Lily Yassemi chose Computer Science for her major as she has always been naturally STEM/STEAM minded and able to bring attention to problems that other people may not recognize. She hopes to get her Master’s degree and use what she has learned to help make the world a better place. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her dog and going for drives. She is not yet involved in any clubs but thinks that the best part of Cal Poly Humboldt has been being able to explore the variety of classes offered while making new friends.
Cecilia Souza is choosing Zoology as her major because animals have always inspired her. Ever since she was a kid, she’d tell people she wanted to work with them in some form or another, from saying she wanted to be an “animal rescuer,” to a veterinarian, to marine biologist, and now to a zoologist. After graduating from Cal Poly Humboldt, she plans on working in species conservation but is not yet certain what she wants to do specifically. Outside of school, she participates in visual and performing arts, especially choir, band, musical theatre, and drawing. She also likes to take care of her chickens, cats, and dog.
Jay Schoenfield has spent the last three years working full-time in many different industries and will be studying social work as a graduate student at Cal Poly Humboldt. Through working these jobs, Schoenfield has met and spoken with people who work within at-risk communities, and the way in which these jobs impact the world has had a profound effect on him. Positive experiences at his previous internship this last semester have led him to decide to work within the public education system as a school counselor. Working with children is a passion of his and connections with the students come naturally.
Noé Niño is studying History & Cellular-Molecular Biology. He chose these two majors since both of these studies focus on developing research skills. Niño hopes to pursue a career in medicine after his time at Humboldt. He is in his second year as the social media manager for Cal Poly Humboldt’s Pre-Medical Society and posts an array of updates and reminders on behalf of the club to their Instagram page. Outside of school, he loves to read, go outdoors with his two pet huskies, and travel around Humboldt County with friends and family.
Olivia Pelanconi will be studying Environmental Science and Management and hopes to make a positive impact on the environment after earning her degree. She grew up hearing about Humboldt from her mom, who earned her BA from Humboldt State University in the 1990s and is now a high school teacher at Red Bluff High School. Her mom has made Humboldt sound like a safe and fun place with plenty of learning opportunities, and Pelanconi looks forward to her first year here.
Ruby Gustafson will be studying Journalism and hopes to learn the skills necessary to embark on her mission of more virtuous and honest news reporting. She will be aiming to help individuals be able to precisely discern between fact and opinion and to show the world to those who need to see it, in its rawest, most honest form. Gustafson believes it takes an entire community of engaged individuals to help progress the next generation in a direction that is fruitful and sustainable.
Aidan Dugan-Culton is a Spanish Major. Dugan-Culton looks forward to participating in internships and gaining work experience while they study at Cal Poly Humboldt. Both of their parents met and earned their degrees from Humboldt and some of Aidan’s first memories were their parents taking them on walks between the redwoods behind campus. Dugan-Culton is excited to experience Humboldt as their parents did and are grateful to be getting some financial help to do so.
Asia Brunell will be studying Theater Arts because she loves being on stage, working on productions, and helping people who are working on stage. After she graduates, she plans on getting her teaching credential and becoming a Drama and English teacher. She is currently the Vice President of the Drama Club and President of the Key Club. Outside of school she spends a lot of time with family, friends, and at Girl Scouts. She loves to paint and go to stores, or the park with friends.
Lexis Gillette is a junior studying Kinesiology. She chose Kinesiology because she has a passion for understanding the complexity of the human body and wants to learn more about alternative therapies. After graduating Lexis plans to further her education by entering a RN program and eventually a masters program to become a family nurse practitioner. Outside of school, Lexis loves to spend time with her daughter, cook new recipes, paddle board, skate board, and hike.
Cianna Jermanon is a first-generation student and a sophomore studying Business Administration.She chose Business Administration because she wants to start her own small business someday. Cianna balances her time between work and school. She says HSU has helped her find herself and has made her proud of who she is. She says the best part of attending HSU is feeling like she matters.
Alyssa Harford is a freshman studying English. She chose English because she wants to know how to use her words to inspire others and teach others how to use their words for good. Outside of school, Alyssa enjoys practicing her various musical instruments, hiking, surfing, and traveling. She plans on joining the Marching Lumberjacks thisFall. After graduation Alyssa hopes to be a high school English teacher so she can help her students grow academically.
