Humboldt State University

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Here’s to Our Outstanding Students! - Humboldt State Now

Here’s to Our Outstanding Students!

Humboldt State University announced its Outstanding Students 2017-2018 at an award ceremony on April 12.

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Abigail Petersen (left) and Cheyenne King.
Outstanding Students of the Year for Outstanding Academic and Co-Curricular Contributions:

Described as a leader who has had a major impact on students, Cheyenne King is being recognized for her academic excellence, deep commitment to the campus community, and social justice activism.

As a Community Advocate in the HSU Residence Halls, she is committed to student residents. She is also the External Affairs representative for Associated Students, sits on the Social Justice and Equity Council and Student Advocacy Council, and works for the Oh SNAP! food pantry, where she networks with groups on campus to promote zero waste. She does all this while maintaining a strong GPA in her Psychology and Liberal Studies Child Development majors.

She has put in over 700 volunteer hours with HSU Housing & Residence Life, Oh SNAP!, Associated Students, HSU Ambassadors and Admissions, the Child Development Lab, HSU Plant Operations, and the Department of Art. She has volunteered with HSU partners such as The Raven Project and Friends of the Dunes, and has helped to create several programs including Second Chance Prom.

“Chey is the type of person who ends up changing the world in a major way,” says a colleague. “She leaves an indelible mark on all who are lucky enough to know her, and is an inspiration to her peers, her professors, and her residents.”

Dedicated to studying medicine, Abigail Petersen is a Biology major committed to her goal of becoming a physician. Throughout her tenure at HSU, she has been an accomplished student in and out of the classroom. She has a 3.9 GPA and has participated in two research projects, including the North Coast Concussion Program. Under program coordinator Beth Larson and Kinesiology Professor Justus Ortega, Petersen has helped to administer baseline and post-injury tests to thousands of local high school and collegiate athletes.

Petersen has worked to educate coaches, parents, and athletes about concussions, helping to lower the risk of injury and to increase the likelihood of treatment should it be needed. In fact, she began this project early in her college career and has continued over many years, demonstrating a commitment to her field and community service. Moreover, Petersen has worked with Ortega’s research team collecting concussion-related data for an NCAA and Department of Defense research study—the largest concussion study performed.

Petersen was named the first Moonstone Crossing Cancer Research Scholar and has presented research at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the International Society of Stem Cell Research. A member of the Armenian Student Association, she helps spread awareness of the Armenian genocide. She has also raised funds for cancer research and volunteered in the Birth Center and Emergency Room at Mad River Hospital.

“Abby is one of the most academically talented students in her cohort,” says one professor. “She has a rare combination of intellect, discipline, hard work, and dedication that has allowed her to achieve such a stellar academic record.”

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This year’s student awardees.

Other Awards Presented at the April 12 ceremony:

*Excellence in an Academic Discipline: College of Arts Humanities & Social Sciences
Ciara Emery—Politics

*Excellence in an Academic Discipline: College of Natural Resources & Sciences
Robert Dumouchel—Environmental Management and Protection

*Excellence in an Academic Discipline: College of Professional Studies
Ruby Garcia—Recreation Administration

*Excellence in Sports Clubs
Caitlyn “Katie” Buesch—Religious Studies and Anthropology

*Excellence in Intercollegiate Athletics
Alyssabeth De Jerez—Psychology

*Outstanding Contribution to an Associated Students Program
Tamara Arellano Mora—Sociology/Native American Studies

*Al Elpusan Award for Student Activism
Chant’e Catt—Sociology

*Outstanding Contribution to a Student Club, Organization, or Program
Tsolak Michael Kirakosyan—Psychology

*Excellence in Community Service
Tamara Valadez—Sociology

*Outstanding Artistic Achievement in Visual & Performing Arts
Ryan McGaughey—Music

*Brian Lorensen Residence Life Staff Award
Zach Affolter—Marine Biology

Recipients of the 2016-17 McConkey Outstanding Graduate Student Awards

*Cara Appel—Natural Resources

*Heather Clark—Sociology

*Emily Cooper—Natural Resources

*Laura Gorman—English

*Kendra Hartsuyker—Psychology

*Jacqueline Heinzen—Applied Anthropology

*Gil Spitz—Kinesiology

HSU’s Outstanding Student Researchers

*Ricardo Cueva
Undergraduate in Sociology
“A Culturally Bankrupt Society: Jazz Students and Academic Capitalism”
Faculty advisor: Josh Meisel, Associate Professor, Sociology

*Sean Haas
Undergraduate in Physics & Astronomy
“Searching for a Connection between Radio Emission and UV/optical Absorption in Quasars”
Faculty advisor: Paola Rodriguez Hidalgo, Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy

*Dennis Hernandez
Graduate in Kinesiology
“The Effect of Rest Interval Duration on the Volume Completed during a High Intensity Bench Press Exercise”
Faculty advisor: Young Sub Kwon, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology & Recreation Administration

*Laura Morgan
Graduate candidate in Biological Sciences
“Spatial Vegetation Modeling Suggests a Novel Transmission Pathway of the Invasive Forest Pathogen Phytophthora ramorum”
Faculty advisor: Erik Jules, Professor, Biological Sciences

*Galen O’Toole
Graduate candidate in Environmental Resources Engineering
“Pressure Retarded Osmosis: Energy Recovery for Seawater Desalination”
Faculty advisor: Andrea Achilli, Assistant Professor, Environmental Resources Engineering

*Jacob Rada
Graduate candidate in Engineering
“Comparison of PV Module Performance before and After 11, 20, and 25.5 Years of Field Exposure”
Faculty advisor: Charles Chamberlin, Co-Director, Schatz Energy Research Center

*Lauren Smith
Graduate candidate in Biological Sciences
“Seasonal Comparison of Environmental DNA and Traditional Sampling Techniques for Detecting Coastal Tailed Frogs”
Faculty advisor: Sharyn Marks, Professor, Biological Sciences

*Meghan Ueland
Undergraduate in History
“A Historical Investigation into the Chinese Expulsion from Eureka, California”
Faculty advisor: Robert Cliver, Chair, History

*Michael Vernon
Graduate candidate in Forestry & Wildland
“In the Face of Drought: Do Fuel Reduction Treatments Promote Drought Resistance at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area?”
Faculty advisor: Rosemary Sherriff, Chair, Geography

For more photos of the event and the award winners, visit HSU’s archive on Flickr.