Fall 2010

Class Notes


Felix Smith, ’56 Wildlife Management, was a fish and wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service for 34 years. He has been a lifelong advocate for the protection of habitat and responsible use of water resources. Smith has also written and given testimony about the preservation and restoration of fish and wildlife habitat. He serves on the board of Save the American River Association and is a member of the Environmental Water Caucus of the Sacramento Area Water Forum.

Wayne “Fish” Salmon, ’58 Fisheries, is a retired Navy Captain and secondary school biological science teacher. The name “Fish” was pinned on him when he first entered flight training with the U.S. Navy. He and his wife Beth live in Indianapolis, Ind. He encourages his old buddies, especially those who would like to go salmon and halibut fishing in Alaska, to contact him at .


Michael Brattland, ’70 History, is President of the Theta Epsilon Alumni Association (TEAA) of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity at Humboldt State University. You can contact him at .

Kathleen (Alban) Tahja, ’70 Journalism, authored the new book “Humboldt State University” in the Campus History series of Arcadia Publishing. It includes 200 photos covering 96 years of Humboldt history. Many photos of students had no captions; if you can identify students in the book, contact her at . She married an HSU grad, David (‘71), and her daughter, Fern (‘07), is also an HSU grad.

Chester A. Mathis, ‘72 Chemistry, professor of radiology, pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, received the prestigious Paul C. Aebersold Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in basic science applied to nuclear medicine. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1979. Mathis primarily conducts research on developing positron emission tomography radiotracers to visualize biological processes that take place in the body, especially how the brain functions.

Lila Marz Harper, ‘76 English, edited a new edition of Edwin Abbott’s 1884 mathematical fantasy, “Flatland”, published by Broadview Press. She is the thesis editor and a senior lecturer at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash., teaching in the English, Computer Science, and Douglas Honors programs. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 1996.

Michael Margolies, ‘76 Physical Education, has restarted his business, Sport Psychology Consultants, after a hiatus. His website is TheMental-Game.com. He can be found on Facebook and LinkedIn and would love to hear from anyone that attended HSU during 1974-1976, especially PE majors and soccer players.

Christopher Broderick, ‘77 Journalism, was recently named Assistant Vice President for Communications and Marketing at Portland State University. Before that, Broderick was the politics and education editor at The Oregonian, the state’s largest newspaper. He holds a master’s degree in legal studies from Yale Law School. Broderick and his wife, Mary Gay, live in Portland, Ore., with their three daughters.

Robin Venuti, ’79 Art, is the Executive Director of the Monterey Peninsula College Foundation. She received her master’s degree in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University in 1985. She worked in the Development office at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art while doing her coursework and moved to the Monterey Peninsula in 1982 to work at Friends of Photography.


James Ybarra, ’80 Forestry, lost his wife, Laurie Ann Davis-Ybarra, ‘82 Art, to leukemia in December 2009. She is survived by James and their two sons Colin and Christian. In 1979, while she was on a date with someone else at the Oregon Mime show, James introduced himself. He must not have made an impression because years later when asked how they met, he said, “The Oregon Mime.” She thought about it and finally said, “Oh, yeah.”

Maureen McGarry, ’80, Art, ’82 Teaching Credential, ’90 M.A. Art, recently designed an historical landscape of the Jacoby Creek Watershed to be painted on the barn at Kokte Ranch in Arcata. In 2000, she began Arts in the Afternoon, a free after-school art studio for teens. As a painter using watercolor, McGarry is currently exploring landscapes using a panoramic format. Her projects can be seen at maureenmcgarry.com.

Veronica Lassen, ’81 Wildlife Management, died on March 7, 2010. She had recently been diagnosed with Stage Four Breast Cancer and died from complications following surgery. She is survived by her husband, Roger Lynn, and two daughters, Zoe Lassen-Purser and Maia Lassen-Purser.

Scott Hammond, ‘82 Recreation Administration/Liberal Arts, recently published a book, “Every Day Dad: The Guide to Becoming a Better Father.” Hammond, a professional speaker, consultant and leadership coach, has worked in advertising sales for radio, newspapers and cable television for more than 25 years. He lives in McKinleyville, Calif., with his wife of 29 years, Joni, and seven of their nine kids.

Beverly (Freeman) Weber, ’85 Journalism, is an Academic Counselor at University of Phoenix. She is married to Mark Weber ’90 Music Education, and they have two children, Rachel, 18, and Robert, 12. They live in Youngtown, Ariz. She says, “My two master’s degrees are finished, and now it’s time to read and write for FUN!”

Patrick Stupek, ’85 Journalism, has worked at Oregon’s largest utility, Portland General Electric, for 14 years. The skills he developed at HSU have helped him respond to a host of challenging issues the company has faced during that time, including climate change, new renewable energy resources, growing demand for electric vehicles, public utility elections, the Enron bankruptcy (PGE was formerly owned by Enron), company independence, Y2K and more.

Dean Levonian, ’85 Fisheries, married Lisa Wandzell in May. He is a fire captain at Cal Fire in Truckee. The two co-own Elevation Hoops, a hula-hoop party and retail hoop business in Truckee. They plan a seven-day cruise on the Mexican Riveria in January 2011 for their honeymoon.

