Class Notes


Rodger Schmitt, ‘66 Business Administration (and ’72, B.S., Environmental Resources, Sacramento State), was appointed in March 2009 by Washington Gov. Christine Gergoire to a six-year term on the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. The Commission sets policy and guides the Washington State Parks System. After a long career as a park ranger and park manager, Schmitt retired in 2003 from his position as Director of the National Recreation Program for the Bureau of Land Management in Washington, DC. He is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional and a Fellow in American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration. After retirement, he served on the boards of national nonprofits Wilderness Inquiry and the Public Lands Interpretive Association. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Jefferson Land Trust in Port Townsend, Wash. He is the father of two beautiful daughters and grandfather of three and lives with his wife, Jill (’67, B.A., Recreation, Washington State University) in Port Townsend.

Richard Hafenfeld, ‘67 Wildlife, recently retired from the U.S. Forest Service in Missoula, Mont. as the Regional Aviation Officer.  His career spanned more than 30 years with the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service, working in fire and aviation management at various locations in California, Idaho and Montana.  He now splits his time between a small horse ranch in Lemhi, Idaho, and a cabin on the Beaverhead River near Dillon, Mont.  His wife, Patty works for the Forest Service on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.  He also has a Montana Guides License and works part time for an outfitter in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. 


Michael Brattland, ‘70 History, is president of the Theta Epsilon Alumni Association (TEAA) of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity at Humboldt State University – the “Old HSC/HSU Tekes.” 

Alan ‘Skip’ Jorgensen, ‘71 Geography, is the District Superintendent for the McKinleyville Unified School District and serves on the HSU Education Advisory Committee.

Robert Williams, ‘71 Physical Education, taught Driver Training, PE, Social Studies, Health and U.S. History in Modesto, Calif. for almost 20 years. He was the PE department chairman from 1985-2008 and received the Teacher of Excellence award in the 1998-99 school year. He retired in June 2008 and moved to Lantana, Texas.

Tim Beals, ‘73 Geography, is the County Planning and Public Works Director in Sierra County. He and his wife, Marcia, live in Sierra City and have raised two boys, both of whom have gone to CSU Chico.

Noah Tilghman, ‘73 Geography, has retired after 35 years of state service, first with the California Coastal Commission and for the last 20 years with California State Parks. Jeanne, his spouse of 33 years, is also retired. His last position with Parks was the Assistant Deputy Director for Park Operations.

Phil Young, ‘74 History, has been nominated by the State Historic Preservation Officer for New Mexico for The Governor’s Historic Preservation Award. He says, “I’m a bit humbled by it. Upon opening it I had to check the date of the letter to make sure it wasn’t April 1st; still not sure they got the right guy. There are so many more deserving. As an archeologist digging at Bandelier, and later as a seasonal ‘Buck Ranger’ at Little Bighorn, Death Valley, and Mount McKinley I just wanted to do what I could to help protect our special places and the heritage that was being entrusted to my generation. Still do. . . .” Phil also recently taught a seminar in Archaeological Ethics, Law & Sensitivity at the Archaeological Society of New Mexico Conference in Taos and took a dive trip to the Florida Keys.

James Christian, ‘75 Geography, worked for the Eureka Fire Department after graduation until 1991, when he became Assistant Fire Chief with the Diamond Springs-El Dorado Fire District in El Dorado County, Calif. He became Fire Chief in 2000, and retired in 2003. Since then he has served as a Division Supervisor on the Northern California Interagency Incident Management Team 2. He and his wife Elaine, a native of Eureka, were married in 1985 and now live in El Dorado Hills, CA. They travel internationally as much as possible and were fortunate enough to be in Paris for the Millennium celebrations. He has competed in the World Police and Fire Games in Barcelona, Quebec City, Adelaide, Australia and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Ernie Wasson, ‘75 Geography, lives in the Santa Cruz area and works as the Nursery and Garden Curator for the Horticulture Department at Cabrillo College.

Emily Kratzer, ‘76 Journalism, is a staff writer for The Journal News/Gannett in the lower Hudson Valley of New York. She previously served as page designer and copy editor at the paper. She is married to Fred Voss and they have two children, Russ and Alex. Her hobbies include walking, yard work, reading biographies (Passionate Pilgrim by Antoinette May about Alma Reed) and computer games (she says “blame my kids”). She also wants to know: “Cluster program folks – where are you now?”

