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A magazine from California State University, Chico -- On-line Edition  
Summer 2007
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Public Affairs and Publications
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0040

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1950s  1960s  1970s  1980s  1990s  2000s  Marriages


ADALINE ELLA CHRISTOPHERSON (AB, Education and Credentials, ’58) celebrated her 100th birthday on Feb. 26, 2010, at Bidwell Park. She has seven children, 15 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.


TOM DUNLAP (AB, Social Science, ’64) has been a columnist for the Redding Record Searchlight since summer 2009.

SAVIO L-Y. WOO (BS, Mechanical Engineering, ’65) is a professor and founding director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center in the department of bioengineering at the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a pioneer in bioengineering, including 40 years of significant research in healing and repair of tissues. He has received many professional honors, including the 1998 Olympic Prize for Sports Science.

NANCY “RUSTY” BARCELO (BA, Social Work, ’69), former vice president and vice provost for equity and diversity at the University of Minnesota, was selected president of Northern New Mexico College in July 2010.

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CHARLES W. FRANK (BA, Social Science, ’70) published House of Lords: America in the Balance (Tate Publishing, 2009), which advocates a “decentralization of power” and the establishment of “impartial, independent” agencies.

MIKE HILDRETH (BS, Horticulture, ’70) continues to farm Hildreth Ranch Vineyards and Orchards, 250 acres of pears and grapes in Ukiah Valley. He carries this family legacy with another family, the Standleys, and with his wife Susan, son Joe, and daughter-in-law Lindsay. They live in Ukiah.

DAVID ISAMU TAMORI (BA, Art, ’72; Credential, ’73) retired after 37 years teaching art and 38 years coaching wrestling at Oroville High School. His many accomplishments include adding ceramics to Oroville High School’s curriculum, helping develop curriculum for the U.S. Department of the Interior Junior Duck Stamp, and receiving a Secondary Teacher of the Year award for the California Art Education Association. In his retirement, he plans to spend time with his wife and grandchildren while staying involved in various art and education associations in California.

ROCKY J. CHAVEZ (BA, English, ’73) was appointed undersecretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in November 2009. He travels throughout California, working with county veterans service officers to get a sense of veterans’ needs. One of his goals is to better inform veterans of state services and benefits, such as the Operation Welcome Home outreach program.

Zehyr book cover SUSAN BROWNE (BA, Liberal Studies, ’74; MA, English, ’80; Credential ’82) published her second book, Zephyr (pictured right), which won the Editor’s Prize at Steel Toe Books, 2010. Her 2004 book, Buddha’s Dogs, won the Four Way Books Prize. Her award-winning poetry has been published in numerous journals. Browne has taught at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill for 26 years.

MARY ANN JURDYGA (BA, Liberal Studies and Credential, ’76) retired from 32 years of teaching, with a range of preschool to eighth grade. Jurdyga spent the past 22 years teaching first grade at Lincoln Elementary School in Yuba City. She looks forward to traveling, specifically an upcoming cruise from Boston to Quebec. She has recently taken up learning and playing golf.

BOB LINSCHEID (BA, Public Administration, ’76; Master of Public Administration, ’78) was named vice chairman of the CSU Board of Trustees in January 2010. On the board since 2005, he previously served on the CSU Alumni Council, representing CSU, Chico.

VICTORIA BYNUM (BA, History, ’78) published The Long Shadow of the Civil War: Southern Dissent and Its Legacies, and has published two other books, all from University of North Carolina Press. She is a history professor at Texas State University, San Marcos.

STEPHEN GOODALL (BS, Business Administration, ’78; BA, Psychology, ’78) is executive vice president of Outsell, Inc., and will also serve on its board of directors. He has 30 years’ experience as an executive at J.D. Power and Associates, formerly serving as president of the firm from 1996–2008.

DAVE ROTTENBERG (BA, Physical Education, ’78; Credential, ’83), Red Bluff Union High School’s (the Spartans) head wrestling coach, has been inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame. Rottenberg has coached 122 individual section placewinners, including 21 section champions—seven of whom continued and placed at the state level.

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MICHAEL CANDELA (BA, Political Science, ’83) was appointed a judicial seat for Butte County Superior Court in April. Formerly senior deputy prosecutor for Butte County, he lives in the area with wife Kimberlee, an attorney and a lecturer in the political science department at CSU, Chico, and daughter Jessica.

