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A Heart-to-Heart Conversation With the Retiring President












Forty-seven new assistant and associate professors joined the ranks at California State University, Chico in 2015, following 37 others who hit the ground running the prior year. With these new hires, the University is well on its way toward meeting President Paul Zingg’s goal of 100 new tenure-track faculty by 2017. Drawn from near and far—UC Davis to Berklee College of Music in Spain—new faculty have been added to each of CSU, Chico’s seven colleges. The cohort’s wide-ranging specialties and award-winning research will strengthen the University’s academic programs and enhance student learning as they work “hands-on” to provide CSU, Chico students with the tools and opportunities to make a difference in the world. 1. Dennis O'Connor, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and Sustainable Manufacturing 2. Adam Irish, Political Science 3. Michael Chao, Agriculture 4. Jude Bayham, Agriculture 5. Gema Knipe, Nursing 6. Bradley Martin, Music and Theatre 7. Jennifer Malkowski, Communication Arts and Sciences 8. Qingzhong Ma, Finance and Marketing 9. Sarah Anderson, International Languages, Literatures, and Cultures 10. Patrick Johnson, Psychology 11. Kristen Kaczynski, Geological and Environmental Sciences 12. Jerome Pouwels, Art and Art History 13. Hannah Aird, Geological and Environmental Sciences 14. Essia Hamouda El Hafsi, Computer Science 15. Feng He, Kinesiology. Photos by Jason Halley. 10








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


From the President


From the Editor




Campus Collage


Alumni Association News


In Memoriam

Onward and upward

A happy return to campus


What’s happening at the University


Chapter news, alum highlights, Wildcats on the Move


Alumni, faculty, and staff remembered

ON THE COVER Chico State’s Paul Zingg Says Goodbye is an egg tempera painting by Mark Ulriksen (BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’80). The award-winning illustrator recently completed his 52nd cover for The New Yorker, and has contributed to Rolling Stone, Time, and Newsweek. He created this piece to honor University President Paul Zingg’s upcoming retirement.

Chico Statements is printed on postconsumer recycled fiber paper.


reflects on 13 years serving Chico State.

12 Life After Death | Nursing student Kristina Chesterman's legacy

of compassion has touched the global community.

16 Rebuilt. Remembered. Reconnected. | The Gus Manolis

Bridge is rebuilt and re-dedicated after being destroyed by a falling tree.


Getting Wild in the Great Outdoors | Wildcat Wilderness


Retirement Reimagined | Faculty emeriti Bob James and

From A to Zingg | Retiring University President Paul Zingg

Orientation program prepares students for college life and beyond. Dolores Mitchell are rediscovering themselves after Chico State.





Onward and upward We are in the top five of all 23 CSU campuses for our four-, five-, and six-year graduation rates for first-time freshmen. We were recently listed by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of four exemplary institutions in the country that are demonstrating success and best practices in turning the tide of alcohol abuse and disruptive student behavior on campuses. We were the only school in the CSU and in California to receive a perfect score on the U.S. Department of Education’s initial College Scorecard in 2013. We repeated this perfect score in 2015.


t my annual fall convocation on August 20, I announced my decision to retire at the end of this academic year, my 13th as Chico State’s president. As I explained to a standing-room-only audience, this decision was informed by personal health issues, my love for my family, the best interests of the University to have ample time to undertake a successful presidential search, and the words of the American poet Robert Frost that “I have promises to keep / and miles to go before I sleep.” That announcement focused on the future, not just for me personally, but for the University. Both come together in my role during a presidential transition. I have several key ways to contribute to its success: to make the transition as smooth as possible, to keep pushing the University’s current agenda forward, and to ensure that stability, continuity, and strength characterize the campus’s senior leadership team as it greets and supports Chico State’s next president. I also told the audience that there would be opportunities and occasions in the months ahead for them—and me—to reflect on our time together. This column, because it is such a treasured means of communicating with our alumni and friends, affords just such an opportunity. Your loyalty and enthusiasm for the University have never failed to inspire and remind me of what we are here to accomplish. It only seems right that I begin these reflections with a few highlights of what Chico State has accomplished since my appointment. To be sure, there are so many more that could be listed. But these give you a sense of how far we have come and where we are headed: From 2003 through the close of the last fiscal year, the University raised $76.3 million from thousands of generous and loyal supporters. The University’s endowment has doubled, and we have celebrated the single largest cash gift— $2 million—ever received from an individual donor.



e have consistently been rated among the top W “best value” colleges in the country by Forbes magazine and as a “vet-friendly” institution by several publications and agencies. This fall, we have enrolled the most diverse freshman class in our history. Fifty-eight percent of our new first-time freshmen identified themselves as non-white. A decade ago that percentage was 21.8. We have achieved national recognition as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, because more than 25 percent of our entire student body is Hispanic or Latino. We also enrolled, this fall, the strongest academic class in our history, with a 3.44 average high school GPA. Over the last dozen years, Wildcat intercollegiate teams and individual athletes have won 56 California Collegiate Athletic Association titles, qualified for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships 114 times, won 30 NCAA West Regional championships, and won 14 NCAA national titles. We have built a university of which every student, alumnus, parent, faculty, staff, community member, and citizen of California can be proud. And the best is yet to come. For just as past is prologue, so too is high performance the consequence of high expectations. As these highlights indicate, we continue to reach important new milestones in serving our mission and strengthening the confidence of our stakeholders. And we continue to demonstrate the happy congruence of goals that are both aspirational and realistic. Chico State’s next president will bring fresh eyes and energy to the work ahead. And he or she undoubtedly will take the University to the next level of distinction and quality. No one will want to see that happen more than me, because no one is more aware of the promise of our University than me. So, onward … and upward! } —Paul J. Zingg, President

Editor Ashley Gebb (’08) Designer Christian Burke (’94) Assistant Editor Zachary Phillips (’15) Contributing Editors Sarah Langford, Kate Post, Nicole Williams (’09), Luke Reid (’04, ’09) University Photographer Jason Halley (’05) Contributing Illustrator Mark Ulriksen (’80) President Paul J. Zingg Vice President for University Advancement Ahmad Boura Director of Public Affairs and Publications Joe Wills (’07) Assistant Vice President for Alumni and Parent Relations Susan Anderson Creative Director Alan Rellaford (’82) 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 530-898-4143 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 TEL 530-898-4143; FAX 530-898-4264 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. Send mailing address updates to: © 2015, California State University, Chico, an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

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Letters AL CULVER: HE WILL BE MISSED I was greatly saddened to learn of the death of economics professor Al Culver in the spring issue of Chico Statements. He was one of those professors that made Chico such a special place to go to college. I had him for microeconomics and a seminar on taxation theory that made my head spin. Beyond the classroom, he was a great guy to hang out with at those infamous econ socials of the late ’70s, and I had the luck to spend a few afternoons debating the economics of cheap beer with him. The night before my oral presentation for taxation theory, he kept me out way late playing pool—and still made me present. He was a great guy who cared about his students. Somewhere, my guess is that Al is making Ayn Rand spin in her grave. —John McDonald (BA, Political Science ’79) SWIM TEAM AN HISTORICAL FORCE I was happy to see that Patrick Smith had won three consecutive NCAA titles in track and field, but was disappointed that it was written that he was the first Chico State athlete ever to win three NCAA titles. The former Chico State swimming team had at least three athletes who won more than three NCAA titles in their four years at Chico State, including one swimmer who won three titles in one year. Pete Hoveland, Dave Tittle, and Larry Gates are three swim team athletes who I know won more than three titles, and there may be more. The swim team was cut by the athletic department in 1993. The team had won four consecutive NCAA titles from 1973 through 1976, and never finished out of the top 10 from 1972 through 1992. The swim team also held the Far Western Conference record for most consecutive dual-meet victories and most consecutive conferencemeet championships. In addition, there were over 200 NCAA All-America honors during this run of success. The swim team recorded several dual-meet victories over NCAA Division I schools. Chico State swimming was known nationwide as a swimming powerhouse. When I traveled to graduate school in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and participated in club water polo, all the swimmers knew about Chico swimming.



hico State and I always seemed to have a serendipitous relationship. In August 2003, I moved into the dorms and launched into life as a Wildcat, still unsure if I had made the right decision or what was in store. Yet, within days, I fell in love with the college and the community. For five years, Chico State was the center of my life, and, like many, after graduation I couldn’t bear to leave. I continued living in Chico while working in daily newspapers, until August 2015—12 years to the week after moving into Shasta Hall— when I returned to campus as the University’s publications editor. Now employed at the place where I discovered myself, met my fiancé, created countless lasting friendships, and honed the skills that paved the path to my career, I am incredibly happy to be back. And what better job could I ask for than to share with you what our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and supporters are up to? As John Pugh (BA, Art, ’83) returned to campus this fall to re-create his mural Academe on the new arts and humanities building (below), we talked about how the much-missed icon was his first commissioned project. It launched his career, but more importantly, the mural served as a lifelong connection to campus and has always held a soft spot in his heart. That’s exactly the kind of story I want to hear—how Chico State has left its mark on you, just as it affected John and me. I want to fill these pages with lively, up-to-date stories about the fun, fascinating, and impactful lives you lead, whether you’ve launched a business, married your college sweetheart, or are devoting yourself to a nonprofit overseas. Contact me at agebb@ to share your accolades, accomplishments, and adventures. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.} —Ashley Gebb, Publications Editor Photos by Jason Halley

—Eric Moore (BA, Biology, ’80) Swim Team ’78, ’79 NCAA II All-America Swimming Team ’78 EDITOR’S NOTE: Patrick Smith is the first three-time champion in any of the Wildcats’ 13 current intercollegiate athletic programs. A correction ran in the spring issue. Read about another swim team alum on page 26.

Write us at

The Taylor Hall mural, Academe, was painted in 1980–1981 by alum John Pugh when he was still a student. When the building was demolished in late 2013, the University collaborated with Pugh to re-create the campus icon on the new arts and humanities building. The work was completed in November 2015. CHICO STATEments



Inspired by the tale of an opium clipper that wrecked off California’s Mendocino coast in 1850, former students—now anthropology alums—Matthew Ritenour and Arik Bord aimed to give new life to the ship’s legend. Together, they worked with students, faculty, and staff in the CSU, Chico Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology (ALVA) to produce the documentary film Impact of the Frolic, which received a Northern California-area Emmy Award for 2014–15. At the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco in June, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded the film top honors in the historic/cultural program category. Impact of the Frolic chronicles the narrative of Chinese pottery that was left in the hands of local Native Americans after the wreck, and traces the research of archaeologist Thomas Layton to understand a shipwreck that connected multiple countries and cultures during California’s formative years. “The credit for this film goes to the students who produced it. We are proud of their success and grateful From left, CSU, Chico staff member Daniel Bruns and anthropology alums Matthew Ritenour, for the support we have received from the University, the Arik Bord, and Robert Stevens accept Emmy awards for their film, Impact of the Frolic, in June. community, and the National Science Foundation. We look forward to collaborating with our students and colleagues to in 2010 with support from the National Science Foundation and produce more excellent anthropological documentary films,” the University. ALVA’s mission is to communicate the results of says ALVA director and anthropology professor Brian Brazeal. anthropological research to the widest possible audiences by producing The film was created by Ritenour (BA, ’13), its director; Bord (BA, documentary films for television broadcast. ’14), the director of photography and dive unit; Robert Stevens (MA, The Public Broadcasting System aired Impact of the Frolic several ’14), who composed the original score; and Hannah Bottenfield, who times on its station KVIE in Sacramento. The film also was shown ran the second camera. They collaborated with editor Daniel Bruns, in a ship-shaped theater inside the Valene L. Smith Museum of an ALVA lab technician, and Brazeal as the executive producer. The Anthropology as part of a greater student project. production was supported by Valene L. Smith, and Robert Benner, Interested in seeing the documentary? Watch it online at and producer Georgia Fox, director of the Valene L. Smith Museum} of Anthropology. ALVA is a part of the Department of Anthropology and was built Sarah Langford, Public Affairs and Publications

Photo courtesy of Chico State Calling Center

Calling Center Students Set Record with $1 Million in Pledges

Student callers set a campus record in fiscal year 2014–15 by securing more than $1 million in gift pledges.



For the first time in the 20-year history of the Calling Center at CSU, Chico, student callers generated more than $1 million in gift pledges in a single fiscal year. In 2014–15, Chico State Calling Center students secured $1,055,7163 in pledges to the University. Last year, alumni and University supporters pledged $941,000; in recent years the average has been about $750,000. Annual Fund Assistant Director Allen Lunde said a shift in the Calling Center’s process has made it easier for students to successfully secure gifts. “This was our first full year of accepting multi-year pledges from donors,” Lunde says. “Instead of asking how much they could give us this year, [our students are now] asking donors to establish regular giving. So, someone who was giving us $100 per year could give $800 over the next eight years.” Nearly $300,000 of this year’s gift commitments have been in sustaining pledges, Lunde says. “That’s money we don’t have to ask for next year.” Located in Sapp Hall, the Chico State Calling Center is a part of the Division of University Advancement and generates the largest amount of support for the Chico State Annual Fund. The Annual Fund advances academic excellence by funding scholarships, retaining and recruiting top-notch faculty, and sustaining innovative academic and community enrichment programs, among other things.} Sarah Langford, Public Affairs and Publications

Photo courtesy of National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

ALVA-Produced Film on Mysterious Shipwreck Wins Emmy Award

University Police Chief Appointed

John Feeney, a captain and longtime member of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), has been appointed chief of CSU, Chico’s University Police Department. Feeney replaces former chief Robyn Hearne, who served University Police for 11 years before her retirement in early 2015. Retired Chico Police Department Chief Bruce Hagerty served as acting police chief until Feeney’s start July 1. Feeney’s most recent position for the SFPD was commanding officer of the traffic division at the San Francisco International Airport. Prior to that assignment, Feeney was commanding officer of the SFPD Crime Information Services Division, which includes records management, property control, and data collection and analysis. Feeney earned his BA in management and MA in leadership from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. He has attended the Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston and the Law Enforcement Command College in Sacramento.

