Higher Education Speaker Series: Passing On The Legacy


Wednesday, February 5th 2014



Kathy Kaiser presents, “Finding Oneself Along the Road of Yes and Even NO!!”


A recent article discussed the issue of creativity and age with one of the central points being taking diverse paths early and continuing throughout one’s life and finding new paths when one closes. Even though in high school I wouldn’t have thought of myself as a leader, nor necessarily an academic,  as options opened I took them. From the diverse pathways of starting as a physic major, to a social science major, to being a leader in a scholarship organization, to working as a student parking cop at Duke—most of my adventures were frequently by accident. My response to a contract which suddenly arrived in the mail was—where is Chico? I accepted, sight unseen. Being involved in sports at the request of students in my class, led to me to another and rich side of Chico’s community and eventually coaching for Chico State and a major career in running. Politics were also a sudden U-turn in my life—resulting in me becoming the first female Faculty Trustee on the CSU Board of Trustees. Raising a difficult child gives you great insight and patience, raising a grandchild gave me other adventures—including being elected to the CUSD Board. I have gone to sea twice, once aboard the aircraft carrier the Harry Truman carrying and once carrying out a high speed practice sea rescue between the Midway and Hawaiian Islands aboard the Golden Bear. I have traveled abroad to Costa Rica, England and China as an educational ambassador. I have mentored many students into great opportunities for their own careers and they have taught me. So let’s explore together the adventure of finding oneself—at any age!”

Kathy Kaiser is the eldest and only daughter in a family with five sons. She was the ultimate tomboy. She was also the first one to attended college in my family and all of my brothers followed her, some with great success. A graduate of Florida State University in Social Science as a scholarship student, she was surprised when her advisor insisted on her applying to graduate school. She ended up with a full scholarship at Duke University with both an MA and a PhD in Sociology.

Coming to Chico State was an accident but she had signed the contract and was thus committed. She entered into teaching, which she loved, and regional politics around women’s issues as a result of the 70’s. She received tenure and became a woman’s running coach for Chico State. Then she was elected as Chico’s Academic Senate representative for the Behavioral and Social Science Department, which led to ASCSU statewide and other elected positions. She was chosen as the first female Faculty Trustee for a two year term and became a CPEC Commissioner! After her term ended, she was elected to the Chico Unified School District Board and have served two terms, including as President and current Vice President. She has been chosen as the CSUC Academic Advisor with national recognition, Faculty Service Award, and CSU Outstanding Board Trustee by CSSA. She is a CSUC emeritus Professor and emeritus Faculty Trustee. She is married with two stepsons in Chico and several grandchildren, one great-grandson. Their dreams are creating new paths.


Wednesday, March 5th 2014



Joe Wills presents, “A Novel Runs Through It – How Writing (Mostly) Good Sentences and Building Good Relationships Led to a Fulfilling Career” 

“I have loved writing -- my quiet side -- and getting to know people – outgoing side – for as long as I can remember. During my life I have had the privilege to hold many varied and rewarding jobs, including high school teacher, small-town newspaper editor, counselor, bus driver, home dad, and public affairs director, my position for the past 16 years at Chico State. All the while, I have asked myself, perhaps not often enough:  How will this job help me fulfill my heart’s desire?  What kind of balance will I have, between work and play, office and home, making a buck and making a difference, working quietly by myself and working collaboratively with others? In this presentation, I will talk about what I have learned along the way and how I have been fortunate to find a home in higher education, at Chico State, where many of my goals and interests have come together.”

Joe has been director of Public Affairs and Publications at Chico State since 1997. He was formerly associate director of University Relations and a lecturer in journalism at the University of the Pacific. His newspaper experience includes being news editor of the zoned editions of the Sacramento Bee and managing editor of the Homer News in Homer, Alaska. Joe wrote fiction for six years while working as a free-lance magazine writer and school bus driver in Austin, Tex. He also wrote newspaper columns for two years while staying at home to take care of his son Nathan soon after he was born. After receiving his B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., Joe was a high school English teacher in St. Louis, Mo. He also has an M.A. in communication from UOP and an M.S. in psychology from CSU, Chico. Joe has very old teaching credentials in English and journalism and is a licensed marriage and family therapist, following five years serving as a part-time counselor for Catalyst Domestic Violence Services.

