10 Things about Sac State

Fall 2007

Wayne Thiebaud: Portrait of a Painter

From the President
Across Campus
The Art of Tea
Home away from home
Reseach Notes
Live from Sac State
Portrait of a Painter
A Hornet Looks at 60
Buzz-worthy athletes
Presidents Circle: Jay and Karen Halverson
Alumni Profile: Lauren Hammond
Alumni Profile: George Lewis Cox
Class Notes

From the President

How long has it been since you visited campus? It is probably longer that you think, so I would like to take this opportunity to invite you back. We are proud of our many successes as well as the changes that are underway, and we are eager to share that pride with our friends and alumni.

I talk with Sac State alumni all the time, and I often hear there are two things that make a visit meaningful. The first is noticing how much has changed, even though you can still find key buildings or walk right to the sport where you used to relax between classes. The second is re-connecting with a professor. There is a great deal of satisfaction in sharing your successes with someone who helped you along the way, and professors are truly touched and inspired by these encounters. They might even use your story in their teaching.

The next few months are the perfect time to visit- and not just because the summer heat is nearly over and there is finally more campus parking. With the recent start of the fall semester, our current students have returned, bringing with them all the energy and enthusiasm we miss when they are gone. New students are discovering all the activities, opportunities and challenges of a college experience. Favorite professors as well as promising new faculty are back in front of their classrooms. Our new bookstore is open to the campus and the public, and there is an impressive schedule of arts, athletics and cultural events during the coming months. 

Homecoming Week offers a particularly good time to visit. There will be events throughtout the week of Oct. 8, concluding with the Homecoming Festival and football game on Saturday, Oct. 13. The campus will also be holding Preview Day for prospective students on Oct. 13, which would be a great opportunity to introduce a child, niece or grandchild to Sac State. For details on Homecoming, visit www.SacStateAlumni.com.

Sac State had been an important part of your life, just as you have been an important part of the growth and developemnt of the institution. All of us- students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends- are part of a Sac State community that stretches well beyond Sacramento, across the country and around the world. And we al benefit from renewing our connections and sharing our lives. 

I hope we see you ion campus sometime soon.

Across Campus

The doctorate is in

Sac State has launched its first independent doctoral program, offering participants a doctor of education degree in educational leadership.

Designed for working professionals employed in educational leadership positions, the three-year independent doctorate provides advanced training for administrators in elementary and secondary schools as well as community colleges.

“We recognize the people who will be coming into the program work 40-hour or longer weeks, so we worked to design a program that takes that into consideration,” says College of Education Dean Vanessa Sheared.

The education system has become very demanding, with fluctuating enrollments, collective bargaining and increasing government standards and accountability, among other pressures, says Educational Leadership and Policy Studies chair Ed Lee. The doctoral program will enhance the leadership skills of K-12 and community college leaders so they can look at all issues in a critical way “and make objective decisions that are going to benefit everyone.”

Sac State is part of the first group of CSU campuses to offer an independent doctorate. CSU campuses previously could offer doctorates only if they partnered with a UC campus or other doctorate-granting institution.

In addition to faculty members in the colleges of Education and Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies, education leaders and policymakers from state government and professional organizations—such as the California School Boards Association, the Association for California School Administrators, the Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges, and the California Teachers Association—will contribute to the program.

Pint-sized chefs

Kids who prefer a chicken curry entrée with a steamed tomato and oven roasted potatoes over a bowl of macaroni and cheese? The answer was yes for the elementary-school age students in Sac State’s second Summer Culinary Academy.

“The questions the children ask are excellent,” says Sac State executive chef and dining services director Ruedi Egger. “They want to know why we replace salt with spices and garlic, and that brings us to a larger discussion about making healthier eating choices.”

And his students ended up with a grown-up sized education about good—and bad—eating habits.

They also learned how to dice onions, sauté meats and vegetables, and prepare chocolate cream desserts. Food and personal sanitation was stressed throughout the class, as well as knife and hot food safety. Each day, the students prepared a full course meal and dessert, all made with fresh food.

“We want to plant the seed of culinary art appreciation,” Egger says.

Cool Course: BIO 150

“Forensic Biology,” is one of the courses in the new concentration “CSI: TRU” or Crime Scene Investigation: Training and Research for Undergraduates. It arose from student demand for a specialization in forensic science, fueled by popular TV shows depicting crime scene investigation, as well as advances in DNA technology, says Biological Sciences Professor Ruth Ballard. “The two local government crime labs in Sacramento have almost no internships for students. So this new facility is designed to provide students with investigation opportunities,” Ballard says.

Class work: Using the same tests utilized in modern crime labs, students take part in research projects that address real-world, unsolved problems in forensic biology. The projects are directed to them by the Sacramento County Laboratory of Forensic Services.

Assignments: Depend on the case. For example Ballard’s students might research “contact DNA” (DNA left on an object by a person merely handling it) to determine if DNA left on bullet casings by a person who loaded a gun that was later fired, could be used to generate a profile. “If we can generate DNA profiles from the casings, we could link a suspect to a gun, even in the absence of other evidence,” says Ballard.

And a one, and a two . .

There’s more to conducting than waving a baton in front of musicians, says Sac State professor Robert Halseth. And that’s just one of the lessons junior high and high school band teachers took away from his recent summer course.

The Wind Conducting Workshop is the only one of its kind in California and one of several summer music camps for both youth and adults offered at Sac State.

Halseth and his co-director, Northwestern University conductor Mallory Thompson, helped guide the amateur conductors as they took turns leading Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “band,” the 59th Army National Guard Band. Among the tips Halseth offers: Though many people think a conductor moves his baton in time to the music, it is in fact the conductor’s moves that generate the music from the band. And good conducting entails more than arm waving. It includes score study and harmonic analysis, he says.

He also dispels the notion of conductor as dictator, barking out commands during rehearsal. Halseth said that has changed and a good conductor knows how to work with the musicians. “It is a collaborative relationship.”

Other Sac State music camps include Jazz Camp, which was offered for the first time this summer, and a chamber music workshop. Each features regular performances that are open to the public.

Roots of research

It sounds downright serious--the Associated Communication Science Laboratory. And the research results it produces are building the science base for treating people with serious communication disorders.

But with its own mascot (the owl—don’t ask), raucous weekly meetings where acknowledgements of good fortune include the chance to wear “the tiara,” and group votes on purposely pun-inspired project names, the ACSL, pronounced “axle,” is also a pretty cool student club.

ACSL founder and speech pathology and audiology professor Laureen O’Hanlon stresses that having fun is certainly one draw for the organization, the real lure is the chance to work on fundamental, long-term research on treatments for conditions such as aphasia. The projects frequently result in the students—even before they have their bachelor’s degrees—getting authorship credit on papers published in professional journals and presented at national conferences.

Students review data that supports work by one of the professors in the group— O’Hanlon, Larry Boles and Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin. But if often goes beyond that with the undergrads end up carrying on a phase of that work as their own thesis projects as master’s students, and in turn receive assistance from a new crop of undergraduates.

