Spring 2012

[Alumni News]

Humboldt State Honors

Celebrating our Academic Community

The 2011-12 Distinguished Alumni

LEFT TO RIGHT: Dean Bresciani, Chester Mathis, Marla Spivak, Kenneth Davlin

DEAN BRESCIANI, ’84 Sociology. After positions in higher education in North Carolina and Nebraska, Bresciani was named president of North Dakota State University in 2010. Working for the Humboldt Orientation Program one summer, Bresciani realized that helping students was his passion. After all these years, he still credits his experience at Humboldt State for igniting his passion for higher education.

KENNETH DAVLIN, ’59-‘62 Engineering. As a member of the University’s Advancement Foundation Board, Davlin is part of a team that helps increase charitable giving and manage the university’s endowment. Davlin, whose engineering career has included work on hydroelectric, wastewater, housing and alternative energy projects, is president of Oscar Larson & Associates, a California-based engineering consulting firm.

Chester Mathis, ’72, Chemistry. Mathis came to HSU as pre-med student, but had a greater interest in chemistry. Still, he found a way to study both by pursuing medicinally related chemistry. Mathis is currently an endowed chair professor of Radiology and Pharmaceutical Sciences and director of the Positron Emission Tomography Facility at the University of Pittsburgh. Last year, the Michael J. Fox Foundation commissioned Mathis to develop a compound to identify alpha-synuclein, a protein deposit found in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

MARLA SPIVAK, ’78, Biological Sciences. Beekeeping has long been a passion for Marla Spivak, an internationally renowned entomologist and expert on honeybee health. Spivak, who is currently a Distinguished McKnight Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota, received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “genius award” in 2010 for her pioneering work to protect honeybees from decimation by disease.

The 2011-12 Outstanding Students

Chyna Balonick

CHYNA BALONICK, Kinesiology, Pre-Physical Therapy. Balonick was honored for her accomplishments as a scholar, volunteer, mentor and student-athlete. She was a member of the Women’s Crew team for four years and has contributed volunteer service with many agencies. Her physical therapy experience includes La Canada Sports Medicine in La Canada, Calif., and Saint Mary Medical Center and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, both in Long Beach, Calif.


JAHNNA CONSTANCE MAE MOREHOUSE, Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies, with a concentration in Women’s Studies. Morehouse’s double minor combines Ethnic Studies and Sociology. She is a Presidential Scholar and an Associated Students Campus/Community Scholarship recipient. Her extensive volunteer, outreach and work experience includes the HSU Women’s Resource Center, the Diversity and Inclusion Office, workshop and public relations coordination, grant writing, teaching assistance, campus activism and organizing, and an internship at the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity.


NICOLE UMAYAM, French and Francophone Studies and English, with a minor in Linguistics. Umayam held multiple internships and teaching and tutoring positions, including in the HSU Writing Center and as an English Writing Lab consultant. She studied French at the Université du Québec Montréal and pursued linguistic anthropology and special topics in British literature. As a volunteer with Youth Educational Services (YES), she assisted homeless children and served as a prison reform advocate.

Distinguished Faculty

James Floss

JAMES FLOSS, Department of Communication. Floss received the Excellence in Teaching Award for 26 years of continued excellence in his teaching. Students laud his passion for the subject of oral communication, his creative and original style of teaching and his able service as an academic advisor.

Terry Henkel

TERRY HENKEL, Department of Biological Sciences. Henkel received this year’s Scholar of the Year Award for extensive academic publications and for establishing himself as a leader in fungal ecology and tropical biology. Colleagues rate Henkel the world’s leading tropical forest mycologist. In the past 10 years, he has contributed more than 40 publications to peer-reviewed journals. See this issue’s cover story for more on Prof. Henkel’s research.

2011-12 Staff Recognition

Group Photo

Kellie Jo Brown, Marketing & Communications
Mason Long, Desktop IT
Lewis McCrigler, Biological Sciences
Leila Moreno, Housing
Allison Oakland, Schatz Energy Research Center
Bethany Rizzardi, ITS Project Office
Julie Tucker, College of Natural Resources and Sciences
Cade Webb, ITS Specialized Apps
Colin Wingfield, Environmental Resources Engineering & Geology
Andrea Yip, Biological Sciences