Class Notes


Ernest Casperson, 1956, Fisheries Biology, passed away March 5, 2019, in Helena, Montana. He was a teacher in several small California communities. He later started his career with the Bureau of Reclamation on what was then the Auburn Dam and Reservoir project. When the project ran into some structural and political hurdles, it failed to receive necessary funding, and he retired to Montana to spend his leisure time fishing for trout.

David J. Lenhart, 1956, Wildlife Management, passed away on February 7, 2019, at the age of 88 in Portland, Oregon. Upon graduating from HSU, Lenhart started his career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Umatilla, Oregon, working with waterfowl. He later transferred to the Division of River Basin Studies in Portland, Oregon. During his career, he worked on projects in Washington, Oregon, and California. He later served as branch chief of environmental contaminants in the USFWS’ Regional Office in Portland. He retired after 33 years of dedicated service.

Capt. Wayne S. Salmon, 1958, Fisheries Biology, after working for four summers with the CF&G plus the ADFWG, it became obvious that the wages were not sufficient to raise a family. He then entered the U.S. Navy flight program, where he became an aerial navigator. A beautiful young lady he met on active duty brought him back to Indianapolis, where he entered the Naval Air Reserve program and got his teaching credentials and an M.S. plus 33 semester hours. He then went into teaching biology/science, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Several of his HSU teachers greatly influenced Salmon’s approach to teaching. He retired as a Navy O-6 and is the former commanding officer of VR-51 at NAS Glenview near Chicago.


Fernando Elizondo, 1966, Physical Education & 1967 Teaching Credential, retired after 41 years in education. Throughout his career,he served as a teacher, middle school principal, assistant superintendent, and for the last 15 years, as a superintendent of schools. Upon retirement, Elizondo opened a consulting business and has remained busy volunteering on the board of trustees for Natividad Medical Center and as a docent at Point Lobos State Reserve. He says he would enjoy hosting and introducing the new HSU president to HSU alumni on the central coast.

William Chilson, 1967, Forestry & Wildland Resources, has been working in the renewable energy industry with a focus on development of utility-scale power plants for the past 10 years. His current position is director of siting and real estate with Candela Renewables. Candela Renewables develops solar power plants throughout the United States.

Pamela Hartvig Range, 1967, Social Work, is a practicing psychotherapist, expressive arts therapist, and artist. After graduating from HSU, she earned her M.S.W. from California State University Sacramento, an M.F.A. in painting from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California, and a Ph.D. in Expressive Therapy. She is now practicing privately in Sacramento, California. Hartvig Range also worked as a medical social worker, performed many types of outpatient mental health services, and oversaw clinical supervision. She has shown her oil paintings and prints all over. She did abstract landscapes for 30 years and has now switched to the human form.

John R. Hawkins, 1969, Forestry & Wildland Resources, retired from Cal Fire in December 2018 after serving 55 fire seasons and finishing his career for the last 12 years as the Cal Fire Riverside Unit/Riverside County Fire Department fire chief. Hawkins commanded many of California’s major fires over his career and served as a Type 1 Incident Commander on three teams and an Operations Section Chief on a federal Type 1 team. Hawkins was recognized as a Certified Fire Chief and graduated from the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program. He now lives in Southern California and works part-time as a Wildland Fire Consultant for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.


Stephen Bowlus, 1970, Chemistry, attended University of Illinois (M.S. ‘72, Ph.D. ‘74, postdoc Entomology ‘75), and went into industrial research. He worked primarily in the agricultural chemistry field, starting as a synthesis chemist, then migrating to computational chemistry, molecular modeling, and statistics. He retired from industry in 2003. In 2006, Bowlus started teaching as an adjunct instructor at Columbia College in Sonora, California, before retiring in 2019.

Michael Stockstill, 1971, Journalism, has been appointed to the board of the Irvine Land Trust, a nonprofit building and operating low cost housing in Irvine, California. The Land Trust constructs rental and for-sale units that will remain in Land Trust ownership forever, guaranteeing the units remain affordable.

