Dec. 5, 2016Vol. 47, Issue 3

'We Are Chico State'

Decorative banners with the faces of Chico State line each side of First Street through campus.

In the last two issues of Inside Chico State, we highlighted 12 of the 110 students, faculty, and staff members whose faces were featured on banners displayed on each side of First Street as it stretches through campus.

These banners were created and hung to show our solidarity as a community by delivering the messages: “We are Chico State” and “We Are One University.”

For our final issue of the semester, and for the last time, we wanted to share five more stories of those who are part of Chico State. 

Peggy Armocido, Administrative support coordinator II in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences.Name: Peggy Armocido

Hometown: Yuba City, California, but a majority of my life has been in Chico.

Role on Campus: Administrative support coordinator II in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences.

Years on Campus: 5 years as a student, 29 years as a staff member

Why did you choose Chico? I chose Chico to pursue my bachelor’s degree, and it was close enough to home that I could still see my family and friends on a regular basis. I fell in love with the campus and community and, like so many others, stayed in Chico. I could not pass on the opportunities I was provided, including working on this beautiful campus.

What does the Chico Experience mean to you? To me, the Chico Experience is about living in a small, friendly community, beautiful Bidwell Park, and opportunities to improve one’s knowledge.

What is your favorite place on campus? Tehama Hall 201, of course. The campus is beautiful so you can’t help but like so many places outdoors. However, I have to say, where I spend a majority of my day is my favorite place. I have been fortunate enough to work in the same department since I started at Chico State in 1987 (1985 if you count my time as a student assistant in communication). The communication faculty, students, and alumni are my second family, and Tehama Hall is my second home.

What’s something that people would be surprised to know about you?  I was very athletic as a child and was a fast runner until I injured my hip playing basketball, and eventually broke it playing kickball in fifth grade (I will spare you the technical details). This is the point where my life took a drastic turn from being an athlete to focusing more on my education. If it was not for my accident, I probably would not have pursued college.

What is your greatest accomplishment or wildest ambition? Receiving my bachelor’s degree, being hired at Chico State, and purchasing my home are all contenders in terms of accomplishments. However, I have to say my greatest accomplishment is surviving my cancer diagnosis. My wildest ambition would be to spend a month in Italy taking in the culture. On a larger scale, I would say to see a cure for cancer in my lifetime. 

Luke Reid, Sports information directorName: Luke Reid

Hometown: Chico

Role on Campus: Sports information director

Years on campus: 10 as full-time employee, 16 including my years as a student-assistant and student.

Why did you choose Chico? I grew up here and love it. I think it’s a great community and a great place to raise our kids.

What does the Chico Experience mean to you? It means family, friends, and community.

What’s your favorite place on campus? It’s a (three-way) tie: The press table in Acker Gym, the press box at Nettleton Stadium, and the scorers’ table at University Soccer Stadium.

What’s something most people would be surprised to learn about you? I’m pretty much an open book, but maybe the fact that I’m an Elder at Bidwell Presbyterian Church.

Tell us your greatest accomplishment or wildest ambition. That’s another (three-way) tie: To write a book, run a non-profit business, and sing in a rock and roll band.

Marissa Gutierrez, Communication design  majorName: Marissa Gutierrez

Hometown: Manteca

Major: Communication design and minors in photographic studies, instructional design, and gender and sexuality studies.

Years on campus: 2

Why did you choose Chico? I was never one to have a “dream school.” In fact, I almost didn’t choose Chico. I ultimately made my decision based on which school would be the best choice for me both financially and location-wise. However, I have grown to really appreciate the town and its beautiful campus.

What does the Chico Experience mean to you? The sense of closeness you get from not only the community, but from the proximity between downtown and campus. This makes it easy to get out and be able to actually experience the town and all it has to offer outside of your studies.

What’s your favorite place on campus? There are these benches to the side of Kendall Hall that I enjoy sitting at in between classes and work. There's one particular bench that’s under a tree big enough to shade you when it’s sunny and cover you when it’s raining. I enjoy this spot because I love sitting outside and it is a quiet area that feels secluded from the rest of campus.

