Chico Economics Graduate Careers - University Adminstration
Jennifer Fullmer Harris graduated in 1990 with BAs in Economics, German and International Relations. While a sophomore, Harris switched from Biology to Economics after realizing the latter was as essential to our daily personal and professional interactions as the former. She also enjoyed the fact that Economics, as a behavioral science, suited her growing interest in international cultures. She made two other key decisions to shape her career: to study overseas during her junior year (International Programs, Heidelberg ’87-88) and to complete a 6-month cooperative education program in Washington, D.C. during her senior year. This paid internship at U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) introduced the Chico native to life in many developing countries of our world. She joined the Economics Student Union to get to know the “mellower” side of ECON professors and students. Ironically, club antics brought out amusing, fanatical behavior by those who competed in the students vs. faculty/staff softball games of the late 1980's. Join and enjoy: the coveted bragging rights (or revisionist history) have no expiration date! After graduation from Chico State, she was hired at USAID where she served 11 years in three roles: Contracts/Grant Specialist (a field where being an ECON major will often get your foot in the door), Country Affairs Officer for the Baltics and Poland, and Environmental Protection Specialist in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Preferring a “left coast” life, she volunteered a year at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and worked 6 years as a Buyer for a local manufacturing company.
Harris currently works at the CSU, Chico Research Foundation, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, developing grant proposals for faculty, staff and members of the various Research Foundation centers on campus. She wishes more were aware of the brilliant research and project direction that these people finesse every day at CSU, Chico. Advice for students: check out the growing field of project management, project evaluation, or research administration in which economics plays a vital role (i.e., where you can make a good living in the art of “teamwork”). Also, get to know the knowledgeable counselors at our campus Career Center and familiarize yourself ASAP with federal internship opportunities and deadlines.
David Kentiner graduated from CSU, Chico with a BA in Economics and International Relations in 1995. He is Associate Director of Financial Aid and Scholarship at CSU, Chico. In a recent email he stated that " I had fallen in love with Chico and didn’t want to leave so started a MA program in Political Science. I completed my MA in Political Science in 2001. Halfway through my MA program, I applied for and began working at the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office as a Financial Aid Advisor.
David supervises many other staff positions, oversees compliance requirements and effectiveness of financial aid programs, manages implementation and evaluation of new programs, services and communications, interprets, document, and implements organization policies and procedures, manages funds, and represents the organization at university and system levels.
"I stumbled upon the field of Economics during my junior year as a Mechanical Engineering student at CSU, Chico, in my search for meaning and a better understanding of the world in which I lived. For some reason I was not exposed to the field of Economics prior to the fall of 1992. Perhaps growing up on a little Micronesian Island (Pohnpei or Ponape) before coming to college in California had something to do with it. I was not exposed to any economics ideas during my island educational experience. During the fall of 1992, I believe, I enrolled in an Introduction to Economics course with Professor Mark Morlock and I instantly fell in love with studying Economics. The field of Economics provided interesting concepts and theories and also tools that I can use to explain and predict events in my world. I loved this about the field of Economics. I met with Frederica Shockley, the Chair of the Economics Department, the next semester and changed my major from Mechanical Engineering to Economics."
"Generally, my degree in Economics helps me be more analytical in effectively carrying out the daily duties of my job as well as engaging in long term strategic planning for the organization. It specifically, helps me quickly assess the changing regulatory environment, evaluate its impact on administering our programs and implement processes as well as polices that effectively manages delivery of funds, communicates relevant and timely information, and meets the needs of our clients and the goals of the university."
Katrina Robertson graduated summa cum laude in 2002 with a B.A. in Economics and a Minor in Business Administration. After graduation she began working for a local accounting firm. In 2011 Katrina came back to campus as an Accounting Supervisor for the Associated Students of CSU, Chico. In her current position she supervises accounting technicians and performs a variety of professional financial analyses and accounting functions. In a recent email Katrina stated that “My degree in Economics has given me the analytical reasoning skills and math and communication skills necessary for my job. Additionally, I gained a general understanding of the different elements of a business, enabling me to see the full picture.”
Katy Thoma, who completed her requirements for graduation in 1980, came back to campus in Spring 2013 as Executive Director of the Chico State Research Foundation. She began her career in banking at the downtown Chico branch of Bank of America in 1977. After finishing her course work she moved to Pullman, WA where she worked for Seafirst Bank. Katy returned to Chico in 1984 and furthered her career in banking by going to work for locally owned North State National Bank (later acquired by Tri Counties Bank). In the 1993 she became the director of Chico’s Jesus Center, an organization that serves the needs of the poor. After working at the Jesus Center for 10 years, she returned to banking, serving as vice-president and branch manager for Butte Community Bank (later Rabobank) before coming to the Research Foundation. Katy’s experience in both the non-profit sector and the banking industry make her uniquely qualified to head the Research Foundation as much of what she oversees is operational and compliance in nature. She also began serving as president of Chico Rotary in the summer of 2013. Katy also served on the Planetree leadership team at Enloe Medical Center for 5 years, she currently serves on the Chico Police Foundation Board and volunteers at her church.