A Magazine from California State University, ChicoSpring 2016 Issue

Class Notes

Class Notes

We want to hear from you—what you loved about Chico State, what you do for a living, for a hobby, for fun.

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Wildcats on the Move Coordinator
Public Affairs and Publications
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0040
E-mail wotm@csuchico.edu
Phone (530) 898-4143
Note: Only cities outside California will have the state name included.

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1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s | Marriages/Anniversaries

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1960s

ANDREW LENZ

(BA, Art, ’67) and CYNTHIA PENNIMAN LENZ (BA, Art, ’67) received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Art Materials Trade Association in March for their innovative work in the art materials industry.

CYNTHIA PENNIMAN LENZ

CYNTHIA PENNIMAN LENZ (BA, Art, ’67) and Andrew Lenz (BA, Art, ’67) received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Art Materials Trade Association in March for their innovative work in the art materials industry.

Trudy Waldroiop

TRUDY WALDROOP

(Office Administration, 1964–66; Honorary BA, Anthropology, ’04) was inducted into Chico State’s Hall of Honor in May 2015. She is not only a proud alumna but worked at Chico State for nearly 30 years, first in the Department of Psychology and later 24 years with the Department of Anthropology, until her retirement in 2004. She and her husband, Dan (BS, Agricultural Business, ’72) have lived in Orland for 38 years and share their home with three springer spaniels. Waldroop is also in her second term on the City of Orland library commission.

KARL PALLASTRINI

(BA, History, ’69; MA, Education, ’72; Credential, ’70, ’75, ’78) retired in 2010 after serving as principal of Carmel Middle School and Carmel High School for 25 years. He was encouraged by parents, teachers, and students to run for a seat on the Carmel Unified School district Board of Education, and was the first person in Monterey County history to be elected to the board as a write-in candidate, which was “tough to do with a name like mine.” He is now serving his second term on the school board and attributes much of his success as an educator to his education at Chico State. 

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1970s

PHILLIP ELKINS

(BA, Sociology, ’71) has published four books through Amazon.com. The first, Running From the Fire, is about growing up in East Los Angeles as a low rider, getting drafted into the Army and being sent to Vietnam as a medic. Coming Home From the War is about surviving the war and readjusting to civilian life during the Summer of Love, and Shadowman is about the aftermath of Vietnam and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. His fourth book, Nadia and Riana at Daddy’s House, is a children’s book written from a child’s perspective about being raised by a single parent. He also teaches a guitar and gospel music class at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Chico State, and hosts a radio show on KZFR with music, social commentary, and interviews with community members.

BOB OWENS

(Credential, ’72, ’84; MA, History, ’81) has written two novels, Pointman and Pointman II. The first book was inspired by his experiences in the Vietnam War and the Cambodian Invasion, where he received the Combat Medical Badge, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. The second novel deals with war and the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on both veterans and their families. Owens worked as a teacher and an administrator, and served as the Lassen County superintendent of schools for nine years. His wife, KATHLEEN OWENS (BA, English, ’72; Credential, ’74) retired after teaching elementary school for 24 years. They live in Northern California, and have two adult children and two granddaughters.

WILLIAM FOEY

 (BA, Art, ’73) published his third novel, titled The Loves of Billy Wong. The novel is inspired by the true story of a Chinese immigrant who was placed on exhibit, alongside his family, in PT Barnum’s American Museum like a sideshow oddity before the onset of the American Civil War. He was then drafted into the Union Army, yet still denied US citizenship after the war because of racism against Asian immigrants. Foey also works as a visual artist and illustrated the book covers for all three of his novels. 

BILL ALLEN

(BA, Psychology, ’78) retired December 2015 as interim director of Institutional Research at Chico State. Prior to joining Institutional Research in 1985, he worked as an instructional assistant in the College of BSS statistics lab, where he developed and taught the University’s first computer applications course. In his free time, Allen enjoys playing the Bb coronet in the Fort Point Garrison Brass Band, (a Civil War reenactment brass band,) and playing golf. He also has participated in two Battle of Gettysburg reenactments.

MARK HYDE

(BS, Accounting, ’78) was recently named controller for The Springs Living, a senior housing company headquartered in Oregon. After graduating cum laude from Chico State, Hyde worked as an accounting executive for more than 15 years.