Brodie Lyons is a freshman studying Biology as a pre-medical student. He chose Biology because he loves science. After graduating Brodie plans to go to medical school and become either an anesthesiologist, cardiologist, radiologist, or orthopedic surgeon. During the summer Brodie works for the City of Arcata as a counselor for their summer camps. At Arcata High School Brodie was a member of the National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society, and a new club about medicine.
Janelle Chojnacki is working on her master’s degree in Natural Resources and is passionate about conservation and understanding wildlife interactions and movement. She is the vice president of HSU’s Wildlife Graduate Student Society as well as the California North Coast chapter of the Wildlife Society and the Redwood Region Audubon Society. Outside of school, Janelle plays and coaches soccer and enjoys birding, hiking, whitewater kayaking, and crafting. After graduating from HSU she hopes to start a non-profit wildlife research organization in Humboldt County to continue studying the local wildlife and to collaborate on developing applied conservation solutions to environmental problems.
Valentina Pfeifer is a junior studying Environmental Science & Management. She became enamored with the beauty of the natural surroundings at Humboldt State when her family dropped off her older sister off at HSU. Now she is really enjoying her own professors and classes. Outside of school, she enjoys hooping, hiking, and roller skating.
Riley Williams is a junior studying Kinesiology and hopes to attend medical school, specializing in orthopedic surgery or physical medicine and rehabilitation. During his time as a physical therapy aide, he has seen the positive impact the movement sciences has on improving an individual’s quality of life. Riley is a member of two on-campus clubs, the Pre-Medical Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Outside of school, he enjoys going to the gym, trail running, and reading.
Samantha Doskocz is a junior studying Psychology and hopes to use her degree to help others. Her grandfather graduated from HSU in 1960 and was the first person in her family to go to college. Now Samantha will be the second person in her family to attend college. “Education is a privilege many of us take for granted. Once we have completed our studies and venture out using our achieved knowledge, we have a gift that will enable us to strive for and possibly obtain success and security with our goals,” she says.
Jonah Vevoda-Moore, whose father attended HSU and is the event coordinator for CenterArts, is a freshman studying History. He grew up in Humboldt County and was a member of the German Honor Society at Arcata Elementary School. Jonah became fascinated with World War II history at a young age and this has inspired him to become a high school history teacher. He hopes to impart a love of history on his students. “Being able to pass on knowledge is the greatest gift that one human can bestow on another,” he says. In his free time, Jonah enjoys reading, playing video games, fishing, walking, and biking.
Jasmine Collins is a junior studying Chemistry and plans to become a pediatrician. Her parents, grandparents on her mother’s side, aunts, and uncles are all HSU alumni. Jasmine grew up in Humboldt County and noticed the positive influence the university has had on the surrounding community.
She remembers going to basketball games and thinking how grand the university was. “I hope to see these same positive influences reflected during my time here at Humboldt State. The faculty and staff have shown so much support for me academically and in my efforts for my career goals.”
Jacob Begorre is a senior studying Chemistry and Physics. Both his mother and uncle graduated from HSU and his uncle is a Chemistry Professor at Humboldt State. After graduating from HSU, Jacob hopes to attend graduate school to further his abilities in science and the laboratory. He is specifically interested in the application of atmospheric chemistry and materials science to the long-term impacts of climate change.
“Humboldt State has made me realize that learning new things is what makes you grow as a human. Nothing makes you feel better as a person than to learn something new and exciting, allowing you to apply new knowledge to your daily life.”
Claire Bareilles is a senior studying Environmental Resources Engineering. She is also a student athlete on HSU’s Soccer Team. “It is at times very hard to juggle being a full time engineering student and a student athlete, but as an underrepresented female engineering student I think it is very important to continue to push myself every day to prove that I am just as qualified as my male colleagues, as well as proving that I don’t have to pick between my passion of sports and my future as an engineer,” said Claire.
Claire comes from a long line of HSU alumni going back to three great-grandparents who graduated from Humboldt State in the ‘30s.
