1950s 

Joe Chew

JOE CHEW (Commerce, ’51) is being awarded a Chinese American WWII Congressional Gold Medal for his contributions to his country nearly 75 years after he served his country during World War II. The 98-year-old  was drafted to serve in the US Army shortly after starting college, and worked for three years as a typist clerk, finance clerk, and in the separation center, helping those serving their country transition into civilian life after the war. After completing his degree at Chico State, he worked as a tax accountant and helped run his family’s restaurant in Red Bluff until retiring in 2000. Two decades later, he stays busy going to the senior center, watching NBA games, and doing his own grocery shopping and, of course, his own taxes.

1960s

JIM LUCKINBILL (History, ’69; Credential, ’71) and wife Debbie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 22. They met at Sierra College in 1966 and were married four years later at the Nevada City United Methodist Church. They both taught school at Nevada City’s Deer Creek Elementary and Seven Hills Middle Schools for 35 years. They’ve lived their entire married lives in the home and former dental office of Debbie’s great-grandmother, Nellie Chapman, the first woman dentist west of the Mississippi. “We are happy, healthy, and very fortunate!” Debbie said.

1970s

George Lambrix

GEORGE LAMBRIX (Economics, ’71) is the senior partner of the firm Silver Leaf Financial Management in Napa and, for the 10th time, has qualified for the Top of the Table, the highest level of recognition in the Million Dollar Roundtable organization. The Top of the Table is an internationally recognized mark of excellence reserved for those most successful in financial services. The Million Dollar Roundtable is a global network of more than 66,000 advisors spanning 72 nations and territories around the world. Among the top professionals in the intensely competitive global financial services and insurance industries, Lambrix holds designations of Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant from the American College of Financial Services. A resident of Napa since 1971, he assists clients across the United States.

HAROLD KARAKA (Sociology, ’73) recently reminisced with JIM MOON (Psychology, ’68; MA, Psychology, ’72) about their co-ed mud football days—where everyone was a winner (and covered head to toe in mud)! Karaka was a resident advisor in Whitney Hall from 1971–72 and dorm president in 1971. He said his mud football team from Wing 5B was the “greatest bunch of guys and gals one could ever be associated with.”

Harold Karaka and Jim Moon mud football

STEVE NICHOLSON (Information and Communication Studies, ’81) retired in August 2019, after 46 years in the banking industry. While he didn’t end up in the career he planned (as a newspaper editor), he said, “The education I received in communications and critical thinking served me well through a banking career. Asking and answering the right questions and meeting deadlines is as important in business as it is in journalism, and writing skills are always valuable.” He grew up in Chico and has fond memories of his time as a resident and student. He also was president of the Chico State Skydivers Club and spent weekends falling out of airplanes. Currently in Pleasant Hill, he looks forward to moving to a more rural area now that he is retired. Nicholson and his wife, Marylynne, also plan to enjoy more camping and hiking, hobbies like music and art, travel internationally, and spend time with their family.

BARBARA (BARANISHYN) HANNA (Nursing, ’75) started the company Home & Health Care Management 40 years ago and is still in operation today! She has tirelessly continued to serve Butte County through the relentless hardships local communities have faced, from tragic wildfires to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Dale Campbell

DALE CAMPBELL (Political Science, ’78) works as an attorney for Weintraub Tobin, a leading California law firm, and has been named one of The Best Lawyers in America 2021 for bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, and banking and finance litigation. He also made the Sacramento Magazine’s 2020 Top Lawyers List for business litigation and commercial trade secrets litigation and was named a 2020 Northern California Super Lawyer.

BRAD LUCAK (Physical Education, ’79) retired as a Boeing 777 cargo pilot from Southern Air, Inc. with over 19,000 total flight hours. He began his flight career as a US Coast Guard helicopter pilot flying search-and-rescue missions in Hawaii. This was followed by a stint as a flight instructor in the US Naval Air Training Command in Pensacola, Florida. Lucak was later an international cargo and military transport pilot for World Airways, serving as an MD-11 captain for many years. He traveled to over 90 countries during his career. He was also qualified to fly the Boeing 747-400 and the DC-8 aircrafts. He noted that his degree from Chico State opened many doors for him throughout his military and commercial aviation career.

