Humanities & Fine Arts

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Mary Rolland

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Art, Class of 1967
Honor Year: 2014

Mary Rolland’s self-determination began in Chico at the early age of eight years old. She bravely took off her water wings at the One Mile swimming pool and started to swim. Rolland attended Chico State as an art major, and was a member of Cardinal Key National Honor Society. Following graduation in 1967, Rolland won a contest for a pair of Head Skis, which sent her to Sun Valley, Idaho, to learn how to use them. She painted in Sun Valley for 11 years, before moving to New York City in 1980. Determined to stay in New York, Rolland purchased a loft in SoHo, set up a painting studio, and entered the art scene with a distinct but different approach: private studio visits, which provided enough income to support her painting. Rolland is forever grateful for the leadership of the art department at Chico State, especially Ken Morrow. She has recently established the Mary K. Rolland Scholarship Endowment Fund for Fine Arts at Chico State.

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Kelli Chipponeri

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA English, Class of 1998
Honor Year: 2013

Current Position:
Executive Editor, Chronicle Books

Kelli Chipponeri started her career as an assistant editor at Simon & Schuster. She then moved to a senior editor position at Penguin, where she edited series, chapter, and novelty books. She took a brief break to teach high school English in Sacramento, which taught her how teens think, read, and interact with fiction, nonfiction, art, music, and poetry. Chipponeri then moved to Philadelphia as the editorial director at Running Press Kids, where she edited two New York Times best-selling books. She is currently the executive editor in the Children's Group at Chronicle Books. She has also served as juror for the Women’s National Book Association Pannell Award.

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Victoria McArthur

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA English, Class of 1972
Honor Year: 2012

The former mayor for the City of Redding, Victoria “Missy” McArthur has extensive experience in volunteerism. In addition to being elected to the Redding City Council, Shasta County voters have also voted her to the Shasta College Board of Trustees. From Redding Rotary to the Methamphetamine Task Force, McArthur has proven herself to be a “go to” person for getting things done in the community. She currently sits on the University Advisory Board for CSU, Chico, and frequently lends her talents to helping the University accomplish its goals. McArthur is co-owner of the Redding Heat, a minor league football team, and has been honored with the Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa Woman of the Year Award. As a community volunteer/activist, she’s helped many non-profits achieve their goals and helped create long-lasting benefits for the Redding area. She has enjoyed a life of teaching, medicine, small business, and property acquisition.

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Patrick W. Bultema

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Religious Studies, Class of 1981
Honor Year: 2011

Patrick Bultema is recognized as an industry and company maker. He has served as an executive, investor, board member, and advisor to tens of venture-financed startups. He was most recently a venture partner with vSpring Capital. He was previously CEO of XAware and of FrontRange Solutions, a global CRM software company. He was founder and executive chairman of Knowlix, as well as chairman/general manager of the Help Desk Institute, then a Ziff-Davis company. A noted author and speaker, Bultema is recognized as one of the leading experts in the customer management industry. He was founding executive editor of Customer Support Management Magazine, and has been an industry maker in the customer relationship management space. In addition to his degree from Chico State, Bultema holds a master's in divinity from Princeton. Bultema and his wife have seven children, including three children adopted from China. He credits his time at Chico with helping him learn to learn, understand people and communicate. A common theme in his diverse professional career has been bringing technology and customer experience together in ways that make both successful.

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Timothy A. McDonald

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Music, Class of 1988
Honor Year: 2010

Tim McDonald is going to make the world a better place through musical theatre. A respected playwright, director, and educator, in 2006 Tim founded iTheatrics to help students in communities across the nation experience the transformative power of the arts. The company’s innovative products have earned it a distinguished list of clients, including Jim Henson Company and Disney Theatricals. His production, A Year With Frog & Toad, was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and was performed in Chico in winter 2010 as part of its nationwide tour. Tim is also beloved in the North State as one of the founders in the 1990's of the popular Chico City Light Opera.

McDonald launched the nationwide Make-A-Musical initiative with NBC and Lowe’s to build sustainable musical-theater programs in under-served schools. The musical he wrote based on Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach will open at Seattle Children’s Theater on Nov. 19, 2013, and he is finishing his novel for young adults titled Johnny Sees Ghosts.