Andre Degeorges, 1973, Natural Resources, is retired and is living on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, hunting and fishing. Degeorges has several publications on under his name that are available to download for free. Publications include a seven-volume book on conservation and development in Sub-Saharan Africa, one on the Taliban, many peer-reviewed documents, gray literature, and PowerPoint presentations on coral reefs, community-based natural resource management (CBNRM), dams, wildlife management and hunting issues, and development/foreign aid, etc.

Claudia Carlson Cottrell, 1974, Fisheries Biology, graduated from Northwestern Health Sciences University with a doctorate in Chiropractic in 1991, 16 years after graduating from HSU. After 23 years of running a human chiropractic practice, she went to Options for Animals School of Animal Chiropractic. She now practices exclusively on horses, dogs, cats, and any other animals that are presented to her. Cottrell says she feels like she has come full circle. She lives in Duluth in her native state of Minnesota with her husband, Harry Cottrell, who is a native of Arcata, California, and is also an HSU graduate. They have two adult sons, have always had pets, and still visit Humboldt County.

Craig S. Harrison, 1974, Biological Sciences, spent a year in Africa before attending HSU. Craig recently published his travelogue “Dreams of a Vanishing Africa: A 1970s Transcontinental Trek.” The book recounts his travels within the fabric of African societies in 1971-1972, where he avoided safe, well-trodden routes and instead used decrepit trains, cargo trucks, rattletrap buses, jammed bush taxis, dugout canoes, and ferries. He lived out of a backpack and experienced the land and people of Africa up close.

Jim Hervey, 1977, Speech Communication, passed in January 2019. He often said, “Every day is a gift.” While at HSU, Jim met his wife, Linda Upson. Over a decade later, after earning his M.B.A. at the University of San Diego, he proposed on Valentine’s Day. They lived in Sunnyvale and Menlo Park before returning to San Diego. He then studied to become a tax accountant. As an IRS-registered tax preparer, he used his skills at the Ward & Thorn Law Firm. Hervey was an avid body surfer, swimmer, and outdoors enthusiast. Those skills served him well as a leader in Boy Scouts of America Troop 500. He remained active in Troop 500 even after his only child, David, went off to college.

Gary Newman, 1977, Environmental Resources Engineering, went to Utah State University after graduating and earned a master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Upon graduation from USU, he was hired by Brown and Caldwell Consulting Engineers (BC), in their Pasadena, California, office. Newman has continued working with BC for the past 41 years, saying, “They treated me well and provided some wonderful professional opportunities.” His specialty has been wastewater treatment. In addition to Pasadena, he has lived and worked in Salt Lake City, Dallas, Seattle, and now Phoenix. He has also worked on projects in Vancouver, B.C., Washington, D.C, New York, Nashville, and San Francisco. Newman says he will be mostly retiring in the next year or so but will continue working part-time.

Arthur Grusensky, 1978, Music, headed immediately after graduation to the University of Bologna in Italy, where he earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and studied at Conservatorio di Musica G.B. Martini in flute. He subsequently became licensed in Ohio, Massachusetts, Utah, Colorado, and California. A dedicated athlete, he started and ran a small animal hospital in Moab for nine years—mountain biking, hiking, skiing, and kayaking during his time there. Ultimately returning to Hermosa Beach, California, he specialized in high-speed spay and neuter, studied Filipino martial arts (escrima), and became a world traveler. His travels took him to exotic locations to trek such as Nepal, the Tibetan plateau (Zanskar and Ladakh), a bike tour of the Karakoram Highway in northeast Pakistan, and crossing the Himalayas at 13,400 feet outside Manali.

