Page 1






Restless Dreamers In a climate of uncertainty, four undocumented Chico State students share what’s at stake. 1

First Look 4:21 P.M. DECEMBER 18, 2017

A spectacular sunset illuminates Kendall Hall and our campus on the first day of winter break as captured by drone pilot and University Photographer Jessica Bartlett.

Spring 2018

Vo l u m e 2 4 , I s s u e 1

“You know that #MeToo thing going on? Yeah, #MeToo.” Provost Debra Larson, speaking to a group of first-year students about the challenges she faced as a young woman in the field of engineering.

Editor’s Note Notice anything different? This edition of Chico Statements reflects a redesign many months—if not years—in the making.

Chico Stated p. 3

Our revamped look is creative and contemporary. You’ll find the pages brighter and bolder, with bigger photos, concise text, and eyecatching graphics and illustration. Refreshed typography is easier on the eyes while white space gives readers a chance to visually catch their breath. The visual redesign went hand in hand with examining our editorial focus. We embraced a tone that reflects our friendly campus demeanor, launched new regular features that showcase our appetite for discussion and innovation, and focus even more on the people who make up Chico State. As we balance short, easy-to-consume content with longer, thoughtprovoking features, we pledge to tackle hard topics while also staying true to our values. We want this magazine to be as inspired as our students. We hope to engage and entertain, and help grow and strengthen your relationship with the Chico State community. I look forward to hearing your thoughts via email or snail mail. This magazine is yours as much as it is mine, and it wouldn’t be the same without you. Thanks, always, for reading. —ASHLEY GEBB (’08) PUBLICATIONS EDITOR

The Lineup


How To


p. 4

Class Notes





The power of a dream

Class Notes


Take Note


Fond Farewells

President’s Note

Alumni profiles and updates

Campus news worth sharing

Alumni, faculty, and staff remembered


The Lineup


Last Look

Catch up with Wildcat sports

Snapshots from across campus

EDITOR: Ashley Gebb (’08) DESIGNERS: Christian Burke (’94), Geoff Wintrup (’02) CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Sean Murphy (’97), Kate Post, Luke Reid (’04, ’09), Amanda Rhine (’15), Travis Souders (’09) UNIVERSITY PHOTOGRAPHERS: Jessica Bartlett (’16), Jason Halley (’05) SEND MAILING ADDRESS UPDATES: CONTACT US: University Communications, CSU, Chico, 400 West First St., Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0040 EMAIL: PHONE: 530-898-4143 © 2018, California State University, Chico

9 Behind our cover story We asked our undocumented students to take a risk by sharing their stories. The consequences of coming out publicly could be devastating, not just to them, but to their families. With DACA’s fate uncertain and the national immigration discussion at a boil as of printing time, we offered anonymity to these four outstanding students—an unprecedented step for Chico Statements. Three declined it, tired of hiding. A fourth accepted, afraid he might lose everything. Staying in the shadows, he represents countless other Dreamers who are not able to speak publicly about their status. No last names are used in the story, to offer all a measure of protection.


9 Restless Dreamers

Their fates, and millions of others, hang in the balance. As a turbulent national attitude on immigration leaves Dreamers anxious and uncertain, four Chico State students share what is at stake.

15 Little Town Lifelines Rural nursing program places students in critical-care learning environment while serving 32 hospitals across the state.


Support Tomorrow’s Leaders Your gifts to the Chico State Fund have an immediate impact on students and on campus. Visit

President’s Note Go Figure


The Power of a Dream

ur country was primarily built by immigrants. With the exception of indigenous peoples, most Americans have ancestors who made their way to this nation from distant lands. My family is no exception. My grandfather was a young boy when his parents moved their six children from the Netherlands to New England. Sponsored by a farmer in Massachusetts, my grandfather, his parents, and siblings repaid the farmer by working on his farm for seven years, a common practice in the United States at the turn of the 20th century.  My grandfather’s family was able to gain citizenship, and once their debt was paid in full, my grandfather set out on his own as a teenager armed with an eighth-grade education. He became a mechanic and served in World War I. He and my grandmother eventually settled down and had a family. Together, they instilled in my mom and her siblings a strong work ethic and aspirations for a better life— their own American Dream.  For many, the path to citizenship is more difficult today. In this issue of Chico Statements, you will meet four Chico State students who arrived in the United States as children and are still pushing for legal status. Amid a heated national discussion on immigration and an


C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

uncertain future, these courageous, undocumented students share their stories, hopes, and frustrations while they pursue degrees to position themselves to build better lives and make an impact on the world. As the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program hangs in question, they explain the potential for loss of protected status, loss of opportunity, and a blocked pathway to the life they have known, dreamed of, and worked hard to create. They face stereotypes and fear, and even hatred and discrimination. And yet, they and countless other Dreamers are not swayed in their determination to achieve their goals of earning degrees, obtaining legal citizenship, and helping others. Like my hard-working grandfather, Dreamers toil long and hard for a better life. The students you read about here are prime examples of that. They understand the transformational power of education, and their stories serve us every day as a valuable reminder of why we do what we do.




raised for Chico State Giving Day, the University’s first 24-hour fundraising blitz


fire disaster victims in Mendocino, Yuba, and Butte Counties were supported by the University’s Center for Healthy Communities to help enroll in CalFresh benefits for food subsidies after the 2017 wildfires

Walk this way...

Campus tour guides walked 750 miles in 2017, giving 600 tours of a 1.25-mile loop. At one hour per tour, that translates to 24/7 tours for 31 days straight. That’s a lot of walking backwards!

Take Note

% 52

of Chico State students are the first generation in their families to graduate from a four-year university

2.1 million views of the “Stravinsky Firebird Scream”—a YouTube clip of an audience member caught by surprise when Maestro Scott Seaton led our North State Symphony into a sudden crescendo

Watch It:


yards of silk used in the costuming for the School of the Arts’ spring musical, A Midsummer Night’s Dream



and growing, the number of specimens in the Chico State Entomology Collection, including the Queen Alexandra’s birdwing, the world’s largest butterfly species, collected in Papua New Guinea by biology professor Don Miller

121 mph Speed driven by 87-year-old Janet Parker at a Las Vegas racetrack. Janet is a student in the University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

4.4 million

students nationwide use College Scheduler, the registration and planning software created in a campus dorm by Robert Strazzarino (Computer Science, ’06) 2

Take Note

Chico Stated

Driving is the single most dangerous thing any of us do on a regular basis. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Matt Richtel, discussing distracted driving during a visit to Chico State for the Book in Common, A Deadly Wandering

“ are a There lot of small players in the agricultural industry, small farmers, who get overlooked. ... Those small players are the Charlottes. We need Charlottes. Agriculture major and National Future Farmers of America president Breanna Holbert in the Washington Post, explaining why Charlotte’s Web is her choice for best profession-based movie

Cult leaders thrive on money, sex, power, or a combination of all three. ... Sex is, of course, a very deep and intimate way of controlling someone. Janja Lalich, professor emerita of sociology, talking about cults in The Post and Courier in response to allegations against a North Carolina ministry

I was like a chihuahua standing in a herd of large dogs trying to get attention, ‘yap, yap, yap’—looking to get some form of validation. Microsoft employee Marisela Cerda (Computer Science, ’01), speaking about her experience with unconscious bias at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference

If we have a chance to preserve those [moon landing] sites before the damage occurs, we have the obligation to do so. Anthropology professor Lisa Westwood tells National Geographic it’s in our best interest to protect the original lunar landing sites as we stand on the cusp of a new space race

All computers and smart devices are vulnerable. If it’s connected to the Internet, it can be exploited.

Computer science professor Bryan Dixon, discussing cybersecurity on

“ You know that #MeToo thing going on? Yeah, #MeToo. Provost Debra Larson, speaking to a group of first-year students about the challenges she faced as a young woman in the field of engineering


C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

How To


Get the most out of your summer travels

The Flu Crew

Cool Kids

Summer can be a wonderful time to travel—or horribly stressful if you’re not prepared. Professor Matthew Stone offers some tips:

Chico State virologist Troy Cline and microbiology major Elizabeth Bianchini are identifying and characterizing avian influenza viruses in migrating waterfowl. By studying strains of the H5N8 virus, they hope to prevent threats to human health and the US poultry industry.

With support from Nobel Laureate William Phillips, physics professors Hyewon Pechkis and Joseph Pechkis opened “the coolest place on campus.” Students in the ultra-cold laboratory are using lasers to cool atoms to temperatures billions of times lower than anything else in the cosmos.

Spend smart. Look for airline credit cards that give you

at least a 40,000-mile bonus or a cash-back credit card. The annual fee can be worth it if you don’t keep a balance. The best also offer no foreign transaction fees!

Earlier is better. May and June trips mean fewer crowds and cheaper lodging. For resorts, national parks, theme parks, and outdoor attractions, consider weekdays and avoid the end of July and early August.

Be spontaneous. It’s Tuesday. Plan a trip for the

weekend! In a world of information overload and too much to do at home, we have lost the reward of spontaneity. Book a room, then figure the rest out when you get there.

Get rewarded for your stays. Pick a hotel chain and

What’s Shakin’? Fungus Fighter Engineering and agriculture students are shaking things up with a cross-disciplinary project to test how mechanical vibration can hasten or slow the germination rate of seeds.

stick with it to maximize points. Or do what I do and use because you earn a free night after staying 10 nights at nearly any hotel—regardless of who owns it!

Rent a car. For longer trips, check the cost of a rental. A

few hundred dollars may be worth avoiding wear and tear on your car. Just remember what it looks like so you don’t drive away from valet parking in the wrong car. Trust me.

Write it down. On the trip, talk to your travel companions daily about what they enjoyed and learned. Share your memories in a journal. Travel is educational, but research suggests reflection is essential to maximize learning from experiences.

Send postcards to friends—especially to their kids. Part of the joy of travel is sharing it.

Edit your photos. Pick your 30 favorites, and make a

souvenir book using a service like Snapfish or Mixbook. Recreation, Hospitality, and Parks Management professor Matthew Stone is an oft-quoted global travel expert for national media, including the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He recently led one of the largest food and beverage tourism research studies ever conducted.

Alexandria Thornton, a master’s candidate in environmental science, is mapping the risk for sudden oak death in Upper Bidwell Park. She hopes to preserve the future of the iconic trees in one of the nation’s largest municipal parks.


Memorial Clinic Opened


Disneyland or Florence, will pay for itself in knowledge learned and time saved. Plus, dreaming about your trip in advance is part of the positive psychological value of travel.


Buy a guidebook. The $25 you spend, whether for

One faculty member, seven students, and two alumnae trekked to Ozu Abam, Nigeria, in January 2018 for the grand opening of the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic, built in honor of a fourth-year nursing student who was killed by a drunken driver in 2013. The Chico State team stocked the facility with critical supplies and treated patients for everyday ailments and urgent care. Read more: 4

Take Note Crash Course


Virtual & Augmented Reality for Media & Gaming

The MixMat

Entrepreneurship major Alex Van Dewark shared details on his invention, the MixMat, on the NPR podcast How I Built This. The innovative and inexpensive concrete mixing tool is now used in developing countries to rebuild after natural disasters.


Virtual and augmented reality—projected by Business Insider to be a $162-billion market by 2020—is the focus of this partnership class by the Departments of Journalism and Public Relations; Computer Animation and Game Development; and Media Arts, Design, and Technology. The coursework for this cutting-edge medium combines a multitude of skills—from content development and design to social media messaging and public relations. Student course fees and a generous, anonymous alumni gift went toward funding state-ofthe-art VR headsets for each student. With a 360-degree camera, Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vives on hand, students have been mapping and viewing Chico landmarks and events to simulate virtual tours, among other projects. Read more:


C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

DID YOU KNOW? Legendary American author Raymond Carver published his first work of fiction while attending Chico State! The Pulitzer Prize nominee was a student from 1958 to 1960. Carver—later credited as the leader of the short-story renaissance—started a student literary magazine called Selection where he included his first work, “The Furious Seasons,” in 1960. Original copies of Selection, which sell for thousands of dollars online, reside in Meriam Library Special Collections.

Worth Sharing

Pride Points

Where would you draw the NorCal boundary?

For the second consecutive year and

“Apparently, it’s a topic people love to debate.” —Geography professor Dean Fairbanks, on where Northern California begins A story on North State Public Radio’s Since You Asked spurred impassioned discussion by online readers over the state’s geographical boundaries. An official boundary doesn’t exist, but hundreds commented on Facebook to insist where they’d draw the line separating NorCal from the rest of the state:

Anything north of Sacramento. Central Cal is Sac to the Grapevine and SoCal is anything south of the San Gabriel Mountains. draw a line halfway up from the bottom to the top latitude. The southern half is “south” and the northern half is “north.”

To me, anything north of Sacramento is NorCal. I grew up in Shasta County and hated when Bay Area people called their home NorCal.

Someone told me, “Don’t divide it north and south, but inland and coastal along I-5.” Makes sense politically, even in Southern California.

—Marilyn G.

—Rich M.

—Nick M.

—Thomas A.

the ninth time in 10 years, Chico State has been ranked as one of the nation’s top three universities for studying abroad. The College of Business recently received a prestigious re-accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). While fewer than 15 percent of all business schools in the world are AACSB accredited, Chico State has been since 1972. The new Butte County Promise guarantees admission to all qualified local K–12 students. The joint agreement between the University, Butte College, and Butte County Office


of Education aims to develop a welleducated workforce to sustain the economy of the North State. The Princeton Review named Chico State one of the Nation’s Greenest Campuses in 2017. Our online learning program for social science degrees was recently named the best value in the nation by The same website ranked Chico State’s liberal


studies online learning program at No. 21 in the nation in terms of value.

Meet Milton Lang

Vice President for Student Affairs

It’s a five-minute walk from the stage where Milton Lang received his Chico State degree to his office in Kendall Hall. Today, 25 years and two post-graduate degrees later, the new vice president for Student Affairs is leading the charge to help our students achieve their dreams. A first-generation college student from a low-income household who faced discrimination, Lang said he’s humbled to return to campus. It’s where he cultivated his natural talents as an advocate and ignited his passion for helping others, and now hopes to reconnect with alums to advance our goals together.

“When I was going through tough times, they wrapped their arms around me, guided me. … It was the people at Chico State who supported me as an undergrad that inspired me to go into higher education.” Read more: 6

The Lineup

Olympic Hopefuls Decorated track and field standouts Brooke Whitburn (Exercise Physiology, ’17) and Jason Dunn (Communications, ’17) received surprise requests after their Wildcat athletic careers—to train with the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation in Lake Placid, New York. They share the transition from sunny California to the icy tracks of the East Coast.

ON TRYING OUT JASON: I was having a hard time adjusting to not competing anymore. You go from being an athlete your whole life, where you don’t really have time to put significant effort toward anything else, to sort of not having that clear direction. A couple of weeks after track season ended, [Chico State track and field coach] Oliver Hanf sent me a message and said, ‘I have a plan for you.’ I got to his office, and he asked, ‘How do you feel about bobsled?’ I said, ‘I don’t know hardly anything about it—I’ve seen Cool Runnings, and that’s everything I know.’

ON ROOKIE CAMP BROOKE: When they started breaking down the costs, that was surprising. You’re not sponsored, and nothing’s paid for until you make a World Cup or Olympic team. Then, when I transitioned into skeleton, they tell you to learn the courses, so your preparation time is about 4–6 years. That was a ‘wow’ moment to me. It blows my mind that people start this sport and can dedicate 20 years of their lives to it.

ON DOING WELL AT TRYOUTS JASON: I knew I’d have to do something crazy to get first place. So I pushed, and when I started I felt good right away. … As I came down, I saw everybody running toward me, and people were screaming, ‘You PR’d, you won!’ It was crazy. I went there for bobsled and ended up taking first in the skeleton.



“I’m improving daily, so it does give me hope. The stage we’re at now is still very beginner, really learning-focused. … It’s a lot to consider, because I was planning on grad school before this. But to have the potential to even compete for the United States is exciting to think about.”

“Decathletes and multis are becoming the next biggest thing in the sport. They want a mixture of strength, power and speed, but also someone who’s heavier, because on ice that means faster times. They are recruiting athletes who have the essentials already embedded—athletes like me.”





Read more:

W I L DC AT S For more sports coverage, visit or follow @ChicoWildcats on Twitter.


C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8



“I’ve got [the Chico State logo] on my golf bag because I have pride for where I’ve been and where I’ve come from. I take pride in the fact that I played at Chico State.” —PGA Tour rookie Brandon Harkins


1,000 CLUB





Chico State men’s basketball seniors Corey Silverstrom (left), Jalen McFerren, and Isaiah Ellis all eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau this season. Only 16 Wildcats have done it prior to this year, and no three teammates have ever done it in the same season!

Third baseman Cameron Santos has been about as reliable as any to don a Chico State uniform. On the field in 2017, he helped lead the Wildcats to the finest record the California Collegiate Athletic Association has ever seen, with a conference record of 34–4. Offensively, Santos will wrap up his stellar Wildcat career as the school’s leader in triples, and rank among the top 10 in runs batted in, total bases, bases on balls, and hits, as well as

Shelf Life

Through the Red Door

sacrifice bunts and stolen bases. Defensively, Santos has been recognized with collegiate baseball’s highest honor, being named to the 2017 American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings Gold Glove Team, as the top defensive third baseman in Division II baseball. Other accolades Santos scored include CCAA and National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America West Region Player of the Year nods, as well as an NCBWA All-America honorable mention.

“It is easy to see what he has done on the field and be in awe. But what is even more incredible is the person he is becoming. I can’t say enough about his leadership and what he brings to the team before, during, and after practice every day.” —Chico State baseball head coach Dave Taylor

Through the Red Door should be required reading for every educator, every coach, every kid with a dream, and every parent with a dream for their kid. —Coach Bob Williams, UC Santa Barbara head coach for 19 years and NCAA Division II National Champion

Through the Red Door is much more than a look back at a college basketball season. It’s an homage to the individual parts that move the story along at Chico State, including Wildcat coaches, players, trainers, and fans. Carson Medley, thesis editor for Graduate Studies, chronicled the men’s basketball team and head coach Greg Clink from March 2015 to April 2016—a season in which the Wildcats went 22–7 overall and won their second straight conference title. The result is a robust, thorough, and entertaining 506-page book, now available on Read more:

Throughout 2017–18, the Department of Athletics celebrates its 20th year as a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA)—the most successful conference in Division II. The competition has been fierce, but the Wildcats have been reaping the rewards. Below are just a few of the amazing achievements.