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Joseph M. Hilbe

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Philosophy, Class of 1968
Honor Year: 2009

In addition to his role as solar system ambassador, Dr. Joseph Hilbe is an emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Hawaii and an adjunct professor of statistics at Arizona State University. He is an elected fellow of both the American Statistical Association and the Royal Statistical Society, and an elected member (fellow) of the prestigious International Statistical Institute (ISI). Hilbe currently chairs both the ISI Sports Statistics committee and the Astrostatistics Interest Group. Hilbe has authored numerous books in statistical modeling, including several that are the top-selling texts in their areas of statistics worldwide. Also an author of a number of philosophy books and publications, Hilbe additionally serves on the editorial boards of five academic journals. He is also a 2007 inductee into the Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame. Hilbe is the only Distinguished Alumnus who was also inducted into the Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame. As reported in 2013, Hilbe has lost 92 pounds since he was honored as a 2009 Distinguished Alumnus!

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Olena B. Lacy

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA English, Class of 1974
Honor Year: 2008

Olena Lacy serves as trustee to the Independent Health Care Trust for UAW Retirees of General Motors Corporation, and serves on the board of Financial Engines, an investment advice and management firm providing services to employees in 401(k) plans from over 900 corporate clients. She was assistant secretary of the Employee Benefits Security Administration in the United States Department of Labor, a Presidential appointment, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and she was the chief deputy state treasurer in the California State Treasurer’s Office. A National Merit Scholar and Summa cum Laude graduate from Chico, Lacy earned her MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

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Leonardo Perez Duarte

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Music, Class of 1995
Honor Year: 2007

Leonardo Perez Duarte is a longtime Chico resident and is well-known locally and nationally as a music educator and composer. He was a high school music teacher for 38 years, 30 of which were at Chico High School where he directed the orchestra, choirs, and bands. He has been the recipient of the Music Educators of the Year award from the California Music Educators Association and the Band Director of the Year award from the Northern California Band Directors Association. He has published several books on music education, and his published musical compositions include works for band, choir, and orchestra that are performed throughout the United States.

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Johnny Lancaster

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA English, Class of 1994
Honor Year: 2006

Johnny Lancaster is a professional voice over artist represented by Don Buchwald and Associates, a talent organization for the entertaining and advertising world. Lancaster’s voice has been heard in commercials for Pepsi, Pringles, Volkswagen, Hershey’s, and Folgers. He does the promos for Nickelodeon, MTV and Discovery Health. He has also hosted the ESPN show The Life, and produced an off-off Broadway show, Cinema, that used many CSU, Chico actors to recreate scenes from critically acclaimed movies. Lancaster received his masters in Fine Arts from the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University, and spends his free time playing and coaching softball. He also plays in a band and remains a die-hard fan of both the San Diego Chargers and Padres, which he credits "with teaching me how to suffer, a worthwhile attribute for an actor."

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Jackie Headley *

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Art, Class of 1973
Honor Year: 2005

Jackie Headley began her career as an entrepreneur at the ripe old age of 12 when she sold her handmade paper-mâché earrings. Following graduation, she spent a year teaching at a bilingual school in Mazatlan, Mexico. She returned to Chico and founded Woof & Poof Pillows in her home. Starting in 1975, with just six pillow designs, Woof & Poof now adds 120 new designs per year to their product assortment. In addition to her work, Headley also serves on the City of Chico Architectural Review Board, the Chico Heritage Board, and the Chico General Plan Task Force. She has been named the Soroptomist Business Woman of the Year.

* = Deceased

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Peggy Newfield

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA History and Italian, Class of 1977
Honor Year: 2004

Peggy Newfield has focused her company on providing educational journeys for people who are fascinated with Latin America. After graduating in 1977, Newfield worked for a variety of travel companies, moving from retail to destination and then to adventure travel, all while squeezing in as many trips as she could. While working for Mountain Travels-Sobek, she began to dream of a company that would draw on her loves – “living” history, language, culture, art, and archaeology. The result is Latin American Escapes, a company that focuses on educational, sustainable tourism and incorporates cultural experiences by relying on local companies in each country. Newfield has recently relocated her company to Chico and is active in many ecotourism groups.

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John Pugh

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Art, Class of 1983
Honor Year: 2003

John Pugh is considered to be one of the top tromp l’oeil muralists in the world and has been featured in Time magazine. Examples of Pugh’s work are seen in buildings throughout California including the landmark crumbling wall façade painted on Alva P. Taylor Hall on the CSU, Chico campus. The lifelike features in Pugh’s murals have been designed to “fool the eye” (the translation from the French tromp l’oeil), and people have admitted to attempting to strike up conversations with the human depictions in his work. Pugh has upcoming projects, commissioned in Syracuse, New York; Boise, Idaho; Miami, Florida; Anchorage, Alaska; and the Berryessa Community Center in San Jose, California.