Jeff Levine, ‘76 Journalism, is currently the Charge’ d’Affaires (the senior diplomat) at the American Embassy in Budapest, Hungary.  Last summer, a second Humboldt alum, Dan Travis ‘92 was assigned to the Embassy as Second Secretary and Consul. They are fairly certain that Budapest is the only U.S. diplomatic mission in the world with two Humboldt grads on the staff. 

Chris Haynes, ‘78 Geography, earned his master’s degree in social science at Humboldt and returned to the Geography Department as a lecturer in 1988. Now that he is retired, he and his wife, Robin, plan to travel much more.

Charles Joannes, ‘78 Business and Recreation Administration, is the Assistant Pastor at Mission Valley Christian Fellowship and the Principal of Grace Christian Schools in San Diego. He has been the Recreation and Parks Director for two cities in California and guest lectured at Cal Poly SLO.  In 1984 he and his wife, Terry, immigrated to Australia.  While there Charles was the Administrator of the Perth YMCA and later became the principal of a school. While there he also founded the first Calvary Chapel in Australia.  He played on the national basketball team and toured with them in the Philippines and China.  From Australia he continued to travel: to the Amazon jungle of Peru, sharing Christianity with about 60 indigenous people; to Malawi, Africa, where he worked with widows and orphans with AIDS; and to Russia.

Brant Toogood, ‘78 Geography, married his wife, Dana, in 1982 and has twin college freshmen (Andrea and Austin). Andrea is a student at HSU and Austin is at SDSU. Brant just retired as director of real estate and development for Subway Sandwiches in San Diego County and is now helping Dana run their own Subway Shop.

Linda West, ‘79 Geography, recently returned to the Eureka area as a planner for the Six Rivers National Forest.

Julie (Berg) Wilkerson, ‘79 Speech Pathology and Audiology, joined the Peace Corps as a Speech Pathologist in El Puyo, Ecuador. She returned to the U.S. to get a master’s degree but fell in love during a summer job in Alaska. She is living on an 80-acre homestead, working as the Chief of Administration for Denali National Park, and looks forward to sailing in warmer climates during the winter months when she retires. Her daughter received a degree in fashion design and is living in Chicago.


Michael Koch, ‘80 Geography, is a 23-year veteran of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department as Bureau training coordinator and Bureau terrorism liaison officer. He and his wife have three children.

Karen Gillentine, ‘81 Geography, is an early childhood educator and preschool director in McKinleyville.

Rex Morgan, ‘82 Journalism, is an RN in the rehab unit at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Missouri, working mostly with stroke patients. Rex is engaged to the Rev. Heather M. McCain, pastor of Columbia Hope Church.  

Janet McCrary Webb, ‘83 Forestry, took over for her father as president of Big Creek Lumber in Santa Cruz. The company operates the first redwood mill certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible forest management worldwide. Webb began working at Big Creek in high school and knew as a small girl that she wanted to make her career in the family business.

Susan (Shafer) Haydon, ‘83 Geography, married her HSU sweetheart, an ‘83 Geology grad, and is an assistant district manager for the Southern Sonoma County Resource Conservation District.

Ricardo Quiroz, ‘83 Zoology, with wife Andrea, recently welcomed a baby boy, Calder Kincaide on March 23, 2009. Rick says that Calder is already “a future Lumberjack.”

Eileen (Rorden) Godwin, ‘84 Journalism, is Senior Account Manager with WorkflowOne. Previously, she was a Production Manager with McGraw Hill. She and her husband, Robert Godwin, live in Cameron Park, Calif. and have two teenagers, Kyle and Stacey. She says, “Now that my son is going off to college it is bringing back flashbacks of both my fun times and hard times at Humboldt. I still miss it!”

Thomas Sa, ‘84 Business Administration, has been promoted to Chief Risk Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of Bridge Bank, a professional business bank headquartered in Silicon Valley. Sa, a founding executive officer of Bridge Bank, N.A. and Bridge Capital Holdings, will also retain his role and title of Chief Financial Officer of Bridge Capital Holdings. He began his career in Silicon Valley in 1984 as a certified public accountant in the audit practice of Deloitte Haskins & Sells. He lives in Los Gatos, Calif.

David and Christina (Zoffman) Slater, ‘84 Geography, settled in Tucson, Ariz., 12 years ago, after living in Santa Barbara and Seattle. Dave “still tours the world in his little yellow submarine” and is working toward a high school counseling degree at the University of Arizona. Christina works for First Magnus Financial as Vice President of Operations for one of their new subsidiary companies. They are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this year and hope to someday bring their three children to meet Joe Leeper before he retires. Together they hike Tucson’s Sabino Canyon and the surrounding Catalina Mountains.

