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

Phone 530-898-4143

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LYNN BALMER (Credential, ’27) celebrated her 103rd birthday Sept. 12, 2010, at Hooker Oak Recreation Area with her five sisters (they call themselves the Six Pack) and about 45 other family members.


GEORGIA ELIZABETH STOLP (AB, Education, ’31) celebrated her 100th birthday on Aug. 22, 2010, with more than 200 friends at the Courtyard at Little Chico Creek. She worked in the business office and as an accounting officer at Chico State, retiring in 1973 after 41 years of service. She was honored at Chico State’s College of Agriculture Hall of Honor reception Oct. 9, 2010, for her support of the University Farm and College of Agriculture.


NORMAN MacKENZIE (AB, Physical Education, ’55; Credential, ’56) started teaching and coaching at Oroville High School in 1951, coaching football, basketball, and track until 1961, when he went to Las Plumas High School and became coach, director of physical education, and athletic director. He has been enjoying retirement since 1995 and has received numerous awards, most recently his induction to the Northern California Sports Association Hall of Fame in 2001. He lives in Oroville.


HANK PRUDEN (BS, Business Administration, ’61) was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Market Technicians Association Educational Foundation. He is a business administration professor at the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, where he has been teaching for more than 30 years.

JOHN BERTHELSEN (BA, English, ’65) is the editor of the Asia Sentinel, a regional Internet-based newsmagazine covering 23 countries across Asia. He has also worked for Newsweek as a correspondent in San Francisco, Vietnam, and Chicago; for The Sacramento Bee; for The Wall Street Journal Asia as a correspondent in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand; and for Hong Kong’s The Standard as managing editor. Berthelsen lives in Hong Kong.

RUTH LOWMAN (BA, Physical Education, ’66; Credential, ’67; MA, Physical Education, ’71) taught physical education and coached field hockey, basketball, softball, and track for 20 years at Marysville High School and then spent 14 years teaching and administering a continuation school in Sutter County. Lowman is credited with making huge strides in providing equality for girls in athletics, according to letters from former colleagues submitted to the Sutter Union Hall of Fame committee. She has been enjoying retirement since 2001 and lives in Magalia.

JIM MILLER (BA, History, ’66) wrote the script for Livin’ by the Gun, a film written, filmed, acted, and produced almost entirely by Calaveras County locals. He and director of photography Darren Knapp have been entering the film in various festivals. Miller is a special education teacher at Calaveras High School.

MARK WEBSTER (BA, Political Science, ’69) is the executive senior pastor at Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, Washington. He founded the church in 1984 with Ken Hutcherson. While at Chico State, Webster was the 1969–1970 student body vice president and Cal State boxing champion in 1969.

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DAN NAVARRO (attended fall ’70–spring ’71) retired after 35 years of coaching football. In 1975, he started coaching at the Pop Warner level. He began coaching at his alma mater, Mountain View High School, in 1981. He and wife Barbara have been married for 40 years and have two sons.

photo of Mathews and Billie Jackson MATTHEWS JACKSON SR. (BA, English, ’72; Master of Public Administration, ’73) retired in 2006 from Butte College as assistant superintendent and vice president for education and student programs and services. He has been involved in the Chico community in a variety of ways, including serving on the board of directors of the Chico Chamber of Commerce and as founding president of the Boys & Girls Club of Chico. Currently, he is a member of the CSU, Chico Advisory Board and chairman of the Enloe Medical Center Board of Trustees. He and wife BILLIE (BA, English, ’74; MA, Education, ’90), a longtime CSU, Chico administrator, have two children, Matt Jr. and Joy.

MERRILY THORNE PRESCOTT (BA, Social Science, ’73) retired in June 2010 from the Glendale Unified School District after teaching first and second grades for 37 years. She moved to Lantana, Texas, in August 2010 and is enjoying retirement.

