Graduate Studies

Student/Alumni/Faculty Achievements


Cathy Burton, master’s graduate from the Department of Anthropology, was named to the Great American Songbook Foundation’s History Leadership Institute’s Class of 2018. Burton is the lead researcher and planner for the proposed development of a Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Museum, celebrating the nation’s timeless popular music. 

Anthropology graduate student Derek Boyd selected as the 2016-2017 CSU, Chico Outstanding Thesis Winner.

Anthropology graduate student Lowell Thomas was the winner of the 2016 BSS Outstanding Master’s Thesis.

NBC Bay Area Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa discussed ALVA film "Stories in Thread: Hmong Textiles" with Chico State anthropology graduate students Tamera Maxey and Dayne Gradone in April 2017.

Anthropology graduate student Martha Diaz was featured in the Chico Statements Spring 2017 issue. The article featured Martha's work interning at the Colibri Center and Pima County Medical Examiners Office.

Anthropology graduate student Dayne Gradone was a recipient of 2017-2018 Lt. Robert Merton Rawlins award in July 2017.

Three Anthropology graduate students took prizes in CSU, Chico’s 32nd Annual Student Research Competition: First Place - Dayne Gradone, Second Place – Valerie Sgheiza, and Third Place –  Ashlynn Weaver.

Anthropology graduate students Katie Jorgenson and Noel Jones won the Student Paper Award  at the Society for California Archaeology 2018 conference.

Anthropology graduate student Karen Gardner was awarded the CSU, Chico Outstanding Thesis Award in May 2014.

Ashley Kendell (2006, Masters Degree in Physical Anthropology) was awarded a Smithsonian CIC Fellowship, a one-year fellowship to support research in residence at Smithsonian Institution facilities. 

Barry Hewlett (1977 Masters Degree in Anthropology) participated in over 30 media interviews in 2014 (from NPR, CNN to Scientific American) and working with Center for Disease Control, AAA Special Task for on Ebola, and Gates Foundation on how to contain Ebola outbreak in West Africa. His book was the only social science/anthropology text on the topic.


Candice Sawyer presented a research poster "Brood Parasitism in Anas platyrhynchos in agricultural nesting sites" at The Wildlife Society-Western Section Annual Meeting, Reno, NV (with Raymond J. Bogiatto, David M. Keller, and Donald G. Miller), 2017.

Irene Lona presented a research poster "Landing rate of the walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, on two western North American walnut species, Juglans californica and J. major" at The Wildlife Society-Western Section Annual Meeting, Reno, NV (with Donald G. Miller, Colleen Hatfield, Richard C. Rosecrance, and Steven J. Seybold), 2017.

Badri Ghimire presented a research poster "Does deer browsing affect Tamalia galling aphid populations on manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.) host plants?" at The Wildlife Society-Western Section Annual Meeting, Reno, NV (with Donald G. Miller), 2017.

Dylan Stompe was awarded a $12,000 scholarship from the Northern California Water Association that funds his thesis work “Sacramento River predation rates among native and non-native predatory species."

Nick Balfour was awarded a $2,500 scholarship to attend a 5-week summer program at Friday Harbor Laboratories that provides rigorous training in fish swimming physiology and kinematics.


The spring 2016 issue of the Education Matters “Where Are They Now?” section features two interviews with successful Master's graduates: Marcus Tessier (program coordinator and co-principal investigator for the San Mateo County Office of Education’s (SMCOE) Partnership for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in STEM (PETALS), and C.G. Watson (educator, author, co-founder of nonprofit Never Counted Out providing young people with access to arts and creative mentorship).

Geological and Environmental Sciences

Lexi Thornton presented her master’s research “Mapping Risk for Phytophthora ramorum with an Anthropogenic Focus” at the Society for Conservation GIS annual meeting in July, 2018.

Graduate students Sommer Cassady, John Kelly, Jay Smart and Sean Lucas all presented posters at the May 2018 annual Geological Society of America (GSA) Cordilleran Region conference in Flagstaff, AZ.

Allen LaGrange (MS Environmental Science) presented research at the California Society for Ecological Restoration 2018 annual conference in San Diego. Allen presented his master’s research, Response of Wet Meadow Vegetation Along a Hydrological Gradient after Passive Restoration.

A GEOS Graduate/Faculty team of Sean Lucas, Jay Smart, and Ann Bykerk-Kauffman won the PEOPLES’ CHOICE FOR GRADUATE/FACULTY RESEARCH at 2018 College of Natural Sciences Poster Session with a submission titled "The Painted Gorge fault, a potentially active dextral fault in the northeastern Coyote Mountains, Salton Trough, California.” 

