Latest Achievements

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

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Week of: Apr 12, 2015

Faculty James Floss, Communication

James Floss (Communication Department) has directed “Clybourne Park” opening on April 30 at Redwood Curtain Theatre in Eureka. Clybourne Park is a contemporary, Pulitzer Prize winning follow-up to Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun”. Act One takes place in 1959, as nervous community leaders anxiously try to stop the sale of a home to a black family. Act Two is set in the same house in the present day, as the now predominantly African-American neighborhood battles to hold its ground in the face of gentrification.

Student Maggy Waurin, Art

Art major Maggy Waurin has received an assistantship as a studio technician in the Jewelry & Metals Studio for the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program 2015 for Adults. More information at:

Student Logan Baumgartner, Alan Ramirez, Xuesi Feng, Friedel Pretorius, Zachary Ruiz, Tahsa Sturgis, Dustin Fredricey, Matti Nylander, and Julian Quick, Joanna Murphy, Jacob Rowe, and George Corbett, Environmental Resources Engineering

Each winter, the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) sponsors the annual Mathematical Modeling Contest (MCM) and Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM). As they have for many years, 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 four possible problems.

This year, four ERE student teams entered in the competition that began on Thursday evening, February 5 and ended on Monday evening, February 9.

The team consisting of Logan Baumgartner, Alan Ramirez, and Xuesi Feng selected a problem that required they build a mathematical model to analyze the quantity of the medicine needed, possible feasible delivery systems, locations of delivery, and the speed of manufacturing of a vaccine or drug to optimize the eradication of Ebola. Logan, Alan, and Xuesi competed against 5,356 teams and were awarded a ranking of Successful Participant.

The team consisting of Friedel Pretorius, Zachary Ruiz, and Tahsa Sturgis selected a problem that required modeling churn in an organization with the intent of aiding managers and decision makers to build successful systems for recruiting, hiring, training, and evaluating employees. The team’s report was awarded the score of Meritorious. Only 12 (2%) of the 641 teams working on this problem scored higher, and 88% of the teams received lower scores.

The team consisting of Dustin Fredricey, Matti Nylander, and Julian Quick selected a problem that required building a model for sustainability and a 20-year sustainable development plan for one country on the United Nations Least Developed Countries list. The teams used their model to evaluate the effect of their 20-year plan on the country’s sustainability. Teams searched for pertinent data and grappled with how economic development must consider ecosystem health and social equitability. Dustin, Matti, and Julian competed against 1,496 teams and were awarded a ranking of Successful Participant.

The team consisting of Joanna Murphy, Jacob Rowe, and George Corbett also selected the economic sustainability problem. Their team was awarded the ranking of Outstanding Winner. This ranking was only awarded to 4 of the 1,496 teams working on this problem. Joanna, Jacob, and George also received two additional honors. Their submission was selected to receive the Rachel Carson award, which honors an American conservationist whose book “Silent Spring” initiated the global environmental movement and whose work spanned many disciplines concerned with the local and global environments. This award is presented to a team for excellence in using scientific theory and data in its modeling. Finally, the team only one of two teams that was given the Two Sigma Scholarship Award, which provides a stipend of $3,000 for each of the three team members and a $1,000 award to the ERE department.

Congratulations to the members of all four teams for their high achievement in this event. We appreciate your efforts which bring recognition to the Environmental Resources Engineering Department and to Humboldt State University.

Faculty John W. Powell, Philosophy

Philosophy Professor John Powell presented an invited paper to the April 2015 meeting of the North American Wittgenstein Society, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The paper title is “Just War Theorists and Pacifists As Ships Passing in the Night.” Powell argues that it’s too soon to declare just war theorists as victors (as many have done) and that better-grounded arguments and a clearer view of global stakes may renew this crucial debate.

Week of: Mar 29, 2015

Student Ben Taylor, English

Since completing service as a Peace Corps volunteer teacher-trainer in the Federated States of Micronesia in August 2014, English student Benjamin Ryan Taylor has traveled the country sharing his experiences. In October 2014, he spoke at a Peace Corps recruiting event at his undergraduate alma mater, Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois; and in February, gave two recruiting presentations at Humboldt State. He was also featured on KIEM News Channel 3, Eureka. In March, Taylor presented his work at the TESOL 2015 convention in Toronto, Canada, and in April, he will participate in HSU’s IdeaFest.

Student Keith Parker, Anthony Barella, Environmental Resources Engineering

Based on their demonstrated potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise, Keith Parker and Anthony Barella of the Indian Natural Resources have been selected to receive 2015 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowships.

The award covers $34,000 per 12-month Fellowship Year for Parker’s and Barella’s pursuit of graduate degrees. The GRFP Fellowship period is 5 years, or less if a student graduates and complete the fellowship before the 5-year period ends. Financial support is provided for a maximum of three years. Humboldt State will receive a $12,000 Cost of Education Allowance in lieu of all required tuition and fees for each of the three years selected by the students for fellowship funding.

