Alumni Updates

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 ('93, 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.

Stacey Powells, Theatre, 1982

Submitted: September 7, 2022

Stacey Powells ('82, Theatre Arts) has published her first book, Empty Cupboards. It's a book of personal essays and an "analysis of the breakdown of a commonsensical, menopausing Leo, living in high altitude where oxygen is scant." The book shot up to #1 on the Amazon Mid-Life Essays category when it launched in September of 2022 and is still in the Top 10. Some of the stories have to do with her time at Humboldt, which was a very important time for her.       

Brandon Chapin, Politics, 2010

Submitted: August 31, 2022

Brandon Chapin ('10, Politics) was appointed as Legislative and Policy Advisor at the Delta Stewardship Council by Governor Newsom on July 1, 2022. He is responsible for maintaining the Council’s relationship with the State legislature and working on other special projects related to the implementation of the state's Delta Plan.