Jacquez Selected as ECC Dean

Ricardo Jacquez, former dean of the college of engineering at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces, New Mexico, has been named dean of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management (ECC) at CSU, Chico. On August 1, he replaced Ben Juliano, who had served as interim dean of ECC since 2013 and is now interim associate dean. Jacquez began his 31-year career at NMSU as a civil engineering professor and later as head of the civil engineering department. He became dean in 2010. At NMSU, he served as founding director of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, which works to improve diversity among graduates of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs. Over the course of his career, he has served as principal investigator for more than 30 grants totaling approximately $40 million. Jacquez holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from NMSU and a doctorate from Virginia Tech, all in civil engineering. He also received the NSF’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Scott Seaton Named Music Director

Award-winning conductor Scott Seaton has been named the music director of the North State Symphony. He began his new position in August. Seaton served for three seasons as music director of the Minot Symphony Orchestra in North Dakota, where he conducted classical, family, educational, and pops concerts, and worked with internationally acclaimed guest artists. He also has served as assistant conductor of Festival Opera in Walnut Creek and has held posts with the Kent State University Orchestra, the Lakeland Civic Orchestra, and the Nashville Youth Symphony. Seaton won the 2011 Interaktion conductor competition in Berlin and was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition in Frankfurt, Germany. He replaces Kyle Wiley Pickett, who completed his 14-year tenure as music director with a final performance in May 2014.

University Tops National Rankings

CSU, Chico was ninth in the most recent ranking of regional public universities in the western United States by U.S. News & World Report magazine, published in September. CSU, Chico has ranked in the top 10 of the U.S News rankings since 1998, when the list originated. The University also was ranked No. 28 this year in the western category of Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang for the Buck Colleges,” and No. 96 out of 673 master’s degree-granting universities in that magazine’s College Guide rankings. In August, the University was once again named to the Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” list highlighting the nation’s greenest colleges and universities.

Freshman Program Receives Social Justice Award

Recognized for its dedication to equal-access education, CSU, Chico’s Raising Educational Achievement in Collaborative Hubs (REACH) program has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Nicholas Michelli Award for Promoting Social Justice. The award is sponsored by the National Network for Educational Renewal, a membership network that seeks to improve the quality of learning experiences in schools and provide equal access to education for all students. REACH was recognized for its dedication to serving low-income and first-generation college students; its promotion of collaboration between student peers, faculty, and staff; and its mission of improving learning conditions

for all students at CSU, Chico. Some of the criteria for the award include evidence of focused work on issues of equity and evidence that social justice is a constant focus for the group. Recently created under the Chico Student Success Program, REACH seeks to foster the academic success of first-time freshmen.

Sustainability Champion Awarded

Fletcher Alexander, sustainability coordinator for the University’s Institute of Sustainable Development, was named the California State University Sustainability Champion for 2015, an honor that acknowledges his work to make his campus, community, and the CSU system more sustainable. Alexander (BA, Economics, ’10) received the award July 21 during a ceremony at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference hosted by San Francisco State University. The Sustainability Champion is the only individual-level award presented at the conference and is given to the person who has been a sustainability role model to his or her peers around the state.

Public Radio Manager Hired

Beth Lamberson, former general manager of KSUT Public Radio in Durango, Colorado, is the new general manager of North State Public Radio (NSPR). She officially started in her new position October 5. Lamberson worked at KSUT Public Radio for 18 years in the positions of general manager and development director. KSUT serves the Four Corners region, including the communities of Durango and Farmington, New Mexico, as well as the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Since 2010, Lamberson has also headed Lamberson Capital, a public relations, fundraising, and event management firm based in Durango. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Utah State University and has a master’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado at Denver. In her new role, Lamberson oversees all operations of the station including news, engineering, business, and fundraising. NSPR, which includes stations KCHO Chico and KFPR Redding, is licensed to the CSU, Chico Research Foundation, an auxiliary to the University.} CHICO STATEments




Cross Country Alum Moves From Walk-On to World Class Story by Nick Woodard Photos courtesy of Tim Tollefson

Tim Tollefson ran his first ultramarathon in September 2014 at the USA Track & Field 50-kilometer Trail Championships in Bend, Oregon. Here, he trains near his home in Mammoth Lakes.


im Tollefson chatted with a hiker bound for the John Muir Trail one morning this summer. The stranger planned to make the 28-mile journey from Tuolumne Meadows to Agnew Meadows in three days. His eyes widened when Tollefson said the route would take him about four hours. He's used to that kind of reaction. “I get a lot of blank stares, open mouths, and people asking ‘Are you crazy?’” Tollefson said. “It is crazy. It just happens to be a crazy that fuels my passion.” The former Chico State steeplechase and cross country star has an admittedly unusual talent for running ultramarathons, a type of race longer than 26.2 miles. Tollefson was the 2014 USA 50-kilometer Trail National Champion and this year took second at one of the most unique and prestigious ultramarathons in the world, a 101-kilometer race stretching from Italy to France. His marathons and ultramarathons are quite

a leap from his 3-mile high school courses and the 8ks and 10ks he ran in college. "It's a huge challenge, chasing a marathon. It's not an event where you can restructure your focus and do another one the following week," Tollefson said. "It's something that you don't take for granted. You don't know when you might get another opportunity, so when it goes well, it's something you really cherish."

— LOVE ON THE RUN — When Tollefson walked on to the Chico State track team as a rookie in 2003, he hit the ground running— bumping his mileage from 35 to almost 90 miles a week. Four years later, he won the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) steeplechase championship with a 9-minute, 9-second performance. He became a three-time National Collegiate Association (NCAA) championship qualifier and a two-time NCAA championship finalist, and also found success in cross country, taking third in the 2007 NCAA Western Regional Championships. When Tollefson graduated with a BS in exercise physiology in 2008, both he and head coach Gary Towne felt he had unfinished business. It was Towne who encouraged him to make qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials his next goal. “He was really just starting to find himself as a runner,” Towne said. “He knew, and I knew, that he had it in him to run at that level.” In 2012, Tollefson qualified for the Olympic Marathon In September, Tim Tollefson (left), placed second in the Courmayeur Champex Trials, finishing just under the Chamonix, a nearly 63-mile trek that includes 20,000 feet of climbing. Watch a 2-hour, 19-minute standard with video of Tollefson crossing the finish line at



a personal best: 2:18:26. The next year, the Olympic qualifying mark was lowered to 2:18:00, and Tollefson missed it by 30 seconds. In a subsequent attempt in June 2014, success eluded him by a minute. Frustrated, he decided to take a break and explore the hundreds of miles of trails that surround his home in Mammoth Lakes. For companionship, he was joined by his wife, Lindsay Tollefson, another Wildcat cross country standout who has furthered her running reputation post-college. Lindsay Tollefson (then Nelson) was the 2007 CCAA 10-kilometer champion, eventually finishing the same season with a 10th-place NCAA 10k finish. She was also a part of the 2007 Chico State women's cross country team that finished fourth at the NCAA championships, where she placed 46th overall. After dating during and after college, the couple married in 2012. The following year, they ran the California International Marathon with a combined time of 5 hours—he in 2:18:29 and she in 2:41:31— and are believed to have set a new record for the fastest marathon run by a married couple in the same event. — HITTING THE TRAILS — The Tollefsons have run countless races together, pacing each other and cheering each other across finish lines. When Tollefson decided he was done running roads, his wife opted to hit the trails alongside him. With a new challenge came newfound love. “On the road, I can run as hard as I possibly can and close my eyes and push through the pain. On the trails, I have to open my eyes and actually focus. If I don’t, I’ll fall,” said Lindsay Tollefson, noting that her husband coaxes her normally cautious self to not worry. “To run these races, you have to be fearless.” Conquering narrow trails and 4,000 feet of climbing, Tollefson ran his first ultramarathon in September 2014 at the USA Track and Field 50k Trail Championships in

Bend, Oregon. He won in record time, finishing in 3:24:24, three minutes ahead of the previous course record. “It was like running a cross country race that never ended,” Tollefson said. “We were hammering corners, up and down. It was pretty enjoyable.” The Tollefsons both have completed several other 35K, 50K, and 50-mile trail adventures. In their most challenging moments, Tim Tollefson reminds himself pain is only temporary. “The pain of quitting lasts so much longer than the physical pain you have after a race,” he said. “Pulling the plug and giving up is something that haunts you.” This September, Tollefson took on the Courmayeur Champex Chamonix, a nearly 63-mile trek through Italy, Switzerland, and France that includes five major mountain passes and over 20,000 feet of climbing. After 12 hours of running, he crossed the finish line in second place. Adrenalinefilled, he bounced up and down in pure excitement, waving and blowing kisses to the crowd. “It still kind of gives me chills,” he said. “It’s a very emotional and raw experience, and it’s hard to describe without actually going through it. I didn’t win, but in a lot of ways it feels like a victory.” — MARKING HIS MILES — Moving forward, he plans on taking another shot at the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials, which Lindsay Tollefson has already qualified for after reaching the standard in January 2014. She is one of at least six Wildcat alums who have qualified. For now, Tollefson will keep running in Mammoth, where he works as a physical therapist and physiologist at the S.P.O.R.T Center and Performance Lab, treating a diverse population of athletes, including runners, cyclists, and skiers. He has endless trails to train on and the ideal running partner in his wife, who took third place at this year’s USA Track and Field 50k Trail Championships. Both have been signed to the Nike Elite Trail team, and say running together is their favorite adventure. “We always focus on the same goals and same races. We typically have the same workouts and same race,” Lindsay Tollefson said. “It’s been really nice to have someone to suffer with.” She fondly remembers her husband’s support at the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon, in which she finished second in 2010. His encouragement was strongest in the last three miles as he ran alongside her, pacing her to an Olympic Trials time. “There was a lot of pain at that point. He was screaming at me like it was life or death. I was well under the mark, but it was really encouraging,” she said. “He carried me through the whole race to my first Olympic Trials mark, which is pretty special.” Running ultramarathons fuels two of Tollefson’s greatest passions: spending time with his wife and exploring the majestic mountains he calls home. “Just being able to go out and get lost in some amazing wilderness is something that brings me great joy,” he said. “Having that opportunity every day, it seems unfair that I get to do this.” Maybe he’s not so crazy after all. } Nick Woodard is Chico State’s sports information assistant. A senior journalism major, he'll graduate in the spring with a double emphasis in news and public relations, and a minor in creative writing.

Tim Tollefson, left, and wife Lindsay Tollefson at the Lake Sonoma 50-miler in April 2015

Setting the Record

The Chico State men’s cross country team set a new CCAA standard for consecutive team titles in any sport October 26 with its 14th straight conference crown in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Soon after the women’s team won its eighth straight CCAA title behind the 1-2 finish of McCall Habermehl and Sadie Gastelum, the men’s team sent five of the first eight runners across the finish line, led by winner Will Reyes and runner-up Steven Martinez. Alums from around the state witnessed the historic event, including many members of the first 13 CCAA championship men’s teams. Reyes and Habermehl earned CCAA Runner of the Year honors, and Wildcats Head Coach Gary Towne was the CCAA Coach of the Year for the men and women.

Nuño’s Night

Magic of McGuirk

Alex McGuirk added one more magical moment to his Chico State distance legacy in May at the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships in Allendale, Michigan—he broke his own school record. In finishing second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase final, he also earned All-America honors in his final collegiate race. It was the second straight All-America award for McGuirk. He's a three-time CCAA steeplechase champion and also won the CCAA cross country crown in the fall.

Wildcat Family Night Chico State junior Omar Nuño netted the first “hat trick” by a men’s soccer player since 2008 in the Wildcats’ 5-2 win against CSU, East Bay on October 3. He scored three goals in the first 30 minutes of play, becoming the program's 19th player to record a hat trick and the first Wildcat since Benjamin Moukoko on September 17, 2008.

Smarty ’Cats

A record 64 Chico State student-athletes earned CCAA All-Academic awards in 2014–15, The award is presented to letter-winners in CCAA-sponsored sports who earn a GPA of 3.40 or higher in a minimum of 24 units of undergraduate coursework. The 64 recipients represented 20 percent of Chico State’s student-athlete population. Volleyball player Lindsay Quigley was honored for the fourth year in a row, while eight others—Chad Baur, Sean Goetzl, Brock Kraus, Lora James, Ashley Simon, Cassi Scroggins, Emily Denton, and Emily Duran—earned the distinction for a third time.