SANDY LERNER (BA, International Relations, ’75) runs certified-organic Ayrshire Farm near Middleburg, Virginia. The farm includes cattle, hundreds of pigs, veal calves, and thousands of chickens and turkeys. Prior to running Ayrshire Farm, she helped start Cisco Systems and created the cosmetic line Urban Decay. Lerner was selected as the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Distinguished Alumna in 1996.

photo of Timonthy Spira TIMOTHY SPIRA (BA, Biology, ’75; MA, Botany, ’78) is a professor of biological sciences at Clemson University in South Carolina, where he has taught since 1993. He teaches courses in field botany and plant ecology and recently published his first book, Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont (University of North Carolina Press, 2011).

KAREN OWEN (BA, Recreation Administration, ’76) recently exhibited her watercolors as part of the Women’s Wisdom Project through the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. She remembers joining Wes Dempsey and others on walks in Upper Bidwell Park and bicycling through Lower Park in the 1970s. Owen lives in Carmichael and enjoys walking the American River bicycle trail and participating in church activities.

DREW TAKAICHI (BS, Business Administration, ’77) is a judge in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, to which he was appointed in December 2010 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He obtained a juris doctorate from Santa Clara University in 1980 and worked in private practice in San Jose until his recent appointment.

PEARL YOUNG (BS, Nursing, ’77) recently retired from the UC San Francisco Medical Center operating room after working as a nurse specializing in orthopedic surgery for 31 years. During that time, Young worked under three well-known orthopedic chairmen. “It’s been such a rewarding experience having learned about the many different aspects of this profession during my career,” she says.

illustration on stamp by Craig Frazier CRAIG FRAZIER (BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’78) designed the “Celebrate Scouting” postage stamp, honoring the Boy Scouts of America 100th anniversary, with the stamp’s first day of issue July 27, 2010. He lives in Mill Valley.

photo of Kevin Davis KEVIN DAVIS (BS, Business Administration, ’79) completed his second book on sales effectiveness, Slow Down, Sell Faster! Understand Your Customer’s Buying Process and Maximize Your Sales, which was published by Amacom Books in January 2011. Davis is founder and president of TopLine Leadership, a sales and sales management training company in Reno, Nevada.

photo of Rand Ferris RAND FERRIS (BA, Political Science, ’79) is vice president of operations for Togo’s Eateries. Ferris was previously vice president of franchise operations for International House of Pancakes and has nearly 30 years of experience in executive management and restaurant operations. He has a master’s degree in business administration from UCLA. Ferris is married with two sons and lives in Southern California.

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STEVE DEATON (BA, Political Science, ’81) was officially discharged from the military as a chief warrant officer 4 from the Oregon Army National Guard
inactive reserve on Nov. 11, 2010. Deaton flew 650 combat helicopter missions and received the Air Medal for Heroism for saving his crew in Vietnam. A few of his other honors include the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, also earned in Vietnam. He and wife Susan live in Medford, Oregon.

STEPHEN GUTIERREZ (BA, English, ’81) received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for his collection of short stories, Live from Fresno y Los (Bear Star Press, 2009), nominated by Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima, who praises the book as “one of the most compelling collections of stories I've read in a long time.” Gutierrez is a professor of English and director of creative writing at CSU, East Bay.

AMBER PALMER (BA, Psychology, ’82) runs Amber Palmer Counseling Center and Gallery in Chico for children and adults, incorporating art as a therapeutic tool. Palmer has been a chairwoman of Chico Art Center, started and acted as regional director of Very Special Arts for developmentally disabled children, and helped form Butte County Watercolor Society. She has been practicing psychotherapy for 25 years.

photo of Karyn Hodgens KARYN HODGENS (BA, Child Development, ’85) says she “has a passion for designing real-world lessons that resonate with kids and their interests.” A career specialist in elementary mathematics, Hodgens has worked with teachers all over the country showing them how to engage students in meaningful mathematics. She and husband John designed KidsSave, a tool to help parents teach money management skills. She is creating Family Math Night kits as a way to build strong family-school partnerships. She lives in Rocklin with her husband and two children. Visit her at

STEVE DING (BA, Public Administration, ’86) bought Woodbridge Crossing, a steak house in Lodi, from KEILY HERD (BA, Communication Design, ’01; MS, Instructional Design and Technology, ’03) in 2010. The building is a historic saloon built in 1865 that was a Wells Fargo stage stop and home of the original county jail. “Lots of Chico grads come through here,” says Ding. He previously spent 25 years in politics, 16 of them in Washington, D.C.