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Amanda Detmer

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Theater Arts, Class of 1995
Honor Year: 2002

Amanda Detmer made her professional acting debut in the made-for-television movie Stolen Innocence, filmed in Chico, in 1995. Detmer went on finish her BA at CSU, Chico and to get her master of fine arts degree from NYU, in 1998. Detmer has since appeared on the big screen in Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), Final Destination (2000), Boys and Girls (2000), Saving Silverman (2001), and The Majestic (2001) with Jim Carrey. Detmer also has a starring role in this year’s Big Fat Liar. Detmer has done both television and stage work in addition to films, and recently starred in a stage production of Amadeus at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Matt Olmstead

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA English and Journalism, Class of 1988
Honor Year: 2001

Matt Olmstead drove to Hollywood following graduation and started from scratch. After four years he sold his first film script--which was never made into a movie. Olmstead admits he had “poor to moderate” results in film writing with a writing partner before he sold a solo sample script for television. He was hired by Steven Bochco in 1997 to write a script for Brooklyn South, and after writing three more episodes, moved to NYPD Blue as a staff writer.

Olmsted is currently executive producer on the NBC drama Chicago Fire. He is married to Dawn Parouse Olmstead, and they have a blended family with five wonderful children: Aidan, Declan, Wesley, Sylvie, and Shylah. His parents retired in Chico, and he loves coming back up here a couple times a year. 

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William J. Lyons, Jr.

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BS History, Class of 1973
Honor Year: 2000

William “Bill” J. Lyons, Jr., California Department of Food and Agriculture secretary, comes from a family with a long history in California production agriculture. The family ranch has been in operation near Modesto for more than 75 years, and Lyons has spent a good portion of his life dedicated to the family business. Governor Gray Davis appointed Lyons to his current position in 1999. As secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Lyons provides leadership to the CDFA for the development and implementation of sound agricultural policy for California’s $26.8 billion agricultural industry. Lyons graduated from Chico State with a BS in history in 1973 and received his secondary teaching credential in 1974. While a student, he received the CSU, Chico Award of Outstanding Service in 1972, 1973, and 1974. Lyons has served at the chair of USDA’s Farm Service Agency State Committee, and he was also appointed by the Stanislaus Country Board of Supervisors to serve from 1996 to 1998 as director of the East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District. In 1998 Lyons received the United States Department of Agriculture Certificate of Appreciation. Since 1978, Lyons has been elected to serve on a number of agriculture related boards and commissions, including the California Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors, the Modesto Irrigation District Board of Directors, and the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau Board of Directors.

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Marilyn Warrens

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Fine Arts, Class of 1975
Honor Year: 1999

Marilyn Warrens is a local businesswoman, community activist, and longtime patron of the arts in Chico and at CSU, Chico. Well known for her tireless efforts on behalf of the arts, Warrens endowed the Harlen Adams Scholarship in 1974, served as chair of the Laxson Auditorium renovation campaign, and led the 30th Anniversary Committee for Court Theater in 1996. In 1998 she established the Marilyn Warrens Musical Theater Scholarship and provided underwriting for three operettas over a six-year period. A native Texan, Warrens moved with her husband, Ed, to California in 1955, eventually settling in Chico. She graduated with a degree in fine arts from CSU, Chico in 1975. Warrens has participated in many local committees and functions and was honored with the Chico Rotary Club’s coveted Community Service Award in 1978. In 1969, for the 100th anniversary of the Bidwell Mansion, she organized Fiesta Rancho Chico as well as Las Senoras, a group that acts as official hostesses of Chico, raising money for the upkeep of Bidwell Mansion. She also chaired the Refurbishing of Laxon Auditorium Committee. She was president of the California Medical Association Alliance (formerly Auxiliary) and the Bicentennial Committee, which started the tradition of fireworks on the 4th of July in 1976. Warrens originated the Decorator’s Dream House for the Butte Glenn Medical Alliance in 1977 and has chaired two additional Dream Houses.

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Richard Ostlund

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Theater Arts/Drama, Class of 1974
Honor Year: 1998

Richard Ostlund received a BA in theater arts/drama from CSU, Chico in 1974. He is currently the director of development for Michael Lee Productions at the CBS Television Network in Hollywood where he looks for new talent and projects to produce as movies and series for television.