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1980s

KATHLEEN SPAWN

(BS, Dietetics, ’83) was recently named public health division director of Marin County Health and Human Services. She previously worked as a health educator for Kaiser Permanente for 13 years. She also teaches in Touro University’s public health program and has served as a public health consultant for disease prevention in Nepal. Her son Austin is majoring in anthropology at Chico State with a minor in Spanish. He spent the fall semester studying abroad in San Sebastian, Spain. Her daughter, Morgan, recently started graduate school in hopes of earning a master’s degree in school counseling and becoming a high school guidance counselor. Her son Zack serves as an emergency medical technician and is working toward his paramedic license.

DAVID WIENER

(BS, Business Administration, ’84) serves as the senior vice president of sales at Loews Hotels & Resorts in New York City. 

CHRISTOPHER HILLEARY

(BS, Business Administration, ’86) is the managing director of PharmASEAN Advisory Group, located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. His company assists organizations in their assessment of the pharmaceutical needs of underprivileged populations in ASEAN countries with the goal of developing efficient strategies for supplying essential medications where they are most needed. From 2003–06, Hilleary served as project manager for Pharmaciens Sans Frontieres (Pharmacists Without Borders) on a child survival pilot project in a remote province of Cambodia. The project focused primarily on reducing infant and child mortality rates by educating village health volunteers on diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, he is codirector and chief financial officer for the Assistance Fund of Cambodia, a nonprofit charity organization founded to address AIDS, physical deformities, and illiteracy. In his spare time, Hilleary plays bass guitar in a blues band called the Chi-Town Players. This Phnom Penh-based band plays American classic rock at venues in and around Cambodia’s capital city.

VINCE LICATA

(BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’86) was promoted to regional vice president of sales for Del Monte Meat Company, a division of The Chefs’ Warehouse. With locations in major metropolitan areas across the United States and Canada, the specialty food distributor serves the finest restaurants, hotels, caterers, and gourmet stores in North America. Licata’s career in foodservice distribution began 29 years ago, shortly after his graduation from Chico State. He lives in Rocklin with his wife, Gina, and daughter Annelise.

JACKSON MBOGO

(BS, Housing and Interior Design, ’86; MA, Landscape and Architectural Facilities Planning and Design, ’90) is a retired property development manager with Tanzania Railways Corporation. He attended Chico State as an international student from Tanzania. He said that Robert Jackson, former dean of Graduate, International, and Sponsored Programs, and James Luyirika-Sewaggude, an international education advisor and National Student Exchange Program coordinator, both made a great difference during his time in Chico. 

PAUL EAGLE

(BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’88) was recently named vice president of marketing and communications for Catholic Relief Services (CRS). With more than 5,000 employees in 100 countries, CRS is one of the largest humanitarian agencies in the world. The agency helps the poorest of the poor around the world by providing food and shelter during times of emergencies and helping with long-term health, education, and agricultural programs. Prior to joining CRS, he served as vice president for a public relations and marketing agency for 15 years. Eagle lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where he and his wife, Jill, have two children, Austin and Cecelia. He likes to run 5Ks with his kids—though they easily beat him now.

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1990s

ERIC BERG

(BS, Civil Engineering, ’91) was recently appointed deputy chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) by Governor Jerry Brown. Berg has worked with Cal/OSHA since 1997, when he started as an industrial hygienist. Since that time he has worked as a safety engineer and acting deputy chief of research and standards. In his new role, he will manage Cal/OSHA’s research and standards activities, the development of health and safety regulations, and the Medical and Toxicology, Asbestos and Carcinogen, and Crane Units.

WILLIAM HARRISON

(BA, Psychology, ’94) recently moved to Washington state in order to introduce a new environmental literacy program to businesses associated with state and federal projects. He said of the program, “It’s more than ‘Go green,’—it’s ‘Train your team to think green.’” Harrison spends much of his time working at Evergreen College, which reminds him of his days at Chico State. Beyond the “top-notch education” he received, he said that the people, experiences, and the University’s friendly atmosphere were “an experience that will always be cherished.”

MIKE TORRES

(BS, Health Science, ’95) works for Santa Clara County Public Health Department as a health planner. He lives in Gilroy with his wife, Cindi, son Ty, and daughter Maya.

