Class Notes: Fall 2021 - California State University, Chico

Class Notes: Fall 2021 – California State University, Chico

Edith DeTree (Art, ’41) returned to Chico to relive her undergraduate days in October for Homecoming: Alumni and Family Weekend—celebrating her 80th anniversary of graduating! While touring campus with her son, she recalled how her mother sold the family stove to pay for Edith’s registration at Chico State College, and Edith repaid her by being the first in the family to graduate from college. She went on to work as a teacher, librarian, and architect, designing all three homes that she and her husband, a builder, constructed and lived in with their three sons. Now 101 years old, she spends her free time reading, occasionally sketching, and reflecting on a lifetime of experiences.
Dick Carlsen (Business Administration, ’68), who retired from federal government service after a 44-year Navy civilian career, recently published his fourth novel, The Lost Boys of Happy Valley College. It is a story of enduring friendships, Peter Pan Syndrome, modern-day “Lost Boys,” and redemption, mostly set in Pleasant Hill and Chico. His books are available on Amazon.
Steve Callan (Political Science, ’70) published his first novel, The Case of the Missing Game Warden: A Henry Glance Mystery. The Redding-area resident spent 33 years as a game warden, giving him ample material for his first two nonfiction books, which include the award-winning The Game Warden’s Son and Badges, Bears, and Eagles: The True-Life Adventures of a California Fish and Game Warden. Now he’s infusing his detective work and real-life experience into a tale of fiction.
Maudeen Grace Jordan (Social Welfare, ’74), recently published Yeshua: Stories of Jesus the Christ.
Phil Semler (Philosophy, ’76) published his 15th book, Human Harvest, in August 2021. After graduating from Chico, he earned an MA in philosophy from San Diego State University in 1983. He has lived in San Francisco for over 40 years. He fondly remembers his years in Chico and would like to thank his favorite philosophy professors, Brooke Moore, Richard Parker, and the late Kent Tiedeman for shaping his critical thinking in ethics, metaphysics, and aesthetics. He recently celebrated his 30th wedding anniversary with Lily Wong. They have one child.
David Freiwald (Physical Science, ’79) served for 35 years with the US Geological Survey (USGS) where he was the deputy director of the USGS Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has been a hydrologist and supervisory hydrologist for more than 33 years in Arkansas, directing water-resources research
and studies. Freiwald began his USGS career in 1980 in California, where he was born, raised, and went to school. He retired in 2016 and currently lives on the beach in Pensacola Beach, Florida, and enjoys traveling with his wife and long morning bike rides.
Jose Náñez Sr. (Psychology, ’79; MA, Psychology, ’82) has spent 32 years at Arizona State University, where he advocates for its students and the surrounding communities, and has dedicated his career to researching how the brain changes while learning languages and gaining experiences. He is a President’s Professor of Psychology in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the executive director for community outreach and student services at Educational Outreach and Student Services, and an affiliated professor in a graduate program in neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience. “Scientists say you don’t think with your heart; it’s all in your head,” said Náñez. “But Dr. [César] Chávez would say, ‘What good is an education of the mind if you can’t educate your heart?’”
Lisa Jericoff Speed Fitzgerald (Latin American Studies, ’80) has been a Soroptimist for more than 25 years and next spring will become governor for Soroptimist Sierra Nevada Region, which consists of 55 clubs from Sacramento to Yreka and the entire state of Nevada. She’s proud to be yet another Wildcat leading her region, as this year’s immediate past governor Lane Varney Parks (Business Administration, ’79) is a fellow alumna. She’d love to hear from other members of her region who are also Chico State grads, and invites them to connect with her at [email protected]
John Morrison (English, Philosophy, ’81) published his second book of poems, Monkey Island, in December 2020. His first book, Heaven of the Moment, won the Rhea & Seymour Gorsline poetry competition and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award in Poetry. He teaches for Portland Community College and at the Attic Institute as an associate fellow. He is also an associate editor for the fabulist journal of literature, Phantom Drift.
Tracy Peterson (Liberal Studies, ’83) is now in her 36th year of teaching and adding children’s book author to her list of accomplishments. She co-wrote Cartwheels: Finding Your Special Kind of Smart with a first-grade student, and it has sold more than 3,000 copies since its release this spring. A children’s book with a big message, it gives real-life insight on what it’s like to be dyslexic in an elementary school classroom. Peterson hopes it will give children with learning disabilities the awareness they are not alone and confidence for all they can accomplish. After graduating from Chico State, she completed her master’s degree in special education at University of the Pacific and has since taught in California, Kansas, Nebraska, and Arkansas.
