Forever Humboldt

Alumni Updates

Christopher Swarth, Biological Sciences , 1978

May 16, 2019

After graduating, Christopher Swarth Biological Sciences, 1978, moved back home to Oakland where in 1983 he received his MS in Zoology from Cal State East Bay. After working for Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Lawrence Hall of Science (UC Berkeley) and Diablo Valley College, he married in 1987 and moved to Maryland. There he spent 23 years as director of the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, one of the components of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. In 2013, he moved back to northern California to work and teach at UC Merced, where he was the director of the 6,500 acre Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve adjacent to campus until he retired in 2016. He lives in Mariposa.

Spencer Ruelos, Anthropology Second Degree: BA in CRGS, 2013

May 10, 2019

After graduating from HSU Spencer Ruelos, Anthropology, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies, 2013, went on to receive his Masters in Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University. There he wrote a master’s thesis titled: “EveryoneGames: Exploring Queer Gamer Identity and Community,” where he examined the worldmaking practices of LGBTQ gamers in digital and physical spaces. While at SFSU, Spencer received the prestigious CSU Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. He is currently continuing his studies of queerness, video games, and technology as a PhD student in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine.

Heidi Gehlhaar Oriol, Environmental Resources Engineering , 2001

May 8, 2019

Heidi Gehlhaar Oriol, Environmental Resources Engineering, 2001, is a licensed Civil Engineer and has worked for water and wastewater utilities in the Bay Area and Sacramento since her graduation from HSU in 2001. She currently works as a Senior Civil Engineer in the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs office for the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional San) and the Sacramento Area Sewer District (SASD). She enjoys her role as a regulatory advocate and is also very excited to be supporting a project to bring recycled water to agriculture in southern Sacramento County. Heidi believes use of recycled water will reduce groundwater pumping, raise groundwater levels, increase flows in nearby streams, and improve wetland and vernal pool habitats.

John Soener, International Studies 2nd Major: Spanish, 2016

May 1, 2019

After having completed two years of Peace Corps service in Nicaragua John Soener, International Studies, 2016, will be attending graduate school at Indiana University. John will be pursuing a Masters in Public Affairs, focusing specifically on nonprofit management and policy analysis. His International Studies and Spanish degrees were a great way to start his career in public service and Peace Corps was an incredible career booster that has provided him incredible opportunities to fund graduate school.

Heidi (Foote) Bowman, English English Education, 2009

April 14, 2019

In the fall of 2017, Heidi Bowman, English, 2009, helped open the “sister charter school”: CSArts-SGV. A free, public comprehensive high school in California’s San Gabriel Valley, that embeds seven hours of conservatory arts instruction following the academic school day.  Heidi has the distinct honor of being the Department Chair, and because of HSU’s English Education program she graduated from in 2009, the department is the “Literature, Language, and Composition” team. The linguistics courses, the not-old-dead-white-guys literature courses, the pedagogy-built-into-my-soul courses, shaped her into an English teacher to be reckoned with!

Thomas Eley, Wildlife , 1969 and 1975

April 12, 2019

Thomas Eley, Wildlife, 1969, worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Refuge Manager and Refuge Officer.  He is now retired and lives in Alaska.

Eddie Shin, Psychology , 2014

April 11, 2019

Eddie Shin, Psychology, 2014, got married a year ago to the love of his life who loves doing what he loved to do most when in Humboldt, hiking and spending time outdoors! He moved to Orem, Utah shortly after graduating and in 2016 landed a job at a residential treatment center where he became their neurofeedback practitioner. It’s been awesome working with these kids in improving their emotions and behaviors through a holistic intervention in their treatment! He is currently working on his master’s toward becoming a marriage and family therapist. He misses the redwoods and Humboldt coast dearly and thinks about that beautiful place every day! He lives his life the Humboldt way still and stays green.

Jolene Saldivar, Biological Sciences , 2017

April 8, 2019

Jolene Saldivar, Biological Sciences, 2017, has committed to the University of California, Riverside’s Plant Biology PhD program and will begin this summer. She is also the recipient of the Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship, which is the most prestigious diversity fellowship offered at UC Riverside.

Brian Galvez, Fisheries Biology , 2014

April 4, 2019

Brian Galvez, Fisheries Biology, 2014, graduated from Delaware State University with a M.S. in Natural Resources with a focus on Fisheries Biology. His thesis was titled “Trophic ecology of juvenile Weakfish (Cynoscion regalis) from the Delaware Bay using stomach content and stable isotope analyses”. He is currently writing a manuscript for publication in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society with the work presented in his thesis. He represented Humboldt State Fisheries Biology Department by having the best thesis defense in the Delaware State University Natural Resources Graduate Program according to multiple people, including a Delaware State fish biologist and the department chair of his program.

Marshall Jett, Natural Resources , 1989

March 27, 2019

Marshall Jett, Natural Resources, 1989, has been living in Washington since leaving Humboldt’s grad program in Biology in 1993. He worked as a park ranger for Olympic National Park and many other parks for years and was a science instructor at Catalina Island Marine Institute. In 2001, Marshall began teaching (K-8 elementary school) in Seattle after graduating with a teaching certificate from Western Washington University. His passion for cooking finally won over - and Marshall founded Veraci Pizza, Inc. in 2004. Marshall now has three busy Italian restaurants and a mobile catering department. He lives with his teenage daughter Olivia in Tacoma, Washington and is an avid sailor, gardener, and musician.

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