Fall 2014

Humboldt State Honors


Each spring the university celebrates the contributions of outstanding alumni, students, faculty, and staff at the Humboldt State Honors Dinner.

Distinguished Alumni


JAMES A. FREEMAN (‘80, MA, English) has used his gifts for writing and teaching during a 36-year career that includes publishing 18 books of fiction and poetry, along with authoring several textbooks. In 2006, he earned the Philadelphia Inquirer Editor’s Choice Award for his book, Ishi’s Journey from the Center to the Edge of the World. Freeman’s time at HSU, he says, provided the ideal foundation for his career, offering a “practical bridge from academic and lifelong learning … to a sustainable career of meaningful life’s work.” Freeman has also been an instructor at Bucks County Community College in Newton, Pa., since 1982.

Bruce Jackson

BRUCE JACKSON (‘84, Political Science) is Vice President of Trade Controls and Export Strategy at Virgin Galactic, the world’s first space tourism company. His primary responsibility is working with federal agencies to protect the use of sensitive technology while still encouraging innovation. Known as an expert in international trade, Jackson previously served as Vice President of JP Morgan’s Trade Management Consulting Group.

Kaitlin Yarnall

KAITLIN YARNALL (‘05, Geography, Spanish) has worked as Deputy Creative Director for National Geographic magazine since 2011. Her role includes managing a staff of 25 editors, production designers and specialists, and researchers for one of the world’s most prestigious publications. She is a frequently sought after speaker on topics of cartographic and infographics design. One of Yarnall’s most prominent projects was serving as editorial lead and National Geographic project manager for the 2014 series, “The Future of Food.”

Distinguished Faculty

Maral Attallah

Excellence in Teaching Award—Lecturer Faculty

MARAL ATTALLAH, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies Passion, empathy, and academic rigor are attributes often used by students and peers to describe Attallah, who has taught 10 different courses over the last decade. Those characteristics have helped Attallah effectively expose the perspectives and voices of marginalized groups in society. With academic expertise and specialization in the areas of race and ethnic relations, genocide studies, and identity politics, Attallah incorporates recognition of genocide and genocide denial into her teaching.

Jeffrey Black

Scholar of the Year

JEFFREY BLACK, Wildlife Black joined the faculty in 1998 and recently made news for his study of river otter populations, in which he enlisted community input to help determine the health of the animals locally. He’s employed the same inclusive strategy in studying eight other species, with a general focus on waterfowl. Students praise Black’s teaching skills in a variety of classes, ranging from Introduction to Wildlife Conservation and Administration to Behavioral Ecology.

Eugene Novotney

Outstanding Professor

EUGENE NOVOTNEY, Music Novotney incorporates his world travels into his instruction. Students consistently rate his classes among the most effective they’ve taken. He also directs two musical ensembles—the Calypso Band and HSU Percussion Ensemble. As a performer, Novotney has contributed to several professionally released recordings by world-class steel bands. He has also composed 18 original works published by three music outlets.

Justus Ortega

Excellence in Teaching Award—Tenure-line Faculty

JUSTUS ORTEGA, Kinesiology & Recreation Administration Recognized nationally for his head trauma studies, Ortega utilizes his ability as a researcher to dispense knowledge in a passionate, yet practical, manner. Students consistently relate how he instilled confidence that helped develop their own research skills. Ortega also serves as director of HSU’s Biomechanics Lab.

Kenneth Fulgham

Outstanding Service Award

KENNETH FULGHAM, Forestry & Wildland Resources For more than 30 years, Ken Fulgham has been a model of service to the university, providing thoughtful leadership to help address ever-changing challenges. Fulgham has held many prominent faculty leadership positions, including General Faculty President, Chair of the Academic Senate, and President of the California Faculty Association. He has also represented HSU with the Society of American Foresters and the National Association of University Forestry Research Programs.

Outstanding Students Awards

Holly F. Leopardi

HOLLY F. LEOPARDI, Physics Major Leopardi has worked with faculty in the Department of Physics & Astronomy as a grader and student research assistant, and was also an instructor in the Department of Mathematics’ Academic Excellence Workshops. She has also made major contributions to a joint research project between HSU and the University of Washington that investigates the nature of gravitational physics and tests the Equivalence Principle of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. She has published two peer-reviewed articles and has presented at the American Physical Society, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and the Alexander Von Humboldt Conference.

Cherrish Courtney-Lynn Robinson

CHERRISH COURTNEY-LYNN ROBINSON Ethnic Studies Major Robinson was a lead mentor in the Retention through Academic Mentoring Program in 2012, where she managed a caseload of 25 freshmen while simultaneously monitoring and supporting the work of 15 mentors. Robinson also served as a research intern with the MultiCultural Center, where she investigated best practices and models of African American academic centers. Robinson co-presented “(De)constructing HSU as a Post-racial Campus: A Discussion of White Privilege and Racism” at the 2013-14 Campus Dialogue on Race and has served as vice president of the Black Student Union.

Staff Recognition Awards

(pictured below, left to right)
ANNIE BOLICK-FLOSS, Center for Service Learning & Academic Internships
KIM HALL, Veterans & Enrollment Transition Services
ANTHONY DESCH, Fisheries & Wildlife
JERRY SANER, Facilities Maintenance for Sustainability
WARD HEADSTROM, Institutional Research
MICHELLE CONOVER, Facilities Maintenance
(not pictured)
LISA LEWIS, Telecommunications & Networking Services

Group Photo