Experience Excellence

at California State University, Chico here.

Economics is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions.
John Maynard Keynes


heckBrandon Heck

Brandon Heck, who graduated in 2011 with a BA in Economics and a BS in Mathematics, finished his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) in 2016 and accepted a position as research associate with IMPAQ International.  He will be working in the health division of IMPAQ’s Oakland office.  “The company contracts both with the federal government and non-profit to do policy evaluation and implementation,” Brandon stated in a recent email.  “I will mostly be using econometrics to do policy evaluation.”

As an undergraduate at Chico State Brandon was a member of the Econ Club, Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematical Society, the Phi Eta Sigma Freshmen Honor Society, and the vice president of the Math Club.  During his junior year he worked as a bookkeeper for Amber Treasure

After graduating from Chico State Brandon enrolled at UCSC where he was the lead consultant for the Center for Statistical Analysis in the Social Sciences and a teaching assistant.  He also consulted as an assistant expert witness in a biotech firm’s case for San Mateo County, California. 

“The training in Economics that I received at Chico State came from excellent teachers that propelled me toward seeking a PhD and gave me the insights to succeed in that program and  ultimately in my career.”

Tim HomerTim Homer

Tim Homer , who graduated with a BA in Economics in 1993, is executive director of global market access, government policy and outcomes at HeartWare Inc. In this position Tim works to obtain insurance coverage and government policy that will finance HeartWare’s left ventricular assist device in the US and in other countries. In this role Tim collaborates with researchers, physicians, patients, insurance firms, and policy makers to ensure patient coverage for HeartWare’s products.

After graduation at Chico State, Tim accepted a job as account manager at Sherwood, Davis and Geck where he promoted sales of medical and surgical devices manufactured in Northern California. After 4 years he moved on to Boston Scientific Corp , also a manufacturer of medical devices, where he was territory sales manager for about two years. Then he accepted a position at Johnson & Johnson as government account executive and he moved up the ladder to director of health policy and economics in 2006. In this position, which Tim held for four years, he lead a team of healthcare policy makers and economic consultants in their efforts to ensure funding for Boston Scientific’s medical devices. At the beginning of 2010 he joined HeartWare Inc where he is executive director.

Tim uses the economics that he studied at Chico State daily in his policy analysis of medical devices when he presents his findings to his employer, physicians, health care professionals, and policy makers.

eddie hyattEddie Hyatt

Eddie Hyatt, who graduated in 1996 with a BA in Economics, is a member of the administrative team and the Telemed Director for North American Mental Health Services in Redding, California.  He has worked for North American Mental Health Services since the middle of 2015.

“Economics has aided me in my professional career by giving me the tools to evaluate data. Economics has also given me the resources to identify competing incentives in business, economic, and day to day situations.”  (Last Updated 9/14/17)

Angela JenkinsAngela Jenkins

Angela Jenkins graduate in 2013 as a recipient of the Rawlins award in recognition of her outstanding scholarship and service to the University. She was on the deans' list each semester at Chico State. In 2012 she received the Francis Economic Award of Excellence.

After graduation Angela began working for Hospira, a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals. In 2015 she became Hospira's device account manager in Brisbane, Australia.

In a recent email she outlined the skill she developed while studying economics at Chico State:

"I use my economics skills, including the following, when I call upon physicians who are interested in Hospira products:

  • Graphical analytical skills to interpret Medical Journal Articles and present the content in detail to physicians.
  • Macroeconomics understanding of decision making and using these principles to help physicians make the most well reasoned decisions.
  • Economics approach of accessing the costs of a product against the clinical benefits
  • Being able to point out to a clinician when his/her willingness to pay is for a certain clinical outcome is extremely low.
  • Excel skills to analyze the sales data on my different hospitals."

Erica NolascoErica Nolasco Garmen

Erica Nolasco Garmen, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2012 and a Masters in Social Work in 2016, a high school counselor at Oroville High. Before enrolling at Chico State, Erica worked as an accounting clerk for Graniterock in Watsonville, California from 1999 to 2003. She worked for Teichert in Sacramento, California as an office manager from 2003 to 2009 when she moved on to United Building Contractors as project engineer.

Erica enrolled at Chico State in 2014 while still working for United Building contractors and as a counselor for Chico Unified School District during her first year. During Erica's last year at Chico State she worked as a school clinician for Butte County Office of Education.

"I am so thankful for choosing Econ as my foundation, as I was interested in cost analysis and policy," Erica stated in a recent email. "Getting my MSW has allowed me to work on micro and macro levels, policy and mental health care."  (Last Updated 12/15/16)

Tyler Miller

 Tyler Miller, who graduated in 2011 with a BA in Economics, is a regional account manager for Optum, a health services firm in Rancho Cordova, California. While a student at Chico State Tyler worked as a tutor and a teaching assistant in the Economics Department and was assistant manager at Celestino’s Pizza during his junior and senior years.  During his senior year Tyler also worked for CAVE promoting students to volunteer and managing those who did.  After graduation Tyler accepted work as a claims representative for Gallagher Bassett Services.  He has been with Optum since the middle of 2016.  

Tyler used his “time management and critical thinking skills daily to move claims forward to settlement and closure,” according to his LinkedIn page.  (Last Updated 7/11/17)

Juan PinedaJuan Solis Pineda

Juan Pineda-Solis graduated in 2006 with the Economics Department’s highest award, named in honor of John G. Smale. After graduation Juan accepted a position as financial analyst with Hewlett-Packard . After almost 2 years with Hewlett-Packard he signed on as budget and senior financial analyst for Fremont-Rideout Health Group in Marysville, California. In 2011 he was promoted to his current position as budget and decision support manager for Fremont-Rideout.

Juan uses the microeconomic principles that he studied at Chico State every day when he analyzes financial documents and reports his findings to executives at Rideout in order to promote sound fiscal operations.

Lauren SundermanLauren Sunderman

Lauren Sunderman, who completed her BA in Economics with an Option in International Economics and a minor in Managing for Sustainability in 2012, is a technical training team supervisor at Sutter Health in the Sacramento-Sierra region. While at Chico State Lauren participated in the Econ Club, and Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE). She also served as social events coordinator for Net Impact where she learned about “social responsibility, non-profit management and environmental sustainability,” according to her LinkedIn page. Lauren worked as a barista for Starbucks to help support herself at Chico State.

After graduation Lauren went to work for Sutter Health Information Services training its employees to use electronic health records (EHR). In 2015 she was promoted to technical training specialist with Sutter Health where she is currently employed. (Last Updated 11/21/17)

Ryan VernauRyan Vernau

Ryan Vernau who graduated in 2009 with a BA in Economics and an option in International, is a health advocate at United Healthcare in Chico, California, where he assists clients in understanding complex benefit information and claims processing issues.

After graduation Ryan worked for the University Research Foundation as an editor for reports and proposals that Chico State professors wrote. He left the University to accept a position with Butte County General Services as a contracts and procurement agent. In his role as an agent for general services, Ryan assisted department in negotiations with vendors and reviewed their expenses to make sure that they were in compliance with local, state, and federal laws.

“I am eternally grateful for my economics degree for all that it has done to strengthen my critical thinking capacity, as well as my evaluation of causal and financial relationships, and for the role my economics degree has had in building the framework in which I can understand the world around me,” Ryan stated in a recent email. “As a Health Advocate at United Healthcare, I frequently employ economic concepts to help my customers grasp some of the core concepts of the healthcare industry and health insurance.”