Alumni Updates

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.

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.