Class Notes


James Zobel, ’62, and his wife Virginia celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year. A bout of Lyme disease has curtailed current traveling, though his past destiantions have included Kenya, Tanzania, Laos, Thailand and England. Two of his 8 grandchildren are now married, and he resides in Foresthill, Calif.


Kathleen Tahja, ’70, a journalism graduate, had two books come out in 2008. Rails Across the Noyo is a trackside history guide to the Skunk Train in Mendocino County and Early Mendocino Coast is a photohistory of the Mendocino coastline from Sonoma to Humboldt. She lives in Comptche, Calif.

Hank Kashdan, ‘73, a journalism graduate, has been named associate chief for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service based in Washington, D.C. Kashdan began his service as a Senior Executive in 2001 when he was appointed the Forest Service budget director, a position he held through 2005. He has worked in a variety of positions including assistant director in law enforcement and national forest administrative officer. Kashdan worked in duty stations throughout the country in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Washington State, California, and Oregon prior to moving to Washington, D.C. in 1993.

Timothy Fogarty, ’75, is retired and living in Mesa, Ariz. He spent much of fall 1965 and Spring 1966 enjoying Humboldt’s charms. After a stint in the U.S. Air Force, including duty in Vietnam, he made it back to Humboldt State to study History with the late Lloyd Fulton and Geography with Hal Jackson.

Geoffrey de Valois, ‘75, ‘81, a psychology graduate with a master’s degree in theater arts, is an award-winning documentary film director whose work has been broadcast in over 75 countries worldwide. After leaving Humboldt State, he worked for Industrial Light & Magic and IBM, and then taught film production at San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, and Cal State LA. He lives in Los Angeles with his 16-year-old daughter.

Ellaina Klobas, ’76, an education graduate with a minor in Native American Studies, served in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years, traveling in Europe and the eastern and southern U.S. In 2002 she started her second career with the California Highway Patrol in Hayward. Born and raised in Eureka, she hopes to return to Humboldt County when her two children finish college. She lives in Fremont, Calif.

Michael Margolies, ’76, a physical education graduate, lives in Seattle, Wash. He works in the golf industry and coaches premier level soccer. He invites old friends to get in touch.

Cathy Lewis, ’77, a theatre arts graduate, is an attorney living in Hilo, Hawaii. She would love to hear from old classmates.

Jeff Jilg, ’79, has worked at multiple computer companies including IBM, Dell, EDS, and ClearCube Technology. In 1988 he received his M.S. in Computer Science from UTEP in El Paso, Texas. In 1992 he received his PhD in Computer Science from Texas A&M Engineering School in College Station, Texas. He and his wife Theresa have lived in Austin, Texas since 1992.

Frank May, ’79, an economics graduate, lives in Boulder Creek, Calif. He worked as a real estate analyst and appraiser in the Santa Clara-Santa Cruz-Monterey area for a few years before starting his own company in 1986. He writes, “What a great education! I am amazed when people talk about their university experience—how they rarely saw the professors, all the lectures were given by assistants, etc. Not only did I have real professors lecturing, but we had our own little econ house and we could hang out and talk with the profs about economic philosophy and what the philosophers meant… everything I thought the university experience was supposed to be!”


Cathryn Halvorson Rudolph , ’80, has worked for business consultants Growth Management Center since 1990. She is married to Dan Rudolph (Wildlife, ‘83). Dan manages the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s new $20 million Inspection Facility on Interstate 80. Daughter Hollund attends HSU as an Environmental Science major with a restoration emphasis. Daughter Lauryl is a junior in high school. They live in Truckee, Calif.

David Teachout, ’80, works in the hardware engineering lab for a computer company in San Diego. Next year he will be settling in the small town of Reedsport, Ore. He writes, “I always tell people that my HSU years were the best of my life: Patrick’s Point, steelhead fishing, Lumberjack Days and intramural softball.” He invites old friends to get in touch.