And the cycle continues when the students continue on to pursue a doctorate. Not only does the ACSL experience give them a leg up on securing admission to a doctoral program—not every aspiring applicant can say they’re already published—but they often continue to pursue the research in their dissertations.

Teresa Domrzalski began by working on a project with O’Hanlon and a grad student and by the next semester she was co-presenting at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association national conference. When she decided to step directly into a Ph.D. program at Arizona State University after earning her bachelor’s degree, she found her ACSL experience paid off.

“My application lacked the usually master’s thesis or post-master’s professional experience,” Domrzalski says. “However, I am convinced that it was my experience in the ACSL lab and as a presenter at the national conference that strengthened my application and contributed to my acceptance.”

The Applied Communication Science Laboratory came out of O’Hanlon’s experience as a graduate student when her mentor had a research lab where undergraduates were encouraged to work on research projects. When O’Hanlon was working on her own dissertation as a new professor at Sac State, and needed help in compiling loads of data but didn’t have money to hire an assistant, ASCL was born.

The scope of the program is seen as unusual in the field. “People around the country are somewhat surprised,” O’Hanlon says, when they see undergraduate students at the conferences.

Back to top.

The Art of Tea

The time-honored tradition of the Japanese tea ceremony has a new venue—a place where today’s students and community members can experience a ritual which dates back to at least the 16th century.

The Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden opened this summer in the lower level of the University Library with a ceremony conducted by Madame Sosei Matsumoto, one of the nation’s most influential and respected masters of Chado or “the way of tea.” The Nakatani Tea Room is one of just a handful of tea rooms on a U.S. college campus.

The tea room and garden were part of a generous gift from an anonymous donor, who also contributed artifacts including kimonos, teaware and writings. It’s named in honor of Sokiku Nakatani, a dedicated tea ceremony practitioner who was a long-time resident of the Sacramento area.

Although the tea ceremony dates back hundreds of years, the tea room itself has modern sensibilities including video cameras and a large-screen monitor that allows every audience member to see the ceremony from various perspectives. An overhead camera provides close-up views of the complex hand movements and intricate gestures of the host/teacher preparing and serving the tea.

In addition to showcasing the tea ceremony, the room and garden will also be used for cultural education programs, lectures and special events, and other programming focused on Japanese culture. The library is also home to the digital Japanese American Archival Collection and archival material related to the Japanese internment from the late Congressman Robert Matsui.

More: library.csus.edu/tearoom 

Back to top.

Home away from home

Laying the path to the dream of a college education is the easy part for the College Assistance Migrant Program. Convincing students to take it is the challenge.

The program, popularly referred to as CAMP, targets a sizeable population in California that nonetheless isn’t a sizeable portion of the college-going population: the children of migrant farm workers.

The federally funded program provides academic, financial and emotional support to 80 incoming freshmen every year. But it’s not necessarily an easy sell, says Viridianna Diaz, acting director and an alumnus of the program. “These are students that are not planning to go to college. And if they are going to go, they plan to go to a local community college nearby. Not to the ‘big city.’”

Each semester representatives from the program visit the children and their families where they live—in the agricultural areas, in the camps—to encourage them to make the leap to college. “Once we can get them to come on campus to visit, they are more likely to come to Sac State. After a day, they can see themselves here.”

Before she was approached by a CAMP recruiter, social work major Adrianna Cervantes had no plans to attend a four-year university. “My high school counselor told me I was ‘community college material,’” she says. But the recruiter, who happened to be Diaz, told her she had the grades and motivated her to apply. And Diaz was right. Cervantes will graduate in December and plans to pursue a master’s degree.

Each fall a new “class” of CAMPers arrive. But an additional 1,500 continue to touch base with the program throughout their college careers and after graduation, stopping by program headquarters to advise the new crop, or just hang out. “They never leave,” Diaz says with a laugh.

CAMP students receive academic counseling, tutoring, social activities, housing assistance, job placement, and, perhaps most importantly, emotional support. Most of those working in the CAMP office are graduates of the program and are well-versed in the issues the students face. In addition to academic challenges—as many as 96 percent need remedial courses in English and mathematics—there are topics that are common among students who have left family life to attend college including homesickness and, in particular, guilt.

“They see us as counselors,” Diaz says. “That’s the main support they receive from us. We offer a ‘home away from home.’ It’s a place where students like them are facing the same issues that they are.”

In her first year Cervantes didn’t think she was going to make it, but says CAMP helped her become more confident.

“I grew a lot,” she says. “I was exposed to a lot of things I didn’t think I could do. I accomplished things I didn’t think I could accomplish.”

Art Pimental agrees, saying the program was “empowering’ and helped a formerly shy person get out of his shell and get involved with student government. Pimental carried that involvement into a term as president of Associated Students and into his current position on the Woodland City Council.

Pimental, like other CAMP alumni—who say “once a CAMPer, always a CAMPer”—is using the education he received as a way to give back to his hometown. “A lot of us are going back to our communities to address what we didn’t get when we were growing up,” he says. “CAMP had an amazing impact on many, many lives. It’s really neat to see the growth of each person and that a lot of us are now in a position to make a positive impact in our own communities.”

An amazing 90 percent of CAMP students complete the program and return the following year. And after that first year, most students go through a transition phase where they branch out to get involved with the rest of the University, Diaz says. “We encourage them to learn the first year, then get involved with organizations.”

And they do, joining fraternities and sororities, clubs and intramural sports. Several CAMP members such as Pimental and another former president, Eric Guerra, have held positions in Associated Students.

“The growth I see in the students is the growth I experienced as a CAMP student,” Diaz says.

Back to top.

Research Notes

Smoke Signals

Craig Gallet’s scrutiny of anti-smoking laws isn’t a personal quest. Apart from the occasional cigar, the economics professor isn’t a smoker and never had a particular interest in cigarettes. But what does interest him are the factors that affect demand for consumer products.

“I began this research with a student about three years ago,” says Gallet. “I found that a lot of literature showed how smoking bans affected the sales of cigarettes, but no link was ever made between smoking bans and their affect on alcohol demand.”

In particular, Gallet was curious about the impact on beer, wine and liquor sales in bars and restaurants once smoking was banned in public areas. “The drop was statistically significant,” he says. “We found that smoking bans did reduce alcohol consumption overall.

“It really helped our understanding that one public policy could have this spillover influence into another social activity.” Gallet’s study was recently published in Social Science Journal.

Gallet also looked into smoking bans and whether or not their enforcement affected cigarette consumption. He found that ultimately, it was not the enforcement of bans that prevented smokers from lighting up.

“It was the social pressure that the ban created that was sufficient to get people to not smoke in public places, Gallet says. “We found the stigma associated with smoking was sufficient to make clean indoor air laws self-enforcing.”

And while studying the merits of health information and advertising restrictions as measures to reduce smoking, Gallet came across some interesting findings. “We found that health warnings reduced cigarette demand, but advertising restrictions mainly affected the supply-side of the market."

