DICK CARLSEN (Business Administration, ’68) retired from federal government civil service in 2015 after a 44-year career with the US Navy. He recently completed his third novel, Monkey Bottom, in the Dave Pedersen Trilogy. A Navy-centric historical fiction set in the Norfolk naval base in the 1990s, it is a story of fallibility and officer misconduct clothed in the Navy’s soft underbelly. The first book in his trilogy, Happy Valley College, was set at Chico State in the 1960s. His books are available on Amazon.
ANTHONY GUERRA (Sociology, ’68; MA, Sociology, ’72) retired in 2019 after a 50-year teaching career that began when he was a graduate student at Chico State—where he played football for Coach George Maderos. He also taught at Butte College, Sacramento City College, and Palomar College. While at Chico State, he met his wife, MARY OSA (Physical Education, ’71; Credential, ’72), and they still reminisce about their Wildcat-centric wedding. The best man was PETE FRANCO (Business Administration, ’70), maid of honor was KATHY PARISOTTO (Social Science, ’71; Credentials, ’72 and ’91), matron of honor was NATIVIDAD OSA (Spanish, ’70; MA, Spanish, ’72); and Alan F. Jensen, a professor emeritus of sociology, was an usher.
DON CARLSEN (Business Administration, ’69) and CARLOS JACOBO (Attended, 76–77) will join former teammates for the 2020 Chico State football reunion July 17–18 in Chico. They’re looking forward to the usual festivities, starting with a mixer at Madison Bear Garden, golfing on the greens, and a banquet to top off the event. As always, they hope to raise money to fund future scholarships for students. Past support has helped them raise more than $38,000. For details, call Jacobo at 707-888-4894.
CAROLE (COUCHMAN) CURRAN (Home Economics, ’76) served as the 2020 Rose Parade float chair for an entry commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing in 1620 at Cape Cod. After 10,000 hours of design and construction, the flower-covered ship received the nationally televised event’s Americana Award for “most outstanding depiction of national treasures and traditions.” Curran is also a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth Massachusetts, and The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc. This spring, she was awarded the Daughters of the American Revolution Community Service Award for her work to share the message of her pilgrim ancestors. She has been a member of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses since 1981 and is currently an honorary director.
ROLLA LEWIS (Credential, ’76) co-authored the 2016 book Lifescaping Practices in School Communities: Implementing Action Research and Appreciative Inquiry with Peg Winkelman. Since leaving Chico State, he has been a farm worker, logger, librarian, teacher, counselor, school counseling coordinator at Portland State University (PSU), and school counseling coordinator at Cal State East Bay, where he is also a professor emeritus in educational psychology. While at PSU, he received the Oregon Counseling Association’s Leona Tyler Award for outstanding contributions to professional counseling.
JAESON WHITE (Public Administration, ’92) was recently named the chief of police in Missoula, Montana, after an extensive search. Prior, he was an assistant chief with the California Highway Patrol, where he oversaw computer crimes investigations, which ranged from child exploitation crimes to foreign actors intruding into state systems. White previously held a special services commander position for the CHP for 14 counties, overseeing commercial transportation enforcement, K-9 units, investigations, and more. He believes strongly in partnerships with the public and community stakeholders, and is committed to building teamwork and creating new programs.
TERRY GOLDBERG (Business Administration, ’82) has been reuniting with her three Chico State roommates for the last 36 years, and it continues to be her favorite annual tradition—with no end in sight! She works as a practice administrator for California IVF Fertility Center, where fellow Wildcat SAMANTHA SHAHIN (Health Services Administration, ’13), works as a patient coordinator. Both Goldberg and Shahin are proud of their careers in “making fertility, family, and hope possible.” They focus on helping women who desire to preserve their eggs for their own future use and also to donate to individuals in need.
