1950s

William H. Lee

William H. Lee (Business Administration)

A voice for the African American community. It was the goal of the Sacramento Observer when it was founded and it still is, says founder and publisher William H. Lee. Though he had no training in the newspaper business, Lee used the business acumen he gained from classes at Sac State and UC Berkeley to establish the Observer in 1962. The award-winning paper has been a training and proving ground for countless journalists and photographers ever since. Read more»

Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud '51, MA '53 (Art)

Artist and alumnus Wayne Thiebaud earned international attention for his paintings, particularly his series of pastels devoted to desserts—still lifes of cakes, ice cream cones, éclairs and other treats. His work has earned him numerous awards, including the National Medal of Arts Presidential Award. Thiebaud spoke with Sac State Magazine about what he’s up to now, what inspires him and what his time was like as a Sac State student. Read more»

Gloria GlyerGloria Glyer '52 (English)

Gloria Glyer and Gwen Schoen ‘74 (Family & Consumer Sciences) are household names through their writings on food in the pages of Sacramento’s daily newspaper and namesake magazine. Read more»

1960s

Steve Turre

Steve Turre (Music)

“Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night.” For the last 27 years, that familiar refrain has been part of Steve Turre’s workweek. Turre is the trombone player in one of music’s most enduring acts—the Saturday Night Live Band. And while that kind of high-profile job would be enough to keep some people busy, not Turre. He’s also a professor at the renowned Juilliard School, a respected session musician who has played with such legends as Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie and Woody Shaw, and a musical innovator who incorporates seashells as instruments in some of his many side projects. Read more»

John & Margi Herzog

John Herzog '68 (Marketing)

John and Margi Herzog founded Herzog Surgical and contribute generously to the community including Sac State's School of Nursing. John serves on the advisory board of People Reaching Out, guiding youth away from drugs and violence. Margi received the California Association of Recreation and Park Districts Long-Term Meritorious Service Award. Read more»

Dann Shively

Dann Shively '68 (Speech Communication)

Hurry up and wait. Dann Shively did a lot of that in the Marine Corps, and since breaking news doesn’t happen every minute of the day, that motto sometimes rang true when he was a helicopter reporter for KCRA 3. “The life of a helicopter reporter is not as glamorous as it might seem. Some days are very slow,” says Shively, who retired in 2011. “Sometimes there’s a lot of waiting around in the hangar.” Read more»

1970s

David Hodo

David Hodo '70 (Speech Communication)

Before he was the quintessential “construction worker” in The Village People, David Hodo was a Sac State drama student. As part of the iconic disco group, Hodo made music history during the 1970s with the performers’ campy but respected take on diverse stereotypes. With hits like “YMCA,” “Macho Man” and “In the Navy,” the group has sold millions of recordings and still performs all over the world today. Read more»

Douglas Curley

Douglas Curley '79 (Journalism)

Douglas Curley left his native Spokane, Wash. chiefly to attend Sacramento State, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1979. Curley’s 30-year career in journalism and publishing began with editorial positions on the campus State Hornet Newspaper and from there he graduated to the Davis Enterprise, the Vacaville Reporter, and Sacramento Magazine, among others. Read more»

Kitty O'Neal

Kitty O'Neal '79 (Communication Studies)

Broadcaster Kitty O’Neal is known for covering the flashy side of news—the Red Carpet at the Academy Awards, “American Idol” and even a Presidential inauguration. But it is the serious news on crime, flooding and power outages that O’Neal holds most dear. “That’s when I feel like people are really depending on us,” O’Neal says. “That’s when I really want to get it right.” Read more»

1980s

Jahn Kloss

Jahn Kloss '81 (Government & Journalism)

When the Sacramento News and Review started up in 1989, one of those vying for a job was a former State Hornet staff member, Jahn Kloss ’81 (Government/Journalism). Almost 20 years later, Kloss is still producing political drawings for the weekly, and teaching sociology and art for campuses in the Los Rios Community College District. Read more»

Cheryl Dell

Cheryl Dell '82 (Communication Studies)

Cheryl Dell leads the fifth-largest newspaper in California as the president and publisher of The Sacramento Bee. Her news career spans 25 years including stops in Texas and Washington. She is active in the community, serving on the boards of Valley Vision, the Salvation Army, the Sacramento Area Trade Organization and the Inland Press Association. In 1999 Dell was named one of Presstime Magazine’s “20 Under 40” newspaper people to watch nationwide. Read more»

Giselle Fernandez-Farrand

Giselle Fernandez-Farrand '83 (Journalism)

Broadcaster Giselle Fernandez-Farrand may have competed on “Dancing with the Stars,” but she is anything but star-struck. “Our celebrity obsessed culture and media have to get a grip,” says Fernandez-Farrand, who appeared on the second season of the ABC talent show. “People have to return to basics (in news).” Read more»

Lucero Arellano

Lucero Arellano '84 (Communication Studies)

In a world increasingly enamored with Skype and smart phones, it can be easy to overlook a more traditional form of communication: the arts. And, at a time when history is being made by the moment and captured on Flip camcorders and camera phones, Lucero Arellano knows it can also be communicated through music and narrative. Read more»

Tina Macuha

Tina Macuha '85 (Communication Studies & Geography)