CAMERON BECK (BS, Business Administration, ’88) is managing director at UBS Financial Services Inc., leading The Beck Wealth Consulting Group team. Beck has 23 years of experience in the securities industry and was named to Barron’s Top 1000 Financial Advisors List in February 2011. He was the only advisor in the Sacramento area to be named to the list. Beck lives in Davis with wife KIM KUKLINSKI BECK (BA, Liberal Studies, ’84; Credential, ’85) and their two daughters.

book cover KAREN BENKE (BA, English, ’88) had her first book, Sister, a poetry collection, published in 2004, and her first nonfiction book for kids, Rip the Page! Adventures in Creative Writing, published in 2010. Rip the Page! is now in its second printing. Benke is currently working on a follow-up interactive creative writing book, Unwrap Your Gift, for older kids (“aka adults,” she says) while dividing her time between being a California Poet in the Schools, a creative writing coach, and mom—her favorite job—to her 9-year-old son, Collin. She has been married since 1998 to Owen Prell, a screenwriter and arts attorney, and lives with her family in Mill Valley. Her website is

JOHN EVENHUIS (BA, English, ’88) has been working for IBM for five years in software sales with a focus on financial services. He lives in Moraga with his wife of 20 years, Marianne. They have two children, Billy, 15, an avid lacrosse player and high school sophomore, and Beth, 12, who loves to volunteer with many different charities.

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MARY CALVARIO (BA, Liberal Studies, ’90; Credential, ’91) and husband ALEX CALVARIO (BS, Business Administration, ’91) live in Sacramento. She is an assistant principal at Fern Bacon Middle School of the Sacramento City Unified School District, and he is a project manager for Hewlett-Packard. Mary is a founding mother of Lambda Theta Nu, Sorority Inc., a Latina-based sorority begun in 1986.

MERVIN WRIGHT (BS, Agriculture, ’90) is chairman of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Nevada. In late 2010, he and 11 other tribal leaders met with President Obama to discuss tribal issues.

MARK NEVINS (BA, Psychology, ’91; BA, Geography, ’91) is an instrument-rated airplane pilot working on multi-engine and commercial pilot ratings. He hopes that CSU, Chico one day offers a university-based flight school. Nevins mentions professors Frank Seawall, Ladd Johnson, and Guy King as his mentors.

GREG LOIACONO (attended fall ’89–spring ’92) and TIM BLUHM (attended fall ’89–spring ’92) formed their indie rock band, The Mother Hips, in 1990 while attending Chico State. They recently completed a West Coast tour, which included two sold-out shows at Chico’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Big Room on Dec. 5 and 6, 2010.

LESLIE (MOORE) YOURA (BA, Liberal Studies, ’92) is the owner of Autobody Specialists collision repair center in Chico and is a founding partner of CleanTraks, a company specializing in the research and development of innovative pet products. She is also the author of the new book It’s Up to You: Success Starts at Home and the host of a Christian conservative radio talk show.

GINA (WAGNER) TROMBETTA (BA, Music Education and Performance, ’93) teaches at a performing arts school in Brooklyn, New York, and performs with various big bands, brass ensembles, and chamber groups. She has been teaching and performing for the past 15 years in Indiana, Arizona, and New York.

KIRSTEN McCARVER (BS, Business Administration, ’94) and JEN FALCA (BA, Psychology, ’96) recently expanded their business, Ally Kat Couture, offering more boutique-style clothing at low costs. The business is located in El Dorado Hills, where they both live, McCarver with her husband and three children, and Falca with her husband and two children.

