Latest Achievements

Updates about the latest publications and other achievements by our faculty, staff and students

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Week of: May 07, 2017

Student Irene Vasquez, Environmental Science & Management

Graduate student Irene Vasquez was chosen as a Switzer Environmental Fellow for the 2017-18 academic year. The national fellowships are highly competitive. Each year, 20 promising environmental leaders are awarded $15,000 each to complete master’s and doctoral degrees in New England and California to advance their skills and develop their expertise to address critical environmental challenges.Vasquez’s research seeks to implement a management regime for restoring plants important for cultural preservation in Yosemite National Park. More details are available here.

Faculty Armeda Reitzel and Kyra Vollger, Communication

Dr. Armeda Reitzel and her undergraduate research assistant, Kyra Vollger, presented their paper entitled ““The Rhetoric of Official and ‘Unofficial’ National Anthems” on April 15th at the 2017 national conference of the Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Associations which was held in San Diego, CA.

Week of: Apr 30, 2017

Student Russ Walls, Torrie Brickley, Matthew Derrick, Nick Perdue, and Merien Townsel, Geography

After a long but fun road trip down to San Diego, Humboldt came home with several top awards from the 71st Annual California Geographical Society meeting in San Diego. The 16 current students, along with alumni, who attended represented HSU Geography with strong enthusiasm and professionalism.

We had three first-place student awardees. Nathaniel Douglass won first place for the McKnight Professional Paper Award. Russ Walls won first place for the Geosystems Professional Paper Award. And Torrie Brickley won first place for the Student Cartography Competition. Douglass also won the David Lantis Scholarship, and several of our students landed Student Travel Awards. Well done!

Our faculty got in on the action, too. Professor Matthew Derrick was awarded the Friend of Geography Award, and he was elected CGS Vice President. Dr. Nick Perdue was elected to the organization’s board, as was Merien Townsel, our recent graduate and current Administrative Support Assistant.

Student Lydia Leonard-Rhodes & Emily Bushta, English

The Department of English is pleased to announce its first recipients of the English Scholarship for 2017-18. These scholarships, the result of a generous donation by an anonymous donor, will be awarded in the spring of each academic year for the following year. The first scholarships are being given to Emily Bushta and Lydia Leonard-Rhodes, who will each receive an award of $1000 for the upcoming academic year. This year’s scholarship awards will be presented at the English Department Commencement Reception on Saturday, May 13 at 2:30 p.m. in the Green and Gold Room of Founders Hall.

Faculty Ramona Bell, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies

On April 13, 2017, Ramona j.j. Bell,Assistant Professor in CRGS, presented the paper “Teaching Django and Other Hollywood Slave Narratives: Problems and Possibilities” for the panel Rearticulating Racism, Resistance and Citizenship in the Age of Neoliberalism, at the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) Annual Conference in San Diego, CA.

Faculty Christina Accomando, English

On April 13, 2017, Christina Accomando, Professor of English and CRGS, presented the paper “Patriotism, Protest, and Dog Whistling the National Anthem” for the panel Rearticulating Racism, Resistance and Citizenship in the Age of Neoliberalism, at the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) Annual Conference in San Diego, CA.

Student Brittany Stuckey, Communication

Brittany Stuckey (COMM & Studio Art, 2016) had her photograph, “Cucumbers,” and “The Story of This Image” published in the Newsletter of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS).
April 2017, Issue 5, page 4.

Faculty William F. Wood, Chemistry

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, William Wood, was a co-author of an article on medicinal aspects of matsutake mushrooms (Tricholoma magnivelare). Wood identified and synthesized a new compound from mycelium of this mushroom, which was used in the current study – “Effects of matsutake mushroom scent compounds on tyrosinase and murine B16-F10 melanoma cells.” It was published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.

Week of: Apr 23, 2017

Student Yaad Rana, Josh Martinez, Toni Castillo, Karen Duarte, Peter Duin, Fernando Flores, Tanya Garcia, Jacob Hurd, Jackson Ingram, Amanda ‘the Destroyer’ Lagasca, Tony Mitchell III, David Rivera, Raymond Rios, Kelly Rodman, and Eunice Romero, Environmental Resources Engineering

Humboldt State University’s Environmental Resources Engineering students retain their trophy for the American Society of Civil Engineers Mid-Pacific Water Treatment Competition (MidPac), for the second year in a row, and fourth time overall, leading HSU to have the most wins in this competition. In addition, HSU took Second Place Overall in MidPac, even though the environmental engineering students did not complete in the Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge or Geowall competitions! Tongji University (Shanghai, China) was awarded first place overall due to their first place finishes in the other competitions that HSU did not compete in. The HSU team formed a great sense of camaraderie with the Tongji team, as they supported and cheered each other on throughout the three day conference.

MidPac was hosted by Chico State this year, and was attended by most of the UCs and CSUs in California, along with other international competitors. The competition was extremely close this year, with the ERE’s toughest competitors being Tongji (China), Laval (Canada), University of the Pacific, UC Berkeley and UC Davis.

Midpac consists of four main competitions: Concrete Canoe, Water Treatment, Geowall, and Steel Bridge. There are also three report competitions: Transportation, Ethics, and Water Research, each offering a cash prize. Each competition victory earns the winning school conference points, which are summed at the end and used to declare overall Mid-Pac winners.

HSU has historically competed only in the wastewater treatment competition. This year, HSU also competed in the water research paper category and mini-games. For water treatment competition, the team dedicated an enormous amount of effort into each of the scored categories to earn First Place in Water Treatment:
Construction (Second Place)
Poster Presentation (Tie for First Place)
Powerpoint Presentation (First Place)
Design Report (First Place)
Water Quality (First place).

For the Water Research Report competition, ERE student Peter Duin received a unanimous first place finish in both design report and oral presentation. HSU also won the Scavenger Hunt.

ERE students Yaad Rana and Josh Martinez co-chaired the preparation for Mid-Pac. Other participants were Toni Castillo, Karen Duarte, Peter Duin, Fernando Flores, Tanya Garcia, Jacob Hurd, Jackson Ingram, Amanda ‘the Destroyer’ Lagasca, Tony Mitchell III, David Rivera, Raymond Rios, Kelly Rodman, and Eunice Romero. The students are especially grateful the guidance and feedback from Professors Brad Finney and Margaret Lang.

Student Madison Whaley, Bailey Bergstrom, and Lonny Grafman, Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability recently announced the winners of the inaugural Sustainability Champion Awards. The award recognizes individuals on campus whose practices have deepened a culture of sustainability, have furthered the integration of sustainability into academics or student life, and/or reduced HSU’s environmental footprint.

This year’s winners are: Madison Whaley (student category); Bailey Bergstrom (staff category; she is also a student), and Lonny Grafman (faculty category).

Each winner received a $250 gift card and an award made by The Sanctuary ( from reclaimed materials at an awards ceremony during the April 20 Earth Week Keynote Banquet held in the Great Hall.

The call for nominations was announced in early April. The award was open to students, staff and faculty who have worked to advance sustainability. Any student was eligible; however, those faculty and staff members with sustainability in their job title or as an obligatory aspect of their job were not eligible for the award.

The Call for Nominations for the 2018 Sustainability Champion Awards will go out in March 2018.

Student Brent Henry, Andrew Mueller, Kaelie Pena, and Mariah Aguilar, Forestry & Wildland Resources

The Forestry and Wildland Resources Department celebrated its students during the annual Awards Banquet on April 18. This year, the department awarded over $68,000 in scholarships to 56 deserving students. Many scholarships were established by alumnae or in honor of alumnae; the Forestry Pathfinders scholarship was created by the founding forestry class at Humboldt State; and the Gayleen Smith scholarship was created in honor of the “office mom” for the department from 2005 through 2013.

The department also honored outstanding students: Brent Henry (Academic Excellence award in Forestry), Andrew Mueller (Professional Promise award in Forestry), Kaelie Pena (Rangeland Resource Outstanding Student), and Mariah Aguilar (Rangeland Resource Outstanding Student). And the students voted to award three separate honors: to Maurine Nicholson (Administrative Support Coordinator) and George Pease (Stockroom Manager) in recognition of their contributions to the department, and to Dr. Pascal Berrill for Outstanding Faculty member.

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