Mary Anne Davis MARY ANNE DAVIS (BS, Business Administration, ’83) has applied her 27 years of marketing experience to the start of her own jewelry business, Madison Designs Jewelry. She (pictured left) is a board member of the 49er Breakfast Rotary Club and lives in Nevada City with husband Scott (BS, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, ’85; MS, Computer Science, ’96) and their 17-year-old son Andrew. Their son Bryan (BS, Construction Management, ’09) is married and lives in Walnut Creek.

JOHN PUGH (BA, Art, ’83) completed a trompe l’oeil style mural on the wall of the Madera police department.

Howard Appel HOWARD APPEL (BS, Business Administration, ’85) is the new president of Millennium Laboratories, which provides therapeutic drug monitoring and education for physicians and staff treating chronic pain. He is responsible for the company’s operational and strategic initiatives. Appel (pictured right) has more than 25 years’ experience as a chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and certified public accountant.

KATHY STONE (BS, Biological Sciences, ’85; MA, Recreation Administration, ’90) was promoted to California district manager for SouthWest Water Company’s Operations and Maintenance Division. She has worked in the water and wastewater industry for 22 years.

SANDRA WERRA (BA, Psychology, ’85; Credential, ’88) has been a counselor at Folsom Middle School for three years, after teaching for 20. Her husband Dave also works in education, and they live in Folsom with children Nathan and Nicole.

TONY STEUER (BS, Business Administration, ’86) published Questions and Answers on Life Insurance (Life Insurance Sage Press, 2010). He is a specially licensed individual life and disability insurance analyst and has had his own insurance practice since 1995.

DAVID STEVENSON (BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’86; MA, Information and Communication Studies, ’90) is a professor at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, where he developed the course Fundamentals of Public Speaking and Strategies of Argumentation. He has been teaching since 1988 and shares his passion for communications studies with his students.

DEAN PRICE (BS, Business Administration, ’88) was promoted to assistant chief of police at the Gridley-Biggs Police Department, where he has worked since 1996. He has also supervised the department’s gang unit. Price began his career with the Chico Police Department in 1995, and received his MS in Emergency Services Administration from CSU, Long Beach in 2008.

JULIA TIDBALL (Credential, ’88) is the new superintendent of Mark Twain Union Elementary School District in Calaveras County. She taught in Milpitas before teaching at Copperopolis Elementary School in 1994. She taught second through fifth grades and also served as school principal at Copperopolis Elementary, where she will continue to serve as principal part-time.

CHRIS VERHULST (attended fall ’84–spring ’88) has been inducted into the Chico Sports Hall of Fame sponsored by the Chico Enterprise-Record. He holds the record for receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns at Chico State, and he’s a three-time all-Northern California Athletic Conference pick and two-time All-American. In 2002, he was inducted into the Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame.

NELSON CALDWELL (BS, Business Administration, ’89) published the novel A Terrace on the Tower of Babel, a contemporary historical fiction based on the tech boom in the Silicon Valley and Wall Street, as witnessed by several characters located in San Francisco Bay Area and global financial capitals.

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Riggs Daniel LudlowKILIAEN (BS, Accounting, ’90) and Leslie LUDLOW announced the birth of their son, Riggs Daniel Ludlow (pictured left), April 20, 2010, in Atlanta Georgia. Big sister Grayce and big brother Ren welcomed him home.

CAREY ESTES (BS, Nursing, ’91) has worked as a nursing unit supervisor for five years in the neonatal intensive-care unit at Mission Children’s Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. She co-authored with Anne Ramirez and Debra Carlson “Computerized Physician Order Entry: Lessons Learned from the Trenches,” published in Neonatal Network, Vol. 29, No. 4, July/August 2010. She is currently working on her master’s degree in nursing leadership.

AARON R.S. LORENZ (BA, Political Science, ’93) is an assistant professor of Law & Society and pre-law advisor at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey. He published “The Windows Remain Broken: How Zero Tolerance Destroyed Due Process” in Public Integrity, summer 2010.