DAVID STENERSON (Business Administration, ’82) had “three lifelong dreams come true” thanks to Chico State. First, two of his previous careers were with Fortune 500 companies. Second, he purchased his first electric guitar in 1978 from Charlie Robinson Music in downtown Chico and performed live in an all-original rock/blues band for two years in the mid-90s. Third, but certainly not least, he met his wife in Chico in 1982. Check those off the bucket list! He said, “Going to Chico in ’78 changed my life for the better in several unforgettable ways!”
PATRICIA CURTIN (Political Science, ’84) has been named in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. She specializes in land use and zoning law.
RICHARD TAPIA (Liberal Studies, ’84; Credential, ’86) received an educational doctorate from University of Southern California in May 2008. In October 2019, he was hired as assistant superintendent of Educational Services for Riverbank Unified School District.
CLINTON GEE (Business Administration, ’87) has been the chief financial officer for The Word & Brown Companies since June 2006. He previously was a vice president at several insurance organizations, including Nationwide Insurance Companies, CalFarm Insurance Company, and Foundation Health Plans. He is also a member of the American Institute of Public Accountants, the California Association of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Association of Health Underwriters.
BENJAMIN MACBEAN (English, ’89) has been working in libraries for the past 25 years. He is currently working for the Mendocino County Museum as a research and archive librarian. He’s also been “happily married to a wonderful lady” for the past 17 years.
JASON FRANCE (Electrical and Computer Engineering, ’90) predicted a greener future for the automotive industry when he was building charging stations for electric cars in the early 1990s. Today he is the president of ClipperCreek, the leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging station manufacturing—producing over 90,000 charging stations for the commercial and direct-to-consumer markets as well as technology that supports hundreds of thousands of stations worldwide. In honor of his phenomenal impacts on the electric vehicle marketplace, the Electric Auto Association honored him with its 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year National Award. France began his career as a computer engineer and founded an engineering consulting company. He later joined EV charging pioneer, EVI, and eventually became its CEO.
HÉCTOR SÁNCHEZ-FLORES (Political Science, ’90) is the executive director of the National Compadres Network, a national voice for racial equity, racial healing, training, and culture-infused efforts to create transformational change. Whether working with judges and probation officers or conducting training in school districts, he leads the organization’s work to build upon cultural and personal assets, especially for young men of color, to intervene and prevent violence, truancy, teen pregnancy, and other life-limiting outcomes for children, teens, and their families. Culturally-rooted healing, he says, not only uplifts marginalized individuals and their communities but builds collective strength and resilience.
LISA (GARRETT) DEJU (Home Economics, ’92) has owned Guadalupe Brewery and Carlsbad Brew Supply with her husband for the last five years. They teach how to brew beer at home with an extensive selection of home brew equipment and ingredients. In December 2019, they celebrated the grand opening of their brewery in downtown Vista. With an eclectic and rustic ambiance, the Tap House reflects the design aesthetic of the Guadalupe Valley in Baja, Mexico, where they brewed professionally from 2011–14.
MARK NIELSEN (Journalism, ’92) was still attending Chico State when he was cast as an extra in the film Sister Act, launching a career that has truly been a childhood dream come true. He began working in the film industry as a production assistant on the movie So I Married an Axe Murderer. Nielsen made the leap to animated films while working on The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, and joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1996. Now a producer, he has worked on 10 of Pixar’s animated films, including A Bug’s Life, Cars and Cars 2, Inside Out, and, most recently, Toy Story 4. “I always just wanted to be a part of storytelling that would resonate,” he said.
DAVID FISCH (Business Administration, ’93) was recently announced as the new general manager of Shopkick, a leading shopping rewards app. Fisch is an experienced founder, entrepreneur, and business leader with a strong record of achievement in leading ad and marketing technology, and consumer companies. In addition, he has served in key leadership and management roles at Yahoo!, Miller Brewing Company, and Gallo Sales Company. He is expected to leverage his extensive experience building successful businesses and creating value to propel Shopkick to the next level.
WOODROW HARRISON (Psychology, ’95) was inducted into the West Hills College Coalinga 23rd Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2019. He played football for West Hills before transferring to Chico State and playing under Hall of Fame Coach Mike Bellotti. In 1993 and 1994, he played with the Fresno Bandits Minor League Football Team, which won the AFA National Championship in his second year with the team. After his playing days, he remained involved in football as a coach.