In other words, Joe Camel may not have turned a non-smoker into a smoker, but he did influence smokers to buy his cigarette brand.

Wake-up call

Five minutes. That’s all it would take to help many truck drivers avoid accidents on America’s highways, according to business administration professor Don Carper.

Carper, who specializes in business law and dispute resolution, is one of a team of researchers who say that the use of a specialized five-minute questionnaire can screen drivers that should be tested for obstructive sleep apnea. The condition prevents a good night’s sleep, leading to drowsiness during waking hours.

“Obstructive sleep apnea in the truck driving community is high,” says Carper, adding that sleep apnea is more prevalent among truck drivers than the general population because of their extended sedentary working conditions. “It is something we need to be very concerned about.”

Their study appeared in the April-May 2007 edition of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy. The study, by Carper and researchers from Carlsbad, Calif.-based Advanced Brain Monitoring Inc., validates the need for trucking companies to use the company’s Apnea Risk Evaluation System questionnaire.

The researchers found that out of 608 questionnaires completed, 94 percent of those screened were identified to have obstructive sleep apnea, therefore needing a medical evaluation. They then gave the questionnaire to 100 transportation workers, evaluating them for begin at no significant risk, at low risk or at high risk of developing the condition. Fifty-one percent of the transportation workers were identified as being at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea, with 43 percent of those at high risk predicted to have a severe case.

Carper also co-wrote a commentary outlining the legal implications that can arise for driver, companies and health care providers who ignore screening for sleep apnea.

“Identifying and treating obstructive sleep apnea reduces automobile accidents, and thus liability, and related costs, if an employee’s untreated obstructive sleep apnea is found responsible for the accident,” Carper says. 

Class-action learning

Improving education at the ground level. It’s the idea behind the Teachers Network Leadership Institute and it’s producing real improvements in elementary and high schools because of research done by those who know the situations best—classroom teachers.

Teacher education professor Janet Hecsh and bilingual multicultural education professor Pia Wong coordinate the Sacramento chapter of the nationwide program which connects policy-makers and teacher researchers.

Each year, Hecsh and Wong coordinate “action” research—on-the-job efforts to address specific problems—and policy proposals by classroom teachers in the Sacramento area who serve low-income and culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Topics include intervention programs, professional development and support, and effective academic advising and study skills.

The two professors hold a Saturday meeting every month that focuses on the basics. “We provide a framework, some guidelines and support,” Hecsh says.

The program has encouraged instructors to try new approaches, some of which have resulted in big payoffs. “One teacher took 30 minutes each day to give her second-graders a brief break from the strict curriculum now set for elementary students and had them assess their own needs,” Wong says.

“The students set progressively more ambitious goals and honestly assessed their own weaknesses” which the teacher incorporated into the classroom with dramatic results, Wong says. “She had children at the end of the fall semester wanting to read chapter books, which she hadn’t seen in second-grade before.”

“The teacher’s research may help set a new tone in the present approach many see as too strict and robotic,” Hecsh says.

In addition to working on action research, the teachers also learn more about California’s complex educational policy process. And once a year the researchers get together with representatives from the state government and federal and local education entities to present their findings in the hope they will result in better policy.

Back to top.

Live from Sac State

While commercial media operations downsize news staff, close outlying bureaus and reduce the scope of their coverage, Sac State-based Capital Public Radio continues to expand its popular mix of national and local news, interviews and music programs.

Sac State also holds the license to the station, bringing together to valued community resources. It’s an arrangement that has benefits for both sides, says Rick Eytcheson, CPR president and general manager. The main studio, built in 2004, is owned by Sacramento State and leased by CPR, which helped the station build a state-of-the-art facility that was also an investment for the campus.

The station’s close proximity to the University’s faculty gives the network a terrific base of experts on issues reporters might cover. “Sac State is a great resource for just about any kind of story,” news director Joe Barr says, adding they’ve turned to instructors for expertise on stories ranging from government and politics to health and science.

And the door is always open to Sacramento State students looking for internships.

The stations

These days, KXPR programs classical music 24 hours a day, six days a week, with a few popular specialty shows featured in the mix on Saturdays. Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., all the music is selected and locally hosted by classical music director Cheryl Dring and KXPR’s classical staff.

KXJZ begins its day at 3 a.m. with National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” followed by a series of other national programs. To explore issues closer to home there’s Insight, a locally produced news and public affairs program. When the sun goes down, the talk gives way to “Excellence in Jazz,” from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., kicked off each night by jazz music director Gary Vercelli.

Weekends find the stations broadening their appeal a little further, with NPR offerings such as “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Car Talk.”

The news

NPR’s ”Morning Edition” covers a six-hour block from 3 to 9 a.m., and contains plenty of opportunities to cover the local news scene. There are five-minute blocks of local updates hosted by Donna Apidone, plus long-form pieces by local reporters of four to six minutes in length that are placed throughout each hour.

Those longer reports are one of the ways public radio differs from commercial news services, Barr says. “You have a lot of room to do an in-depth take on a story and delve into it,” he says. “That’s what makes it fun.”

In addition to covering state news for its own stations, CPR offers its reports to public radio stations throughout California, reaching about 2.7 million listeners, Barr says. He expects to expand the seven-member news department soon by at least one position, with more down the road.

Barr believes CPR’s freedom to explore different themes and do more in-depth reports are the reasons it’s expanding while news services in the private sector are shrinking. Cutbacks at commercial outlets have reduced the substance of their coverage, and the public recognizes that, Barr says.

For longer looks at local issues, Jeffrey Callison hosts Insight from 2 to 3 p.m. on KXJZ.

Variety is the key to scheduling Callison’s guests, senior producer Jen Picard says. On any given day, program participants range from local and state officials or community leaders to regional musicians or renowned authors and artists visiting Sacramento. Recent guests have included U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner, Sacramento Ballet dancer Ilana Goldman, and proponents and opponents of the proposed Arden-Arcade incorporation.

Callison knows how to get something different out of his guests. “That’s the challenge of people who have been interviewed countless times—trying to find a way to talk with them in a manner they’re not use to so they don’t just ‘mail in’ their responses,” Callison says.

That was illustrated with Callison’s interview of comic Tommy Chong. Callison downplayed the comedian’s long-time partnership with Cheech Marin, and focused instead on Chong’s earlier music career.

“It was something most people don’t know about Tommy but it means a lot to him,” Callison says.

The music

Finding a balance that will appeal to a wide audience is important when selecting the music for the stations.

Because classical music can be further divided into a number of styles, Classical Music Director Cheryl Dring has to satisfy all its fans, rotating the genres often enough to keep the entire audience listening.

Mixing things up works just as well on the KXJZ side of the operation. “We try to play a brand of jazz that can appeal not only to a jazz fan, but also to someone with no previous association with the music,” Jazz Music Director Gary Vercelli says.