Cessair McKinney is a senior majoring in Environmental Science & Management with a concentration in Ecological Restoration. “Studying Ecological Restoration here is providing me with the tools to truly make a difference in the ecosystems around me in my future career,” says McKinney who is also a long distance runner on HSU’s Cross Country team. “To me, Humboldt State University represents a unique opportunity to better myself through academics, athletics, and new experiences. Humboldt State is a very special institution and I am glad to be able to attend it. I have met an amazing community of people here, I have seen beautiful places, and I have grown as a person since moving here.“
Hannah Thesell is a freshman majoring in Sociology. She is excited to attend Humboldt State because she feels HSU shares her values of environmental consciousness and social justice. In high school, Hannah co-founded and served as president of her school’s Human Rights Club. She hopes to use her HSU education to fulfill her dream of serving in the Peace Corps. Hannah’s mother attended HSU and has been bringing her on trips to visit the campus since she was a little girl. Hannah feels these visits greatly contributed to her desire to attend Humboldt State.
Haylee Duey is a sophomore majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. She chose this major because she loves helping people budget their finances and save money. She hopes to go on to earn a Master’s in Business Administration from Humboldt State and become a financial planner. Haylee feels fortunate to grow up in Humboldt County and be able to stay local as she attends HSU. Outside of school Haylee works two part-time jobs and volunteers at the youth program she participated in when she was a child.
Aowyn Crailhardt is a sophomore double majoring in Business Administration and Economics. She believes environmental stewardship and social equity begin with responsible business management and dreams of becoming an entrepreneur who creates projects that are profitable, but also beneficial to the planet and global economy. Humboldt State has been an integral part of Aowyn’s life well before she became a student. As a young child, she went to Humboldt State’s Child Development Center while her mother attended classes at HSU. Aowyn has volunteered with several community service organizations including Food for People, Humboldt Roller Derby, Pastels on the Plaza, and Janes Creek Restoration Project.
Micah Chitraroff is a freshman majoring in Environmental Resources Engineering (ERE) and chose HSU because of the unique and diverse ecosystems that are so different from the ones in Riverside County where he grew up. He is excited about having classes in these environments. Micah hopes earning an ERE degree will help him make a difference in the preservation and rehabilitation of the planet, something that is very important to him. In his spare time Micah enjoys reading and running as well as most outdoor sports and hobbies.
Benicio Benavides-Garb is a freshman majoring in International Studies and playing for HSU men’s soccer team. Benicio is interested in International Studies because of his fascination with the world and its diversity, as well as his desire to improve the quality of life for those within and beyond our human-made borders. He is excited to participate in the residency abroad program, which is a requirement of the International Studies Major. Benicio grew up in Humboldt County and went to McKinleyville High School.
Eli Otto Cutting is starting his freshman year at Humboldt State University and plans to pursue a degree in Wildlife. “I found that Humboldt was one of the few California schools to offer Wildlife, and it’s one of the best programs in the nation.” Eli’s passion for wildlife started young and he has been volunteering at the Sacramento Zoo since he was thirteen years old. This opportunity has allowed him to run activity stations for zoo visitors and lead animal encounters with the zoo’s animal ambassadors.
Wade Ingersoll is a Biology Major entering his senior year. Wade was born and raised in Humboldt County and started his freshman year at HSU when his brother was in his senior year. “Humboldt State has always been a place that felt like home to me, from growing up here, to my childhood friends attending with me, to the faculty being so supportive and helpful.” Wade said he appreciates the time and effort his academic advisor put in to help him decide which degree to pursue.
Katelyn Dendas is starting her freshman year at Humboldt State University and is excited to follow in the footsteps of her mom, dad, aunt, and uncle who all earned degrees from HSU. Katelyn plans to pursue a degree in Environmental Science & Management so she can make a positive impact on governmental policy in regards to preserving the environment. “I plan to learn as much as I can at Humboldt State, so that I can share and use my knowledge to help my community and this planet we call earth.” Katelyn has also been signed to HSU softball and is very excited to be a part of the 2018 team.
Kenneth Michael Davis is a Business Administration major in his sophomore year. He was inspired to pursue this degree at HSU because his father earned the same degree in 1985. Kenneth feels his education at HSU has improved his leadership skills and helped him in the areas of communication, writing, marketing, accounting, computer systems, economics, finance, and management. “Overall HSU has been a wonderful experience for me. I have learned responsibility, compassion, and dedication. I look forward to graduating from Humboldt State University and am proud to call HSU my college.”
