2022 has come and (almost) gone. As the year comes to a close, our editors looked back and chose their favorite stories from the past year. From notable alumni to academic achievement to student life, these 10 Chico State Today stories reflect the triumphs of our wonderful campus community.

Alumna Helped Bring Disney’s Encanto Characters to Life

March 26, 2022

Theresa Adolph knew she wanted to be a professional animator when she saw Toy Story in the 4th grade—and kept thinking about her passion as she worked a number of graphic design jobs after graduating from Chico State. After landing her dream job at Walt Disney Animation Studios, she brought a variety of characters to life in the critically acclaimed film.

Social Work Major Explores Students’ Sense of Belonging on Campus

May 3, 2022

First-generation student Selena Thao helps Chico State students explore their sense of belonging. The work has also helped her investigate her own intersectional identities and how they have been historically expressed in US society.

Psychology major defies the odds

May 4, 2022

After battling depression, an eating disorder, and drug dependency, Leo Simpson found hope at the end of their college journey with help from on-campus resources, most stemming from PATH Scholars. Leo earned their psychology degree in May, closing out their long journey from foster youth to transfer student to college graduate to aspiring counselor.

Students Set the Future in Concrete

May 5, 2022

Just one of five programs of its kind in the United States, our Concrete Industry Management Program is creating the workforce for a $200 billion industry. With a 100 percent job-placement rate and a cross-disciplinary approach that ensures our graduates can lead in the boardroom and at the job site, CIM students are solving some of the industry’s greatest challenges.

Meet Isaac Brundage

September 1, 2022

Isaac Brundage, Chico State’s new Vice President for Student Affairs, draws on his upbringing and professional experience to reach students. Noting he “likes to talk,” Brundage brings a vivacious personality, friendly smile, and booming voice to his interactions with students.

Alumna makes history as Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Seattle Seahawks

September 20, 2022

In January 2021, alumna Karen Wilkins-Mickey joined the Seattle Seahawks as their director of diversity, equity, and inclusion—the first such hire at the team level in NFL history. Focusing on fostering inclusive culture and community within the organization, among its devoted fanbase and around the entire league, the Seahawks are setting the pace for DEI events, public outreach, and awareness not only in professional football but on a corporate scale.

Alumna chooses nature to nurture others

October 6, 2022

Blake Ellis is at the leading edge of harnessing the natural world’s healing powers—even when that environment itself may trigger anxiety. As a certified forest therapy guide, she leads participants to think mindfully about how the natural world impacts our well-being, from easing anxiety to calming the nervous system to deepening connection through our senses.

Ultracold Atom Lab Attempting to Cross ‘Unreachable’ Threshold

October 24, 2022

One of many innovative research opportunities in the University’s new Science Building, the ultracold atom chamber features a magneto-optical trap, lasers, and vacuum technology, and reflects the vision for students from different majors to come together to nurture creativity in research. After years of preparation, faculty and students are using the lab to cool atoms to near absolute zero, nearly freezing them in space so they display their true quantum nature.

Interior Architecture Students Design Free Floor Plans for Wildfire Survivors

October 28, 2022

Under the guidance of interior architecture professor Rouben Mohiuddin, 30 design students have worked on floor plans that are now being used to build more than a dozen homes in the Camp Fire footprint. Students collaborated with the Rebuild Paradise Foundation and industry professionals including architects, engineers, and contractors to provide a new beginning to Camp Fire victims.

Historically Black Sorority Returns to Chico State

October 31, 2022

A group of Black women, active in social justice work and committed to community service, brought the Pi Xi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. back to Chico State. The sorority’s return was celebrated in a pop-up exhibit at the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology.