Alumni Updates

Albert Bernales, Business Administration, 2018

Submitted: January 5, 2023

Albert Bernales ('18, Business) is among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020. The Peace Corps suspended global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. "My professors shared their experiences as Peace Corps volunteers during their lectures and it seemed very impactful on their own personal and professional development,” said Bernales. "As a business volunteer, I hope to share an entrepreneur's mindset with community members in Fiji and hopefully get them excited about business.”

Frankie Baker, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies, 2011

Submitted: December 26, 2022

After graduating, Frankie Baker opened a NY Style Bakery, serving the local community up until selling it in 2022. The skills, community, and support that were gained while earning their degree, combined with life experience and being an entrepreneur, have brought Baker to their next journey/career in the mental health/social work field. They now work as a Youth Prevention Specialist in School-Based Wellness Centers at various school sites within Humboldt County. They will forever be grateful to the CRGS program for providing them with a solid foundation as they continue serving their community. 

Mark Castro, Anthropology, 2010

Submitted: December 13, 2022

Castro ('10, Anthropology) is a Co-Director of the Cultural Resources Facility at Cal Poly Humboldt and has been with the organization for 5 years. Castro has a holistic work experience through his time with multiple agencies including the BLM working on museum collections and archaeological field surveys, the Eldorado National Forest as a field technician, and the Northwest Information Center (Sonoma State University).  He received his Master's in Cultural Resources Management at Sonoma State, is a Board Member of the Humboldt County Historical Society, and is the Co-Lead for the Pride (LGBTQ+) Taskforce for Coalition for Diversity in California Archaeology.   

Mara Cole (Moore), History, 1982

Submitted: December 9, 2022

Mara Cole ('82, History, Social Science) serves on the board for Pass The Word Ministries in Monterey, California. Their purpose is to provide for the needs of our underserved and unsheltered individuals and families in the community. She is now also a consultant for Hands Up Foundation in Monterey County. She has a leadership role in the Calvary Chapel Fellowship and was an Oral English Professor in 2019 in Tai’an China to 400 nursing students. Cole is a member of a gospel choir, has been married 38 years, and is the mother of two children and grandmother of two.    

Myshelle Charlon , Biological Sciences, 2000

Submitted: December 8, 2022

Myshelle Charlon ('00, Biology, Zoology) is now leaving in the Bay Area with her family. She is working to develop effective, tolerable, and durable treatments to help patients with cancer thrive.

Rebecca Beard, Art, 2001

Submitted: December 1, 2022

Rebecca Beard ('01, Art) is currently on the Privacy Leadership Team at Meta where she focuses on Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Device spaces. She leads a team of global managers who develop privacy practices to protect users' data in the development of the Metaverse. She completed her MBA from SFSU and EMBA from Yale. 

Jay Earl Peterson, Psychology, 1972

Submitted: November 30, 2022

Jay Peterson has been retired for twenty years now and is loving it. He spends most of his time reading and hopes to get more active again once his hips heal and his spinal injuries get better. For the most part, he's been touring the USA on his Gold Wing motorcycle and enjoying his time with his grandchildren.      

Vanessa Crandell, Geology, 2013

Submitted: November 23, 2022

Vanessa Crandell ('13, Geology, Oceanography) earned an M.S. in Geology from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in 2016. She is currently working as an Environmental Geologist in Anchorage, Alaska. Vanessa primarily works on contaminated sites and geological and geotechnical projects. Amazing education and experiences in the field for both geology and oceanography provided her with the skill necessary to pursue a career as an Environmental Geologist. Vanessa would like to thank her professors and advisors - without their support and compassion, completing dual degrees in Geology and Oceanography would have been impossible.

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, '13, M.A. Social Science) 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."