Fall 2016

[Alumni News]

HSU Honors

Recognizing the achievements and contributions of the HSU community

Distinguished Alumni

Greg Beck (’94, Environmental Systems)
After volunteering for the Peace Corps in Nepal, Greg Beck continued his education in the International Development track of the Environmental Resources Engineering graduate program. Currently, Beck is director of Integrated Development for the nonprofit human development organization FHI 360.

Beck has years of experience from the International Rescue Committee, Community Housing Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Transitional Initiatives, and the Peace Corps. He has worked in Burma (Myanmar), the Philippines, Africa, the Caucasus, Asia and the Balkans and led large emergency responses around the globe.

Beck has a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service and International Politics from Penn State University.

Piet deVries (’93, Environmental Systems)
Piet deVries recently led a response effort to the Ebola crisis in Liberia, where he oversaw operations across the country. Establishing trust and connections with the affected communities is what made the program a success, he says.

DeVries calls the project the greatest challenge he’s faced—and that’s after a career that’s taken him to Thailand, Pakistan, Kosovo, and a host of other countries.

Currently, deVries is the senior technical advisor for Global Communities, an international nonprofit that works to improve the lives of vulnerable people worldwide. DeVries is originally from Aptos, Calif.

Heather Hostler (’12, Native American Studies)
As the Chief Deputy Tribal Advisor to Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown, Heather Hostler is motivated to improve Native American communities throughout the state. Her work includes reviewing legislation, consulting on policy development, coordinating drought responses on tribal lands, and much more.

Hostler has long been involved in leadership, serving as the president of the Indian Tribal & Educational Personnel Program Club at HSU and working with the Humboldt Area Foundation as a program director developing scholarship funds to send Native students to college. She is also a member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe.

Phillip C. Humphreys (’91, Social Work & ’93, Social Sciences)
Phillip Humphreys’ mission is to expand access to education among minority groups. Since his time at HSU, he has been uplifting his peers and fellow students through his work with the Educational Opportunity Program and by serving as president of the Black Student Union. He was also instrumental in helping establish HSU’s MultiCultural Center.

Humphreys earned an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne and today he is the Dean of Student Services at the El Camino College Compton Center.

Burt Nordstrom (’75, Physical Education)
HSU has been a part of Burt Nordstrom’s life since he was a kid and more than 40 years later, he’s been able to give back in a big way.

Nordstrom thrived as a student, getting involved in campus life and student government. After playing both football and baseball at HSU, he went on to play two years of minor league baseball, and in 1998 was inducted into the University’s Athletics Hall of Fame.

After graduating, he went to work with University Center, eventually becoming Executive Director. In 2004, he served as HSU’s Vice President for Advancement, and helped create HSU’s Advancement Foundation. After “retiring” he returned to serve as Vice President for Administrative Affairs.

Always a fan of Lumberjack athletics, Nordstrom continues to volunteer as a radio commentator during broadcasts of Lumberjack football games, a role he has relished for more than 25 years.

Distinguished Faculty

Outstanding Professor Award

Professor Alexandru M.F. Tomescu, Biological Sciences
Professor Alexandru Tomescu combines his teaching and scholarly activities to benefit the university community, which he joined in 2005.

As the instructor of several Botany courses, Tomescu is praised for his ability to present clear, engaging lectures, while successfully integrating his research into his teaching. Students praise his dynamic and thought-provoking approach.

Tomescu conducts research on a broad range of topics addressing the fossil record, morphology, and evolution of plants. As the author of more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, Tomescu has included many of his undergraduate and graduate students as lead authors.

Outstanding Service Award

Professor Noah Zerbe, Politics
Professor Noah Zerbe has had a meaningful impact on the University community.
Known as a thoughtful and conscientious leader by colleagues, Zerbe was instrumental in the creation of the Strategic Plan. As co-chair of the planning process, he led planning groups and later compiled recommendations from disparate groups into one coherent and consistent document. He was also involved in the 2011 transition of the Academic Senate to a University Senate and was later elected Senate Chair.

Excellence in Teaching Award

Lecturer Loren Cannon, Philosophy
Loren Cannon excels as a teacher, scholar, and advocate. Each semester, he teaches five courses. They include Philosophy program classes and his specialty—Environmental Ethics.

Additionally, he has collaborated with numerous other departments on campus. For the Department of Critical Race, Gender, & Sexuality Studies he is teaching Trans* Lives and Theory. It’s a course he created and is one of the few of its kind in the CSU.

Cannon is seen as an enthusiastic, engaging, and inclusive educator, and as a tireless advocate for transgender inclusion. His efforts in this area include conducting trainings in local hospitals, homeless shelters, schools, area churches, and on campus. His passion for students and dedication to social justice make him a valued lecturer.

Outstanding Students


Cristina Bauss, Geography Undergraduate Student
Cristina Bauss is recognized for her award-winning accomplishments and her commitment to the discipline of Geography. In 2015, Bauss was one of only a handful of undergraduates across the country to participate in the National Geographic Geography Intern Program. She’s also the only HSU student to be inducted as a member of the prestigious Gamma Theta Upsilon, the International Honor Society in Geography.

The recipient of numerous HSU scholarships, Bauss is researching the environmental impacts of illegal cannabis cultivation in Humboldt County.
Academics aside, she mentors other students, assisting them with their research, and is gracious in her feedback. Popular, respected among peers and colleagues, Bauss embodies the community spirit of the Geography Department.

Dylan McClure, Social Work Graduate Student
Dylan McClure is being recognized for his dedication to causes that are significant to the campus community’s health and well-being.

An advocate for transgender rights and inclusivity, he created a comprehensive resource guide for trans and gender non-conforming students and worked with Information Technology Services to make institutional changes, which allow students to use a preferred name in HSU’s student registration software. He created and led a weekly group for transgender students who have experienced discrimination as an HSU student. Plus, he has been working with faculty on the use of appropriate language about gender.

Staff Recognition


Shannon Childs, Athletic Trainer, Athletics
Jennifer Dyke, Director, Upward Bound
Kacie Flynn, Office Manager, Sponsored Programs Foundation
Jim Harding, Budget Analyst, College of Natural Resources
& Sciences
Michael Le, Research Analyst, Institutional Research & Planning
Amy Martin, Development Coordinator, Academic & Career Advising Center
Kelly Mathson, Administrative Support Coordinator, Music
Gina Pierce, Budget Analyst, College of Arts, Humanities
& Social Sciences
Sylvia Shively, Assistant Controller, Accounting
Jackie Wiedemann, Nurse Practitioner, Health Center