WILDCATS EARNED 72 regular-season conference crowns—more than twice as many as any other school in the conference. The CCAA included Chico State Women’s golf in competition in 2017–18— making it the University’s 13th CCAA sport. Men’s cross country has won 16 consecutive conference crowns— the longest run by any program in any sport in the conference’s history. Every Chico State team has been to the postseason five times or more during its CCAA era. Chico State has earned more conference titles than any other athletic department in the conference in each of the past eight years. 8

story Travis Souders photos Jason Halley


reddy’s coyote, a man he’d never seen before, picked him up in a car just south of the Mexican border the day he crossed from Tecate to San Diego.

The driver handed Freddy a cell phone and told him to expect a call soon, and when it came, to listen and repeat the voice on the line. The driver sped toward the border. The phone rang. Freddy answered. “GO. GO!” The coyote tore through the rocks and dirt and brush, racing 17-year-old Freddy across the border. It was only 5 p.m. but, in late December, that meant darkness. The driver made his dash with the car’s lights off, rumbling through the desert, pushing 80 mph toward the glow of the freeway. The voice on the phone begged them forward. That three minutes seemed like an hour to Freddy, but the road soon smoothed. The driver was still hauling up the highway, but he had flicked the headlights on and finally looked over at Freddy, who was terrified and exhausted. The coyote, who earned $3,000 for this transport, urged him to relax.


children and have lived in the shadows their whole lives. Others, like Freddy, came here under circumstances even murkier. They arrived in cars—or trunks of cars, by foot, hidden in truck containers, or maybe in plain sight, under the guise of visiting family. About 800,000 have enrolled in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a two-year renewable deferment of deportation for qualifying individuals who entered the country as minors. First introduced by President Barack Obama in 2012, DACA allows the recipients, who entered or remained in the country illegally, to get work permits, attend school, and serve in the military. Almost one in 10 current DACA recipients is a student enrolled in California’s public higher education systems. EdSource, a nonprofit journalism website, estimates 8,300 in the California State University system, 4,000 in the University of California system, and 60,000 in the state’s community colleges.

That night, Freddy slept on United States soil.

The fate of these students hangs in question. Changing federal immigration policies, including the rescinding of DACA in 2017, and a turbulent national attitude toward the topic leave DACA students and Dreamers, like Freddy, anxious and uncertain.

Many undocumented immigrants living in the United States have known no other home. Millions arrived as

Here, four Chico State Dreamers share what is at stake.

C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8



y family was poor—is poor—and so we’ve never had a lot of food or resources,” Lorena says. “But in Mexico, it was worse. It can be very difficult here, but there is the opportunity to have a better situation.” For Lorena, that means room to grow, to explore, to share. A bilingual liberal studies major, she dreams of inspiring young people and teaching them to be thirsty for knowledge, above all else. She knew, even before she left Mexico at 10 years old, that she wanted to be a teacher who could make an impact in other people’s lives. For Lorena, to educate is to share the world’s treasures: language, history, culture, art, nature. Not surprisingly, her limited spare time outside of her full class schedule and work at the Chico State Dream Center is filled with spiritual sustenance. Lorena is happiest when she can bury herself in books or show friends a new hike. She has a fondness for country music, even though her friends make fun of her for it. And she loves to keep things clean. Tidying her house is therapeutic. But life seldom feels so carefree, so light, for Lorena. “If you were to talk to me three years ago, I would be terrified to tell you I’m undocumented,” she says. She doesn’t fidget or break eye contact here, instead leaning forward, her voice feather-light, low, and sharp with intention. “And many people, my parents, are still terrified.” Lorena grew up with her grandparents near Guadalajara while her birth mother lived and worked undocumented in the United States to send money back to them. As a child, Lorena saw her mother only

Lorena a few times, each for a couple of weeks at most, when she returned to visit. For those early years, Lorena called her grandparents Mom and Dad. And then, when Lorena was 10, Mom died of leukemia. Shortly after, Lorena came home one day to a stranger telling her it was time to leave. The man turned out to be her stepfather. He loaded Lorena and her siblings into a car and took them through Tijuana to Los Angeles. She had no idea she wouldn’t see her grandfather again. They continued north to reunite with her mother in Vallejo, where they stayed for almost four years before moving to Corning for a more rural life like they’d been used to in Mexico. But as Lorena finished high school, her stepfather was deported, leaving her stay-at-home mom with no career prospects to care for a houseful of children. Lorena had to work to help support her family, but she wouldn’t cut her education short to do it. She enrolled in DACA, then moved out on her own in 2014, to Chico. Lorena attended Butte College, riding the bus to class and working in the campus welcome center. With DACA, she could work, pay taxes, live on her own, and provide for herself and her family while learning. She later earned her driver’s license and acceptance to Chico State, where she has built a life around classes, friends, and fighting for undocumented people. As long as DACA’s status is uncertain, all she’s worked for twists in the wind. “It’s really eye-opening, what can be taken away from you,” Lorena says. “It’s not just your documents or whatever—it’s opportunity. It’s your life.” 10



t was Aldo’s mother’s dream for her three children to have it better than she did, and the best, safest opportunity for them to do that was in the United States.

“My parents always believed that education is how you escape poverty. But in Mexico, you don’t have the ability to climb the ranks. There’s no economic mobility,” Aldo says. “You see teachers with their master’s degrees and they can’t find work. That’s the reality there.” Upon arriving in California, Aldo set out to shine, earning countless academic awards, a double associate’s degree, and a prestigious neuro-nursing research internship at Enloe Medical Center. Outside of his studies, Aldo’s focus is helping young Dreamers who don’t know their options or rights. The anthropology major works 20 hours a week at the Chico State Dream Center, on top of tutoring math and the Enloe internship he recently completed. After graduation, he envisions a career where he can continue to assist underserved populations as a medical “culture broker,” providing care and support for people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds who have specific health care needs. He has also followed all the rules that come with DACA. Aldo has paid taxes since he became eligible to do so. He is registered for the draft for the Armed Forces. His older sister, who recently became a resident, has petitioned for his citizenship. Aldo’s court date to submit his application—with no guarantee of acceptance—is 2052. He would be 63 years old. “Everyone says, ‘Do it the right way.’ I’m doing it the only way you’re giving me to do it,” he says. “I think of myself as an overachiever. I have great merit. They tell you that if you’re good, if you’re lawabiding, you should be a citizen. I agree.”


C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8


It’s a frustrating situation for a standout student like Aldo, but he’s got an easy smile and conviction in his purpose. His voice was among the loudest and proudest at a campus Dreamers rally in September, when he cried out, “We deserve to be here, and we’re done hiding.” And he’s outspoken about the migrant community’s inherent responsibility to also stand for LGBTQ+ rights and for marginalized groups to support undocumented people. “Watching the allyship in Chico grow has been amazing,” Aldo says. “Allies being receptive to my situation is the greatest thing about this school.” Aldo and his husband, also undocumented, met in 2011, lobbying for the California Dream Act in Sacramento (it passed and is now known as Assembly Bills 130 and 131). It wasn’t until months later, after they’d met outside the Capitol’s hearing room, that they discovered they lived just 12 minutes away from each other in Orange County. They married in 2015. They’re mostly homebodies when they aren’t advocating, and their ideal date is staying at home together and watching anime. It’s a happy life but not without its struggles. Aldo’s husband is undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia, diagnosed two months after he proposed to Aldo. They’ve balanced that battle with the inevitable what-if conversation that always looms over their lives. “Being visible comes with risks. If one of us gets deported, we love each other too much to ask the other to come with us. There’s nothing for us in Mexico,” Aldo says. “We both suffered, we both grew up with limited finances, and we changed things here. Our families didn’t risk everything for us to go back there.” “If I were to be separated from my family,” he says, “my world would be gone.”


she can recall is opening her eyes, from a night of sleep in the car, and seeing her father’s smiling face. “People criminalize our parents for bringing us here,” she says. “But they put us in the best position they could to grow and survive. I love my parents and thank them because they left their whole lives behind for us. How can you call a parent acting out of love a criminal?” A senior set to graduate this May with a degree in exercise physiology, Karen aspires to be a paramedic and aid those who need it most. She currently interns as an exercise physiologist at an area hospital. She remembers her grandfather, who died of cancer years ago in Mexico, telling her he wasn’t worried for his health because one day Karen would be his nurse and take care of him. With her father now suffering from renal issues associated with his diabetes, caring for people like them is her purpose. “Within any underserved community, a lot of us don’t know how to access medical services,” she says. “Growing up, I don’t remember going to the doctor, and now that I’m older I realize it’s just because we didn’t know how to access it. We used home remedies. We grew up drinking tea if we had the flu. But people like my dad need real health care.” The uncertain longevity of DACA overshadows her goals. Karen’s fear is that her hard work will be for nothing if she is sent “home”—a misnomer, she says, because she has not a single memory of Mexico. The United States is where she’s built friendships, found her partner, and learned to ride a bike. She celebrates the Fourth of July every year. “This is my home. What’s not American about me?” she asks. “What makes us different?”



t was relatively easy in the early ’90s to cross the Mexico-United States border with someone else’s immigration papers, and that is how Karen and her family came to California when she was 2.

