2001 - 8th Distinguished Alumni

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James A. Young

College of Agriculture
BS Agronomy, Class of 1960

Dr. James A. Young has spent his entire career with the USDA at the Agricultural Research Service in Reno, NV.  In 1995 he received the USDA’s highest honor, the Superior Service Award from the Secretary of Agriculture. The results of his research in Weed Science have been published in more than 650 publications and in 1999 Young was the only American invited to an international meeting on deserts of the world held at Moscow University. Dr. Young also serves as Adjunct Professor of Range Science at the University of Nevada, Reno, and has been a member of the graduate faculty for 37 years.

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Wayne Wooden

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
BA Social Science, Class of 1965

Dr. Wayne S. Wooden is a national authority on youth culture and has published five books, several of which were nominated for distinguished awards. His most recent publication (2nd edition), Renegade Kids, Suburban Outlaws: From Youth Culture to Delinquency is a study of white, middle class youth in suburbia. His work has also been published in the New York Times, and Psychology Today. In 1995, Wooden was honored as the Cal Poly, Pomona Professor of the Year. Wooden is also regarded as an expert in professional rodeo and has written on women and professional boxing.

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D. Craig Young

College of Business
BS Business Administration, Class of 1979

D. Craig Young’s long career in the telecommunications industry began in 1979 with his first position as an Account Executive with Executone Information Systems. He served in numerous Vice President and Senior Office positions at US West and Ameritech, and was President and COO for Brooks Fiber Properties, Inc.  In 1999, as President and CEO of MetroNet Communications, Canada’s largest competitive telephone company, Young orchestrated the sale of MetroNet to AT&T for $6 billion. Young is on the Board of Directors for five organizations and has served on many community service boards.

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Michael J. Jones

College of Communication & Education
BA Psychology, Class of 1981
MA Instructional Technology, Information and Communication Studies, Class of 1983

Michael Jones has been a member of the executive staff of Microchip Technology, Inc. since 1991. In 1993 the company went public and was the nation’s number one IPO for 1993. In his current position, Jones manages 102 employees across Human Resources, Information Services, Employee Development, Manufacturing Training, and Document Control functions. Jones’ previous employment includes a position as Training Manager at Intel Corporation and he began his career with Brislain Learning Center, in Chico, CA. Jones has been published in Training magazine.

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Ed Anderson

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management
BS Civil Engineering, Class of 1964

Ed Anderson founded Rolls, Anderson & Rolls, a private engineering company, in 1972 with two other CSU, Chico grads Ellis Rolls, 1954, and Ray Rolls, 1963. After semi-retiring in 1995, Anderson began practicing as a sole proprietor. He continues to serve as City Engineer for several small communities that he has represented for more than 30 years. Anderson has served as the professional contact member for CSU, Chico’s American Society of Civil Engineers since its founding in 1969. In 1991 the Northern California Council of Civil Engineers named him “Engineer of the Year”.

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Matt Olmstead

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA English and Journalism, Class of 1988

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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Michael Strand

College of Natural Sciences
BS Biological Sciences, Class of 1967

Mike Strand is the Co-owner of SYMON Communications, Inc. Strand’s Houston-based company, SYMON Communications, Inc., specializes in visual communication software for call centers, help desks, and command centers. He is primarily responsible for establishing the international expansion of the company. Following college and before entering the computer industry, Strand served three years in the U.S. Army as a Field Artillery 1st Lieutenant. Prior to co-founding his company in 1984, Strand held major account executive positions at ITEL Computer/Rail Leasing and IBM’s Large Systems division. His near-retirement goals include volunteer and advisory involvement with CSU, Chico, Outward Bound and Expeditionary Education initiative programs. Strand sold his software company, Symon Communications, in 2006 and retired in Frisco, Texas. He spends lots of time with his 3- and 5-year-old granddaughters and also enjoys annual trips to Northern California to see Chico State friends.

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