Sterling Mattoon

STERLING MATTOON (Biological Sciences, ’60), a lifelong collector of Lepidoptera, is a recognized expert in butterfly extinction, the effects of climate change on butterflies, and nuances between different species. In May, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science by the California State University in recognition of his extraordinary curiosity, dedication, and scientific research that have contributed so significantly to the greater knowledge of butterflies and moths within California and beyond. Mattoon also has contributed to various entomology collections and holds an extensive private collection of more than 50,000 butterflies. He had a 32-year career as an agricultural biologist with the Butte County Agricultural Commissioner’s office.

DENNIS HEFNER (Economics, ’67) is serving as interim president of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia, a familiar role after previously serving there as president and as interim president of SUNY Potsdam. He retired in 2012. He and his wife, Jan, also volunteer several days a week at a United Ministries breakfast.

SUSAN MANDT (Spanish, ’69) has been happily retired since 2003 after many years as a teacher with Oakley Union School District.


VINCE BICOCCA (Physical Education, ’74; Credential ’76) was inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame in May following a 43-year coaching career. After teaching for 38 years at Linden High School and Calaveras High School, Bicocca retired in 2013. He has been married to Barbara Collingwood (Physical Education, ’75) for 40 years. They have two sons and two grandchildren, and live in Calaveras County.

WALTER MAZEN (Biological Sciences, ’74) left Chico State to pursue a master’s program in zoology at University of California, Davis and then attended Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia. His studies not yet over, he completed an internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology back at UC Davis before practicing medicine full time for 34 ½ years. He retired in December 2018.

MICHAEL A. MESSNER (Social Science, ’74; MA, Sociology, ’76) published a new book, Guys Like Me: Five Wars, Five Veterans for Peace. He is a professor of sociology and gender studies at the University of Southern California, and has taught those disciplines since leaving Chico State at institutions including community colleges, a US Air Force base, three CSUs, and a maximum-security prison.

DEBRA-LOU HOFFMAN (Liberal Studies, ’75; Credential, ’76; MA, Education, ’84) began her teaching career in 1976 and retired from Chico Unified School District in 2013. During those many years, she taught K–9 primarily as a special education teacher and also served as a resource specialist at Bidwell Junior High School. For a time, her family also had a private clinic where they helped students with learning programs, and Hoffman remains co-director of the Hoffmann Learning Research Institute. She lives in Forest Ranch with her husband in a house they designed and built themselves on the weekends over the course of five years. She’s proud to share she is part of a family legacy of alums, noting her father, Glenn Wayne Hoffman (Education, ’50), mother Leora May Kemp Hoffman (MA, Education ’82), son Glenn William Hoffman (Geology, ’12), and several nieces are Wildcats.

DEBRA CANNON (American Studies, ’77) was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters by the California State University in May. As co-founder of Lulus, one of the biggest online fashion boutiques, Cannon was honored for her extraordinary commitment to the University and her ongoing philanthropic and business efforts that have so greatly benefitted the community.


JEFF ANDERSON (Business Administration, ’80) was recently appointed by Idaho Governor Brad Little to be the director of the State Liquor Division and the Idaho Lottery. Anderson has been Idaho lottery director since 2007 and Idaho State Liquor Division director since 2010. During his years of service, the Lottery and Liquor Divisions have returned over a billion dollars in dividends from product sales to the people of Idaho. Anderson previously held a 26-year career in broadcasting, most recently as vice president and general manager of CBS affiliates in Boise and Idaho Falls. He lives in Boise with his wife, Theresa.

Randi Rossmann

RANDI ROSSMANN (Information and Communications Studies, ’81) has reported on breaking news and law enforcement for The Press Democrat for the better part of 37 years, including the 1989 Ramon Salcido murders and the 1993 Polly Klaas kidnapping and murder. She was recently honored with a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for her contributions to the newspaper’s coverage of the 2017 Tubbs Fire, the second-most destructive fire in state history. Rossmann, whose reporting days began at The Orion, shares that the journalism industry remains “hugely important” and needs more fearless reporters with insatiable curiosity.

PATRICIA CURTIN (Political Science, ’84) was named a Northern California Super Lawyer for 2019. She works for Wendel Rosen LLP, the largest law firm in the East Bay, and specializes in land use and zoning law.

TOD PICKETT (Business Administration, ’84), TOM HARVILL (Mechanical Engineering, ’85), SANDY TRIMBLE (Biological Sciences, ’88), DAVE CUNNIFF (Physical Education, ’87), and AL JAEGERS (Attended, 1984-85) are still swimming, long after their years as NCAA DII All- Americans. In April, as members of the Wildcat Alumni Master’s Swim Team, they competed in various team configurations at the Pacific Master’s Short Course Championships, set five new relay records for the Pacific region, and challenged two master’s national records in the 55–59 age group. Their impressive showings included the 400-yard freestyle relay, 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle relay, 800-yard freestyle relay, and 400-yard medley relay.

STEVE HARRIS (Information and Communication Studies, ’85) began his broadcasting career at KCPM TV 24 right after graduation. He moved from graphic designer to art director to creative director, and after stops in Sacramento and Tucson, he is now the creative services director for the CBS-Telemundo affiliate in Austin, Texas. In the last 34 years, he has also served on marketing boards for ABC and CBS. In his spare time, he hangs out with his wife and works on his passion project, Collector Guys, a YouTube channel dedicated to pop culture collectibles and the people who collect them.

JENNIFER CARR (Community Services, ’88; MPA, ’90) has been the training coordinator for a Bay Area police department hiring and training entity for over 25 years. She became a certified Pilates instructor three years ago as a fun second job. She is married to Steve, proud mother to children Zach and Lauren, and lives in the East Bay.

TIM MCDONALD (Music, ’88) moved to New York City after graduation to help boost Broadway musical attendance, in light of a nationwide problem of shrinking live theatre audiences. In 1996, he founded iTheatrics in Manhattan. The company adapts Broadway musicals for abbreviated school productions, and he now flies around the country to help schools set up productions that have been adapted for children’s voices.

JOHN PUGH (Art, ’88) completed a new trompe l’oeil mural at the longest-running theatre in Minneapolis, the Theatre in the Round. Among the “trick of the eye” elements he included, he painted a globe that looks like it is being pushed out through the bricks into the street and Cleopatra getting ready in her dressing room as a wizard looks up from below. Pugh’s career was launched at Chico State with the Academe mural that long graced Taylor Hall and was repainted by him on the new Arts Building in 2015.


BEVERLY FORD (MA, Social Science, ’91) retired from Chico State and opened a place for raising funds for nonprofits in order to provide nonelectronic games, activities, and socializing for all ages. She also sponsors Morro Bay High School’s Pirates’ Closet, which raises funds and provides clothing, sports items, and other essentials to students. She also has a pretty sweet gig as “yogologist,” as owner of Grandma’s Frozen Yogurt in Morro Bay.

MANDALE “ROB” WHITE (Geology, ’91) is vice president for planned communities for the Northern California region of Lewis Management Corporation. He was named Director of the Year by the Davis Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors due to his extensive work on policy and government affairs as it relates to business startups, land use, and innovation.

TROY ATKINSON (Business Administration, ’93) and SHANNON (LAURENT) ATKINSON (Business Administration, Psychology, ’93) managed to graduate with the same major in the same year but never had the same class at the same time and did not meet until after leaving Chico. They were busy working in the Bay Area and connected while studying for the CPA exam. Shannon has worked as the CFO for several companies, including the SETI Institute and currently World Reader. Troy is the chair of the Employee Benefits Plan Audit Group of VTD & Co. LLP of which five out of six partners are Chico State alums! The Atkinsons live in Menlo Park and are busy working to prepare their two children for college.