Talk of family filled the room at the Chico State Athletics Hall of Fame 2015 induction ceremony on October 10. The theme found its way into every speech, covering 11 inductees and Mac Martin Award winner Wayne Branstetter. Gymnast Paul Dennis Chase, golfers Robb Shultz and J.J. Jakovac, soccer players Ben Pollock and Chris Wondolowski, distance runner Margaret Pridgen, swimmers David Tittle and Christopher Webb, and basketball player Marissa (Bradley) Wink were inducted, along with legendary coaches Ray Lorenz Bright and Mike O’Malley. O’Malley ended the evening with an emotional address featuring stories of his siblings and his Chico State soccer family. When his speech was through, former coaching colleagues, teammates, and players linked arms and regaled the room with the program’s “O-ole-le” cheer that has been passed down through every Wildcat men’s soccer player for the past 40 years. Photos courtesy Chico State Athletics. For more sports coverage, visit or follow @ChicoWildcats on Twitter. CHICO STATEments




From A to Zingg ¬




Edited by Ashley Gebb, photos by Jason Halley


hen a young Paul Zingg was in grammar school, all he wanted to be when he grew up was a grammar school teacher. As he continued to high school, it was teenagers he wanted to teach. By college, he was confident he would carve a career as a university professor. After earning a BA in history from Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, an MA in history from the University of Richmond, Virginia, and a PhD in history from the University of Georgia, Athens, Zingg taught for several years at an Alabama college and then at the University of Pennsylvania. His career continued taking shape as he went on to work in leadership roles at St. Mary’s College of California and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Eventually, Chico State offered a new opportunity in the upper echelons of higher education. In November 2003, he was named the University’s 14th president. “I didn’t go to president’s school or anything like that,” Zingg said with a laugh. “It’s because, all along, I found mentors and coaches and friends who were inspiring and helpful—always willing to help me. I wanted to provide that support and experience for others.” Appreciating both the University’s mission and challenges, he embraced the new role. With passion and pride for Chico State, he carried a commitment to cultivate more resources, to strengthen its regional identity and service, and to improve its quality of teaching and learning. And he brought a desire to champion a more diverse campus community and to achieve distinction in promoting civic engagement.

Those motivations persevered for the next 13 years. Under Zingg’s tenure, degree completion rates have increased, and the University and its programs are consistently ranked among the best, including maintaining its U.S. News & World Report ranking as a top-10 public university in the West every year since 1998. Active, articulate, and accessible, he also led the campus through the re-accreditation process, increased its commitment to and reputation for sustainability, and witnessed dramatic increases in student diversity. After unexpected heart surgery spurred a temporary leave in March, Zingg returned three months later with healthy prospects and a replenished spirit. But the experience prompted him to reflect on his health, his love for his wife, Yasuko, and two stepdaughters, and his deep commitment to the University. As he prepares to retire after the 2015–16 academic year, it is with great satisfaction that he reflects on his initial instinct that Chico State would be a good fit—for him and the campus—at what would become his career capstone. “The rest,” he said, “is history.”


Chico Statements: You have remarked often on your desire to strengthen the University’s reputation. What transformation do you think has taken place? Paul Zingg: A lot of what I have tried to do is to get us on the right lists. The last time we were on the party school list was 2002, the year before I got here. We are now internationally recognized for

“green” values and sustainability, on the Carnegie Foundation honor roll for civic engagement, and, of course, highly ranked in the U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review. That’s pretty good stuff. The thing about lists is if you are not on them, people dismiss them as irrelevant. But if we are on them, let’s stay on them and continue to get on even better lists or more lists that speak to the values of our institution—sustainability, civic engagement, inclusion, diversity, excellence in our academic programs. Then, if you marry those lists to student success, graduation rates, and satisfaction of our alumni in their Chico Experience, that provides further encouragement to continue to pay attention to the things that most matter. You were faced with some immediate challenges, particularly with student behavior that attracted national media. What was it like to confront those issues? My first year here, two students died because of alcohol-related complications, a fraternity decided to go into the pornography business, and we had a riot down at Fifth and Ivy. For a few moments there, I was thinking, “What the heck have I gotten myself into? This place is crazy.” But this was a challenge that I knew I could take on with the help of people on campus and in the community. I was always motivated by the notion that we needed to write our own story rather than have our story written by somebody else. That story needed to focus on student responsibility and student awareness that they need to be citizens of both the campus and the city. We realized we had to transform student life into student leadership. CHICO STATEments


How did that play out? I had two memorable “Ya’ll come” meetings with the Greeks. I said, “I have a question for you: Have you read your charters? Have you read all that stuff about citizenship, responsibility, civility, respect, and a commitment to service? Because I have, not only as the University president but as a member of a national fraternity. This is what I want you to do— read them and decide if you are who you say you are, or if you are a bunch of frauds. The University is a place for truth-telling, so if you are a bunch of frauds, quite frankly, you don’t belong here.” One of the things we realized is it wasn’t enough simply to scold or challenge the Greeks. The University had to stand up and provide programs and support to help with the transformation. That’s what service projects such as the Blitz Builds are all about. That’s what Scour and Devour, Up ’til Dawn, and celebrating student service to the community are all about. That’s what a safer Labor Day and transforming Cesar Chavez Day into a day of community service are all about—civic engagement, community service, and developing the habits of citizenship. Do you think there has been a defining moment in your Chico State career? That first meeting with the Greeks set the tone for needing to take on student behavior. And I also think the way we dealt with the Great Recession. We lost $40 million in state support, yet on this campus, there were no layoffs and we improved the University’s reputation. Not many campuses can say that. We were always motivated by protecting students and protecting our workforce. Yes, as faculty retired, as staff retired, as members of our workforce left the University, we did not initially replace all of those folks,



but no one lost their job. And now we are in the process of rebuilding. By this time next year, we will have hired more than 125 tenured and tenure-track faculty since 2014. We have provided about $2 million of campus-based money for staff in-range progressions and range elevations. We have work to do, but our equity plan for faculty and staff is by far—in scale and scope—the most comprehensive in the system. I am very proud of that and confident it sets the tone for future commitments.

I can’t do it incognito. Yet I still get invitations to play beer pong. I say, “I can’t do that.” “Why? Why can’t you play beer pong?” “Because it will be all over social media in 30 seconds.” They say, “Oh yeah, well, I guess you’re right.” It’s fun that a lot of students recognize me. They have their nicknames for me—Dr. Z., President P.—and I’ve never met a student who has been reluctant to come up and introduce his or herself and want to take a selfie with me. I will miss that a lot.

How would you describe your relationship with students?

What else will you miss?

I aim to be very visible and accessible, attending activities, sporting events, and performances in Laxson or the Bell Memorial Union; collaborating with student leadership groups; working with the Associated Students leadership; and supporting student initiatives such as the decision to divest from fossil fuels and focus on healthier, more sustainable campus food choices. I did a statement for The Orion almost the first day I got here that made it clear that my administration was not going to censor or edit the student newspaper. And I love doing things like the Up ’til Dawn fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital or going out on the Sacramento River cleanup after the Labor Day float or walking the streets of the student neighborhoods. And, of course, teaching. That is where you begin—with demonstrating that your commitment to students is true. And what impact has that had on your life? The energy is so positive, and the overwhelming goodness and commitment of our students is pretty powerful. You can’t realize or experience that by sitting in your office 12 hours a day or whatever. I walk the streets a half- dozen times a year, go out at 10 at night and wander around Fifth and Ivy, the south campus neighborhoods, and downtown. The first couple times nobody knew who I was. But now?

I will miss the people. I will miss the folks with whom I have worked most closely. I will miss the energy. A lot of it is intellectual energy—the ability every day to go to an interesting lecture or a presentation by a faculty member on what she or he is working on—and the relationship that faculty have with students. I will also miss the walks on campus and downtown. My favorite walk on campus is between those rows of hedges leading to Kendall Hall. I never fail to look over to Laxson on one side and Trinity on the other and Kendall in front and really appreciate how beautiful this campus is and how fortunate I am to work here. What did this experience teach you about yourself? To trust your instincts and always stay grounded in two things: values, which you need to be able to articulate, and the long view. We don’t work for today’s applause. We work to try to make a difference. And the vision is not mine alone. In many respects, the president’s job is to make sense of what is going on and try to give meaning to the energy, the ideas, and the sense of goodness you hope an institution stands for. Those are pretty good things to live by and a lot of what I think I have accomplished here. How have you changed in the last 13 years? I have a family today. That’s huge and has certainly sharpened my sense about what matters in life. To have two—of course, they are grown—children is something I thought would never happen. And they and my wife have helped shape my sense of what

If you could sit in a student’s shoes, are there any classes you wish you could take? I would want to learn more about Japanese language and culture. I would probably want to learn how to play a musical instrument—I used to play the banjo, years ago. And I might want to get involved in courses that have some kind of social or environmental activism. I’ve never left college, which is kind of neat. I’ve been at this since I was 18, and it still feels good and fresh. Is there something you wanted to accomplish that you didn’t have time for? Although our endowment has doubled since I was here, I wish our fundraising was more successful. Very few campuses in the CSU were even thinking about these things 12 years ago, because we had significant state support. And I wish we were more successful in strengthening the diversity of our workforce. We are doing well with students, but, as I look around at faculty and staff, it hasn’t changed that much. Those students need to see us walking the talk of diversity every chance we get. And I think we could have made greater strides and been more visible throughout the entire North State with the Native American, Hmong, and Sikh communities. It’s not that we haven’t tried, but we haven’t come up with the right formula. I also wish that our presence in Redding were stronger. At one point, I was hoping that we would actually have a CSU, Chico-Redding campus. What advice do you have for the incoming president? The next president will have two great opportunities from day one: to lead a major fundraising campaign


on where we decide to live. That will continue to be here initially, but we are looking at other areas too. We both love the San Francisco Bay Area, for example.




is fundamentally important in life and influence my decision with my health to not put them through that again. Otherwise, I’d be merrily going along doing bad things to my health and not paying a whole lot of attention to it. I think I have developed a very sharpened personal perspective on things that really matter. And family really matters.

–PRESIDENT PAUL ZINGG and to update the University’s strategic plan. Hopefully the table is set so the next person can bring fresh eyes, new energy, and vision to bear on these matters. I would strongly advise the new president to be visible on the campus and in the community, and get involved—in Rotary, in the Chamber of Commerce, in the North State Symphony, in the Gateway Science Museum, fill in the blank. It is important the president be a good communicator. A sense of history and a sense of place are also really important, and that will not happen overnight. Do you intend to stay connected to Chico State? I love the place. Simple as that. I love the University and I love the community. It’s tricky because I don’t want to get in the way of whoever the new president is. But I will be around, still going to basketball games and to Laxson events, and having lunches at Tres Hombres with a familiar group of friends and colleagues. What is next for you in this new chapter of your life? We are not quite sure yet. I do know that I have a lot of things I want to do. I am not just going to sit and read and go to movies. I have worked off and on over the years on various consultancies and leadership programs, so I will probably do more of that. And I am always working on a writing project or two. I do have retreat rights, which means I could go back to the faculty either here or at another CSU institution, and return to teaching. But a lot depends

But your retirement will not be all work and no play… I don’t have any great bucket lists. We will do some traveling, I know. I have never been to Paris. There will be golf for sure—Is the sky blue? Yep. And I think I will probably continue to take folks on trips to Ireland and Scotland because I have gotten pretty good at it and gotten to know so many people over there who make those trips special. I have had invitations to write regular columns for journals and newspapers. I may do a little bit of that. But I don’t want to get myself into a commitment that might get old too fast. Finally, what is your hope for the University’s future? It has a great future. I do believe what the University has achieved over the last 12 to 13 years or so is real. It’s deep and it’s lasting. And I do believe the next president will take Chico to that mythical next level, whatever that is. If the next leadership gets a firm sense of what is distinctive about the institution, you can move from good to great or very good to very great. If you can get to the point where individual and institutional values are pretty close, there is really no holding back the institution from a stronger sense of identity and purpose, of strengthened ability to enact its story. So, the need is to find someone who is a terrific storyteller, possesses high energy, and is able to articulate that sense of shared values, shared vision, and shared future. If so, there are no limits on what this University can continue to achieve. It’s very neat to think about that and to take pride in being a part of forming the future.}

(Above) From left to right, Yasuko and Paul Zingg with their daughters Sachi Hartley and Chiyo Hartley. (Opposite page) President Zingg, Willie the Wildcat and former Associated Students President Taylor Herren. (Right) Zingg at commencement 2014.


