Alumni Updates

Andrew Jensen, Fisheries Biology, 1996 (BS) and 2000 (MS)
Submitted: October 16, 2013
Andrew Jensen, 1996 and 2000 Fisheries Biology, and Melanie Jensen, (’96 Wildlife Biology), met in an Icthyology class in 1992. Then 10 years passed and they bumped into each other in a grocery store in Santa Rosa, Calif., and exchanged phone numbers. After a year or so they got together for dinner, spent several months becoming friends, and got married in 2004. Andrew now works as a senior environmental scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife working on anadromous fish restoration, and Melanie works for PG&E in the Gas Service Engineering Department. They settled in Redding, Calif., and have two daughters, and several pets. In September 2013, they visited HSU and showed their girls where they had met, and let them run around on the soccer field near the Fisheries and Wildlife Building. Andrew writes that HSU was a wonderful place to go to college, and hopes their girls will pick HSU for their college education. Interestingly, Melanie's mother, Dolores Mattax, and aunt and uncle, Patricia Mattax and Jim Ingram, also attended HSU in the early 1950s. Patricia and Jim ended up getting married, and Jim is in the Hall of Fame as a football player and coach for HSU.

Kristi Boring Shelton, Environmental Resources Engineering, 1996
Submitted: October 14, 2013
Kristi Boring Shelton, 1996, Environmental Resources Engineering, worked for Montgomery Watson (now MWH) from 1996 to 2006 in the Federal Unit in Sacramento. Her work included groundwater and soil investigations at various Army and Air Force bases. Then Shelton worked at Secor (now Stantec) from 2006 to 2007 doing underground storage tank cleanups in the Sacramento area. Currently she is working as a water resources control engineer for the Central Valley Regional Water Board.

David, Biological Sciences, 1996
Submitted: October 8, 2013
David E. McLean, 1996, Biological Sciences, is the current president of the Vermont State Dental Society and a delegate to the American Dental Association. McLean earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 2000 and now lives in South Burlington, Vt.

Katie Lyn Sherry, Physics & Astronomy, 1996
Submitted: August 12, 2013
Katie Lyn Sherry, 1996 Physics & Astronomy, will be attending medical school at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biomedical Science. Sherry completed both post-baccalaureate and graduate programs to complete the prerequisites in biology and chemistry before entering medical school. Having gained admission at age 42, Sherry writes, "It's never too late to do what you should have done."

Doug Downie, Biological Sciences, 1994
Submitted: July 19, 2013
DOUG DOWNIE, 1994 Biological Sciences, earned his doctorate in Entomology (Population genetics in grape phylloxera) at UC Davis. Downie spent four years doing postdoctoral research on grape phylloxera, mealybugs, and ants. He took an academic position at Rhodes University in South Africa in 2003, where I stayed to 2011. Downie now works at the Dept. of Pesticide Regulation in Sacramento. Along the way he has published poetry and prose and self-published five books of fiction.

Eugene "Charles" Justus, Wildlife, 1989
Submitted: June 6, 2013
EUGENE "CHARLES" JUSTUS, 1989 Wildlife, was recently promoted to regional conservation officer with Idaho Fish and Game where he has been employed since 1990, soon after graduating from HSU. As RCO he manages the 22 conservation officers in the Southwest Region of IDFG. HSU's wildlife program prepared Justus very well for a career in Idaho, where he excels in bird and 'herp' conservation. Justus is married to Sue Epstein ('89, Wildlife) and has two boys. The family loves fishing, hunting and camping in the wilds of Idaho.

David Honeywell, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1982 (BS Forestry) 1986 (BS Computer Info Systems)
Submitted: May 8, 2013
DAVID HONEYWELL, 1982 Forestry, 1986 Computer Information Systems, and his wife have finally retired from the federal government; 28 and a half years for Honeywell and over 20 for his wife. During a business trip, he happened to buy a winning Powerball ticket. Honeywell and his wife accepted the winning check for $217 million on Valentine’s Day this year. Soon after, they retired and are now building their dream retirement home and enjoying life. The couple has donated $4 million to charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank and many others, as well as the goal of also establishing an HSU scholarship in the very near future.

Adam Gabriel Peretz, Environmental Science & Management, 2008
Submitted: April 19, 2013
Adam Gabriel Peretz, 2008, Environmental Science & Management, now goes by Fagbemijo Amosun Fakayode, following his initiation to the Ifa religion in Nigeria. Fagbemijo was married in June to Oyaseye Fakayode. Oyaseye gave birth to their first-born son, Famarada Ojo Fakayode, on October 3rd, 2012. In, Oyeku Ofun Temple, the home of worship Fagbemijo and Oyaseye founded together, moved to Arcata, CA. In April, Fagbemijo returned to Nigeria for the fourth time to be installed as a traditional chief of Ifa with the title Otun Amufawuni of Ibadan Land, meaning "the one who holds the love of Ifa". Ifa is the traditional religion of the Yoruba people.

