Forever Humboldt

Alumni Updates

Marie McHaffie (Laurey), History, 1996

Submitted: November 2, 2022

Marie McHaffie ('96, History) is currently teaching in Mulberry, Arkansas. She received a Master's in English from National University and now works as an English, Journalism, and Theatre teacher, as well as a Social Media Administrator and FACE Facilitator. She created a reading incentive program and has 18 years of working in education. She now has two kids, two dogs, and two cats, and is still a lover of history, reading, and nature. McHaffie claims Arkansas is as green as Humboldt but super hot in the summer. 

Barbara Klessig, Anthropology, 2007

Submitted: October 29, 2022

Barbara Klessig ('07, Anthropology, '00, M.A. Environment & Community Program) worked with Solano Archaeological Services and is currently a lecturer at Cal Poly Humboldt and an Archaeology Research Assistant with the Cultural Resource Facility (CRF). During her undergrad, she specialized in Archaeology, and her thesis for her M.A. is titled "Textile Production Tools from Viking Age Graves in Gotland, Sweden."

Ann Simas, English, 1971

Submitted: October 24, 2022

Humboldt graduate and former Eureka resident Ann Simas (’71, Special Major, B.A., Business/English) announces the release of her latest book, Last Rites, number six in her Andi Comstock Supernatural Mysteries. Other titles in the series are Holy SmokePenitenceAngel BabiesHellfire, and The Wrong Wicca.  For more information about Ann Simas, go to or email She can also be found on Facebook at Ann Simas, Author

Alyson Hunter, Geography, 1993

Submitted: October 4, 2022

Alyson Hunter ('94, Geography, Social Science Education) is currently working as a Senior Planner for the City of Marina in the beautiful Monterey Bay area, ancestral lands of the Esselen peoples. She can't wait to move back to Humboldt in a couple of years!

Brian Benfer, Art, 2000

Submitted: September 28, 2022

Brian Benfer ('00, Studio Art) was named a Fulbright Scholar and Associate Professor of Art at the Art Academy of Latvia. His research revisits the history of the exchange program between the Art Academy of Latvia and Cal Poly Humboldt, one facilitated by the late Latvian-American Sculpture Professor, Maris Benson. Living in Riga, Latvia during the invasion of Ukraine, he also co-authored a publication with Dr. Courtney Queen on the impact of the occupation on the local community.   

Thana Brunges, Nursing, 1972

Submitted: September 23, 2022

Thana Brunges ('72, Nursing) graduated from Mendocino College in 1976 with a degree in Liberal Studies, Santa Rosa Junior College in 1978 with a degree in Registered Nursing, and Sonoma State University in 1987 with a BS in Nursing and PHN in Public Health Nursing.

Michael Barnes, Communication, 2017

Submitted: September 23, 2022

Michael Barnes ('17, Communication)  claims it's been a whirlwind since he graduated from Humboldt! Since his formative years as an undergrad studying under the great minds of Joshua Frye, Maxwell Schnurer, Armeda Reitzel, Scott Payton, and Leslie Rossman (now at the University of Denver), he continued to earn a master's degree in Communication from San Diego State University. He is now working toward a Ph.D. in Communication at Ohio University, where he is studying Interpersonal and Organizational Communication from various methodological perspectives. He cannot thank the faculty at Humboldt enough for believing in him and pushing him to go beyond!   

Ronald C. Holcomb, Journalism, 1976

Submitted: September 22, 2022

After a 40-year career working for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Washington State Department of Ecology, Ron Holcomb ('76, Journalism, Natural Resources, Biology) wrote a book about his role in protecting the environment. "Constant Chaos - The Daily Battle to Protect the Environment" describes the life of a spill responder that at times is chaotic, difficult, and dangerous, and documents some of the most significant environmental disasters in Washington state. The book is available at: Constant Chaos by Author Ron Holcomb | Gorham Printing    

Jenna MacFarlane, Art, 2002

Submitted: September 12, 2022

Jenna MacFarlane ('02, Studio Art) moved to the east coast in 2005 and since that time has owned a marketing company. In early 2022, she published her first novel entitled "Hardware Stories," and has since released an award-winning feature called "Adopting Audrey" nationwide.

Timothy E. Blewett, Fisheries Biology, 1966

Submitted: September 7, 2022

After 21.5 years in the Air Force, Sally and Timothy Blewett ('66, Fisheries) retired to Little Rock, AR where Timothy spent the next 31 years as a safety and risk control consultant. His wife Sally spent 30 years as a travel consultant. When he left Humboldt, he had visited only one foreign country and has since visited 42. Humboldt meant a lot to him, and much of his seven novels reference Humboldt. He claims he was not a good student but managed to get an MS in Environmental Management from UTSA and is now retired.