Colleen Bathe (Recreation Administration, ’84) retired from the National Park Service after 36 years. Her love for the parks began during her days as a Girl Scout, and her career allowed her to share the magic of the parks with countless visitors and inspire many young people to pursue similar careers. She was a chief ranger for 14 years at Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park where she was chief of interpretation, education, and volunteers. She previously worked in Death Valley, Bryce Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks, as well as Devils Postpile National Monument.
Kerry Crab (Biological Sciences, ’85) was recently appointed the head football coach at Saddleback College in Southern California, becoming its sixth head coach in program history. He had spent 15 years as an assistant coach, as well as the recruiting coordinator and director of strength and conditioning for the program during his tenure as an assistant coach. He also holds a master’s degree in education from Azusa University. In his spare time, he enjoys camping in the Sierras, skiing, snowboarding, going to the river, and “learning new stuff.”
Ralph Sheheen (Information and Communication Studies, ’87) has enjoyed an amazing career in motor sports television. After graduating from Chico State, he worked as a race announcer and interviewer in auto and motorcycle racing, and has worked for almost all the networks and called races all over the world in the last 34 years. He also has interviewed the top race drivers and now owns his own race network, Speed Sport.
Tom Naramore (Recreation Administration, ’90) created his own company, Dollar Dollar Dollar Inc., a golf betting site where people can bet against each other while they are competing on a real-life course. He’s also the CEO of A Better Process, a cyber risk assessment firm for the financial services industry, and previously worked as the division manager of information systems for Nevada County.
Kimberly Capwell (Journalism, ’91) is the CEO and founder of Capwell Communications, which was named by Bulldog Reporter as the Best Boutique Agency of the Year. Capwell Communications is a bespoke public relations firm dedicated to illuminating the life-enhancing benefits of wellness brands.
Kim Baker Davis (Liberal Studies, ’93; Credential, ’94) celebrated her 10th wedding anniversary with Mark Davis (Political Science, History, ’93; MA, Political Science, ’99). The two dated while at Chico State and a few years after graduation before going their separate ways in 2001. Eight years later, they reconnected and then married in 2011. A Wildcat match meant-to-be!
After more than 30 years at Chico State, Tray Robinson (Liberal Studies, ’95; MA, Human Relations, ’10)started a new chapter in his career this summer— joining nearby Butte Community College as its inaugural Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism Officer. It’s a natural progression for someone who has devoted so much of his life to uplifting and supporting others. Over the years he served as Chico State’s first director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, a lecturer in the Multicultural and Gender Studies Department, and interim chief diversity officer. Student success—especially for those from historically underserved communities—remains his driving force.
Brian M. Borst (Information and Communication Studies, ’96) and Gayle E. (Mandt) Borst (Business Administration, ’96) are enjoying life in Iowa and looking forward to celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in February. Gayle is a senior vice president at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and will celebrate her 25th anniversary there in 2022. Brian is the print shop manager at the Iowa State Fair. They are proud parents of Veronica and Cameron. In 2019, Gayle and Cameron returned to Chico to take Gayle’s mom, Susan F. (Black) Mandt (Spanish, ’69) to her Golden Grad reunion, creating yet one more wonderful memory at Chico State—and they have many!
Todd Deck (Journalism, ’01) is the county librarian for the Tehama County Library and was recognized nationally this summer by Library Journal for his dedication to his community. After the Camp Fire, he developed the Retro Tech Lab, funded by the California State Library, which purchased equipment for patrons to digitize their home movies, family photos, and more. During the pandemic, Deck partnered with a local business and probation program to build frames for a storywalk for safe outdoor activities, and implemented a drive-through storytime, radio station, and drive-in Mario Kart Tournament. “The pandemic has made us all throw away the rulebook. I am passionate about being part of a community of librarians who will be writing a new one,” Deck said.
Vianna Boring Renaud (Music, ’01) was awarded the 2021 National Undergraduate Employability Award for Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience in the UK. As a placement development advisor at Bournemouth University, she won the category due to her unwavering guidance and support to students during their industry placements, particularly given the adaptation and impact to the workplace due to the pandemic. She has stayed in touch with many of her Chico State faculty since graduation and has been in recent talks regarding an exchange program between Chico State and Bournemouth University on the southern coast of England. Fingers crossed for more Wildcats experiencing life across the pond!
