able to understand, value, and respond to human similarities and differences. General education curricula and more specialized courses explore diverse perspectives of peoples, cultures, and nations. Chico State’s extensive study-abroad programs provide firsthand involvement in the world beyond our borders. Integral to these efforts are Chico State’s international faculty, who bring additional scholarly expertise and personal experience to the campus community. In this issue’s “Faculty in Focus,” three such faculty—Professors Najm al-Din Yousefi, Natalya Shkoda, and Sherrow Pinder—discuss their teaching and research. Their areas of expertise—history, music, and politics, respectively—are as varied as their backgrounds, and both their research and approaches to teaching illustrate ways in which their global perspectives enrich their scholarship and student learning.

Exploring Difficult Questions AS A YOUTH IN TEHRAN DURING IRAN’S 1979 REVOLUTION, Najm al-Din Yousefi was consumed by the “difficult questions revolutions always raise.” While friends and “other kids my age joined one political group or another,” al-Din Yousefi searched out widely divergent political and religious reading groups and classes in mosques, homes, and schools and, he says, “stuck my nose into as many as I could.” As a young adult, Yousefi came to a master’s program at Columbia University in 1995 on a World Bank Scholarship, “looking forward to throwing myself into quality education and a thorough cultural experience.” Doctoral studies at Virginia Tech and a teaching career followed, and in 2012, al-Din Yousefi brought his “strong belief in the symbiotic relationship between teaching and research” to Chico State’s history department. How did you become interested in your area of research/specialization? My academic background is in philosophy, economics, and history of science, as well as in Islamic studies. But it also has to do with my identity as a child of a revolution. The 1979 Iranian revolution changed virtually everything in that country, and raised fundamental questions about the kind of culture, history, political system, and religious identity that represented the Iranian people. Like many others in my generation, I was moved by these difficult questions: How did Iran become



a nation that cannot make independent decisions and is often used as a pawn in global politics? Why can’t it produce scientific knowledge on the same scale or of the same quality as Western nations? Why does it import science and technology, while being incapable of exporting much beyond crude oil? Untangling these questions requires analysis of a rather long historical process. For example, various fields of inquiry flourished during the medieval era in a vast region under Muslim rule—a region that spanned from the Indian subcontinent to Mesopotamia, Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula. Despite this Islamic aspect, however, there were numerous non-Muslim translators and scientists that had fruitful collaboration with their Muslim counterparts and patrons. In fact, the great achievement of Islamic civilization lay in its creation of a culture that valued knowledge and celebrated its champions, regardless of their race and religion. This fact leads to an obvious question: Why did the Middle Eastern peoples stop producing scientific knowledge and simply become complacent with, or indifferent to, their scientific heritage?

Najm al-Din Yousefi, History

What makes this work most exciting to you? It is always exciting to bring to light the obscure chapters of world history. It’s even more exciting when such efforts call into question long-held clichés and erroneous ideas that are recycled through the media and scholarly publications. In addition to gaining a greater appreciation for our historic past and world heritage, it is virtually impossible to make a positive change without having a clear idea about the root causes of contemporary problems. My work as a researcher and teacher contributes to potential solutions to the exceedingly complicated issues that we face in the realms of politics, culture, society, religion, and global conflicts. If society can pose and address its difficult questions effectively, there’d be no need for revolution. It can also help correct misjudgments and preconceived notions about the Middle East—and there’s no shortage of such misjudgments and preconceived notions—like that the Middle East is all desert filled with people on camels. How do research and teaching intersect in your work? The connection between my research and teaching is effortless. As I do research, I incorporate new materials into my teaching. Similarly, my research benefits from teaching. I do a lot of in-class discussion that always generates interesting ideas and questions—some of which have not occurred to me before. A couple years ago in my Modern Middle East class, we had a discussion about why the advent of the modern age did not come about in the Middle East even though this region was scientifically and technologically more advanced than Europe in the Middle Ages. One student raised an insightful question. He said the Catholic Church played a pivotal role in the balance of power in medieval Europe. How did the Islamic clergy or religious organization differ from the Catholic Church in the medieval era? This simple question convinced me that I needed to look more closely at the unique role the Muslim clergy have played in the dynamics of power and knowledge in the Middle East. Do you have a secret ambition? I sure do, but I’d rather keep it secret!



Loving to Teach and Perform TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO IN UKRAINE, Natalya Shkoda began her performing career by presenting a debut piano recital at Kharkov Special Music School for Gifted Children and winning a National Young Composers Competition. “I always wanted to play the piano,” Shkoda says, and now, 300 performances later, her research projects include recitals, master classes, competition adjudications, and CD recordings. Shkoda came to the United States in 1999 as a full-scholarship international student to pursue graduate studies at Arizona State University (ASU), joining Chico State’s faculty in 2008. The associate professor of piano states, “The choices I made in my professional life were influenced by my never-giving-up personality. I am proud to be a U.S. citizen and to do what I love—to perform.”

Natalya Shkoda, Music and Theatre

What’s most exciting about your current work, and what challenges do you face?

This academic year is very exciting because I am awarded sabbatical to work on a new CD in my Kosenko recording project, introducing the piano music of eminent Ukrainian composer, pianist, and teacher Viktor Kosenko (1896–1938) to audiences worldwide. The project started in 2004 during my doctoral work at ASU. Since then, I have recorded two Kosenko CDs: Eleven Études in the Form of Old Dances (Toccata Classics, 2006) and Complete Piano Sonatas (Centaur Records, 2011). My new, third Kosenko CD will feature premiere recordings of his Eleven Études, op. 8, and Twenty-Four Children’s Pieces, op. 25, to be published by Centaur Records. Another big project was being a guest artist at the North State Symphony’s Arrive concerts in both Redding and Chico in May, for which I performed Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. I face challenges in my research and work—teaching long hours and hundreds of students, lacking of adequate support and equipment for research, and trying to maintain a good work-life balance. Here is what helps me: I have a little dragon inside of me that keeps track of my deeds, reminds me of all the exciting things in my profession, refuses to be disabled by obstacles, and pushes me forward. After all, obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. I know my goals. How does the “Kosenko Project” tie in with your teaching? Teaching and performing are equally important to me. I teach hundreds of different pieces every year, including the works that I have not played myself yet because this helps me to expand my own repertoire. I will teach Kosenko’s works to my students to be performed at their final exams and degree recitals. Being an artist-teacher, I always play the pieces that I teach to my piano students; and my students greatly benefit from that. Performing one Kosenko work will be required in the next Earl R. and Marilyn Ann Kruschke Prize in Piano Performance Competition that I have organized and directed at CSU, Chico annually since 2009. Do you have a secret ambition? I am an open person—I do not have secrets. I say and do what I mean. When I want something, I make it my goal to achieve it. My life resembles a staircase of goals, and I am not done climbing that staircase!



Understanding Our Differences AS A COUNTRY OF IMMIGRANTS, the United States is also a country with conflicting and complex ideas of what it means to be an American, and how human differences of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and other factors are understood. These complexities, for Sherrow Pinder, are simultaneously of major social significance and intellectual fascination. Born in Guyana, Pinder came to Chico in 2006, by way of Canada and New York. Pinder teaches in the political science and multicultural and gender studies departments. The author of three books and more than 30 published articles, book chapters, book reviews, and encyclopedia articles, she describes herself as a “scholar-teacher,” dedicated to work that is “crucial for the advancement of knowledge in the realms of both teaching and research.”

Sherrow Pinder, Political Science

How did you first become interested in how group and individual identities are understood? When I began my doctoral work at the New School for Social Research in New York City in 1997, the range of courses, coupled with my own trajectory as a black immigrant woman, reinforced my interest in race, gender, and ethnic politics. Given my Canadian citizenship, it made sense for me then to focus on Canadian and U.S. politics. As a visiting scholar at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (2004–2006), I taught a class on race and ethnicity, which I enjoyed. Two years later, while a Summer Fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, I found working on a book on race, gender, and ethnic politics a rather exhilarating experience, so I continue to research mostly in that area. What do you find most exciting about your current research? My current research examines the notions of “colorblindness” and “post-raciality” in the age of President Obama. The election of a black man as president of the United States propels many scholars and ordinary Americans to falsely argue that the United States is now a “post-racial” society, that in the United States, race no longer matters. As a matter of fact, it is fascinating to debunk that, to explore the interplay of visibility and invisibility of race. The growing incarceration of black and Mexican men; the increase of poverty and the spread of HIV in black, First Nation [Native American], and other racialized ethnic communities; and such forms of institutionalized violence as incidents of police brutality towards men of color—all clearly show that race matters. In what ways does your research intersect with your teaching (and vice versa)? One of the classes that I teach at CSU, Chico is The Politics of Race and Ethnicity. The idea for my book The Politics of Race and Ethnicity in the United States: Americanization, De-Americanization, and Racialized Ethnic Groups (2010) grew, in part, out of this class. I also sometimes use my published work as course readings because I think it is important to share my research with students. The greatest challenge is to find the time to do my research and also to engage, on a regular basis, outside of the classroom with students and colleagues. What is your secret ambition? My ambition—which is no longer secret—is to be an excellent teacher-scholar. Accordingly, I continue to teach and write on controversial issues.} About the author Elizabeth Renfro (BA, English and German, ’72; MA, English, ’75) taught for 35 years at CSU, Chico in English, honors, and multicultural and gender studies.