At first it was her father, who made the move from Mexico City to San Diego by himself. Only 23 years old, he felt overwhelmed. He had developed diabetes and assumed the medical bills that come with it. Karen, the youngest of three children, had just been born, and in Mexico, elementary school costs money he did not have. He needed to make a change. His plan was to earn money in the United States to support his young family, but within a year, it became clear that his kids needed their dad.

Her path to citizenship is also unclear. The most direct option would be to marry her partner of four years, who does have legal status. They have been together since their senior year of high school in Sacramento, and she says they love each other. She shares his passion for baseball, and he joins her family trips across the Western United States to watch soccer, her first true love. But Karen doesn’t want to get married yet. Not out of fear. She doesn’t want to get married on a deadline. “We love each other and want to be together,” she says. “But I’m not getting married just to be a citizen. I want to do it when the time is right, to do it on our own terms.”

Karen’s mother and the three children crossed together, driving all night to reunite. Karen says the earliest memory 12




wo days before his border crossing, Freddy cried silently on the plane, and landed in Tijuana around noon. He taxied an anxious hour to Tecate, and spent the night with a family he didn’t know. When the teenager finally made it to Northern California to live with his uncle, he had to sleep on the floor because there wasn’t a bed for him yet. He felt homesick, and he cried again. But he couldn’t go back. Freddy’s memories from Mexico stay with him, mostly unwelcome. He still has dreams of the years he would go to school without a lunch, and go to bed without eating dinner. He hears himself cursing, furious at his mother for not being able to feed him. He recalls being just a boy and working in the fields, pulling weeds very late and often very early, sometimes dodging rattlesnakes, always hungry. “My dad was brutal and savage,” Freddy says. “He did not care about education, only work. I could never have a future if I stayed there.” Five days in 2003 changed Freddy’s life. His uncle, misguidedly thinking Freddy’s presence in the United States would accelerate his green card application process, told his parents to send him across the border. Seeing an opportunity for their son to make more money for the family, they agreed, and Freddy was in California in less than a week. He never had a choice. Freddy was slowly learning English and progressing in high school, but his situation was still unstable. When his uncle died of lung cancer just two years later, a local family was his saving grace. They heard his story and, instead of reporting him, sheltered him through the rest of high school. “Living with an American family taught me the value of acceptance, empathy, and compassion,” Freddy says. “Having their support gave me hope and strength when I had high aspirations but I was low on resources.” After finishing high school in 2006, he enrolled at Butte College, where he faced further struggles. He still was trying to grasp the language and failed five courses, two of them multiple times. He earned his living wages under the table; he butchered meat for a grocer in the evening, and he chopped wood for an old man in the morning. He woke at 5 a.m. daily to catch the bus to Butte, and he pedaled his bike five miles outside of town to work when he was done with class. He found another full-time job in a local


C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

processing plant and soon struggled to stay awake in class. He kept himself going by checking out library books—collections of positive quotes or success stories. “It never crossed my mind to give up,” Freddy says. “I knew I’d fail some classes, but I could do them over. I also knew I was learning and growing.” He paid his full tuition out of his own pocket and still sent money back to his family in Mexico. Freddy finally graduated from Butte in 2014, earning his associate’s degree. Then, with guidance from Chico State’s Dream Center, he was accepted to the University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in social work and is now pursuing his master’s. Freddy aspires to help troubled youth, many with criminal backgrounds, get back on productive and healthy paths through rehabilitation programs and counseling. A toothy grin sweeps over his face as he puts it into words: “I’m living my dream.” “If you come to this country, you came here because you want to contribute and get ahead in life,” he says. “I know who I am and what I’m capable of.” That self-image, Freddy says, is the American dream, embodied. He has no desire to see Mexico again; it would feel more alien than the United States first did. When he imagines himself as a child again— hungry, angry, desperate—those memories don’t come to him in Spanish anymore. “I am who I am because of my experiences in America,” Freddy says. “The voice in my head is American. I dream in English.”


The Expert Explains Mexican-born in 1977 but brought to California at 17 months old, his naturalized father applied for Sergio’s green card in 1994. In 2015, 21 years later and at age 38, Garcia’s application was processed and accepted. Now heading his own firm, Garcia specializes in immigration law, providing expertise borne of professional study and his personal experience. Much of the national debate about immigration, he has found, stems from these common myths about the process. In his own words: MYTH: DACA AND “DREAMERS” ARE THE SAME THING. Reality: DACA refers to people who qualify for a program—they were brought here before 16, don’t have a criminal background, finished high school or were in the process, and were in the States before June 15, 2007. Dreamers are a larger group that includes DACA, basically undocumented kids and teenagers brought here without legal status. Some Dreamers might not qualify for DACA. But a lot of Dreamers who might qualify for DACA won’t even apply, because they’re scared to reveal they’re undocumented. MYTH: THERE IS A PATH TO CITIZENSHIP THROUGH DACA. Reality: Deferred Action never had a path, not even to legal permanent residence. It’s just a temporary program.

Sergio C. Garcia (Attended, 2004) made national news in 2014 when the California Supreme Court granted him a license to practice law, making him the first undocumented immigrant in California with that distinction.

It’s possible a DACA recipient could adjust their status, but it doesn’t do anything for the process. You still need someone who can sponsor you. A family member sponsoring you is what they are starting to call “chain migration” now. But the fact is, you need a legal-status family member or citizen to apply for you, even if you have DACA, if you want to adjust your status. MYTH: UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE SHOULD JUST BECOME CITIZENS. Reality: People willing to learn about the process realize it’s not as simple as they might want to imagine. Everybody wants to live here lawfully and pursue the American dream without having to look over their shoulder constantly. And I get it. I didn’t enjoy being undocumented at all. I’m proud of the fact that I became successful in spite of the obstacles. It was never for lack of wanting to adjust my status. The cost of applying to adjust your status, including attorney’s fees, is around $8,000, maybe more. If you try to adjust your status having been here without documentation less than a year, you can still be barred for three years. Over a year, you’re subject to a 10-year bar. Essentially, you have to decide between following the law or being with your family. Until you have to make that decision, it’s not fair to pass judgment about it. Read more:

Support the Chico State Dream Center’s goal to educate, support, and advocate for our campus’ undocumented community with a donation: 14

Little Town

LIFELINES Rural Nursing Program Places Students in Critical-Care Environment story Sean Murphy photos Jessica Bartlett and Jason Halley


atelyn Alvarez strides resolutely around the emergency room at Barton Memorial Hospital, attending to patients that stream in from a crowded waiting room. She treats one patient for severe septic shock, then inputs critical lab values at the nurses’ station before whisking away to assess another patient for neurological function and consult with a doctor on IV antibiotics. Located in the heart of the Tahoe Basin, the hospital is a blend of rustic charm and state-of-theart medical care. Barton serves South Lake Tahoe’s 22,000 year-round residents, and its emergency room, with only 14 beds, can quickly stretch thin treating the usual smattering of auto accidents, elderly afflictions, and frequent flyers. Its nurses see a little of everything here, not to mention this year’s especially virulent flu strain. Barton is also a 15-minute drive from Heavenly Ski Resort, so it treats its share of recreationrelated injuries. When the Tahoe Basin population balloons to 250,000 visitors during the winter and summer, the area’s emergency rooms can be quickly overburdened. Alvarez never ceases moving, though, revealing a quiet confidence that belies the chaos around her. This busy morning marks her final shift at Barton— in four days she resumes classes to finish up in Chico State’s nursing program. Alvarez is one of 33 students who participated in the University’s Rural California Nursing Preceptorships (RCNP) program this winter. Since 1975, the RCNP—perhaps the only program of its kind in the country—has placed senior-level and graduate nursing students from all over the nation into Northern California rural and semi-rural hospital settings. These students receive 150 hours of hands-on clinical experience over three weeks that they likely wouldn’t get if they were precepting in a 15

C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

larger hospital in a metropolitan area, where a student nurse may merely shadow the nurse preceptor. Instead, working in hospitals with as few as eight beds or perhaps only a few dozen, they fill a vital role in providing critical care. “This program is definitely life-changing because it gives you the experience that you don’t get in the classroom,” said Alvarez, who is set to graduate in May 2018. “I’m a big believer that a lot of the learning happens beyond the classroom doors, and there’s a lot of learning by doing.” And Alvarez did more than she ever imagined this winter: She learned how to make safe decisions under duress. She maintained airway and respiratory functions while transferring patients in a helicopter. And she practiced comforting her patients when they were most vulnerable.