Both music directors note that while they don’t face the same ratings pressures of commercial programmers, they don’t want to play music so narrow in appeal that they lose the audience.

There are those who love classical music, and those who like it, Dring says. Offering a variety of styles could very well turn the “likers” into “lovers.”

Vercelli agrees. “I always try to keep in mind we’re not the ‘Jazz Institute of Sacramento,’” he says. The two try not to make artistic compromises “but we do try to play music that will keep people listening,” Vercelli says.

With satellite radio and television stations, and cable TV all giving listeners ever more selections, it would seem CPR would have a tough time competing. Just the opposite is true.

“Satellite radio was sort of the big scary monster for a while, but it hasn’t really panned out,” Dring says, adding that the satellite networks barely make a dent in public radio listening. She attributes that to the local connection as well as radio’s portability—you can listen to it in the shower, at work or anywhere without any added equipment or subscription.

CPR is not taking the satellite challenge for granted, though, and is using technology to reach a wider audience by streaming its programming over its website, www.capradio.org. Fans have called in from Wisconsin, even China, Dring says, to tell them how much they enjoy CPR’s blend of programming.

Those pledge breaks

Some people hate them. For others, it’s a chance to call in and get a better understanding of the people they listen to every day. Whatever the case, public radio could not get along without pledge breaks.

CPR gets more than half of its $5 million budget from listener memberships, Eytcheson says. The stations pay a significant amount of money for NPR programs, and the combined funding of underwriting, grants and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting doesn’t come close to covering the network’s needs, he says.

So the pledge breaks are needed to attract new members, most of whom will remain loyal listeners and contributors, Eytcheson says.

Back to top.

Portrait of a Painter

Internationally acclaimed artist Wayne Thiebaud is the only individual to have received three successive degrees from Sacramento State—a bachelor’s degree in art in 1951, a master’s degree in art in 1953, and an honorary doctorate in fine arts in 1998.

After earlier work as a cartoonist, Thiebaud began to paint in an expressionist figurative style. He enrolled as a student at Sacramento State College (now Sacramento State) in 1950. After receiving his bachelor of arts degree, he taught both art and art history at Sacramento Junior College (now Sacramento City College) until 1960. He then joined the art faculty at the UC Davis, where he remained until his retirement in the early 1990s. He continues to paint on a daily basis.

His signature style—brightly colored still-life paintings of food and other objects, shown against neutral backgrounds--was established around 1960. The recipient of numerous awards and other honors, Thiebaud received the Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievements in the Arts in 1991, and the National Medal of Arts Presidential Award in 1994. 

Q & A with Wayne Thiebaud

Sac State Magazine: How often do you paint?

Wayne Thiebaud: I’ve never been to art school. I started with cartoons, doing advertising and design. I learned to go to work every day and that’s what I do now.

I get to the studio pretty early and put in 40 to 50 hours a week. It’s a pretty regular schedule.

SSM: What is a “painting day” like?

WT: I get up early every day. I take a mid-day break, maybe play some tennis, and then go back to work. 

SSM: What are you working on now?

WT: I’m trying to do some beach paintings. I grew up in Long Beach, and sold papers on the beach. Now we have a place in Laguna Beach and I spend a lot of time at the beach. I’m doing figures from memory of people on the beach and their shadows. I’ll see what comes out, if anything.

SSM: When a piece isn’t working, do you scrap it? Or do you revise it until you are happy with it?

WT: When a piece isn’t working I try to revise it. Sometimes I paint over it or destroy it. Painting for me is a process of change and evolution. It’s an organic process. It’s quite mysterious. And that’s the way it should be. It helps to avoid formula and repetition. I want to keep from doing the same thing over and over. I’m never happy with (a painting) and I always hope to make changes. That’s one of the un-ending challenges.

SSM: Do you think of yourself more as a teacher or an artist?

WT: I see them as close to the same thing. (Teaching) is a great life, a privilege, to try to touch the lives of people in some way. The university made it possible to do research and to teach. I get a lot out of teaching but find it very hard work. I am an old-fashioned kind of instructor.

SSM: What kept you in the Central Valley once your work began receiving national and international attention?

WT: I’ve had the chance to live in New York a couple of times and moved around while I was in the service. Maybe it’s the idea of where one lives and feels at home. When I had my family I wanted to be able to paint and teach and have some sort of a normal life. Perhaps it’s the Westerner in me—space is important. I like the feel of it and the physical beauty.

SSM: What memories do you have of your time at Sac State? Who influenced you when you were here?

WT: My memories of Sacramento State are very moving. I was fortunate to be there in the first beginnings of Sac State. We were on the grounds of the City College and I was able to teach and go to school. The faculty were very generous—Robert Else, James McMenamin, Paul Beckman, Tarmo Pasto. They were very accommodating. They even let me help teach a little bit. It was a very helpful experience.

Sac State offered me the wonderful opportunity to go to school, even after I had graduated, and take classes in literature, philosophy, anthropology and music. It helped me to develop intellectually and be constantly challenged.

SSM: What painters do you follow?

WT: I am influenced by the entire tradition of painting. Mainly the Western tradition, everything from cave paintings through the Renaissance. Lately, I’ve become more and more interested in pre-Columbian, Persian, Chinese and east Indian paintings.

As a serious research painter I try to find connections. I try not to ignoble this great tradition that has given us such great achievements in painting. We should feel very privileged to be part of that. 

Back to top.

A Hornet Looks at 60

The year was 1947. The World Series was televised for the first time. A first-class stamp cost $0.03. Pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier.

And the student body at the brand-new Sacramento State College selected the hornet as their mascot.

Though he’s quiet on the subject—and on most anything else—historians believe the name “Herky” is short for Hercules. His closest competition in mascothood was the elk, which wasn't considered aggressive enough.

While it’s common to associate a mascot with a sports team, Herky the Hornet was truly a “school mascot.” Sac State didn’t field a football team until 1953.

Dozens of students—both male and female—have “portrayed” Herky over the years. And today’s plush velveteen costume is a step up from the early days. The first person to play the part of Herky was alumnus Chet Shelden (Elementary Education, ’57), who took the job in 1955. His uniform, which was made by friends, was made up of “a big head, leotards, tights and a long stinger,” he says. The rest of the costume was made of crinoline, a stiff mesh material, topped by a little pair of wings.

Like most Baby Boomers, Herky has changed his look over the years. The official Herky website (www.csus.edu/herky) describes his image as ranging from tough-looking insect to jolly humanoid figure with antennas, as if no one could decide if Herky was a human with hornet attributes or a hornet with a touch of humanity.

He was frequently pictured on the covers of student handbooks and later a variety of Herkies playing different sports were created. An “official” Herky was created and trademarked in the 90s but didn’t find much favor.

As he enters his seventh decade, Herky’s demeanor is fierce but friendly. The University adopted a new logo, and mascot costume to match, in 2000. While he spent much of the 90s all in black with a white face and striped tail, Herky now favors gold. At sporting events he can be seen as a member of the team in a football jersey, basketball togs or volleyball wear, and what passes in hornet-gear for athletic shoes. 

