Impact

Understanding Our Behaviors

President Gayle E. Hutchinson talking to Marilyn Winzenz.

Professors Emeriti David and Marilyn Winzenz established the Winzenz Family Psychology Award, which enables students to conduct research about behavior and the mind. Its first recipients included psychology major Mia Koenig (’18), who studied whether relaxation rooms benefit college students in reducing anxiety and improving mindfulness.

The Future of Farming

Hands holding a large clump of soil on the Chico State Farm.

California Foodshed Funders, a fellowship of donors dedicated to regenerating California’s agriculture and food systems, made gifts totaling more than $1 million to support the Regenerative Agriculture Initiative, which researches farm practices that restore soil resiliency and draw down greenhouse gas levels. The Initiative supports farmers and ranchers through on-farm applied research and farmer-to-farmer mentoring.

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A Mountain of Research

Student at Mt Lassen on a research project.

Thanks to a $20,000 gift by an anonymous donor, students in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences are gaining field experience while researching the Yana Mountain area near Mount Lassen to help us understand the geological history of this important region.

The Psychology of Dogs

Chance, a golden retriever service animal sits at attention.

Drs. Sandra Machida and Geoffrey Fricker established the Undergraduate and Graduate Research Grants in Psychology, which allowed senior Cynthia Mancuso to explore a possible correlation between impulsive choice, action, and aggressive behavior. Her work lays the groundwork for developing treatment plans to reduce aggression in dogs.

Supporting Outstanding Student-Athletes

Track and Field athlete is airborn over pole.

In the same year that all 13 Wildcat athletics teams made it to the postseason—for the first time in program history—Ken and Sheryl Lange committed to giving $150,000 to support our phenomenal teams as they represent Chico State in competitions across the country.

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Exploring the Field

People are scattered through a field during and Agriculture Seminar

For the last several years, donors have funded the California Agriculture Seminar, which takes 30 students and six faculty and staff across the state to explore the breadth, diversity, and reach of California agriculture. From the nation’s largest lamb processing plant in Dixon to produce growers, packers, and shippers in the Salinas Valley, students learned firsthand about current issues and opportunities in agriculture.

Teaching Stellar Sales Students

Two students dressed in suits and ties smile in a hallway for the Student Services Center.

Thanks to the generosity of Chuck and Sylvia Seufferlein and their $250,000 gift to the College of Business, students are representing Chico State across the country in national sales competitions. Through the Seufferlein Sales Program, students across disciplines learn the value of sales and entrepreneurship as they showcase their talents and ingenuity.

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Molding the Future

Hand on lathe turn ceramics on a wheel into a student project.

Thanks to an extraordinary gift from Carol Windsor and Jim Wells, the legacy of art professor Jack Windsor is now a permanent part of the fabric of our campus. The Jack Windsor Ceramics Studio, unveiled in April, honors Carol’s father, who founded the ceramics program and taught on campus for 38 years.

Inspiring Through Art

A large colorfully painted canvas by William Tolliver hangs in the hallway while a students sits close by.

Dr. Glen O. Toney (Philosophy, ’66) and Mrs. Virginia Toney gifted three incredible paintings and a serigraph by noted African American artist William Tolliver, which now hang in the second floor of the Arts and Humanities Building, enthralling passers-by with vibrant colors, harmony, and diversity. The paintings will inspire generations of Chico State students to come.

Stephanie Bianco, Center for Healthy Communities Associate Director

Stephanie Bianco

“The donor’s gift came at a critical time. As many know, the nonprofit world can be quite unpredictable and when a federal funder changes their priority areas or populations, the nonprofit work can end. This gift not only provides nutrition education to our most vulnerable populations, but also supports our student interns to ensure that the work has a significant impact long term.”

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Miles for Teaching

64% of teacher candidates have to travel to 30,000 square miles fo Northern California

Melaine (Education, Credential, ’61) and Thomas Taylor are ardent supporters of future teachers earning their degrees and credentials at Chico State. When they learned some students struggle to afford the commute to their placements in schools in rural communities across the North State, they gave more than $75,000 to establish the Miles for Teaching Fund to provide gas cards so our teacher candidates have no barriers to making a difference in the lives of the children they serve.

Doubling the Impact

Wes Dempsey

Professor Emeritus Wes Dempsey, who taught in the Department of Biological Sciences for 38 years, made a generous gift of $35,000 to the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve in order to support community outreach, fire mitigation, and educational programs. By asking for his gift to be used as a fundraising challenge, he was able to double the impact of his philanthropy in partnership with others’ generosity.

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Cindy Daley, Regenerative Agriculture Initiative Director

Cindy Daley and students

“These kinds of gifts are the best validation you can get. It’s a testament to the energy and the enthusiasm that is out there for the important, groundbreaking work that we do. With state funds in continual decline, private funds are essential to make these kinds of innovative programs fly and to enrich our classrooms and teaching programs to make us the very best.”

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Stuart Casillas (’96)

Stuart Casillas

“When I had a question or wanted to pick their brains about the path forward, my professors were always there. I want to be a resource for students, faculty, and the administration, and the first step was the Tower Society—to give back the University that has given so much to me.”

Finding Her Place

Caitlin Davis-Rivers

A new scholarship from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences for students with dedication to serving their community and a demonstrated financial need was awarded for the first time to social work major Caitlin Davis-Rivers. She grew up in the foster care system, where she lived in 11 homes during her childhood, and has become a passionate advocate for foster youth empowerment. The senior said, “I feel like Chico is my home and I finally belong.”

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Susan Vukovatz, Chico State Parent

Susan Vukovatz

“We’re lucky that we chose Chico for our son—and that Chico chose us. These children are our future leaders. I was supported as a college student, so it’s like this circle of education—I want to give back and be involved.”