What’s something most people would be surprised to learn about you? I am a cancer survivor. This used to be something that I was ashamed and embarrassed of, however, I credit a lot of who I am today to my experience and use this as one of my main sources of motivation.

Tell us your greatest accomplishment or wildest ambition. One of my oldest ambitions is to travel around as a photographer. Specifically, if possible, a music photographer. Art and music are two of the biggest influences in my life, and it would be great to actually be able to make a living doing something I truly love.

Miles Jesse Huffman, Graphic design major

Name: Miles Jesse Huffman

Hometown: Paradise

Major/Role on Campus: Graphic design; managing editor of The Orion

Years on campus: Too many to count? It’s been broken up a bit but about three years in total.

Why did you choose Chico? Well, firstly it's close to home, but aside from that it’s a beautiful campus that I believe provides a quality education. I guess I’m lucky that it happened to be close to home.

What does the Chico Experience mean to you? I never really felt like I’ve had the “Chico Experience.” I would suppose that’s because I am from the area and still love (being) in Paradise.

What’s your favorite place on campus? I spend most of my time outside of classes in The Orion office. It's nice to have a place to get away from the craziness of campus where you can focus on your work. Not to mention it’s usually full of my favorite people.

What is something most people would be surprised to learn about you? I used to be really involved in the music scene in Chico. I played in several death metal bands and used to scream in a power-violence band called Mom and Dad.

Tell us your greatest accomplishment or wildest ambition. This might not sound like such an ambition to most people, but I would love to have my own type foundry some day.

Emilyn Sheffield, Department of Recreation, Hospitality, and Parks Management faculty memberName: Emilyn Sheffield

Hometown: Like lots of folks, I moved around a great deal as a kid. After living in Chico for nearly 30 years, Chico is now my hometown.

Role on Campus: I’m a professor in the Department of Recreation, Hospitality, and Parks Management. I’m fortunate to be able to introduce students to their national and state forests, parks, and trails through our Field School program. I’m also involved in an exciting collaboration with California State University, San Francisco and California State University, Sacramento to offer a graduate program for local and distance professionals seeking an affordable, flexible, and customized master’s degree program.

Years on campus: 27 years

Why did you choose Chico? Chico has one of the best undergraduate programs in my discipline in the United States. As added bonuses, California is progressive, warm, and filled with the most remarkable people and places in America. (Where else can you snow ski, swim, and pick up local organic produce in the same day?)

What does the Chico Experience mean to you? Two things: First, a place where the campus and the community are intensely committed to students and their success. And, second, a place where you can reinvent yourself to meet emerging opportunities with confidence.

What’s your favorite place on campus? Central campus when the students are promoting causes and clubs they care about, but the new “parklet” behind Yolo Hall is destined to become a favored spot.

What’s something most people would be surprised to learn about you? Probably how much I prefer “glamping” to camping. I spend way too many nights in little dome tents.

Tell us your greatest accomplishment or wildest ambition. My wildest ambition is a CSU-wide network of service learning excursions for students to explore their parks and public lands. I can imagine thousands of CSU students turning out to create community by caring for forests, parks, and trails in their hometowns or in other parks and protected areas on National Public Lands Day, Martin Luther King Day of Service, California Coastal Clean-up, Cesar Chavez Day, National Trails Day, Veterans Day, and many other personally meaningful occasions. Wouldn’t that be something?! Social media, habitat restoration, environmental education, inventory and monitoring . . . these lands and waters sustain us, and it is a privilege and joy to share them with students and costeward them with natural resource agency colleagues.

DingXin Cheng, Civil Engineering, was awarded the O’Connell Endowed Faculty Chair.


Civil engineering professor DingXin Cheng was awarded the O’Connell Endowed Faculty Chair. Read more.

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Ending the Gender Pay Gap

Chico State students aim to improve wage equality for all. Read more.