Back to top.

Buzz-worthy: Four Hornets to watch for this fall

Brent Webber

After leading the Big Sky Conference with six interceptions last season, senior Webber enters the 2007 football season with high expectations. The safety, who has started for Sac State throughout his career, was named second team preseason All-America by The Sports Network. Last season, Webber was named second team all-Big Sky and also tallied 56 tackles. The Sanger, Calif. native is tied for fourth in school history with eight interceptions and needs just 13 tackles to crack the school’s all-time top 10.

Lindsay Haupt

Senior middle hitter Haupt has helped lead the volleyball team to a Big Sky Tournament championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance during each of her first three years with the team. A two-time first team all-conference, Big Sky Tournament MVP and Big Sky all-academic selection, Haupt currently ranks seventh in Sac State history in both career hitting percentage and blocks. Last season she led the Big Sky with a .335 hitting percentage. A three-year starter, Haupt was named Big Sky MVP as a sophomore in 2005, becoming the first player in league history to earn the award as an underclassman.

Eli Millan

A second team all-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation selection in 2006, Millan is the leading returning scorer on the Hornets club, having totaled 12 points during his junior campaign. Millan made seven starts last season after an early season knee injury, and scored his fifth career game-winning goal against UNLV with a 30-yard blast that found the corner of the net. His six assists in 2006 rank as the third best total for a season in Hornet history. A local product out of Foothill High School, Millan is Sac State’s active leader in three categories: goals, assists and points.

Katie McCoy

A three time all-Big Sky Conference selection, McCoy led Sac State to the Big Sky Championship game for the first time in school history in 2006. McCoy, who has earned first team all-Big Sky honors the past two seasons, set a school record during her junior campaign by amassing seven assists while also tallying four goals. The La Mesa, Calif. product ranks second in school history in career assists, fourth in career goals and fourth in career points. McCoy also excels in the classroom, making the Big Sky all-Academic team the last three years as well as earning second team academic all-Region honors in 2006.

Back to top.

President’s Circle: Jay and Karen Halverson

Jay and Karen Halverson spent years moving all over the world while Jay worked on massive construction projects such as dams, electric plants, locks and bridges.

When they decided to make Sacramento their home base 27 years ago, they also decided to embrace their hometown’s university. Jay worked as an adjunct professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, teaching a class in construction management each spring. They took part in campus cultural offerings and sporting events. They served on boards and committees.

And though neither is a graduate of Sac State, they were the first supporters to join the President’s Circle, a group that provides critical private support to the University and counsel to the President.

“One of the frustrating problems at this turn in life is there are so many charities out there, and they all want your time and your money,” Jay says. “When it comes to charitable giving, we think education should be one of the first to give to.

“We chose the President’s Circle because as an executive in construction—I’m now retired—I know that from working with the dean that there needs to be a source of discretionary funds that don’t count on state support. There are so many things that come up around the University.”

For example, President’s Circle funds went toward renovations to the Alumni Center.

The Halversons are also proponents of faculty development and see discretionary funds as way to promote it. As a member of the industry advisory boards for the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the Construction Management program, Jay encourages industry leaders to support it as well.

“When funds are available for companies to take faculty to their next conference, for faculty to come in to work over the summer or to pay into the Dean’s discretionary fund for recruitment, it all supports faculty development,” he says.

Though they’ve settled in Sacramento, the Halversons continue to travel through a home exchange program that has taken them to England, Scotland, Norway, France, Spain and the Netherlands. The couple also represented the University as part of one of the first academic exchanges between American and Chinese Universities, spending a month in Nanjing with National University. While on the campus they met a student who continues to be a part of their lives. “He now lives in Natomas and calls us Momma and Papa,” Karen says. 

Back to top.

Alumni Profile: Lauren Hammond

When Sacramento City Councilmember Lauren Hammond (’77, Government) was a student working at Herfy’s Hamburgers and attending government classes, she dreamed of becoming a lawyer. But her passion for neighborhood issues took her in a different direction. Well kind of.

“I was going to practice law,” Hammond says. “I guess now I just help make them.”

Hammond was elected to the council in 1997, making her the first African American woman in Sacramento history elected to the office. For 10 years, she has advocated for neighborhood improvements, economic development and providing opportunities for youth—all key issues in District 5.

The government maven’s experience began on McClatchy High School’s student council, but took root as a Sac State Associated Students senator representing the College of Arts and Sciences. During college she was also active in the Pan African Student Union. Professors Otis Scott (social sciences) David Covin (ethnic studies) and Mignon Gregg (government) were her greatest influences.

“They taught me you have to do your work,” she says. “You can’t complain about things unless you’re willing to change them.”

The recipient of a 2007 Sac State Distinguished Service Award has remained connected to the University by serving on the Alumni Association’s board of directors and by attending various events including the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Pipeline Summit in April designed to pull industry leaders, educators, community representatives and government officials together to help strengthen Sacramento’s growing high-tech workforce.

Her proudest accomplishments on the council include helping to bring the first grocery store to Oak Park in nearly 30 years, as well as improving streetscapes along Stockton and Freeport boulevards. She also organized three neighborhood associations.

More recently she has been instrumental in creating the city’s new Office of Youth Development established to serve at-risk youth by reducing truancy, increasing graduation rates and providing job opportunities.

In 2003 Sacramento Magazine named Hammond one of Sacramento’s 30 Most Powerful Women. In 2004, she was inducted into the National Coalition of Black Women and is also a Class IX member of the American Leadership Forum.

“I just wanted to make sure the priorities of the community were highlighted and then implemented,” she says of first being in office. “Like Dr. Scott use to say ‘You’ve got to do the work.’”

Back to top.

Alumni Profile: George Lewis Cox

Bilingual school psychologist George Lewis Cox Jr. (’70, Education) has heard all the answers—in English and Spanish.

“If I’m working with a child and they can’t answer the question in English, I can probe further by asking them in Spanish,” says Cox. “An interpreter isn’t trained to do that.”

In 1970 Cox was one of only a handful of bilingual school psychologists when the state mandated that all special needs Spanish-speaking children were to be evaluated in their native language. Upon retiring in 2003, he still was one of a seemingly small group of bilingual psychologists throughout the state.

Cox’s fluency in Spanish and Latin culture, which he’d learned growing up in Venezuela, was put to use to assist educators and families for 33 years. During his career he identified countless gifted students, and those with physical and cognitive disabilities, when the children were in the early stages of learning.

In his second year of practice he picked up on a boy’s unexplainable blank stare. “The doctor thanked me and congratulated me for noticing the early signs of a rare syndrome that if treated could be prevented,” Cox says.

After earning his master’s degree at Sac State, Cox worked as a school psychologist and as the director of special education for the Dixon Unified School District. He then worked in the same capacity for the Bear Valley Unified and Bishop Union Elementary school districts. He would later sign on with the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools as an itinerate school psychologist serving the small outlying districts of Needles, Baker Valley and Trona.