The RCNP program, supported and administered through the Chico State Research Foundation, has placed more than 2,200 students since its inception over four decades ago. Half are Chico State, Butte College, or Shasta College students. The rest come from other areas in California and even out of state, traveling from places like Mississippi, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. Program coordinator Kathleen Kirby says the main takeaway for students is increased confidence the hands-on clinical training helps cultivate. “If someone is more confident, then learning becomes more fun, and they’re able to absorb information better,” said Kirby (Latin American Studies, ’91), who has led the RCNP program for 22 years. “You can’t fake confidence, and confidence comes from exposure.” The 32 partner hospitals are as diverse as the 12 counties the program serves, extending north to the Oregon border and as far south as Bishop near Mammoth Lakes.

Students like Katelyn Alvarez receive 150 hours of hands-on clinical experience over three weeks in hospitals serving remote California communities. 16

This program is definitely life-changing because it gives you the experience that you don’t get in the classroom. I’m a big believer that a lot of the learning happens beyond the classroom doors, and there’s a lot of learning by doing. —Nursing student Katelyn Alvarez

The RCNP is not a requirement for the University’s five-semester nursing program, costs students around $1,000, and does not provide any academic units. However, students begin applying as early as their third semester, and Kirby accepts only the top students, “around the 90th percentile,” she says, based on previous clinical performance rated by nursing faculty. Students could be placed in tiny nine-bed Eastern Plumas Hospital in Portola, Hollister’s Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital (49 beds), or even Enloe Medical Center in Chico, the program’s largest partner hospital, with 298 beds. Originally funded by a federal grant, the RCNP program was a response to a chronic nursing shortage in North State rural areas. The program sought to introduce nursing students from urban areas to smaller and more intimate hospital settings. The idea was students would gain valuable hands-on experience and bolster their résumés, while giving hospitals extra hands to help on the floor. Ideally, Kirby noted, the students would fall in love with rural nursing and continue their careers 17

C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

at rural hospitals. Although the program has not resolved the shortage of medical professionals in less urban areas, with only a small percentage pursuing a rural path, those who do stay make a big impact. Taylor Jensen was placed into the emergency room at Sutter Amador Hospital in Jackson, one hour east of Sacramento, as an RCNP student nurse in summer 2012. Having grown up in Auburn, Jackson’s small-town feel reminded him of home. Sutter Amador is the only hospital for Jackson’s residents (numbering fewer than 5,000), who seldom have a primary care physician due to poor access to health care. As a result, patients visit Sutter Amador often as a last resort. “They’re often in septic shock, as they sometimes live up to an hour or more from the hospital,” Jensen said. “The ER nurses and doctors are often the only medical personnel these patients ever see.” In addition to ER nursing skills, Jensen became adept at other specialties including geriatric, family medical, acute psychiatric, and discharge planning.

Upon graduating in December 2012, he returned to work in the ER at Sutter Amador, where he’s been ever since. Remembering his patients’ names puts them at ease, and his familiarity with them only grows as he runs into them within the community, outside the hospital.

During last year’s deadly Rancho-Tehama Reserve shootings—which made national news when five people were killed and 18 others were injured— three patients were admitted in Red Bluff after the area’s lead hospital became overwhelmed by the number of critical patients.

“These relationships create trust, and it shows,” Jensen said. “We consistently have some of the highest benchmarks in the Sutter Health Network, not just for patient satisfaction and outcomes, but employee satisfaction as well.”

“We provide an incredible service to this community,” Higgins explains. “People, I believe, would die if we weren’t here because they can’t get to Chico or Redding.”

Q At the north end of the Sacramento Valley, Red Bluff is nestled between California’s Northern Coast and Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges. St. Elizabeth Hospital serves this town and its community of about 15,000, and its 76 beds are a fraction of the number available at larger Chico and Redding hospitals, about 30 minutes away. Nursing student Daisey Villegas completed her winter preceptorship in the 16-bed emergency room here under the guidance of Roxann Higgins (Nursing, ’14). Set to graduate in December 2018, Villegas describes how her RCNP experience impacted her future ambitions.


RCNP students pair up with the same preceptor for their 12-hour shifts four days a week. A mentorship is quickly established, and the preceptors track student progress through daily feedback to create a comfortable learning environment. The students can then dedicate their time to providing patient care for the full three weeks. Each year, Higgins is invigorated by her wideeyed students’ energy, willingness to learn, and enthusiasm to make a difference in the world.

“Even before I started at St. Elizabeth, I knew I wanted to be an ER nurse,” Villegas said. “Now I have the passion.” Villegas, a first-generation student from Santa Rosa, said her experience has helped her grow beyond measure. “I was drawn to it because I like working in a small community. I’d love to work in a bigger hospital because you’ll get more action, but in a smaller hospital, you get that bond with the patients,” Villegas said. “Having that close community really does help you grow as a nurse.” She peppered her preceptor with questions as they worked, and Higgins patiently answered every one, using each case as a learning opportunity, pointing out symptoms, and prioritizing care strategy. “Whenever there was a patient the staff knew was a teachable experience, they would seek me out and explain the situation and let me improve on my skills,” Villegas said. “And the patients were all supportive of me as a nursing student. It was such a positive learning environment.” If you’re healthy, it’s an easy drive from Red Bluff to Redding or Chico. But in an emergency, the time to drive 30 miles could be the difference between life and death. While infrequent, St. Elizabeth is certainly no stranger to urgent care, said Higgins, a registered nurse who has been precepting RCNP students for several years. It can be as simple as a heart attack or vehicle crash, or as complex as mass trauma.

Student nurse Daisey Villegas was mentored by registered nurse and Chico State alumna Roxann Higgins during her preceptorship at St. Elizabeth Hospital. 18

... in a smaller hospital, you get that bond with the patients. Having that close community really does help you grow as a nurse. —Nursing student Daisey Villegas


C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

“They keep me from being too cynical. Nursing in general, and particularly emergency room nursing, can be sad and there are things that happen that we can’t fix,” Higgins said. “But having a student around, they’re full of enthusiasm and they want to do good for people.” She’s found the experience, especially teaching fellow Wildcats, extremely gratifying. “I do feel a real sense of pride when I tell people where I went to school,” she said. “Helping Chico State students cements that feeling of pride and gives me renewed enthusiasm for nursing and for encouraging students to never stop learning.” The 150 hours Higgins spends with her students, like Villegas, are critical to preparing them to become the most experienced nursing graduate they can be. This means she facilitates learning by supervising and gradually handing over the reins. “You can read about nursing, about the theories and foundations. You can practice skills in a skills lab,” said Higgins. “But actually putting your hands on patients and being able to perform procedures and interact with people is something students typically don’t get much experience with until they become a nurse.” Before arriving at Barton in South Lake Tahoe, Alvarez’s clinical experience comprised of surgical, obstetrics and gynecology, and intensive care units as part of her nursing studies. But she was limited one or two clinical shifts a week, and paired with different nurses each time. The inconsistency, while not uncommon in nursing school, can interfere with opportunities for greater learning. “I would need to reintroduce myself and my competencies with each new nurse, and I would spend a great amount of my clinical time searching through my patients’ charts for my logs,” she said. In contrast, her RCNP experience made her feel truly prepared. “The program increased my confidence to be a team player and to understand my role as a nurse from the beginning of the day to the end,” said Alvarez.


That confidence and aptitude is intentional, as RCNP works to fight nursing’s trend of attrition. Often, undertrained and unprepared nurses can become overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of their jobs when plunged into a daunting clinical setting. “New nurses would find that they were suddenly helping patients with their normal activities of daily living—bathing, and eating, then one needs a box of tissues, and another needs help to the bathroom—while at the same time you’re injecting very serious medications and calling the doctors,” Kirby explains. “It’s a juggling act, and when you’re

Once accepted into the RCNP program, students can request their top choice for placement among 32 rural hospitals across the state.

so new, you don’t have a sense of priority of what needs to be done first or how to delegate.” Kirby said 30 percent of nursing graduates exit the field within their first year to seek other careers. She was one of them. As a fresh-faced nurse, Kirby went straight from earning her AA in nursing to working in a hospital. Because she lacked vital clinical experience, she felt completely overwhelmed by the fast pace, multiple responsibilities, and need to learn on-thefly in a stressful environment. So, she left. “I should have been in this program,” Kirby said of RCNP. “I had two weeks of orientation as a brandnew nurse, and I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. It was terrifying.” Kirby notes that the steepest learning curve for new nurses happens in the first 18 months. The idea for RCNP students is that having nearly a month of additional clinical experience will flatten that curve. It also helps them get in the door. A recent survey of the University’s nursing alumni reported 100 percent job placement within a year after graduating. Notably, Kirby reports, RCNP students were more likely to be hired first. “You’re a changed human for having done the program,” Kirby said. “Any time you do something to conquer fear, it changes you. 20

Class Notes Power for Puerto Rico p. 23 Alumni David and Chenoa Rivera star in a new HGTV show, Rustic Rehab.

Advice for Graduating Seniors p. 25 Where My ’Cats At? p. 26

Rustic Rehab It all started with a headache of a house.