Richard Vitamanti (MS Geosciences: Hydrology) was awarded a 2018 Student Award for Research and Creativity from the Provost Office for his summer research titled “Effects of Additives and Saturation Depth on Nutrient Retention in Urban Stormwater Biofiltration”.

Environmental Science graduate student Cab Esposito presented his research at the 2017 Groundwater Conference and 26th Annual Meeting of the Groundwater Resources Association of California. Cab was awarded the "Dr. David Huntley Student Competition Award, In recognition of their Outstanding Poster Presentation at the 2017 Groundwater....". (Citation: Esposito, C.M., Mehl, S., and Houk, E., 2017. Coupling land use change and regional hydrologic models to assess impacts on groundwater dependent ecosystems. Presented at the 26th Groundwater Resources Association Annual Meeting, 2017: Time for Collaboration and Innovation, October 3, Sacramento, CA.)

Richard Vitamanti (MS Geosciences: Hydrology) presented a research poster on stormwater biofiltration at the State of the Estuary conference in Oakland, CA on Oct. 10-11, 2017 to over 800 conference attendees from local, state, and federal agencies focusing on the management and ecological health of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. The State of the Estuary Conference showcased the latest information about the estuary’s changing watersheds, impacts from major stressors, recovery programs for species and habitats, and emerging challenges.

Graduate student Sommer Cassady presented a poster at the October 2017 annual Geological Society of America (GSA) conference in Seattle Washington.

GEOS Graduate alum Fletcher Alexander (PSM) coauthored an article that was published in Sustainability: Journal of Record titled Public-Public Partnerships for a New Paradigm in the Civic Role of the University(opens in new window) [fall 2017]. The article highlights the South Campus Neighborhood Project, a collaboration between CSU Chico and the City of Chico.

Allen LaGrange (MS Environmental Science) was awarded a Student Award for Research & Creativity through the Honors Program at Chico State for his research titled “Hydrological and Ecological Indicators for Wet Meadow Restoration: Papoose Meadows, CA”. 

Political Science and Public Administration

Victoria Padilla, a graduate student pursuing her Master’s degree in public administration, was part of the winning global team at an annual event held by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Read more about the 2018 competition here.

Alumnae and faculty member, Meagan Meloy and graduate student Jessica Candela organized the first annual School Ties: Back-to-School Connect for over 200 K-12 homeless students and their families prior to the start of the 2017 school year. The community event provided backpacks, books, food boxes, haircuts, hygiene kits, school supplies, and shoes to local homeless students. Read and watch local news coverage from the Chico ERChico State TodayKRCR, and KZFR.

Jaydeep Bhatia (’16 MA Political Science) was selected as a 2016-17 Capital Fellow. Fellows work for 10-11 months as staff members in the California State Assembly, gaining priceless experience in policymaking, program development, and program implementation. 

Professor Adam Irish and former graduate students, Georgia Nilsson, Lucas Alward, Jaydeep Bhatia, and Sean Stephens, authored an essay regarding the panel presented in spring 2016 on the Refugee Crisis. The essay, “Collaborating with Graduate Students to Enhance Civic Engagement: Lessons from Organizing an Interdisciplinary Panel Discussion” appeared in Political Science Educator, the Newsletter of APSA’s Political Science Education Section. 

Ellie Ertle, a long-time lecturer in Political Science, won both the BSS and University Outstanding Lecturer awards fall 2016.

Deborah Holmes graduated from the Master of Public Administration program in 2014 and is currently a lead program analyst in the California Department of Public Health’s Emergency Preparedness office.

Recent Political Science Master's graduates have moved on to PhD programs: Georgia Nilsson Anderson (Vanderbilt University), Lucas Alward (University of Central Florida, Orlando) and Brian Goodwin (Georgia State).

On November 17, 2015 the Council of Graduate Students (COGS) – hosted a timely and well-attended panel discussion for the university and community on the global refugee crisis.

MPA graduate student Efren Sanchez-Delgado presented “Crossing Boundaries: Farmworkers Breaking the Silence” at an International Forum in September 2014 sponsored by the CSU, Chico Office of International Education. Efren shared experiences from his summer 2014 internship working at Colorado Legal Services in the Migrant Farm Worker Division. Efren’s presentation covered topics including conditions of employment, health and security in the workplace, civil rights, immigration, and H-2A workers. 

MA graduate students Emily LaRue and Sarah Messer, along with political science professor Ryan Patten, presented research on “Drug Court and the Expansion of Life Course Theory” at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Western Society of Criminology in Phoenix, Arizona, in February 2015.

Social Science

Larly Lee was the recipient of the fall 2018 Staff Academic Award. Lee works as an Advisor for Educational Talent Search and is working on completing his master's degree in Social Science. 

More departments are represented in the graduate student and faculty publications, presentations, exhibits, awards, and activities celebrated in the Chico State Today links below.