Alumni Updates

Find classmates by name, major, or year of graduation

Cynthia Chaney , Social Work, 1980

Submitted: August 10, 2023

Cynthia loved her two years at Humboldt, where she made a lifetime friend and teases her about being a "Humboldt Honey." Cynthia graduated with a bachelor's in Social Work and went on to get a master's in Social Work from the University of Hawaii in 1993. She lived in Hawaii for 25 years and never wanted to leave. In 2013, Cynthia moved to Arizona to care for her elderly mother. She would love to catch up with her former classmates.

Rick Williams, Wildlife, 1977

Submitted: August 10, 2023

Ricky retired in 2022 after a 45-year career as a wildlife biologist that began with waterfowl research for CDFG and USFWS, including a memorable stint chasing then-endangered Aleutian Canada Geese across their California wintering grounds. From 1980-2022, he worked as a terrestrial biologist and program manager in the private sector, primarily focused on water and energy projects in California and other western states. He credits the late Humboldt professors, Drs. Stan (Doc) Harris and Charles F. (Chuck) Yocum for guiding him into career-long service with The Wildlife Society-Western Section, including terms as President and Representative to the TWS National Council.

Dennis Ray Kogl, Fisheries Biology, 1962

Submitted: August 10, 2023

Dennis received his Master of Science in Fisheries Biology from the University of Alaska in 1965. He worked at various jobs with the state in Sport Fish Division in Fairbanks, Alaska, got married, and decided that he was ambivalent about the program in Fairbanks with the state and gravitated to the Denali National Park area, where he started a family and worked seasonally with the National Park Service. After many years, Dennis left the dog driving business and worked full-time with NPS running their Water and Wastewater Systems. He retired in 2004 and stayed in the area.

Richard Sayre, Biological Sciences, 1974

Submitted: August 10, 2023

Dr. Richard Sayre is a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer for Mercury Bio Inc. ( based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mercury Bio Inc. focuses on the targeted delivery of therapeutic RNAs and small molecular weight drugs to human cells to address various viral and genetic diseases. Dr. Sayre recently introduced Mercury Bio's platform drug delivery technology to the pharmaceutical industry at Boston's third mRNA-Based Therapeutics Summit.

Dafna Golden, Geography, 1997

Submitted: August 10, 2023

After a successful 23-year career as a Geography Professor at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, Dafna is fulfilling a long-time dream and moving to Israel with her husband and two boys. She credits her education in Geography at Humboldt with preparing her to become a teacher and advises many of her students to consider Cal Poly Humboldt themselves. She completed her master's degree at CSULA with an emphasis on Geographic Information Systems and has created a successful GIS program at Mt. Sac. She hopes to apply her GIS expertise in Israel to help manage the natural resources there.

Greg Williams, Environmental Resources Engineering, 1980

Submitted: August 5, 2023

Greg is the former co-owner of a Humboldt County solar design and build company. His son is also a Humboldt graduate. Greg and his family migrated to the western Washington area where Greg is a Senior Solar Design Consultant, NABCEP certified, and an active pilot flying aerobatics and shares his aviation skills with the next generation. Currently, Greg is working on a team building an Electric motor glider for pilot training. He was recently awarded the FAA 50-year Master Pilot award.  

Jenny Werthman, Politics, 2017, 2020

Submitted: July 31, 2023

After earning her degree in Political Science and credential in Social Science for Secondary Education, Jenny has taught high school history (mostly juniors and seniors) since 2021. She is entering her third year of teaching. She lives in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and teaches in the inner city of San Bernardino for mostly at-risk youth. She loves helping kids and teaching them about the real world. She uses everything she learned in Humboldt in her classroom and is forever grateful! She is now married with two young kids! 

Marie (Laurey) McHaffie, History, 1996

Submitted: July 6, 2023

Marie never thought she would be living in Arkansas, but there she is in a truly beautiful state. Marie teaches English, Journalism, Yearbook, and Theatre in a small rural school. She earned her MA in English in 2017 and is entering her 19th year of teaching. She's also studying art, too, and loves it! She carries a piece of Humboldt with her in my heart. Marie appreciates all the trees and waterfalls out there. She hopes she can get back to campus for a visit someday. 

Joel Heng Hartse, English, 2007

Submitted: June 29, 2023

Joel Heng Hartse is a Senior Lecturer at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. His latest book is A Very Brief Guide to Reading & Writing in University.

Leah Rankin, Psychology, 2018

Submitted: May 24, 2023

Leah started at Humboldt as a single mom juggling homelife, work, and school. They obtained a job in the behavioral health field and learned quickly that supporting individuals living with co-occurring disorders was their calling. They've been providing services in the field for ten years and have worked up to becoming the Program Administrator at a Social Rehabilitation Program that prepares our persons served for community reintegration. Leah encourages people to continue to follow their passions and dreams, to stay focused on what they wish to accomplish, and to remember it's never too late to get started.