When David and Chenoa Rivera purchased their first house together in 2011, it was 70 percent finished. Looking beyond the foreclosure’s lack of flooring and landscaping, the missing lighting and appliances, and a vermin infestation, they realized a little vision and elbow grease could transform it into a lovely home for their growing family. Once the rehabilitation was complete, their second realization hit: “Wow, we can remodel houses,” David said. That first remodel was followed by another, a rental investment. They progressed—from renovating 6 homes in 2014 to 20 in 2017—and are on track to renovate 30 homes this year. Whether a simple facelift or stripping everything to studs, they can transform a home in as little as six weeks. “Our motto has been to get the most beat-up house on the best block,” said David (Recreation Administration, ’08), who finds the houses and manages contractors while Chenoa (Business Administration, ’10) handles the design. Their passion, talent, and success caught the eye of HGTV, which eventually contracted with the Riveras to film a TV series in the style of House Hunters or Flip or Flop. The season premiere of Rustic Rehab aired April 26 and kicked off eight episodes that reflect the last year of their lives. It’s been a whirlwind for the charismatic couple, who met while attending Chico State in 2005. When they contracted with the show, both were still working fulltime jobs—Chenoa in medical sales and David as a special events coordinator—while also running renovations and being parents to their children, ages 5 and 1, and Chenoa’s daughters, ages 17 and 20. “We took this leap of faith. ‘Let’s go all in,’” Chenoa recalled. They admit it was a bit awkward to turn their inner thoughts into show dialogue, as well as cameras watching their every move as they finalized paint colors, discovered wood floors hiding under carpet, or debated herringbone versus chevron patterns for shower tiles. “It doesn’t matter if your kid is sick or just threw up on you, the camera is in your face,” David said. “You have to tell your story, smile, and show America what you are doing.”


The pilot’s ratings were good, and they are hoping Rustic Rehab will debut even higher. But show or no show, the Riveras plan to keep making their mark in home makeovers. “It’s so fun to transform a house no one would love and make it lovable,” Chenoa said. Read more:


C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8


(Business Administration, ’61), retired owner of Northern California Insurance Services in Redding, wrote his first book Coming Home. Published in 2013, this story of international intrigue draws on his memories of his own military experience and his brother’s Air Force flying exploits. It takes place primarily in Russia during the Cold War and follows a Navy pilot who ejects from his aircraft over Siberia. Kirkpatrick enjoyed writing this book in his retirement. His wife,


DON CARLSEN ACCOUNTING, ’69 Now retired after 31 years working in education and 24 years as a wellregarded NFL official, former Wildcats running back and 1998 Chico State Hall of Fame inductee Don Carlsen enjoys being a driving force to reconnect athletes from long-gone sports. He said, “We hope to see many ex-football players and ruggers” at two upcoming reunions in Chico:

2018 CHICO STATE FOOTBALL REUNION JULY 20–21 Events include golf, happy hours, and a banquet. For more information, visit Chico State Football Reunion on Facebook or contact Carlos Jacobo at 707-888-4894. 50-YEAR RUGBY REUNION OCTOBER 6 Festivities include men’s and women’s alumni games, happy hour, and barbeque at Chico Elks Lodge. For more information, visit 50 Years of Chico Rugby on Facebook or contact Charles Cadet at 530-228-3438.

Credential, ’56), died June 4, 2016. She is survived by Howard, four daughters, nine grandchildren, and three greatgrandchildren. They miss her greatly.

STEVE SCHILLING (Business Administration, ’69) opened Clinica Sierra Vista out of a trailer near a field of plums southeast of Bakersfield in 1971 with the then-radical belief that everyone is entitled to quality health care. Today it is the fourth-largest community health center system in the United States, serving a patient population of more than 200,000 at 75 locations in Fresno, Kern, and Inyo counties. Schilling— Clinica’s CEO, a former Peace Corps volunteer, and selfadmitted idealist—has served for more than 20 years on advisory boards for master’s degree programs at CSU Bakersfield, and is a frequent guest speaker. In June 2016, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the CSU Board of Trustees.


while working at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. She was a professor and coordinator in the Department of Early Childhood Studies and the pre-K teacher in the campus children’s center lab school for 37 years before retiring. She is also a Make-A-Wish grant interviewer and court-appointed special advocate, which she will continue in retirement. With her new free time, she plans to travel, hike in state and national parks, and spend time with her husband, two sons, granddaughter, and two godsons.

GARY SCHRECK (Special Major, ’77) retired from the St. Lucie County School District in Florida in 2015 to pursue helping children beyond the constraints of public school support. Schreck is the founder and managing director of Haven Street—A Place for Kids and Teens in Okeechobee, Florida. He and his staff of volunteer mentors seek to meet the social, emotional, and educational needs of children, as well as provide support for parents. He is also active in church, where he teaches children during special services and plays the keyboard in the band. He enjoys returning to Chico to visit his sister and nieces. LAURA (NUNNENKAMP) LOPEZ (Information and

Communication Studies, ’79) moved to Bonn, Germany, in February 2017. She works as director of conference affairs services for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

JOHN MCKALIP (Social Science, ’79; MA, Social Science, ’92) retired in June 2017 after teaching social science for 37 years at Paradise and Colusa High Schools. He lives in Chico and looks forward to more time for running, camping, backpacking, reading, and genealogy.

STEVE DRESLER BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, CHEMISTRY, ’80 After 34 hoppin’ years overseeing the development and production of almost every new beer at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Steve Dresler retired on June 1, 2017. In August, he was honored with a knighthood in the International Order of the Hop, established all the way back in 1371, making him the first American brewmaster to receive the award— an honor he defined as “easily one of the highlights, if not the highlight, of my career.”

JUDITH RIVAS DAL PORTO (Child Development, ’74) obtained an MA in early childhood education from Chapman University 22




ROBERT GRINDY (English, ’82) wrote the book Iced, published in December by Livingston Press. The comic murdermystery features a writing teacher who steals a dead student’s story. Grindy works as an English professor at Richland Community College in Decatur, Illinois, where he lives with his wife, Rosemarie King, and raised two children.

POWER FOR PUERTO RICO When Hurricane Maria unleashed her wrath on Puerto Rico in September 2017, she left catastrophic loss of life and infrastructure in her wake. “For those of us who call it home, it’s devastating,” said Chris Friedland (Political Science, ’99), who moved to the territory three years ago. As the government scrambled to restore access to fuel, food, and clean water, the power grid was devastated. Within days, the founder and former CEO of and his wife, Melissa, had established Power for Puerto Rico, aiming to buy low-cost, high-quality generators to provide power to those most desperately in need. To date, they have raised more than $200,000 and donated an additional $100,000 of their own funds to buy and deliver 290 generators for free. The generators meet more than basic needs such as lighting and refrigeration. They support wells to provide potable water, fuel kitchens to feed the hungry, and power medical devices for those with severe health conditions. They have helped vulnerable populations from children to the elderly in remote areas of the island, including a couple that cooks meals for 300 families. Eight months after the initial devastation, people continue to live without power with no estimate of restoration. The bright light of Power for Puerto Rico was “the right thing to do,” Friedland said.


C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

MATTHEW DEAN (Business Administration, Computer Science, ’85; MS, Computer Science, ’95) served eight years on Campbell City Council from 1996–2004 with stints as vice mayor in 1999 and mayor in 2000. Since 2006, he has been a member of the Campbell Union High School District School Board, including three years as board president. He lives in Campbell, with wife JAYNA DEAN (Nursing, ’83), a charge nurse for Kaiser Permanente, and they have five kids, all grown and doing well. TODD BENSON (Recreation Administration, ’86) is the northwest director of fleet and family readiness programs for the US Navy Federal Service, and previously served as department head director for the US Navy’s morale, welfare, and recreation and fleet and family support programs. He has traveled the world and supported the dedicated US military personnel and families in the state of Washington, Scotland, Spain, and Italy for the past 32 years. His duties include oversight of recreation, hospitality, lodging, clinical counseling, and Wounded Warrior Safe Harbor. He also manages all support services, from human resources to communications. TODD FURMAN (Philosophy, ’86)

is a professor of philosophy at McNeese State University in Louisiana and holds the Murphy/Leaton Professorship in Teaching Excellence. His winning hand includes recent publications: The Ethics of Poker,

published by McFarland in August 2017; “Honor Among Thieves: Ethics in Poker,” published in The Philosophers’ Magazine, Vol. 80; and “Applied Behavior Analysis: Definitional Difficulties,” published in the journal The Psychological Record. Furman and his wife have three children.

CHRISTOPHER HALL (Chemistry, ’88) wrote the book Ward of the Court, published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform in March. The memoir details his efforts to “pull himself up from his bootstraps from the blue-collar streets of Watts and Compton, California, to the threshold of an immensely promising medical career.”

90 LAURA SALTER (Child Development, ’91) works as the director for Signal Peak Early Learning Center. As a seasoned child development professional, she was recently highlighted in the article “AntiBias Early Education and Holiday Celebrations: Staying Neutral,” published by the Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children. NORA “STERRIN” BIRD

(Journalism, ’94) has had a robust career in philanthropy spanning more than 25 years. She recently accepted the position of chief development officer for United Way Bay Area, working to combat the region’s growing poverty. She also works closely with colleagues at United Way Worldwide and with its innovation partner, Salesforce, to launch the Philanthropy Cloud, which will create a marketplace for people to connect to causes they care about.