Tom Watson, ‘84 Geography, is currently working as a senior consultant in the London offices of MTI Technologies. His home base is Seattle. He got married in May 2007.

Charles (Chuck) Cranfield, ‘86 Geography, is the Superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa, America’s 50th National Park and the only one south of the equator.

David W. Crapnell, ‘86 Art, is the new pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Niagara Falls, NY. He received his initial seminary training at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. While there, he also followed the biblical admonition to visit the imprisoned, serving for two years as a prison chaplain. He then went to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master of Divinity degree. During that time, he met his wife, Lisa. Their love, Crapnell says, apart from his faith, “is the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”

John Goddard, ‘86 Geography, works in global communications and public relations for DHL IT Services Europe. He lives in the Czech Republic.

Natalie Wojinski, ’86 Journalism, is a teacher in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. She was voted Teacher of the Year in the district in 2008. This year she will serve as the advisor for Hercules High School’s journalism programs. The school has award-winning yearbook and newspaper staffs and will begin expanding into online journalism. She and her husband, Peter, live in Hercules, Calif.

Jeff Lahr, ‘88 Geography, works for Coles County Regional Planning in East-Central Illinois. He and his wife, Melissa, have three children and one grandchild. He is a City Councilman in Charleston, Illinois.

John Locke, ‘89 Geography, is a geographic information system (GIS) instructor at Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro, Ga.

Kathy Nixon, ‘89 Journalism, is Cloverdale Library branch manager for the Sonoma County Library system. She has worked for the library since six months after graduation from HSU. She lives with her partner Vicki Nelson. She writes, “My fond memories of two excellent professors, Howard Seemann and ‘Mac’ McClary, remain with me. I received excellent ‘real world’ exposure — both in class and at the Lumberjack. I was saddened to hear of Howard’s passing, as he was a great teacher and dedicated journalist. Though my career took a different path from the newspaper business, I continue to use nuggets I retained from my HSU education. In my day-to-day work as a public service librarian who writes press releases, creates program fliers and must communicate effectively with community patrons, staff members and colleagues, I’m grateful for the Journalism Department’s instructors’ dedication, hard work and intellect. I still remember ethical issues Mr. McClary taught and Howard’s odd jokes perhaps intended to convey life lessons while building stronger writing and editorial skills.”


Tom Sinclair, ‘90 Geography, lives in Lake Tahoe and works for the California Coastal Commission.

Denise Woodward, ‘91 Geography, works as an audio engineer with the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and is a proud member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States and Canada, Local 16 AFL-CIO.

Micheal Bender, ‘92 Geography, works at the Dodge Ridge Ski Resort in Tuolumne County as a snow reporter and sales manager. He lives in a cabin in the mountains with his dog “Auggie.”

Dan Travis, ‘92 Theatre Arts, is Second Secretary and Consul at the American Embassy in Budapest, Hungary. He works with Jeff Levine (‘76 Journalism), who is currently the Charge’ d’Affaires (the senior diplomat) at the embassy. They are fairly certain that Budapest is the only U.S. diplomatic mission in the world with two Humboldt grads on the staff. 

Alyson Hunter, ‘93 Geography, is a senior planner for Humboldt County.

Naim Zeibak, ‘94 Geography, says “Greetings from Kentucky! After three years with three different positions I have finally landed a tenure-track position at Western Kentucky University. Karen and I are really excited about the prospect of not having to move next summer. Wanted to especially thank all those at HSU who have supported me since ’94. And I even defend this fall and get the PhD in December . . . it’s about time!”

Lesley Atlansky, ‘95 Geography, lives in Estacada, Ore. with her first child, Owen, and many pets. She received a certificate in graphic design at Pacific Northwest College of Art and does freelance graphics.

Emma (Olenberger) Mathies, ‘96 Geography, is a Project Manager for AAA Safe2Go in Walnut Creek. She worked for eight years as a cartographer for AAA. She will be traveling to New Zealand at the end of the year.

Adam Forbes, ’97 Rangeland Resource Science, works as an environmental consultant for a private consulting firm.  He is married to Alison (Lorenz) Forbes (‘99 Nursing and Psychology), who currently works as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner for Sea Mar Community Health Center in Mt. Vernon, Wash.

