College of Behavioral & Social Sciences

Vanguard - Fall 2017

College of BSS, 2017 graduating class gathering outside Butte Hall in their cap and gowns.

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors Graduates

On Saturday, May 20, 2017, just prior to Commencement ceremonies, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSS) hosted its annual Award Ceremony to honor BSS students. There were 58 award recipients, representing the College's eight departments, two programs, and one school. Graduates receiving Honors in General Education (five recipients) and Honors in the Major (thirty-three recipients) were recognized for their achievements. In this year's graduating class for BSS, there were 14 Summa Cum Laude, 22 Magna Cum Laude, and 25 Cum Laude, representing the top one, three and five percent of the graduating class.

The Award Ceremony provided a unique opportunity for student recipients, donors, friends, and family to gather to celebrate academic achievements. We were pleased to have approximately 600 people in attendance. Several notable donors attended to help present their awards to students. A special acknowledgment and note of gratitude to Dr. Walt Schafer, Dr. Teddy DeLorenzo, Dr. Dane Cameron, Bonnie Persons, Marcia Briggs, Robert Christopherson, and Dr. George Parrott for joining us to honor our accomplished students.

What's Happening in the College of BSS

Members at the student scholarly research symposium.

Student Scholarly Research Symposium
The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSS) Student Research Symposium was held on April 26, 2017. This annual Symposium recognizes outstanding student scholarship in the College. Now in its 16th year, it is the College’s key spring event. Over 300 select undergraduate and graduate students presented on topics researched in one of their courses or as part of a research project sponsored by one or more BSS faculty. In addition to orally presented research projects, students created engaging and interactive displays during a concurrent poster session.

Please mark your calendars for next year's event, Wednesday, April 25, 2018.

Enjoy the symposium photos highlighting our student’s success at the event. Student Symposium 2017.

Paul Lambros

Distinguished Alumni
The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences was pleased to recognize Paul Lambros as its Distinguished Alumnus for 2017. Paul earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, graduating in 1986. He serves as the executive director of Plymouth Housing Group in Seattle, Washington. Plymouth Housing Group has been widely recognized for its work in placing homeless people into permanent housing and providing needed social services and has been touted as a model nationally.

Paul visited on our campus and enjoyed a full itinerary of classroom talks, meeting with students, visiting with faculty, and presenting a talk on his agency’s program in the Performing Arts Center, followed by a reception. Paul was able to meet with area Chico homeless and housing advocates as well. The Distinguished Alumni Dinner took place on Friday, March 24, 2017. Paul Lambros 2017.

A glimpse inside BSS

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSS) is pleased and proud to launch our new College website. While still a work in progress, the updated website is optimized for viewing across a variety of electronic devices. The updated web page also provides a greater variety and more up-to-date college news. Please visit our new and improved website and peruse the pages.

College of BSS NEW website

Moot Court

For over 35 years, the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice has hosted its annual moot court competition at the end of each spring semester, which is modeled on moot court competitions held nationally. About a month before the competition, students enrolled in the department's Trial and Appellate Advocacy course, taught by Professor Dane Cameron, are provided a hypothetical factual situation, and they spend that month preparing their legal arguments and honing their appellate court presentation skills.

During the competition, approximately 60 students compete in teams of two in the weeklong, single-elimination tournament. Nearly 50 members of the campus and Chico community volunteer their time and energy to serve in the role of appellate court judge and to score the student performances in different categories of evaluation, such as proper courtroom manner, logical progression to the argument, application of sufficient legal support, and poise of presentation, among others. On the last evening of the tournament, the final two teams compete for the championship.

In spring 2017, the moot court competition case involved a presidential executive order that required extreme vetting of persons coming into the United States from seven listed countries and also placed a 120-day suspension on incoming Syrian refugees. The competing students discussed whether the executive order was void of vagueness, whether it was improperly based upon the religious discrimination of persons seeking entry into the country, and whether there was a national emergency that would allow the president to take action. The spring 2017 moot court champions were Nicholas Babaian and Nisael Guzman. The finalists were Juliette David and Isaac Gilbert.

Chico's Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology (ALVA) members gather together holding their awards.


Chico's Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology (ALVA) took home an Emmy Award at the 46th annual Northern California Area Emmy Award ceremony at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco in June 2017. ALVA's 2015 documentary A Walk Through Time: The Story of Anderson Marsh won for best Historic/Cultural-Program/Special, which aired on KVIE 6, a Public Broadcasting System station in Sacramento. The film was produced in collaboration with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, which manages Anderson Marsh State Historic Park. For the Full Press Release, please read A Walk Through Time earns an EMMY.

Make a Gift to BSS

Student is presenting tri-fold poster.

Support Can Make All the Difference!

There’s nothing quite like the first few weeks of classes. The halls are filled with students sporting new Chico State gear, catching up on their summers, comparing courses, and sharing plans for the new school year. I’m proud to say that my daughter is among them, as she discovers whether or not a law degree might be for her. And the College of BSS is the place to do just that—discover.

Over the past few years, I have met hundreds of College of BSS alumni and friends like you who graduated from and support our 11 departments, anthropology to geography to sociology. I’ve heard stories of professors, classes, internships, and programs that changed your outlooks, your lives and helped launch you into rewarding careers.

Giving back and paying it forward is a through-line that connects our College’s many disciplines, and many of you have made an investment in today’s students and programs. No matter how you think of it, your gifts ensure we have the resources to transform programs, create meaningful experiences, and support deserving students.

I invite you to help transform a life through a scholarship, make a gift that will make a program more innovative, or donate to send students to a conference, so they can see what the future may hold. To give to an existing fund, visit  Support(opens in new window)  and choose the area you’d like to support. And, if you would like to take your giving to the next level as a Tower Society leader and transform more lives, please give me a call at 530-898-3641 or visit in new window).

Our students’ futures, including my daughter’s, is why I joined the Tower Society. And I’m grateful to play a role in engaging so many friends and alumni, reconnecting you with our outstanding faculty, with each other, and with our students!

Many thanks for your support!

Lise Smith-Peters
Development Director

Donations made this unique space and program a reality for our students! Click here to learn how you can support student success.