1980s

Robert Deen

ROBERT DEEN (MA, Information and Communication Studies, ’81) is a former US Marine officer, parachutist, and scuba diver, and a distinguished honor graduate of the Department of Defense Information School. After completing his bachelor’s from Oregon State University and a master’s at Chico State, he founded what became California’s largest independently owned public relations agency. Now living the retired life in the Pacific Northwest, Deen still pines for the boiled peanuts of his southern youth. A quest for the savory snack spurred him to write The Boiled Peanut Book, released this summer. It includes a brief history, cooking tips, and recipes such as Hawaiian style, beer-boiled, garlic, jalapeño, garam masala, and Vietnamese, along with ideas for using the boiled legume as an ingredient in soup, cookies, and ice cream. Deen encourages his fellow Wildcats to buy some green peanuts online and enjoy one of the “greatest treats life offers.” His book is available on Amazon. 

DALE CLENDON (Business Administration, ’82) recently made the news in Atlanta, Georgia. He’s serving as CEO of the medical supply company Marena and has helped the United States build up an unexpectedly low supply of masks and made them available for online ordering during the COVID-19 pandemic. After realizing his business was stalling because non-essential medical practices had been put on hold, he quickly modified the company operations to mass-produce a product in desperate demand.

WILLIAM MAGNUSSON (Industrial Arts, ’84; Credential, ’85) works as a construction technology teacher and football coach at Firebaugh High School in the city of the same name. One of his most cherished memories of attending Chico State was the first time he saw his now wife, DEBBIE LABARBERA (Psychology, ’85). He was returning from a 6 a.m. run while training for the Chico State boxing team, and she was running toward him—their eyes met only for a second as she ran past, but it was enough for him to “do a little investigating” afterward. When he saw Debbie in his math class, he almost instantly approached her to ask for her phone number. The rest of the story translates into 36 years of wedded bliss, which they celebrated on May 26. LaBarbera works as an elementary school special education teacher. They have five children. Magnusson will always remember Chico for the four great loves of his life: God, Debbie, their children, and teaching and coaching (tied for fourth). “Go Wildcats!” he said.

Carl Borgquist

CARL BORGQUIST (Political Science, ’85) is the CEO of Absaroka Energy and a sought-after presenter and thought leader on infrastructure development, grid innovation, and energy policy. He’s now bringing his experience to the development of plasma arc technology to end ocean plastic pollution. As founder of SeaChange, he has a plan to prevent plastics and other trash from ever getting into the sea, and to eliminate what’s there before it becomes microplastics. The plasma arc technology on SeaChange’s ships breaks down the molecular hydrocarbon structure of plastics at temperatures up to 18,000 degrees and transforms it into a glass that’s completely inert, non-toxic, and safe for marine life and people!

TROY DOWNING (Agriculture, ’86) received the Distinguished Service Award from the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association during its annual convention, which acknowledges recipients for lifelong contributions made to Oregon’s dairy industry. Downing moved to Corvallis in 1990 and was the manager of the Oregon State University Dairy Center, taught dairy production classes, and worked with the dairy club. In 1997, he moved to Tillamook as the faculty responsible for dairy extension programs in Tillamook, Washington, Clatsop, and Columbia Counties. In 2011, he was promoted to professor of dairy extension and was responsible for dairy extension programs throughout Oregon with an emphasis on nutrient management, dairy grazing systems, and forage production.

JIM AMBROSE (Mathematics, ’88) works as a product integration analyst for J.J. Keller and Associates, Inc. and is the latest recipient of the Certified Transportation Professional by the National Private Truck Council, one of the most prestigious and widely respected professional credentials in the transportation industry.

ANNA LAURITA (Journalism, ’88) worked for various PR agencies and then with Intel Corporation, where met her husband of 25 years, David Hite. Her job as a PR professional with Intel allowed her to travel all over the world and live in seven different countries around the globe. She is now a very successful and sought-after yoga teacher. She and Hite have lived in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for nearly 14 years now, and her yoga business, Davannayoga, is doing well. They have three children, each born in a different country outside of the United States. The Redding native also walked to Everest Base Camp and (nearly) summited Mount Kilimanjaro, came across a tiger on a trail in the remote west of Nepal, and speaks Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese! Hite said, “Anna has basically always bloomed where planted. Her yoga school in Puerto Vallarta has been [described] as the ‘happiest place on earth,’ and she still wears Chico garb around the house.”