KYLE REISCHLING (Instructional Technology, ’95) was promoted to vice president of Remote Events for the PAC-12 Conference Television Network. He is responsible for 850 remote-televised live events in multiple sports annually for the network.
DENISE GIBBS (Social Work, ’96) has over 30 years in human resources and social work. She has helped a countless number of people better their lives and cares deeply about supporting all underserved populations, including low-income families, seniors, victims of domestic violence, and those incarcerated for nonviolent crimes. Throughout the years, she has developed personnel handbooks as well as policies and procedures for nonprofit agencies. Gibbs has also provided audits for local, state, and federal government agencies.
JAIME (CARTER) HANNANS (Nursing, ’99; MS, Nursing, ’10) has worked at CSU, Channel Islands as an associate professor in nursing since 2009. Focusing on empathy for patients, she recently created a virtual reality lab where nursing students can virtually experience the frustration of ailments—such as macular degeneration and hearing loss—that their patients feel. In spring 2018, Hannans launched the VR labs in the nursing program in conjunction with Embodied Labs, an immersive learning system that simulates physical problems and/or chronic disease or illness faced by aging adults. Hannans’ advancements in nursing and commitment to student success were recently recognized by the CSU Office of the Chancellor with a Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award.
ERIKA (WEBB) HUGHES (Liberal Studies, ’00; Credentials, ’02 and ’07; MA, Education, ’08) has had a fulfilling career in education since her time at Chico State. She taught at Las Plumas High School in Oroville before transitioning to state and federal education policy as an education programs consultant, then as the federal policy liaison to Washington, DC, as a governor’s appointee with the California Department of Education. Now she works with Pearson Education as its director of public affairs and government relations and, among other duties, gets to support events like Better Make Room’s College Signing Day hosted by former First Lady Michelle Obama, which highlights the importance of asserting one’s place in their own future college experience.
WESLEY CARSON (Business Administration, ’01) was recently named EPIC’s senior vice president in the Sacramento office. At the insurance broker and consulting firm, Carson will be responsible for employee benefits consulting and the design, placement, and management of custom programs. Carson has over 20 years of experience in health and benefits consulting. His background includes experience in employee benefits, health and professional liability, property, and casualty insurance. Prior to joining EPIC, Carson was senior vice president of health and benefits and vice president with Aon and Hub International.
TODD DECK (Journalism, ’01) received the 2019 California Library Associations Member of the Year award. He is painted as “a dedicated library leader who exemplifies the outward-facing, community-orientated vision of California libraries.” In 2018, he helped his neighboring communities in Butte County and Shasta County by coordinating services and information resources for fire evacuees from the Camp and Carr Fires.
MEGHAN (MCKEON) BOEHM (Communication Studies, ’02) moved back to Sonoma, her hometown, in her early 30s and started her own jewelry business, Meghan Bo Designs. With early middle school memories of shopping for beads and learning to make her own jewelry, she took one look at the jewelry being sold on Etsy and said, “I could make that.” Just a year after opening her own Etsy shop, her simple and stylish jewelry is now available at more than two dozen department stores and retailers in California, the Midwest, and Texas.
SARAH KESTY (Liberal Studies, ’04; Credential, ’05) has taught special education for the last 15 years and recently launched The Executive Function podcast. In it, she shares tips and tricks to help support kids with executive function deficits, like problems organizing, managing attention, and regulating emotions. She is excited to share her podcast with Chico State alumni, as she knows “Chico State produces some amazing teachers!”
YVETTE HASTINGS (Communication Studies, ’05) works as the director of patient experience at Dignity Health. She said she is “very grateful” for her time at Chico State and how it prepared her for life after graduation. She has utilized her degree to help patients’ and families with the care they receive.