KERRY (MURPHY) WEISS (BS, Business Administration, ’94) makes custom handmade sterling silver jewelry ( “Attending Chico State was the best decision,” she says. “I was so homesick my freshman year and wanted to quit and go home to Southern California. My mom said that I had to stick it out for one year, and if I was still unhappy, I could go home. By then, I had joined the Marketing Association and made friends. I started to get the lay of the land around town and was learning how the campus worked and how to be a good student. I feel that Chico State made me who I am today, without a doubt.”

GARY PARSONS (BS, Health Science, ’97) is a firefighter/paramedic with the city of North Las Vegas. He is pursuing a master’s degree in leadership.

OSCAR DE LA TORRE (BA, Political Science, ’95) was re-elected to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board. “We are implementing some very innovative initiatives to close the academic achievement gap and also leading the region in sustainability plans in our $298 million construction project,” he says. De La Torre is also the founder and director of the Pico Youth and Family Center, He thanks Chela Patterson and the other staff members at the Educational Opportunity Program for their support during his school years, saying that they had a major influence on the leader he is today.

photo of Robb Wolf ROBB WOLF (BS, Chemistry, ’98) released his new book, The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet, in September 2010, which swiftly became a New York Times bestseller. Wolf was previously a research biochemist, California State Powerlifting champion, and an amateur kickboxer. He is co-owner of Paleo Brands and of NorCal Strength & Conditioning, a fitness center rated by Men’s Health magazine as one of the “top 30 gyms in America.” Wolf lives in Chico with wife Nicki and can be found at

CARLY (BA, Psychology, ’99) and WILLIAM (MA, Anthropology, ’08) ANDERSON welcomed their first child on June 29, 2010, in Melrose, Massachusetts. They live in Boston.

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photo of Greg Hulse and familyGREG HULSE (BS, Business Administration, ’00) is vice president of sales with Experience In Software (also known as Project KickStart), a project management software company in Berkeley. He recently attended the world expo in Shanghai. Since leaving Chico State, he has worked with Siebel Systems, completed a master’s degree in Asia-Pacific economic relations, and taught at universities in China. He lives in Albany with wife Camilla and daughter Jennifer.

ROSEANN (LANGLOIS) KEEGAN (BA, Journalism, ’00) is a donor relations writer at the University of Nevada, Reno, and an associate editor of Nevada Silver & Blue, the university’s alumni magazine. She is also a health journalism fellow for the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

photo of Jerry and Lyndsey Noble JERRY NOBLE JR. (BA, History, ’01; MA, Physical Education, ’05) is an instructor and head coach for cross country and track and field at Santa Rosa Junior College. He was Northern California Coach of the Year in 2006. Noble and wife LYNDSEY KUEHN NOBLE (BA, Liberal Studies, ’05) were both NCAA All-Americans in track and field during their time at Chico State. Lyndsey teaches at Almaden Country School in San Jose.

CHRISTINA (RICHEY) LOREN (BA, Economics, ’02) works for NBC Bay Area as a meteorologist. Most recently she worked as traffic anchor and weekend morning meteorologist for WFOR in Miami. While there, she received an Emmy nomination for a series of public service announcements urging motorists to drive safely. She was also honored with the Power 30 Under 30 Award for Miami. Loren has a meteorological certificate from Mississippi State.

ERIC POOLER (BS, Agricultural Business, ’02) is the vineyard manager at Raymond Vineyards, part of Boisset Family Estates. He oversees 300 acres and a dozen local winegrowers, and is managing the company’s transition to organic and biodynamic certification. Pooler has worked for the collection of wineries since 2008. The vineyard is located in the Russian River Valley and is committed to eco-friendly farming practices.