Photo courtesy of the Chesterman family

After Death

Student's legacy of compassion touches global community Story by Ashley Gebb

Fernando Villegas was well aware of Kristina Chesterman. As a Chico State alumnus living a short drive away in Red Bluff, it was near impossible not to have heard of the vibrant, aspiring nurse whose life was cut short by a drunk driver as she biked home one night from studying at Meriam Library. A fourth-year student in her second semester of the nursing program, Chesterman was fatally struck by a man now serving a seven-year sentence at Delano Community Correctional Facility. She was known by many as an exceptionally caring and connected person, a friend to all, with big dreams and selfless aspirations. Her death in September 2013 shook the campus and community to their core. “What has always stood out to me is she would do anything to help anybody,” said Villegas (BS, Nutrition and Food Sciences, ’99). “She did everything for others.” Chesterman’s story has been told and retold



around the world, tugging at heartstrings and inspiring adventure and goodwill. CSU, Chico staff and students rallied to construct a clinic in Nigeria in her honor and established a scholarship in her name to support nursing students. A bucket list her mother discovered in Chesterman's makeup bag caught international attention, with friends, family, and strangers carrying out her life ambitions, from visiting all 50 states to running through a poppy field. But Chesterman achieved one goal all on her own—to save a life. “In my wildest dreams, I never put two and two together,” said Villegas, who underwent

kidney and pancreas transplants the day after her death. “The doctors told me the donor organs come from all over the world, all over the United States.” In the months that followed, he thought of Chesterman often as he drove past a bike memorializing her on Nord Avenue near campus. He never would have imagined that the fellow Wildcat’s pancreas had cured his diabetes or that it was one of her kidneys that saved him from renal failure and inevitable death. A few days before Christmas, Villegas received mail from the hospital and assumed it was a bill. But upon opening it, he realized it

was a letter from his donor’s parents and read Chesterman’s name. “I just started crying,” he said, tearing up again at the memory. He stayed up late that night emailing Sandra and Dave Chesterman, and two days later he reached out again. The call from an unknown number caught Sandra Chesterman in the midst of last-minute holiday shopping. “I said, ‘My name is Fernando, I received your and Dave’s letter,’ and she said, ‘Oh my god, are you the missing link?’” Villegas recalled. “I said yes, and she started crying.”

A PERFECT MATCH It seemed like a match made in heaven. Villegas was born at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, where Chesterman took her last breaths. And he was raised, along with his six older brothers and sisters, just a few blocks from the crash site. When they finally met face to face, Dave and Sandra Chesterman were confident their daughter had hand-picked him, as she had four other donor recipients. “He is kind, caring, and loving, and most of all so unbelievably appreciative of Kristina’s gift,” Sandra Chesterman said.

“I just wanted to hug and kiss them. I told them how my life has changed because of Kristina, that beautiful angel.” -Fernando Villegas (’99), organ recipient The connection was immediate. “I just wanted to hug and kiss them,” Villegas said. “I told them how my life has changed because of Kristina, that beautiful angel.” Villegas was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes Feb. 25, 1985, and his life changed in an instant as severe dietary restrictions and frequent blood sugar testing became part of his identity. He was the first person in his family to go to college and, despite the challenges of his disease, he strived to do his family proud. “As a kid, I always played around campus,” he said. “It always intrigued me seeing the students. I just wanted to make a change for my brothers and sisters, who didn’t have that opportunity.” In 1999, he graduated and went on to work for the County of Tehama, where he’s been ever since.

Unfamiliar with the lifelong complications of his disease, Villegas was caught off guard in 2010, when he learned he had to go on an insulin pump. Two years later, his nephrologist told him his kidneys were functioning at 15 percent. He had a year left to live. “I called my wife. I remember crying and saying, ‘My kidneys are done,’” he said. “I told the doctor, ‘I want to live, I want to get on the transplant list.’” It took about a year to qualify for surgery, but at 7:30 p.m. on October 24, 2013, he got the call to pack his bags. At midnight, the transplant was confirmed, and the following morning he drove to California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. After a seven-hour surgery, he felt an immediate difference, and every subsequent day has been better than the last. Villegas is proud to know he helped Chesterman achieve one of her dreams. His life always has been about helping the underserved—a passion she shared. And, with this second chance, he pledges to continue carrying out her beliefs in his job as a bilingual health educator. “I truly believe she did pick me,” he said. “She wants me to keep the legacy going and help people get healthier.”

LIVING HER DREAMS Villegas’ story is only one of Chesterman’s legacies of life. Through organ donation, she also was able to save four other people. “We call them our family now,” Sandra Chesterman said. Part of her liver saved 9-month-old Jayden Kirby of Fremont, with the remainder helping San Francisco resident Xia Ming Chen. Chesterman also saved family friend Zak Pappachan, who was in renal failure before receiving her other kidney, and her heart still beats inside Susan Vieira, a Bay Area retired public health nurse who realized the identity of her donor when the story of Chesterman’s

Chesterman's mother found this bucket list in one of her daughter's makeup bags after her death.

bucket list went viral. As the list was featured by major news networks, The Huffington Post, and Facebook, the connection between the two women seemed uncanny. Vieira had already accomplished several of Chesterman’s dreams, including to ride a camel, fly first class, and learn to fly a plane. Since then, she too has forged a connection with Dave and Sandra Chesterman and pledged to carry out every item on the list. That includes visiting all the continents and touring Niagara Falls.

From left, Dave and Sandra Chesterman with organ recipient Fernando Villegas at an event at Chico State Photo by Jason Halley CHICO STATEments


Other supporters include a woman from Amsterdam who shared a video of herself skydiving in a shirt with Chesterman’s name on it. A team of firefighters in Alaska wear bracelets in her memory every day. Other people around the world—from Saudi Arabia to China to Argentina—carry her photo or prayer cards with her image as they notch items off the list. “It’s just been so rewarding to hear from people all over the world that are motivated to pick up items on the list,” Sandra Chesterman said. “She is still having an influence on the world, almost two years after she is gone.” This fall, Dave Chesterman drove Route 66, filling a journal with memories of his daughter along the way and marking off another of her goals. “Even if I live to be 100, I don’t think I will make the kind of impact Kristina made in 21 years,” Sandra Chesterman said.

IN HER HONOR The Wildcats she left behind have also found ways to honor her. Chesterman was an avid blood donor, and through blood drives held in her name, more than 337 pints have been donated at BloodSource—with the capacity to save 1,000 lives. Many in the School of Nursing wanted to pay tribute to the fact she planned to spend a year after graduation working in Africa with Doctors Without Borders. In an effort led by nursing instructor Darcy

Hostetter-Lewis, the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic will be constructed as a sister clinic to the Upon This Rock Medical Center in Ozu Abam, built by Clarrion Call. When completed, the clinic will specialize in women’s and children’s health services and in providing diabetes care. Students have committed to expanding the clinic’s impact by creating a curriculum for the staff and making annual visits to provide care themselves. “It came out of nowhere, but the idea was perfect,” Dave Chesterman said. “It was almost magical the way everything happened.” Volunteers broke ground on the clinic in May and have since completed many of the walls and the roof. The construction of the clinic is estimated to cost up to $100,000, and so far about half of the funds have been raised. “It’s going to be a really great asset for the poor, rural community there that doesn’t have access,” Dave Chesterman said. “It’s something she would feel is so important to do. It just fits right in with who she was.” At a local level, a scholarship endowment has been set up in Chesterman’s name to forever help students who embody her spirit and are pursuing the nursing profession out of the love of helping others. The endowment has already raised more than $60,000. The scholarship was awarded at $5,000 in the 2014–15 academic year to Jessica Bugni (BS, Nursing, ’15) and again at $5,000 for the 2015–16 academic year to Amber Dayney.

“I never really thought I would receive the first one. When Chico State called and told me, I broke down in tears,” Bugni said. “It was so touching to my heart and helped pay for my whole last semester of nursing school. It just was a blessing.” She met Chesterman on the first day of the nursing program and the two were fast friends. Bugni firmly believes a scholarship memorializes her late classmate’s personality and passion for the profession. “She was one of those people who literally would put herself aside in order to help someone else,” she said. “Knowing there is a scholarship helping future nurses, I think there is nothing more in this world she would want.” Chesterman’s parents agree. “It’ll be nice to have her name associated with Chico for years to come,” Dave Chesterman said. “She loved Chico. She was so proud to be in the nursing program.”

INFINITE INSPIRATION In May, the nursing class of 2015 took the stage at a pinning ceremony to be recognized as registered nurses. In addition to 39 of Chesterman’s fellow students, Sandra and David Chesterman received nursing pins on their daughter’s behalf, and she received a posthumous “Dedication to Nursing” award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated scholarship, leadership, motivation, and enthusiasm for nursing above

The Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic in Nigeria broke ground in 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2016. Photo courtesy of Kayla Kreich



and beyond programmatic norms. Classmate and friend Kayla Kreich (BS, Nursing, ’15) said she thinks Chesterman—and how the campus community rallied together after her death—best epitomize the Chico Experience. “People are just friendly and willing to help each other out. I met so many people that didn’t have any ties to Chico State but were willing to help the cause,” she said, of carrying on Chesterman's legacy. “I know it has changed my life, and I’m so lucky to have the Wildcat Way.” Bugni donated blood for the first time at a campus drive in Chesterman’s memory, and after her pint was collected, a nurse took an angel bead off her scrubs and gave it to the nursing student. Now working in the definitive care unit at Enloe Medical Center, Bugni put the charm on her stethoscope and wears it while treating her patients. “Every day I put on my stethoscope and there is this little pink angel that hangs off it,” she said. “It’s just like having Kristina with me as I continue my practice.” Like Bugni, Villegas, and many others, Kriech said that in life—and in death—Chesterman has inspired her to be a better person. “She has really taught me to be more selfless and a lot about life and living every day,” she said. “Because you never know which will be your last.”} About the author Ashley Gebb (BA, Journalism, ’08) is publications editor at CSU, Chico.

Chico pedicab driver Mike Griffith (center) welcomes Dave Chesterman (right) and Sandra Chesterman (left) at a bicycle safety and drunken driving awareness event Griffith planned honoring Kristina Chesterman. Photo by Jason Halley

A slideshow tribute to Kristina Chesterman is displayed at the School of Nursing pinning and candle lighting ceremony May 15, 2015. Photo by Jason Halley



Photos by Jason Halley

Story by Ashley Gebb


is tiny fingers tracing the raised bronze letters, little Gus Martin could not possibly comprehend their significance, but his innocent fascination brought smiles and tears to his family’s eyes. Minutes before, the pajama-clad toddler had tottered across the new Chico State bridge that honors his namesake. The bridge bears a plaque with his great-grandfather’s name, so dedicated in honor of the famed Chico State College faculty member and football coach who lost his life in 1958 while searching for a missing Boy Scout. The original Gus Manolis Bridge, stretching across Big Chico Creek from Kendall to Holt Halls, served as one of nine key campus connectors until its destruction in September 2014, when a towering


sycamore toppled over and took the bridge with it. University President Paul Zingg said the former coach’s protective spirit must have been watching over that morning, as no students were injured in the collapse. After a 14-month closure, a new 72-foot steel and concrete span reopened November 16, 2015, with members of the Manolis family in attendance. Tim Manolis wore his father’s cardinal-and-white letterman jacket for the occasion, and fought back tears as he and his siblings took the first steps across.

CSU, Chico archives

Photo courtesy Tim Manolis

Hired in 1955 to coach football and track, Manolis was held in high regard on campus, with great success during his four seasons as a coach, including winning the Far Western Conference Championship in football in 1955 and recognition as “coach of the century” for his football record. Manolis died January 28, 1958, at age 34, after collapsing from a heart attack during a search for a 12-year-old boy missing in the Mendocino National Forest. He had felt ill but pushed on with dozens of other Chicoans in the search, telling friends, “I keep thinking if that were my child, I would want help.” After his death, a group of students raised funds to build the bridge in his memory. In an editorial after his death, the campus newspaper, The Wildcat, wrote about Manolis: “We will forget the details of the individual games and maybe the names of teams met on the field, but winning seasons, high campus morale, and a feeling of civic pride will come into our minds with mention of his name.”}

(Far left) Members of the Manolis family watch 15-month-old Gus Martin examine his great-grandfather’s dedication plaque on the Gus Manolis Bridge. (Above left) Siblings Georgeanne, Bill, and Tim Manolis with their mother, Anne, and family friend Edith Martin, wife of former AS General Manager Mac Martin, at the original bridge dedication in 1961. (Above right) Gus Manolis was hired in 1954, coached football and track, and was a member of the health, physical education, and recreation department. CHICOSTATEments STATEments CHICO

17 17

in the Great Outdoors

Story by Keith Crawford and Daniel Lovik Photos by Jason Halley 18



listers, bear sightings, and burnt meals—as Wildcat Wilderness Orientation (WWO) finished its second year of community building and giving students a look into college life, staff and students realized the many outdoor challenges they encountered were perfect metaphors for the difficult situations freshmen and transfer students face during their years at Chico State and beyond. What better way to befriend strangers, seize an opportunity to try new things or find peace outside your comfort zone? WWO offers first-year and transfer students an opportunity to attend multiple-day outdoor excursions as a secondary college orientation through the Associated Students' Adventure Outings—a student-led organization that hosts year-round outdoor trips. Its proven curriculum is based on extensive research linking outdoor orientation programs with positive student outcomes and an easier transition into college. “Before I went on WWO, college was this scary place. At actual orientation, I was terrified,” said Kim Bertrand, a communication design major. “Afterward, I came back and said, ‘I can’t wait to go to school here.’… Six months later, I felt like I had been in college for years and this was now home.” A native of Southern California, Bertrand didn’t know any other students before orientation and saw the 2014 Sacramento River canoe and camping trip as a chance to meet new people. It was the perfect introduction to college life, she said. The adventure pushed Bertrand to cook her own dinner, lug a 50-pound canoe on sunburned shoulders for a mile to reach camp, and sleep out on her own. “It just got me emotionally ready and feeling more excited that I had friends and a job to come to,” Bertrand said. “I had more than just an education to look forward to.” The outdoor orientation program formerly known as Chico Bound was revamped and relaunched as Wildcat Wilderness Orientation in summer 2014 and continued improving in 2015. The new name better reflects the program’s goal of orienting incoming students toward a healthy college lifestyle, while introducing them to the great outdoors of Northern California. Challenging students to work through their trials in small groups, the program teaches life skills such as teamwork, time management, leadership, social competence, responsibility, and flexibility. Most importantly, facing these obstacles as a team creates strong bonds that last well after they return home from their adventure. The summer 2015 trips featured a four-day sea kayaking trip on Tomales Bay, a four-day backpacking trip to Cinder Cone volcano in Lassen Volcanic National Park, a five-day backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park, and a five-day backpacking trip through the