Four years ago he retired from the Adelanto School District, where he had been a school psychologist and director of pupil services for 10 years. Fifty percent of the district’s student body had Spanish surnames.            

He says despite state efforts, all too often important signs are still missed among non-fluent English speakers. Thirty years later, there is “no question” more bilingual school psychologists are still needed in California schools, he says, adding “I personally only know of only one other bilingual school psychologist to this day in San Bernardino County.”

Before attending Sac State Cox received his bachelor’s degree in education from the North Texas State University. He said a chance encounter with Sac State Professor James Saum led him into the field of school psychology.

Though retired, Cox still works as a consultant for two Victorville Elementary School District schools and for the Trona Joint Unified School District in Southern California, where many speak Spanish.

Back to top.

Class Notes


Norman (Norm) Tavalero, ’61, B.S., Criminal Justice, retired from a long career with Shell Oil and now in retirement is an active volunteer at Sac State and in his community. Four years ago Tavalero, a Pacific Coast boxing champion, chaired the Sac State Boxing Reunion where he, along with other outstanding Sac State boxers, were inducted into the University’s Boxing Hall of Fame. This one-time event was the occasion to honor the men that competed in the sport, who brought NCAA and Pacific Coast Championships home over a five-year period before the sport was dropped at Sac State. Tavalero also developed and oversees a scholarship named for boxing coach Henry “Hank” Elespuru. Recently, he was inducted into the Vallejo Sports Hall of Fame where he attended high school and Vallejo Junior College. A member of the new Stinger Athletic Association Advisory Board, he also volunteers for the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. Tavalero and his wife, Barbara, live in Shingle Springs.


Terry D. Turchie, ’72, B.S., Criminal Justice, has had a fascinating career, starting with 29 years in the FBI before retiring in 2001 as the first person to serve as the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Counter-terrorism Division. He has served as the Inspector in Charge of the Unabomber Task Force, writing the search warrant affidavit that led to Theodore Kaczynski’s Montana cabin in 1996. After that Federal District Court trial in Sacramento, Turchie was sent to Atlanta and North Carolina to serve as the inspector in the search for Olympic Park bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. Now he has written a book with Kathleen Puckett about the two cases and the special considerations in the search for lone-wolf serial killers. Turchie and Puckett will embark on a book tour on Martha’s Vineyard in September and then be in Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Chicago. In October, the tour will include western cities. Turchie resides in Danville, Calif.

John David (J.D.) Stack,’73, B.S., Business Administration (Marketing), after more than 30 years at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, the last four overseeing the economic development program, Stack has been named the CEO of the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance. The College of Business Administration at Sac State named him the 2007 Alumnus of the Year. Stack has also been volunteering his time as a member of the College of Business Administration Advisory Council. He and his wife, Mary Ann, live in East Sacramento.

William C. Bush, III, ’75, B.S., Accountancy, has been appointed permanent director of the Department of General Services by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. After serving as interim director since January, he now directs and oversees 4,000 employees and a $500 million budget. Since 2006, Bush also served as under-secretary for the State and Consumer Services Agency after a 31-year career at the Franchise Tax Board. He and his wife, Elaine, live in Elk Grove.

Jeannine English, ’76, B.S. Accountancy, has been appointed AARP California state president. Prior to her appointment, she served for two years on AARP’s National Policy Council, an advisory committee to the AARP national board of directors. English came to AARP after a long and distinguished career in state government, including more than 10 years as executive director of the Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency created to investigate state government operations and promote efficiency, economy and improved service to the public. Most recently, she was appointed by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez to represent the public as a member of the board of governors of the California State Bar. English, who celebrated her 50th birthday by climbing 19,340-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro is an avid runner and cyclist who recently completed her second annual bicycle ride around Lake Tahoe, a distance of 72 miles. English and her husband, Howard Dickstein, make their home in Sacramento and have four sons, ranging in age from 14 to 29.


Barbara Carbone, ’81, B.S., Accountancy, was named one of this year’s Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business by the San Francisco Business Times. She is the audit-partner for the Northern California unit of KPMG (Peat Marwick) based in San Francisco. Carbone is very involved in her community of San Anselmo and in other organizations representing her career choice. She is a board member of the Women’s Business Enterprises National Council and Women’s Initiative gala leadership council. She also serves as a board member and on two committees of Sunny Hills Services.

Kathleen Cusick Mackey Gamper, ’81, B.A., Art, ’88, Credential Art Education, is an art teacher in the Elk Grove Unified School District. Since graduating from Sac State, Gamper began teaching at Laguna Creek High School in 1994. She teaches a variety of classes that include beginning art and graphic design. She married John Gamper in July 2001 and they have three daughters between them: Jessica, a UC Davis graduate; Julia, a senior at UC Santa Barbara, who studied at Bocconi University in Milan last fall, so Gamper traveled to Italy to spend Thanksgiving with her; and Lesley, a sophomore at Sonoma State. When Gamper has the time, she loves to knit, read and draw. The family lives in Davis.

Mark Curry, ’82, B.S., Criminal Justice, has been named a Superior Court judge by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Lincoln resident will serve the new judgeship on the Placer Superior Court. After graduating from Sac State, Curry earned his law degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. As a veteran Sacramento homicide prosecutor, his cases have included the murder trials of Symbionese Liberation Army members and many others since he joined the office in 1986. 

Michael G. Wilson, ’83, B.S., Marketing, ’93, MBA, was recently hired by Sleep Train, Inc. as their vice president of marketing. He is responsible for leading Sleep Train’s strategic marketing initiatives, including all advertising and communications programs across California, Oregon and Washington. Wilson has more than 20 years of marketing experience, most recently as the field marketing director for the Coors Brewing Company in nine Western States. He and his wife, Cheryl, live in Fair Oaks.

Rickey T. Rhodes, ’83, B.S., Finance, has been promoted to senior vice president/chief information officer at Community Business Bank, which has headquarters in West Sacramento. Rhodes joined the bank in January 2006 as vice president/information technology officer and after a stint as the chief information and security officer, was moved in to his new position. Rhodes grew up in Vacaville and knows the west side of the valley very well, making him a good fit for the bank’s business area. An Elk Grove resident, Rhodes has lived for more than 25 years in greater Sacramento. He and his wife have two teenage daughters.

Matthew J. Gary, ’85, B.A., Business Administration, has been named a Superior Court judge for Sacramento County by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. After graduating from Sac State and University of Pacific McGeorge School of Law, Matthew was with the law firm of Gary, Till & Burlingham from 1989 to 2002. For the past five years he was a commissioner for Sacramento Superior Court. He and his wife, Donna, live in Carmichael.

John G. Nitti, ’86, B.S., Computer Science, is the group vice president for Exstream Software. Prior to this position, he was the professional services regional manager for Software AG of North America. Nitti and his wife, Denise, live in Elk Grove and their daughter Stephanie is a student at Sac State.


