Spring 2015

Class Notes


WAYNE F. HESS, 1964, Business Administration, spent a number of years as a forensic accountant after retiring as founder of a Portland-area certified public accountancy firm. Currently Hess is the president of the La Pedrera School Project, a registered public charity for the benefit of indigenous students in the western highlands of Guatemala. To date, over 30 students have graduated from high school and one from university, while just 20 years ago it was rare for a student to advance beyond fourth grade. Hess also works with Casa Xelaju, a Spanish Language school in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, to arrange home-stays with indigenous families while attending classes.

TIMOTHY E. BLEWETT, 1966, Fisheries Biology and Environmental Management, became a loss control consultant with Hartford Insurance after more than 21 years in the U.S. Air Force. Blewett later went to work for the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. He retired from the AWCC about 14 years ago, and has since worked as a private contractor doing loss-control work. Sally, Blewett’s wife, is a travel consultant, and the couple has been to approximately 35 countries over the last 26 years. About 10 years ago Blewett had an idea for a story, which turned into a 184,000-word, unpublished novel, followed by eight additional novels, also unpublished.

WILLIAM (BILL) HUFFMAN, 1967, Journalism, retired after 30 years as Vice President of Communications and Governmental Affairs with Farmers’ Rice Cooperative in Sacramento. Huffman and his wife lived for seven years at Lake Almanor, Calif., before moving to Chico, Calif., in early 2014 for medical reasons. His education at HSU (a degree in Journalism and minors in Political Science and Public Relations) provided Huffman with the best academic credentials for his 45-plus years in governmental relations and communications. He earned the rice industry’s premier award when he received the California Rice Industry Award in 2009. The couple has four children and three grandchildren.


MICHAEL GARCIA, 1971, Geology, was recently named a 2014 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fellow. Awardees are AGU members who have made exceptional scientific contributions and attained eminence in the Earth and space sciences. Garcia has been a professor in The Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Honolulu since 1988. Since joining the University of Hawaii, Garcia has concentrated on hotspot volcanism, especially on the active Hawaiian volcanoes, Kilauea, Mauna Loa and Lo`ihi. His current research is focused on understanding how volcanoes work. Specifically, he is using the mineralogy and geochemistry of lavas to delineate the magmatic plumbing systems of volcanoes. Basaltic lavas provide essential clues into their subterranean history and are one of our best “windows” into the mantle.

MARK PASQUINI, 1973, History and Second Year Teaching Credential, has published the Phoenix Cycle series of eBooks. Royalties from the first volume, Phoenix in Ashes, were donated to the Wounded Warrior Project in memory of Clay Cunningham.

ROBERT MAYER, 1975, Physical Education, has been a physical education and special education teacher for the past 38 years. For the last 20 years, Mayer has served as a high school administrator and has coached several sports over the last 35 years. Mayer met his wife, Sandy, while attending Humboldt and the couple has two children. Mayer writes that he will always be grateful to Franny Givens and Frank Cheek for their friendship and guidance.

TIMOTHY HAMAKER, 1977, Fisheries Biology, retired in August after 37 years as a fisheries and aquatic biologist. Hamaker began his career in 1977 and worked for four years as a biologist for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf Breeze, Fla., environmental research lab. Hamaker then moved to Environmental Research and Technology Inc., in Ft. Collins, Colo., working as a fisheries biologist. From 1986 to 1988 Hamaker acted as president and principal scientist at Aquatic BioSystems Inc., also in Ft. Collins. He then spent more than 25 years with CH2MHILL Inc. as a consulting fishery biologist, spending the last 23 years in Redding, Calif. Hamaker is married to Hoagy (Gilliam) Hamaker. The couple has six children, including two HSU grads, Nicholas (‘02 and ‘03) and Robin (Ray) Hamaker (‘11), and five grandchildren. The couple resides in Redding, Calif.

LYNNETTE ZELEZY, 1979 and 1981, Psychology, was recently named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fresno State University. Zelezy is a 25-year veteran of Fresno State, having previously served as a professor and psychology department chair, and associate dean for the Craig School of Business, dean for global education, and, most recently, associate provost. Zelezy also serves on the board of the United Way and is a member of the Fresno Rotary. She is married to John Zelezny, senior vice president of communications at Community Medical Centers. The Zeleznys have three grown children.


DOUGLAS TURNER, 1980, Biological Sciences, has two sons on the college path. Turner’s oldest is a Chemical Engineering major at Cal Poly Pomona and his youngest, currently a high school senior, is applying to HSU.

TIM KUSTIC, 1981, Geology, recently retired after a 32-year career with California’s Department of Conservation, where he served as California’s 13th State Oil and Gas Supervisor. Kustic began his state career as a field engineer with the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), in the Bakersfield office. After assignments in the Bakersfield and Santa Maria DOGGR offices, Kustic joined the newly created State Office of Mine Reclamation in 1991. In 2001, Kustic rejoined DOGGR and was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to lead DOGGR as the Oil and Gas Supervisor in 2011. Kustic, his wife, Debra, and their three children reside in Sacramento.

HARRIS FOGEL, 1981, Art, is a professor of photography at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Fogel is the director and curator of the University’s Sol Mednick Gallery and Gallery 1401 and recently curated “Past Imperfect Time: Work by Faculty at UArts.” The exhibit was part of the International Meetings of Photography, an annual photography festival held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where Fogel also participated as a portfolio reviewer and lecturer.

CAROLYN DUNN, 1986, Communication, was recently named Associate Vice President of Institutional Diversity for Central Michigan University. In addition to her new post, Dunn has contributed to Project Upward Bound, a program that trains students to succeed in college.

PETER JAIN, 1989, Music, published his first book of prose, poetry, and photography 25 years after graduating from HSU. Let the Dance Begin—Greetings from Humboldt was released in September.