Adam Henig (Political Science, ’02) recently published Watergate’s Forgotten Hero: Frank Wills, Night Watchman. Profiling the security guard who detected the break-in that led to a national political scandal, it’s the first biography of the only African American associated with Watergate. Henig is the author of two other books about African Americans, one focused on writer Alex Haley and another on civil rights activist Dr. Ralph Wimbish. His writings have also appeared in Time, Detroit Metro Times, Tampa Bay Times, Washington Independent Review of Books, San Francisco Book Review, as well as the websites History News Network and BlackPast.
Jaime (Mitchell) Mathews (Journalism, ’02) is launching her first book, Sunroofs & Shoeboxes. Whether doing taxes or sitting in traffic, she reminds readers attitude is what counts and encourages people to use their thoughts to bring about greater joy and health in their lives. Mathews holds a master’s degree in holistic health education and published a monthly healthy living magazine for many years. She and her husband live on a farm in Danville, where they watch their children enjoy life and spend time with a number of furry and feathered friends.
Jeffrey Boian (Recreation Administration, ’03) was recently hired as vice president for education and professional development for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues in Ontario, California. He is married to Kathleen Boian (Nursing, ’05).
Jon Corry (History, ’06; Credential, ’08) has been working in communications and graphic design for the past eight years. He is currently the communications associate at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church in the Bay Area. Corry is married to his Chico State sweetheart, Melanie (Sargent) Corry (Communication Design, ’06), who he met through the Chico State Ballroom Dance Club. She is a digital content producer for KRON-TV.
As president of Healdsburg Lumber Company, Jill Ziedrich Gaylor (Criminal Justice, ’06) knows that changing attitudes about women in the building supply industry starts from within. Taking over the 146-year-old family business, she made it her mission to increase the number of women on staff, ensure representation across every department, and create an atmosphere where women feel valued as customers. Since stepping into her leadership role in 2020, her sales staff is now nearly 50 percent female and half her senior leadership team are women. “When my sisters and I were younger, the idea of girls taking over a lumber company seemed far-fetched. Now the mother of two little girls, I encourage them daily to dream big,” she said.
Jamie (Ohannesian) Keith (Journalism, ’06) is the marketing manager for Sierra Central Credit Union. After 12 years working in sales and advertising at the Appeal-Democrat and Tri-County Newspapers, she is excited for her new role. A proud Rotarian, she remains deeply engaged in the community and lends her marketing and event skills to events and fundraisers for businesses and nonprofits alike. Her husband, Brandon Keith (Business Administration, ’09), is the chief financial officer for World Famous Fare, which includes Madison Bear Garden and six other colorful restaurants in California and Nevada. They recently adopted a high-maintenance, moderately destructive feline, Lady Fancy Carol Baskin, whom they love dearly.
Stephanie Amantite (Spanish, ’07) is the vice president of retail and industrial sales for Strauss Brands, LLC. She lives in Connecticut.
Alfredo Suarez-Aguilar (Criminal Justice, ’07) is a deputy probation office for the San Luis Obispo County Probation Department.
Katie Nicholson (Recreation Administration, ’08) is the new director of social responsibility for the Sacramento Kings, after previously serving as its senior manager, manager of community impact, and social media manager for the team’s dance team.
Enrique Velasco Fuentes (Latin American Studies, ’08) earned his doctorate in educational leadership at the University of California, Davis, in March 2021. He lives in San José with his wife and is a director at San José City College.
Anna Lind Thomas (MA, Communication Studies, ’10) recently secured a two-part book deal with Harper Collins, based on her viral online story, “The Fart That (Almost) Altered My Destiny.” Her first book, We Will Laugh About This Someday, was released in September. A group of essays on taking life a smidge too seriously, they include short stories about not getting credit for Lady Gaga’s career or how her children critique her while she exercises. Thomas is a humor writer and popular online personality who founded the website HaHas for HooHas. She writes for various media outlets and hosts the podcast It’s Not That Serious, which is consistently ranked in the Top 25 of the iTunes Family section. She and her husband, Rob, live in Nebraska with their two young daughters, Lucy and Poppy, and an English bulldog named Bruno.
