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A magazine from California State University, Chico -- On-line Edition  
Summer 2007
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My favorite issue

I always smile big when I receive the latest issue of Chico Statements, but it’s not often that I can say “I know him!” when reading about fellow alumni. What a treat the spring 2011 issue was!

One of the “Books by Faculty” [page 6] includes Japanese Grammar: The Connecting Point by Kimihiko Nomura. I was among Nomura’s first students at Chico State. I consider myself one of the lucky ones to have studied with him. The Spring 2011 Alumni Board roster [page 24] includes Paul Maunder. Paul and I went to high school and college together. “Wildcats on the Move” [page 28] includes a paragraph about Greg Loiacono, Tim Bluhm, and their band, The Mother Hips. Don’t all Chico alumni from that era have Back to the Grotto in their collection? And lastly, “The View From Space” article about Land Wilson [page 29] was especially exciting because I went to elementary and middle school with Land.

—K. Darwin Murrell (BA, Biological Sciences, ’62)

Editor’s Note

In response to my question, Who was your favorite teacher?, in the spring 2011 issue, we received these wonderful letters, so we’re publishing them and skipping this issue’s editor’s note. My only plug for this issue is to encourage you to send us your favorite memory of Chico State, with photos if you have them, to commemorate the University’s 125th anniversary in 2012. E-mail to, or send in the mail to the address in the Credits box on page 2. Your memories will be part of a special anniversary issue.

Marion Harmon (MPA,’07)

Our favorite teachers

photo of Helen CarkinWith regard to the “Amazing Educators” article [spring 2011 Chico Statements, page 8], I would like to point out the beneficial and unique program offered in the 1970s to Chico teachers obtaining California credentials while student teaching in Kauai, Hawaii. The late Professor Helen Carkin (see photo right) took several groups of Chico teachers there whereby they could experience the unique culture of teaching Hawaiian students. A handful of these teachers, including myself, stayed in Hawaii and were put in full teaching careers.

I also benefitted from the guidance and instruction of the late history professor Carl Hein who inspired me to pursue a 30-year career in education.

Frank X. Terrazas Jr. (MA, History and Credential, ’78)

Truth is, I loved all my teachers! But the standout has to be Mrs. Earhart, my second-grade teacher. She had so much love, and shared it with all of us. Also, an honorable mention would be Mr. Vic Kronberg, my art teacher who encouraged my love for the arts. My band teacher Mr. Mac McArthur and my music teacher Mrs. Genovive Borine were great. Finally, I fell in love with and married a teacher, Carol Wood (BA, Education and Credential, ’65), who took over Mrs. Earhart’s class when she retired. You gotta love them teachers.

James Pence (attended ’71–’73)

photo of Fred BrooksMy favorite teacher at Chico State was Fred Brooks (see photo left), a recreation administration instructor. He had us organize to take on community projects including the planning of recreational facilities in Oroville and a similar program in the small community of Gerber. Fred took great interest in his students’ success in these particular projects and in future academic endeavors. He had a wonderful sense of humor, which reminded us to keep things on the light side.

When I found out I had a severe hearing problem, Fred made recommendations for me to see the California Department of Rehabilitation to get funding for my first set of hearing aids. He told me he wanted me to be successful in the recreation administration profession. I am employed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, out of Eureka, in their Regulatory Division as a wetlands biologist.

David Ammerman (BS, Recreation Administration, ’79)

photo of Rudy JensenMy favorite teacher has been my mentor, advisor, and friend for the past 24 years, Rudy Jensen (see photo right). In the spring of 1987, he was introduced to our group of young, aspiring Chico educators as our mentor and supervisor. He rewarded us with outstanding letters of recommendation if you were able to live up to his high standard of what it meant to be a teacher. He pushed. He critiqued. He encouraged.

Rudy became my friend and supporter as my family came to know him and his wife better. Our oldest son called him “Uncle,” and our second son was named after him. We continue to learn from this educator. I am so grateful that my favorite teacher has been my mentor, advisor, and friend for half of my life.

Mindy (Meharg) Beltramo (BA, Liberal Studies, ’87; Credential, ’88)

photo of Roger LedererI was in Dr. Roger Lederer’s (see photo left) very first ornithology class at Chico State. It was great—the teacher wasn’t much older than the students! We had great field trips to Point Reyes, Eagle Lake, and other places. I learned so much that semester, and became a wildlife biologist for eight years for the Forest Service in Lassen National Forest. I assisted Dr. Peter Sharpe with capturing fledging ospreys with the intent of reintroducing them to Catalina Island. I also sit on the Death Valley Natural History Advisory Board. Thanks so much, Dr. Lederer!

Marcelle Grider Rice (BS, Microbiology and Chemical Science, ’75)

Esther Sinnott was my seventh- and eighth- grade English teacher at Wilson Junior High School in Santa Clara, California. I already had a love of language, but she made me love it more. I loved creative writing the most, and she made me feel like I was a real writer.

Mrs. Sinnott gave me something to believe in, something to build up my confidence, and something to make me whole. She must have thought to herself, “I’m going to save this one.” And did she ever!

In the following years, through high school, college, and my teaching career, we developed a wonderful friendship. She left us this year at the age of 93, but she never left my heart. Thank you, Esther.

Judith Beaudet Reed (BA, English, ’71)