Class Notes: Spring 2023
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 spring 2023.
Steven T. Callan’s (Political Science, ’70) first novel, The Case of the Missing Game Warden, has been named a “Best First Novel” award finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Having published two non-fiction books beforehand, Steven’s third book tells the fictional story of a veteran Northern California game warden who confronts a gang of commercial duck poachers and then disappears in the winter of 1956. Thirteen years later, a rookie game warden named Henry Glance sets out on an adventure-filled quest to find him. Callan is a retired patrol lieutenant with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. He is currently editing his second novel in the Henry Glance series.
Peter Hovland (Physical Education, ’77) is set to retire this May after serving as head swimming and diving coach for the Golden Grizzlies at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, for more than four decades. During his tenure, the men’s team established itself as one of the country’s most elite programs, winning 44 consecutive conference championships. Peter also served as the women’s head coach for a total of 24 seasons, helping that team extend its own remarkable streak of 28-straight league titles. He was 23-time All-American and five-time individual national champion during his days as a student-athlete at Chico State, and was hand-picked to join the Grizzlies coaching staff. He has been inducted into Chico State’s Hall of Honor; the Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame; the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame; and the Summit League Hall of Fame; and he was named one of the 100 greatest swimming and diving coaches of the past 100 years by the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America.
Samuel Lankford (Geography, ’79; MA, Recreation Administration, ’81) and Jill (Knowles) Lankford (Recreation Administration, ’81) celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in October 2022. They met at Chico State in a recreation administration class, and 20 days after their marriage ceremony moved to Seoul, South Korea, to work in recreation for the Eighth US Army. They eventually moved to Oregon to attend the University of Oregon where Sam earned a master’s degree in urban planning and a PhD while Jill earned a master’s degree in urban planning and master’s degree in landscape architecture. What followed was a long teaching career for them both—10 years at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, 13 years at the University of Northern Iowa, and nine (and counting) years at Fresno State. Sam and Jill have published numerous books and articles throughout their long and adventurous careers, and they have raised two children.
Lisa Fitzgerald (Latin American Studies, ’80) has been elected governor for the Soroptimist Sierra Nevada region for the next two years. As region governor, Fitzgerald will serve as the top administrative officer for Soroptimist clubs in her geographical territory, which covers Northern California and Nevada. A member since 1996, Fitzgerald has held several leadership positions including governor-elect, district director, president, secretary, and various committee chair positions. She currently works as a marketing and event planning management consultant for Big Chico Creek Resources.
Robert Richards (Business Administration, ’80) is twice retired! First, in 2011 after serving as a Solano County reserve deputy sheriff, and then again in 2016 after working in compliance and internal controls for the Chevron Corporation.
Cornelius “Paul” Frydendal (Economics, Business Administration, ’81) has retired as a CPA and chief operating officer for Special District Risk Management Authority, a public entity risk pool. Paul lives in Sacramento with his wife, Jayanthi, and their two children.
James Leamon (Business Administration, ’89) retired in July 2022 from the Oregon Department of Transportation. James bounced around through a series of trainee positions before being hired as a consultant/contractor and then moving into a full-time role as a senior developer and database administrator and trainer. He is currently enjoying his retirement by taking “lots of photographs.”
Rich DeLong (Geology, ’80), a geologist, natural resource manager, and businessman, was elected to the Nevada State Assembly in November 2022. The republican will represent District 26 and sit on Legislative Operations and Elections, Government Affairs, and Natural Resources committees. After graduating from Chico State, Rich received master’s degrees in geology and resource management from the University of Idaho. He lives in South Reno with his wife, Julie, and teenage daughter.
Donald McGuire (Business Administration, ’89) has been named senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. In this new role, Donald will oversee all marketing and corporate communications, research, and analytics. He has over 25 years of marketing experience, including previous positions with Intel, Leap Wireless, and Sprint PCS. Donald has also attended an executive master’s program at Stanford University’s Schwab School of Business.
Todd Fitchette (Journalism, ’90) is the associate editor of Western Farm Press and has spent the last 10 years writing about agriculture and environmental issues in the West from his home in Arizona. He started his journalism career as a general assignment and beat reporter for several small-town newspapers in California and then transitioned to agricultural writing. Along the way, he earned a first-place photography award from the National Newspaper Association in “Spot News Photography,” and was lauded in 2021 by the Fresno County Farm Bureau for his agricultural coverage throughout the state.
Deborah Linggi (Journalism, ’92) is principal of executive and internal communications at Intuit, global financial technology platform.