KENNEDY HIGDON (BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’94), since leaving the Los Angeles Times in 2005 as the youngest director in the Tribune Publishing Group, became the vice president of American Circulation Innovations, doubling the company’s revenues in less than three years and making it a prominent name in the newspaper industry. In 2008, Higdon joined CIPS Marketing Group Inc., the largest advertising and newspaper distribution company in the United States.

NICOLE OVADIA (BS, Biological Sciences, ’94) has worked at several biotechnology companies as a scientist and in designing new products. Currently, she is a senior marketing manager for BD Biosciences, a medical device life science company. She lives in San Jose with her husband and two children, ages 5 and 7.

CHRIS DALHAMER (BS, Business Administration, ’95) is a 13-year Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Class A member and has been the head superintendent at Pebble Beach Golf Links for the past five years. He oversaw preparations for the U.S. Open Championship in June.

CHASE LUNDGREN (attended fall ’95) started painting murals while attending CSU, Chico and has been a “site-specific” artist for more than 10 years, specializing in architectural trompe l’oeil, fresco paintings, and custom faux and specialty finishes. Once a year he donates a mural to a nonprofit organization related to children or animals.

Dying with Comfort book coverELAINE WITTENBERG-LYLES (BA, Journalism, ’95) co-authored Communication as Comfort: Multiple Voices in Palliative Care and is lead author of an upcoming volume Dying with Comfort: Family Illness Narratives and Early Palliative Care (pictured left). Both volumes detail health communication in the context of caring for a patient with terminal illness. She is an associate professor in communication studies at the University of North Texas.

PATRICIA GREGAN (MA, Information and Communication Studies, ’96) has received a nationally recognized credential in the grants field. She is one of 282 grant developers and managers to earn the title Grant Professional Certified. Gregan is employed by the City of El Mirage, Arizona.

Passion Fish book cover LISA O’HARA (BA, French, ’96) published her first novel under the pen name Jessica McQuinn and with co-author Alison Oburia. Passion Fish (pictured right) is a romantic suspense novel available through Omnific Publishing and Visit O’Hara on the Web at

SHANE SCOTT (attended fall ’94–spring ’97) has been inducted in the Del Norte High Athletic Hall of Fame. While at Del Norte High, he played football, basketball, and baseball. At Chico State, he played football as a defensive player. He also attended Sacramento State, where he was a linebacker.

DEBBIE AYRES (Credential, ’98), girls basketball coach for the California School for the Deaf, was head coach for the USA U-21 Deaf World Games women’s team this summer in Lublin, Poland, for the Deaf World Basketball Championships. The past two seasons, Ayres has been named National Deaf High School Coach of the Year by the National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association.

SHAWNA BYNUM (BS, Mathematics, ’99) is one of two teachers named McPherson Distinguished Teacher at Napa Valley College. After receiving her BS from CSU, Chico, Bynum completed her master’s degree in teaching mathematics from UC Davis.

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MIKE ROGERSON (BS, Exercise Physiology, ’00) received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic, West in May 2010. He plans to join an existing practice in the Bay Area and lives in San Jose with wife Jen.

TIM CLEARY (MA, Physical Education, ’01) is the new Division III head basketball coach at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Prior to his head coach position, he assistant coached at Boise State, UC Irvine, Chico State, and Cal Poly Pomona. He and wife Valerie have two children, Olivia and Sean.

JODI MEZA (BA, History, ’02) has been chosen through a joint services agreement between the cities of Willows and Orland Public Libraries as the new joint-director. One task she is taking on is hiring a part-time children’s librarian and working to restore the children’s program in Willows.

ROBERT WHEELER (BA, Sociology, ’02) is the new western region sales manager of Holz Rubber Company. He is responsible for supporting Holz customers and distributors in a nine-state area. Wheeler resides in Lodi.

CORI PHINN (BS, Agriculture, ’03) is a veterinarian who owns and operates Coast Equine Veterinary Services, an ambulatory horse practice. She lives in Scotts Valley with her husband and two horses, Cairo and Maggie.

GWYN WEGER (BA, Communication Design, ’03), an editor with the Department of Defense, won first place for Regional Fiction in the 2010 National Indie Excellence Awards for her debut novel, East Garrison.

SILVIA RAMIREZ (BS, Business Administration, ’04) is the new grants, education, and race coordinator for the Sacramento Valley Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Managing the breast health initiatives to reach the Hispanic community through educational outreach activities is one her many responsibilities with the affiliate.