TYLER KOHFELD (Business Administration, ’06) received many job opportunities at various small companies in Chico after graduation, but he eventually moved back home to discover his calling. With five years of experience working at a winery in Napa and being raised in a family that has been growing grapes in Sonoma since the 1980s, he is now embarking on an entrepreneurial endeavor to create a wine brand using fruit sourced from his family’s vineyard.
ERIN ROBY (Child Development, ’06; MA, Psychology, ’08) and DENNIS PEDRONI (Mechanical Engineering, ’08) married June 6, 2019, at Regan Beach in South Lake Tahoe. The couple met during their years at Chico State. Roby is a developmental research psychologist and a T32 postdoctoral fellow in the pediatric primary care research program at the New York University School of Medicine, where she researches the factors that contribute to social-cognitive and social-emotional development during the first years of life. Pedroni is a mechanical engineer at Retech Systems, making calculations on large electron beam furnaces which realize a range of vacuum melting systems.
LAUREN (SLINGSBY) SNOW (Civil Engineering, ’07) married MICHAEL SNOW (Biological Sciences, ’10) in 2013. Lauren works as a senior engineer for SoCal Gas. Michael works as a plant operation supervisor for the Western Municipal Water District.
CALLEENE EGAN (Journalism, ’09) was announced as executive director for the Board and Leadership Team of the Berkeley Food & Housing Project. She joined the agency in January 2019 as director of programs and has already played a pivotal role in bringing the project’s programs and services into alignment with the changing needs of a burgeoning and intraregional homeless population.
JOHN AYLWORTH (Business Administration, ’04; MBA, ’09) is fascinated by stem cell’s potential to save lives, cure disease, and to even transform human medicine. In 2014, he founded Xytogen, a company that produced treatments for cosmetic purposes. The products fund his research lab and exist as a proof of concept for his proprietary stem cell applications. After relocating the business and lab from the Bay Area to his hometown of Chico last year, he hopes to keep developing and discovering ways for biotech to become a mainstream part of medicine.
ALEX BROWN (Psychology, ’13; MS, Social Work, ’15) was elected to Chico City Council as vice mayor in November 2018. Her platform was expanding the scope of public safety policies to include service providers, addressing housing availability and costs, eliminating laws that criminalize homelessness, and pursuing regulated cannabis sales. In the wake of the Camp Fire, she also prioritized addressing climate change locally. Brown co-authored the Chico Green New Deal and established the Climate Action Commission and the formation of the Butte Choice Energy Authority (BCEA), a joint venture between the city and county to procure and sell power as an alternative to PG&E. Brown serves on the BCEA’s board, which could play a significant role in enabling long-term climate-related action.
DANIEL CAMACHO (Political Science, ’15) went on his first-ever trip to Europe in spring 2019 and visited five countries. He visited the cathedral in Köln, Germany, and said, “It is very surreal to see in person. I traveled with my fraternity brother, who I met in Phi Kappa Tau while in Chico.”
JENNIFER CELENTANO (Anthropology, ’15) was recently named the first-ever coroner’s investigator for the Butte County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), where she will review all coroner’s cases, assist with autopsies, and run the ANDE Rapid DNA System.
CHRISTIAN FITZGERALD (Criminal Justice, ’17) is a first-year student at University of Virginia School of Law. He is married to fellow Wildcat SAMANTHA FITZGERALD (Business Administration, ’17), who works in sales at WorldStrides.
JANELLE GANS (Liberal Studies, ’10) married Thurman Shaver Deyerle IV on July 27, 2019, at the Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego. She works as a kindergarten teacher, and her husband works as a wireless engineer for XCOM Labs. They have a dog named Barley.
JULISSA GOMEZ (Asian Studies, ’18; Communication Sciences and Disorders, ’19) was accepted into the Peace Corps and went to Peru in September 2019 to begin training as a youth development volunteer. During the first three months of her service, Gomez lived with a host family in Peru to fully experience the country’s language and culture. Gomez was sworn into service and assigned to a community in Peru, where she will live and work with the local people for two years.
KAEL HEATH (English, ’16) recently scored a full-time, permanent job with the Internal Revenue Service as a contact representative in Des Moines, Iowa.