Angela Tate, ’90, B.A., Government, started a pet project this past spring after her son’s elementary school friend inquired about a college T-shirt he was wearing. It gave her an idea. Her three children go to grade school in Courtland about 75 percent of the elementary students speak English as a second language and only 5 percent come from families who have a college education. To bring awareness about opportunities for higher education to the children in her community, Tate gathered various college T-shirts for all students to wear. During a recent “Touch of College” event that she and other parents organized, each student received a college T-shirt and then marked the city where that college was on a large map in the school auditorium. Several of the sixth graders said they want to attend Sac State. Tate and her family reside in Walnut Grove.

Mary Forster, ’91, B.A., Communication Studies, loves to run and is in serious training for the New York City Marathon. She does the Wharf to Wharf run every year and as a “domestic engineer” spends quality time with her husband Kyle and children Chelsea, 10, and Chase, 5. Forster’s husband has his own business, and shares one of her other loves, going to concerts. She is president of the Foundation Board at her children’s elementary school and is heavily involved in the family’s church. When spare time is available, she works on scrapbooks in their El Dorado Hills home.

Terence Leung, '91 and ’92, Teaching Credential, has been selected as the 2007-08 Teacher of the Year for Foothill Farms Junior High School in the Grant Joint Union School District in Sacramento. He has been teaching English and math to English language learners since 1997. In addition, he is the chair of the Foothill Farms ELL Department and has supervised student teachers from Sac State. Previously Leung taught in the Del Paso Heights and Sacramento City School Districts. This year he has joined the Education Chapter of the Sac State Alumni Association as a life member. He credits his professors at Sac State for inspiring him to work with diverse learners.

Donald R. Petron, ’91, B.A., Communication Studies, works for the California Air Resources Board as an instrument technician. He is responsible for the overall accuracy of air-sampling instruments throughout the state of California. Aside from his professional life, Petron is a musician, playing from Reno to San Francisco, Paradise to Stockton. The music genre is “good-time country and old-time rock ‘n roll.” He resides in North Highlands, Calif.

Cecilia “Ceil” Dolan Wiegand, ’91, M.A., Education, ’97, Credential, Professional Administration Services, after leaving Sac State, earned a doctorate from the University of the Pacific in Stockton in education curriculum and instruction. Previous to her new appointment, she was a principal in the River Delta Unified School District and now is the director of English learner programs for the District. Wiegand and husband, Steve, make their home in Sacramento.

Andrew (Drew) Wyant, ’92, B.S., Criminal Justice, was the Hornet starting quarterback for three years under Bob Mattos, and was a member of the 1986 WFC Championship team and the 1988 Final Four D-II football team. He joined the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department after graduation and has served in many capacities: as a detective and member of the Warrant Fugitive Bureau/SWAT Team, as head of the Gang Intelligence Unit at the Main Jail, and has now been promoted to detective sergeant and assigned to supervise the Homicide Bureau. Currently, Wyant is leading the murder investigation of Deputy Jeffery Mitchell. His wife, Lana, works as a special assistant district attorney for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and has been the media spokesperson for Jan Scully for the past five years. A self-proclaimed life-long Hornet, Wyant lives in Rocklin where his hobbies revolve around his identical twin sons, Cole and Cade.

Aaron Garcia, ’94, B.S., Physical Education, plays professional football as a quarterback for the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League. He was the quarterback for the Sac State Hornets and joined the AFL in 1995 after graduation. He first joined the Arizona Rattlers and then played for two other AFL teams before signing with New York. He is considered one of the biggest stars in the AFL today. Garcia has the honor of having the most touchdown passes in a game, 11, and the second most touchdowns in a season, 104 in 2001. On June 2, 2007, he became the fourth quarterback in AFL history to throw 800 touchdown passes. During this season, he was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week in May, after throwing for 264 yards and eight touchdowns in a 69-49 victory over Philadelphia. The Dragons are based in Plainview, N.Y.

Daniel M. Haverty, ’94, B.S., Criminal Justice, ’96, M.S., Special Major, has been named the new fire chief for the city of Folsom. The Fire Department operates four stations, serving more than 62,000 people over 24 square miles. A seasoned firefighter-paramedic, he was formerly an assistant chief for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District. Since 2003, he also served as a chief assistant deputy director in the Training and Exercise Division of the governor’s Office of Homeland Security and has been an urban search and rescue specialist in that office since 2002. Terri Haverty, ’93, B.A. Liberal Studies, ’96, M.A. and Credentials in Education, is a third grade teacher at William Brooks Elementary School in El Dorado Hills and received an additional four credentials in Education while earning her master’s degtee in Education at Sac State. The Havertys live in El Dorado Hills and have three grown children and two grandchildren. A third-generation Sacramento-area resident, Dan is known for donating part of his liver in 2005 to William K Weigand, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento. 

Damian Pantoya, ’94, B.S., Accountancy, is a certified public accountant and is licensed in California and Texas. He is the finance director of electric utilities for Lubbock Power and Light in Lubbock, Texas where he resides. He is also a certified internal auditor. He resided in Davis before moving to Wolfforth, Texas and then to Lubbock.

Daniel A. Flores, ’97, B.S., Criminal Justice, after graduating in two and a half years from Sacramento State, where he served on the board of the American Criminal Justice Assoc. and was a member of the Criminal Justice Honor Society, received scholarships to attend McGeorge School of Law. While there, he was president of the Latino Law Students Association and a tutor in real property law. After graduating “with distinction” in 2001, and then working for some other firms, Flores opened Flores Law Firm in 2005 in San Francisco, specializing in real estate, personal injury and criminal defense. Currently, Flores is the vice president of the Salvadoran American Chamber of Commerce, a director at large for the San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association, and general counsel for Amigos de El Salvador, a non-profit organization that funds three orphanages in El Salvador. He is also a member of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, the real property section of the State Bar and the San Francisco Bar Association. Flores is married and has one child.

Dylan Holcomb, ’99, B.A., English, ’06, Credential, English, was recently honored with the Crystal Apple, a nationally recognized award for teachers who have made significant efforts in the classroom. A teacher at Del Oro High School, Holcomb graduated from there in 1994 before coming to Sac State. After receiving his degree, he taught at Foothill High School in the Grant district for two years and has been at Del Oro for six years. As an English teacher, Holcomb is known for making literature come alive in the classroom and the Crystal Apple is given through nominations from students. Holcomb lives in Lincoln, Calif.

Tina Richardson, ’99, B.S., Microbiology and Molecular Biology, after graduating from Sac State, enrolled at Idaho State University and earned doctorate in 2004. She works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Potatocyst Nematode Program as a plant health safeguarding specialist. Richardson is enjoying the Idaho backcountry but “misses Sac State a lot.” She lives in Idaho Falls with her husband Gary Gresham and two stepdaughters, Natalie and Samantha.