Stefanie Gatchell

STEFANIE (DUDA) GATCHELL (Recreation Administration, ’93; MA, Recreation Administration, ’00) was part of the US Forest Service team that transported the US Capitol Christmas Tree from the Willamette National Forest near Sweet Home, Oregon, back to Washington, DC, in November 2018. She was the ornament lead, organizing, making, and collecting more than 10,000 ornaments. The monthlong journey of this noble fir traveled the Oregon Trail in reverse with lots of cool stops along the way so people could sign its banners and a giant card. Gatchell has worked for the Forest Service since 2007 and is a recreation management specialist with the Sweet Home Ranger District.

JASON LEA (Political Science, ’93) worked as a teacher from 1995–99, then as a principal until 2013. From 2014–18, he was the assistant superintendent for Santa Rosa City Schools, and he has been working as executive director of the North Coast School of Education for the last year.

JUSTIN CHANEY (Attended, 1993–94) was selected to lead the Orland Fire Department as its first full-time paid fire chief. A longtime volunteer, he has served the department for about 18 years, rising up the ranks to captain, assistant chief, and chief. He previously worked in construction for 13 years, and as a mechanic and welder-fabricator for Bell Carter and Land O’Lakes.

KEVIN CARRARO (Psychology, ’95) moved back to Boston after graduation and ultimately relocated to central Florida, where he has lived since 1998. After earning his certificate as a Board-Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst and his MBA, he has dedicated his life to working with children who have been abused, abandoned and neglected. He now works full time with the Early Learning Coalition of Brevard County as the family resources administrator and runs his own company, Brevard Behavioral Consultants, which offers analysis and counseling to children and families in crisis. He has been married 12 years, and is a proud father to a 1-year-old son named Sam.

AMY LACEY (Psychology, ’95) is the founder and CEO of Cali’flour Foods, makers of the original gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb cauliflower crust. The company humbly began out of her kitchen when she and her children were baking pizzas for their Friday game nights. She was recently interviewed on the Success Unfiltered podcast about how she tackles tough problems.

KEN COHEN (Construction Management, ’98) opened a new “craft your own experience” wood-fired pizza and craft beer and wine restaurant in El Dorado Hills, where he has lived for more than two decades. He is running Boulevard 41 with two other restaurant partners and friends with whom he has successfully ran other businesses.


KATHRYN (WILLIS MCKINNON) MINER (Business Administration, ’01) is working as a veterans service officer with AMVETS in Liberty, Missouri, where she assists veterans by filing disability claims with the Veterans Administration.

KINDRA BRITT (Exercise Physiology, ’02) is the communications director for the California Department of Education. After graduation, she earned a master’s in sports management from Cal State Long Beach and landed a job with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and then with the Staples Center, before returning to education. She worked as a sports and entertainment marketing teacher at Oakmont and Rocklin High Schools, and then as community affairs director for the Placer County Superintendent of Schools. She is president-elect of the California School Public Relations Association.

MARCUS SASAKI (Social Science, ’02) is a financial consultant with RWM Financial Group. He lives in Lincoln.

JED BERNARD (Business Administration, ’03) is an actor in Los Angeles. He recently attended the Sundance Film Festival to celebrate his supporting role in the film Clemency, which was competing in the drama category. He couldn’t help but wear his Chico State gear while exploring around the festival, “as I loved my days at CSU, Chico and will for sure let the world know that I am a CSU, Chico Wildcat!”

JEFFREY BOIAN (Recreation Administration, ’03) started a new role in August 2018 as the associate director for career strategy at the Peter F. Drucker & Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. He also runs a consulting firm, where he offers executive and career coaching and organizational analysis, change management, and strategy consulting. His wife, KATHLEEN BOIAN (Nursing, ’05), is a school nurse at The Webb Schools in Claremont. Together, they have four wonderful children, ages 4, 5, 8, and 9, who keep them very busy.

SARAH WILNER (Psychology, ’03; MA, Psychology, ’13) is a mindfulness educator and Iyengar Yoga instructor currently walking barefoot through life on the island of Bonaire in the Caribbean. The creator of Mindful Diver, a diving specialty, she is driven by a deep passion to give back to the world by weaving mindfulness into daily living, including scuba diving. Wilner also writes mindfulness and wellness curriculum, and provides individualized wellness coaching.