Jef Huber (Attended, 1992-93) is the president and CEO of Worldwide Halo, Inc., owner of a variety of diverse travel organization entities, and the operator of Club Cruise, a luxury membership agency. He is also set to release a new media production later this year called The Travel Agency Show, which will offer an inside look into the travel industry. Among his proudest accomplishments are Jef’s two children, both Wildcats: Heather Huber (Attended, 2013–18) and Lance Huber (Business Administration, ’21).
Lois Ann Abraham (English, ’94; MA, English, ’96) published her second novel, Deborah’s Gift, in 2022—it is available at www.newwindpublishing.com. Her previous two books are Tina Goes to Heaven, a fictional account of escape from life in the sex trade, and Circus Girl and Other Stories, which includes a story for which she won first place from The Chico News & Review. Abraham taught composition, creative writing, early English literature, early American writing, and structure of English as a tenured professor at American River College, retiring in 2018.
Jennifer Kennelly (Psychology, ’94) received both master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from Palo Alto University and now runs her private practice. She conducted therapy and psychological testing within schools, juvenile hall, child protective services, and with private members of the Chico community and the surrounding area for 14 years. At the end of 2019, Jennifer relocated back home to Santa Cruz where she lives with her college-aged daughters and conducts an exclusively telehealth practice.
Laurie Maurice (Sociology, ’94) has recently accepted a position as a paraeducator with the New Haven Unified School District in Union City. Previously, Laurie spent over 15 years working as a human resources administrator and analyst within the tech industry in the Bay Area before choosing to become a stay-at-home mom to spend more quality time with her daughter, Madeline. She is now enjoying working with students inside the classroom rather than from behind a desk, and is looking forward to making a meaningful difference in people’s lives with this new adventure.
Frank D. Treadway (Sociology, ’94) is a self-employed political consultant who coordinates local elections from the school board to the State Senate. Throughout his diverse career, he has helped to create strategies and budgets for over 30 political candidates; traveled to more than 33 countries; owned two businesses in Redding; and has worked as an independent travel guide. Frank received a master’s degree in school counseling from the University of La Verne.
For the last 15 years, Pamella Dana (social work, ’97) has served in leadership roles at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, a Florida-based research institute engaged in artificial intelligence, robotics, sensory substitution, data mining, and related technologies. As chief external affairs officer, she works to expand the institute’s reputation while managing its relationships with government, corporate, and nonprofit partners. She previously served as director of the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development— Florida’s senior-most officer responsible for programs and policies leading to economic growth—and was a founding member of Triumph Gulf Coast, a nonprofit tasked with distributing funds to recover from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Alexis McDowel (Communication Studies, ’00) is vice president of global communications for Oura, a health technology company and maker of the “Oura Ring.” Since graduating, Alexis has led public relations for various well-known technology companies including Lucas Arts, Zynga, Unity Technologies, and Fitbit.
Brian Sherman (Business Administration, ’00) was recently named senior vice president and chief people officer at Delta Dental of California. Sherman originally joined the insurance company in 2018 as vice president of people. In his new position, he will oversee a variety of functions including talent acquisition, development, and learning; diversity, inclusion, and belonging; business resilience; and corporate social responsibility.
Elizabeth Kile (English, ’03) published her first book, Haunted San Jose, with Arcadia Publishing in September 2022. The book provides a historical account of ghost stories in San Jose. Beth is currently collecting new material from the rest of the South Bay area for her next book, and is looking for new haunts to include—email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a creepy ghost story to share!
Narcippa Teague (Communication Design, ’04) published his debut children’s book, Daddy, I’m Scared, a tale about taking control of bad dreams. Teague was inspired to write the book when his daughters Lisa (now 25) and Lizette (24) woke him on consecutive nights after having nightmares. He is in the process of retiring after 15 years at AT&T and plans to use that time to write more books, continue coaching basketball (Teague played two seasons at Chico State following a nine-year stint in the Navy), and work on the business he and his partner, Kamika, have started, S&K Enterprises.
Jerry Zigounakis (Applied Computer Graphics, ’05) is a visual effects artist living in Harbor City. He is a single dad raising his pre-teen daughter, and has recently worked on James Cameron’s Avatar sequel.
Darcy Reed (Theatre Arts, ’07) released her newest book, Extraordinary Women with Cameras: 35 Photographers Who Changed How We See the World, in the summer of 2022. She is a successful writer, editor, and actor living in Sonoma County. Darcy’s book release was promoted by Pacific & Court, a Brooklyn-based publicity and digital marketing firm co-founded by another Chico State alum, Kourtney Jason (Journalism, ’07). Kourtney is now president of the firm, bringing with her a decade of experience as a publicist representing celebrities, world-renowned chefs, and bestselling authors. She previously led the in-house publicity departments at Ulysses Press and Time Inc. Books.