DAN MICHIE (Business Administration, ’94) spent 18 years in the tractor business with Caterpillar dealers before he made the move to software. He is now senior vice president for the business consulting firm ClearPath Business Advisors in Pleasanton. He chuckles while

remembering the “old saying about Chico graduates being well-rounded” because it’s “so true!” and credits his current job opportunity to his diverse experiences and skill set. He looks forward to hiring fellow Wildcats as consultants. Michie is part of Active Charity, a nonprofit that was founded in 2005 by four Chico State alums who have since raised over $4 million for worthy causes!

00 DANIEL FERRERE (MBA, ’00) was

promoted to plant controller for the restart of Huber Engineered Woods plant in Spring City, Tennessee. He and his wife, Jeanne, live in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee.

ELIZABYTH HISCOX (English, ’01) wrote the poetry collection Reassurance in Negative Space, published this year by Word Galaxy Press, an imprint of Able Muse. Her “tightly, urgently made” poetry drips with double meaning and wordplay that covers an array of unexpected subjects, such as “art, loss, and ecology, reindeer moss, and netsuke, and the precariousness of 1950s high-heeled bedroom slippers.” Hiscox, an assistant professor at Western State Colorado University, is also founding director of the Contemporary Writer Series and associate editor of Western Press Books. ORLANDO JACOBO (Attended, 1997–2002) recently visited Chico State for the first time in more than a decade. Since his time as a student, he has become healthier and has focused on being a good citizen, “just like a Boy Scout.” He still admires the residents of Butte County and keeps good relations with the Chico community. He believes all Chico State students “deserve a big smile and sense of happiness.” JEFF CLIFTON (Special Major, ’03) took an unpaid internship after nine months of applying for jobs after graduation. He later worked at several

boutique animation studios, eventually finding himself at Ternion Pictures, a mini-major production studio. After starting an internship called Crab Cove for Chico State students, he supervised and mentored 56 Wildcats over eight semesters. Fifteen years later, Clifton scored a job at DreamWorks Television and “could not be happier” that his collective experience landed him where he feels he belongs. He wishes every graduate the best of luck and said his favorite fortune cookie quote is, “Dreams will always prevail over reality, when given the chance.” It inspired him during his interview process at DreamWorks, and he hopes it will do the same for others.

KRISTIN CAPRITTO (Political Science, Philosophy, ’04), an attorney, was recognized at the 2017 Night to Honor Service in November for her service on the Eastern District Pro Bono Panel, which comprises volunteer attorneys available for appointment in prisoner civil rights cases. In addition to assisting prisoners in preparations for settlement conferences and mediations, Capritto is an associate at Downey Brand LLP in Sacramento. ALLISON MAUDLIN

(Communication Design, ’04) runs the marketing department for Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit education organization CenterPoint Education Solutions, which promotes equity in education and success for all students. She lives in Louisiana with her husband, TJ MAUDLIN (Journalism, ’04), who works at a company that makes high-end reclaimed wood products. They are excited to visit Chico in October for the Alpha Chi 100-year anniversary.

JOSHUA AKIN (Biological Sciences, ’05) recently completed his master’s degree in clinical research from UC San Diego and works as a clinical laboratory scientist for its Health Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine. He presented his thesis on a topic related to the opioid epidemic.

LESLIE BANES (Liberal Studies, ’06; MA, Education, ’10) is a post-doctoral fellow at UC Davis researching assessment practices for English learners with learning disabilities and teaching classes for future teachers after receiving her PhD in education from UC Davis in 2017. She married LEWIS FELVER (Mathematics, ’07) in 2009. Felver received an MS in mathematics from Cal State East Bay and teaches at Woodland Community College. They live in Sacramento and have a young son. ALYSSA GRASSO (Psychology, ’06) has been working in healthcare since graduation. She is learning how to develop and implement reimbursement and market access strategies for medical device, pharmaceutical, and molecular diagnostic companies. She recently started her own consulting business and it’s going “extremely well.” She is getting married in June and hopes to buy her first home in San Diego by next year. ROBERT TAGGART

(International Relations, ’07) and AMELIA GULLING (English, ’08) married in June 2010 and have two young daughters, Avery and Zoe, and a baby on the way that Robert predicts will be “another girl.” Robert earned his MBA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and Amelia received an MPA with an emphasis in nonprofit management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Robert has worked with Maxim Healthcare Services since December 2011, managing a home health and healthcare staffing business in Reno. Amelia serves students and educators around the country while working for the Desert Research Institute as the K–12 STEM education manager.

NIKKI CURRY JOURNALISM, ’09 Nikki Curry started Grace and Zen, a children’s school of yoga and dance, in Orange County in 2015. Students learn focus, balance, and social skills through yoga, ballet, dress-up, and art. Curry, who is not only the owner but also a teacher, is focusing on expanding her business. Namaste.

LUKE HAM (Religious Studies, ’09) is a senior pastor for the Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel-by-the-Sea, appointed by Bishop Minerva Carcano on July 1, 2017. He is also an ordained elder with the United Methodist Church and received his Master of Divinity from Pacific School 24



What’s your advice for graduating seniors?

College of Agriculture

College of Business

Director at The Bread Lab at Washington State University

CEO of Intero Real Estate Services

“Wake up earlier and show up early to everything, including sunrises. It is not easy—that’s the point. Read outside of your interests. It will help you expand your interests. And I wish I had known earlier in my life that it would all turn out OK.”

“Success is a team sport. You can never underestimate the value of the people you surround yourself with, because you can’t be successful all by yourself. And you constantly need to be filling your head with things that are going to help keep you positive and focused.”

“Be able to work with a variety of people and different perspectives. The ability to communicate is really important no matter what field you are in. That is true whether you are teaching or running your own business or any other career.”

of Religion. He and his wife,

the move to Philadelphia as Telemundo62’s new morning weather anchor.

to Santiago de Chile two weeks after graduation in pursuit of the entrepreneurial opportunity he discovered while studying abroad there in 2015. Upon arrival, he was overwhelmed and frustrated by the unyielding presence of the smartphone and its hindrance of interpersonal connections, but his entrepreneurial instinct was piqued. He soon created Atrapuntos (Beta), a productivity app that provides rewards for keeping your phone locked. Fodor and his team have 43 businesses participating in a demo and are working with universities in Providencia in search of endorsements.

Stephen Jones ’80

MICHELLE SCULLY MS, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, ’95 Michelle Scully wrote her first book, Broken: Tales of a Titanium Cowgirl, published in August 2017 by Spinning Sevens Press. The book shares the journey of her calamitous riding accident, devastating injury, and the journey that followed—an adventure of wreck, wonder, and recovery filled with tales of horses, brokenness, faith, dogs, nature, riding, and, most importantly, redemption.



(Liberal Studies, ’09; Credential, ’09) live in Carmel.


Engineering, ’09) moved to Orlando, Florida, to work for HNTB, a national engineering consulting company. For the last three years, he has worked at the Florida Turnpike Enterprise as a project manager responsible for managing multimillion-dollar projects and various programs.


(Communication Design, ’17) worked at KHSL/KNVN for two years before landing a new job at the No. 4 television market in the nation. The forecast looks bright and sunny for this Wildcat, as she recently made

C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

Tom Tognoli ’88


(Biochemistry, ’17) is attending medical school in Antigua and Barbuda at American University of Antigua: College of Medicine.


(Kinesiology, ’10; MA, Kinesiology, ’12) taught and coached basketball at Delta College in Stockton before becoming a fitness manager for 24-Hour Fitness. She and her husband welcomed their first child, a daughter named Maryn, in November. Samantha has since started a commercial refrigeration business with her father. Having played Chico State basketball from 2007–09, she sends a “Go Wildcats!” cheer to all her fellow studentathletes.

JUSTIN FODOR (Business Administration, ’16) moved

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Sheryl Luzzadder Beach ’82 Chair of the geography and environment department at University of Texas at Austin

BRANDON FUGITT (Business Administration, ’16) began to work for TTi, Inc., who recruited him during a Chico State career fair. Fugitt has had three roles in two years with the company, from event marketing and sales in the field in Atlanta, to his promotion as sourcing agent

Support Tomorrow’s Leaders

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

College of Communication and Education

Timothy Beach ’82

Lori McAdams ’83

Professor in the geography and environment department at University of Texas at Austin

Vice president of human resources and administration at Pixar Animation Studios

“Find your love of doing your work, what keeps you doing it in the middle of the night or on Saturday when most people would be interested in doing other things. You are accomplished when it’s still an endless fascination and you can’t wait to get back to it.”

“Keep an open mind. When you’re first starting out, you may not even realize what it is that brings you inspiration, challenges, or passion. Think broadly about what you might want to do and talk with as many people as you can to learn what they do and what they enjoy about it. ”

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management

Gary Z. Watters ’57

Retired faculty in the civil engineering department at Chico State

“The most valuable thing you can carry with you throughout your career and professional life is your integrity. Nothing is more important than being able to earn respect and the ability to be trusted.”

for the corporate location in Greenville, South Carolina.