Clay Miller, ’82, a wildlife graduate, has served as a U.S. Government environmental manager, advisor, and regulator for over 22 years. For 15 of those years, he served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Headquarters in Washington, D.C. as the Wetlands RegulatoryChief and as Team Leader for the Wetlands Regulatory Program Operations Team. Most recently, Clay served 12 months in Afghanistan as an environmental advisor to the newly established National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), working to build their capacity to effectively and efficiently protect and conserve the natural resources and environment of Afghanistan. Clay received the USEPA’s Office of Water 2005 Leader of the Year Award and has received many other USEPA awards. He recently received a U.S. Department of State Meritorious Honor Award for his environmental work in Afghanistan. He lives in Bealeton, Va.

Ron Stuart, ’84, a chemistry graduate, was recently hired by the Port of Tacoma as its environmental project manager for air quality. In this position, Stuart will manage port-related emissions-reduction programs, oversee the preparation of air quality aspects of environmental impact assessments and implement initiatives for energy conservation and alternative clean energy. Before joining the port, Stuart spent 21 years with Simpson Tacoma Kraft Co., where his positions included chemist, laboratory supervisor, environmental engineer and environmental compliance auditor.

Leonard Brennan, ‘84, received his master’s degree in wildlife from Humboldt State. He received The Wildlife Society’s Outstanding Edited Book Award for his latest book Texas Quails: Ecology and Management. Leonard is a Professor and Endowed Chair at the Richard M. Kleberg, Jr. Center for Quail Research Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University.

Shepard Tucker, ’84, works in the marine electronics industry at Navico Americas. His passion and energy for boating helped build Portland, Oregon-based Nobeltec into the leader in navigational software for recreational and professional mariners. He lives in Wilsonville, Ore.

Gary Sawyer, ‘84, a psychology graduate, has worked as a third grade teacher the last eleven years at Salinas Christian School. He lives in Salinas, Calif.

John Bailey, ’88, celebrated 20 years with EDS Corporation on July 11, 2008. He lives in Plano, Texas.


Richard Brown, ’90, lives in La Mesa, Calif. He writes, “I remember driving in the HSU rain, and recall the driving lessons it taught me. While this is not academic, the lessons have saved my life while driving [in the recent rain] here in San Diego!”

Jonathan Wright, ’90, (right)completed three half marathons in 2008 and is looking forward to more in 2009. He lives in Kuna, Idaho.

Walter Moody, ’92, is working on a new web mapping GIS system for vineyards and wineries to better manage their operations. He is also doing some 3D fly-thru marketing movies based in GoogleEarth. He lives in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Noreen Moen, ’93, has 3 children ages 9, 6, and 3. She lives in
Marysville, Wash.

Jason Cleckler , ’94, (right) enjoys playing in the outdoors with his family. He lives in Montrose, Colo.

Luke Williams, ’94, is a Paramedic Ocean Lifeguard Specialist assigned to Catalina Island. Luke also volunteers as a diver with the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California and as a therapy dog handler with the Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. He lives in San Pedro, Calif.

Tina Borgman, ’95, a psychology graduate, now has an MSW and works as a school social worker. She previously worked in group homes and community-based programs with emotionally disturbed youth. She writes, “The rest of CA is finally catching up with the environmentally-friendly focus of Humboldt State more than ten years later!” She lives in Pleasant Grove, Calif.

Tonya Selberg, ’96, was married to her husband, Scott, about a year ago and works as a physician assistant in several local emergency departments and urgent cares. She lives in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Tyler Smurr, ’96, moved to his wife’s hometown of Boerne, Texas and earned a teaching certificate in Biology from the University of Texas. He currently teaches 8th grade Earth Science and coaches 8th grade football, basketball, shot put and discus. He writes, “All of the exposure I got at Humboldt to different people and different ways of life gave me the experience and people skills to teach and coach. HSU created a very well rounded person and I am grateful.”

