College of Natural Sciences Alumni Reunion
October 11-12, 2013 Stay tuned for more information!!
Dr. Larry Kirk - 2011-2012
Dr. Larry Kirk served as Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry from 1981 to 2005. He participated in the Faculty Early Retirement Program from 2005 to 2010. Besides teaching courses in Biochemistry, his major emphasis at CSU, Chico has been in mentoring students in research. He worked with over 200 students, both undergraduate and graduate students, during his career. Currently, nine of his students are college professors. He was named the university “Outstanding Research Mentor” for the 2009-2010 academic year. Since 2010, Professor Kirk has continued as a part-time faculty member. He has also continued conducting research with students and his collaborators Dr. Larry Hanne and Dr. Joe Greene. His current research deals with using agricultural waste (rice hulls and rice straw) to make biodegradable plastics and also to follow the microbial breakdown of these plastics. During the spring semester of 2011, Dr. Kirk worked for the Army Corps of Engineers at their facility (Engineer Research & Development Center) in Vicksburg, MS. His research there was conducted in the Environmental Laboratory and consisted of a study of microbial breakdown of explosives. He currently serves as one of the directors of the Big Chico Creek Watershed Alliance and also as a trustee with the Butte County Mosquito & Vector Control District.
Dr. Robert Schlising - 2010-2011
Dr. Robert Schlising received his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966. During the seven following years, Rob taught at Yale University and CSU, Los Angeles prior to accepting a faculty position in the Department of Biological Sciences here at CSU, Chico. Now after thirty years of devoted attention to his students, extensive research on vernal pool and grassland plants and outstanding service to the Northern California community, Rob has decided to retire.
Dr. Faye Johnson - 2009-2010Dr. Faye Johnson began teaching at CSUC in 1976. She was responsible for the development of the food science portion of NFSC. She had strong connections with the Food Science Dept. at UC Davis and has done collaborative work with faculty at the institution. Faye was always most willing to teach whatever courses needed to be taught. She taught courses in nutrition as well as foods, and helped develop the graduate program with the contribution of a food science course, which she taught as part of the program for many years. In the early ‘90s Faye took over the responsibility of the “DPD” program and took on the food service management program. Faye retired in 2010 after 34 years of service. She continues to be active with the department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, the CDA and ADA. The Dr. Faye Dietetic Internship Award was created on the occasion of Dr. Faye Johnson's retirement from CSU, Chico to honor her for her many contributions and outstanding leadership in the field of dietetics. It is her wish to acknowledge and encourage those students who have chosen internships that reflect their most passionate interests in the field.
Professor Gwin Richter - 2008-2009
Professor Richter served as Professor of Nursing at Chico State for 35 years, from 1971 to 2006. Since retiring, she has held the title of Faculty Emerita. In 1991, Professor Richter founded and has served as director of Better Babies Inc. a prenatal center which is part of the California Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP). She has been a Certified Childbirth Educator through Lamaze International since 1965, and is also a Certified Lactation Educator through the University of California, San Diego. Professor Richter also worked as a per diem staff nurse in Obstetrics at Enloe Hospital from 1971 to 1992.
While at Chico State, this well-loved professor taught courses in Maternal-Child Nursing, both Theory and Practicum, Family Nursing, Nursing Role and Foundations of Nursing. She currently teaches the School of Nursing’s online course, Current Concepts Baccalaureate Nursing, a three-unit course on Maternity Nursing, Child Nursing, and Mental Health Nursing. She designed and wrote the Maternity portion and now teaches the entire course for Registered Nurses who are returning to CSU, Chico for the BS degree. She also teaches a Special Problems course Protecting Normal Birth for students interested in supporting women in labor and becoming OB nurses or nurse midwives.
Better Babies is a Service Learning Center in which students learn nursing and teach clients while performing a community service to low-income pregnant and postpartum women and their babies. Better Babies provides the support services portion of prenatal care funded by Medi-Cal for the patients of obstetricians and certified nurse midwives in Chico and surrounding communities. Under Professor Richter’s direction, over 1,000 nursing students have worked with over 5,000 women in during the past 18 years. In serving local clients, Professor Richter regularly collaborates with Opt for Fit Kids, WIC, TAPP, Catalyst, Rape Crisis Center, Touchstone the Butte County Public Health Department and other community agencies. To learn more about Better Babies, click here.
Professor Richter has been an inspiration to thousands of students as well as to her many colleagues. Professor Richter mentors many students interested in going to graduate school to become Nursing Faculty, or to practice Obstetric and Neonatal nursing, midwifery, and medicine. Many of her students are now OB nurses, and certified nurse midwives both locally and elsewhere. Several students have gone to medical school. Dr. Sherry Fox, Director of the School of Nursing, said this about Professor Richter: “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this recognition than Professor Richter. She founded Better Babies while still a faculty member and continues to manage it full-time in her retirement. The organization provides an outstanding service for women and, additionally, provides service learning opportunities for 100 or more students per year. Professor Richter’s dedication and commitment to the health of local mothers and babies is life-changing for her clients and inspirational to all who know her.” Donations to a fund in her honor to benefit the Childbirth Education Media and Models Training Program may be sent to the School of Nursing, care of Dr. Sherry Fox, CSU, Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0200. Checks may be made out to “CSU, Chico, University Foundation.
Dr. Wes Dempsey
Inaugural Award - 2007-2008
Dr. Dempsey served as Professor of Biological Sciences at Chico State for 38 years, from 1954 to 1992. Since retiring, he has held the title of Professur Emeritus. Highlights of his career include an NSF Science Faculty Fellowship in Genetics while he was at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and visiting professorships at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, from 1980 to 1981 as well as at the University of Western Australia in Perth in 1987.
While at Chico State, this well-loved professor taught field biology summer courses at the Eagle Lake Field Station from 1979 through 1991 in addition to a wide variety of regular courses and labs in the biological sciences. He currently serves on the campus Arboretum Committee and was instrumental in the development of Campus Trees: Map and Guide, a comprehensive map with locations and descriptions of every tree in the campus arboretum, published in 2001. He is a well-known tour guide of Campus Arboretum tours throughout the academic year and has led 1,000 plus field trips featuring vernal pools, wildflowers, Native American use of local plants, and local ecology for community organizations such as the local schools, Sierra Club, Boy Scouts, and the Chico Creek Nature Center, to name just a few. He has given lectures to groups both near and far, including the Altacal Audubon Society, the California Native Plant Society, and Rotary, as well as many institutions of higher learning throughout the state.
Dr. Dempsey has been an inspiration to thousands of students as well as to his many colleagues. Dr. Ailsie McEnteggart, Chair of Biological Sciences, said this about Dr. Dempsey: “Wes's continuing involvement since his retirement in many conservation projects in the community as well as in campus life through his popular Arboretum tours and plantings of native species on the south side of Holt Hall is an amazing commitment. I can think of no one more deserving of this honor and am delighted at this recognition of his life's work.”
Dr. Dempsey and his wife, Phyllis, have four grown sons. Donations to a fund in his honor to benefit the Campus Arboretum may be sent to the Biology Office care of Dr. Ailsie McEnteggart, Chair, CSU, Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0515. Checks may be made out to “CSU, Chico University Foundation.”