Latest Achievements

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

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Week of: Apr 06, 2014

Student Jesse Hoskins and Jennifer Alejo, Politics

Jesse Hoskins and Jennifer Alejo were named the first- and second-place recipients, respectively, of the Kalb-Haston Awards, whose cash prizes totaled $1,250. These awards are funded by HSU alumnus David Kalb and Bruce Haston, a former HSU political science professor. They recognize students who have demonstrated personal commitment and leadership by taking an active role in student government, particularly through the Office of Associated Students.

Student Stephanie Buck, History

History major Stephanie Buck is the 2014 recipient of the $500 William R. Tanner History Scholarship. The scholarship was established in memory of William R. Tanner, professor of history at Humboldt State University from 1970 to 1999, founder of History Day and author of “A View from the Hill,” a history of Humboldt State University.

Student Sydney Hinton, History

History major Sydney Hinton was selected by History Department faculty as the 2014 recipient of the Dr. John Hennessey Award, which honors a graduating history major who has demonstrated academic excellence in the study of history. The award was established in memory of Dr. John Hennessey, a professor of History and department chair at Humboldt State University who, after his retirement from the History Department, provided many years of service to the university.

Student James Garrison and Echo Aloe, History

History majors James Garrison and Echo Aloe were awarded first and second place, respectively, in the 2014 Charles R. Barnum History Contest, with their combined cash prizes totaling $1,750. The Barnum History Awards celebrate original historical research of Humboldt County. The awards were established in 1952 by a grant from Charles Barnum, a realtor and insurance broker in Eureka who was a member of the Humboldt State College Advisory Board from 1946 to his death in 1953.

Student Garrett Highland, History

History major Garrett Highland is the 2014 recipient of the $1,000 Johnston-Aronoff History Scholarship, which is awarded to a History major with an emphasis in the study of California and/or the western United States. The award was established by Guy Aronoff, a lecturer in the HSU History Department, and his wife, Judy Johnston, in memory of Guy’s father, David Aronoff, and Judy’s mother, Aldy Johnston.

Student Cheryl Bondi, Dr. Sharyn Marks, Biological Sciences

Cheryl Bondi, former HSU Biology grad student (Advisor, Dr. Sharyn Marks, HSU Zoology) just won the Best Student Paper recently won an award for her thesis research in the 2013 volume of Copeia. The paper is titled “Differences in flow regime influence the seasonal migrations, body size, and body condition of Western Pond Turtles (Actinemys marmorata) that inhabit perennial and intermittent riverine sites in northern California.” Copeia 2013:142-153.

  Brian Wallace, Tyler Martin, Aaron Perez, Ryan P. Dunne, Nicholas A. Campbell, and Zachary Ruiz, Environmental Resources Engineering

The Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) just announced the results from the 2014 Mathematical Modeling Contest. Once again, two student teams from the HSU Environmental Resources Engineering (ERE) department participated in this four day long contest. Competing against thousands of universities, each team produced a report summarizing their solution to one of three possible problems.

The team consisting of Brian Wallace, Tyler Martin, and Aaron Perez selected a problem that required they build and analyze a mathematical model to analyze the performance of the “Keep-To-The-Right-Except-To-Pass” rule in light and heavy traffic. The team’s report was awarded the score of Meritorious. Only 25 (0.4 percent) of the 6,755 teams working on this problem scored higher, and 90 percent of the teams received lower scores.

The team consisting of Ryan P. Dunne, Nicholas A. Campbell, and Zachary Ruiz selected a problem that required building a network model for determining influence in a large co-author network and measuring impact within a set of foundational papers in network science. This problem required teams to mine a large data set and understand concepts from the informational sciences to build an effective model for these complex phenomena. The team’s report was also awarded the score of Meritorious. Only 11 (1%) of the 1,028 teams working on this problem scored higher, and 86% of the teams received lower scores.

Congratulations to the members of both teams for their high achievement in this event.

Faculty Sam Sonntag, Politics

Sam Sonntag recently signed a book contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press for a forthcoming volume entitled “State Traditions and Language Regimes” that she has co-edited with Linda Cardinal of the University of Ottawa. In addition to the co-editing, Sonntag and Cardinal co-authored the introductory chapter situating language policy studies in the discipline of political science. Sonntag also contributed a chapter entitled “State Tradition and Language Regime in the United States: Time for Change?” based on her experience serving as a member of the Group of Advisors for the U.S. Government’s National Security Education Program from 2006 to 2009.

Faculty Paul Cummings, Music

Music professor Paul Cummings presented a clinic to the San Francisco State University Wind Ensemble April 3 on the SFSU campus. Responding to an invitation from the group’s director, Dr. Martin Seggelski, Cummings gave a 90-minute clinic in which he illustrated concepts of phrasing, balance, and awareness of musical roles while he conducted Alfred Reed’s composition “Second Suite for Band.”