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2000s

ALEXIS MERVIN

(BA, Communication Studies, ’00) is the head of communications for FitStar, a startup that creates fitness apps for iOS devices, Android mobile phones, and the Web. Since joining the FitStar team, Mervin has worked on building relationships with media outlets including USA Today, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and Buzzfeed. FitStar was acquired by Fitbit, a San Francisco company that sells fitness products, in March 2015, in what Mervin describes as “a defining career moment” for her and “what every startup strives for.” Prior to spearheading FitStar’s communications, Mervin worked extensively in the video game industry, first as a public relations summer intern at LucasArts, next with a small public relations agency that served game and tech clients, and eventually as the global public relations director of EA Mobile, a subdivision of Electronic Arts. She lives in Novato with her husband, whom she met at Chico State, and 4-year-old daughter. They are expecting another baby girl in April 2016. 

LONNY VILLALOBOS

LONNY VILLALOBOS (BA, History, ’00) works as a secondary-school teacher and a credentialing adjunct professor.

KAREN VILLALOBOS

(BA, Recreation Administration, ’02), is a fire captain for Cal Fire. Their grandfather, John Frank Hutchison, died January 4, 2016. He and his brothers were masons and laid the brick for many of Chico State’s historic buildings. Hutchison suffered from polio early in his life and never learned to read or write; however, he was overwhelmed with pride to have helped build the institution that his grandchildren would one day attend to earn their bachelor’s degrees.

VALERIE ANDERSON

(BA, Kinesiology, ’03) works as a senior university recruiter at Microsoft, focused on finding top talent in engineering from universities in Europe. This role has allowed her to travel the globe and help students find opportunities throughout Microsoft’s offices in many countries. She has hired hundreds of new graduates and interns who are now building products that impact billions around the world, helping them “use technology to achieve amazing things,” she says. She lives in Washington and also volunteers for organizations such as Girls Who Code and MySkills4Afrika, where she uses her professional skills in human resources to help others grow. “I’m proud of the work I do,” Anderson said, “and know that my degree and time at CSU, Chico helped me build a great foundation for success.”

MATTHEW LUNDIN

(MA, Physical Education, ’03) received an EdD in health care education from Nova Southeastern University in December 2014. He is an assistant professor and the director of the athletic training program at Defiance College in Ohio. He was named the chair of the Natural Science, Applied Science, and Mathematics Division in August 2015.

TROY MILES

(BS, Biology, ’06) is joining Shasta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Redding. Miles is a board-eligible orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the treatment of disorders of the shoulder, hip, and knee, including joint replacement and reconstruction and arthroscopic surgery. In 2010, he graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. He has gone on to complete an orthopedic surgery residency at Oregon Health & Science University and a fellowship in adult joint reconstruction and arthroplasty at UC Davis. While at Chico State, Miles served as president of the Chico State Pre-Medical Association from 2005–06 and worked closely with Honors Program director John Mahoney.

MATTHEW HARVEY

(BS, Mathematics Education, ’08; Credential, ’09) was awarded the Milken Educator Award and $25,000 last November. He teaches math courses at CORE Butte Charter School in Chico. The Milken Educator Award was established by the Milken Family Foundation and is one of the nation’s most widely recognized teacher recognition programs, dubbed the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher magazine.

MEGAN MOORE

(MFA, Printmaking, ’11) had her art piece, A New Propagation, published in the fall 2015 issue of the Southern Graphics Council’s newsletter, Graphic Impressions. Moore and her husband live in New York, and she teaches art as an online adjunct professor for University of South Alabama in Mobile.

MANORI RATNAYAKA

(BS, Mechatronic Engineering, ’11) works as a design release engineer for Robert Bosch GmbH, a German multinational engineering and electronics company. While attending Chico State, Ratnayaka was involved with the American Institute of Mechatronic Engineers (AIME) and pursued a minor in computer engineering. 

LENA HEFFERN

(BS, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, ’13) is working as a post-collegiate researcher for Lawrence Livermore National Labs in Livermore. The lab is developing a radiation detector to send to space and bidding for one of NASA’s Discovery missions. If selected out of the top five finalists bidding for the mission, it will be set to launch around 2020. She recently earned her master’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of New Mexico, and plans to pursue a PhD in interdisciplinary engineering and physics.

LEEANN KING

(BS, Health Science, ’14) works on the Comprehensive Cancer Control Program for the California Department of Public Health. Her primary responsibility is the coordination of the California Dialogue on Cancer (CDOC). She described CDOC as “a dynamic coalition of individuals and organizations working together to reduce the burden of cancer in the state of California.” 