“AFTERWARD, I CAME BACK AND SAID, ‘I CAN’T WAIT TO GO TO SCHOOL HERE.’ ... SIX MONTHS LATER, I FELT LIKE I HAD BEEN IN COLLEGE FOR YEARS AND THIS WAS NOW HOME.” –Kim Bertrand, Communication Design Trinity Alps wilderness. Participating students live outside, eat outside, and sleep outside. They get to better know themselves, each other, and nature, all while gaining insight and tips on living a successful, balanced college lifestyle. “The trip leaders were there to answer any questions we had about college,” said Raymond Santana, who attended the Yosemite trip in July. “It relieved some of the anxiety I had. Otherwise I would have been coming into Chico State blind.” A longtime Boy Scout and prospective marketing major, he was unable to attend traditional orientation and hoped this experience would introduce him to new people. He was surprised by the trip’s intimacy—a campus trait he’s since come to know and embrace. “Having small personal interaction was

foreshadowing coming to Chico and the oneon-one experience I have had in classes and clubs, and the friendliness and openness that Chico has,” he said. In total, 29 freshmen and 14 transfer students participated in WWO in 2015—up 54 percent from the prior year. Ten of those students received scholarships through the Get Outdoors Fund, which Adventure Outings operates to provide financial assistance for students who otherwise may not be able to afford its outdoor trips. Each trip contains team-building activities and games that bring the students together in a way only possible in the outdoors, pushing them to find solutions without the resources they are used to. All trips conclude with a “solo experience,” a period of self-reflection where students formulate written goals for the next six months and beyond. Trip leaders

Team-building activities and games bring students together. Alyssa Cox, Brooke Tillery, and Claire Amaral (left to right) share stories around the campfire during their backpacking excursion to Lassen Volcanic National Park.



Chico State students explore Subway Cave during a five-day backpacking excursion to Cinder Cone in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES ADD Up Everyone knows Wildcats love adventure. They proved that once again this year when they ranked in the top 10 in the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge, sponsored by REI and The North Face. With the help of the Associated Students and Adventure Outings, Chico State was one of 57 schools in 31 states tackling the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge in 2015. The competition launched in September with the goal to get people outside and

active—be it biking, bird-watching, or any other al fresco experience. The competition concluded October 17. Any and all kinds of outdoor activities qualified for activity points, as long as participants were engaging with the outdoors for 30 minutes or more. “I’m very proud of how we did, especially considering this was our first year competing,” said Keith Crawford, assistant coordinator of Adventure Outings. “The students, staff, and faculty that made it possible for us to

be named one of the top 10 most outdoorsy schools in the nation should all be very proud of their efforts.” Chico State has an esteemed history of supporting outdoor activities, from offering classes such as backpacking and scuba diving, competitive sports clubs such as waterskiing and field hockey, and wilderness experiences through Adventure Outings and WWO.}



Story by Brooks Thorlaksson


niversity faculty are often envied for their lives—extraordinary autonomy, deep learning and expertise in their areas of passion, the opportunity to have a lasting impact, and lifelong relationships tied to knowledge and inquisition. What happens when that chapter ends? How does one move from the energy of an academic career to a fulfilling retirement? Here’s one idea: Buy a ramshackle collection of 11 buildings with five septic systems on a two-acre lot. Zero in on the property's old swine barn for a substantial remodel and transform it into a winetasting restaurant. Retired economics professor Bob James stays active Such was the vision shared by retired CSU, through new businesses, including Wine Time in Chico. Chico economics professor Bob James and his Photo by Jason Halley wife, Gay, as he contemplated retirement five years ago. With a longstanding appreciation of fine wines Patrons of Wine Time enter through two 10 foot-tall glass and iron and a desire to run a destination tasting room, the couple soon fell “in doors into an expanse nearly as high as it is wide. The barn's original dream” with that north Chico property. beams stand as pillars from floor to ceiling, and rows of red and white They enlisted the three James children to join the project, and their wine line an open-air cellar in one corner. As if it were a window, fused future began to take shape: Gay James climbed onto her Bobcat and glass behind the tasting bar catches the eye with vibrant vineyards and began shoving dirt around; daughter Jasmine started imagining wine grape clusters, while real windows and a door open to a patio adorned varietals to be served; daughter Efimia set up accounting sheets as her with lush landscaping partner Phil Platanitus initiated demolition and and a meandering construction; and son Alex (BA, Economics, ’06) features began planning a rock skirt for the renovated Working with my family in this kind creek—all designed, created, and barn’s exterior. completed by members of creative endeavor and meeting so The exhausting physical labor gave James plenty of the James family. of pause. While his years of teaching economics many amazing people—it doesn’t get As the years passed, came in handy for some aspects of his new –Bob James the family could not better than this! business venture, he didn't anticipate the central help but continue role of one important element: collaboration. to grow the inviting “In my academic career, I taught models that space. This retirement project has yielded Hotel James, where guests showed businesses run from the top down,” James explained. “When can choose to sleep in the Merlot, Pinot, Zinfandel, Cabernet, or I began this project, I discovered that it works best when everyone Chardonnay rooms, each laden with chandeliers and antiques that tell contributes ideas and creativity. We learned to let everyone in on the California and Nevada stories from the past 100 years. Other elaborate planning and the execution. … If I were to do it again, this insight building renovations on site created spaces for other Chico businesses would change my teaching.” to thrive, including Roots, a breakfast, lunch, and catering company He also drew heavily on his skills as a researcher. In one case, he specializing in international dishes; Rhythmix Dance Company; and documented prior building use that saved over $100,000 in permit fees Five by Five Tonics, a small-batch bitters business. because the spaces had previously been commercial sites. With so much completed, James smiles when asked about the next Through the process, James discovered how a vision shifts depending five years. on funding, resources, and energy. Luckily, his family's entrepreneurial “We have already started,” he said. spirit took center stage and carried them through the project. The Esplanade location will soon include a beer-tasting room, and After many years restoring, remodeling, and building a destination spot for tasting a wide variety of wines, the final product was a showcase wines by local and regional winemakers will be served on Tuesdays, with flights of those wines available all week to complement eclectic dishes for art and design. concocted by chef Lisa Sereda.





“Who knows?” James laughed. “We might even start a wine-making enterprise here. I can’t say that we are making money yet, but we do make the payroll and we keep on growing.” The goal was to create an enjoyable and inviting place for Chico, and James is confident it worked. Even better, he’s having fun in the process. “Working with my family in this kind of creative endeavor and meeting so many amazing people—it doesn’t get better than this!”

developing my skill again. I spent two years painting simple still lives in watercolors and then moved back to oils, my medium at UCLA.” As she was rediscovering her talents, Mitchell connected with fellow artist and former CSU, Chico lecturer Maria Phillips to create Avenue 9 he secret of James’ retirement story is Gallery and Art Guild joy and passion—qualities well known in Chico. Education to Dolores Mitchell. The retired and community professor of art and art history fell in love with outreach were part of the founding mission. art as a child, nurtured by her fourth-grade They developed themes, such as “Chico teacher who encouraged her to draw whatever Neighborhoods,” and inaugurated yearly she could imagine—ghosts, purple people, group shows such as Chico Icons and the Snow cities floating in the skies—and helped her Goose Wildlife Art Exhibit, which introduced enroll in Saturday art classes at the Chicago hundreds of local artists to a large and loyal Art Institute. public. She painted her way to a BA in studio art Over the years, Avenue 9 Gallery evolved at University of California, Los Angeles, and into a guild of 16 artists who shared the work then on to a PhD in art history. From both of running the gallery. Mitchell managed sides of the brush, Mitchell immersed herself publicity and event planning. in the visual world, eventually teaching courses The gallery featured an exhibition for each about art from the Renaissance through the artist, plus smaller displays. 20th century during “Having a steady a 30-year career at exhibition schedule While I taught, the students CSU, Chico. and venue was truly Even though the an incentive to were my focus, and sketching demands of a busy paint constantly,” was my secret passion. Now, I paint Mitchell recalled. teaching career every day—sometimes at 2 in the prevented painting, As she was Mitchell kept a rediscovering the –Dolores Mitchell morning! personal sketchbook joys of painting, and found that to she also embraced be a favorite assignment for her students. She the daunting prospect of becoming a caregiver taught in Paris and Florence for 10 semesters for her husband, who had developed dementia and also led the College of Humanities and and was in declining health. Fine Arts’ London Semester. “I wondered how to combine all of these Now, many years retired, lives into one,” she said. “Al liked to be in the Mitchell still embraces car, so I drove him around a 20-mile radius both passions—art of Chico. In the process, I fell into love with and teaching the rice fields of Richvale. about art—and is “At first, their flatness stymied me as a dedicated to the subject for painting, but then I realized continuation of that was the unique beauty of those both. When she landscapes—vast sheets of color that first retired, she changed with the season and time of day. took the option “Some of my happiest childhood of teaching one memories,” she continued, “are of helping semester a year for my uncle and cousins with harvests in five years, and was Hinsdale, Illinois, and now, my paintings delighted to find that of the rice fields have reconnected me she had time to with those memories and with pursue painting. farming.” “I really had After Mitchell’s husband to work at and Phillips both passed away, and the subsequent closure Artist and retired art and art of Avenue 9 Gallery, history professor Dolores Mitchell continued Mitchell is painting once again. to make painting expeditions to Photo by Jason Halley Richvale. Her work





Lundberg Rice Complex in Moonlight (top) and Through the Looking Glass, oils on canvas, by Dolores Mitchell. attracted the attention of rice farmer Bryce Lundberg, who became a patron. Many of her images are featured on the California Rice Commission website, and others are in the Lundberg Family Farms headquarters. Mitchell has shown in several galleries in Chico and Sacramento, and her urge to teach has not diminished. She works with KCHO’s Weekend Showcase to provide visual arts interview segments, and she has given several pre-museum trip lectures to CSU, Chico's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute classes. Mitchell remembered her teaching career with warmth and noted, “Teaching always involved learning—I always sought out museums and found that I was always sketching, internalizing, and enriching what I had learned.” In retirement, she adjusted the balance. “While I taught, the students were my focus, and sketching was my secret passion. Now, I paint every day—sometimes at 2 in the morning! What a joy! But I still want to reach out to people and to encourage them to enrich their lives through art. I feel gratitude every day.”} About the author Brooks Thorlaksson (MA, English, ’78) retired as associate dean of the CSU, Chico College of Humanities and Fine Arts in 2012. CHICO STATEments


Alumni Association News DEAR ALUMS Dear Alums, This is my last letter to you as I finish my term as your alumni association president on January 30, 2016. It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with my fellow board members to move the association forward, and I greatly appreciate the value that the administration at Chico State places on alumni involvement. We have accomplished many things over the last two years, including the development of a Young Alumni Network, increased

Maddie and Ryan Rodriguez (BA, Agriculture, ’15) attended the Young Alumni Mixer during the Chico Experience Week and won two tickets to Sierra Oro Farm Trail’s Passport Weekend.

chapter and club activities, and the transition to a non-dues organization. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and support during our transition to an all-inclusive Chico State Alumni Association—you are all members, and we strive to serve you and provide benefits and services that are meaningful to you in your daily lives. You have told us, through surveys and other feedback, that alumni career services are important to you, and we have listened. In 2016, we will be launching a new, free e-portfolio service for all Chico State alumni. This new service is designed to help you land a job you love by sharing your portfolio directly with employers. To ensure you are a part of this new venture, please update your information with the alumni office at by clicking on “Alumni Update Form.” As you know, University President Paul Zingg is retiring, effective at the end of the

Members of the class of 1965 attended their Golden Grad Reunion and had a big surprise. When the 1965 time capsule was opened, it was empty! If you can solve the secret to the mystery of the empty capsule, email

academic year, and we expect a new president will be appointed this spring. As I transition into the role of past alumni association president, I will be representing our 135,000 alumni on the Advisory Committee to the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President. To learn more about the search and to provide feedback, please visit the presidential search website at


Reunion CEe 50th le Save t bration

Celebrating Chico, Jimmy Reed (’03, ’08), President Chico State Alumni Association

h October 14 e Date: –16, 2016

Al Prado and his daughter Gabriella Prado were among more than 1,800 students and their family members who attended the annual Family Weekend Barbecue.

UPCOMING EVENTS AND REUNIONS Saturday | January 16 Chico Chapter Basketball Reception and game vs. Sonoma State Saturday | January 30 Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting and board elections Monday | March 14 CSU Tri-State Alumni Reception in NYC



Wednesday | March 16 CSU Hill Day, Washington, D.C.

