In a Word, What Does Humboldt Mean to You?

Local radio DJ Mike Dronkers (’99, Journalism) says that HSU is like a "sandbox." “You can get in, you can get dirty, it’s kind of fun, you can make mistakes, nobody gets hurt, but at the end of the day, you learn what works and what doesn’t,” Dronkers says.

He’s talking about his connection to HSU, and taking part in a new project called “Humboldt in a Word.” It’s an effort to capture the connection that friends, students, staff, faculty, and alumni share with Humboldt State.

For Dronkers, his sandbox was HSU’s student-run radio station, KRFH. It prepared him for his on-air work at KHUM-FM, where he’s the station’s program director, music director, and mid-day show host.

Through “Humboldt in a Word” everyone has the chance to share how the university has touched their lives, and to find out about others’ experiences.

For Communication Professor Tasha Souza, Humboldt State University is about “synergy.”

Souza says her students come to class engaged and willing to learn, allowing her to develop exciting projects, like working with local non-profit groups to improve communication skills in the community. “They really rise to the challenge, which is inspiring for all of us,” she says. “The synergy keeps me coming to work every day.”

For HSU President Rollin Richmond, HSU means “difference.” For Social Work Professor Ronnie Swartz, the word is “Further.” For Theatre, Film, and Dance Professor Bernadette Cheyne, the word is “Love.” For student Lyssette Rodriguez, it’s “Alive.” Others have chosen “Epic,” “Continuity,” “Elastic,” and many more.

So, in a word, what does Humboldt State University mean to you? Share your connection to HSU and the one word that captures that spirit. Text and video submissions are welcomed on the web at