Christopher Swarth, 1978, Biological Sciences, moved back home to Oakland, California, after graduating, where he received his M.S. in Zoology from Cal State East Bay in 1983. After working for Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Lawrence Hall of Science (UC Berkeley), and Diablo Valley College, he married in 1987 and moved to Maryland. There, he spent 23 years as director of the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, one of the components of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. In 2013, he moved back to Northern California to work and teach at UC Merced, where he was the director of the 6,500 acre Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve adjacent to campus until he retired in 2016. He lives in Mariposa.

Robert vanCreveld, 1978, Forestry, spent a short time as a forester before becoming a photogrammetrist and aerial mapping photographer. He attended post-grad studies in Forest Survey at the International Institute for Geo Information Science and Earth Observation in the Netherlands. Following a short stint in the Marine Corps, he was recruited as a special operations officer at the CIA. Thereafter, he moved to Oregon, working as a soils consultant.

Cynthia (Cindy) D. Scheinert, 1978, Spanish, 1979, English, recently retired from teaching in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1980, her first year teaching, she taught seventh and 10th grade English but quickly transitioned to a split of English and Spanish. In the late ‘80s, she began working on an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College and spent three summers on the Vermont campus. Scheinert says she was fortunate to be awarded a semester sabbatical to finish her M.A. in Madrid. After teaching Spanish for another decade, she felt the itch to do something new and moved to fifth grade language arts, where she remained until retirement. Reflecting on her 39-year career, she said, “I am so very grateful to my English and Spanish professors at HSU, especially Tom Gage, professor and mentor. Mahalo nui loa to you all!”


Cynthia Glasgow-Ragus, 1982, Social Work, has retired after 34 years of teaching elementary school. Her career was spent at the same school for all 34 years, the same school she attended as a child. That makes 43 years total at the same school. She is now retired and enjoying planning trips and traveling with family and friends.

John Swancara, 1982, Wildlife, has spent over 30 years pioneering reverse osmosis water-treatment systems for homes and commercial applications. He pioneered small bottled water plants for small businesses. Currently, he is the lead sales engineer for American Beer Equipment in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he designs microbreweries. John has authored several articles on water treatment.

Ron Miller, 1983, Forestry & Wildland Resources, recently retired after 35 years of government service as a forester. Last year, in celebration of retirement, he walked the French route of the 500-mile Camino de Santiago across northern Spain, starting in St. Jean Pied de Port, France, and walking to Santiago, Spain. He completed the pilgrimage on June 3, 2018.

Mike Santuccio, 1983, Forestry, retired from Cal Fire after about 30 years of public service. Santuccio began his career as a seasonal firefighter while a student at HSU and rose through the ranks to deputy chief at retirement. He is a registered professional forester and currently works part time as a consulting forester. He met his wife, Lora, while at HSU and they return to Humboldt County as often as they can. Two of their three children are also HSU grads.

Glenn R Strachan, 1983, Sociology, has been fortunate enough to have traveled to 116 countries while working for the United States Agency for International Development, funding projects in maternal health and international broadband solutions. Over the past 35 years, Strachan has seen the world and taken photographs everywhere he has traveled, which was inspired by his photography classes at HSU. After he retired, Strachan’s work was selected for several juried shows. He is humbled by the selections and is up for a major award in London if he makes the final cut. Strachan says he misses his days at HSU as it was a perfect time to be there doing his graduate studies.

Leonard A Brennan, 1984, Wildlife, is in his 19th year as the C.C. Winn Endowed Chair for Quail Research at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville. His seventh book, “Quantitative Analyses in Wildlife Science, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in fall 2019, was co-edited with another Humboldt alumnus, Dr. Bruce Marcot.

Eileen Cashman, 1984, Environmental Resources Engineering, is starting her 21st year teaching at HSU in the ERE program. This year, she started her second term as department chair. She continues to love her job and is grateful to engage with current students and future alumni every day.