It’s 5 a.m. You’ve just stumbled out of bed, turned on the television, and here are all these perky people doing crazy stunts, live interviews with off-beat subjects, throwing things at one another, and generally having a terrific time. Is it as much fun to work at CW Channel 31’s “Good Day Sacramento” as it is to watch? “We have so many laughs,” says Tina Macuha. Read more»

Carlos Alazraqui

Carlos Alazraqui '86 (Recreation & Leisure Studies)

Though you may not know it, you’ve probably imitated alum and chameleon actor/comedian Carlos Alazraqui. Since creating one of the most recognized voices in advertising—the Taco Bell Chihuahua—Alazraqui has portrayed countless on-screen and off-screen television, movie and advertising characters. He starred as Dep. James Garcia on Comedy Central’s “Reno 911” and the show’s movie spin-off, Reno 911 Miami. Read more»

Rene Syler

René Syler '87 (Psychology)

Ambition. Determination. Fate. And help from a stranger. It took a little of each for René Syler to make the leap from psychology grad student to network morning anchor. Syler was still at Sac State, supporting herself with shifts at the local TGI Friday’s, when she made a radical turn in her career path. That turn eventually led to the “city that never sleeps” and a co-hosting role on CBS News’ “The Early Show.” Read more»

1990s

Joey Garcia

Joey Garcia '90 (Journalism)

For Sacramento-area readers the name Joey Garcia calls to mind straight forward advice on everything from parenting to office politics, even sex addiction. But many do not know that the Sacramento News & Review’s “Ask Joey” advice columnist is also a high school teacher on a mission to eradicate poverty in her home country of Belize. Read more»

Aaron Campbell

Aaron Campbell '92 (Fine Arts)

Aaron Campbell admits he wasn’t quite sure what he was getting into nearly 20 years ago when he accepted a gig on the night shift at Buena Vista Visual Effects. The position offered no paycheck, no job security and very little training. But Buena Vista was part of the Disney empire, and the young Campbell had always loved its legendary art and animation. Read more»

Cristina Mendonsa

Cristina Mendonsa '96 (Government & Journalism)

For any student, or parent for that matter, who thinks college should be completed in four years, Cristina Mendonsa has news for you. “It took me a long time to get through,” Mendonsa says. “I didn’t do the four-year plan, I did the eight-year plan.” Mendonsa is one of Sacramento’s most successful television broadcast journalists. What you see on the air on News10 at 5, 6 and 11 p.m., and at News10.net, is what you get. Read more»

Courtney Dempsey

Courtney Dempsey '97 (Communication Studies)

It’s 5 a.m. You’ve just stumbled out of bed, turned on the television, and here are all these perky people doing crazy stunts, live interviews with off-beat subjects, throwing things at one another, and generally having a terrific time. Is it as much fun to work at CW Channel 31’s “Good Day Sacramento” as it is to watch? “We have so many laughs,” says Tina Macuha. Read more»

Kristina Werner

Kristina Werner '97 (Communication Studies)

There’s an old saying, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Kristina Werner can’t do anything about the weather, but she can talk about it, probably better than most. As a Fox 40 News meteorologist, Werner is responsible for forecasting the Sacramento Region’s sometimes unpredictable weather. Read more»

Leticia Ordaz

Leticia Ordaz

KCRA reporter and anchor Leticia Ordaz is a Sacramento State graduate who seized upon the California State University’s mission: to provide an education to all who are prepared for and wish to participate in college, and assisting qualified individuals who face barriers in that quest. Read more»

2000s

Sam Amick

Sam Amick '00 (Journalism)

Little did sportswriter Sam Amick know that when he took on the Sacramento Kings beat in 2005 that he would become such an authority on coaching strategy—the strategy behind picking them that is. Read more»

Hong Zhang

Hong Zhang, MA '02 (Art Studio)

Hong Zhang was born in Shenyang, China, to an artistic family. At the age of fifteen, Hong and her twin sister, Bo, won a national competition to attend a prestigious high school affiliated with the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. In 1994, Hong received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Chinese Painting from the Academy. Read more»

Eugene Chan

Eugene Villanueva '06 (Vocal Performance)

When he enrolled at Sacramento State, Eugene Villanueva (formerly Chan) planned to be a choral educator. Today, he is an internationally acclaimed opera singer, performing in such famed venues as Teatro Comunale di Bologna in Italy and Carnegie Hall in New York CityRead more»

Julie Anne Miller

Julie Anne Miller '06 (Music)

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? In addition to practice, it also helps to have a degree from Sac State. Just ask Julie Anne Miller, who credits the University’s nurturing instructors for guiding her to a career in music that recently resulted in a performance at the famed music venue. Read more»

Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler '07 (Business Administration)

Sac State alum Ryan Coogler’s first feature-length film, Fruitvale, has won top honors at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. He captured both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the category of U.S.: Dramatic. The film by Coogler, vividly recounts the last day of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old unarmed black man who was killed by a transit policeman at an Oakland BART station. Read more»

2010s

N.T. McQueen

N.T. McQueen '10 (English)

Moses Jones and the Case of the Missing Sneaker is the first children’s book written and illustrated by Sacramento State grad student N.T. McQueen, who also works as a campus parking-enforcement officer for University Transportation & Parking Services. Read more»