RISA JOHNSON (Journalism, ’16) joined The Desert Sun in June 2019 as the tribal affairs reporter, a new position for the newspaper. She was matched with the newsroom as a corps member for Report for America, a national nonprofit service program that places journalists across the United States to report on under-covered topics and communities. As a corps member, she will complete a community service project that involves working with middle or high school students to create or improve a journalism or storytelling project at their school.
JESSICA SMITH (Recreation Administration, ’12) is the author of Your Twenties, a book about navigating change and taking good care of ourselves as we navigate the “real world.” She is a public speaker and podcast host of the show Career Coaching with Jessness. She also works as a career advisor and learning and development program manager for Xactly Corps, an AI platform for sales organizations.
MIKE STEFFEN (Construction Management, ’12) works as project manager for Toll Brothers and is married to JANELLE WALLACE (Business Administration, ’12), who is a development manager for Water Conservation Garden. Since graduating from Chico State, Steffen has built a 32-story high rise in downtown Los Angeles, developed 150+ luxury homes in San Diego, built 30 miles of new road in Australia (including opening a mine), and expanded the military facility where the fighter jets are painted in Australia.
COURTNEY SILVER (Biological Sciences, ’14; MS, Biological Sciences, ‘17) has been obsessed with frogs since she was 4 years old. Now pursuing her PhD in ecology and evolution at Ohio University, she had to leave behind her beloved foothill yellow-legged frogs—the stars of her master’s project at Chico State—but continues working with California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the US Forest Service on an amphibian translocation project. She was cheering from afar in December when CDFW recommended Endangered Species Act protections for five populations of the foothill species. She had used data from her vocalization studies at the Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve to push to add them to the list for years. That’s worth croaking about!
GABBY TEJADA (Recreation Administration, ’19) works with Marriott Vacations Worldwide in Newport Beach and gets to spend her days off at the beach repping her favorite university!
CAITLYN TERLESKY (Business Administration, ’11) is currently working toward Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant designation for public practice. She works as staff accountant for Carmen A. Vetian Professional Corporation.
ZACHARY WILLIAMS (History, ’16) completed his master’s in museum studies at the University of San Francisco and became a registered professional archaeologist. For the last year he has been living in Boston and working at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University as a collections assistant.
The University and Alumni Association note with sorrow the passing of our alumni, students, and colleagues.
Henry “Thomas” Allen (Civil Engineering, ’78)
Suzanne Economou (Education, ’63)
Steve Gentry (Biological Sciences, ’88)
Paula Hall (BS Business Administration, ’76)
Roseann Langlois (Journalism, ’00)
Marguerite “Margie” Livingstone (Attended, ’41–’43)
Andrew “Andy” Mora (Kinesiology, ’07; Credential, ’19)
Sharon Morelock (MS, Psychology, ’11)
Pearl Person (English, ’73; MA, Education, ’82)
Marie Sugiyama (Physical Education, ’64; Credential, ’65)
Henry Spoto Jr. (Business Administration, ’59)
William “Bill” Tracy (Biological Sciences, ’73)
Marilyn Warrens (Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, ’08)
Marshall Neumann, Business Administration
Hana Owen, Psychology
Naomi Ramirez, History
Lenore Robertson, Psychology
Faculty and Staff*
Barbara Berger, Office of Graduate Studies, 1988–98
Sal Casa, Art and Art History, 1968–90
John Vance DeLeeuw, Public Health, 1975–91
Kristyna Demaree, Spanish and Latin American Studies, 1972–2008
Elaine Eastham, Nutrition Science, 1980—2012
Lloyd Ferguson, Facilities Management and Services, 1964–87
Cody Hein, Wildcat Athletics, 2003–20
Evelyn Mar, Nutrition and Food Science, 1968–99
Ray Rummell, Industrial Technology, 1968–2005
Gerda Seaman, English, 1969–97
Tim Sonnenberg, Passages Adult Resource Center, 2007–20
* Years of service