Wednesday | April 13 Chico State faculty and staff alumni appreciation event

Alumni event at Oracle Arena, Warriors vs. Knicks

Tuesday | April 26 Senior Send-Off

Saturday | March 26 Alumni event at Sapp Center, Sharks vs. Stars

Thursday | April 28 Chico Chapter Annual BBQ

Friday | April 8 Distinguished Alumni Dinner

For more information on these events: • Visit or call 530-898-6472

• Like us on Facebook

Chico State Alumni Association

• Follow us on Twitter @ChicoStateAlum

• Join our LinkedIn group

Chico State Alumni Association

Alumni Board FALL 2015

Executive Committee President Jimmy Reed (’03, ’08,) Rio Linda Vice President Aaron Skaggs (’10), Sacramento

Treasurer Paul Maunder (’93), El Dorado Hills Secretary Christina Nichols (’69), Chico Past President and Alumni Council Representative Michelle Power (’92), Chico Assistant Vice President, Alumni and Parent Relations Susan Anderson, Chico At-large Members Mary Wallmark (’87), Chico Bob Combs (’80), Danville Board Advisors Paul J. Zingg, President, CSU, Chico Deanna Jarquin, 2015–2016, AS President Board Members Nicole Burghardt (’02), Chico Tom Carter, (’70), Chico Tim Colbie, (’92), Chico Casey Covey, (’08), Fremont Kathy Hardin, (’72), Chico Bob Kohen, ( ’66, ’70), Chico Todd McKendrick, (’93), Vista Megan Odom, (’02), Chico Somer Sayles, (’99), Rocklin David Scotto, (’89), Dana Point Nicholas Spangler, (’04, ’08), Chico Monica Turner, (’05), San Jose Thomas Whitcher, (’06), Davis Bay Area Chapter Kaitlin Tillett Chico Young Alumni Network Kaitlin Tillett
 San Diego Network
 Kaitlin Tillett Chico Chapter Dino Corbin, (’75) Sacramento Chapter
 Lauren Grimes, (’11)

WILDCATS ON THE MOVE LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH We want to hear from you! Send your updates to: Wildcats on the Move Coordinator Public Affairs and Publications California State University, Chico Chico, CA 95929-0040

humankind and dogs. Luciano is a dog lover and was inspired to write the book after observing the rapidly growing culture of owners pampering their canine friends. He currently lives in San Diego and feels “blessed to live in the land of sun and sea.”

Email Phone 530-898-4143

GARRY COOPER (BS, Business Administration, ’77) published The Country Property Buyer’s Guide, which captures his nearly 40 years of experience as a real estate broker in California.


MITCH NICHOLS (BA, Industrial Arts, ’77) retired from his position as senior vice president of engineering and transportation with the United Parcel Service (UPS). He had worked for UPS in various capacities for 28 years, including serving as the president of UPS Airlines. He previously taught in Oregon State University’s College of Engineering.

DONNA RICKETTS MEDDISH (BA, Language Arts, ’56; Credential, ’57) published the book Rafting the Sacramento through CreateSpace in February 2015. A former teacher and administrator at the college level, she also has published several magazine articles.


AL DARBY (BA, Physical Education and Credential, ’61) was inducted into the Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame on May 5, 2015. The honor was in recognition of his outstanding record as a student-athlete at Durham High School and at Chico State College, where he competed in football, basketball, baseball, and track. Darby moved on to teach physical education and coach high school football, became the head coach for the California Football League’s Twin Cities Cougars of Marysville, and eventually became the West Coast scout for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1981. He turned down an opportunity to coach in the National Football League to marry his high school sweetheart, Melinda. TED HOWARD (BS, Business Administration, ’68; MBA, ’71) was appointed acting general secretary of the Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football for the second time in four years. The confederation is one of six in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), soccer’s global governing body. Howard was a member of Chico State College’s first intercollegiate men’s soccer team, playing from 1965–67.


DICK HILTON (BA, Geology, ’72; MA, Physical Science, ’75) delivered the presentation “The Geology of the Northern Sierra Nevada” for the Sierra College Natural History Museum on April 17, 2015. He is a professor of geology and paleontology for the Sierra College Earth Science Department, chair of the Sierra College Natural History Museum, and an advisory board member for Chico State’s Geological and Environmental Sciences Department. J.P. LUCIANO (BS, Social Science, ’76; Credential, ’81) published his first book, Canine Mania, in May 2015. The book explores the historical and psychological roots of the relationship between

STANLEY GOZZI (BA, Industrial Arts, ’78) retired from his job in the Bay Area in March 2015 after 36 years with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. He started teaching a new diesel technology course in August at Los Medanos Community College in Pittsburg, California—the school at which he has always wanted to teach—and has been enjoying retirement with his wife, Diane, traveling in their new RV. JOHN MCDONALD (BA, Political Science, ’79) lives by the beach in Southern California. He has been married for 35 years and has two sons, one a lawyer and writer, the other a high school baseball player. Following college, McDonald tended bar, worked as a journalist, then got hooked on politics working on campaigns for the offices of the governor of California and the United States Senate. He then started his own consulting firm where, for the past 20 years, he has advised nonprofits, academic researchers, and political advocates on communications. PAULA SCHNEIDER (BA, Special Major: Costume Design in Theater Productions, ’79; Credential, ’85) was named the new CEO of American Apparel and is working on turning the company around after a misconduct investigation and the ousting of its former CEO. A longtime clothing executive, she previously held leadership positions at Warnaco Group and Big Strike. She won the National Organization of Women Business Owners Inspiration Award in 2010. RUSS WOODY (BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’78) recently published the novel Effed Up! The Story of a Family, a loosely autobiographical story about a young man growing up in a dysfunctional family. He also published the memoir Heroic Heart, A Story About Fathers and Sons, and has numerous writing credits to his name from his career as a television screenwriter, including work with The Drew Carey Show; Cybil, for which he won a Golden Globe award; Becker; and Murphy Brown, for which he won a Primetime Emmy award. CHICO STATEments




JAMES PLATH (BA, English, ’80) was named the R. Forrest Colwell Endowed Chair of English— one of the highest honors at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he has taught for 27 years. He is a well-known scholar on the works of John Updike and Ernest Hemingway, the co-founder and president of The John Updike Society, and has published numerous books and journal articles on both authors. His short stories and poetry have been featured in several well-known literary journals, including Apalachee Review, Cream City Review, and North American Review. WAYNE BURDEN (BA, Psychology, ’81) was honored in Chico State men’s basketball’s 100th anniversary “100 Players for 100 years” celebration, in recognition of his outstanding 1977 season as a Wildcat. Burden played professional basketball in Australia for nine years and later worked as a parole agent for 20 years before retiring in North Carolina. ROBERT CUSHMAN (MA, Education, ’82; Credential, ’84) has been selected by the University of Minnesota, Morris, to serve as its 17th head football coach. Previously, Cushman

served as head coach and defensive coordinator at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. AMBER PALMER (BS, Psychology, ’82) had her watercolor paintings on display inside Umpqua Bank in Chico. She teaches monthly art workshops and also incorporates painting as a therapeutic practice into her work as a marriage and family therapist. Her artwork has been accepted into juried art shows locally and nationally. MARNI POSL (BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’83; Credential, ’00) is the new principal-superintendent of Montague Elementary School. Marni completed her MA in administration at Simpson University and has been an educator in Siskiyou County for the last 17 years. Both her husband, Wayne, and daughter Danielle, are Chico State alumni as well. MIKE O’BRIEN (BA, Liberal Studies, ’86) was sworn in as the new chief of the Chico Police Department. O’Brien has served as a member of the Chico police force for 23 years, most recently as a captain. TODD PENNINGTON (BS, Construction Management, ’86) was named president of Build Group of Southern California after leaving his

own firm, Pennington & Company, LLC, where he developed and constructed projects from Florida to California. He lives in Laguna Niguel with his wife, Lynda, and their two sons. CARRIE WATSON (BA, Spanish, ’86; Credential, ’87; MA, Education, ’94) is working as a writer, teacher, and activist in Chico. In February, she will release her new novel, Ascending the Boneyard, which she describes as Donnie Darko meets The Matrix in a ‘mindbending’ and captivating mystery about one teen’s surreal experiences after surviving a series of life traumas.” She has also cofounded a nonprofit called Never Counted Out, which provides creative mentorship to at-risk youth around Butte County. KAREN BENKE (BA, English, ’88) published her book Write Back Soon! Adventures in Letter Writing, a guide “for kids and adults who enjoy sending and receiving snail mail,” with notes from many well-known writers. Benke also leads writing


Photo courtesy of Steve Sturdivant


lifeguard for nearly all his life, Steve Sturdivant had no hesitation on the night of December 30, 2014, when he donned a wet suit and plunged into the stormy waters off Catalina Island to save those who couldn’t save themselves. The day had started normally, with a few calls in the town of Avalon and one to a cruise ship in port. Wind was forecast, but few might have predicted the fierce gales to eventually blast through, carrying 8-foot waves into the sleepy harbor. “It came in about 20 knots stronger than we thought and in a different direction, straight into the harbor,” says Sturdivant (BA, Exercise Physiology, ’92). “All these mega yachts and boats started breaking free.” One of his first dives into the heaving ocean was to pull a man off a boat that went ashore at Casino Point, and he swam him back to safety. Soon, Sturdivant was back in the frigid water to untangle mooring lines wrapped around the propellers of two 100-foot vessels so they could move out to sea where it was safer, and then he had to cut loose severed lines that had tangled around his own Los Angeles County lifeguarding vessel, the Baywatch Avalon. “It was like that all night long. I was just going in and out of the water,” he said. “There were times when we were in our rescue boat



and I was worried about us getting caught inside the surf line. … I was more comfortable in the water because I knew I could swim through anything.” That night, he responded to six major medical calls—returning to shore to treat the wounded—and completed a dozen water rescues. At one point, after swimming ashore with a man whose foot had been crushed between boats, other paramedics realized the shivering Sturdivant was in the early stages of hypothermia and made him rest for 45 minutes. Still, he kept treating patients from inside the warmth of the ambulance. In retrospect, one of the worst weather events to hit Avalon in 50 years was perhaps one of the most impactful moments in Sturdivant’s experience as a lifeguard-paramedic, as he was able to render aid to so many in need. “We were just picking people off boats and people were abandoning their boats,” he says. “We had calls of broken bones and people getting smashed in between boats. It lasted from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m.” In August, he was awarded the Medal of Valor for his courage and heroism. He dedicated his honor to Harbor Patrol assistant Tim Mitchell, who sustained a fatal injury in trying to save a chartered scuba boat about to run aground. “Knowing some of the guys who have gotten it before me made me feel really proud to be in that group,” Sturdivant says. In part, he credits his lifeguarding career path to two years on the Chico State swim team, which is what brought him to the University originally. “When I was up there, the guys on the swim team would do anything for me, and I would do anything for them, just like my lifeguarding job,” he said. “That’s probably the biggest thing that led me to my job. It’s like being on the swim team forever.” Ashley Gebb, Public Affairs and Publications

Photo courtesy of Aaron Draper

workshops at Book Passage bookstore and The Writers Nest in Marin County, where she lives “with her teenage son, a magic cat, and a rescue dog.”


SHARON MAALIS (BS, Psychology, ’91; BA, Child Development, ’93) started the Chico chapter of the National Federation of the Blind and currently serves as its president. She uses her firsthand experience growing up without sight to help others who have lost theirs, teaching lessons such as kitchen safety, painting, and using Braille. HANS MILBERGER (BS, Construction Management, ’91) was named director of construction at Pieology Pizzeria, a restaurant chain that allows customers to create custom pizzas. He will manage design and development of Pieology restaurants from start to finish. MIKE PYLE (BS, Liberal Studies, ’92) was selected as a “teacher of the year” finalist for his work as a physical education teacher at Truckee Elementary School, where he has taught for 18 years, encouraging students and their families to lead healthy and active lives in and out of school. STEVE HORNOR (MA, Physical Education, ’95) was inducted into the Arkansas Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame on April 25, 2015. He has worked as an athletic trainer at the University of Central Arkansas since 2005, and previously was head athletic trainer at Arkansas Tech University. He is a former Chico State men’s soccer player and assistant coach, and a Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame member. TONY PRESCOTT (BA, History, ’95) was honored as an outstanding player during the “100 Players for 100 years” celebration of the men’s basketball program’s 100th anniversary. During his two-year basketball career at Chico State, Prescott served as team captain, scored 981 points, and knocked down 107 three-pointers. He is currently the regional director in Napa for the North Bay Basketball Academy. MIRIAM SLUIS (BS, Chemistry, ’95) works in research and development for production of sustainable bio-based chemicals. GRAY KNOWLTON (BA, Communication Design, ’97) is now CIO of Upsher-Smith Laboratories in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Gray spends his time building bioinformatics platforms, personalized health care and drug delivery solutions, and doing other work. Prior to joining Upsher-Smith, he was a leader on the Microsoft engineering team. JON TALLENT (BA, Physical Education, ’97) was named the new principal of Crossroads Community Day School in Petaluma. He has been a teacher in Petaluma City Schools since 1999, most recently as a physical education teacher and department chair at Petaluma High School. He lives in Rohnert Park with his wife, Cori, and son Masato, and practices Korean martial arts in his spare time. KEVIN ZWETSLOOT (BS, Exercise Physiology, ’98; MA, Physical Education, ’01) received an

Humanizing the Homeless A Chico State instructor’s photography series documenting homelessness throughout California recently garnered attention across the web.