GARETH ELLIOTT, 1992, Political Science, was named in January to the University of California system’s governing board. Elliott has served as legislative affairs secretary in the Office of the Governor since 2011. He was policy director in the Office of California State Sen. Alex Padilla from 2008 to 2011 and policy director and deputy chief of staff in the Office of California State Senate President pro Tempore Don Perata from 2004 to 2008. Elliott was a legislative aide and then legislative director for Perata from 1996 to 2004.

PEGGY MOLLOY, 1993, Art, recently earned a master’s degree in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University. Molloy works as a volunteer coordinator for the local Salvation Army branch. She is currently organizing a fundraiser for the needy through Sewell Gallery, in Eureka, featuring portrait artist Meredith Aldrich. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army.

CONRAD L. HUYGEN, 1994, Geography, retired from the Air Force JAG Corps as a lieutenant colonel after a distinguished military career that also included enlisted service in the Army and the Coast Guard. He served four assignments as a trial defense counsel, was an executive officer to the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and deployed to the Combined Air and Space Operations Center (Combat Operations Division). Huygen and his wife, Julie, plan to stay in the Denver area where he will teach, travel, write, run, cycle, ski, fish, and brew every day the sun shines.

MICHAEL COLIN BRESNAHAN, 1995, English, married Natalie Rist in April.

JENNIFER MOLINE, 1996, Journalism, resides in Oakland, Calif., and takes public transportation to her job in San Francisco as the social media manager for Skout, a geo-location-based app for meeting people. She lives with her two cats and still tries to get up to Arcata annually to bask in the redwoods and drink the local beers.

TARA COOPER, 1997, Natural Resources Planning Interpretation, is the owner of Ohana Organics, which recently received the 2014 NEXTY Popular Vote award from New Hope Natural Media and the Sterling-Rice Group for its product, vegan Tattoo Butter. Cooper founded ‘Ohana Organics in 2000.

MARGARET MALONE, 1997, Philosophy, recently published the short story collection People Like You. Malone has received fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission and Literary Arts, two Regional Arts & Culture Council Project grants, and residencies at The Sitka Center and Soapstone. Her writing has appeared in The Missouri Review, Oregon Humanities Magazine, Coal City Review, Swink, Nailed, latimes.com, and elsewhere, including recently the Forest Avenue Press anthology The Night, and the Rain, and the River. Malone has taught creative writing as a visiting artist at Pacific Northwest College of Art. She lives with her husband, filmmaker Brian Padian, and two children in Portland, where she co-hosts the artist and literary gathering SHARE.

PETER SCHMIDT, 1997, Wildlife, recently accepted the Refuge Manager position at Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Ruby Valley, Nev., after spending 14 years at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in western Oregon. Schmidt is moving from an urban refuge with 2,200 acres to the most remote refuge in the lower 48 states with almost 40,000 acres to manage. The nearest services are 60 miles when the pass is open.


TY ROBIN COLLINS, 2001, Environmental Resources Engineering, was hired as a project manager for Manhard Consulting’s Eureka office, a civil engineering firm headquartered in Vernon Hills, Ill.

CARLEIGH KUDE, 2005, Politics, has been working in advocacy, accessibility and ADA compliance since leaving HSU. Kude earned a Master of Public Administration from CSU Long Beach in 2014 and was named to the Dean’s List of Arts and Humanities Scholars. She is currently working at Holy Names University, a public service and social justice-oriented private university in Oakland, Calif.

JOE NEWNAM, 2005, Music, moved to Mammoth Lakes, Calif., upon receiving his music teaching credential. Newnam rebuilt a district-wide public school music program, which resulted in developing middle and high school jazz bands and choirs. After marrying in 2009, he and his wife purchased a small ranch in Trinity County, where Newnam again rebuilt a successful district-wide music program. During the same time, Newnam released “Sitar Joe, Venus Tribe.” Selections from the album have been featured on syndicated radio shows, and broadcast worldwide from the Middle East to India and the U.S. Last year, Newnam and his wife moved to a home on 20 acres in Washington, where the couple raises organic food and animals while caring for their forest. Newnam is currently the owner and lead instructor of a private music instruction studio, plays and studies Kirtan music with a working ensemble, and works as an actor for a Syfy Channel series currently being filmed.


HARRIET ANN BURR, 2010, Economics, submitted her thesis, “Recidivism Reduction in Humboldt County,” for a Master of Science in Community Economic Development at Southern New Hampshire University. Burr received an A for her work, and has been authorized as a Master of Science. Burr is currently job searching and researching for her Ph.D.

TERRI BIDLE, 2011, Zoology, is beginning a new chapter of her life as a marine education program manager in Southern California. After seven years with the USC QuikSCience program, she will be working with ExplorOcean in Newport Beach, Calif., to bring quality ocean exploration to young people.

TYLER EVANS,2011, History and 2014, Secondary Education Credential, received a Master of Arts in History from San Diego State University after graduating from Humboldt. Evans is currently the AVID program coordinator and elective teacher at Temescal Canyon High School in Lake Elsinore, Calif.

STEPHANIE FREITAS, 2013, History, is a full- time history teacher at Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia, Calif. Freitas is married to HSU alumnus Salvador Cazarez, who is also teaching in the Visalia district.

ANDREW KREAMER, 2014, Education, is now a behavior interventionist at a kindergarten- to-eighth grade school. Kreamer enjoys the opportunity to engage in one-to-one teaching.

SYDNEY NEWTON, 2014, Kinesiology & Recreation Administration, was hired as the community development director for the Girl Scouts of Northern California to oversee recruitment and volunteer support for Sonoma, Rohnert Park, Napa, and Petaluma.