Robert Williams, ‘97 Geography, is married to Michelle Williams (‘94) and they both work as DSL Specialists with Verizon in Southern California.

Lexi Tucker, ‘98 Geography, is self-employed as a consulting arborist based in Sonoma County.

Alison (Lorenz) Forbes, ‘99 Nursing and Psychology, graduated from the University of Washington with a master’s in Nursing in June 2008. She currently works as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner for Sea Mar Community Health Center in Mt. Vernon, Wash. She is married to Adam Forbes (’97, Rangeland Resource Science). He works as an environmental consultant for a private consulting firm. 

Gene Joyce, ‘99 Business Administration, was named 2008 Business Leader of the Year by the Arcata Chamber of Commerce. He co-owns the Arcata Exchange, a furniture store on the Arcata Plaza.


Kip Su, ‘00 Geography, is an engineering technician for the City of Alhambra in Los Angeles County, where he works with maps and blue prints. He recently traveled to Peru in March.

Sarah L. Wood, ’00 Psychology, has received a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Golden Gate University School of Law. She received a Certificate of Specialization in Intellectual Property Law.

Michael Bronfman, ‘01 Journalism, is a stagehand with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees in Southern California.

Patrick McDonald, ‘01 Geography, is a fine arts landscape photographer in Medford, Ore.

Jennifer Douglass, ‘02 Geography, opened a sushi restaurant called RAIN in Seattle in November 2004.

Rachel Smith, ‘02 Wildlife, is the coordinator for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels’ Climate Action Now. Prior to joining the mayor’s staff, she worked in the environmental community as Field Director and later Development Director for Transportation Choices Coalition, after turns at the Northwest Environmental Education Council and WashPIRG. With a passion for transportation issues, Rachel is also the Board Chair of the Washington State Ridesharing Organization. Before moving to Seattle, she was a shorebird and marine mammal biologist.

Nicole Losch, ‘03 Geography, is a Bicycle, Pedestrian and Environmental Planner for the City of Burlington, Vt.

Laura Tankersley, ‘03 Journalism, is Senior Account Executive with Ogilvy PR Worldwide. She lives in Denver, Colo.

Paul Tibbett, ‘04 Geography, works as a park ranger for Redwood National Park.

Jen Cordaro, ‘05 Geography, is the Community Organizer of Burmese Refugees in San Diego. Her position is funded through the California Endowment but staffed through the Alliance for African Assistance. Her project’s goal is to align the multiple ethnicities from Burma and help them to create a unified voice to put needs and assets into action. She earned a master’s degree in International Human Rights Advocacy and Non-profit Management at the University of New Hampshire. She recently spent 3 weeks in India, working with The Rescue Foundation in Mumbai, to launch a computer literacy program for girls rescued from human traffickers.

Joel Correia, ‘05 Geography, served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay. He and partner Karen recently rode bicycles 6,000 miles through South America to raise donations that will be used to build, remodel and furnish schools in Paraguay. The donations will also be used to build sanitary bathrooms at the schools and install running water at each school as well as provide the schools with computers and didactic materials. Read about his adventure: bikingtobuildschools.giving.officelive.com

Cachette (De Fazio) Ellie, ‘06 Political Science, works as a Software Project Manager in San Francisco. She actively serves on racing committees for Sausalito and St. Francis Yacht Clubs while consulting socially-minded start-ups through early stage development.

Kevin Farley, ‘06 Journalism, is a news producer with KIRO-TV Channel 7 in Seattle. He recently won two Emmy Awards for the Northern California Area. He says, “Missing the great faculty at HSU Journalism! Send my best to Mac, Marcy and Dr. Larson.”

Kevin McManigal, ‘06 Geography, works as a GIS Specialist/Cartographer at Adventure Cycling Association in Missoula, Mont. He began the master’s program in geography at the University of Montana in fall 2009. He is married to Anna Tina. Recent travels include exploring the blue ribbon fly fishing streams of Montana.

Melanie Silva, ‘06 Nursing, is an Army 1st Lieutenant and was deployed to Iraq in March. She is a member of the 10th Combat Support Hospital at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Daniel Stauning, ‘07 Geography, is an assistant physical science technician for the National Park Service Inventory & Monitoring program. The goal of the program is to conduct long-term ecological monitoring of park resources. He works for the Sonoran Desert Network based in Tucson, Ariz.

Jorge Sanchez, ‘08 Geography, is in the teacher credential program at Humboldt.