aron Draper (BA, English, ’12), who teaches digital photography and has worked professionally throughout Northern California for many years, began the series titled Underexposed in 2013 in an attempt to humanize those who are homeless and inspire social activism. The documentary portraits were taken in cities throughout the state, including Chico, Oroville, Marysville, Modesto, Oakland, and San Francisco. Draper began the series as a personal project titled Forgotten Faces, but while earning his MFA at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, he decided to continue the work as his master’s thesis project under the new name. “My intention with this series was to present the homeless community in a way that the public would want to know more about them, increasing their exposure and generating more awareness of the homeless problem in the U.S.,” he said. For each of his subjects, Draper asked permission to take their photo, paid them for their time, asked them to sign photo releases, and returned within the week to share their portrait with them. “I approached the project as a guy who was trying to learn about another man or woman that happened to live on the

street,” Draper said in an interview with DIY Photography. “When I’m looking for subjects to photograph, I usually base it on two things: their story and their face. While I will pay everyone I photograph, I generally display the ones whose stories resonate with me and whose faces mirror those stories.” Draper said the attention the project received was unexpected. Though most of the responses have been positive, some online commenters have accused him of exploiting those who are homeless for his own purposes. “Once they hear more about the scope of my project they’ll see that this is entirely untrue,” Draper said in a written response to critics. “But I do enjoy controversy. I enjoy it because it keeps people talking about an issue that is close to my heart.” To view all the images from Underexposed, visit Draper’s website at Kacey Gardner (attended 2009-2014, Journalism) is the social media and web coordinator for North State Public Radio and also works as a freelance writer and editor based in Chico. Editor’s Note: This story was originally posted on North State Public Radio’s website CHICO STATEments


WILDCATS ON THE MOVE Photo by Jason Halley



here are defining moments in life when one must choose whether the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change. It is as though you find yourself in the middle of a stairwell: should you continue the difficult journey to the top or go back down? That is literally where Tyler Silvas experienced his awakening—after climbing a flight of stairs, breathless and in pain. In his senior at year Paradise High School, Silvas (BA, History, ’13) started playing football. At 6 feet tall and close to 290 pounds, he felt it was the perfect sport for him. As football season ended, the workouts ceased but his eating habits did not. When he entered Butte Community College through College Connection, his weight was starting to grow out of control. One day, Silvas found himself at the top of the stairs on his way to meet with a professor. “I was out of breath, and my shirt was soaked in sweat when I went into his office,” says Silvas, who at the time weighed more than 320 pounds. “I knew then that this was not who I wanted to be.” Accepted into both San Francisco State University and Chico State after two years at Butte College, Silvas said the Wildcat Recreation Center (WREC) was the deciding factor. He started running on the treadmill that summer, but it was in the University’s Fit-U program where Silvas began to expand his knowledge and confidence. “The peer mentors really taught me a lot—practical knowledge,



mind-sets, and motivation,” he says. A collaborative effort between the Department of Kinesiology and the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Fit-U is a voluntary program in which students receive eight mentoring sessions focused on nutrition and physical activity. “It’s not a weight-loss program,” says Fit-U Director Dawn Clifford, “but a way to heal students’ relationships with food and exercise.” Silvas took what he learned and started training, spending hours at the WREC by himself and with personal trainers. For the first time, he felt included. “I would be lifting weights and someone would come up to me and tell me to keep up the good work,” he says. Toward the end of that first summer, WREC program supervisor Brooke Magnotta congratulated Silvas on his weight loss and praised his dedication. “I was stunned. I had never been encouraged like that. It was a far cry from the fat jokes of high school,” Silvas says. Magnotta also remembers that interaction. “I would see him here every day, and he was very dedicated. It was important to me to let him know I was aware of him and the work he was doing,” she says. “When you make a positive connection with one person, you have the opportunity to make a positive societal change.” By graduation, Silvas had lost 70 pounds. As he maintains his active lifestyle while pursuing a master’s degree in history at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, the stairs of his journey become easier. He now hopes to become a pioneer in the history of fitness, and emailed Magnotta last summer to thank her for support and share a new victory: He’s officially lost more than 100 pounds. Magnotta could not be more proud of both Silvas and the spirit of the WREC. Silvas is gratified, too. “I have started reflecting on the things that have made me successful, and I wanted to reach out to people who have changed my life,” he says. “Sometimes people don’t know the impact one conversation can have.” Ann Wilson, a former U.S. Army Airborne photojournalist, now works in the Office of the President at CSU, Chico.

Appalachian State University Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award for his work in the university’s College of Health Sciences. He has served as an assistant professor and the director of the biochemistry laboratory in the department since 2009, and credits his desire to be a professor to his days as an undergrad at Chico State.


VALERIE CLEARY (BA, Social Science, ’00) was selected to serve as Willamette University’s director of athletics. Previously, she served as the senior associate athletics director and senior woman administrator at Portland State University, and held positions at Boise State University and Pacific University. JERUSHA KAZMIER (BS, Exercise Physiology, ’01) became the head coach of Danville Community College’s first-ever women’s volleyball team. She has coached at various levels from youth volleyball league to high school varsity and community college teams, and she is also a personal trainer and certified in yoga. ROBIN DUMMER (MA, History, ’02) was appointed 14th president of Simpson University after serving as interim president for two years. Previously, he served as Simpson University’s dean of the School of Traditional Undergraduate Studies, as well as its associate provost and accreditation liaison officer from 2005–2013. JOSEPH DUNN (BS, Business Administration, ’02) was named a member of the law firm Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC, where he works as an attorney in the bankruptcy, restructuring, and commercial law section. In 2015, he was named a Southern California Super Lawyers “Rising Star” and was recognized by the San Diego Business Journal in its “Best of the Bar” publication. TYLER GRAFF (BA, Liberal Studies, ’03; Credential, ’04) was hired as the new principal at the Claire Lilienthal Alternative School in San Francisco. Previously, he served as the principal of Stevenson Elementary School in Mountain View. EMILY HARTMANN (BS, Biological Sciences, ’03) has returned to Chico to open Northstate Plastic Surgery Associates. She married her best friend her first year of medical school and had her first child just before graduation. After having two more children and completing a one-year fellowship in plastic surgery, she says the decision to move back to Chico was easy, as she thinks it is Northern California’s “best-kept secret.”

BETH KILE-HERCHKORN (BA, English, ’03) teaches high school English in San Jose. She and her husband just welcomed their second daughter, Lila Faith, in January 2015. They live together with their first daughter, Anna, in San Jose. BRIAN LANEY (BS, Business Administration, ’03) joined the firm EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants in Sacramento as a property and casualty insurance broker in June 2015. His 12year insurance career includes eight years as a commercial insurance broker at Brown & Brown Insurance in Sacramento. ANGELA MARTIN (BS, Health Science, ’03) is working as a supervisor for Butte County Behaviorial Health, “and loving it!” AUSTIN PHILLIPS (BS, Recreation Administration, ’04) is the director of sales and


marketing at Loews Regency hotel in San Francisco. He has held several past positions in hotel sales and marketing in the San Francisco area. ROSS LACY (Attended 2005-08, Musical Theatre) recently starred in the first season of the truTV reality show The Hustlers, which spotlights some of New York’s best pool players and their techniques, as well as pool hall drama. Before becoming a cast member of the show, he worked in New York as a website designer. CYNTHIA SEXTON (BA, Art, ’05; MA, Art, ’08) helped organize the art show and silent auction World Cultures at the Ninth Avenue Gallery & Studio in Chico to benefit victims of the April 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. Her desire to help those displaced stemmed from her experiences traveling through Nepal and learning about Nepalese culture. Sexton is an artist and owner of Ninth

Avenue Gallery, where she teaches art classes. ZURI BERRY (BA, Journalism, ’07) was named deputy managing editor for news and multimedia at the Boston Herald on June 4, 2015. Previously, he worked as manager of web content at WFXT Fox25 News and a content producer and sports writer for the Boston Globe, covering the New England Patriots. He’s also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and serves as vice president of the Boston chapter. NORAH BRENNAN (BS, Business Administration, ’07) became a senior associate in national institutional investment sales and single tenant net leased assets with Colliers International. She has worked in commercial real estate for four years.


hen Tiffani Neal (BS, Biological Sciences, ’04) stepped off a bus and onto the Chico State campus as a visiting high school student from Richmond, California, she didn’t quite know if it was the right place for her. But looking back, she realizes she had stepped into a world of “endless possibilities.” “Being an African American woman, leaving an inner city full of other minorities and coming to a place where there was only, at the time, 2 percent African Americans was not very easy,” she recalls. “I was the first person in my family to go to college, and it was also tough because I didn’t get a lot of financial aid.” During the visit, Neal met with admissions counselor Patty McDevitt, whose warm welcome and offers of support, including a workstudy job, put her at ease. “I just felt so comfortable,” she says. “I was like, this is the most friendly place ever.” In her next few years as a Wildcat, Neal found herself entrenched in the campus community and all of the student activities it offered. She had a job in the Admissions Office; was a member of the Pan African Union and the National Society of Black Engineers; participated in events put on by the Women’s Center, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan, and the biology honor society; served as an Educational Opportunity Program summer ambassador; and even traveled to Germany, Japan, and Taiwan

with the service-learning program Camp Adventure. Neal initially planned on becoming a doctor, but after graduating with a degree in biological sciences, she began substitute teaching and found a passion for educating that she couldn’t ignore. That was more than a decade ago. Today, as an innovative seventh and eighth grade teacher at Lovonya DeJean

how to be inventors and innovators,” she explains. “I teach in a predominately Latino and African American community—and, of course, with the achievement gap, I feel very happy that my students are now being inspired to study these fields. And they’re starting to say, ‘Oh, I want to be this kind of engineer and I want to do that.’ So I’m really excited that I’ve opened up the door for them to explore.” Not only is she opening doors for her students through her work—she’s also thinking about new possibilities for herself. Neal is toying with the idea of applying to medical school to study the intersection of medicine and engineering, intrigued by new technologies such as 3D organ printing. “This is only a wild idea, but it’s something that I’m thinking about,” she says, “You never really know where your path will end. But coming to Chico, that Photo courtesy of Tiffani Neal part of my path was amazing— Middle School back in her hometown, meeting new people, being out of my she is inspiring her students to see the comfort zone. I just felt like it was a great endless possibilities of their own futures— choice for me. I would tell anybody.” by teaching them how to build, invent, And she has. Neal has inspired about and explore through the fields of science, eight family members to attend Chico technology, engineering, and math State over the years, as well as some of her (STEM). former students. “I just tell everybody, Neal teaches a curriculum called Project ‘Go to Chico!’” she says. “Maybe one day Lead the Way Gateway, a leading STEM I’ll retire there, because it is just such a program in which students engage their beautiful place to be. I miss it every day.” natural curiosity and imagination in Kacey Gardner (attended 2009-14, creative problem solving through topics Journalism) is the social media and web such as coding and robotics, flight and coordinator for North State Public Radio space, and DNA and crime scene analysis. and also works as a freelance writer and “Basically the main focus is teaching kids editor based in Chico. CHICO STATEments


WILDCATS ON THE MOVE DILLON CARROLL (BA, History, ’07; MA, History, ’09) was heavily featured in the second installment of the History Channel’s Blood and Glory: The Civil War in Color documentary, alongside other experts including retired U.S. Army generals David Petraeus and Colin Powell. The documentary producers contacted Carroll for his veteran-focused perspective on the Civil War after reading his piece, “The Civil War and P.T.S.D.,” in The New York Times. KOURTNEY JASON (BA, Journalism, ’07) is a senior publicist for Ulysses Press. She has published her fourth book, 101 Fun Personality Quizzes: Who Are You…Really?! She is the author of The Naughty Bucket List and co-author of Never Have I Ever and Lights, Camera, Booze. She married Cenk Sokmen on July 18, 2015, in Sacramento. They traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, in October for a second wedding celebration with his family. They live in Jersey City, New Jersey. KATIE BOOTH (BA, Journalism, ’09) is the cofounder of Loner Magazine, a publication that spotlights the writings of millennials and discusses topics such as technology, pop culture, and environmental issues. She lives in Los Angeles, where she works as a writer and actor in film, television, theater, and improv.


GEORGE SMITH (BA, Mathematics, ’66) and CHERYL (BRUN) SMITH (BA, Home Economics, ’67) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on September 5, 2015. They met as students at Chico State College and were married in 1965. They have lived in Lakeport for 48 years. George taught high school mathematics for 36 years and Cheryl ran several successful art-based home businesses. They have four children and seven grandchildren. STEPHEN CHRISTENSEN (BA, Political Science, ’68) and Carol Christensen celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary June 13, 2015. BILL HOOBLER (BS, Agricultural Business, ’77) and his wife, MARILYN (PHILLIPS) HOOBLER, (BA, Special Major: Fashion Merchandising, ’77), celebrated 40 years of marriage. Both from Chico, they were high school sweethearts who married during college. They still have family in Chico and like to visit their old haunts, such as La Comida, Shubert’s, and Italian Cottage. Bill recently celebrated his 35-year anniversary with Farm Credit, and Marilyn celebrated her 30th anniversary with Patterson Apricot Fiesta,

Inc., which puts on an annual celebration for the community of Patterson. JASON MARTIN (BA, Geography, ’99) and his wife, Alisha, celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary October 1, 2015. SCOTT JUNGLING (BS, Instructional Technology, ’05) married BRIANNE EPLEY (BA, English, ’09; MA, English, ’11) on May 23, 2015 in Chico. The couple honeymooned in Europe for three weeks. BRIAN ERICKSON (BS, Agricultural Business, ’07) married KRYSTAL MERLO (BA, Psychology, ’09) on March 14, 2015. They live in Chico. KRISTIN JINDRICH (BS, Business Administration, ’07) married JAKE BENTON (BS, Civil Engineering, ‘09) on August 24, 2014. Kristen works for Sierra Nevada Corporation and Jake works for MBK Engineers. They met in the dorms in 2002 and started dating in 2006. They live in Folsom. MARK LIM (BS, Exercise Physiology, ’07) married Elizabeth Wamble on July 25, 2015. He runs a fitness and wellness business in Los Angeles, and the two live in Manhattan Beach.


DANIEL LINNEN (BS, Nursing, ’11) is pursuing his PhD at the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Nursing. His research will investigate how big data and predictive analytics improve clinical care outcomes. In addition, he is investigating the policy context of advanced analytics and health information technology in the United States. AMANDA SHARP (MBA, ’11) was appointed director of Tehama County Department of Social Services in May 2015. Before she was hired by Tehama County in 2011, she served as the program manager for CalWORKs and the Tehama County Community Action Agency. CHRISTIE HOBBY (BS, Agricultural Business, ’13) spoke at the Turlock Chamber of Commerce’s 15th annual Ag Scholarship Luncheon, educating scholarship winners on the importance of networking with experienced professionals and finding internships. She works for Rabobank. MARISSA SARTORIS (BA, Recreation Administration, ’13) works as a tour guide at the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours in New Zealand, where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed. She says, “Traveling abroad has been the best decision I ever made! It opens your eyes, mind, and heart to new possibilities and adventures you never thought possible. You can always make more money but you can never get back the adventures and opportunities you let pass you by.”



(Above) Jake Benton (BS, Civil Engineering, ‘09) and Kristin Jindrich (BS, Business Administration, ’07)

(Right) Fernando Garcia Calvo and Lindsay Woychick (BA, Journalism, ’12)

WILDCATS IN OUR THOUGHTS WILLIAM LYNCH (BA, Criminal Justice, ’09) married LINDSAY KEYAWA (BA, Criminal Justice, ’10) November 15, 2014, in Foresthill. She earned a master’s degree from the American Military University and works at the Taft Federal Correctional Institution. He earned a doctorate in law from University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law and works for the Kern County District Attorney’s Office. They live in Bakersfield. MICHELLE STARR (BS, Agriculture, ’11) married Christopher Munday on July 25, 2015. The two met at a Halloween party in 2012. Starr opened her own successful pet care business, All-Starr Pet Services, providing grooming services, dog walking, behavior modification and nutrition consulting, and professional sitting, and credits Chico State for supporting her knowledge that she now shares with pet owners. LINDSAY WOYCHICK (BA, Journalism, ’12) married Fernando Garcia Calvo on August 18, 2015, in Boise, Idaho. They met in Bilbao, Spain, when Woychick was studying abroad in 2011–2012. They honeymooned on

the Camino de Santiago and currently live in Getxo, Spain. AMY BEEMAN (BS, Business Administration, ’13) married DEREK SOHNREY (BS, Agricultural Business, ’13) on November 14, 2014. She works at Chatterbox Cafe in Durham. He works for Sohnrey and Son Family Farm. The two live in Chico. CHRISTOPHER MORGAN (BS, Business Administration, ’13) married RACHEL TRINE (BS, Recreation Administration, ’13) on March 28, 2015, in Chico. He works for Slater & Son, Inc. She works for Sheraton Real Estate Management. NICOLE WILLIAMS (BS, Business Administration, ’15) married Kent Schofield on May 24, 2015 in Napa. She works as vice president and financial advisor for Citi Personal Wealth Management in Palo Alto. He works as vice president of global investment research for Goldman, Sachs & Co., in San Francisco.} Zachary Phillips, Public Affairs and Publications

(Below) Marilyn (Phillips) Hoobler, (BA, Special Major: Fashion Merchandising, ’77) and husband Bill Hoobler (BS, Agricultural Business, ’77)

In Memoriam— Alumni 1950s

BEVERLY CASEBEER (BA, Kindergarten-Primary and General Elementary, ’56; Credential, ’56) died November 29, 2014, at the age of 88. She devoted her career to research and education in the fields of early childhood development and special education. She authored three books on motor skills, children’s learning patterns, and neuroscience; became a registered counselor in Washington State; and worked for Child Protection Services after retirement. She also taught at St. Mary’s College and at Seattle University. She is remembered as “a provider of selfless advice; a shining example of conviction, consistency, and faith.”


BILL EISSINGER (BA, Art, ’70) died Aug. 13, 2014, in Chico at the age of 67. He graduated from Chico High School in 1965, then attended Chico State College. After graduating from college, Bill operated a car sales business in Chico, which he maintained for many years, later branching out into RV sales. He retired in 2012. Eissinger was a very likeable person and he will be remembered for his unconditional love toward all. He is survived by his loving sister, Susie Eissinger; brother, Richard Eissinger; and six nieces and nephews.


KAREN SELLERS (Attended 1981-82) died April 24, 2015 at the age of 55, after a two and a-half-year battle with pancreatic cancer. She attended Chico State for one year on exchange from the University of Massachusetts, where she earned her BS in Biology in 1982.


(Right) Michelle Starr (BS, Agriculture, ’11) and Christopher Munday

BLAKE BRITTON (MFA, ’07) died May 8, 2015 at the age of 36 after battling a 15-month illness. After graduating, he and his wife, Vicki, moved to Portland, Oregon, where he founded his own company, Birdeye Design. Chico State art professor Sheri Simons remembers Britton, who also taught Introduction to Sculpture during his studies, as compassionate, generous, warm, and funny, and as someone who could “engage in deep and serious conversation and somehow find the humor in it by lifting a revealing edge.” He is survived by Vicki and their son Carter.




In Memoriam— Faculty and Staff

KATHERINE BEELER, Education, died August 2, 2015, at the age of 77. Beeler joined what was then the Department of Education in 1973 and taught for 27 years. She was a secondary educator with a strong interest in multicultural education. To that end, she traveled to Costa Rica to learn alternative ways to teach children and adults from other cultures. An artist who worked in oil and batik, she also made silver jewelry, and designed and built homes in California and Costa Rica. She retired from teaching in 2000. Beeler is survived by her son, Ben, and granddaughter Emmy. FRANCIS “FRANK” CALLAHAN, Finance and Marketing, died July 14, 2015, at the age of 82. In 1968, he was hired at Chico State College, where he taught courses in advertising and marketing for 15 years. He was actively involved in supervising student research in consumer acceptance of commercial products through what was then the School of Business’ Center for Business and Economic Research. During his tenure, he consulted for many Fortune 500 companies and lectured in Eastern Europe, Korea, and Australia. After he retired in 1983, he was a senior visiting fellow at the National University of Singapore. Callahan is survived by his wife, Siew Hoong Chan, and the extended Chan family in Singapore, including his mother-in-law, aunts, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, 13 nieces and nephews, grandniece, and grandnephew. HUGH CAMPBELL, History, died June 4, 2015, at the age of 80. During Campbell’s 29-year tenure at CSU, Chico, he developed his own course on Latin America and served as department chair and dean of the international studies program. He also escorted Spanish and Latin American studies students on several trips to Mexico City. In retirement, he enjoyed travel and was active in many organizations, serving on the board of directors for the Retired Public Employees Association, the Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association, the Butte County Work Training Center, the Bidwell Mansion Association, and the Butte County Historical Society. Campbell is survived by his wife, Dolores; daughter Laura of Merced; son Alex of Crescent City; grandchildren Scott, Danielle, Michael and Nicole; and brother Jack of Shawnee, Kansas. JIM DWYER, Meriam Library, died June 28, 2015, at the age of 65. Jim came to CSU, Chico to work in the library in May 1986 as the head of Bibliographic Services. He was a prolific writer of scholarly works, poetry and reviews, with 16 scholarly articles in major journals, 19 literary studies, 84 book reviews in Library Journal, and numerous poems. He was a constant presence at music events, meetings concerning social justice, protection of the environment and other issues, and open mic opportunities, where he would share his poetry often using the moniker “Reverend Junkyard Moondog.” He is survived by a brother, William Dwyer, many friends, and extended family.



GRACE HERTLEIN, Computer Science, died July 13, 2015, at the age of 91. She joined Chico State College’s computer science department in 1970, entering a thenuncommon field for women, and was at one point the only female professor in the department. She pioneered the field now known as digital media, the electronic generation and manipulation of images that can be used for fine or applied art. She taught for 28 years, and from 1970–1988 she authored more than 100 national and international publications, and was a distinguished visiting artist at several institutions. Perhaps her greatest legacy is founding the Journal of Computer Graphics and Art, a quarterly magazine published between 1976 and 1978. She is survived by her daughter, Pat Wilson, and her granddaughter Laura Jordan. IRA LATOUR, Art and Art History, died July 19, 2015, at the age of 95. Latour began taking photography classes when he was 10 years old, and he met his mentor, the photographer Ansel Adams, when he was 13. In 1968, Latour joined the thenDepartment of Art at Chico State College, and was instrumental in the rapid expansion of the art history program and art slide collection. Over the course of his career, he taught 32 different courses, including the history of film and photography. In 1973, he cofounded the University Film Series with English professor Peter Hogue and cohosted it for 19 years. When Latour retired in 1991, the University honored him by dedicating the Ira Latour Visual Resources Center, a learning/teaching center in Ayres Hall. He is survived by his wife, Teresita (Terri) Pangelinan, and son Marcus. TURHON ALLEN MURAD, Anthropology, died August 15, 2015, at the age of 71. In 1972, he accepted a faculty position in the Department of Anthropology at CSU, Chico as the first tenured physical anthropologist in the department and taught for 38 years. Murad served in a number of leadership positions during his tenure, chairing the department, directing the Human Identification Laboratory, and developing and coordinating the Certificate in Forensic Identification. He also maintained an active role in many external organizations and agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Department of Defense; assisted local and federal law enforcement in forensic casework; and taught courses to law enforcement. Murad is survived by his wife, Jackie, his loving sons Mark and Todd, brothers Ferid and John, and 10 nieces and nephews. Donations may be made to a memorial scholarship in his name through the University Foundation. CAROLYN (GALLOWAY) NEWMAN, Procurement and Contract Services, died July 5, 2015, at the age of 84. She joined Chico State College’s procurement office in 1969, working as an assistant, a purchasing agent, and eventually, a buyer. She is believed to have been the first female buyer in the California State University system, a fact that gave her pride. After a 31-year career at CSU, Chico,

she retired in 2000. Newman is survived by her husband, Max Newman; son Richard Bishop of Moss Landing; granddaughter Lindsey Bishop of Santa Cruz; sister Joan Gatterer of Chico; brother Harvey Saxelid of El Dorado, Arkansas; and numerous nieces and nephews. GARY SITTON, Computer Science, died October 27, 2015, at the age of 70. Sitton earned his bachelor’s in marketing in 1966 and his MBA in 1967, both from Chico State College. After earning a PhD in computer science from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, where he also taught computer science, he returned to CSU, Chico in 1972 and became one of the first professors hired to teach computer science on campus. A professor emeritus, he taught at CSU, Chico for 17 years and was a 1997 Distinguished Alum. He and his wife, Judy, founded the software company Bi-Tech Enterprises in 1978, and helped found the Gateway Science Museum in the early 2000s. In 2014, he and Professor Emeritus Larry Wear and local entrepreneurs started a merit-based scholarship, which today can be supported through the Computing and Electronics Academic Excellence Scholarship Endowment. Sitton is survived by Judy, daughter Holly Sitton, and grandsons Maxwell and Joshua Andersen. JENNIFER TANCRETO, Art and Art History, died October 1, 2015 at the age of 37. After earning bachelor’s degrees in art history and art studio from CSU, Chico, she began the graduate degree program in 2011, serving as a teaching assistant for courses in printmaking and 2D design. She earned her MFA in printmaking in spring 2015 and was scheduled to teach an intermediate printmaking lithography course this fall. Tancreto also lent her energy to committees and organizations ranging from the student printmakers club to the College of Humanities and Fine Arts dean search committee, and was recently appointed to the Janet Turner Print Museum’s board of directors. Tancreto is survived by her partner of 12 years, Miriam Roder; her parents Gail and Mark Tancreto; brother Michael Tancreto; nephews Noah and Lucas Tancreto; grandparents Louis and Penny Tancreto; aunts and uncles, numerous cousins, and extended family. A memorial scholarship has been established in Tancreto’s name through the University Foundation. GREGORY TAYLOR, Geological and Environmental Sciences, died June 3, 2015, at the age of 61. After earning a PhD in geophysics from the University of Washington, he joined what was then the Department of Geology and Physical Sciences in 1988. He was a popular professor in the department for 28 years, teaching astronomy, pollution and environmental science, and other geophysics classes. He had a love for motorcycles and music, and was a founding member of the local Celtic band The Pub Scouts. Taylor is survived by his wife, Izzy; children Chris and Patricia and their spouses; parents Richard and Angela Taylor; stepchildren Jake and Yara Pasner; and many nieces and nephews.}


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Photo by Jason Halley

Chico Statements fall 2015  

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

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