Student Carlrey Delcastillo, Noemi Pacheco, Environmental Studies

Carlrey Delcastillo and Noemi Pacheco have received a College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences award to conduct research on campus this semester on Latin@s and Sustainability at HSU. Professor Sarah Jaquette Ray will present their research at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment conference, at “Latin@ Environmentalisms: A Pedagogy Workshop” in Moscow, Idaho in June.

Faculty Marisol Ruiz, Education

Education Professor Marisol Ruiz recently authored a chapter in the book “Immigration and Schooling: Redefining the 21st Century America” edited by Touorizou Hervé Sommé and Pierre Orelus. The chapter is titled: Why are the Spanish Speakers in the Back of the Room in a Dual Immersion Setting?

Faculty Alison Holmes, Politics

Alison Holmes, Program Leader of International Studies, has been named a Visiting Scholar to the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands where she will work in the archive on European diplomacy.

Student Brenden Green, Environmental Sciences

Environmental sciences student Brenden Green has received a $1,000 scholarship from the National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation. Scholarship recipients are entering a field of study that serves, supports, or promotes the groundwater professions.

Week of: Mar 22, 2015

Student Barbara Klessig, Anthropology

Master’s student Barbara Klessig, and Dr. Isabella von Holstein with Christian Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany will be co-chairing a round table discussion at this year’s EAA conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The session, titled “Integrating Textiles Studies into Mainstream Archaeology/Anthropology Curriculum” brings archaeologists, educators and researchers together to address the lack of textiles studies at the university level and how to better integrate them into the teaching of archaeology and anthropology at universities. Discussion will explore the teaching of textile studies, use of experimental archaeology & making textiles studies relevant.

Student Joao Paulo De Sordi Curti, Haley du Bois, Nathan A. Graham, Jairo Luque Villanueva, Sylvia Nicovich and Madelinn Schriver,  

The Office of Research, Economic and Community Development’s Planning Committee for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities has selected six outstanding student researchers to represent HSU at the 29th Annual California State University Student Research Competition. The annual statewide competition brings outstanding student researchers from the 23 CSU campuses to compete for research awards in discipline-based categories. Following a competitive review of applications, the students selected to represent HSU at CSU San Bernardino May 1-2 are:

Joao Paulo De Sordi Curti, Undergraduate in Forestry & Wildland Resources, “Virtual Interpretive Forest Recreation Project”; faculty advisor – John-Pascal Berrill, Professor, Forestry & Wildland Resources

Haley du Bois, Undergraduate in Biological Sciences, “Dissecting the Role of MAPK Signaling in the Tumor Promoting Properties of Lethal Giant Larvae 1 (Lgl1) in Primary Neural Progenitor/Stem Cells”; faculty advisor – Amy Sprowles, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

Nathan A. Graham, Undergraduate in Geology, “Determining Magma Mixing Duration and Dynamics Through Analysis of Reaction Rims on Olivine Crystals in Natural Samples of Black Dacite From the 1915 Eruption of Lassen Peak, CA”; faculty advisor – Brandon Browne, Lecturer, Geology

Jairo Luque Villanueva, Undergraduate in Environmental Resources Engineering, “Forward Osmosis-Direct Contact Membrane Distillation Sewer Mining Waste to Resource System”; faculty advisor – Andrea Achilli, Assistant Professor, Environmental Resources Engineering

Sylvia Nicovich, Graduate candidate in Geology, “Latest Pleistocene to Holocene River Terrace Deformation within the Southeastern Extent of the Little Salmon Fault Zone: Geomorphic Insights to Fault Termination and Rupture History, Van Duzen River, Northern California”; faculty advisor – Mark Hemphill-Haley, Professor and Chair, Geology

Madelinn Schriver, Graduate candidate in Forestry and Wildland Resources, “Establishment and Growth Patterns of Oregon White Oak and California Black Oak Woodlands in Northwestern California”; faculty advisor – Rosemary Sherriff, Associate Professor and Chair, Geography

These 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.

Student Ivan de Soto, Paradise Martinez Graff, Geography

Students Ivan de Soto and Paradise Martinez Graff have been chosen to attend the California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education at Sonoma State on April 18-20, where they’ll learn about the challenges and opportunities of pursuing grad school. They also received a competitive CAHSS research award to attend the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment Conference in Idaho in June with ENST Program Leader Sarah Jaquette Ray, where they’ll be participating in “Latin@ Environmentalisms: A Pedagogy Workshop.” Ivan has also been elected co-director of CCAT.

Faculty Business Internship Program, Business

HSU’s Business Internship program will be honored at the Arcata Economic Development Corporation’s Spotlight on Success event Tuesday, March 31 at the Arcata Theater Lounge. The free event includes an opportunity to learn about small businesses that the local economy, and organizations that provide business support to local entrepreneurs.

Student Social Work Student Association, Social Work

The HSU Social Work Student Association (SWSA) recently participated in the 32nd annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake “Jungle Bowl” event, which took place March 6-7, 2015 at Harbor Lanes in Eureka.

The SWSA was one of 134 funding teams and raised $650 (of the $100,000 raised at the event this year) that will go to help with the year’s operating costs at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast.

Disguised as bananas, the SWSA also won a trophy for costumes and enthusiasm.

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