Michelle Blake

MICHELLE BLAKE (Information And Communication Studies, ’88) has advocated on behalf of shelter animals, farm animals, and other large mammals for decades. And yet, her career keeps creeping closer to the top of the food chain. As her career and legislative advocacy progressed over the years, on Earth Day 2020, Blake found herself filling the role of western region coordinator for the Mountain Lion Foundation. The Sacramento-based nonprofit works to preserve and protect mountain lions and the environments they inhabit in 15 states, including her home of Oregon. With a lifelong passion for the outdoors, she says her latest advocacy work is some of the most personally and professionally meaningful of her career.

Kathryn and Michael Redman Book

KATHRYN REDMAN (Psychology, Religious Studies, ’88) and MICHAEL REDMAN (Instructional Technology, ’02) are business owners of Half a Bubble Out, a marketing and business consulting firm, and founders of HaBO Village Membership, a site for business leaders. They also authored the book Fulfilled: The Passion and Provision Strategy for Building a Business with Profit, Purpose and Legacy, released in May. The book is about giving business leaders hope, encouragement, and a model for either building or rebuilding a business that is both profitable and fulfilling. The Redmans are still dedicated Wildcats, often speaking to students majoring in communications and business, and have employed four other alums and a Wildcat intern on occasion.

BOB NIENABER (Information and Communication Studies, ’89) has been busy as a fiction author. His most recent book, American Bloodline: The Rightful Heir Reclaims Europe, was published in March 2019 and tells the tale of a young man who discovers he is part of a magical bloodline leading all the way back to the lost tribe of Benjamin. Nienaber previously published two other books, Blur and America’s Last Gold Rush.

1990s

LISA TERNERO (Communication Design, ’91) and FELIPE TERNERO (Attended, 1992) have fond memories of their time at Chico State, where they met as Felipe set records in Wildcats soccer. Now, they are proving that world-class olive oil can be made in California, which produces just 5 percent of the world’s supply. They grow seven varieties of olives at Ternero Farms and Ternero Olive Oil in Lincoln, and operate 1,000 acres in Estepa, Spain, where Felipe was raised before coming to the United States and attending Chico State. After a 22-year career in radio broadcasting, Lisa enjoys using her talents for the sales and marketing side of their business. The duo has won numerous awards for their olive oil, including victories at the California State Fair and the New York International Olive Oil competition.

TERRI (HAGAN) RICETTI (Psychology, ’93) and husband RUSS RICETTI (Computer Science, ’93; MBA, ’00) are living happily in Napa with their two sons. As of July 1, Terri works as the executive director of special education in the Napa Valley Unified School District. Since becoming a special education teacher in 2003, Terri worked in various roles for the district before her recent promotion. Russ works as a system administrator with De La Salle Institute and has been with the company since 2006.

DAYNA GHIRARDELLI (Agriculture, ’95) was named director of producer relations for the California Milk Advisory Board, the marketing order representing California dairy producers, in April 2020. For 11 years prior, she served as producer relations manager at Clover Sonoma, where she focused on all aspects of the relationship between producers and industry professionals, from supply management to freight logistics as well as overall industry communication.

MELISSA JONES (Political Science, ’95) works as a trial attorney and firm managing partner with Stoel Rives LLP and was recently selected by the Sacramento Business Journal as one of its “2020 Women Who Mean Business.” Jones, one of the youngest partners to lead an AmLaw 200 firm, took over the managing partner role at Stoel Rives in January 2020. She has provided steady leadership for the firm during the pandemic, economic turmoil, and social unrest, and has guided with compassion and empathy for impacts on employees along with cost-control measures to preserve financial stability. Jones is also listed among Northern California Super Lawyers and has been recognized since 2016 in Sacramento Magazine’s Top Lawyers and since 2014 by the Sacramento Business Journal as among the Best of the Bar.

Andrea Davis

ANDREA (BERWIND) DAVIS (International Relations, ’96) left her job as director of global crisis management and business continuity at the Walt Disney Company in January after seven years and moved to Arkansas to join the Walmart Corporation. Davis started work as the senior director of global emergency management only one day before COVID-19 was identified in China. Davis said, “I knew being the senior director of global emergency management for the world’s largest company was definitely going to be a big challenge, but I had no idea what adventures were in store for me, nor that I would be part of a historical emergency response effort,” David said. She was also recently elected vice chair of the Northwest Arkansas American Red Cross.

