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Chico State


A crape myrtle flowers in front of an academic building.

Class Notes: Fall 2022

Whether it's starting a new business, writing a book, or achieving a lifelong dream, the Wildcat family continues to reach milestones. Alumni share professional and personal updates for fall 2022.

Yellow and red roses bloom in the foreground with academic buildings in the background.

Fond Farewell: Retired Director of Human Resources Dennis Frazier

Remembered for his keen sense of humor, warm personality, and commitment to his work, Dennis Frazier directed human resources at Chico State for more than two decades.

College students walk through a crowded college campus on a bright sunny day

Worth Sharing: Liebenberg’s Poetry Published

A listing of professional achievements by Chico State faculty, staff, and students.

Luke Barker throws a pitch for the Milwaukee Brewers

Baseball Voyage Marked by Strong Arm, Strong Voice

Luke Barker’s focus has been on making it to the big leagues, but when he spotted some serious inequities, he decided to say something.

Nicholas Esparza looks through the high vacuum chamber in the ultracold lab.

Student Researchers Share Insight into Summer Projects

CSC² has supported nearly 300 students in undergraduate research projects across the three colleges.

Fond Farewell: Retired Religious Studies Professor Emeritus John Bash

Professor Emeritus John Bash, a distinguished teacher, mountain hiker, and world traveler, will be remembered as a friend and mentor to both students and colleagues.

Manny Lopez stands in a field of sheep with a feed bucket.

Animal Science Major Embraces Role of Lead Shepherd in Sheep Unit

Since arriving at Chico State in fall 2019, Manny Lopez has been an integral part of the University Farm’s Sheep Unit and today serves as its lead shepherd.

An academic building with an external staircase

Worth Sharing: Wildcat Athletes Earn CCAA Honors

A listing of professional achievements by Chico State faculty, staff, and students.

Susanna Garcia stands in a circle of soccer players who are standing arm in arm, getting pumped up at the start of a game.

Soccer Player Susanna Garcia Leads on the Pitch and in the Classroom

And as she returns to lead the Wildcats in her fifth and final season, Sanna Garcia earned one of only nine All-America honors in the program's storied history.

Don Miller examines a tree during the watershed tour.

How To: Be a Backyard Biologist

Biological sciences professor Don Miller shares a few of his favorite tips for novice naturalists.

Curt Richard and Bob Phillips in college

College Friends Make A Perfect Match for Organ Donation

Wildcat bonds truly do last a lifetime— when alum Bob Phillips needed a kidney, his former college roommate came to the rescue.

Blake Ellis poses next to a tree

Alumna Chooses Nature to Nurture Others

Blake Ellis is at the leading edge of harnessing the natural world’s healing powers—even when that environment itself may trigger anxiety.

Fall colors of red and gold in the downtown street trees brighten Broadway Street in downtown Chico.

Alumni-Owners of Downtown Chico Businesses Share Their Stories

Whether they opened their store shortly after graduation, took over a longstanding business, or brought something new to the area mid-career, the owners of four downtown businesses share what makes the Chico State connections special to them.

College students walk past a building illuminated from the inside at night.

Worth Sharing: Reyes Shines Light on Farm Workers’ Walk

A listing of professional achievements by Chico State faculty, staff, and students.

Trinity Roses

Fond Farewell: Former Director of Alumni Allen Sherwood

Remembered as friendly, funny, and wise, Allen Sherwood directed alumni relations at Chico State for two decades.

Allison Messner leans against a porch railing with a landscaped yard behind her.

Five Questions with Yardzen CEO Allison Messner

After a devastating megafire destroyed her yard, Allison Messner cofounded an online landscaping design platform that is gaining national attention.

Portrait of Karen Wilkins-Mickey

Alumna Makes History as Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Seattle Seahawks

In January 2021, alumna Karen Wilkins-Mickey joined the Seattle Seahawks as their director of diversity, equity, and inclusion—the first such hire at the team level in NFL history.

A photo from the ground looking up at intersecting bars beneath a library.

Worth Sharing: Brown Earns National Honors

A listing of professional achievements by Chico State faculty, staff, and students.

Kathleen Belzer at work as a midwife.

Five Questions with Certified Nurse Midwife and Alumna Kathleen Belzer

Nursing alumna and midwifery advocate Kathleen Belzer is driving diversity and equality in pregnancy and childbirth healthcare.