Chico State previously had publications such as the Alumni Bulletin, Alumnews, and The University Today, but it wasn’t until spring 1995 that it had a glossy magazine with the punningly purposeful title of Chico Statements. Thanks to great editors like Thomasin Saxe and Marion Harmon and the contributions of many others, Chico Statements has chronicled the achievements of the University’s alumni, faculty, staff,

students, and friends, picking up several awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in the process. Below are covers of all the issues from 1995 through this spring; we plan on many more. Thank you for reading Chico Statements and staying connected with this University we all care so much about.





Photographer turns his lens on the Sacramento River by Forrest Hartman


eoff Fricker fell in love with rivers when he was just a boy, and he is still swept away by their beauty and power. Fricker, a former Chico State student and longtime Butte College photography teacher, grew up in Fair Oaks on the bluffs above the American River. He fondly remembers a childhood spent fishing and frolicking in the water, and he recently channeled his passion into a coffee table book that considers the past, present, and future of another great waterway: the Sacramento River. In Sacrament: Homage to a River, Fricker displays more than 100 black-and-white photographs taken through years of work. The images cover the river as well as its tributaries and surrounding watersheds. Included are a wide range of photographs of everything from a large 1997 aerial of the Sacramento to a pair of sweeping landscapes taken at Bidwell Park’s Bear Hole in



2011. Some pictures feature fish, but Fricker is most interested in pointing out man-made incursions on nature, like large brackets that still hang from the side of a Table Mountain cliff more than 130 years after installation. At one time, these lonely chunks of metal supported a wooden flume that carried water. Today, only the brackets remain. Sacrament contains images of dams, of riparian forests, and of Native American mortar holes. Fricker even documents popular river-related events, like the Polar Bear Swim at One Mile and the tubers and boaters who flock to Scotty’s Landing. These pictures reveal the photographer’s deep ties to Chico. Fricker and his wife—Chico State psychology professor Sandra Machida— have lived in the area for more than three decades, and anyone who has visited Chico State’s Gateway Science Museum has been touched by the man’s work. Seven of his photographs are seen on 6' x 9' panels just outside the entrance to the Gateway. These

massive images—also of the Sacramento River—are part of a permanent exhibit titled River Voices. In Sacrament, Fricker’s pictures aren’t as large, but they feel grand in scale, and they’re complemented by carefully crafted prose by Rebecca Lawton, a Sonoma-based author. She begins the book by acknowledging the troubled state of California waterways: “To fall in love with a wild river is to be changed forever, heart and soul. To fall for a river in California is to live with the scars and ghosts of loss.” Sacrament may seem like a picture-book tribute on its face, but Fricker says it was always meant as more. As he collected photographs, he strove to capture not just nature, but nature as impacted by humanity. A photo of a tree, Fricker notes, looks much the same whether shot 100 years in the past or moments ago—unless that photo includes a human element. “If there was, for example, an automobile in front of the tree or a Native American or whatever, that would signify to you that it was taken at a certain time,” says Fricker. “So, when I photograph the landscape, I like to have those cultural overlays that signify that there is some narrative.” In the case of California water, says Fricker, the narrative is fraught with problems. “We are in a difficult place where we have to make some hard decisions that really affect the future of Northern California,” he says. “The Looking west down problem with water is we just don’t Highway 162 from Butte know how to conserve it. We don’t City, 1997 treat it as preciously as we should.” Fricker says he wasn’t trying to make a bold political statement with Sacrament, but he hopes his images cause people to consider water usage and what current practices mean for the future. “I think the book is just meant to make people appreciate the importance of conservation, conserving water as opposed to using more,” he says. “That’s where I’m coming from.” Fricker also hopes his photographs make the politically charged subject of water use more approachable. “What I’ve tried to do is create images that are aesthetically compelling,” he says, “but at the same time there’s a narrative underlying them.” Ultimately, the images in Sacrament tell the story of a disrupted ecological system that is changing the face of California. For example, Fricker notes that salmon are no longer able to reach the far-flung spawning grounds of the past. This means their

casses decompose elsewhere, affecting everything from animal habitats to the nourishment of trees. Stacy Cepello, a restoration ecologist with the California Department of Water Resources, wrote the forward to Sacrament, and he frequently consulted with Fricker to offer scientific explanations for the phenomena captured on film. Cepello believes the book has the potential to make people think. “If it was just photographs, it would be a little bit on the esoteric side, it would be hard for people to grasp,” he says. “When you put it together with text, I truly believe that the pairing of the two captures something special.” Even putting broad environmental concerns aside, Cepello says he loves Fricker’s work. He even credits the photographer for helping him better appreciate the beauty of Northern California. Fricker earned an MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, and his work has been entered into the permanent collections of several high-profile arts organizations, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Nevada Museum of Art, Crocker Art Gallery in Sacramento, and the Library of Congress. For Sacrament, Fricker captured most of his images with a box camera using 8" x 10" negatives. The large film size allows for minute detail that holds up well even when blown up larger than poster size. Many of the photographs feature high angles that Fricker obtained using a hydraulic lift that he custom mounted to the back of his threequarter-ton pickup. This contrapGeoff Fricker tion hoists him nearly 30 feet in the air, allowing him to capture bigger sections of landscape. “I often refer to this hydraulic lift as my ‘contextualizer,’ ” he says. “You create a context or create kind of a miniature view of the world.” Fricker shot in black-and-white for a variety of reasons. The first was practical. At the time he was gathering photos, the only digital cameras capable of the detail he wanted were rare and extremely expensive. Shooting on a large color negative would have been possible, he says, but too costly, because he was already paying three dollars per shot for the much-cheaper black-and-white. Although economics played a role, Fricker says the choice to go black-and-white was also artistic. “The one thing about black-and-white is it kind of simplifies things,” he says. “We associate different colors with emotion. For example, yellow is the color of jaundice, sickness maybe, or cowardice, whereas red is passion or danger. So, all these different sort of emotional connotations that color have don’t factor into black-and-white.” Fricker has had several gallery exhibitions of work from Sacrament, including one at the Gateway Science Museum and one at the California Museum in Sacramento. Another is slated for Sacramento’s Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in November. “I think my best work is actually yet to be published, but it’s not on the immediate horizon,” he says. “But again, it’s about water.”} About the author Forrest Hartman (BA, Communication Studies, ’90) is a lecturer in CSU, Chico’s Department of Journalism and Public Relations. CHICOSTATEments


The Decathlon ‘Ohana Coach Oliver Hanf’s ‘family’ is No. 1 in nation by Sean Murphy


t’s hard to imagine the 2014 track and field season ending any better for Chico State decathletes. At the NCAA Division II National Championships in Allendale, Michigan, last May, senior J Patrick (JP) Smith captured the decathlon title, his third consecutive national championship, with a school-record performance. Teammates Ted Elsenbaumer and John Brunk finished second and sixth, respectively, creating history as the first three Chico State decathlon teammates to be named All-Americans in the same season. The All-American title is reserved for the top eight finishers in the country. In the team competition, the Chico State men’s team finished with 31 total points, good enough for sixth place overall and tying the highest finish for Chico State in the program’s history. If that weren’t enough, Chico State soon learned it had won the prestigious Webb Cup, celebrating the nation’s finest collegiate decathlon programs—including those from Division I schools. Creating ‘ohana To appreciate how these events coalesced for Chico State on that May day last year, you must first appreciate the culture of Chico State track and field and especially the skin-tight brotherhood of multi-event athletes—the ‘ohana, “the family.” And it all starts with Oliver Hanf, Chico State’s track and field head coach (see photo, right). At the Diablo Valley Track Club in the early 1970s, a father was instilling the love of track and field into his athletic nine-year-old son. Little Oliver Hanf was already competing in pentathlons, and within a few years, he’d learn to pole vault and throw the javelin, further forging his passion for track and field. When he transferred from Diablo Valley College to Chico State in 1990, Hanf felt he was with family, despite the 150 miles away from his hometown. Two years at Chico State, where he competed as a decathlete while earning his bachelor’s degree in physical education, weren’t enough, so he stayed to earn his master’s degree in biomechanics in 1995. After coaching stints at Paradise High School and Butte College, Hanf was named the women’s track coach at Chico State in 1999, pairing up with legendary head coach Kirk Freitas. After Freitas retired in November 2012, Hanf assumed interim head coaching duties. In June 2013, he was named head coach. Part scientist, part track coach, the 47-year-old Hanf uses his energy and acumen to attack the season schedule like a sous chef attacks a dinner rush; only Hanf’s meals take years to develop, adding three decathletes over here, redshirting two others for a year over there, and liberally peppering former Chico State decathletes around the track as assistant coaches. One such coach is Elsenbaumer, last year’s national decathlon runner-up, who spent two years competing under Hanf. “Oliver is the mastermind behind it all. He brings out the very best in you. I’m just so lucky,” says Elsenbaumer, who was also a roommate of three-time national champ Smith. “I think about all the places I could have gone, and I don’t think anyone else could have brought out a better athlete in me than Oliver Hanf



