Latest Achievements

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

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Week of: Oct 05, 2014

Student Lucas Reyes, Hailey Lang, Conor Handley, Jared Whear, Jenny Zorn & Stephen Cunha, Geography

Six Geography students, alumni, and faculty represented HSU at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers at the University of Arizona, in Tuscon.

Senior Lucas Reyes took home the top undergraduate research prize for his paper and presentation on “The Dawn of the Greenhouse on Rural Tibetan Landscapes.”

Hailey Lang (’14, Geography), a graduate student at San Jose State University, won the top Masters of Arts award for “Analyzing the Foreclosure and Crime Burden of Stockton, California.”

HSU Senior Rangeland Resource Science student Conor Handley won the Indigenous Peoples Travel Grant. He presented his paper on The Role of Indigenous Fire Ecology and Culturally Based Prescribed Fire in the Reintroduction of the California Condor.

Jared Whear (’13, Geography), a graduate student at the University of Missouri, presented “Rural Protest, Environmental Activism, and ‘Sacred Water’: A Case Study of the Las Vegas/Snake Valley Rural-Urban Water War.”

HSU Interim Provost and former CSU San Bernardino Geography professor Jenny Zorn presented her research on Internationalization Programs in U.S. Higher Education.

Finally, Professor Stephen Cunha was elected APCG’s Vice-President. Cunha will be the organization’s 79th President.

Faculty Sarah Fay Philips, Library

Faculty Librarian Sarah Fay Philips co-authored the chapter “Collaborating with local high schools: your senior will be my first year student” in the book “The slow book revolution: creating a new culture of reading on college campuses and beyond”. The book is an “inspiring guide shows how to implement the principles of the Slow Book movement in high schools, public libraries, and college campuses, with the ultimate goals of encouraging pensive reading habits and creating a lifelong enjoyment of books”

Staff Stephen St. Onge, Housing and Residence Life

Director of Housing and Residence Life Stephen St. Onge has been appointed to the Association of College and University Housing Officers (ACUHO) I Commission on Assessment, and the ACUHO I Commission on Research. Onge, Ph.D, has also been asked to write an article for the ACUHO I Talking Stick on “The American Adolescent.”

Week of: Sep 28, 2014

Faculty Matthew Derrick, Geography

Geography faculty member Matthew Derrick was awarded a Kennan Institute grant, a division of the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC, that will support archival research in the Library of Congress on “Territory, Islam, and the Muslim Spiritual Boards of Russia: A Comparative Study of Four Muslim-Majority Regions.” He also served as editor for and published research in the Humboldt Journal of Social Relations edition on Perspectives on the State of Jefferson, in addition to publishing “Islam as a Source of Unity and Division in Eurasia” in the edited book Corridor of Interconnections: Eurasia from South China to the Caspian Sea.

Faculty Michael Bruner, Laura Hahn, Nicole Sheldon, Communication

Communication Professors Michael Bruner and Laura Hahn and alumna Nicole Sheldon have published their essay, “Unhappy with your Food? Communicate!” in Vol. 9 Issue 5 of Communication Currents.

The essay is translated from the scholarly article: Bruner, M., Hahn, L., & Sheldon, N. (2014). The petition clause and food advocacy. First Amendment Studies, 48, 61-76.

The essay is available online at the National Communication Association website.

Faculty Margi Waller, Social Work

Professor of Social Work Margi Waller is the Principle Investigator at HSU and two other Social Work Departments on CSU campuses for a “Writing Skills for Child Welfare Workers” online pilot course.

This pilot course was developed by the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC), together with Title IV-E staff at Universities and public child welfare agencies throughout California. Five CSU Schools of Social Work (Fresno, Humboldt, San Bernardino, San Jose, Stanislaus) are collaborating with CalSWEC to pilot the course. Participating students represent a mix of undergrad and graduate students, part-time and full-time students, current child welfare workers, Title IV-E and non-title IV-E students. Each student in this pilot course is assigned a Writing Coach who will facilitate his/her progress.

One of the goals of this pilot course is to gather student feedback to gain insight from their experience and therefore improve the educational material within the course as needed. In 2015, the online course will be provided to all Title IV-E Universities, Public Child Welfare Agencies and Regional Training Academies throughout the state.

Faculty Micaela Szykman Gunther, former graduate student Shannon Murphie and colleagues, Wildlife

Wildlife Faculty member Micaela Szykman Gunther has co-authored a paper with her former graduate student Shannon Murphie and colleages Rob McCoy and Brian Murphie from Makah Tribal Forestry and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The paper entitled “Influence of hair loss syndrome on black-tailed deer fawn survival’ was part of Murhpie’s Master’s thesis and will be published in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management.

Week of: Sep 21, 2014

Faculty Justus Ortega, Kinesiology & Recreation Administration

Kinesiology & Recreation Professor Justus Ortega has published a research article in the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. The article is titled “Effects of aging on mechanical efficiency and muscle activation during level and uphill walking” and can be read online at

Faculty Rosemary Sherriff, Geography

Geography Professor Rosemary Sherriff has co-authored a peer-reviewed research article in the online journal PLOS ONE examining the severity of wildfires along Colorado’s Front Range. The paper is titled “Historical, Observed, and Modeled Wildfire Severity in Montane Forests of the Colorado Front Range” and can be read online at

Faculty Alison O'Dowd and Bill Trush, Environmental Science & Management

The HSU River Institute has received research funding from Friends of the Eel River. The project will develop recommendations for blockwater releases from the Potter Valley Project to assist rearing and migration for anadromous salmonids in the Eel River.

Student Calvin Fok and Dion Kucera, College of Natural Resources and Sciences

Two Humboldt State University students spent the summer of 2014 working on research projects in Woods Hole as part of the multi-institutional Partnership Education Program (PEP). They were among 15 students from around the U.S. who participated in the 10-week program. Calvin Fok is a senior majoring in marine biology, and Dion Kucera graduated in May 2014 with a degree in environmental science and is now at Indiana University pursuing double master’s degrees.

Student Tristan Merlaud and Rudy Directo, Fishing

Students Tristan Merlaud and Rudy Directo placed fifth in the FLW College Fishing bass tournament Sept. 6 on New Melones Lake. They will now represent HSU in an FLW College Fishing Invitational. The top 10 teams from the Invitational advance to the 2015 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

FLW College Fishing is a national competitive bass-fishing program open to full-time students at four-year colleges and universities. For more information, visit

Staff GEAR UP, Humboldt State University

Humboldt State University has received $443,614 through the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, which helps at-risk students prepare for college and receive the support they need to achieve success in postsecondary education.

Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the six or seven-year competitive grants target entire grades of students, partner with local organizations and businesses, and include matching local contributions and in-kind services. Grantees serve an entire group of students, usually beginning no later than seventh-grade, and follow them throughout high school.

This year, applicants were encouraged to address how they plan to increase postsecondary success, implement college- and career-ready standards, and work in conjunction with Promise Zones – places where the federal government has partnered with local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, improve educational opportunities, and reduce violent crime.

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