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Chico State

Celebrating Our 2022 Distinguished Alumni

Tracy Butts, Douglas Leiker, Angela Trethewey, Rashell Brobst, David Hassenzahl, Monica Soderstrom, Eddie Vela, Kathleen Grave, Terence Lau, Bill Dodd, Blake Wentz, Dan Wheeler, and President Gayle Hutchinson
Jason Halley / University Photographer

Tracy Butts (Dean, HFA), Douglas Leiker (Õ75, HFA), Angela Trethewey (Dean, CME), Rashell Brobst (Õ95, CME), David Hassenzahl (Dean, NSC), Monica Soderstrom (Õ85 NSC), Eddie Vela (Dean, BSS), Kathleen Grave (Õ82 BSS), Terence Lau (Dean, BUS), Bill Dodd, (Õ78 BUS), Blake Wentz (Dean, ECC), Dan Wheeler (Õ93 ECC) and President Gayle Hutchinson (left to right) on Friday, March 25, 2022 in Chico, Calif. (Jason Halley/University Photographer/Chico State)

At Chico State, we recognize our outstanding alumni for many reasons. As leaders in their professions, we depend on them to ensure the excellence and integrity of our academic programs, while acting as an enduring inspiration to our students, faculty, and staff. Through their work and their service, they are an inspiration to us all, but especially our students as they, too, hope to transform tomorrow.

On March 25, we celebrated our most talented and successful alumni, affirming the vivacity and contributions they bring to the legacy of Chico State. Not only do the 2022 Distinguished Alumni honorees reflect our longstanding University values, but they have led exceptional lives and made a profound impact through their careers.

Please join me in congratulating our 2022 Distinguished Alumni!

Kathleen Grave speaks into a microphone from a podium.

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Kathleen Grave

Social Science, ’82

Co-founder and CEO at InBold Inc./Lassen Labs

Grave has worked in Silicon Valley, taught at Pepperdine University, and is CEO of a science-backed cannabinoid company setting out to transform the healthcare industry. 

Bill Dodd

College of Business

Bill Dodd

Business Administration, ’78

State Representative, California’s 3rd Senate District

After owning and operating one of the largest full-service Culligan Water companies in California, Dodd has spent more than 20 years in local and state government.

Rashell Brobst

College of Communication and Education

Rashell Brobst

Recreation Administration, ’95 

CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of the North Valley

As a first-generation college graduate, Brobst channels her passion into serving the needs of underserved youth in her community.

Dan Wheeler stands on a rooftop and smiles under a building

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management

Dan Wheeler

Construction Management, ’93

Vice President, Turner Construction Company

As an executive at Turner Construction, Wheeler has put up new buildings on campus, recruited more than 100 Chico State grads, and mentored countless more. 

Douglas Leiker

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Douglas Leiker

English, Humanities, ’75

Founder and Owner, Warm Earth Pottery and Warm Earth Cosmetics

After establishing a pottery business post-graduation, Leiker realized an opportunity to expand into the cosmetics market. His business now has sales worldwide.

Monica Soderstrom

College of Natural Sciences

Monica Soderstrom

Nursing, ’85

Nursing Division Director, Butte County Public Health Department

Whether working in a Haitian orphanage after graduation or supporting nurses during the Camp Fire, the public health needs of her community have always been the core of Soderstrom’s work.