Mary Elise Conzelmann has been taking part in HSU’s community offerings since she was a young child. During elementary school, field trips brought her to the biology and history departments and she was a regular visitor to the Van Duzer Theatre and the MultiCultural Center’s Lunar New Year Celebration. As a student in HSU’s recreation administration program, Conzelmann says she is surrounded by people who support her education and she looks forward to giving back to the next generation of students.
Marghalera Komak is following her two older brothers’ as an HSU student studying cellular molecular biology. She wants to focus her career on delivering affordable healthcare to Humboldt County and her ethnic homeland, Afghanistan. Komak credits HSU for providing her with the tools and guidance to develop her passions. She discovered a deep interest in dentistry and hopes to attend dental school after graduating.
As the daughter of two HSU alumni, Caroline Ristuccia came to HSU with stories of ultimate disc and Don’s Donuts. Ristuccia, a first-time freshman in Fall 2017, will join the Wildlife Management and Conservation program. She looks forward to the hands-on learning and classes filled with real-world experiences. A Northern California native, Rustuccia is also eager to take part in the adventures Humboldt State and Arcata have to offer.
Following in the footsteps of her parents, Bonnie Winters is pursuing a bachelor’s of science degree in HSU’s botany program. Winters has a deep appreciation for campus, from the class offerings to the architecture and the even the weather. For her, HSU was the only place during her search for a school that felt like ‘home.’ Winters has completed courses in botany, French, English, speech, and math, and says she can’t wait to work closely with her instructors and classmates as she enters her second year at HSU.
As a student in the International Studies program, Grace Douglass is following her grandmother’s path in becoming part of the HSU community. Through volunteer work with the YES Program and serving with Associated Students, Douglass supports students from the elementary school level to her fellow classmates. She’s also part of the MultiCultural Center and the Learning Center. Recently, she became part of the Associated Students Lobby Corps and is a student ambassador in the Center for International Programs.
Morgan Saveliff makes the most of her time at HSU by taking advantage of all that campus has to offer. She has been a volunteer with the Youth Education Services (YES) Study Buddies program, and she participates in Center Activities’ outdoor offerings. As a Sociology major, Saveliff knows the importance of learning about new cultures and plans to study in Spain this summer with the Spanish language program.
While majoring in Geography and Anthropology, Jacqueline Farrington says Humboldt has become a home, school, and community. She values the unique perspectives her classmates offer and values the support and guidance HSU’s alumni provide.
Chantry Johnson is looking forward following her grandfather’s footsteps by earning a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. As a seventh generation Humboldt County resident, Johnson feels deeply connected to the area. She’s volunteered with Hospice of Humboldt and worked as a certified nursing assistant in local nursing facilities. She’s currently an intern with St. Joseph’s Hospital’s cancer support program. After graduating, Johnson plans on earning a master’s degree in social work, focusing on gerontology.
Shawn Thompson, also the daughter of an HSU alumna, has spent more than a decade involved in the welfare of her community in both public schools and mental health. She is currently at work on a Master’s of Social Work degree.. Thompson is actively involved with Hospice of Humboldt and is developing ways to train grief-support volunteers as her capstone project.
As a social worker, Thompson aims to build on her teaching experience and expand her problem solving skills by working with families to develop secure relationships, supportive environments, and a more resilient community.
Aedan McCluskey, the daughter of an HSU alumna, has loved learning about animals since she was a child. By volunteering at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo and working in a veterinary office, McCluskey pursued her dreams of workingprofessionally with animals even before attending HSU.
At the urging of her mother, who fondly remembers earning her Recreation Administration degree, McCluskey enrolled in HSU's wildlife program. She's also earning a minor in Spanish and hopes to enter a career protecting and conserving wildlife.
After seeing campus on a tour with his aunt—a 1970 sociology grad—nearly five years ago, Tyler Warren has been waiting to transfer to the HSU campus ever since. The Napa-valley native was immediately attracted to the open and accepting campus culture and set his sights on attending HSU after completing three years at a junior college.