Charles Acosta, 1985, Biological Sciences, is retiring in 2021 after spending 34 rewarding years serving high school students. His oldest daughter, Krista (‘12, Chemistry), arranged with the dean to allow him to walk across the stage at her commencement ceremony because he was unable to attend his own. While having breakfast in Eureka the following morning, his photo was captured on the front page of the “Times Standard” newspaper. After HSU, Charles and his daughter both served in the Peace Corps (Dominican Republic and Honduras) where they both married the love of their lives. Krista married Ekow Edzie, and Charles married Leyla Turcios. “Thank you, HSU, redwoods, sunsets, and APD for the great memories.”

Carla Fisher, 1985, Environmental Resources Engineering, retired in 2014 after 29 years at the Environmental Protection Agency and became a part-time technical writer and editor for Akana, an environmental consulting firm in Bellevue, Washington.

Thomas Cappiello, 1986, Fisheries Biology, has retired from Alaska Department of Fish and Game after 21 years of service. Cappiello has been working in fisheries in Alaska for over 30 years. He still lives in Alaska and says he probably won’t leave. Cappiello is a steering committee member of the Matanuska Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership, president of the MatSu Birders Club, and home baker of artisan sourdough breads and pizza.

Karen J. Haner, 1986, Natural Resources Planning & Interpretation, retired from a 36.5-year career with the National Park Service on April 1, 2018. Haner spent the last 20 years serving as the chief of interpretation, education and cultural resources at Lassen Volcanic National Park in northeastern California. She also worked in other national parks in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Haner feels she has had a wonderful career made possible with her HSU degree and participation in the Cooperative Education Program through the National Park Service and HSU. Now she plans to go to national parks as a visitor and sometimes a volunteer.

Anthony Erba, 1987, Forestry & Wildland Resources, has retired from the USDA Forest Service to Northern Wisconsin after nearly 33 years of federal government service. His last position was as Eastern regional director, overseeing environmental planning, litigation, and landscape-scale conservation (lasting eight and a half years). Erba’s career spanned all four organizational levels of the Forest Service, located in six national forests, one national grassland, one region, and the Washington office. Never in his wildest dreams would he have been able to predict his career when he graduated in 1987. Erba is grateful for his experience at HSU, which provided him the awareness needed to recognize career opportunities whenever they popped up.

Cristine Gilliland, 1989, Natural Resources, moved to New York City and worked as the adult development and training administrator for the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York. She left to become a aenior administrator for a private independent camp in the Adirondacks. During that time, she worked on her Master of Arts in teaching and credential to teach seventh- to 12th-grade biology. Gilliland spent the last 20 years in New York teaching science and ecology. She has now retired to western Washington, where she has been working with a local college’s fish lab. Gilliland says she has mostly been enjoying retirement and exploring her new environment with her adventure cat and kayak.

Michael Murdock, 1989, Theatre Arts, moved back to Los Angeles from the Seattle area to teach high school drama at a private school for “twice-exceptional” (2e) students.


Jon Pede, 1990, Social Studies, is currently a middle school principal in Hillsboro, Oregon. He is also an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

Laura Aguada Hallberg, 1993, World Languages & Cultures, returned home to the San Francisco Bay Area after graduating from HSU. She will be celebrating 24 years in education this August. After almost 20 years as a high school teacher (five of them as a German teacher), she made the move into higher education and is now an assistant professor and program lead of the Ed.D. in Transformative Action in Education at University of the Pacific.

Lisa Treon Saulsbery, 1994, Liberal Studies Elementary Education, is a teacher at Weaverville Elementary School.

Joyce Schlachter, 1994, Wildlife, has retired after 26 years with the federal government, working as a wildlife biologist. Joyce is enjoying her freedom and continues to volunteer with Project Wildlife, rehabilitating bats. Joyce says, “Thanks HSU for the best years of my life.”

Drew Coe, 1996, Forestry & Wildland Resources, began working in the forest industry following graduation. After several years, he returned to school, graduating with an M.S. in Watershed Science from Colorado State University. Coe currently works as the forest practice monitoring coordinator/hydrologist in Cal Fire’s Watershed Protection Program. He lives with his wife and two children in Redding, California.