Faculty Michael S. Bruner, Laura K. Hahn, Nicole B. Sheldon, Communication

Michael S. Bruner, Laura K. Hahn and Nicole B. Sheldon had their essay, “The Petition Clause and Food Advocacy” published in First Amendment Studies, Vol. 8, Issue 1 (2014): 61-76. The essay explores California Proposition 37 (for labeling GM food), presents a model of “petition” and breaks new ground by expanding First Amendment studies beyond “freedom of speech.”

Week of: Mar 30, 2014

Faculty Steve Railsback, Matt Johnson, Mathematics

Drs. Steve Railsback (Mathematics) and Matt Johnson (Wildlife) collaborated on a paper recently accepted for publication in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” The paper presents a mathematical model on the controversial trade-off between allocating land for crop production versus conservation of biodiversity. Their model shows that, for coffee farmers, growing trees to attract birds not only benefits biodiversity, it also boosts net crop production because birds help control insect pests. The paper will be published next week.

Faculty David Ellerd and Peggy Kirkpatrick, Education

David Ellerd and Peggy Kirkpatrick delivered a presentation on “Rural Partnerships: Special Education Teacher Preparation in Humboldt County.” This invited presentation was delivered to a special delegation of physicians and teachers from Siberia, Russia. The focus was to provide information about state and local requirements for Special Education teacher credentialing to educate children and young adults with disabilities. The event was sponsored by Humboldt County of Education (HCOE) on April 1, 2014.

Faculty Mark Larson, Professor Emeritus, Journalism & Mass Communication

Journalism professor emeritus Mark Larson’s photography exhibit, “60 and Older….Working Out” will be on display at HealthSport in Arcata throughout April. Portraits of people aged 60 and older exercising represent the first phase of a project Larson hopes to expand into an in-depth photo essay.

“As a Baby Boomer myself now at age 66, I’ve been inspired by and enjoyed interacting with many 60-and-older persons working out at HealthSPORT over the past 15 years,” Larson said. “Listening to their stories has led me to want to explore common issues and experiences related to aging.”

Larson taught a variety of classes, including photojournalism, at HSU from 1975-2013. He also served a stint as chair of the Department of Journalism & Mass Communication.

“I plan to photograph more persons at different times of the day doing different activities at a variety of venues,” he said. “I also plan to begin collecting stories from members of the “Silver Tsunami” about why they work out.”

Staff Annie Bolick-Floss, Center for Service Learning & Academic Internships

Annie Bolick-Floss, Director for the Center for Service Learning & Academic Internships along with Dr. Eliane Ikeda, Executive Director of California Campus Compact will present a workshop on “How to Market and Support Your Programs,” at the 15th Annual “Continuums of the Service” Conference April 2-4 in Honolulu, HI.

Week of: Mar 23, 2014

Staff Craig C. Wruck, University Advancement

Vice President of University Advancement Craig C. Wruck will present a daylong lecture on the basics of planned giving at Harvard Law School. The April 30 lecture is sponsored by the Planned Giving Group of New England. More information is available at

Wruck is the 1999 recipient of the PGGNE’s David M. Donaldson Distinguished Service Award.

Faculty Dr. Daniela Mineva, Music

Music Faculty Daniela Mineva recently performed solo piano recital at the University of North Texas on their concert series “Distinguished alumni from UNT.” She also presented piano and contemporary music master classes and concerts at the University of Arlington, Texas and University of North Texas. As part of her Texas music tour, Dr. Mineva judged the International Concerto Piano Competition in Lewisville, TX.

Recently, she has also judged and conducted workshops at the Northern California CMEA Choral Festival in Arcata, CA.

Student James Bodnar, Matt Brush and Shayne Holler, Jozlyn Jareunpoon and Holly Leopardi,

Five HSU students have been selected to participate with students around the state in the California State University’s 28th Annual Student Research Competition. The following students will represent HSU at CSU East Bay on May 2nd and 3rd.

James Bodnar, Microbiology, “Biochemical Characterization of the Folate Biosynthetic Pathway in a Rickettsial Endosymbiont of Ixodes pacificus”; faculty advisor – Jianmin Zhong, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Matt Brush and Shayne Holler, Environmental Science, “Salt Marsh Carbon Sequestration: a Baseline Study, City of Arcata, California”; faculty advisor – Kevin Fingerman, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science and Management

Jozlyn Jareunpoon, Kinesiology, “Acute Effects of Bikram Yoga on Ambulatory Blood Pressure”; faculty advisor, Tina Manos, Associate Professor, Kinesiology & Recreation

Holly Leopardi, Physics, “Tests of Gravity Below Fifty Microns”; faculty advisor – C.D. Hoyle, Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy

The students will serve as exemplars of how student research is produced, supported, and promoted at HSU and compete based on their written summaries and oral presentations of their research.

Faculty David A. Ellerd, Education

David Ellerd delivered a presentation on “Rural Partnerships in Teacher Preparation: The Development of a Reading Clinic to add Consistency in Fieldwork Instructional Experiences.” This peer-reviewed presentation was delivered at the 33rd annual conference of the American Council on Rural Special Education, held in Tucson, Arizona, March 19-22, 2014. The focus of this national conference was on developing partnerships to meet individual needs across rural and urban cultural contexts.

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