Seeking a career that is both rewarding and meaningful, Warren enrolled in HSU’s Elementary Education program. Since then he’s been able to volunteer in a local kindergarten classroom and has joined the Student California Teachers Association.
To enhance his teaching career, Warren plans on becoming fluent in Spanish and hopes to go abroad to teach English after graduating in 2016. Warren also plans on earning a teaching credential at HSU.
Laura Kiewel, a major in Psychology, was moved to return to school and focus on her career after witnessing her uncle complete his degree following a lay off nearly 10 years ago.
Now, Kiewel is poised to enter her senior year with a near-perfect GPA as she works on earning a bachelor’s degree in the Academic Research Developmental psychology program at HSU.
Kiewel supports her academics by working as both a teaching and research lab assistant while maintaining a part time job off campus.
After earning her degree, Kiewel plans on attending a Ph.D. program in Human Development where she’ll research positive interventions in early child trauma.
Jesse Carpentier is the niece of a pair of Humboldt Alumni. She is majoring in Economics while earning a minor in Business. She currently represents the College of Professional Studies in HSU's student government. Carpentier is committed to the success of her fellow students. She works as a academic mentor with the campus's Residential Academic Mentoring Program and as a math tutor in the Learning Center. After graduating, she hopes to earn a teaching credential and teach Economics in high school.
Chetco Jamgochian is a third-generation Humboldt State student. He is pursuing his undergraduate degree in Environmental Resources Engineering and minoring in Appropriate Technology. Jamgochian plans to focus his studies on renewable energy sources and sustainable, self-sufficient systems. His career and academic goals include becoming involved in renewable power production and earning a Master's degree in the process.
Jamgochian is currently a volunteer at the Schatz Energy Resource Center and spends his summers teaching children at summer camps about renewable energies.
Courtney Snyder is an Anthropology major focusing on cross-cultural birthing techniques. In 2010, she studied abroad at the Xi'an International Studies University in China, which helped her earn a minor in Chinese Studies. After graduating, Courtney hopes to become a certified midwife along with earning certification in other areas of perinatal care. Courtney's older sister is an HSU alum.
"It was an early Christmas present getting into Humboldt," said Mark Seymour. A stop on the way between Sacramento and his hometown of Bellingham, Washington around Thanksgiving led to a visit to Humboldt State University, and a very last-minute acceptance letter. "I knew I wanted to be in California and I'd been in Santa Cruz and then in Sacramento, but I wanted to be closer to home," said Mark. "Arcata is so similar to my hometown. Nature and the outdoors are a part of life here." Two years into his undergraduate degree, Mark plans on working with habitat restoration after graduation. "I want to be an integral part in bringing watersheds back nearer to their natural state. Reversing the effects of people and time is doable though it takes enormous effort on many facets," Mark said. A Master's degree may be in his future, but he's decided to have a go at the job market first. "I'm so grateful for it, every little bit helps," Mark said on receiving the scholarship. "After being in a crunch, everything helps."
While Sam Sellers is deeply interested in his major, Computer Information Systems, he looks forward to a career in law enforcement, having graduated at the top of his class in the 109th Police Academy at College of the Redwoods. After earning his degree, Sam hopes to further his law enforcement training and to eventually join the San Diego Drug Task Force in patrolling the California-Mexico border. Sam follows in his mother's footsteps in becoming an HSU alum.
Anna Schneider is a junior earning a bachelor's degree in Studio Art. She holds her self to high academic standards, even while working two jobs. Anna's job with Humboldt Educare Preschool has inspired her to pursue an associate preschool teacher's permit through HSU's Child Development Department. On campus, Anna is involved with Planned Parenthood's VOX club and the HSU Photo Club, having participated in numerous events for both organizations. Her long-term plans include building a strong portfolio of her artwork and continuing her education with a Master of Fine Arts in Photography.
When deciding where to go to college, Humboldt was Hollund's obvious choice, no only because of the beautiful campus and programs, but also because her parents, Dan ('83) and Cathy ('80), have graduated from Humboldt. Hollund struggled through her first semesters in school deciding on her major -- switching three times. She is currently an Environmental Science major with a Ecological Restoration option.