did. I owe a lot to that guy.” Hanf understands the sport of decathlon. Having enjoyed multi-event success as an athlete, he speaks the language. His knack for scouting quality athletes, corralling trustworthy coaches, and fostering a track and field family results in what he calls the ‘ohana: the idea in Hawaiian culture that celebrates the connection of family and close relatives, as well as cousins, in-laws, friends, and neighbors. Members of an ‘ohana are bound together and accept the responsibility to support and remember one another. “That’s how it is here. Chico’s very open to everybody, willing to work with folks from all walks of life,” says Brunk. “So, if you come to Chico to become a better decathlete, you’ll get the tools to do that.” The decathlon grind And when you’re dealing with the decathlon’s physical and mental grind, you’re grateful ‘ohana has your back. The decathlon consists of 10 events (four track and six field) over two days. Day 1 features the 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400 meters. Day 2 can be more mentally taxing, as its events are more technically challenging: the 110-meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin, and 1,500 meters. Hanf may have up to 10 decathletes at any time, and he tweaks the ingredients and seasoning to strike a balance between optimal performance for the individual and the team. Because of that, communication is vital. “The coaches and decathletes meet one-on-one at the beginning and end of fall and the beginning and end of spring, to customize and individualize their seasons,” says Hanf. “A lot of it is goal setting and working on their mental toolkit. That’s where I place a lot of emphasis. It can definitely be mentally draining.” Linking the past with the future Assembling a roster is easier when athletes notice the coaching staff is filled with former decathletes. These coaches are more than guys who get their thrills chucking a javelin or jumping onto a cushy mat. Chico State’s coaches are nationally recognized decathletes who competed at a high level—and are now passing on what they learned. These are coaches like Elsenbaumer and Brunk (Chico State’s No. 2 and 3 all-time scoring decathletes, respectively), Robert Nooney (a 2008 All-American), and Brian Beeman, Chico State’s top assistant. “Less than a year ago, Ted and I were competing at the highest level,” says Brunk, who coaches the pole vault and discus. “But these new guys are fearless. It’s easy to coach them.” “Ted and John are now linking the past and the future,” says Hanf. “It’s a huge boost having them as coaches. And they’re really good at it.”

Take this example: Coming into the 2015 season, Chico State junior decathlete Phillip Bailey’s best pole vault height was 13 feet, 11 inches. At the Chico State Wildcat Invitational in March, he cleared 16 feet. Hanf credits Bailey’s hard work for the twofoot improvement, but also Brunk’s tutelage. Rebirth of Chico State decathlon Hanf has every reason to be optimistic—but things weren’t always so rosy for Wildcat decathletes, even after national success. After J.J. Noble captured his NCAA Division II title and teammate Erick Knight turned in a sixth-place finish in 2001, Chico State decathletes didn’t earn any All-American spots until 2008, when Nooney took eighth. Hanf calls Nooney’s finish a “rebirth of the All-American decathlete at Chico State,” and it’s hard to argue. Talor Fulfer placed fourth nationally in 2010 and fifth in 2011. In 2012, Smith began his three-year run as national champ, and Brunk placed fourth. It culminated in Chico State’s decathlon dominance in 2014, and it’s Hanf’s hope that he has the secret sauce to make that happen again. “This time around, when JP won nationals in 2012, I really made an effort to use that energy in my recruiting,” he says. Boasting a Webb Cup championship should be a solid conversation point for recruits. The Webb Cup is a national collegiate competition that scores decathlon programs with the same system as track and field team scoring (10 points for first place, eight points for second place, six points for third place, and on down to one point for eighth place) to determine national champions. The scoring starts with a two-man competition. For Chico State, Smith and Elsenbaumer combined for 15,183 points. The University of Georgia had the highest two-man total (16,351), notching 10 team points, while Chico State had the nation’s fifth-highest total to earn four team points. Then, you go three-deep, four-deep, and so on. Boasting the ideal combination of talent and depth, Chico State finished with 23 points, beating out 10 Division I schools, including the Universities of Oregon (last year’s NCAA champions), Texas (last year’s Webb Cup winner), and Arkansas (winners of eight consecutive NCAA outdoor team competitions between 1992 and 1999). Positioned for continued success Hanf and his coaching staff are determined to capitalize on this recent wave of success. “With a three-time national champion, that shows there’s more here than, ‘Oh, that guy just got lucky,’ ” says Elsenbaumer. “It shows that the training works. So people who see the program from the outside think, ‘Well, if I’m choosing a Division II school for the decathlon, it seems like they’re doing something right.’ And the program having three people on the podium [at national championships] shows that we as a culture value the decathlon. And we’re good at it.” “Early in my career, I didn’t feel like I had the kind of depth to afford redshirting athletes,” says Hanf. “We had to squeeze everything we had out of our current roster. Now we’re in a place where we can be more proactive with our future. We’ve gotten to where we can be very selective.” With numbers, talent, and time on his side, Hanf

can shuffle bodies around with an eye on the future. Bailey has posted an NCAA automatic qualifying mark, and he could contend for a national championship this year. Lane Andrews and Scott Pater secured provisional NCAA qualifying marks after one meet and could potentially qualify for nationals this year. Yet all three will redshirt in 2016. This year’s redshirt athletes (Jake Mitchell, Jason Dunn, and Aaron Martin) will be activated in 2016. “We feel we could have similar success this year and next year,” says Hanf. “But the year after, when everyone’s done redshirting and we bring everyone together, that is the year, in 2017, that we’re looking at a potential Webb Cup again.” Decathlon ‘ohana This is where Hanf works his magic, getting these young men to buy into the system, putting ego and personal goals aside for an entire year, all in the name of the team. The family. The ‘ohana. And you can bet the extended Chico State decathlete family will pay close attention. “There’s a real strong understanding about our history, and our history has a real strong connection with our present,” says Hanf. “They pay close attention to live results. We value that history, not just in terms of the success of the program, but also the brotherhood. “It’s the ‘ohana. It’s the track ‘ohana, the decathlon ‘ohana.” “Oliver does an awesome job of keeping former Chico State decathletes plugged into what’s going on now,” says Brunk. “Past decathletes know who we are, but we also know who they are, because Oliver makes us look at our history.” Having a brotherhood of alumni behind you is all the motivation current decathletes need. “Anyone who’s plugged into the decathlon system will know about us,” says Brunk. “There’s something going on—it’s just not something in the water. There’s training that’s happening here.” “You feel like you’re representing the monument they’ve built,” says Elsenbaumer. “You want to maintain that and keep it going.” ‘Ohana.} About the author Sean Murphy (BA, English, ’97) is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in local and national newspapers, magazines, and websites over the past 20 years.



Honoring Our 2015 Chico State alumni are making a difference all over the world. This year, we recognize eight who have risen to the top of their fields.

Jeanette E. Lowe

Len Jessup

Jeanette Lowe (BS, Agricultural Business, ’85) serves as a consultant for the California Department of Education and has been the advisor for the Superior Region of the National FFA Organization for 15 years. From her office on CSU, Chico’s University Farm, she coordinates leadership activities, conferences, and career development events for more than 8,400 students annually. Lowe monitors state and federal career and technical education grants, provides in-service training and technical assistance for teachers and administrators, is a guest lecturer at the University, and works directly with 52 schools from Sacramento to the Oregon border to improve agricultural education. The former Hamilton Union High School teacher and counselor is the recipient of many accolades including induction into the Glenn County Office of Education Hall of Fame, the Honorary America FFA Degree, and the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association Outstanding Young Teacher and Teacher of Teachers awards. She has three children (Matthew, 20, and twins Mitchell and Megan, 18) studying agriculture in Idaho.

In January 2015, Len Jessup (BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’83; MBA, ’85) became the 10th president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Jessup assumes leadership at a time when UNLV aspires to Tier-One status and is launching a new medical school. Jessup, who holds a doctorate in organizational behavior from the University of Arizona, has a demonstrated record of success in teaching, research, commercializing technologies, and fundraising. Prior to starting at UNLV, Jessup served as dean of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. He is credited with helping the business school become a self-sustaining program and improving the rankings of Eller College. He also launched Eller’s highly successful online MBA and Master of Management Information Systems programs. Before moving to Arizona, he served at Washington State University in several leadership roles and helped with the launch of a $1 billion capital campaign. Jessup lives with his partner, Kristi, in Las Vegas and has two children (Jamie, 17, and David, 12).

Matt Petersen

Natalie Kerris

The former president and CEO of Global Green USA, Matt Petersen (BA, Political Science, ’90), is the first chief sustainability officer for the City of Los Angeles. He was a leader in the green rebuilding of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and in helping communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy. He has been instrumental in the greening of cities, schools, and affordable housing across the United States and worked with then-Los Angeles Councilman Eric Garcetti to create the first large-city municipal green-building policy. At CSU, Chico, Petersen organized an alternative transportation event which pitted Bob Linscheid (former CSU Board of Trustees chair) against Jane Dolan (CSU, Chico University Foundation Board of Governors member) in an SUV-versus-bicycle race. Petersen has been named a Green Hero by Outside magazine and is a member of the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations and a board member of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. He is a proud father to his son, Aidan, 12.

With more than 25 years of experience as one of Silicon Valley’s top public relations professionals, Natalie Kerris (BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’89) has spent the past 14 years introducing Apple’s most iconic products to the world, including the iPod, iTunes, iPad, iPhone, App Store, and most recently, Apple Pay and Apple Watch. As the senior director of worldwide corporate communications for Apple, she has shaped the company’s narrative from tech underdog to industry disrupter, through the meteoric rise of the iPhone to becoming the world’s most valuable company. An innovative team leader and creative problem solver, Kerris has managed crisis communications, strategic partnerships, and public relations campaigns with iTunes artists in music, television, and film. She resides in Los Gatos with her husband, Richard, and two daughters (Scarlett, 9, and Madeline, 8). In her free time, she volunteers for the Girl Scouts and the Los Gatos Ballet.