KRIS BENTZ (BA, French and International Relations, ’05) has been a professional magician for eight years, performing for corporate groups, at private events, and for crowds at The Gathering in Mission Hills and the San Diego Embarcadero.

DANIELLE DIPIETRO (MA, Teaching International Languages, ’05) was inducted into the Paradise High School Hall of Fame. At Paradise High she was a top athlete playing in varsity tennis, soccer, and softball. DiPietro was married in 2002 and has two children. She teaches Italian at Butte College.

CHARLES “CHUCK” WEBSTER (BA, Physical Education, ’05; MA, Kinesiology, ’07) has been inducted in the Del Norte High Athletic Hall of Fame. He played football and basketball at Del Norte High, and basketball at Chico State.

GINA ECKSTROM (BS, Nursing, ’06) has worked at Enloe Medical Center in Chico for more than six years and is currently a registered nurse in the Definitive Care Unit. She recently skydived and ran a half marathon for the first time.

WHITNEY GEORGE (attended fall ’04–spring ’06) is a composer whose piece Seven Sins for string trio was recently performed in the program “(Mostly) New Music for (Mostly) Strings,” hosted by composer Jay Vilnai in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York.

KRISTIE JACOBSEN (BA, Anthropology, ’06) is a program associate for Residential Life at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, and is attending the University of North Dakota, working toward a master’s degree in leadership in higher education.

BECKY WATNER (attended fall ’94–spring ’97; fall ’05–spring ’06) was recently appointed interim executive director of the Downtown Chico Business Association, where she has worked since 1999, serving briefly as event coordinator and for 10 years as assistant executive director.

JONATHAN CARABBA (BA, Music Industry and Technology, ’07) and MELISSA WELLIVER (BA, Communication Design, ’03) manage and publish SubMerge, a Sacramento-based, biweekly entertainment and lifestyle magazine. They recently celebrated their three-year, 75th issue anniversary.

JUSTIN ARGENAL (BA, Psychology, ’09) is the new director of basketball operations at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. He is Chico State’s all-time leader in steals and assists. Argenal recently completed his master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University, Irvine.

BILLY DIBONO (BA, Music Industry and Technology, ’09) will help run the Paradise Performing Arts Center with his father, Don DiBono. He is also the drummer for local indie-rock band The Secret Stolen.

BRIAN GROSSMAN (BS, Business Administration, ’09), son of Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, recently became general manager for the Chico area. His main responsibilities now include distribution, inventory, and sales. Grossman has an interest in managing for sustainability and occasionally lectures on family business issues.

MARC TERRIBILINI (BA, Music Industry and Technology, ’09) was recently hired as an assistant editor for Digital Media Factory in Santa Cruz. He started with the organization as an intern for its nonprofit Digital Media Learning Foundation.

LAURIE WARD (BA, Child Development, ’09) is the operating manager and certified nutritionist of Lite for Life of Los Gatos. She is also an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America-certified personal trainer.

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MARVIN (AB, Education and Credential, ’47; MA, Elementary School Administration and Credential, ’56) and DONNA (AB, Education and Credentials, ’58) CHMELKA celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. They were married Jan. 24, 1942, in Chico. They have lived in Chico since the 1950s and are almond ranchers. He was a counselor at Chico High School, and she taught at John McManus School. They have one daughter, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

KELLY LYDON (attended fall ’68–spring ’73) married Janetta Marie St. Charles on May 13, 2010, at Makapuu Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. He is owner and broker of Century 21 Jeffries Lydon, and she is a realtor at Century 21 Jeffries Lydon in Chico, where they live.

JANICE DIONNE (MA, Education, ’75) and husband Robert celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married June 11, 1960, in Bellingham, Washington. She is a retired Butte College psychology teacher, and he retired from 34 years as a professor in the health and community services department at Chico State. They have three children and five grandchildren.

LAURA RICCI-TITTLE (BS, Home Economics, ’81) and KEITH DIETLE (BS, Health Science, ’77) were married June 18, 2010, in Chico. She is a teacher at Pleasant Valley High School, and he is a teacher at Hamilton High School. They live in Hamilton City.