BENJAMIN MULLIN

BENJAMIN MULLIN

(BA, Journalism and English, ’14) was recently named managing editor of Poynter.org at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

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Marriages

FRANK JONES MARRIED BRIDGET HAGOOD JAN. 7, 2016

FRANK JONES

(BA, Physical Education, '72) married Bridget Hagood on January 17, 2016, at her home in Cocoa, Florida. 

GENESSA SCHMIDT MARRIED RORY BARNETTT NOV. 14, 2015

GENESSA SCHMIDT

(BS, Organizational Communication, ’04) married Rory Barnett on November 14, 2015, in Rancho Santa Fe. He is a professional golf caddy and she is the director of human resources at Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. They live in Corona Del Mar. The happy couple honeymooned in Kauai.

SHANNAN TROXEL

SHANNAN TROXEL

(BA, Communication Studies, ’11) married MICHAEL ANDREAS (BA, Political Science and International Relations, ’13) June 20, 2015, in Chico. The two met at Chico State through their involvement with the Speech and Debate Team. They currently live in Paradise but still consider Chico to be their second home. Troxel is a professor of communication studies at Butte College, and Andreas is an accounts manager with United Healthcare Service.

BREANNA KENYON

(BA, Political Science, ’05) married Scott Schultz on October 3, 2015. Kenyon is an associate attorney with the R. Rex Parris Law Firm in Lancaster, California. Schultz is a former airline pilot turned project engineer at Scaled Composites in Mojave, where he is building the world’s largest airplane. The two had mutual friends in junior high, but “due in part to the cootie epidemic of the early 1990s,” Kenyon says they didn’t officially meet until after she graduated from Chapman University School of Law in 2009.

CESAR CUEVAS

CESAR CUEVAS

(BA, Political Science and Legal Studies, ’12) married LAUREN ROBLES (BS, Exercise Physiology, ’12) April 25, 2015, in Sacramento. He is currently a legal analyst for the state of California, and she is a nuclear medicine technologist. The couple met during their freshman year at Chico State and shared the same group of friends. Attending college together is one of their fondest memories, in addition to getting their first apartment together and Skype-dating while Robles was studying abroad in Spain. They also remember how beautiful Chico State’s campus was in any season, and “how amazing those BMU sandwiches were.”

KRISTINA FINLAYSON

KRISTINA FINLAYSON

(BA, Communication Design, ’12) married SARAH MANN (BA, Journalism and French, ’12) October 3, 2015. The two met while working together in the Study Abroad office at Chico State after studying abroad in Sweden and France, respectively. “Little did we know we would be getting married almost four years later,” Finlayson said. The two bonded initially over their love of traveling the world. They even made plans to travel through Southeast Asia before they started officially dating. Since graduating, the two have backpacked through Southeast Asia, lived in Madrid and Barcelona, and traveled across Italy for their honeymoon. “Traveling with anyone can be challenging,” Finlayson said. “But for us, even the challenges were fun.”

LINDSAY WOYCHICK

LINDSAY WOYCHICK

(BA, Journalism, ’12) married Fernando Garcia Calvo on August 19, 2015, in Boise, Idaho. They met in Bilbao, Spain, when Woychick was studying abroad in 2011–12. The couple honeymooned on the Camino de Santiago and currently lives in Getxo, Spain.

CECILIA FERNANDEZ

CECILIA FERNANDEZ

(BA, Latin American Studies, ’13) married her boyfriend of two years this spring. The two met while Fernandez was studying abroad in Brazil and interning for the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC). Fernandez said that she fell in love with Brazil first—“the culture, the people, the food, the dancing, the beaches—all of it.” Then, one rainy afternoon on a homebound bus, Fernandez reports looking to the person in the seat next to her and seeing “the most babest babe of them all.” After gathering the nerve to talk to him, Fernandez struck up conversation about traffic, which she admits was not the most charming topic. However, that small moment of moxie turned into an hour-long conversation, followed by an invitation to lunch, then two years of dating and now marriage. The couple still laughs about that first encounter every time they take the bus.

CASEY SCHAAPMAN

(BA, Criminal Justice, ’13) married KRISTINA GUARD (BS, Business Administration, ’14) on October 18, 2014. They started dating in 2009, and have a 1-year-old son.