College of Agriculture

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences



College of Business

College of Communication and Education

Distinguished Alumni Grayson D. Beck

College of Engineering, Computer Science, Debra Geary Hook and Construction Management College of Natural Sciences Grayson Beck (BS, Electrical Engineering, ’92) is owner and co-founder of Aduro Laser, a company that makes precision laser-cut and machined tubes. His latest project involves modifying a Jeep Rubicon into an off-road, rock-climbing vehicle. He has enlisted the help of his four sons (Ronin, 14; Corbin, 13; and Orion and Maksim, 9) in the process of adding roll bars, winches, an onboard welder, and an air compressor to create a vehicle capable of withstanding a two-week mountain expedition. In addition to being a thrill seeker—and raising his sons in similar fashion—Beck serves on the board of TechDAVIS, an organization dedicated to developing a robust technological ecosystem in Davis and the surrounding region. Beck resides in Davis with his wife, Olivia (BA, Communications, ’92).

Debra Geary Hook (BS, Food and Nutrition, ’85) serves as a pediatric dietitian at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Long Beach, and in private practice. She also serves as a consultant dietitian for Ultragenyx, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, and works on a number of clinical studies for the National Urea Cycle Disorder Foundation. Geary Hook has been named an outstanding dietetics educator by the American Dietetic Association and serves on many committees working on nutrition protocols. She serves as a volunteer at the California Coalition for Phenylketonuria and Allied Disorders, a Pasadena animal rescue, and the March of Dimes. Geary Hook lives in Southern California with her husband, Frederic Hook (BS, Engineering, ’85), and spends her spare time finishing up her doctorate.

Terris McMahan Grimes

Farshad Azad

Terris McMahan Grimes (BA, English, ’73; BA, Social Welfare, ’73) is the winner of the Chester Himes Black Mystery Writers Award and double Anthony Awards for best first novel and best paperback original—an unprecedented achievement. She owns Patent Leather Press, a company providing services to self-publishing authors, and is a self-described literary evangelist. McMahan Grimes always knew she would write, even though her professional writing career didn’t begin until she was in her forties. The author of the Theresa Galloway mystery series, including Somebody Else’s Child and Blood Will Tell, admits she had a difficult time killing off her first character (the elderly and kind Mrs. Turner in Somebody Else’s Child). She does say, though, that after the first murder, it gets easier. Grimes’ latest novel, Smelling Herself, a coming-of-age story set in 1964 Oakland won the Northern California Publishers and Authors 2014 first-place award for general fiction.

As owner of Azad’s Martial Arts Center and a lecturer in CSU, Chico’s Department of Kinesiology, Farshad Azad (MPA, ’89) is known locally for his service to the community. He founded the Rock Solid Teens program, which uses martial arts to help teens gain confidence, and serves as vice president of the World Hapkido Association. His annual Thanksgiving Basket Brigade has helped thousands of needy families. Azad is chair of the University Advisory Board, sponsors a scholarship for international students, and has served on the University’s safety committee and diversity council. He was inducted into the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame as most distinguished master in 2008 and has been named member of the year and citizen of the year by the International Exchange Club and the Chico Noon Exchange Club, respectively. This year, Azad will be promoted to the highest rank in martial arts, a 10th-degree black belt, and will unveil a new system he founded, the art of Jung Shin Do (The Way of Mind and Spirit).}

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Distinguished Alumni Service Award




Dear Alums


reat news—I am proud to introduce the new Chico State Alumni Association, an all-inclusive program aimed at linking alumni, students, and the University. As one of our graduates, you are now a member of the Chico State Alumni Association! The new Chico State Alumni Association is even better than before. True to the Chico Experience, the new association is different from what many other universities offer and ensures a lasting connection to the beautiful Chico State campus and the students whose lives were changed there. The traditional idea of a members-only club no longer fits at Chico State, and we know alumni are hardly alone as passionate supporters of the University. So we’ve decided to go all in, expand the association, and focus on providing services of true value to our members. One of the biggest changes is that there are no dues. Everyone is now a member. We are channeling our efforts to provide you with valuable programming. Even better, members still receive special benefits and communications. While we no longer charge dues, we will accept tax-deductible gifts to the association to support our scholarships and alumni programming efforts. Another difference is that our association is all-inclusive. It isn’t just for alumni anymore; it’s for the whole Chico State family—alumni, students, faculty, and staff. We enthusiastically welcome students, our future alumni, as a part of our family on their first day on campus! Chico State Alumni Association programs will focus on • strengthening our connections with each other. • showcasing pride for Chico State. • spreading support of Chico State through volunteering, advocating, and giving. On campus, we’ve already reorganized and refocused our efforts to support this new association. New programs are in the works. There are new and enhanced benefits, career resources, opportunities to connect with Wildcats regionally, and so much more. To learn more about the new Chico State Alumni Association, please visit our website at Celebrating Chico, Jimmy Reed (’03, ’08), President Chico State Alumni Association

From left, Cameron Kelly and Kaliahna Baxter enjoy the Chico Young Alumni Mixer at Wine Time in Chico March 19.

More than 100 alums who work on campus took part in the inaugural Faculty-Staff Alumni Appreciation Reception April 15.

Alumni Association President Jimmy Reed, left, congratulates Farshad Azad April 10 as the association’s 2015 Distinguished Alumni Service Award recipient.

Upcoming Events and Reunions Sunday | July 26 Bay Area Alumni Event at AT&T Park: Giants vs. A’s

Monday | Oct. 19 UHFS Residence Life Reunion

Oct. 15–17 Golden Grad Reunion Celebrating the Class of 1965

For more information on these events

Saturday | Aug. 15 San Diego Alumni Network Alumni Picnic Day

Sunday | Oct. 11 Family Weekend BBQ

Oct. 17–18 Associated Students  Alumni Reunion

• like us on Facebook: Chico

Oct. 9–18 6th Annual Chico Experience Week



Thursday | Oct. 15 Chico Alumni Chapter Fall Mixer

• visit alumni or call 530-898-6472 State Alumni Association

• follow us on Twitter: @ChicoStateAlum

• join our LinkedIn group: Chico State Alumni Association

Alumni Board

Wildcats ON THE MOVE

Spring 2015 President Jimmy Reed 2003, 2008, Rio Linda Vice President Aaron Skaggs 2010, Sacramento Treasurer Paul Maunder 1993, El Dorado Hills Secretary Christina Nichols 1969, Chico Past President & Alumni Council Representative Michelle Power 1992, Chico Assistant Vice President, Alumni and Parent Relations Susan Anderson Chico At-Large Members Mary Wallmark 1987, Chico Bob Combs 1980, Danville Board Advisors Paul J. Zingg President, CSU, Chico Taylor Herren 2014–2015 AS President Board Members Nicole Burghardt 2002, Chico Tom Carter 1970, Chico Tim Colbie 1992, Chico Casey Covey 2008, Fremont Kathy Hardin 1972, Chico Bob Kohen 1966, 1970, Chico Frank Marinello 1991, Chico Todd McKendrick 1993, Vista Megan Odom 2002, Chico Somer Sayles 1999, Rocklin David Scotto 1989, Dana Point Nicholas Spangler 2004, 2008, Chico Monica Turner 2005, San Jose Thomas Whitcher 2006, Davis

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

1950s LEW HIATT (BS, Civil Engineering, ’56) retired in 1999 after a long and successful career. He spent the last 16 years of it as a project manager in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Before that, he worked on many projects in and around Chico with Cook Associates Engineering in Oroville. Hiatt has fond memories of his time at Chico State, the “small college campus with a creek running through it, in a time when things were slower.” He especially remembers his professors: “I enjoyed Professor Cook’s survey classes, and he enjoyed throwing a few tricks into our problems to see if we could recognize if there was a magnetic declination in the area. Those were great days, small classes and lots of hands-on stuff. I think his approach to surveying helped me a lot while doing two years of surveying in the Army.” Hiatt’s graduating class of civil engineers included only six students, he says. “We had an engineering cottage across the creek from the main campus. It was a house with two bedrooms used as offices, a living room as our classroom, a kitchen where the first one there made the coffee, and a small basement for some testing equipment. Professor Herb Langdon had one office, and Mr. Guilford had the other office. It was rather informal, and smoking was allowed in our classroom. “I remember one of our problems was to design a footbridge across the creek from the engineering cottage. There was an existing footbridge upstream near the science building and auditorium that went to the old gym, but another bridge was desired to get to our cottage and to the living quarters in the Vets’ Village.”

1960s ALLEN SHERWOOD (BA, Social Science, ’65) was a career officer in the U.S. Navy, retiring after 20 years as a commander. He took part in the Apollo Manned Spacecraft Recovery Team and later became director of advertising for the Navy. He was assigned to Hollywood, where he served as an advisor to such movies as Midway, Top Gun, and The Hunt for Red October. From 1972 to 1975, Sherwood was deputy appointments secretary to then-Governor Ronald Reagan. After his Navy career, he served as the director of Alumni Relations and Commencement at CSU, Chico, the executive director of the San Francisco State University Alumni Association, and a secretary on the CSU Alumni Association Board of Directors. He was a city and county airport commissioner in Butte County for 15 years. In retirement, Sherwood and his wife, Susan, have bicycled through 12 countries in Europe and kayaked the Bay of Fundy, the Panama Canal, and the Great Lakes. He was appointed by Wisconsin’s U.S. Senator Ron Johnson to serve on his Service Academy Selection Committee and continues to assist with the selection of young men and women to West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, and the Merchant Marine Academy. He is proud to say that his daughter, Alicia Hille, is a CSU, Chico alumna, class of 1995. DARRELL SCHRAMM (BA, English, ’66) retired from teaching at the University of San Francisco and is now pursuing his love of gardening, especially roses. He considers himself a “rose historian” and is currently on the national board of the Heritage Roses Group and the

editor of its quarterly publication, Rose Letter. Schramm also contributes writing to other publications, including Pacific Horticulture, American Rose, and Heritage Roses New Zealand. In addition, Schramm serves on the board of the nonprofit The Friends of Vintage Roses and gives talks to various garden clubs, horticultural societies, and rose societies. DIANE HENDERSON (BA, English, ’68) is vice president of the Lake County Chapter of California Women for Agriculture (LCCWA). She farms the home orchard that her great-grandfather planted in 1891. She has a master’s in English from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and taught in the language arts department of Cuesta Community College for 12 years before returning to the farm. She is a pioneer of integrated pest management and sustainable farming practices. She served on the research committee of the California Pear Advisory Board for more than two decades and currently serves on the board of directors for the California Pear Growers, Lake County Farm Bureau, and LCCWA. KARL PALLASTRINI (BA, U.S. History, ’69; Credential, ’70) served as the principal at Carmel Middle School for 15 years and at Carmel High School for eight years. He is the current president of the Carmel Unified School District Board of Education and was elected to the Carmel Unified School District Board of Education as a write-in candidate, the only one in Monterey County history. Pallastrini was inducted into the Monterey Peninsula Junior College Hall of Fame in 2014. He says he “wouldn’t be anywhere without my days at CSU, Chico (then Chico State).”