Wednesday, March 26



Jon Slaughter presents, “You Never Know What Floor You’ll Land On”


A once-time vocal performance major with a penchant for writing and publishing grabs the opportunity to relocate to Chico to “market” the Associated Students.  That initial “step” has now spanned 33 years landing Jon on many professional and personal “floors.”  The common thread throughout his multi-decade journey is the undeniable inspiration and gratitude garnered from the knowledge that it’s an honorable profession that we are in together “doing good work” to support student success and enrich the college life experience.


Jon Slaughter was born in the Territory of Hawaii (yes, do the math) to a career Air Force family and lived in California, Illinois, Indiana, Newfoundland, South Carolina, and back in Northern California all before the age of 11.  A few serendipitous turns after high-school brought Jon to Chico as an undergraduate in the late 1970s.  After a chosen career start in Sacramento as the executive editor of California’s Crossroad Magazine, Jon was lured back to Chico in the early 80s as the Advertising and Publicity Specialist for the Associated Students.  Personally committing to a five-year stint at the time, Jon remained with the Associated Students in a host of increasingly responsible positions for over 21 years before taking what can now be described as a self-imposed three and a half year hiatus to “find himself.”  Jon returned to the Associated Students in April of 2006 as the Director of AS Programs and Government Affairs.  While shy to commit to yet another 21 year stretch, Jon revels in his return to a close, nurturing group of colleagues and a position which continually inspires and gratifies.


Wednesday, April 9th



Jim Moon Presents, “You are What You Where When”


“Hello, my name is Jim Moon and my Higher Education career story begins back in the 40’s, the 1940’s, about seventy years ago when block captains made sure there were no lights from our house showing through as a preventative measure from being a bombing target of Japanese aircraft. Well, that’s a dramatic opening, but I use it intentionally to illustrate something that will run through my talk today…”You Are What You Were When,” a presentation made famous by psychiatrist Morris Massey, who lectured around the country in the 80’s and 90’s. I include this today because some of you will be having questions like “how did he get to where he is?”  and, “what can I learn today that will help me in planning for and/or developing my career?”


Wednesday, April 23rd



Dr. David Stephen presents, “Things happen for a reason…Be the reason”


“I have learned there are no accidents … all things eventually connect.  Our responsibility is to be ready for whatever comes our way and endeavor to do the right thing at the right time in the right way.”


Since 2003, David Stephen has served as director of University Housing & Food Service at California State University, Chico.  His career in college and university housing spans more than 40 years.  His position here is his fourth directorship.

Dr. Stephen has actively served four (4) regional student housing officer associations holding volunteer, appointed and/or elected positions in each association.  His thirteen (13) years of service to the Northwest Region culminated as regional president.  In 1990, the NWACUHO Leadership & Service Award was named in his honor.  

Since 1981 he also has been actively affiliated with the Association of College & University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I).  To-date, he has served on twelve (12) Association committees/task forces and chaired four (4).  He has been elected to the ACUHO-I Executive Board on three (3) occasions and served as the Association’s international president [2002/03].

In 1997, he received the ACUHO-I Leadership & Service Award.  He has presented programs at regional and international conferences on sixteen (16) occasions and served as a faculty member for the National Housing Training Institute (NHTI). 

He is currently serving on the ACUHO-I Foundation Board Regional Cabinet.  In June 2013, Dr. Stephen received The Parthenon Award – the ACUHO-I Foundation’s highest recognition for leadership and service to the student housing field.

Dr. Stephen’s honorary recognitions include: National Residence Hall Honorary and recipient of the Outstanding Service and Bronze pins; Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society; National Award for Excellence in Advising - Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society; Omicron Delta Kappa Society; Student Affairs Award of Achievement [The University of Akron]; and, ACUHO-I Foundation of Excellence (twice).

He holds degrees from: Los Angeles Valley College (AA); Northern Arizona University (BS); University of Redlands (MA); and, Oregon State University (M.Ed. and Ed.D.)

Dr. Stephen is married to Carolyn Starr Stephen.  They are a blended family and share four children, three grandchildren, and one blessed life.