John Baker, 1998, Journalism, worked several years for multiple Bay Area newspapers before entering public service. He went back to school, earning an M.P.A. from San Francisco State University, and currently works as a local government liaison for the State of California. He was elected to the South San Francisco Unified School District’s Board of Trustees in 2016 and currently serves as its president.

Paul Deis, 1999, Communication, retired from the Department of State as a foreign service officer in 2009. Deis attended the University of Florida, where he earned a Master of Arts in 2011 and a Ph.D. in 2019.

Jennifer Elliott, 1999, Liberal Studies Elementary Education, has had a teaching career working in public schools across the United States (California, Indiana, North Carolina) and in Japan’s public school system with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. She also spent time as coordinator of a federal grant program funding Indian education in Ventura County. Currently, Elliott is working as a first grade teacher at Montalvo Arts Academy in Ventura, California.


Heidi Gehlhaar Oriol, 2001, Environmental Resources Engineering, is a licensed civil engineer and has worked for water and wastewater utilities in the Bay Area and Sacramento, California, since her graduation from HSU in 2001. She currently works as a senior civil engineer in the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs office for the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional San) and the Sacramento Area Sewer District (SASD). She enjoys her role as a regulatory advocate and is also very excited to be supporting a project to bring recycled water to agriculture in southern Sacramento County. She believes that the use of recycled water will reduce groundwater pumping, raise groundwater levels, increase flows in nearby streams, and improve wetland and vernal pool habitats.

Melissa Neufer, 2001, Biology, studied desert and marine landscapes through ecological and social field methods in Baja, Mexico, in summer of 2019. Neufer, a biology teacher at Roseland University Prep High School, lives in Santa Rosa, California, and is a graduate student in Miami University’s Global Field Program.

Jeff Oliveira, 2001, Natural Resources, began working as a California Environmental Quality Act specialist for a consulting firm after graduation. He then became an environmental resource specialist with the County of San Luis Obispo, managing projects with complex environmental concerns. Eight years ago, he started his own consulting firm, Oliveira Environmental Consulting, LLC, providing environmental review and permitting support for private and local government clients. Today he is working on a wide range of projects, including mine permitting, CEQA/NEPA review, permitting for local infrastructure improvement projects, permitting for affordable housing projects, construction monitoring, wildlife/botanical surveys, pest species (feral pig) removal, etc.

Shannon Dybvig, 2002, Journalism, History, co-produced the documentary “Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy,” which played at the Miniplex in Arcata in January 2020. In 2008, Dybvig earned an M.F.A. in Photography at Brooks Institute of Photography. Dybvig has been working in the documentary film industry in Southern California since 2005.

Devin Theobald, 2004, Politics, is employed by the County of Humboldt Public Works Department, Environmental Services Division.

Ashley B Birkeland, 2005, Psychology, completed her Ph.D. in Education Policy, Organizations, and Leadership at the University of Washington in June 2019. Her research focused on dual-credit course taking in the state of Washington.

Michael Fritschi, 2005, Environmental Resources Engineering, is currently enjoying working as the district manager for the South Suburban Sanitary District in Southern Oregon. Life is exceptionally good and in complete balance with his wife and Jack Russell terrier.

Stephanie Kretz (Nicponski), 2006, Child Development, became a member of the California State Bar in 2015 and is currently a practicing attorney for the County of Humboldt.

Christopher Andriessen, 2007, Politics, recently joined Caltrans in its District 9 office as its new Maintenance public information officer, utilizing a decade’s worth of private sector experience. The move follows two years of working for the California Department of Insurance in San Francisco.

Kristen Kendrick, 2007, Zoology, studied coral reefs, manatees, howler monkeys, jaguars, and other wildlife while learning the methods that communities are using to sustain them in Belize in summer 2019. Kristen, an animal care coordinator of ambassador programs at Zoo Miami, lives in Miami, Florida, and is a graduate student in Miami University’s Global Field Program.

Jason Storlie, 2007, Wildlife, transitioned from wildlife biologist to manager of Bitter Creek and Blue Ridge National Wildlife Refuges.

Jesse Mestemacher, 2008, Industrial Technology & Business Administration, has joined Jacobs, a design, engineering, construction, and technical services firm, in their Redding, California, office. He brings six years of CAD experience in architectural design and manufacturing and is excited to join the building and infrastructure team. Mestemache will primarily be assisting in water processing and conveyance design.

Heidi (Foote) Bowman, 2009, English, helped open the “sister charter school,” CSArts-SGV, in the fall of 2017. A free public comprehensive high school in California’s San Gabriel Valley that embeds seven hours of conservatory arts instruction following the academic school day. Bowman is the Department Chair, and because of HSU’s English Education program she graduated from in 2009, the department is the “Literature, Language, and Composition” team. The linguistics courses, the not-old-dead-white-guys literature courses, and the pedagogy-built-into-my-soul courses shaped her into an English teacher to be reckoned with.

Nick Entsminger, 2009, History, was accepted into the Doctorate of Medical Science program at the AT Still Universities, Arizona School of Health Sciences and has recently submitted both a journal article and medical textbook on prehospital 12-lead electrocardiogram interpretation for potential publishing. Additionally, through familial research, Entsminger was able to induct his family into both the Sons of the American Revolution as well as the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War. He continues his love of history and views his time pursuing a history degree at HSU as the years that inspired his pursuits.


Alissa Sobo, 2010, Chemistry, stayed in the community and opened a restaurant called Naan of the Above after graduating from HSU. Sobo sold this business and moved to the Bay Area to teach science in after-school programs. Sobo then had two children, and while staying at home with them, taught herself to code. She built a web application called Ample that was recently mentioned in the “New York Times”. She now works as a software engineer for Mozilla.

Spencer Ruelos, 2013, Anthropology, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies, went on to receive his Masters in Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University after graduating from HSU. There, he wrote a master’s thesis titled, “EveryoneGames: Exploring Queer Gamer Identity and Community,” which he examined the worldmaking practices of LGBTQ gamers in digital and physical spaces. While at SFSU, Ruelos received the prestigious CSU Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. He is currently continuing his studies of queerness, video games, and technology as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine.

Julie Marie Stewart, 2013, Environmental Management & Protection, worked for several years as an outdoor educator in various amazing outdoor school settings across California. She returned to HSU in 2018 to complete her teaching credential and was hired at Zane Middle School in Eureka as a science teacher in fall of 2019.

Garrett John Costello, 2014, Environmental Science & Management, and his wife (fellow alumni) got married and started an environmental consulting business over the last two years. As the business has grown, they have turned their attention to constructing low-tech beaver dam analogs to help restore critical stream and meadow ecosystems. This year, Symbiotic Restoration installed over 100 beaver dams across northeastern California. As the business expands, they hope to be able to employ and incorporate HSU students into these programs. Their current plans include looking for land so that they can move back to Humboldt County and build their home back where their journey began.

Stephanie Cowherd, 2014, English, works for Ecotrust, an environmental nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon. She leads community outreach and engagement, communications and manages tribal forestry projects for her Forests & Ecosystem Services team at Ecotrust. Her current projects include a landscape assessment of opportunities and barriers in tribal forestry workforce development, working alongside native educators to design culturally specific curriculum for forestry education tools, and community engagement with tribal forestry activities.