1970s WAYNE EDMISTON (BA, Industrial Arts, ’71) earned his degree on the G.I. Bill after serving in the Vietnam War. He retired in 2011 after teaching CHICOSTATEments


Wildcats ON THE MOVE in the California correctional system for 23 years in Susanville and Corcoran and at the Atascadero State Hospital and the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo. In retirement, he and his wife, Jaque, are ordained ministers in New Thought. They have contributed affirmative prayer treatments to Creative Thought Magazine and officiate weddings and memorial services. Edmiston has authored several works of young adult fiction and hopes to collaborate with a CSU, Chico alum to edit and illustrate them. He is one of 22 Chico State alums in his family—Meriam Library Special Collections received support from his great aunt, Ellen Deering. BART BIRD (BS, Biology, ’72) is the president of PrePeeled Products Inc. in Stockton. He has

been with the company 48 years. “The money I earned starting out with them put me through Chico,” he says. “After graduation, I worked for California Department of Fish and Game and then the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service while working part time at Pre-Peeled.” He purchased the corporation 10 years ago. In his free time, he immerses himself in America’s past (see photo at left). “My interest in history lead me to doing ‘History in Person’ programs as Commodore Robert F. Stockton,” says Bird. “Being associated with leading events in U.S. history until his death in 1866, the ground is fertile with stories going back to his ancestors arriving in the 1650s.”

head wrestling coach Rich Kunhis coached Brenda Nunes, the first female high school wrestler in the nation, paving the way for current wrestling programs that allow co-ed teams. His two sons, Greg (’06) and Kevin (’09), and his daughter-in-law, Erica Thibodo-Cunningham, all graduated from CSU, Chico as well. “Greg followed in my footsteps and is a special education adaptive PE teacher down in San Diego, and Kevin is working in a high-tech company in Silicon Valley,” says Cunningham. “My wife, Debbie, and I are extremely proud of them both. Needless to say, Chico is a big part of our family life experiences and memories that we are extremely proud to be part of. Go Wildcats!”

PAUL CUNNINGHAM (BA, Physical Education, ’72) retired in 2011 after a 35-year career teaching driver’s ed, health education, and special education in the Campbell Union High School District in San Jose. He also coached varsity cross country, wrestling, and track. In 1975, Cunningham and

SUSAN KRAUS (MA, English, ’72) is a therapist, mediator, teacher, award-winning travel writer, and now, novelist. Her two new novels, Fall From Grace and All God’s Children, were recently released. In disguise as thrillers and mysteries, her novels delve into the complexity of polarizing social and political issues. She is working on book three in the Grace McDonald series, to be released in summer of 2015. Kraus left Chico for the University of Texas, Austin, receiving her MSW in 1978. She worked in the counseling center of Washburn University in Topeka, taught at the University of Kansas, co-founded an agency, and has had a pri-

Business and Tech n February, alumnus Chris DiGiorgio (BS, Business Administration, ’81; BS, Computer Science, ’81) accepted Joint Venture’s 2015 Packard Award for Civic Entrepreneurship, a prestigious honor presented to individuals who embody the spirit of David Packard, a legendary Silicon Valley pioneer who set a high standard for civic engagement. DiGiorgio, who comes from a middle-class family and is a graduate of public schools, says in the valley, there is a culture that rewards ability over pedigree. “It’s a lot like Chico State,” he says. “Where you came from doesn’t matter as much as what you can do. At Chico and in Silicon Valley, if you have the talent and can get stuff done, you can do very well.” DiGiorgio has had a long and successful career in the country’s technology center. Straight out of CSU, Chico, he was recruited to join Andersen Consulting, which would later become Accenture, where he remained for 32 years. At that time, a dual major in business and computer science was rare, and DiGiorgio says both programs prepared him for a prosperous career at the dawn of the age when businesses widely adopted technology. He ended his career at Accenture as California’s managing director, overseeing 3,000 people. During that time, he worked with clients all over the world, flying almost a million miles in one three-year period. While at Accenture, he embraced one of the company’s core values—giving back to the community. He served on the boards of many universities, colleges, and museums. He is currently board chair of The Tech Museum in San Jose, vice chair of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, and an associate of



Photo by Sterling Hancock



the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. DiGiorgio has also maintained strong ties to Chico State, recruiting and hiring more than 100 Chico grads to Accenture and staying active in both the College of Business and Department of Computer Science. In 1997, he was named the College of Business’s Distinguished Alumnus, in part for his role in creating the Business Integration Contest, a weekend-long competition among business and computer science students judged by Chico grads working in Silicon Valley. In 2012 he was given the computer science department’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award, and he spoke at the 2015 Commencement. Post-retirement, DiGiorgio shows no signs of slowing down. He’s in demand as an advisor for startups, and in his free time, he restores old British sports cars. He lives in San Carlos with his wife, Eileen, whom he met in the Chico State dorms. Their sons, Scott and Brian, are pursuing their own careers as an aerospace engineer in Seattle and physics student at Carleton College in Minnesota, respectively.} Kacey Gardner (attended, Journalism) is a writer and editor at Upgraded Living magazine in Chico and also works as the social media and web coordinator for North State Public Radio.

Wildcats ON THE MOVE vate practice for decades in both therapy and mediation. Since 2007, Susan has also done contract work for the Department of Defense as a counselor with soldiers and their families. Susan lives with her husband, Frank Barthell, in Lawrence, Kansas. They have two adult children, Sarah and Ben. Kraus says she has completely lost touch with anyone she knew from CSU, Chico, and she’d love to reconnect. Email her at

TIM TAYLOR (BS, Business Administration, ’84) was elected Butte County superintendent of schools and sworn into office in January 2015. He was selected as one of 100 superintendents to meet with President Obama about the use of technology in schools. He was selected for the National Journalism Merit Award for supporting journalism in schools and was appointed chair of the California K–12 High Speed Network.

MANUEL REAL (BA, Social Work, ’72) retired as the probation chief for Monterey County after 39 years of service. He was named chief in 2004, already a 30-year veteran of the probation department. He has a master’s degree in social welfare and a pupil personnel services credential from UC Berkeley.

LYLE NACHAND (BA, English, ’85) had a poem published in the Lodi News-Sentinel. The poem, titled “The Legend of Tom Kettleman,” tells of the life, death, and legacy of Tom Kettleman, an infamous

WILLIAM WONG FOEY (BA, Art, ’73) released his second book, Lotus Land, in December 2014. The book is a collection of short stories with Asian themes that focus on the human condition. His debut novel, Winter’s Melon, was released in 2012 and is a fictionalized account of the Japanese invasion of China in 1937. BOB FRANZOIA (BA, Psychology, ’76; MA, Psychology, ’79) was recently appointed chief deputy appointments secretary in the Office of the Governor. He previously served as a consultant for the California State Senate Office of Research, and served as a staff director, principal, and senior consultant for the California State Senate Appropriations Committee from 1990 to 2012. CLIFF BATTENFIELD (BS, Biological Sciences, ’77) retired after spending more than 35 years working in California’s oil industry. He spent the last 27 years working in the 35R Laboratory at Elk Hills, and he worked as a drilling fluid engineer and a petroleum chemist before that. He is now looking forward to “a long and well-deserved vacation.” CLAUDINE ZENDER (BA, Child Development, ’79) is a program coordinator in Washington State University’s Counseling and Testing Center department. She was previously a part of University of Idaho Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program.

1980s MARK ULRIKSEN (BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’80) completed a seven-day mural project with his daughter, Emma, in the Simpson Thacher law office in Palo Alto. After working as a graphic designer and magazine art director, he moved on to freelance illustration. His artwork is regularly featured on the front cover of The New Yorker magazine, and his 50th cover was published this year.