Brian Kennedy’s (Journalism, ’06) Youtube channel, BKXC, reached a new milestone of 500,000 subscribers. He documents the best mountain bike trails and his videos have taken him to all 50 states and around the world. Brian started the channel in 2016, and 839 videos later with over 67 million views, has turned it into a full-time job. His goal is to introduce bikes into everyone’s life as a way to stay fit, something to be passionate about and, most importantly, something everyone can do. He plans to make videos in Mexico, Peru, and Israel in the coming months.
Jason Fitzer (Business Administration, ’08) has recently joined San Diego State University as the inaugural director for the Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life.
Garrison Harward (Theatre Arts, ’10) has been named the new executive director of Andando, a 501(c)(3) public foundation operating out of Senegal that seeks to alleviate poverty around the world through micro-development. Garrison has been with Andando a little over two years, after having lived in Senegal as a Peace Corps volunteer from 2010–12.
Adam Roth (Sociology, ’12) was recently awarded a $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund his research on rural-urban disparities in cognitive aging over the next five years. His research will contribute to the study of cognitive aging and will help inform approaches to other public health issues such as loneliness, social isolation, and access to social and health services. Adam is an assistant professor in Oklahoma State University’s Department of Sociology.
Jordan Carrol (Business Administration, ’13) has published Remote for Life: How to Find a Flexible Job and Fast-Forward to Freedom, a guidebook on how to cultivate a thriving career that allows you to work from anywhere. Jordan is a productivity expert and remote job coach who creates content and courses for remote job seekers. You can find him on his YouTube channel promoting self-development and the digital nomad lifestyle, as well as in a variety of publications and media discussing his innovative approach to work—this is his first book.
Erin Jamison (Psychology, ’14) a second-year student at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Saint Paul, Minnesota, has received a Benjamin B. Ferencz Fellowship in Human Rights and Law from World Without Genocide, a human rights organization at Mitchell Hamline. The fellowship provides support for work in human rights including research, policy development, and action at local, state, national, and international levels. Jamison will conduct research and advocacy about the Uyghurs, a persecuted Muslim minority group in China. Jamison previously spent three years teaching English in Taiwan, and worked with historically underserved youth groups in California through AmeriCorps.
Michael Arensdorf (Business Administration, ’17) is a Certified Public Accountant and owner of an accounting firm on the central coast of California. He specializes in helping small businesses maximize their value and individuals grow their wealth.
Eric Dugoni (Psychology, ’17) was hired as an account executive at Verkada in San Mateo in November 2021. Eric also got engaged in the summer of 2022 and will marry Katherine Hudson in July.
Jenna Fletcher (Health Science, ’17) and Myles Gregory (Business Administration, ’17) were married in October 2021 and recently bought a house in Austin, Texas, where Gregory was promoted for work. Jenna works in biotechnology as a purchasing advisor and auditor for Corvus Pharmaceuticals and Gregory works as a small and medium-sized business account executive for Confluent, a software company.
Gloria Lopez (Child Development, ’17) works as a site supervisor for the Santa Clara Unified School District. She recently received a master’s degree in education from Pacific Oaks College and presented her final research on early education centers and inclusive environments.
Jessica Church (Agriculture, ’18) was recently promoted to quality control program manager for the Vegetation Management Department at Pacific Gas & Electric. Previously, she worked for three years as a contractor for the company.
Elizabeth Ernster (Journalism, ’18; Undergraduate Education, ’19) is the director of communications and development for the California State Alliance of YMCAs. She is currently working on fundraising, as well as a communications and engagement plan for Healthy Kid Day, a nationwide YMCA event, with a focus on engaging legislators in activities across the state.
Dana Moot (Anthropology, Nutrition and Food Sciences, ’18; MA, Art, ’21) is currently a PhD student studying archaeology at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. An Air Force veteran, Dana is interested in Mayan hieroglyphs and just completed his first dig in Guatemala. He looks forward to working and traveling throughout the country soon as he researches ceramic collections.
Sean Dobbyn (Business Administration, ’19) is an account executive for the Oakland Athletics.
Leah McKinley (Business Administration, ’21) is now employed as a revenue analyst with the City of Boise, Idaho.
Rebekkah Conklin (English, ’22) is currently earning a master’s degree in English literature at City, University of London. She is focusing on medieval studies and feminist theories, and will graduate in spring 2023. Rebekkah plans to earn a PhD afterward.
Alexandra Lee (Liberal Studies, ’22) began working for the US Department of Defense while studying at Chico State and is now an annex supervisor for the US Navy Child and Youth Programs.
