Forever Humboldt

Alumni Updates

Christopher Andriessen, Politics , 2007

December 12, 2019

Utilizing a decade’s worth of private sector experience, Andriessen recently joined Caltrans in its District 9 office as its new Maintenance Public Information Officer. The move follows two years of working for the California Department of Insurance in San Francisco.

Mike Santuccio, Other- Forest Resource Management, 1983

December 8, 2019

Santuccio retired from CAL FIRE after about 30 years of public service. Santuccio began his career as a Seasonal Firefighter while a student at HSU and rose through the ranks to Deputy Chief at retirement. He is a Registered Professional Forester and currently works part time as a consulting forester. He met his wife, Lora while at HSU and they return to Humboldt County as often as they can where it all began. Two of their three children are also HSU grads.

Cynthia (Cindy) D. Scheinert, Other- B.A. Spanish in '79; B.A. English in '80, 1979, 1980

December 7, 2019

Scheinert recently retired from teaching in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1980, her first year teaching, she taught 7th and 10th grade English but quickly transitioned to a split of English and Spanish. In the late 80s, she began working on an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College and spent three summers on the VT campus. Scheinert says she was fortunate to be awarded a semester sabbatical to finish her M.A. in Madrid. After teaching Spanish for another decade, she felt the itch to do something new, so she moved to 5th grade language arts, where she remained until retirement. Reflecting on her 39-year career, she said “I am so very grateful to my English and Spanish profs at HSU, especially, Tom Gage, professor and mentor. Mahalo nui loa to you all!”

Arthur Grusensky, Music , 1978

November 22, 2019

Grusensky headed immediately after graduation to the University of Bologna in Italy where he earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and studied at Conservatorio di Musica G.B. Martini in flute. He subsequently became licensed in Ohio, Massachusetts, Utah, Colorado and California. A dedicated athlete he started and ran a small animal hospital in Moab for nine years - mountain biking, hiking, skiing, and kayaking during his time there. Ultimately returning to Hermosa Beach, California he specialized in high speed spay & neuter, studied Filipino martial arts(escrima) and became a world traveller going to exotic locations to trek such as Nepal, the Tibetan plateau(zanskar and Ladakh), bike tour the Karakoram Highway in northeast Pakistan and cross the Himalayas at 13,400 feet outside Manali.

Devin Theobald, Politics , 2004

November 20, 2019

Theobald is employed by the County of Humboldt Public Works Department, Environmental Services Division.

Garrett John Costello, Environmental Science & Management , 2014

November 17, 2019

Over the last two years Costello and his wife (fellow alumni) got married and started an environmental consulting business. As the business has grown they have turned their attention to constructing low-tech beaver dam analogs to help restore critical stream and meadow ecosystems. This year Symbiotic Restoration installed over 100 beaver dams across north-eastern California. As the business expands they hope to be able to employ and incorporate Humboldt State students in to these programs. Their current plans include looking for land so that they can move back to Humboldt County and build their home back where their journey began.

Thomas Cappiello, Fisheries Biology , 1986

November 11, 2019

Cappiello has retired from Alaska Department of Fish and Game after 21 years of service. Cappiello has been working in fisheries in Alaska for over 30 years. He still lives in Alaska and says he probably won’t leave. Cappiello is a steering committee member of the Matanuska Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership, president of the MatSu Birders Club, and home baker of Artisan sourdough breads and pizza.

Jim Hervey, Other- Speech Communication, 1977

November 4, 2019

Hervey passed in January 2019.  He often said “Every day is a gift”.  While at HSU, Jim met his wife, Linda Upson.  Over a decade later after earning his MBA at the University of San Diego he proposed on Valentine’s Day.  They lived in Sunnyvale and Menlo Park prior to his return to San Diego.  He then studied to become a tax accountant.  As an IRS registered tax preparer he used his skills at the Ward & Thorn Law Firm.  Jim was an avid body surfer, swimmer, and outdoors enthusiast.  Those skills served him well as a leader in Boy Scouts of America Troop 500.  He remained active in Troop 500 even after his only child, David, went off to college.

Sylvia Lynn van Royen, Environmental Science & Management Ecological Restoration Emphasis, minor in GIS, 2019

October 31, 2019

After graduating from HSU van Royen was hired by the Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources based out of Orleans, California. The Tribe’s DNR has ground breaking management goals that she feels honored and blessed to be learning from. Van Royen was originally hired to supervise the summer youth crew working on manual fuels reduction units, but is now working as a GIS Technician making maps and other spatially-oriented technology to support field crews.

Vanessa Vrtiak, Sociology , 2017

October 30, 2019

Vrtiak recently gave a Ted Talk about her life, and would like to share it with the Humboldt State Family. “Thank you for being there for me and helping me shape the woman I am today. I’m so grateful I was able to go to a University with people that truly believe in their students and champion their success.” Watch the Ted Talk here: