Chico State Alumni Association

Distinguished Alumni

It is important for California State University, Chico to recognize its outstanding alumni for a variety of reasons. Our outstanding alumni are among the leaders in their chosen vocations and professions and are those to whom we turn for assistance in ensuring the integrity of our academic programs.

Our distinguished alumni are fondly remembered by the faculty as inquisitive students and often as personal friends, both of which make teaching such a rewarding career. Recognizing our most talented and successful alumni reaffirms that they, like those many before them and thousands to follow, give life and reality to the legacy and contributions of California State University, Chico. Our most accomplished alumni, then, represent what it is we do well when we do our best, and for them we are grateful.

—Gayle E. Hutchinson, President

Browse past Distinguished Alumni honorees here
View Archive of Distinguished Alumni honorees here

2019 Distinguished Alumni Honorees

California State University, Chico will honor these distinguished alumni at the 26th annual Distinguished Alumni Recognition awards program on October 25, 2019. 

David Keyawa

College of Agriculture

BS, Agriculture, '81

Current Position: Co-owner, Keyawa Orchards and Tri-Counties Walnut Hulling

David Keyawa is co-owner of Keyawa Orchards, established in 1956 by his parents, Eugene and Dorothy Keyawa. He also owns Tri-Counties Walnut Hulling with his brother, Ron. Keyawa is the past director of Butte County Farm Bureau and Walnut Bargaining Association, and currently serves on the California Walnut board, the grower advisory board for Diamond Foods and the CSU, Chico College of Agriculture advisory council. Keyawa represented Diamond Foods as a speaker at the International Nut Conference (I.N.C.) in Barcelona, Spain and recently traveled as a grower of Diamond Foods to the Netherlands. Keyawa is a long-time supporter of local agricultural organizations; including the University Farm, research competitions and the Chico State Superior Ag Golf Classic. Keyawa and his wife Deanna live in Chico. Read more...


Liza Nagel

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

BA, Child Development, '80

Dr. Liza Nagel received her BA in child development at CSU, Chico in 1980, and went on to complete her MA in family relations and a doctorate in higher education at Washington State University, Pullman. Nagel most recently worked as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Professional Programs at Washington State University Tri-Cities, joining WSU Tri-Cities in 2008 as the academic director for College of Education programs and a professor in the department of Teaching and Learning. Previously, Nagel was associate dean of the graduate school at the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly research focused on stress management and the study of substance abuse. She has conducted research on stress in teachers, stress in student teaching, mediators, causes of stress, and conflict in the workplace. Nagel has been recognized for her contributions to higher education, receiving a leadership award and teacher of the year award from the University of New Mexico. She is also a recipient of the National Exemplary Drug Prevention Program award from the U.S. Department of Education. Nagel previously served on the board of directors for the Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia and on the Delta High School Advisory Board. Nagel is retired and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Read more...

Todd Bishop

College of Communication and Education

BS, Journalism, '96; BS, Business, '96 

Current Position: Co-founder and editor, GeekWire

Todd Bishop graduated from CSU, Chico in 1996 with a BS in journalism and a BS in business. He is currently co-founder and editor of GeekWire, a national technology news site with roots in the Seattle area. A longtime tech reporter, Bishop covers national technology trends and key developments at companies including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Prior to his work at GeekWire, Bishop served as managing editor at TechFlash.com, and as a reporter for daily newspapers including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Seattle Post-Intelligencer.  He has received multiple awards for his accomplishments in journalism, including the Best in Business Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (2008). Bishop currently lives in Seattle with his wife Amy and daughter Maggie. Read more...

Darryl Schoen

College of Business

BS, Business, '77

Current Position: President, Manufacturers Financing Services

Darryl Schoen completed his BS in business at CSU, Chico in 1977. He is an entrepreneur and president of Manufacturers Financing Services, a multinational equipment financing company he started following his collegiate career and a brief start in banking. MFS has stood as an industry leader for decades, financing equipment for businesses across the world. Schoen currently serves on the University Foundation Board and the Center for Entrepreneurship Board at CSU, Chico, and was honored as the Orangewood Children’s Foundation Volunteer of the Year. Schoen and his wife Jaci have two grown sons and live in Coto De Caza, California. Read more 