Erica Diamond, Child Development, 2005
Submitted: April 5, 2013
ERICA DIAMOND, 2005 Child Development, is a teacher at an independent charter school in San Diego. She recently married fellow alum Richard Diamond (Art, 2005) who is a digital artist for Sony and they just bought their first home. Their son was born in 2001 and grew up on HSU's campus (his favorite place was the wildlife building and the crazy hall in the art building) and he was also a graduate of the Child Development Lab. He is now as tall as me and is a super smart lacrosse and saxophone playing middle schooler. Diamond writes, “We have taken the things we learned at HSU, academically and life lessons (all three of us), to build the amazing life we are currently living. Thank you HSU!” Diamond states.

Sanford Wilbur, Wildlife, 1963
Submitted: April 3, 2013
SANFORD WILBUR, 1963 Wildlife, just published a new book, "Nine Feet from Tip to Tip: The California Condor Through History," the first in-depth look at the history of this species since the 1940s. It’s the culmination of some 45 years of field, lab and library research on the condors. In the mid-1970s, Wilbur and W. Dean Carrier (another '63 Humboldt Wildlife grad) were the impetus behind the current condor captive breeding program that is finally beginning to show real success.

Kevin Nadin, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1985
Submitted: March 28, 2013
KEVIN NADIN, 1985 Forestry and Wildland Resources, has been with Sierra Pacific Industries for the past 11 years, currently in the position of network administrator. After leaving HSU, Nadin began working in various forestry positions before returning to school at Chico State. He has been married for 18 years and has three children.

Jason W. Cooley, Biological Sciences, 1994
Submitted: March 6, 2013
Jason W. Cooley, 1994, Biological Sciences, is currently a professor of Chemistry at the University of Missouri.

Eric W. Van Stryland, Physics & Astronomy, 1970
Submitted: February 6, 2013
see website Past President of the Optical Society of America (OSA), 2006, R.W. Wood Prize of OSA 2012 First Dean of a College devoted to Optics/Photonics in the US

Dennis A. Hansell, Biological Sciences, 1978
Submitted: December 31, 2012
Oceanography professor at the University of Miami, FL. Research focuses on the ocean carbon cycle, with particular interest in the role of organic matter. Presently serve as Chairman of the United States Carbon Cycle Scientific Steering Group. Research cruise in Feb/March 2013 in the Ross Sea of the Southern Ocean (53 days at sea) followed by June cruise in Gulf of Alaska.

Eric Burke, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 2005
Submitted: December 21, 2012
RPF # 2873, I have recently accepted a promotion as Vegetation Management Officer for the Tahoe National Forest, Yuba River Ranger District. Married to Martha Burke (RPF # 2918). Expecting first child Sierra Elizabeth Burke 3/27/2013.

Penelope Black Liotta, Wildlife, 1984
Submitted: December 10, 2012
Master's of Education Conferred December 2012 along with teaching license from Bethel University, McKenzie, Tennessee. Beginning a new career as a secondary school biology teacher.

John Paul Hunt, Geology, 1985
Submitted: November 8, 2012
I just recently celebrated my 25th year at SMC, a Geotechnical Consulting firm in Orange County that I have been a partner in for the last 10 years. My wife Patty, who also graduated from HSU in 1985 with a buisness degree, and I, just celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. I have also been very active in cross-country mountain bike racing and just recently won my first race. If only HSU had mtb racing back in the day.

Kellie Tharp, Wildlife, 2002
Submitted: October 31, 2012
The Humboldt State University Wildlife program provided an excellent foundation for pursuing a career in wildlife conservation. After graduation I worked as a biologist for the BLM, USFS and USGS in Alaska and Oregon. I received my Master of Science degree from the Johns Hopkins University in Environmental Science and Policy in 2007 and subsequently accepted a position with the Arizona Game and Fish Department as the Environmental Education Program Manager. After 2 years I promoted into the position of Education Branch Chief with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. In 2011 I received the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Mark J. Reef memorial award which recognizes distinguished young wildlife management professionals for their outstanding service in the conservation of fish and wildlife resources and for overcoming challenges through creative, determined initiatives of the nominee’s own device, producing benefits beyond the immediate area of mandate of the nominating agency.

Bret Comnes, Physics & Astronomy, 2011
Submitted: October 28, 2012
Attending Humboldt State University and choosing to major in Physics has been one of the most important and beneficial decisions I have ever made. The faculty are fantastic educators, the curriculum is challenging and rewarding, it has intimate upper division class sizes, and there is ample opportunity to gain research experience if you want it. I am currently getting started in the Doctoral Physics program at Portland State University.

Christopher J. Watt, Geology, 1997
Submitted: October 17, 2012
I have been working for a local engineering firm (LACO ASSOCIATES) for the past 15 years and was recently elected President and CEO.