Isaiah Henderson poses in front of a brick wall

Kinesiology Grad Student and Former Marine Honored with CSU Trustees’ Award

Isaiah Henderson, a kinesiology grad student and veteran, will receive the 2022-23 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The sun sets amongst clouds, buildings, and trees

Worth Sharing: CCAA Honors Wildcat Soccer Players

A listing of professional achievements by Chico State faculty, staff, and students.

Colin Wiseman on a boat.

Bringing Mental Health to Light

Chico State alumni and family find healing through mental health awareness advocacy and the creation of a Senate bill to improve youth mental health in schools.

Anthropology Faculty Reflects on Fulbright Experience in Jordan

Anthropology faculty Jesse Dizard shares about his experience as a Fulbright Scholar in Jordan.

Isaac Brundage poses in front of a brick wall

Meet Isaac Brundage, Chico State’s New Vice President for Student Affairs 

Isaac Brundage, Chico State's new Vice President for Student Affairs, draws on his upbringing and professional experience to reach students.

The brick facade of an academic building with three arches in the front

Chico State Awards President’s Scholarships to Five Incoming Freshmen

Chico State has awarded five first-year students $30,000 through its President's Scholarships.

Terry Dyer

5 Questions with Alum and Executive Director of World AIDS Museum Terry Dyer

Terry Dyer is an activist at heart—from taking action for those who cannot, to being a voice to those on the margins, to his position as Executive Director of the World AIDS Museum.

Jon Ebeling

Fond Farewell: Political Science Professor Emeritus Jon Ebeling

Jon Ebeling's career at Chico State spanned more than 40 years and inspired countless students to pursue careers in public administration.

Steven Dyer poses in front of a building

New Art Teacher Brings Professional and Personal Success to Chico State

Steven Durow enjoyed tremendous success as a professional artist—but teaching has always been at the heart of his craft.

A pedestrian walks across a bridge with the path shrouded in a canopy of trees

Worth Sharing: Soccer Teams Honored For Exceptional Work In Classroom

A listing of professional achievements by Chico State faculty, staff, and students.

Michelle Bergland-Smith

Fond Farewell: Retired ASC Michelle Berglund-Smith

Known for her candy dish and birthday cakes, Michelle Berglund-Smith was considered the backbone of the Computer Science Department for her expertise and passion.

Rose of Sharon shrub blooms outside of Kendall Hall

Fond Farewell: Passing of Retired Mathematics Professor Larry Dion

Mathematics and statistics professor Larry Dion will be remembered for his commitment and generosity.

Holly Mahnke

Fond Farewell: Agricultural Science and Education Major Holly Mahnke

With a love of animals and passion for education, senior Holly Mahnke was excited to follow her dream of becoming an agriculture teacher.

A view up a spiral staircase

Worth Sharing: University Advancement Wins Five CASE Awards

A listing of professional achievements by Chico State faculty, staff, and students.

A bronze wildcat statue is perched during the night amid dramatic lighting

Worth Sharing: All-American, Academic Honors Roll in for Wildcat Student-Athletes

A listing of professional achievements by Chico State faculty, staff, and students.

A drone photograph shows a late-spring sunset shining through Trinity Hall.

Fond Farewell: Anthropology Professor Emerita Beverly Newbold Chiñas

A visionary in cultural anthropology and scholar of women's studies in Latin America and beyond, Beverly Newbold Chiñas taught at Chico State for 26 years.

Santa Clara county public defender Cesilia Fernandez sits at her desk in her office

Six Questions with Alumna and Santa Clara County Public Defender Cesilia Fernandez 

Cesilia Fernandez, a Chico State alum who graduated with dual bachelor's degrees in Spanish and International Relations, now works as a public defender in Santa Clara County.

Thousands of Physical Maps Need a Home—Students Helped Find One

With a move from Butte Hall looming, GIS students helped find a new digital home for hundreds of physical maps.

Stars shine above Trinity Hall.

Fond Farewell: Retired Nursing Professor Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins taught nursing on campus for 22 years and was known for her compassion for and empathy to students.

Yellow and red roses bloom in the foreground with academic buildings in the background.

Staff Awards Recognize Exemplary Employees

Staff Council honors five employees for their customer service, safety dedication, Wildcat spirit, and overall awesomeness.

Students walk to and from student housing on a college campus

Worth Sharing: Pike Pens Piece Exploring Benefits of Traditional Ecological Knowledge

A listing of professional achievements by Chico State faculty, staff, and students.