Alumni Updates

Find classmates by name, major, or year of graduation

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."

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.