SARAH PAPE (English, ’03; MA, English, ’06) published another column in The New York Times in April 2019, six months after the Camp Fire, entitled “Don’t Forget About Paradise, or Those Below It.

KRISTIN CAPRITTO (Political Science, Philosophy, ’04) was recognized as a 2019 Top Lawyer by Sacramento Magazine. She works for Downey Brand and specializes in estate planning and probate law. Kristin’s legal education and experience spans nearly two decades, and she has amassed more than 300 hours of mediation and negotiation training. She has also participated in peacebuilding processes involving both interpersonal conflict and political conflicts at the community level on an international scale.

NATALIE (GORMAN) GEBICKE (Anthropology, ’04; MA, Education, ’10) completed 13 years of service to Chico State in January, when she left University Housing for a new opportunity. She and her husband, LUKE GEBICKE (Psychology, ’02) packed up their family of four and moved to Kingman, Arizona, where she now works as the director of advising for Mohave Community College.

JESSICA (HARRIS) HANDLEY (Agricultural Business, ’06) was honored by Progressive Grocer in its GenNext Awards Program as one of 40 emerging grocery leaders under age 40. Harris is the senior marketing innovation manager for Earthbound Farm, where she has demonstrated creative ideas in supporting produce sales and a focus on health and wellness. She is also president of Ag Against Hunger, a food rescue organization that distributes excess produce to food banks and school programs, and has become a voice and mentor via the Women’s Fresh Perspective committee, helping found a conference that helps women of all backgrounds navigate their way in the produce industry.

Nick Rose and family

NICK ROSE (Computer Science, ’06) is Solutions Architect at Google Cloud and his wife, EMILY (HASKELL) ROSE (Nursing, ’04), is a nurse in the Intensive Care Nursery at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. On November 13, 2018, they and Piper and Owen Rose (big sister and big brother and future Chico State students) welcomed Henry Cole Rose into their Wildcat family. They all live in Redwood City.

ELAINA RUSK (Journalism, ’06) is the first woman to be named chief meteorologist at 23ABC News in Bakersfield, where she has worked for the last 10 years. She began as a reporter with a goal of becoming anchor, and once she became midday anchor, she started to fill in for weather and discovered it was a true passion. She subsequently completed her degree in meteorology at Mississippi State and now is among the 8 percent of chief meteorologists in TV news who are women. She also volunteers to support the Kern County Cancer Fund, Kern County Science Foundation, Kern Literary Council, and Junior League of Bakersfield.

Brenda Sillas

BRENDA SILLAS (Health Science, ’06) has been dedicated to uncovering the cause of obesity and how to reverse it since childhood. Struggling with her own health challenges through the years, she eventually discovered what balance of food, exercise, and life works best for her—and wanted others to experience similar revelations. Today, she shares her passion as an entrepreneur and corporate wellness consultant, hoping that she can create better health for all. As a senior workforce health consultant, she consults businesses, corporations, and organizations in the entire San Diego region on how to create healthy environments, cultures, and teams so their employees can thrive and contribute to the business’s success.

AMBER MORLEY (Journalism, ’08; MA, Social Science, ’16) is working as the alumni chapters and networks officer for Sacramento State. She previously worked for Mills College and Chronicle Books.

Barry Daffurn

BARRY DAFFURN (Music Industry and Technology, ’09) has embraced the world of digital distribution. The Sonoma native is the founder of Cinq Music Group, a Los Angeles-based music and entertainment management company with its finger on the pulse of digital music trends and distribution practices. In addition to helping independent artists who feel major labels underpay in royalties for their music consumed via streaming services, Cinq also has brought along some major names for the ride, including rapper TI, pop legend Janet Jackson, and reggaetón giants Ozuna and Bad Bunny.