Juliana Ordonez (Public Health, ’22) is a case manager for DHS: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where she provides community-based services for undocumented young adults, including helping them comply with immigration obligations, aiding them with accessing community resources, and reducing misinformation within the immigration process until the resolution of their cases.
Leandra McNeal (Psychology, ’19; MS, Psychology, ’22) is a project development coordinator for the New Day Training Center in Yuba City, where she is focusing on expanding the center’s mental healthcare services to Chico, Paradise, and eventually Oroville. Leandra is committed to improving the mental health of as many people as possible, and is overjoyed that her position allows her to do just that.
Hannah Hull (Media Arts, ’20) is living her Hollywood dream, bringing stories to life on the big and small screen. She is a set decoration production assistant but has done work as a character designer, storyboard assistant, production coordinator, and property production assistant. Her resume includes assisting with commercials, like an Uber Eats ad featuring Elton John and Lil Nas X, as well as television shows Rutherford Falls and For All Mankind, and films Black Adam and Nope. Her path from Chico to Hollywood has come from her determination and making the most of her opportunities and Chico State education. Hull is focused on learning and practicing as much as she can during these early years of her career as she works toward her goal of directing and telling her own stories one day.
Have you recently changed jobs, been promoted, or started your own business? Perhaps you’ve gotten married, crossed something off your personal bucket list, or achieved a lifelong dream. Send an email to email@example.com to share where life has taken you since your days at Chico State.
The University and Alumni Association note with sorrow the passing of our alumni, students, and colleagues.
Charles Lindon Allen (Mechanical Engineering, ’88)
Ardith Allread-Atkins (Education, ’65; Credential, ’65)
Betty Bates (Education, ’52)
Jan Carol Howsden Bishop (Sociology, ’86; Credential, ’88)
Kenneth Stanley Blonski (Social Welfare, ’69)
James “Jim” Alan Bremer (Business Administration, Economics, ’68)
Lloyd Douglas “Doug” Brewer (Education, Credential, ’64)
Roy Carrington (Business Administration, ’70)
Richard L. Colbert (Industrial Arts, ’73)
Gloria “Glo” Nieto (Communication Design, ’76)
Jessica Jean Crawford (Public Administration, ’79)
Erin Dougherty (Geography, ’96)
Robert Harlan Fosen (Psychology, ’52)
Samuel “Sam” Hans Funner (Education, Credential, ’55)
Elaine Carol Gray (English, ’72; Credential, ’73)
Karl Hagmaier (Business Administration, ’54)
Joanne Marie Harley (Art, ’65; Credential, ’66; Credential, ’81)
Kenneth Kennedy Hodge Jr. (Agriculture, ’79; MA, Agriculture, ’88)
Christopher Hutton (Attended, 1975–76)
Wesley Howard Isom (Business Administration, ’60)
Kevin Kearns (Biological Sciences, ’81)
Trudy Alice K. Lackey (Attended, 1972)
Robert Loman (Business Administration, ’78)
James Lutz (Physical Education, ’77)
Mark McDonald (Business Administration, ’94)
Walter Howard Moehrke (Mathematics, ’61)
Vincent “Vince” Craig Moreno (Agriculture, ’85)
Thomas O’Connor (Attended, 1969–71)
Matthew Prentice (Criminal Justice, ’19)
Cherie Manson Ramirez (Attended, 1965–66)
Albert Redamonti (Attended, 1955–59)
Patrick Lynch Ryan (Information and Communication Studies, ’91)
Kenneth George Sahl (Biological Sciences, ’50)
Lois Ann (Strong) Shoupe (Physical Education, ’52; Credential, ’52)
Frederick Smiley (English, ’66)
Gary Stone (Business Administration, ’77)
Steven Tadeo (History, ’17)
Valerie Wilson (Art, ’70)
Joseph Womack (Environmental Science, ’15)
Jennifer Wood (Liberal Studies, ’97)
LaVerne “Frankie” Ann (Frankenstein) Zehrung (Nursing, ’66)
Faculty and Staff*
Martha Ann Armocido, Facilities Management and Services, 1988–99
Tara Becraft, Chico State Enterprises, 2011–22
Kenny K. Chan, Department of Finance and Marketing, 1985–2019
Casey Lorne Donoho (Economics, ’80; MA, Business Administration, ’84) Marketing, 2008–17
James “Marty” Gilbert, Theatre Arts, 1979–2005
Ronald Leslie Kohl Sr., Facilities Management and Services, 1960–91
Robert Thomas, Biology, 1966–2005
Dennis Yarnell, Instructional Media Center, 1974–2009
Daniella Senico, Psychology
* YEARS OF SERVICE