Darryl Ramos-Young, ’86 Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation, is the Education Coordinator for West Basin Municipal Water District, which provides water to the coastal cities of Los Angeles County. He manages the agency’s education programs and is designing a new, 7,000-square-foot water education center highlighting the efforts of West Basin’s environmentally responsible ocean-water desalination research plant.  He has led education efforts for the National Wildlife Federation, East Bay Regional Park District, National Audubon Society, and Save the Redwoods League.

Susan Slocum, ’89, Liberal Studies/Recreation Administration, recently received a Ph.D. in Parks and Recreation and Tourism Management from Clemson University in South Carolina. Slocum spent a year researching the lifestyle of people in villages in Tanzania, Africa, for her doctoral dissertation, “Economic Development and Poverty Reduction.” For her research, which was done through the University of Tanzania in Dar Es Saalam, she lived in several villages in the same conditions as the residents.


Don Rowan, ’92 Fisheries Biology, went on to earn graduate degrees in wildlife biology and experimental statistics at New Mexico State University. Don lives in Merced County, Calif., where he teaches high school biology, AP biology and serves as Science Department Chair. He is married with two kids, Lyndsey, 6, and Bennett, 2. Before leaping into public education in 2000, Don worked as a fisheries biologist/aquatic ecologist for various state, private, and federal agencies.

Lisa Holloway Klyce, ‘93, Family Studies and Adam Klyce, ‘95, Business Administration, will celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary this December. They live in Berkeley, Calif., with their two children and dog.  Lisa uses her Child Development degree every day as a mom and occasionally as a substitute preschool teacher.  Adam is vice president of marketing for a small medical device company.  

Luke Williams, ‘93, Special Major, is a divemaster for the Guest Immersion Program at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif.  The program allows scuba-certified aquarium visitors to dive inside a 350,000-gallon tropical exhibit surrounded by 2,000 creatures representing 200 species.  Luke received his advanced, rescue, assistant instructor and divemaster scuba certifications from Humboldt State.

Ron Davis, ’95 MA Biology, earned a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from UC Davis in June 2009. His dissertation was on Ecological Aesthetics.

Bryan Jacobs, ’97 Journalism, is a Marketing Communications Manager at CGTech, a software development company in Irvine, Calif.

Bogdan Apostolache, ’98 Business Administration, got married in 1999 and had twin girls in 2001. He works in the aerospace sector helping build jets for the U.S. military. He says, “What’s up class of 1998? Hope everyone is doing good.”

Greg Hoetker, ‘98 English, teaches at South Junior High School in Boise, Idaho. In 2006 he received an M.A. in Humanities, with a concentration in American Literature, from CSU Dominguez Hills. In 2010 he received an Ed.D in Education, Curriculum and Instruction, with a concentration in Literacy, from Boise State University. He lives in Boise with his wife, Heather, and their two children, Luke and Mia.


Michelle Yeung, ‘01 Computer Information Systems, earned an Ed.D. from the University of Southern California. She works as an Instructional Technology Analyst in Los Angeles.

Michael Bronfman, ’01 Journalism, works as a stagehand for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 22. He previously was a taxi driver and teacher.

Jinnah Benn, ‘01, Biology, spent eight years working with vernal pool systems. She now works for the Army Corps of Engineers in the Regulatory Division and is dedicated to honoring the Corps goal of “no net loss” of wetlands. She lives in the Sacramento area.

Matthew August McClelland, ’01 Speech Communications, married Heather Neumann in April. They both manage retail stores in San Jose. For their honeymoon, they traveled to Yosemite, where they first met.

Laura (Tankersley) Landoll, ’03 Journalism, eloped in November. She has a dog, Porter, and works as an Account Supervisor with Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in Denver, Colo.

Matt Kapko, ‘04 Journalism, joined the RCR Wireless News editorial team as feature editor. Kapko will head up RCR Wireless News’ rapidly expanding special-report coverage and provide regular news coverage to RCR Wireless News and its affiliates. Kapko has spent the last six years as a journalist and editor covering the wireless industry, digital media and marketing. He lives in Long Beach, Calif.

Serena Selezny, ‘04 Journalism, after working for HSU Public Affairs, Island Magazine and McClatchy newspapers, is now a marketing coordinator at Tucci Creative in Tucson, Ariz.

Christina Castaneda, ’05, Political Science and Steven Hull, ’05, Mathematics, were married in June in Oakland, Calif., on the ninth anniversary of meeting at HOP. While in college, they both worked for HOP and their romance blossomed.

Sarah Lewers, ’05 Journalism, graduated with a law degree from Empire College in June. She lives in Healdsburg, Calif. She says, “Thanks to the JMC department at HSU for the wonderful instruction!”

Robert Deane, ’07 Journalism, lives in Echo, Okla., and is the community reporter and photographer for the Hermiston Herald. In his free time he reads, takes pictures and goes for drives with his two dogs.

Stephen Kilroy, ‘09 History, has been named co-coach of the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams at Oak Park High School in Ventura County, Calif. He had a high finish of 22nd at the NCAA Division II West Region Cross Country Championships in 2008.

Jennifer Gummerman, ’09 Biology and Zoology, volunteers at wildlife rehabilitation centers in Southern California, including the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) in San Pedro, one of the centers involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. She also serves at the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach. A paraprofessional, she has trained to capture/recover oiled wildlife in the field and is a member of the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association and related groups.

Zachery Michael Smith, ’10 Kinesiology, married Casie Lynn Morrison in August. He is an EMT1 with City Ambulance in Eureka and with Cal/Ore Life Flight.