SARAH BOHANNON (Journalism, ’13) is a news director with North State Public Radio (NSPR), where she covers local stories and produces the programs Cultivating Place, Up the Road, and Common Ground for Common Good. She played a vital role in the station’s coverage of the Camp Fire and its ensuing weekly radio program, After Paradise, which provided vital updates and information to those affected by the blaze, and presented stories about the area’s recovery and resilience. Bohannon, NSPR and After Paradise were honored with the National Edward R. Murrow Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the broadcast industry.

KATIE JAYCOX (Anthropology, ’14) helped flip the US House of Representatives by getting California politician Josh Harder elected to represent Congress’ 10th District. As part of the nation’s No. 1 field program in a campaign, she helped run the largest “get out the vote” effort in the country, knocking on over 1,000 doors in a single day.

JENNA FLETCHER (Health Science, ’17) is a purchasing associate with Corvus Pharmaceuticals. She lives in Redwood City and recently became engaged to MYLES GREGORY (Business Administration, ’17), who is an account executive with Newton Software in San Francisco.

CHASE PALMIERI (Business Administration, ’18) launched Credder with friends AUSTIN WALTER (Computer Engineering, ’16) and JARED FESLER (Attended, 2011–13). They knew they wanted to start a business together after college but weren’t sure what kind, so they kept in touch and kept pitching ideas while working other jobs. Credder evaluates the credibility of online news stories, attempting to combat the prevalence of “fake news.”

CHEYENNE ARRINGTON (Exercise Physiology, ’18) fulfilled a lifelong dream in competing on American Ninja Warrior, a perfect fit for someone who focused her education on human biomechanics and freestyle cliff dives as a hobby. A lifelong resident of Paradise, she proudly competed under the motto “Paradise Strong” and hoped to serve as inspiration to survivors of adversity everywhere.

LOGAN STORM (Physics, ’18) finished an internship in Australia and then traveled to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands for a few months to help with recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. As a volunteer with All Hands and Hearts, he worked on several roofing projects and enjoyed exploring the islands. He sends a “hello” to everyone in the physics department.

Fond Farewells

The University and Alumni Association note with sorrow the passing of our alumni, students, and colleagues.


Harry Baker (Education, Credential, ’61)

Wiley Bellen (Music, ’16)

Kimberley Carpenter (MA, Anthropology ’98)

Jerald Devore (Chemistry, ’58)

John Dowell (Information and Communication Studies, ’87)

Robert Eernisse (Business Administration, ’61)

Elizabeth Kepner (Recreation Administration, ’76)

Belinda Laird (Social Work, ’84)

Scott Low (Public Administration, ’93)

Mary McCollum (Home Economics, ’55)

Charles Milton (Business Administration, ’71)

Katherine Nixon (Civil Engineering, ’03)

Karen Steinbach (Liberal Studies, ’87)

Mark Tierney (Credential, ’00)

Marjorie (MacDonald) Willis (Arts, ’65; Credential, ’66)


Angela Cannon, Master of Social Work

Terrence Carter, Environmental Studies

Mishayla Hamlett, Social Work

Michael Fellis, Computer Engineering

Brandon Laster, Construction Management

Daphne Kenney (Social Work, ’18), Master of Social Work

Natalie Kriebel, Sociology

Anthony “Tony” Mahr, Business Administration

Lenon Padilla, Pre-Nursing

Logan Schwab, Recreation, Hospitality, and Parks Management

Scott Wilford, Construction Management

Faculty and Staff*

Doug Alexander, Biology, 1965–2001

Faye Anglen, Instructional Media Center, 1958–92

Mary Kay Bringham, Admissions, 1984–2016

Fayette Brown, Mechanical Engineering, 1959–83

Diane Chatlosh, Psychology, 1989–2008

Laura Lindstadt-Denney, University Police, 1983–2005

Arthur Gee, Electrical and Computer Engineering, 1977–2000

Linda Henderson, Human Resources, 1987–2006

Jerry Maneker, Sociology, 1970–2008

Mario Mena, University Housing, 1997–2019

Loretta Metcalf, Educational Opportunity Program, 1985–99

Ed Miller, School of Education, 1981–2005

Elizabeth Singh (Credential, ’73; MA, English, ’90), English, 1989–2002

* Years of service