Alumni Updates

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.

Ed Busch, Fisheries Biology, 1980
Submitted: October 17, 2012
I wanted to share the news that my project with civil war letters and photos went live today. See

Áki Jarl Láruson, Biological Sciences, 2010
Submitted: October 5, 2012
I am starting my second year as a doctorate student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Månoa. I am focusing on molecular ecology, population genetics and quantitative genetics in the shallow water urchin genus Tripneustes. Thanks to Professor Sean Craig of Humboldt State, I had my first publication as a lead author before finishing my first year of Grad school.

Carin Kaltschmidt, Computer Science, 1990
Submitted: September 28, 2012
Ernst & Young LLP recently announced promotions of professionals based in its San Francisco office, including Humboldt alumnus Carin Kaltschmidt. Kaltschmidt was promoted to principal from senior manager. She is a member of Ernst & Young LLP’s Advisory practice and serves in its program management performance improvement practice, focusing on complex program management for enterprise transformation programs. Kaltschmidt has spent the majority of her 20-year career providing program and change management services to companies in the healthcare, technology and financial services industries. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Science from Humboldt State University and is a certified Project Management Professional.

Mary K. Wicksten, Biological Sciences, 1970
Submitted: September 26, 2012
Mary K. Wicksten, 1970, Biological Sciences, published her monograph "Decapod Crustacea of the Californian and Oregonian Zoogeographic Provinces" in the journal Zootaxa this year. Over 20 years in the making, the 307-page work covers all the crabs, shrimps and lobsters, including both marine and freshwater species, to be found from Washington to mid-Baja California. It is the first major work to cover these crustaceans in California since 1921. Keys and illustrations are included for all species.

ADAM GABRIEL PERETZ, Environmental Science & Management, 2008
Submitted: September 24, 2012
I went to Ibadan, Nigeria in January 2011 where I was initiated to Ifa, traditional West African Religion. Through Ifa initiation, I have shed my old self and have even been given a new name, Fagbemijo Amosun Fakayode. I since have returned twice to research and study Ifa as well as to bring other people to do their own initiations and other rituals. My wife, Oyaseye Fakayode, a priestess of Oya, and I have formed Oyeku Ofun Temple, a traditional Ifa and Orisha temple based in Northern California. The temple serves many devotees. I have written two books on Ifa religion thus far, "All Days Are Sacred" (2011) and "Ori Mi Gbe Mi: Ori, Support Me" (2012), both published by Oyeku Ofun Temple.

Rick Hoffmann, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1968
Submitted: September 24, 2012
After two careers - Entomology Research (UC Berkeley) and Science teacher, I have retired from full time employment. I now work as a Science Education consultant, substitute teach, and tutor students in science.

Amanda Shufelberger, Wildlife, 2000
Submitted: September 23, 2012
After working for several government agencies, I have been working as a Wildlife Biologist in Grass Valley for Sierra Pacific Industries for 5+ years.

Holly Edmundson, Physics & Astronomy, 2009
Submitted: August 21, 2012
After graduating from HSU I went to grad school at University of Oregon where I got my Masters in Materials Science with an emphasis in Optics. I got a job in the semiconductor industry. Humboldt's physics program gave me a major advantage when it came to E&M, electronics and lab experience all of which I used regularly in grad school and still use in my 'real job'.

Alef DuRant-Wise, Biological Sciences, 2013
Submitted: August 20, 2012
Alef DuRant-Wise has recently been hired as the Laboratory Manager at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology. She is working on atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn's disease in the Ley Lab. She is taking her last two classes for her two bachelor degrees in marine biology and zoology as an intrasystem exchange student at San Diego State University. Special thanks to Professor Sean Craig for being a great mentor!

Asad Ullah, Biological Sciences, 2012-2013
Submitted: July 22, 2012
please inform me about admission in master and m.phill program in botany . also update me about schollership in the mentioned field. thankyou.

Mry K. Wicksten, Biological Sciences, B.A. 1970, M.A. 1972
Submitted: July 5, 2012
Mary Wicksten is a Professor of Biology at Texas A&M University. She just finished her major publication, "Decapod Crustacea of the Californiana and Oregonian Zoogeographic Provinces", Zootaxa 336=71, 307 pages long. This monograph contains keys, illustrations, short descriptions and information on range, depth, habitat and living color for all crabs, shrimps and lobster-like species, freshwater or marine from the shore to the abyss from Washington to mid-Baja California. Yes, I am sending a copy to the Humboldt Marine lab!