Karen is a Zoology major. She hopes to go on to veterinary school after receiving her bachelors degree. She spends most of her free time playing soccer for HSU. In addition to soccer, Karen enjoys volunteering at the Humboldt County Animal Shelter and the Sunny Brae Animal Clinic. Helping to care for rescued animals has inspired her to learn more and move forward in her career choice.
Jessica has had a unique start at Humboldt with her mother. "I was fortunate enough to actually start HSU with my mom pretty much by my side. We were only able to take one class together, but it made the experience very special." In addition to being a mother, student, working as a tutor and in the Alumni Relations office, Jessica and her husband are planning to become foster parents after graduating at Humboldt State. "I feel that by learning all the aspects and outlooks offered through sociology I will be able to go into foster parenting with more of an open mind and a better understanding of the situations the children are coming from," said Jessica. "This is the first scholarship I've actually applied for and received, so I'm definitely excited. My husband is also going back to school this semester and the money will be greatly appreciated."
"The trees, the coast, the small town atmosphere, and yes, even the weather are all extremely appealing to me," said Brenda Lush about her lure to Humboldt State. "Once I was here, I knew I made the right choice." A transfer student from Santa Rosa, Brenda is planning on graduating this May from Humboldt State with a BS in Kinesiology, Pre-Physical Therapy and a minor in Psychology. In addition to a full-time load, Brenda is also VP of the Kinesiology Club and working in both the Human Performance Lab and Biomechanics Lab on campus as well. "Along with my own research that I am conducting comparing different accuracies of BMI measures, I'm also helping conduct some research with a professor here on gait analysis, along with helping to build an anti-gravity simulator," said Brenda. After graduating, Brenda hopes to continue on to get her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. "I'm so glad and extremely grateful for receiving this scholarship, it's helping me a great deal in finishing up my academic career here at Humboldt State."
"I had no idea what to expect, but I do love the school and I'm proud to be an HSU student," said Brian Lancaster. "It came at a really good time too, when I really needed it. So, I'm definitely excited about having it." Brian plans on joining the Peace Corps after graduating in Spring 2009, then attending graduate school. His mother attended Humboldt State as well. "She has shared with me that Humboldt State provided a wonderfully diverse atmosphere with small classes and personal relationships with many of her professors," said Brian.
Matthew is a Secondary English Education major. Throughout his academic experience certain English teachers have been mentors for him, helping him through the hard periods of life. He is a very dedicated English student and hopes to share his enthusiasm for the subject with high school students. "As a teacher you become one of the most direct conduits of change in a community," says Matthew. Since he began at HSU in 2006, Matt has been fund raising for the Humboldt Loyalty Fund reaching out to a diverse range of alumni all over the country. He has developed a sincere interest in the well being of the University. "I look around at the changes on campus and I'd like to think I have had something to do with them."
Margaret, daughter of Marlo ('91) and Stephen ('91) Bradley, is a Psychology major. She has been a very active member of her school and community, while maintaining excellent grades and a job. Margaret hopes one day to have a career in a field related to psychology and a family to go home to.
Daniel received his bachelor's degree in Sociology in 2010 and is currently working on his Certificate of Study in Geographic Information Systems. Daniel has been a dedicated member of the Y.E.S. House (Youth Educational Services) and even received the President's Volunteer Service Award for his work.
Griffin Bacik claimed to have never been one of those people who were good at everything, but with a few experiences with some inspiring teachers, he found his passion in science. "I was good at it – really good!" said Griffin. Currently a senior at Ukiah High School, Griffin is looking forward to studying biotechnology at Humboldt State, the alma mater of both his parents. "I like the idea of Humboldt as a small college; I think it will be more comfortable. Plus there are such great sciences here," said Griffin. Coming from a supportive family and a friendly town, Griffin says he is a lucky guy. Knowing this, he wants to help those he thinks aren't as lucky as he. "I wish to help those who have suffered devastating injuries, and perhaps, someday even help to prolong human life," said Griffin. "With the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, I believe there is a real need for such research. I hope my luck will be someone else's gain." Receiving this scholarship wasn't all luck, however, and the funds will help Griffin defray the cost of books and tuition. "I'm honored to receive the award and I absolutely appreciate the help."