Erin Guidarelli, 2014, Kinesiology, graduated from Pacific University Master of Athletic Training program in May 2019 with honors and received the Outstanding Graduate Award from the Alumni Association. She earned an M.S. in Athletic Training with a concentration in Interprofessional Education. Guidarelli also served as Secretary on the Northwest Athletic Trainer’s Association Student Executive Board and is currently working on the public relations committee for the Washington Athletic Trainer’s Association (WSATA). She worked with the Special Olympics Oregon Unified Basketball Games, providing medical coverage for the 2019 season.

Sophia Remer, 2014, International Studies, went on to culinary school in Sonoma County after graduating from HSU and worked as a professional baker. She has recently moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her partner (also an HSU graduate), who is getting his Ph.D. in Pollination Biology. Sophia is pursuing a dual degree, a Masters of Arts in Food Studies with an M.B.A. program at Chatham University to combine her backgrounds in food and cultural studies.

John Soener, 2016, International Studies, will be attending graduate school at Indiana University. Soener will be pursuing a masters in Public Affairs, focusing specifically on nonprofit management and policy analysis. His International Studies and Spanish degrees were a great way to start his career in public service, and Peace Corps was an incredible career booster that has provided him incredible opportunities to fund graduate school.

Ariana Hendren, 2017, International Studies, earned a Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate after completing her degree. She caught the travel bug after studying abroad in Spain with the HSU World Languages & Cultures Department. She is now teaching elementary and middle school students at an English academy in South Korea with her boyfriend, whom she met while living in Arcata. They will soon move to a new country to continue their teaching adventure.

Kaelie Pena, 2017, Forestry & Wildland Resources, converted to a full-time permanent position with the Forest Service upon graduating and is coming up on her two-year anniversary as a rangeland management specialist with the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in the Bridgeport Ranger District.

Jason Sikorski, 2017, Environmental Science & Management, stayed local and worked at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park as a senior maintenance aid, building ADA hiking trails in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park for one season after graduating from HSU. Afterward, he moved back to his hometown of Orange County and was hired by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as an environmental health technician in Laguna Niguel, California.

Vanessa Vrtiak, 2017, Sociology, recently gave a TED Talk about her life and would like to share it with the HSU family. “Thank you for being there for me and helping me shape the woman I am today. I’m so grateful I was able to go to a university with people that truly believe in their students and champion their success.”

Benjamin Woodruff, 2017, Biological Sciences, became a California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Bridges 2.0 scholar and began his career as a researcher at Stanford University after graduating from HSU. There, he studied regenerative medicine as it relates to inner ear biology. Fueled by an enthusiasm for science and academia, he applied for graduate school and is currently a first-year Ph.D. student at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon.

Lucas Allen-Custodio, 2018, Zoology, began a job as a laboratory technician at a local soil lab within two months of graduating. He is now the lead lab tech and is using his Zoology degree as the agricultural pest management advisor in the company. Through this, he specializes in providing the agricultural industry with environmentally conscious biological control remedies that reduce the use of pesticides, and provides technical information to farmers on how to take care of and love their soil, based on laboratory results.

Colin Savage, 2018, Fisheries Biology, started working with Washington Fish and Wildlife as a hatchery specialist shortly after graduating. During his senior year, he worked in rearing many species of salmonids and White Sturgeon.

Valerie Tepetlanco, 2018, International Studies, has been accepted to the M.A. in Cultural Studies program at Claremont Graduate University.

Lyla Godfryd, 2019, International Studies, will be serving in the Peace Corps as an environmental education volunteer in Panama beginning in February. Lyla says she feels very blessed to have been provided with such an encouraging and caring group of professors and fellow classmates and the International Studies program at HSU has provided her with the skills and confidence she needs to embark on this journey.

Sylvia Lynn van Royen, 2019, Environmental Science & Management, was hired by the Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources based out of Orleans, California, after graduating from HSU. The Tribe’s DNR has groundbreaking management goals that she feels honored and blessed to be learning from. Van Royen was originally hired to supervise the summer youth crew working on manual fuels reduction units, but is now working as a GIS technician making maps and other spatially oriented technology to support field crews.