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Chris Friedland and his wife delivered 290 generators for residents in Puerto Rico.

Class Notes: Spring 2018

Alumni share snippets of what they’ve been up to these days, and Chico State bids a fond farewell to recently passed alumni, students, and colleagues.

Sergio Garcia leans on a counter, which holds a statue of blindfolded "Lady Justice," in front of a sign reading SCG.

DACA, Dreamers and Immigration: The Expert Explains

Lawyer Sergio C. Garcia has found much of the national immigration debate stems from common myths about the process. Here, he shares his personal and professional experiences to shed light on the truth.

Four students, two male and two female, stand in partial silhouette and smoky light.

Restless Dreamers

As a turbulent national attitude on immigration leaves Dreamers anxious and uncertain, four Chico State students share what is at stake. Their fates, and millions of others, hang in the balance.

Kyle Bailey sets up audio equipment for a grand piano

The Musical Machine

Alum Kyle Bailey, a fall 2017 graduate who earned his music major with a recording arts option, has taken on the mission of creating music for the world to experience and appreciate.

Corina Yetter leans against a shelf of books in the Meriam Library.

No Room for Error

Corina Yetter has waited more than 20 years to finish her bachelor's degree, and faced incredible odds along the way.

Renee Renner (left) and Ben Juliano (right) hold hands and pose for a photo on the Chico State campus.

Campus Sweethearts Share Their Stories

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, three campus sets of campus sweethearts share their stories about what life is like when the one you love also works where you work.

Joe Crotts posing for a photo in front of the "Meriam Library" sign in front of the library entrance.

Campus Gets a Little Less Colorful

When Joe Crotts retired, he left a legacy as one of Chico State’s longest-serving employees and campus icons.

Carson Medley holding a basketball in his office

Want a behind-the-scenes peek into Division II basketball? Open the ‘Red Door’

Carson Medley’s book “Through the Red Door” is much more than a look back at a college basketball season. It’s an homage to the individual parts that move the story along at Chico State.

Adrienne McGraw in her office at the Gateway Science Museum

From National Parks to the North State: New Gateway Director Looks to Showcase Natural World Around Us

Growing up within the boundaries of several national parks, Adrienne McGraw was raised with a love and appreciation for the natural world. She's bringing that love of nature to her new job, as the executive director of Gateway Science Museum.

Jessica Gonzales

Doing Things Differently

Jessica Gonzales knows hardship. The pre-nursing major has endured homelessness, discrimination, and field labor to reach college. But she’s determined to be the first in her family to earn a degree and one day open her own health clinic.

Dylan Gray

If you had a day with Dylan Gray, what would you ask? What would he say?

Get to know your Associated Students president, Dylan Gray, in an up close and personal Q&A.

Breanna Holbert smiles on the Chico State campus.

Breanna Holbert: “Who I Am Is Enough”

The only label that really interests Breanna Holbert is that of a leader. What inspires Holbert is uncovering the unknown—in herself, in situations, and in other people. An unyielding curiosity to unearth unrealized potential stands out as her most distinguishable quality.


Remembering Chico State’s Oldest Alum

Olympics qualifier, top-secret military coder, oldest female US veteran—Lynne Balmer had a lot to be proud of but little made her smile more than recognition as Chico State's oldest alum. She passed away this month at age 110.

Olivia VanDamme loves surfing and spends time sharing that passion with younger surfers.

Sharing a Love for the Sea

Olivia Van Damme spends her days showing teenagers the depth of inspiration in the deep blue sea working as operations manager at City Surf Project, which serves low-income, underserved students in the San Francisco public school system.

Troy Johnson on the Food Network.

Savoring the Taste of Success

Troy Johnson quipped his way from freelance writer to TV personality after he began to write about food. The Chico State alum and judge on "Guy's Grocery Games" shares his journey from the table to the small screen.

Michelle Vanden Bosch racing on the Great Wall of China.

The Quest to Join the 7 Continents

In June 2017, alum and Athletics Hall of Famer Michelle Vanden Bosch accomplished a feat only a few hundred people have ever done—she completed her seventh marathon on seven continents.

Malaika Fraley, Rick Hurd, Katrina Cameron won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism

Path to a Pulitzer

Journalism alums and reporters Malaika Fraley, Rick Hurd, and Katrina Cameron earned a Pulitzer Prize for their team coverage of the devastation and aftermath of the "Ghost Ship" fire in Oakland in 2016.

two painted covers of angels, reading "Angels Power: Authorities That Be"

With Crowdfunding Support, “Angels” Gets Its Wings

Alumna Amélie Hutt set her $10,000 funding goal, surpassing it in just five days. And by the time her campaign ended earlier this month, it had raised $24,271 from 508 backers.

Student poses next to the California State University, Chico, sign.

Desiree Makowski Poised to Make Her Mark on Video Game Industry

Dedicated faculty support first-generation student in conquering her self-doubt.

Angelica Rodriguez leans over a stream and collects a water sample.

Grant Supports Groundbreaking Hydrothermal Research: Student Examines Lassen’s Volcanic Activity Potential

STEM Wildcat Angelica Rodriguez's love for the outdoors earned her a research grant that allowed her to spend her summer conducting environmental research, including data collection trips to Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Charles "CC" Carter stands smiling at the entrance of the CCLC.

Heart, Hope, and Hard Conversations: CCLC Says Goodbye to Its Founder after Celebrating 10 Years

Wildcats celebrate Charles "CC" Carter, and his impacting presence on campus, as he retires from his position as the director of the Cross Cultural Leadership Center after 10 years of service.

Portrait of Diego Yepez.

Ivy League Inspiration

Double-majoring in math and philosophy, first-generation student Diego Yepez highlights three Chico State professors as beacons of inspiration that led to his honored acceptance into Harvard.

Photo of "Pacific Crest Trail north to Canada" sign tacked onto a tree.

Trail Angels Bring Magic to Pacific Crest Trail

Each summer, anthropology professor P. Willey hosts the blissful "PCT toast," where dedicated Pacific Crest Trail hikers stop at Humboldt Summit to cheers summer sundries while swapping trail stories.

Joe Liu and his wife Danielle pose for a picture while sitting together on the couch.

Hey, Joe! Faculty-(and Friend)-in-Residence Finds a Home in Sutter

Chico State faculty Joseph Liu and his wife Danielle—along with their pet albino rabbit Augustus—settled into their new home in one of Sutter Hall's apartments, making Liu Chico State's first Faculty-In-Residence.

Braydan Young and Kris Rudeegraap point and discuss the content on their laptop.

Side Gig Percolates into Starbucks Partnership

Business administration alums build coffee gift card business into partnership with Starbucks, tapping into e-commerce boom.

Kylee Davis (center) teaches students during a class for Imagineer Day.

Bringing Code to Life for Girls: Computer science grad introduces technology principles to North State girls

Kylee Davis is one of the very few women in the computer science major, a title that inspired Davis to encourage and support other women and young girls interested in STEM programs.

Jones and her family pose for a photo.

Earning Her Degree, Virtually

Yesenia Jones refused to let anything stop her from earning her degree, a goal that was met through her unwavering passion and the accessibility that online education offered her.

Portrait of Phillip Drange.

Scholarship Strikes Chord with Music Major

Music major Phillip Drange and his family honor the tragic passing of Phillip's twin brother, Aaron Drange, by working with the faculty of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts to establish the Aaron Drange Memorial Scholarship.

Portrait of Andrea Avina.

Finding a Voice in Speech Therapy: Andrea Avina overcomes many obstacles, fueling her life ambitions

Andrea Avina, a communication sciences and disorders major and an Outstanding Student Leader Award recipient, fights to overcome personal and family challenges in order to achieve her main goals in life: earn her college education, help her family, and give back to her community.

Jongwoo Choi and faculty Kevin McGown work out math problems on a white board.

Curiosity Fuels Math Major’s History-Making Success: Jongwoo Choi goes above and beyond to make the most of his education

Jongwoo Choi is setting records at Chico State through his accomplishments in the mathematics major, all as a result of Choi seeking out the answer to a simple question: "why?"

Nick Howell speaks in front of several students.

Passion Drives Propensity to Do It All: Determined and dedicated, Nick Howell balances numerous demanding priorities

With two majors, two minors, and a plethora of campus clubs and activities he is devoted to, Nick Howell is known among his peers and faculty as a master of time management and goal-orientated dedication.

Kaeli McCarther stands next to a sign that reads "Organic Vegetable Project" while holding a crate of vegetables.

Student Drives Diversity in Agriculture: Kaeli McCarther wants to see more minorities involved with agriculture

Kaelie McCarther discovered her passion in agriculture by accident, but her determination and goal to diversify the agriculture major is what drives her to help students of different backgrounds discover their callings.

Cameron Santos poses with his baseball mitt.

Santos Dives Head First Into Biggest Battle

Cam Santos appears to be living the college dream. But few outside of his family, friends, and Wildcat family know that Santos is in the midst of a painstaking battle that he will endure for rest of his life.

Forensic Anthropology graduate students Heather MacInnes, 33 (left) and Martha Diaz, 24, (right) work on human bones Human Identification Laboratory on Thursday, July 21, 2016 in Chico, Calif. The Human Identification Laboratory provides forensic anthropology services to state and federal law enforcement, medical examiners and attorneys. These services include search and recovery of human remains, skeletal analysis for the purposes of identification and trauma analysis. (Jason Halley/University Photographer)

Crossing Borders: One Student’s Journey

Forensic anthropology graduate student Martha Diaz uncovers death and hope along the US-Mexico border.

Professor Mariah Kornbluh lectures a psychology class.

Psychologist Fills Brand-New Campus Position: Mariah Kornbluh Embraces Title of Chico State’s First Community Psychologist

Joining Chico State's Department of Psychology faculty as the first community psychologist, Mariah Kornbluh combines laboratory research and community outreach to foster civic engagement in her classroom.

Two students and staff sit around a table full of podcasting microphones and coffee.

Caffeine and Camaraderie Fuel ’Cats Podcast

As Chico State's first higher education podcast, Caffeinated Cats takes on the task of discussing hard hitting topics among the student body, & illuminating life on campus.

Greg Gangnuss on an airfield in Afghanistan.

‘If You Are Able to Help, Then You Help’: Heroic Alum Honored for Life-Saving Action in Afghanistan

Physical science alum Gregory Gangnuss received the US Air Force Civilian Award for Valor for his life-saving action following a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

Cathrine Himberg teaches during her Intermediate Yoga (KINE169B) class.

Advocacy for Quality Physical Education Has a Home

After the release of her documenary "No Excuses!" in 2014, Catherine Himberg and graduate student Kevin Shepard developed a website designed to support, coach, and guide physical education teachers around the country.

Campus couples Diana Dwyer (left) and Joe Picard (right) smile on a bridge by the creek on Monday, January 30, 2017 in Chico, Calif. (Jessica Bartlett/Student Photographer)

Chico in Love

Campus sweethearts share their stories about the magical and serendipitous ways they found each other.

Portrait of Curt Haselton.

The Quest for Sounder Structures

Curt Haselton, a Chico State alum and civil engineering professor, leads the development of the SP3 software that can evaluate and predict the damages a building might receive in the event of an earthquake, making it possible to improve building code to minimize overall damages.