Briana Beaver (Sociology, ’11) and her mother decided to blend their love of coffee, community, connection, and interconnectedness into a business and brewed up Heart Bean Coffee. The business provides locally roasted small-batch coffee online and in certain stores throughout Northern California. They designate a portion of sales to individuals with chronic health conditions and disabilities, as well as nonprofits serving those populations.
Jennifer Bass Montgomery (History, ’11) is the new principal at Sonoma’s Prestwood Elementary School. She has spent the last 10 years in education, as a classroom paraeducator, athletic coach, a seventh-grade history teacher, in special education, and as an assistant principal. She holds a master’s degree in education from Western Governors University in Utah.
Danny Orloff (Business Administration, ’14) is the new tourism marketing director of Visit Redding. He previously worked in the athletic shoe and apparel industry, leading marketing efforts and consumer experience for Finish Line and Nike at its worldwide headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. A Yreka native, he’s excited to return to the North State and promote the myriad outdoor recreation, cultural, and other activities in the Redding area. In his free time, he enjoys fly fishing, videography, and basketball.
Until the pandemic, Christine Wilhoyte (Exercise Physiology, ’07) had never pedaled more than a few recreational miles at a time. This summer, she biked more than 3,000 miles across the United States, conquering mountains and flying through valleys to raise funds for physical education in rural and underfunded schools. Raising $5,500, she plans to spend the funds on equipment and workbooks for students; resources for teachers including continuing education and conferences; and in-person support, where she will lead workshops and assist teachers firsthand. “A lot of it is empowering people and their bodies—and that is awesome. You give someone the tools to lead their happiest lives,” she said.
Have you recently changed jobs, been promoted, or started your own business? Perhaps you’ve gotten married, crossed something off your personal bucket list, or achieved a lifelong dream. Send an email to [email protected] to share where life has taken you since your days at Chico State.
The University and Alumni Association note with sorrow the passing of our alumni, students, and colleagues.
Courtney Antrim (Anthropology, ’96)
Jeffrey Barker (History, Philosophy, ’78)
Douglas Bussey (Political Science, ’72)
Joe Chew (Commerce, ’51)
Douglas Deay (Information and Communication Studies, ’83)
Catherine Lynette Goggia (Information and Communication Studies; English, ’84)
Michael Guardino (Biological Sciences, ’82; Credential, ’87)
David Hanley (Physical Education, ’75)
June Levulett (Social Work, ’78)
Paul Leete (Sociology, ’80)
Fred Johnson (Business Administration, ’70)
Mark Lohbeck (Business Administration, ’89)
Byron Dale Moser (Art, ’64)
Gregory E. Moss (Business Administration, ’75)
Douglas Norfolk (Industrial Arts, ’71)
Susan (Moyer) Poss (Nursing ’69)
Mitchell Redden (Attended, 1985–87)
Charles Robinson (Education; Credential; ’57)
Jon Sanborn (Education, Credential, ’59)
Carolyn Shoemaker (Social Science, ’49; MA, Social Science, ’50)
John Shackford (Business Administration, ’76)
Kevin Schmicking (Business Administration, ’82)
Scott Smith (English, ’93; MA, English, ’96)
Daniel Soares (Music, ’59)
Nancy Stevens (Biological Sciences, ’73)
Charlotte Beyke, Computer Animation and Game Development
Jay Bogiatto (MS, Biological Sciences, ’86), Biological Sciences, 1987–21
Karen Hoover (Geology, ’83), Geological and Environmental Sciences, 2000–21
David Kistner, Biological Sciences, 1959–92
Denise Minor, International Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, 2007–19
Bill Murphy, Geological and Environmental Sciences, 2000–12
Ed Myles, Geography and Planning, 1972–2004
Sharon Paquin (MA, English, ’82), English and American studies, 1986–98
Maggie Pattison (Social Welfare, ’71), Associated Students, 1971–94
Cari Phipps (MBA, ’18), Enterprise Technology and Support,2007–20
Bob Stanley, Political Science and Criminal Justice, 1989–2020
Karl Voigtritter (Chemistry, ’09), Chemistry and Biochemistry, 2015–2020
*Years of service
Publications Editor Ashley Gebb (BA, Journalism, ’08) oversees storytelling for University Communications, sets the editorial style for Chico State, and produces the University’s signature magazine, Chico Statements.
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