Greg Hoetker, ‘98, an English graduate, teaches at South Junior High School in Boise, Idaho and is working toward a doctorate in Education, Curriculum and Instruction, with a concentration in Literacy, at Boise State University. He lives in Boise with his wife Heather and their two children, Luke and Mia.

Carl Fiorica , ’99, is a licensed Civil Engineer as well as a LEED Accredited Professional. He and his wife have 2 children and live in San Diego.


Bret Ritter, ’00, an industrial technology graduate, recently started his own construction business. He lives in in Mt. Shasta, Calif. with his wife Beverly (‘01), a fellow HSU graduate.

Paul Savona, ’00, a forestry graduate, is a Forester and Peace Officer for CalFire in Crescent City, Calif. He and his wife Stacy (‘04), a fellow HSU alum, live in Brookings, Ore., with their Labrador Retriever, Abigail.

Aprilfawn (Grigsby) White, ‘00, received dual BS degrees in marine biology and zoology at HSU. Working as a biochemist since graduation, she currently works at Ionian Technologies as a scientist in biowarfare defense. A single mom with three daughters, her work has been published in over 30 scientific journals, and she breeds Alaskan Klee Kai miniature huskies as a hobby. She is also founder and president of the national Alaskan Klee Kai Health and Genetics Research Institute.

Kendra Zien, ‘00, a recreati n graduate, works as the Assistant Operations Manager at Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, a small storybook amusement park. She lives in Richmond, Calif.

Douglas C. Morton, ’01, has worked as the Transportation Planner for the Northeastern Vermont Development Association for 5 1/2 yrs. NVDA is a small rural Regional Planning Commission that represents the three Northeasternmost counties in Vermont. Douglas provides technical assistance (traffic counting, capital budgeting, municipal Infrastructure inventories, etc.) and grant writing among many other things. He lives in St. Johnsbury, Vt. with his wife and three children.

Theresa Johnson, ’01, is a biology graduate with a minor in botany. She earned a teaching credential in 2005 in secondary life science at CSULA. She currently teaches biology, botany and health in Phoenix, Ariz. and looks forward to returning to California.

Beverly Shaw-Ritter, ’01, an environmental science and wildlife graduate, works for Siskiyou County Health Department as an Environmental Health Specialist. In her role, she conducts restaurant, pool/spa, and housing inspections. She lives in Mt. Shasta, Calif. with her husband Bret (‘00), a fellow HSU graduate.

Stacie Lyans, ‘02, a Journalism graduate, earned her MBA at Humboldt State in 2005. She lives in Arcata and works at HSU as a Senior Admissions Counselor. She says, “I love my job and promoting HSU, what could be better. Go Jacks!”

Stacy (Hardy) Savona, ’04, a forestry graduate, is the Sudden Oak Death Forester for the Oregon Dept. of Forestry as well as a third year law school student. She lives with her husband Paul (‘00), also an HSU alum, in Brookings, Ore. with their Labrador Retriever, Abigail.

Benjamin Mears, ’04, an art graduate, and Sara Brown, ’04, a communications graduate, were married on August 9th, 2008 in Santa Cruz, California.

Wendy Mellberg Haecker, ’04, recently completed her master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Guide Dog Mobility at San Francisco State University. She works for Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California, as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor.

Natalie Soder, ’04, recently recieved her master’s degree in Sociology from Humboldt State. Her thesis was published in the International Journal of Community Currency Research.

Kaleigh Gilmore , ’06, a social work graduate, is currently a research assistant and MSW student focusing on end of life care at the University of Iowa. She lives in Iowa City, IA with her husband, also an HSU alum, and their daughter.

John Rogers, ’07, earned his master’s degree in social work at HSU. He works as a child MSW therapist in a non-profit agency in Compton, Calif. and is working towards his LCSW. He says, “I had a really good educational experience at HSU. Thank you.”