MEREDITH HUDDLESON (Liberal Studies, ’11) works as the records lead in the Office of the Registrar at Chico State and is on her way to an MA in interdisciplinary studies, with a focus on religious studies and literature. Her husband, AUSTIN HUDDLESON (Psychology, ’15), is an academic advisor for the College of Business. The couple met at Chico State while working in the testing office and married November 11 at Butte Creek Country Club. They share a love for travel and were able to head across the pond to England for their honeymoon. SANDRA KAZANJIAN-GOSTANIAN

(Credential, ’10) felt “honored to win” the Adapted Physical Education (APE) Teacher of the Year. She lives in Fresno, where she has been a fulltime APE specialist for Madera County Office of Education

Gifts to the Chico State Fund have an immediate impact on students. Text “CHICO” to 41444 or call 530-898-4488 ONLINE:


Chico State Fund-0999 CSU, Chico Chico, CA 95929-0999 A donor-funded award helped agriculture major Kaeli McCarther achieve her dream of becoming the first in her family to graduate from college.

Where My ’Cats At? Austin Redfern (Public Relations, French, ’17) is the community manager for a French e-sports company based out of Station F—the largest startup campus in the world. Redfern works for BeatMe, which allows gamers to challenge others and earn rewards. He fell in love with Paris while studying abroad his junior year, sparking his dream to live there after graduation. Send a note and photo showcasing your Wildcat spirit around the world to 26



What’s your advice for graduating seniors?

since 2008. She also finds time to teach tennis lessons at Sunnyside Health and Tennis Club, volunteers as a wheelchair tennis instructor for Valley Children’s Hospital, and coaches multiple sports. Sandra’s greatest joy is spending time with her four children and grandchildren.


(Communications Studies, ’16) works as the senior executive assistant to the CEO for Wasatch Mental Health in Utah. She describes her decision to attend Chico State as one of her best and continues to use much of what she learned here in her job every day.

ELLEN SAMPSON (Biological Sciences, ’17) began an accelerated master’s program at Georgetown University in August 2017. In May, she will receive her master’s degree in physiology and biophysics and start medical school applications. There’s no stopping Sampson on her higher education quest, and she is “incredibly excited” to see where her degrees take her.

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

College of Natural Sciences

Distinguished Alumni Service Award

President of Butte College

Executive director at Tehama County Health Services

Retired educator

Samia Yaqub ’89

“Keep learning, and realize that college is for just one phase of a very long life. You never know where your career is going to take you or who is going to become that important person in your professional life. No matter what it is you are doing, give it your all because there is so much to learn.”

Valerie Lucero ’83 “Pursue your passion, while looking at career paths and degrees that lead to a job at the end. Take advantage of career services and activities that may give you some additional skills. Be open to opportunities and expand your realm of possibilities.”


Christina Nichols ’70, ’74, ’90 “I wish somebody had told me when you start out on a career, it’s normal to possibly not be happy with that choice. When you are making a decision to pursue a certain subject area or career choice, you probably will change that career choice. And instead of punishing yourself over those kinds of changes, embrace them.”


May 1 Senior Send-Off, Chico State campus 11:30 a.m.


Have you recently changed jobs, been promoted, or started your own business? Perhaps you’ve gotten married, crossed something off your personal bucket list, or achieved a lifelong dream. Send an email to to share where life has taken you since your days at Chico State.

THE CHICO EXPERIENCE WEEK OCTOBER 6–15, 2018 Reunite, reminisce, and make new friends. With events and activities including performances, tours, speakers, and more, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re celebrating a reunion or just want to see what’s new at Chico State, come and join the fun.

June 23 Bocce Ball Mixer in San Jose, Bay Area Chapter Campo di Bocce, 4:30 p.m.

The Chico Experience Week brings Chico State students, alumni, parents, and friends together for 10 days of fun, education, and reconnection with friends, the campus, and the wonderful city of Chico. Whether you already live in Butte County or haven’t been back in a while, you are sure to enjoy The 5th Annual Chico Experience!

JULY C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

July 21 A’s vs. Giants “Battle of the Bay” Oakland Coliseum 6:05 p.m.



June 1 Chico Heat vs. Gems, Young Alumni Network, Chico 6:35 p.m.

August 18 Oakland Zoo Clean-up, Bay Area Chapter 8:45 a.m.

Fond Farewells The University and Alumni Association note with sorrow the passing of our alumni, students, and colleagues. Alumni

Faculty and Staff*

Ellen (Martin) Boyer, (Education, Credential, ’42)

Estella “Jean” Denney (Health Science, ’72), Health and Community Services, 1972–2000

Steven Dean Christensen (Liberal Studies, ’79, Credential, ’82)

Charles “Chuck” Genthe, English, 1966–99

Stacee (Rodrigues) Etcheber (Attended)

Ted Herrera, Nutrition and Food Science, 2013–18

Elmo Franchi (Attended, 1957-59)

Leo Kirchhoff, School of Education, 1968–2002

William “Bill” Grierson, (Sociology, ’67) Richard Hayden, (Social Science, ’52; MA, Teaching Social Sciences, ’53; Credential, ’53) Jacqueline (Hendrix) Kirkpatrick, (Education, ’56; Credential, ’56)

Donna Lewis, Meriam Library, 1969–94 Hede “Henry” Ma, Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2000–17 Ralph Morales, Nutrition and Food Science, 1986–92

Michael “Mike” McGrath (Business Administration, ’68)

James “Jim” Overholt, School of Education, 1970–2015


Ann Pierce, Art, 1964–89

Zachary Baggins, Computer Animation and Game Development Brittni Frace, Exercise Physiology Bryna “Brynn” Frace, Civil Engineering Kyle LaForce, Mechanical Engineering Tyler Van Rossen, Communication Studies

Barbara Seawall, Meriam Library, 1970–85 William “Bill” Shrum, Speech and Hearing Clinic, 1977–94 Karen Sorsby, International Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, 1993–2016 Steve Stephens, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, 1963–94 Cecil Sumpter, Facilities Management and Services, 1968–87 * Years of service

Beulah “Lynn” Lemm Balmer,

(Credential, ’27) died December 9, 2017, at the age of 110. She was the oldest living Chico State alumna. After graduation from the Chico State Teacher’s College in 1927, she taught in Susanville for four years, leaving to earn a BA in mathematics and a secondary teaching credential from University of California, Berkeley. She went on to teach at Albany High School and served as head of its math department. In 1943, Balmer joined the US Coast Guard Women’s Reserve. In 1945, she returned to teaching and finished her career in 1967 in Seattle, the city where she met her husband of 55 years, Charles. While in Seattle, a friend introduced her to ice skating, and it became a favorite hobby. She earned the US Figure Skating Association’s Bronze Award in ice dancing and qualified for the Olympics, but did not participate. 28

Last Look 1. The “Super Blue Blood Moon,” a celestial trifecta last visible in the United States in 1866, rises behind Trinity Hall on January 31, 2018.


2. A student views the And Then There Were Four… exhibit in the Masters in Fine Arts Gallery featuring work by MFA candidate Tonantzin Esquivel. 3. The trees are alive with songbirds as spring settles on campus. 4. Fair weather fills Kendall lawn with students like physics major Kaylene Baird. 5. Students celebrate the arrival of spring at the annual Holi festival hosted by the Indian Students Association. photos 1, 2, 4: Jason Halley / University Photographer 3: Jessica Bartlett / University Photographer 5: Tyler Wright / Student Photographer

3 4




C H I C O S TAT E M E N T S S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

You can change lives. The cost of a Chico State education has risen steadily over the past 30 years, but our commitment to providing a quality education remains steadfast. Tower Society donors allow Chico State to distribute more than 1,000 scholarships annually—you can help us do more. You can fund scholarships, academic programs, cocurricular opportunities, faculty-student research, or any area you care about and join our community of leadership donors. Together, we will transform more lives than ever before.

The cost of a Chico State education:

$7,348 Undergraduate Tuition & Fees

$1,854 Books & Supplies

$11,862 Room & Board

$2,506 Transportation & Personal Expenses


TOTAL ANNUAL COST OF ATTENDANCE Whitney Branham, a senior majoring in biology with aspirations to go on to medical school, is the recipient of the Marilyn Niepoth Women’s Basketball Endowed Scholarship. She credits the financial support for enabling her to focus on her academics and role as a starting guard on the women’s basketball team.

With a gift of $1,500 or more, you can support tomorrow’s leaders. Learn more about the Tower Society at You can also learn more about scholarship giving by visiting and selecting Ways to Give.

California State University, Chico University Communications 400 W. First Street Chico, CA 95929-0040

Looking Back

Students wait to ring up at the campus bookstore, as captured in the 1962 Record yearbook for Chico State College.

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

Chico Statements Spring 2018  

Notice anything different? This edition of Chico Statements reflects a redesign many months—if not years—in the making. Our revamped look i...

Chico Statements Spring 2018  

Notice anything different? This edition of Chico Statements reflects a redesign many months—if not years—in the making. Our revamped look i...