Brad Kaufman

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management

BS, Construction Management, '88

Current Position: Senior Vice President, Kiewit Energy Group

Brad Kaufman completed his degree in construction management at CSU, Chico in 1988, and went on to graduate from the Advanced Management Program [AMP] at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Kaufman is currently senior vice president for Kiewit Energy Group with executive responsibilities for oil, gas and chemical [OGC] operations, which includes Cherne Contracting Corp., T.E. Ibberson and Kiewit Australia. Prior to being named senior vice president, Kaufman served as district manager and president of the Kiewit Energy Co., and was responsible for oil, gas and chemical projects in the U.S. and Canada. Since joining Kiewit in 1988, Brad has served as a field engineer, structures superintendent, mechanical superintendent, project engineer, lead estimator, project manager and area manager. Kiewit is a member of the Construction Management Industry Advisory Council (IAC) at CSU, Chico, which is instrumental in financial support, curriculum advice and program outreach to community colleges and high schools, helping students understand career opportunities in construction management. Kaufman currently lives in The Woodlands, Texas with his wife Christen. Read more...


phillip maltin

Phillip Maltin

College of Humanities & Fine Arts

BA, Philosophy '83

Current Position: Partner, Raines Feldman

Phillip Maltin graduated with his BA in philosophy from CSU, Chico in 1983, and went on to complete additional degrees at Hebrew University in Jerusalem (1995) and his J.D. at De Paul University School of Law in 1999. Maltin is currently a partner of Raines Feldman LLP where he focuses on employment and commercial law, as well as litigation in the Los Angeles area. Maltin developed the READ System for effective questioning and deception detection, which he teaches in workshops and seminars across North America. ​His popular seminars include training on how to identify subtle behavior that can mask, or expose, deceitful messages.  The science-based READ System uses thoughtful preparation, skillful questioning, observation and critical techniques for uncovering dishonesty. Maltin’s articles on trial tactics and evidence have been regularly featured in Los Angeles Lawyer, The California Labor and Employment Law Quarterly and The Los Angeles Daily Journal. Maltin is an instructor for Fellowship Program of the Trial Advocacy Project (TAP), and is a former member of the board of directors of MEND, one of California’s largest foodbanks. Maltin currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Gracie Nunez. Read more...


Richard Perry

College of Natural Sciences

BS, Geology, '81

Current Position: Administrator, Nevada Division of Minerals

Richard Perry graduated from CSU, Chico in 1981 with a BS in geology, and went on to complete his MS in geology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Since 2013, Perry has worked as an administrator for the Nevada Division of Minerals, and previously worked as a water resource specialist for the Nevada Division of Water Resources and as Vice President of North American Operations for the Newmont Mining Corporation. Over the years, his work in the mining industry led to assignments in Uzbekistan, Peru and Indonesia.  Perry started a copper mine in Indonesia that included the hiring and training of 3500 Indonesian Nationals, living with his family on a remote island in the area for three years. Perry has served as an elected official for city council and the planning commission in Elko, Nevada, and has been a member of Rotary Club in Carson City, Nevada for 19 years.  Perry currently lives in Carson City with his wife Lisa Holstrom-Perry.


Michael Halldorson

Distinguished Alumni Service Award

BA, Art, '69; Credential, '71

Current Position: Artist/Owner, Limited Editions

Michael Halldorson began his education at CSU, Chico in September 1961, taking time off from his studies to serve on active duty in the Navy from 1964 to 1967 on the destroyer USS Hopewell (DD-681). Halldorson was recognized for his service in Vietnam with the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal. He returned to campus in Spring 1967 and graduated with a BA in art in 1969 and a teaching credential in 1971. Halldorson worked as Dr. Janet Turner's teaching assistant in 1970-71 and served as a long-term member of the Turner Museum advisory board, helping move the museum forward in many ways. After graduation Halldorson went into the family business, Halldorson Appliance. A talented artist and printmaker, Halldorson assisted students in Professor Marion Epting’s evening printmaking class for 17 years. He has continually been a presence on campus as a volunteer since 1990. As an advocate for veteran organizations, Halldorson has organized reunions for the USS Hopewell (DD-681), participated in veteran art shows, worked with the VFW, as well as the Student Veteran Organization (SVO) on campus. In 2017-18, Halldorson recruited more members for the VFW than anyone in the state of California and was named all-state commander that year.  In 2016, Halldorson wrote Navy Daze, an account of his experience as a college student and and on a destroyer during the Vietnam War. Locally, Halldorson has been a member of Chico Rotary since 1980 and a member of the Chico Chamber of Commerce since 1982. Most recently, Halldorson served on the planning committee for the Chico State Class of 1969 Golden Grad reunion. Halldorson currently lives in Chico with his wife, Merry.