PEDRO ESPINOZA (Sociology, ’99) was appointed the new police chief in Gilroy after serving its police department for the last 17 years. A 25-year law enforcement veteran, he began his career as a patrol officer with UC Davis Police Department and then served as a patrol officer in Vacaville. After he started in Gilroy as a patrol officer, he worked his way up the ranks to captain in 2015. He is a 2015 graduate of the Santa Clara County Leadership Academy, holds a management certificate from the California Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training, and is a 2017 graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy. He said he is humbled and honored to take on this new role, and thanks his family for supporting him throughout his career.

2000s

JENNIFER (MARCY) DICKINSON (Political Science, ’00) learned she passed the California State Bar Exam on May 8. She is now a licensed attorney and practicing in Siskiyou County.

ALISHA VALAVANIS (Journalism, ’00; MA, Physical Education, ’04) is the CEO and general manager for the professional women’s basketball team the Seattle Storm. She has blazed a trail through the sports industry and received many accolades, including the 2016 Chico State Distinguished Alumni Award. Valavanis led a rebuilding effort resulting in the Seattle Storm winning a third WNBA Championship in 2018 and a fourth in 2020.

SCOT HAMILTON (Computer Information Systems, ’02) works at eBay as vice president of software engineering.

Regina Palm

REGINA PALM (Art, ’02) was tapped to fill the new role of curator of American painting by the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida. The Morse Museum, world-renowned for its collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, created the post to further its mission to advance knowledge and appreciation of the museum’s collection. Palm was chosen after a nationwide search and began work in April. Palm previously worked as associate curator of American art at the San Diego Museum of Art and held curatorial positions at the Kimbell Art Museum, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and Cincinnati Art Museum.

KRISTIN CAPRITTO (Political Science, Philosophy, ’04) works as a senior associate lawyer for Downey Brand and was recognized as a 2020 Northern California Rising Star by Northern California Super Lawyers in the area of estate and probate law. Capritto assists clients with all aspects of estate planning, trust administration, probate, business entities, and real estate transactions.

DEREK SCHRAMEL (Recreation Administration, ’04) was honored with a Distinguished Flying Cross Award in August for his role rescuing two injured firefighters trapped on a mountain that was engulfed in flames during a 2019 wildfire. Part of a team of four in the helicopter, the Coast Guard lieutenant commander battled choking smoke, vertigo, fire updrafts, and night vision device blinding to save the firefighters’ lives. The Distinguished Flying Cross is the nation’s highest award for extraordinary aerial achievement and is awarded for heroism while participating in an aerial flight. While fires are a far cry from stormy seas, he’s no stranger to nerve-wracking situations. In 2017, Schramel dodged urban power lines and trees to hoist residents from rising floodwaters during Hurricane Harvey.

JONATHAN HOOPS (Exercise Physiology, ’05) works as a chiropractor and has run his own highly rated business, Hoops Chiropractic, since 2010.

Christina Salas

CHRISTINA SALAS (MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, ’05) is the leader of the University of New Mexico’s 3-D mask production effort and was named in InStyle magazine’s “Badass 50: Healthcare Workers Who are Saving the Day” feature. The August 2020 issue focused on women healthcare workers from each state who have gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic, and who “show up, speak up, and get the job done to change the world for the better.” Past honorees include Jane Goodall and Nancy Pelosi. When not leading UNM 3-D Mask Makers, Salas is an associate professor in UNM’s Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and special assistant to the dean of the School of Engineering’s Health Sciences Center.

Karen Bradshaw book

KAREN BRADSHAW (MBA, ’06) is a professor of law and the Mary Sigler Fellow at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. She is also a Faculty Affiliate Scholar at the New York University School of Law Classical Liberal Institute and senior sustainability scientist at the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. Bradshaw has published over 20 academic articles, several of which received national recognition. She authored the book Wildlife as Property Owners: A New Conception of Animal Rights, which outlines how existing legal approaches disadvantage rural people and fail to protect the habitat that animals need to survive. She offers the bold new solution of giving wildlife the right to own land. She was also a co-editor of the book Wildfire Policy: Law and Economic Perspectives.