Mark Roccucci, ’99, B.S., Fire Service, is a firefighter and was recently promoted to fire captain and now supervises a crew at the Cosumnes Community Services District’s East Franklin station. Roccucci joined the district as a firefighter-engineer in 1999 and later underwent a lengthy application and interview process to be promoted to his new rank. His grandfather was the fire chief for the Southern Pacific railroad company in Roseville and he handled a 1973 ammunition fire that was the biggest explosion in Roseville history. Roccucci’s family has long been involved with the history and growth of South Placer County. His mother Pauline is a Sac State ’74 grad and is the head of Placer Water Resources.


Julie Wolfenden, ’00, B.A., Communication Studies, has been promoted to project administrator at DLR Group, Inc., an architecture, planning, engineering and interior firm in Sacramento. She is responsible for managing project communications. She previously was an administrative assistant. Wolfenden graduated magna cum laude from Sac State and served as president of the Epsilon Phi Honor Society for Communication Studies. She says, “When I was a student at Sac State, I always wondered what I would do with my communication degree and now that I am navigating the complex real world, I am convinced that it has proved invaluable in obtaining my current promotion, as well as enhancing everyday interactions with my fellow co-workers. Thanks Sac State.” Wolfenden and her husband ,Joe, reside in Sacramento with daughters Katherine, 6, and Sophia, who attends Bryn Mawr College.

Julian Irvine, ’01, B.A., Communication Studies (Organizational Communication), sends greetings from aboard the USNS Laramie, a fleet replenishment oiler. The U.S. Navy ship is currently based in Norfolk, Va., for the Naval Fleet Auxiliary force. His duties include taking part in “underway replenishment,” where ships refuel at sea, and as a member of the ship’s engine department. Prior to going on the Laramie, Irvine worked as the relationship manager for Hidalgo Properties in Sacramento.

Sarah Watkins, ’02, B.S. Geology, recently joined GSI Consultants, Inc. as an analyst doing mostly water resources planning. She has returned to live in Sacramento after being a graduate teaching fellow at the University of Oregon in Eugene. In 2006, Watkins started training at The Aikido Center in Midtown Sacramento, “a beautiful and vibrant home for a community of diverse, adventurous and exuberant people practicing the path of unity and spiritual enlightenment.”

Jeffrey Dierking, ’03, B.S., Criminal Justice, a Marine lance corporal stationed at Camp Pendleton, was deployed in April for his first tour of duty in Iraq. He is serving as an aircraft maintenance administrator in the HMLA-369 Light Attack Helicopter Squadron.

Joey Montoya, ’03, B.A., Social Science, spent his high school days in Auburn at Placer High and now he has returned as the new varsity head football coach. When Montoya graduated from high school, he enrolled at Sierra College and then transferred to Sac State while also coaching at Nevada Union. Shortly after graduating, Montoya was offered the coaching job at the brand new Pioneer High School in Woodland and had been there for four years when he was offered the job at his old alma mater, where played football during his four years there. After living in Woodland, he has moved back Auburn.

Aaron Michael Lind, ’04, B.S., Government, was married May 19 to Melissa Ann LaRock.  The wedding was held in his parents’ garden in Acampo. The couple met while both were working in Folsom, and then Aaron proposed on the beach at Wrightsville Beach, N.C. last year. He does litigation support and Melissa is a caterer.  They presently reside in Las Vegas.

Jon Osterhout, ’04, B.S., Communications Studies, and Alison Gahr Osterhout, ’02, B.S., Communications Studies, moved from Sacramento to Lincoln, Neb. in 2006 after being employed by the Intercollegiate Athletics department at Sac State. Before working six seasons on the football staff as defensive line coach and serving as Sac State camp director, Jon was a standout player as a Hornet starter from 1995-99. Named to All-America honors as a senior, he was also the MVP and an All-Big Sky Conference selection. He is now the graduate assistant coach for the University of Nebraska Huskers while pursuing his master’s degree in education administration. Alison played on Coach Debby Colberg’s championship volleyball teams and after graduating was responsible for events and activities for all sports in the athletics department. She is working in development and is the event coordinator for the non-profit Strategic Air and Space Museum in nearby Ashland, Neb. The couple was married in Oregon and celebrated their two-year anniversary this summer.

Michelle Shackelford, ’04, B.S., Kinesiology, in her role as a California Highway Patrol officer was responding to a routine call of an abandoned truck parked on the Madison Avenue offramp at Interstate 80. After getting a tow truck hooked up, she climbed back on her motorcycle and then was struck from behind by a reckless driver going 55 miles per hour. She had non-life-threatening injuries but it was just the beginning of a long road to recovery and rehabilitation. She had always dreamed of being with the CHP and was one of very few female CHP motorcycle officers. In the end, Shackelford wasn’t an officer any longer. Coming back to Sac State to earn her degree in kinesiology, she has worked toward making another dream come true. In April, Shackelford , now a personal trainer, opened Fitness Together in a studio space at the former Southern Pacific railyard.

James P. (Jimmy) Spencer, ’05, B.A., Journalism, has been hired as the coordinator of media and community relations for the Sacramento River Cats. His many duties will include creating statistics packs and game notes for the press, handling media requests, working with the community relations department and the public, and managing information about the baseball team’s on its website. While attending Sac State, Spencer was the editor of the State Hornet newspaper. After working at the Sacramento Bee, he then worked out of Stamford, Conn. as the NFL content producer for NBCsports.com. Spencer resides in Carmichael.

Kendra Williams, ’05, B.A., Communication Studies and Government, was elected literary citation editor of Pepperdine University’s Law Review editorial board for Volume 35, which will be published in Spring 2008. The Law Review is published annually and covers a wide array of contemporary legal topics. The editorial board is comprised of Pepperdine School of Law students who are elected by the previous year’s out-going editors. Typically, those selected are the top performers within the class. The Rancho Cordova native’s other accomplishments include a summer 2007 clerkship with the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. She will also extern for the Hon. Judge Alice Batchelder on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. While in school, Williams lives in Santa Monica.

Kristin Dawn Burke, ’07, B.A., Philosophy. after joining the Peace Corps and three months of training, is in China as an education volunteer. She will focus on teaching communicative English to Chinese English teachers. Burke previously worked as an ESL lab instructor at Sac State. She has been living with a host family in China to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. She will serve two years there, living in a manner similar to people in her host country. Burke joins the 902 California residents currently serving in the Peace Corps on a 27-month commitment. Burke’s family home is in Ridgecrest, Calif.

Kathleen Prout Dukelow, ’07, B.A., Communication Studies, having just completed her college days, is looking forward to a life that is a little less hectic. In the meantime, she is busy with her business, Dukelow & Associates, which specializes in organization development, event coordination, mediation and training. She also enjoys quilting and because of that hobby, has traveled to Kauai, Tulsa, Ok. and Lexington, Ky. Just as Dukelow was initiating a leadership role in organizing the Communication Studies Chapter of the Alumni Association, her husband took a job in the Tulsa area, She is relocating there this fall. She plans to keep her ties to Sac State and stay connected to her Communication Studies alums. 

Back to top.