STEVE RHODES (BS, Physical Science, ’86) is the founder of Data Resource Group, one of Oregon’s fastest growing companies. Prior to founding his own company five years ago, Rhodes worked for 20 years in the technical staffing industry

From Papal History to Peru:



he calls of tricycle-riding vendors, the pungent smell of trash and cooking fires, and the strains of reggaeton emanating from the chaotic dance of street traffic greet Jean-Claire Peltier (BA, Latin American Studies, ’13) every day in El Porvenir, Peru. Her taxi commute alone, in a place where traffic laws are, she says, more of a “suggestion,” is always exciting. But Peltier takes it all in stride as she starts her day as an English program coordinator at Supporting Kids in Peru (SKIP), a nonprofit that helps economically disadvantaged children in El Porvenir get an education. Peltier attended Lewis and Clark University in Oregon at the age of 16 to study papal history. “I think my immaturity was the driving force behind studying papal history,” she says. “Incredibly interesting! Incredibly useless!” With this realization, she decided to leave academia behind for a while and try to make a difference in the world. She found SKIP through a family friend. “It was really important for me to find an organization that was professional and driven by a moral/ethical/social vision that I could identify with,” Peltier says. “I wasn’t interested in the ineffective ‘voluntourism’ programs that were growing in popularity at the time.”

Photo by Kori Shearstone

DENNIS BAILEY (BA, Education, ’73) was a teacher in the East Side Union High School District and is now retired. He resides in San Pedro.

turkey in the town of Lodi. Nachand is a retired correctional officer and currently works as a part-time custodian in Lodi at Emmanuel Lutheran Church.

But Peltier couldn’t speak much Spanish. She spent the first month as a challengingly silent classroom assistant, then taught English. She served two terms with SKIP before coming to CSU, Chico in 2010. “When I returned to Peru for the second time, I realized I was angry at the injustice of the modern global system and its mechanics of oppression, so I transferred to CSU, Chico with the idea of majoring in sociology,” she says. Peltier, knowing she would return again to Peru, considered adding a Spanish major until she was persuaded by Professor Steve Lewis to enroll in his class on Latin American revolutions. “After about two weeks of his class, I was convinced that Latin American studies was where I belonged,” she says. “Steve allowed me space to explore Latin American history with a sociological perspective in an engaging and exciting way.” Peltier says her Chico State experience set the stage for her future work as a catalyst for change. She served as an intern in the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Panama City. She helped organize the first human trafficking awareness week at the University as president of the student group STOP (Stop Trafficking of Persons). “After working with SKIP, my focus shifted to empowering others to be the agents of change in their own lives,” she says. “If we support people who are looking to affect change in themselves and their communities rather than imposing our ideas of what ‘development’ should look like for them, the result is ultimately more sustainable, more functional, and more empowering.”} Ann Wilson, a former U.S. Army airborne photojournalist, now works in the Office of the President at CSU, Chico. CHICOSTATEments


Wildcats ON THE MOVE in Portland, Oregon. He has several patents in the United States and Canada for various methods and apparatuses that successfully treat solid dog waste. He spends most of his free time volunteering as head timer for his youngest daughter’s high school and club swim meets.

and nonprofit organizations. In 2014, she published Land of Sunshine: Reflections of a Sugar Plantation Named Paauhau, a book based on her family’s long history living on a sugar plantation on Hawai’i Island. Her writing was also included in Aloha Aina Volume II: More Big Island Memories.

LESLIE JONES (BA, Journalism, ’87) has over 25 years of experience as a published writer and a public relations consultant for creative agencies

JAMES LAUFMAN (BS, Business Administration, ’87) was appointed senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of Infinera, a

Creating ‘Family’ in Chico This feature on recent alumna Min Yeo was part of a special Commencement issue of Inside Chico State. For more stories of this year’s amazing grads, visit


or most people, a solo move across the globe at age 20 sounds like an intimidating proposition. But Korean international student Kyungmin “Min” Yeo has done it with grace and ease. Yeo, who graduated in May with a degree in business information systems and a minor in accounting, always dreamed of living and studying in another country. Encouraged by her parents, who still live in her hometown of Seongju, South Korea, she came to Chico State in 2011 through the American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI). “There were a lot of people from all over the place trying to learn English,” she says. “It was a good experience.” To help herself transition, she interned at Chico’s 1078 Gallery and later volunteered with Community Action Volunteers in Education. She also served as the SAP club treasurer (“mainly ordering the pizzas for the meetings,” she jokes), tutored students in JavaScript through the Department of Business Information Systems (BIS), and was a member of the BIS Society. Yeo is an academic rock star: she graduated summa cum laude with a 3.9 GPA. But she’ll be the first to tell you there was a learning curve. The collaborative environment she found in most of her business classes was new, and in the beginning, she was too nervous to form clear sentences during discussions. “In Korea, we used to just listen to the lectures from professors and take notes,” she explains. She “learned to interact what I have in my mind with other people’s ideas. I still remember after that first class, I talked to my professor and said, ‘Please help me to survive!’ It was a new way to



study and be in class.” She took then-professor Nancy Jones’ advice to prepare talking points prior to class and found success with that strategy. This kind of out-of-classroom attention from faculty has been central to her journey. “All the faculty members, they really support us,” she says. “What I think is different about Chico State is they care about each of us instead of thinking of us as just one. Here, it’s a direct opportunity [to interact].” Besides adopting the English language, she’s become fluent in the basics of SAP software, earning an entry-level certification from the global technology company in December. It is likely that tenacity that attracted the consulting giant Deloitte to recruit her for a technology analyst position in its Los Angeles offices. While she was sad to leave Chico, Yeo says the relationships she formed early on proved to be her lifeline for earning her degree and launching her career. “The people from ALCI and the gallery and my classmates … they are my family in Chico. I don’t think I could be here without them.”} Sarah Langford, Public Affairs and Publications

leading provider of Intelligent Transport Networks. He most recently served as vice president and general counsel of Marvell Semiconductor Inc., which he joined in 2008. He has a juris doctorate from Santa Clara University School of Law. BARRY MILLER (BA, Physical Education, ’87) accepted a position at Radford University in southwest Virginia after working for 16 years in athletics, recreation, and exercise science at the University of Delaware and for two years in Academic Affairs at Old Dominion University. Miller will serve as an administrator, teach a kinesiology class for the Health and Human Performance Department, and serve on the editorial review board for the Recreational Sports Journal. TIM MCDONALD (BA, Music, ’88; MA, Music, ’91) returned to Chico State to direct the spring 2015 musical, The Will Rogers Follies. Before that, he founded the company iTheatrics in New York to enrich middle and high school theatre programs. ALAN PETERSON (BA, American Studies, ’88) became Merced Union High School District’s assistant superintendent for business in December 2014. Previously he was Atwater High School’s principal for five and a half years. He started with the district in 2001 and holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Chapman University. He and his wife of 20 years have three children.

1990s PAUL DANIELS (BA, Physical Education ‘90; MA, Physical Education, ‘96) recently finished his PhD in exercise physiology at the University of Utah. His research used MRI to look at how resistance training affects muscle in women who have undergone bariatric weight-loss surgery. ERIC LOCHE (BA, Psychology and Journalism, ’90) is a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley. He was appointed by Florida governor Rick Scott to the Board of Trustees of Florida SouthWestern State College in 2014. In 2013, he joined the Board of Trustees of AMIKids Crossroads, a group home and school for foster boys. He has volunteered as the citizen representative on the Charlotte County Value Adjustment Board since 2009. He has two sons and a daughter. TONY RANGO (BS, Construction Management, ’91) was promoted to executive vice president and chief operations officer of Webcor Builders, one of the largest general contractors in California, in January 2015. He started working at Webcor as a project manager in 1998 and has steadily risen through the ranks since then. MONICA MCDANIEL (BA, Art, ’96) founded the Chico Arts Foundation in 2011 to raise funds for the city’s Arts Commission. The foundation is partnering with the CSU, Chico student public relations firm Tehama Group Communications to create an interactive tour of Chico’s public art pieces. ERIK READ (BS, Agricultural Business, ’96) has worked in the pension and health benefits field since graduating. He moved to Washington in 2005, and in 2014 transitioned into his current role as northwest regional plan manager in charge of increasing the geographic area served by BeneSys

Wildcats ON THE MOVE Inc., a Taft-Hartley Third Party Administration firm. Read’s two children live in Chico with their mother, and his daughter hopes to attend CSU, Chico. JENNIFER GONZALES (BA, Latin American Studies, ’98) is one of two captains in the Napa Police Department and is the highest-ranking female officer in the department’s history. Previously, Gonzales was a lieutenant with the Chico Police Department, where she worked for two decades. Gonzales was also a part-time criminal justice lecturer at CSU, Chico. ROBYN MCCLINTOCK (BA, Philosophy, ’96; MA, Interdisciplinary Conflict Resolution, ’98) is the CEO of HimalAbility, an organization that provides accessibility resources to people in the Himalayan region of Nepal. Her organization recently brought a Mountain Trike wheelchair to a Tibetan refugee in Nepal, giving him the gift of mobility. In the past, she has funded housing, music programs, and computer and technology training in several Tibetan refugee camps in Nepal. She also developed a student exchange program, bringing students from around the globe to refu-

gee camps in learning exchanges, and helped nine Tibetan students pursue education and careers in America. She is now semi-retired but still continuing her work, one project at a time. SARA KUDRLE (BS, Computer Science, ’98) is a product marketing manager at Grass Valley, a Belden brand. She was named TVNewsCheck’s 2015 Technology Woman to Watch, an award that recognizes female engineers who display the potential to make significant contributions to their industry in television, online, and radio technology.