SCOTT THOM (BA, Physical Education, ’02) is the interim head strength coach of the UC Berkeley men’s basketball team and the strength coach for the school’s track and field team. Thom was formerly head coach of the Vintage High School boys’ basketball team in Napa and was named Coach of the Year in 2009–2010 after taking the team to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs for the first time in 10 years. He gives techniques and strategies for basketball training on his blog,

TRAVIS POWELL (BA, International Relations, ’03) enlisted in the Army in 2004. He is chief warrant officer 2 and flies UH-60 Black Hawk Medevac helicopters. He has completed two deployments, to Iraq March 2007 through July 2008 and to Afghanistan September 2009 through September 2010, flying more than 500 Medevac missions in total.

photo of James Lodge and Vanessa Carnes JAMES LODGE (BS, Construction Management, ’07) and VANESSA CARNES (BA, Journalism, ’07) met at Madison Bear Garden in Chico in fall 2005 and have recently announced their engagement. The couple is planning a fall 2011 wedding in San Diego.

MOLLY MAHONEY (BA, Music, ’07) was the first-place winner in last year’s Young Artist Competition in the college/university division. The mezzo-soprano and Chico native sang four songs in the North State Symphony’s February 2011 concert, Beauty Rising. Mahoney recently toured the Bay Area with the San Francisco Opera Guild, performing the role of Cinderella in an English translation of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. She is also the lead female vocalist with The George Cole Quintet and The Skyliners Big Band.

LINDSAY NELSON (BA, Psychology, ’08) won the 2010 Long Beach International City Bank Marathon in Long Beach. Her winning time to complete the 26.2-mile course was 2:45:08—22 minutes ahead of the runner-up.

ROBERT RAMOS (BA, English, ’08) works in Dublin for Republic Document Management, a legal services vendor specializing in workers’ compensation. He previously worked as an account manager at ABC Legal of Oakland and will attend the Santa Clara University School of Law in fall 2011.

photo of Christine Amorose CHRISTINE AMOROSE (BA, Journalism, ’09) backpacked through Europe for five weeks after graduation before returning to the United States to accept a job at a high-tech public relations firm. However, she decided to continue traveling and moved to the French Riviera to pursue a freelance writing career. She is currently spending the year in Australia exploring the continent and working as a freelance writer. Amorose blogs regularly at C’est Christine,

SARAH HUBBART (BS, Agriculture, ’09) is the communications director of the Animal Agriculture Alliance. She manages all aspects of the nonprofit organization’s communications strategy. Hubbart worked as an intern for the organization in summer 2009 before being hired as the full-time communications coordinator and then promoted to her current position.

JACKEY HUMPHREY-STRAUB (BA, Social Work, ’09) is a client services advocate at Catalyst Domestic Violence Services in Chico and also a member of the Stonewall Alliance Center’s board of directors. She helped plan Coming Out for Art for the National Coming Out Day in October 2010. While attending Chico State she was involved with the Social Work Club and the Associated Students Women’s Center.

HIRONORI MII (BS, Business Administration, ’09), a yo-yo’er for 13 years, recently traveled from his hometown in Nagoya, Japan, to judge the 2010 National Yo-Yo Championship in Chico. He says what drew him to Chico State originally was the fact that the national competition is held in Chico.

JESSICA NESBIT (BA, Liberal Studies and Social Science, ’09) is currently in the California Energy Service Corps, a yearlong training program. The corps is a partnership among the Watsonville nonprofit Central Coast Energy Services, the California Conservation Corps, and Americorps. The program teaches green construction practices, office administration, and how to educate the community on ways to save energy.

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photo of Jim and Marge AllgaierJIM ALLGAIER (AB, Marketing, ’61) and wife Marge recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. They were married Jan. 29, 1961, in Richmond. Allgaier is a member of Phi Kappa Tau. He retired as store manager after working 36 ½ years for the J.C. Penney Company. She is retired after many years in special education. They were honored at an anniversary party hosted by their sons and daughters-in-law. The Allgaiers have two granddaughters and two great-granddaughters and reside in Portland, Oregon.

photo of Janice and Lee Klopfenstein JANICE (PHIBBS) KLOPFENSTEIN (BA, Social Work, ’81) and husband Lee celebrated 30 years of marriage Feb. 6, 2011. She is the director of social services at Boundary Community Hospital in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. He is retired.

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Anna Harris, Melissa Cheatham, Cassandra Jones, and Katie Mills, Public Affairs and Publications