Lee Gordon and family with llama

LELAND “LEE” GORDON (Journalism, ’06) completed his master’s degree in communication studies at Sacramento State in December 2019. He is now thoroughly loving his new career as adjunct faculty at Sacramento State and American River College, teaching public speaking classes. Before the big switch, he was an editor at CBS Sports/MaxPreps.com for seven years, and way back when he was a sports writer for newspapers in Chico and Redding after working on The Orion. He and his wife, April Ramelli, live in Sacramento with their two daughters (2 years old and 4 months old). They love traveling the world and voyaging on epic hikes locally—and some day will get back to those things.

Blake, Robert, and James Morillas

BLAKE MORILLAS (Health Science, ’09) and his father, ROBERT MORILLAS (Social Welfare, ’70) are both proud Wildcats and recently celebrated the birth of James Robert Morillas, Blake’s first child and Robert’s first grandchild, on September 17, 2019. While growing up, Blake remembers his father, a first-generation college student, talking fondly about his time at Chico State, instilling in him, his brother, and his sister the belief that college was simply the next step in life after high school. After taking a tour of campus, Blake knew he would follow in his father’s footsteps. Blake and Robert hope that James will be a third-generation Wildcat (Class of 2042!). Taking a cue from his father, Blake is eager to relay his love for Chico State to his son, and he can’t wait for the day they all get to tour the campus together.

2010s

CLIFFORD FRIEDMAN (Political Science, ’11) was appointed as division counsel in the women’s and children’s division of the advanced medical solutions company MEDNAX.

DANI ANGUIANO (Social Science, ’14) co-wrote the book Fire in Paradise: An American Tragedy, which was recently reviewed by The New York Times. The book is the authors’ account of the Camp Fire that destroyed much of the town of Paradise and neighboring communities and killed 85 people. Anguiano was working as a reporter for The Guardian when California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire took place.

MICHAEL MONTERO (Business Administration, ’14) is the youngest executive manager for The Management Trust in the company’s history. He is responsible for all San Luis Obispo portfolio managers in the Central Coast Division and recently purchased his first home—10 blocks from the beach!

ASHLEY SIMON (Psychology, ’15) works as a Child Protective Services liaison and an information and referral specialist at the Child Abuse Prevention Center near Sacramento.

Fond Farewells

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

Alumni

Robin A. Amlin (Geography, ’72)

James Buchan (MS, Computer Science, ’78)

Olga (Holtorf) Douglass (Education, ’40)

Amy Hodge Gross (Physical Education, ’86; MA, Physical Education, ’93)

Presley Hicks (Social Work, ’73; MPA, ’79)

Phyllis “PeeWee” (Bender) Hubbard (Attended, ’51–’53)

Anthony Maravillas (Political Science, ’85)

Constance “Connie” (Revard) Martin (Laboratory Technology, ’64)

John Masson (Business Administration, ’91)

Neil McEntee (Attended, ’68)

Mark Neal (Geography, ’86; Credential, ’89)

Mildred Niswonger (Education, ’52)

Michael Oliveria (Business Administration, ’68)

James Potts (Industrial Arts, ’72)

Loren Raglin (Attended, ’47–’48)

Juniper Rose (Journalism, ’14)

Joseph Siegfried Jr. (Agricultural Business, ’71)

Nick Stratigopoulos (Business Education, ’54; Credential, ’55)

Helen (Arbuckle) Wertz (Education, ’49; Credential, ’49)

Cosmo Zipeto (Attended, ’66–’67)

Students

Sasha Garcia, Psychology

Scott Halliburton, Business Administration

Gabriela Sanchez, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Zach Schenone, Construction Management

Faculty and Staff*

Andrea “Andi” Beach, Human Resources Information Systems, 1983–2009

Lois Bueler, English, 1982–2011

Richard Demaree, Biological Sciences, 1972–2006

Robert Dionne, Health Sciences, 1969–2003

Billie Jackson (English, ’74; MA, Education, ’90), Student Learning Center, 1977–2006

William Korte, Chemistry and Biochemistry, 1966–2001

Ben Nolting, Mathematics and Statistics, 2016–18

Tom Sawyer (Sociology, ’69; MA, Sociology, ’70), Student Affairs, 1970–2002

John Teasdale, Civil Engineering, 1966–96

John Westlund (Social Science, ’61), Career Center, 1967–87

Jules Vautrot, Health Science 1997–2000

* Years of service