2000s ALAN ABBS (MBA, ’00) is the executive director for the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association. CHRISTOPHER AMES (BS, Biological Sciences, ’00) has worked for the past eight and a half years as the Alameda territory manager for the Garratt-Callahan Company. He previously worked as a chemist for NuSil Silicone Technology and at Amgen and Genentech biotechnology companies. BRENNA BRIANS (BS, Exercise Physiology, ’00) was recently appointed vice president and business development officer of Five-Star Bank in Chico. She has 15 years of experience in the banking

industry and has worked with a diverse group of businesses in banking and financing. JONATHAN HOWARD (BA, Communication Design, ’00) is the CEO of Colusa County Fairgrounds. He worked at Chico radio stations for nine years before moving to San Diego and working as a Sleep Train store manager for six years. After that, he moved back to Colusa, where he has had several occupations including working as the events coordinator at Colusa Casino Resort for five years. OSCAR MAGAÑA (attended, ’00) has been working as an actor in Hollywood for the past four years, with roles in Blood Relative, various children’s shows on Nickelodeon, and all iterations of the CSI series. He is currently working on producing a short film in Chico to showcase the town’s acting talent. Magaña is a Biggs native and has participated in local productions including Butte College’s Rent. SAMUEL LLAMAS JR. (BA, Sociology, ’02; Master of Public Administration, ’08) was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the 27th District Agricultural Association Shasta District Fair Board of Directors. He is an officer in the Redding Police Department. He was previously an advisor for Educational Talent Search at CSU, Chico and a secondary school advisor and instructional aide for Region 2 of the U.S. Department of Education’s Migrant Education Program.



hat began as a class project for Shaundel Sanchez (BA, Anthropology, ’09) became a journey of self-discovery. She came to Chico State from a small town in the San Joaquin Valley—and she left here to start a career in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before moving on to an East Coast PhD program. For Sanchez, it was an unexpected journey. “People, where I come from, we don’t [pursue doctorates],” she says. Her life began to change dramatically while she was creating a documentary called Believing Women for an anthropology course. The film focused on a Muslim community in Chico and gave Muslim men and women the opportunity to discuss issues of gender, equality, oppression, and Islam in America. Sanchez’s first trip to a mosque while filming had a profound effect on her, and she began going back every Friday. “I heard the call to prayer and I thought it was singing, not recitation,” she recalls. “I thought it was beautiful. I went home and I cried about it.” Those Fridays at the Chico Islamic Center were part of her work in methods and visual anthropology courses. Study and observation led to making friends, and about a year after her first visit, Sanchez’s experiences became less about schoolwork and more about genuine belief. And she embraced Islam. “I really was a 20-year-old kid who had never had a religious experience,” she says. “It became more compelling; eventually, it became something I believed in. I felt it was something I was always missing.”

Sanchez’s religious transformation marked the beginning of a path of service and advocacy. After graduation, she spent two and a half years in the UAE, where she worked as an external relations officer in Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, advocating for those with disabilities. The opportunity arose after Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, a Chico State alumna and member of the royal family of the emirate of Sharjah in the UAE, came to campus to talk about her work with charitable causes. Soon Sanchez was on the move again, attending Syracuse University for a master’s in public administration. Now she is working in a funded PhD program at Syracuse, studying anthropology. She is focusing on learning more about citizenship and how citizens and immigrants interact in the Middle East. Sanchez says the quality of teaching from Chico State faculty had a positive influence on her success, adding that anthropology professors Brian Brazeal and Jesse Dizzard played huge roles in her academic growth. “I have had plenty of professors who are impressed with the training I had in my undergrad degree,” she says. “I am the first to say I had great training.” Brazeal isn’t compelled to take much of the credit, though. “It’s her own abilities and her own perspicacity and critical acuity that have allowed her to flourish,” he says.} Leland Gordon (BA, Journalism, ’06) is an editor for CBS Interactive site, “America’s Source for High School Sports.” CHICOSTATEments


Wildcats ON THE MOVE Llamas is a member of the Redding Peace Officers’ Association and resides in Redding. MICHELLE CARLSON (BA, Special Major, ’03) developed the Makerspace at the Tehama County Department of Education. The Makerspace is a creative lab for children of all ages, designed to engage their imaginations while teaching them science. Carlson’s program is now a part of a national network of maker spaces through the Maker Education Initiative. MATT PEYRET (BS, Business Administration, ’03) joined First Northern Bank’s Agribusiness Lending Team as vice president/commercial loan officer in December 2014. He serves customers throughout First Northern’s service area from his Woodland office. He previously worked for Umpqua Bank and Bank of America. While at CSU, Chico, he was a Golden Key National Society member and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. ANDREW COOLIDGE (BA, English, ’04) was elected to Chico City Council in November 2014. He originally left CSU, Chico to run a successful public relations firm, and then he returned in 2005 to complete his degree. He still runs his business, which produces annual home and garden and bridal shows in Chico and Yuba City. JEREMY NOTCH (BS, Recreation Administration, ’06) is working on his master’s degree in ocean sciences at University of California, Santa Cruz. He also works with the university and the National Marine Fisheries Service to study the life cycles of Chinook salmon. He is currently studying the migration patterns of spring-run salmon near Chico. He says that he has Chico to thank for his love of the outdoors. JOSH FUNK (BA, Art, ’07) recently left a job with AT&T to devote more time to his passion— stop-motion animation and filmmaking—and has already produced two short films. The first film, Wormholes, was featured locally in Chico’s Shortz!


Film Festival as well as the Keep Chico Weird competition. It was also accepted into several festivals outside of the United States. His second film, The Spaceman, is a combination of live-action and stop-motion animation. It premiered in the Pageant Theatre in February. MARTY AZEVEDO (BA, Art, ’09) recently moved to Mobile, Alabama, to teach at the University of South Alabama as the head of the printmaking department and continue his studio practice. He previously taught at Ohio State University as well as Columbus College of Art and Design. He completed his MFA at Ohio State University in 2011.

2010s CHAD BUSHNELL (BS, Business Administration, ’13) is a country singer-songwriter from Red Bluff. He has opened for big-name country artists including Scotty McCreery, Lee Brice, Tracy Lawrence, Neil McCoy, and Billy Currington, among others. He recently finished in the top 10 in the American Country Star contest in Nashville and came out with his latest single, titled “Nothin’ Quite Like Summer.” He enjoys team roping, hunting, fishing, and spending time with friends and family. LANCE PATCHIN (BS, Civil Engineering, ’13) received a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering with an emphasis in structural mechanics from the University of California, Davis in December 2014. He is a project engineer for McClone Construction in Shingle Springs.

Marriages WAYNE MARTIN (BS, Business Administration, ’69) and his wife, Marlene, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 23, 2014. ANTHONY (CADE) WEBB (BS, Computer Science, ’02) married ANDREA HAMEL (BA, Psychology, ’07) in September 2014 in Fortuna. She is a transfer and graduation counselor at Humboldt State University; he is the director of client technology at Humboldt State University. The couple resides in McKinleyville.

CHRISTINA LYNN OSBORN (BA, Liberal Studies, ’06) and ROBERT DALY PRESTON (BA, Geography, ’06) were married Sept. 14, 2014. She earned her Master of Education from Seattle University in 2010 and works for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park. He will receive his Master of Public Administration from San Francisco State University and works for Meridian Management in San Francisco. ALDEN NEEL (BA, General Anthropology, ’07) and Felicity Monsees-Russell were married Oct. 4, 2014. He earned a master’s degree in cultural resource management at Sonoma State University and works as the U.S. Forest Service archaeologist for the Hat Creek Ranger District out of McArthur. She works for Intermountain Physical Therapy, managing the marketing of the physical therapy office and gym. They reside in Burney. RYAN PATCHIN (BA, Psychology, ’10) and Cassiopeia Keyes were married Oct. 11, 2014. She is currently working with Target Corporation in Chico. He is working with Milestone Technologies Inc. in Chico. NICOLE ALEXANDER (BS, Nutrition and Food Sciences, ’10) and STEPHEN RIDGE (BS, Business Administration, ’10) became engaged on campus in February 2015 after almost nine years of dating. “We were lucky to have someone pass by us on campus at that moment to capture it all! Chico State played such an important role in our relationship, and I’m beyond excited that he chose a place that is so special to us,” says Alexander. STEPHANIE HENDERSON (MS, Environmental Science, ’11) and Lukas Welsh were married Aug. 29, 2014. She is the director of technical data at Crop Data Management Systems Inc. in Marysville; he is a cable splicer specialist with Pinnacle Power in Benicia.} Zach Phillips, Public Affairs and Publications

Ready, Set, Chico 2015!

he Chico State Parent Advisory Council is once again hosting August events in 10 California locations designed to bring together new Chico State students, returning Chico State students, parents, and alumni. We ask alumni to attend and share their Chico State stories with the newest members of our Chico State family. Alumni provide great context and comfort to parents and students as they start their Chico Experience. Please let us know if you can attend any of the events this summer. Go to to see dates and RSVP for a specific event. Contact us at 530-898-6472 with any questions. We look forward to seeing you this summer!}



Wildcats ON THE MOVE


Chico Feels the

We love a good love story! So on Feb. 14, we asked for your

Jeff Hendriksen/Filmworks Superior Photography

#ChicoLove stories on social media. And wow, did you get excited about sharing. We received nearly 50 adorable tales going back a halfcentury. And more than 40,000 people were touched by the posts. You can see some of the highlights below and a roundup of our favorites at

Alex Hendriksen and I met in nursing school at Chico State. We graduated together and now both work as RNs at the same hospital in Grass Valley. Chico is such a special place, and meeting my love there has made it that much more magical! —Noelle Jahn