JOY REDDING (BA, Liberal Studies and Credential, ’82) and husband William celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a cruise to Belize and Mexico and a party at their home. They were married Dec. 28, 1984, in Richvale. She is a special education teacher in the Thermalito School District, and he is retired after 35 years with fire service. They have two children.

CLARK (BA, Industrial Arts, ’66; MA, Industrial Arts, ’73) and SALLY (attended fall ’58–spring ’60; fall ’78–fall ’89, fall ’96) BRANDSTATT celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a backyard luau with friends and family. They were married Jan. 1, 1985. She is retired from academic senate and he from instructional media at CSU, Chico. They have four children and five grandchildren.

AMIE TULLIUS (BA, Religious Studies, ’98) married Jared Gallardo May 15, 2010. She is a freelance writer, and he owns Mumblypeg Media Online Marketing Agency. They live in Park City, Utah.

KELLIE FISHER (BA, Social Science, ’00) married Mitch Gorelick on Oct. 3, 2009, at Mulvaney’s courtyard in Sacramento. She is a high school teacher in Galt, and he works for Clark Pest Control in Sacramento.

JASON BEYER (BA, Communication Studies, ’03) and BROOKE MAYER (BA, Communication Studies, ’04) were married May 1, 2010, at La Cañada Presbyterian Church. They live in Hermosa Beach.

LAURA GARCIA (BA, Communications, ’03) and HART MCKENZIE (BA, Philosophy, ’03) were married Oct. 17, 2009. She works for Marina School District, Monterey Peninsula, and he is a fourth-grade teacher at Natividad Elementary School in Salinas. They live in Monterey.

KAREN HARMON (BS, Business Administration, ’04) married David Whiteman on Oct. 10, 2009, in Vacaville. She is a controller with Ahtna Government Services Corporation in West Sacramento, and he is an employee of the city of Vacaville, Public Works Maintenance. They live in Vacaville.

EMILY HASKELL (BS, Nursing, ’04) and NICHOLAS ROSE (BS, Computer Science, ’06) were married Aug. 8, 2009, in Homewood. She is a nurse in neonatal intensive care at UCSF Medical Center, and he is a software engineer at SAP Labs. They live in San Francisco.

COURTNEY SHERRILL (BA, Recreation Administration, ’05) and JOSHUA ROWE (BA, History and Credential, ’02) were married June 12, 2009, at Evangelical Free Church in Chico. She is a homemaker, and he is a graduate student at Chico State and a teacher at Williams High School. They live in Chico.

JULIE SYMONS (MA, Geography, ’05) married Josh McFall Oct. 3, 2010. She is an environmental planner, and he is an electrician. They live in Redding.

MEAGAN DALEY (BA, Liberal Studies, ’06; Credential, ’07) and CURTIS HENNING (BS, Business Administration, ’06) were married Oct. 11, 2009. They work for Ferguson Enterprises and live in San Diego.

ABIGAIL BACKSTROM (BA, Business, ’07; Master of Business Administration, ’08) married Craig Yeager July 24, 2010, at Clear Creek Ranch in Happy Camp. She is an executive assistant at Owens Healthcare, and he is a diesel mechanic for Stimpel-Wiebelhaus and co-owner of Oregon-based company Cascade Foam Insulation.

LAUREL SINGLETARY (BS, Agriculture, ’07) married Jason Johnston June 19, 2010. He served four tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He is a retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and an instructor for the Department of Defense. They live in North Carolina.

ANNA SORENSON (BA, Public Administration, ’08) and ZEB REYNOLDS (BA, Public Administration, ’08) were married April 3, 2010. She works for Strategic Investment Group, and he works for CalFire. They live in Paradise.

SARA TAYLOR (BS, Agriculture, ’08) married Jake van Tol Oct. 17, 2009, at Pete Verboom Ranch in Orland. She works at Salvagno’s Event Designers and Florists, and he works for van Tol Dairy No. 2. They live in Orland.

KATELYN STEPHENS (BA, Psychology, ’09) and BRANT GUIDO (BA, Concrete Industry Management, ’09) were married this year in Roseburg, Oregon. She is an executive assistant for Hooper Wealth Management Group. He works for Umpqua Sand & Gravel, the Guido family business. They live in Roseburg.

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Melissa Cheatham, Public Affairs and Publications