Ostlund has performed in the musicals Hello Dolly, The Pajama Game, The Wizard of OZ, and West Side Story. He has been on several television shows, including Days of Our Lives, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, and Perfect Strangers. He has worked as an agent representing basketball star A.C. Green and many other celebrities.

In 1996 Ostlund developed and produced from an original idea the Lifetime Event Movie Color Me Perfect, a story which he describes as a cross between a modern day Frankenstein and My Fair Lady, in which a woman is subject of a radical DNA therapy experiment. Color Me Perfect won the 1997 Christopher Society’s Award which honors “works of art which affirm the highest values of the human spirit.”

Ostlund’s professional affiliations include SAG, AFTRA, EQUITY, and the Academy of Radio and Television Arts and Sciences.

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William Morris

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
Honor Year: 1997

Artist William Morris, a star in the Department of Art in the mid-1970's, is a world-class glass blower, teacher, and lecturer- and the subject of nearly 100 publications, from newspaper stories, airline magazine articles, and features in such magazines as Smithsonian, Glass Art Magazine, American Craft Magazine, and Town and Country to books written specifically about him. He received an Individual Artist Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1994. Solo exhibitions of his work have appeared in galleries worldwide including the Glass Art Gallery in Toronto. He has exhibited his glass in group exhibitions as well, delighting audiences in France, Japan, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Canada, and Germany and at dozens of galleries throughout the United States. He enjoys bow-hunting, motorcycle riding, and mountain climbing.

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Carolyn S. Shoemaker

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA History, Class of 1949
MA Social Sciences, Class of 1950
Honor Year: 1996

Carolyn Spellman Shoemaker is the leading comet-discoverer of the twentieth century. She has achieved worldwide recognition in her field as a planetary astronomer with the discovery of 32 comets, more than twice as many as any other woman in the history of astronomy. She has been a visiting scientist at the Branch of Astrogeology at the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona, since 1980. Shoemaker received an honorary Doctorate of Science from Northern Arizona University, where she is now a research professor of astronomy. She is also a staff member at Lowell Observatory. From 1981 through 1985 Shoemaker was a research assistant at California Institute of Technology. She has developed efficient stereoscopic and photographic techniques for use with the 46-cm Schmidt telescope at Palomar Observatory that have greatly facilitated the fast-moving asteroids. In addition to her well-known discovery (with husband, Eugene, and David Levy) of the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which collided with Jupiter in July 1994, the Shoemakers have discovered more than 800 asteroids, the largest more than 125 km in diameter. Dr. Carolyn S. Shoemaker has received honors, including the Scientist of the Year by the ARCS Foundation and the 20th Anniversary International Women’s Year Award, Zonta International, and The Ninety-Nines.

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Jacquelyn Giuffré

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Art, Class of 1973
Honor Year: 1995

Jacquelyn Giuffré started her artistic career as an illustrator of textbooks and now is a freelance designer and sculptor. Her work can be found at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in the self guided Tree Finder as well as at the Tournament of Roses Parade. She contributed to the 1993 grand prize-winning float for Transamerica Corporation. She is a regular manager and designer for the San Francisco County Fair Flower Show. Her massive bas-relief of the State of California seal is mounted on top of the California Public Utilities Commission building in San Francisco’s Civic Center, and her co-designed carved model of wheat and grapes in the city of San Jose’s logo is suspended above the entrance to the San Jose Arena. She was hired by Disney’s Epcot Center to mold famous cartoon characters out of foam, overlaid with gold leaf, for its casting center. Ms. Giuffré’s studio is a converted barn on a former dairy ranch in Petaluma.

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Cathleen Micheaels

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA English, Class of 1982
Honor Year: 1994

Ms. Micheaels studied at the University of Iowa Writers Workshop where she did clinical training of children of alcoholics and was trained to deliver innovative writing projects to schools, psychiatric hospitals, criminal justice facilities, drug rehabilitation centers, and community-based organizations in the New York City area. She was an educational consultant serving teenagers for the San Francisco mayor’s office. She has been Project YES (Youth Engaged in Service) manager since 1992. At Oakland public schools, the project gathers hundreds of students to do community service while providing them with a framework for learning traditional school subjects.

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Distinguished Alumni

Current Year: 2014
21st Distinguished Alumni

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First Year: 1994
1st Distinguished Alumni

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