We met at a mutual friend’s house when I was a junior and he was a senior. After a year of Chico bars, Bidwell, and memories together, we did long distance when he graduated. We made it and are now getting married in six months. Chico rocks...for a thousand reasons but especially this one! —Amber Sloan Jeremy and I met freshman year at Whitney Hall in 2006. He chased me for three years. We started dating in 2009 and he proposed Nov. 8, 2014. We’re getting married June 4, 2016. —Christina Carver My husband Paul Nelson and I met in the famous Willie Simmons ballroom dance class in 1976. I saw what a great dancer he was and finally got one dance with him, and we’ve been together ever since! Married for 32 years and are still dancing and live here in Chico. —Patty Rayburn Nelson The day after our first date, I wrote to a friend and said, “I just met the man I’m going to marry.” Four months later we were married, and that was 47 years ago. He’s the best! —Susan Martin

Met the love of my life, Jeff Wells, who was the brother of my best friend, Christin Wells Bosque, in 1984. Although we knew of each other and lived across the street from each other in San Jose growing up, he officially asked me out to a Chico State soccer game and then to Swensen’s for ice cream after. We were married in 1987 after he graduated and have two beautiful boys. Chico will always hold a special place in our hearts, and we love to visit every once in a while on our way to California from our home in Portland. —Suzanne Wells I was on his hiring committee and then told to “train him.” I guess I did a good job; we’ve been married and working together for more than 10 years. —Daran Goodsell 1987: We met in Latin Studies 101. He changed the seating chart so I would be sitting next to him the second day of class. Our first of three kids is now a freshman at Chico. —Jennifer Losin Decker Yup—here is my hubby proposing outside University Stadium right after our Chico State graduation on May 25, 1991! —Erin Robinson Summ



Wildcats IN OUR THOUGHTS In Memoriam —Alumni

ing. Political science professor Darin Haerle said he was a determined student who always worked to improve his academic performance.


In Memoriam —Faculty and Staff

EVERETT “STICK” MORGAN (attended, ’55–’58) died Dec. 2, 2014, at the age of 82. He was a construction engineer in the U.S. Navy and was stationed at Subic Bay in the Philippines before being discharged and attending college. He worked for the Oakland Fire Department for 26 years. Following retirement, he moved to Douglas Flat and worked as a transportation officer in the Calaveras County Mental Health Department for 14 years. He is survived by his companion, Diana; sons Samuel and Dean; grandchildren James, Melissa, Jason, Nickolas, and Alisa; two great-grandchildren; and other extended family. DELMA (TIMMONS) OLIVER (BA, Education and Credential, ’59) died Aug. 30, 2014, at the age of 77. After graduation, she taught second grade in the Cupertino School District. She married her husband, John, whom she met at CSU, Chico, in 1960. They later moved to Spokane, Washington, where they raised their three children. In 1968, she received her MS in education from Whitworth College and taught second grade for Central Valley School District in Spokane until retirement. She is survived by John and her sister, Marilyn.

1960s BRUCE FRASER (BS, Agriculture, ’68) died on Feb. 8, 2015, at the age of 70. He taught several agriculture-related high school courses in Hamilton City and in Clackamas, Oregon. He is survived by his wife, Louise; sons Simon and Brandon; brother Gordon; and sister Margot DeHoff. Fraser’s wife, sons, and brother are all fellow CSU, Chico graduates.

1970s ROBERT “BOB” BEAZOR (BS, Agriculture, ’71) died Dec. 20, 2014, at the age of 72. Beazor moved to California when he was 19 and in 1966 joined the U.S. Air Force, where he worked as an air traffic controller based in Germany during the Vietnam War. He married his wife, Nedra, in 1967, and the two graduated from CSU, Chico in 1971. He retired in 2004 after working for 33 years as a real estate appraiser for Sonoma County. He is survived by Nedra; sons Brent and James; grandchildren Audrey and Jethro; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

2010s NICHOLAS CASTELLANOS (undergraduate, Kinesiology) died Jan. 16, 2015, at the age of 18. He came to CSU, Chico in fall 2014 from Santa Monica. He enjoyed lacrosse, surfing, and snowboarding. University Housing and Food Service Director David Stephen said that he was widely known within his residence hall community as fun, happy, and engaged. He is survived by his parents, Leslie Swanson Castellanos and Allan Castellanos; his grandparents, Douglas and Suzanne Swanson and Heide Castellanos; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. MELINDA DRIGGERS (undergraduate, Social Work) died Jan. 22, 2015, at the age of 49. She came to CSU, Chico in fall 2014 from Red Bluff, where she was active in charity and nonprofit work. Social work undergraduate program director Vincent Ornelas said she was a respected, quiet leader who always had an encouraging word for her fellow students. She is survived by her parents, June and Ray Mott; son Christopher; twin daughters Isabel and Holly; fiancé Jim Nichols; and his children, Jimmy and Jenna. NICKOLAS KLEIN (undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering) died March 28, 2015, at the age of 21. He came to CSU, Chico from Tuolumne in fall 2011. He was minoring in mathematics. Mechanical engineering professor Gregory Watkins said he was a quiet student who was very engaged and excited about his work. Friends remember his intelligence and sense of humor. TRAVIS POWELL (undergraduate, Criminal Justice) died March 7, 2015, at the age of 22. He came to CSU, Chico from Gridley in 2011. Family members report he was interested in becoming a game warden after graduation. Along with playing team sports, he loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting and fish-



LOREN JAMES BROWN, International Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, died Dec. 22, 2014, at the age of 94. He began teaching at Chico State College in 1964 and retired from the international languages department in 1991. He worked for many years on a complete grammar of French, explaining all of the idiosyncrasies of the language to an English speaker. Department chair Patricia Black remembers Brown as gentle and unassuming, and someone who always shouldered his share of department tasks. ALBERT CULVER, Economics, died Jan. 1, 2015, at the age of 76. He taught at Oregon State University and Central Michigan University before joining the economics faculty at CSU, Chico, where he taught for 25 years. He is remembered by his many friends for his good humor, quick wit, appreciation of good wine, and bad dancing. WALTER DAHLIN, Music, died Dec. 12, 2014, at the age of 93. He came to CSU, Chico in 1966 and directed the Chico Symphony Orchestra and served as music department chair for nearly two decades. He also ran a summer music school for talented youth and took CSU, Chico chorus students on tours of Europe. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Patricia, and son Marc. He is survived by wife Sharon, daughters Michel and Per, sister MaryLin, stepdaughter Kristy, stepson Mark, and six grand- and step-grandchildren. LORRAINE DEGRAFF, Nursing, died Jan. 18, 2015, at the age of 84. She came to the University in 1967 and taught pediatric nursing with a specialty in children with disabilities, gaining a regional reputation for her expertise in that area. After retiring in 1992, she stayed in contact with the School of Nursing and the North State Symphony, both of which she supported. DeGraff is survived by son Jim DeGraff, daughter Stephanie DeGraff-Hunt, and three grandsons. WILLIS GEER, Political Science, died March 2, 2015, at the age of 66. A faculty member since 2007, he taught criminal justice classes on subjects including law, ethics, administration, and corrections. He practiced law for more than 25 years in Gillette, Wyoming, and later in Buffalo, New York. He also taught classes during the 1970s at the University of Wyoming, Casper College, and Sheridan College, also in Wyoming. He is survived by his wife, LaDona Knigge, associate professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. PHILIP LYDON, Geology, died March 6, 2015, at the age of 83. He joined the faculty of CSU, Chico in 1968 and became a respected expert on the geology of Northern California. He and his wife, Gerda, were active in the Sierra Club and led many regional outings. He is survived by Gerda, son and daughter-in-law Robert and Jana Lydon, daughter Sharon Lydon, and son and daughter-in-law Michael and Robin Lydon. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. RICK REES, Student Activities, died March 6, 2015, at the age of 63. His 37year career at CSU, Chico included working for Student Development Programs, an office that later became Student Activities; serving as one of the first co-directors of the campus summer orientation program; and serving 1977–’79 as director of Community Action Volunteers in Education. He also directed Student Life and Leadership and the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center before his retirement in 2012. Rees leaves behind wife Marilyn, daughter Alexandra, son Robert, stepdaughter Andrea, and two granddaughters. GARY SHIELDS, Facilities Management and Services, died March 22, 2015, at the age of 66. He joined CSU, Chico in 1980 as a groundskeeper and was eventually promoted to gardening specialist and lead groundskeeper. He took a personal interest in and responsibility for the care and maintenance of the University’s prized George F. Petersen Rose Garden; his favorite rose varieties were Double Delight and Abracadabra. He retired in 2014. He is survived by a daughter and two granddaughters. ELIZABETH WOLFE, Nursing, died Jan. 14, 2015, at the age of 98. She joined CSU, Chico’s School of Nursing in 1960, where she taught psychiatric nursing and fundamentals and served for many years on the faculty senate. After her retirement in 1979, she continued to take courses in foreign languages, music, art, and psychology.}


obert and Anne Morgan loved the symphony, and they wanted to share that with others. Because of their commitment to the arts, the Morgans provided $1 million to the North State Symphony. After Anne’s passing last year, their estate created an endowment that will help the symphony for years to come. They extended their values with an enduring statement for future generations. Thank you, Robert and Anne, for sharing your love of music with all of us. Perhaps you would like to help a university program like the symphony or students at Chico State. The staff of University Advancement can help you consider a gift through your estate or a current gift that expresses your philanthropic wishes. Gift plans can be established to reduce taxes and provide stable income. A gift that helps Chico State can also help you. For more information, contact Gary Salberg, Director of Planned Giving University Advancement, 530-898-5297,




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Chico Statements spring 2015  

Spring 2015 issue of California State University, Chico's alumni magazine.

Chico Statements spring 2015  

Spring 2015 issue of California State University, Chico's alumni magazine.