Fall 2011

Fostering Community

Presidents Message
The Buzz
Student run radio turns 20
Pedaling Technology
Good for the campus, good for the community
Putting the Unity in Community
Uniting a Campus
Meeting Needs
Home Sweet Folsom
Lessons Learned
One Book, One Community
Protectors of the Online Community
Connected to Campus
Faith Elkhorn Selk and Terry Selk
Class Notes

From the President

One of my ongoing goals  at Sacramento State is to provide information about the work we are doing to serve the region. As a public institution of higher learning, our University relies on public and community support, and it is our responsibility to demonstrate how those investments improve lives—not only for our students, but also for people throughout the Sacramento area.

In this edition of Sac State Magazine, you can read about professors and students who are contributing to the community. This work is a direct result of the practical, hands-on learning that is a hallmark of Sacramento State.

While preparing our graduates for rewarding careers, we are also able to give back—in many cases to those who need it most, such as residents of underserved neighborhoods, older adults and children with autism, as pictured at left.


This part of our University’s mission is also evident in the health care fields, including:

•  Students from our School of Nursing support immunization efforts throughout the region, and in recent years they have assisted community health professionals in preventing the spread of influenza. Through the school’s move to new space in Folsom Hall, we plan to expand our nursing program and offer even more community health initiatives.

•  Our physical therapy students help members of the community who are recovering from injuries and strokes as part of a training clinic. The students also learn how to interact with and care for patients, as the program includes personal rehabilitation goals and home visits to assess how the patients are able to perform daily activities.

•  The Maryjane Rees Language, Speech and Hearing Center serves as an educational clinic for our speech pathology and audiology students. Clients can receive assessments and treatment for a variety of speech and language disorders.


Your support of Sacramento State keeps initiatives like these going, and I thank you for caring about our students and the region we serve.


Alexander Gonzalez

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The Buzz

Summer Serenade

Going to camp isn’t just for kids—especially at Sac State, where adult musicians take part in the band camp experience while honing their own musical performances.

The University offers two intense, consolidated music camps: the CalCap Chamber Music Workshop and the Wind Conducting Workshop. They are popular among new and experienced professionals as well as high school and college students.

“Every moment spent on the podium is priceless,” says Professor Bob Halseth of the conducting workshop he hosts. “To see the growth of the people who are involved as they spend just one week of their lives fully engaged in becoming better conductors, is quite something.”

Pete Nowlen, Sac State horn instructor, has been directing the chamber workshop for 10 years. 

“(CalCap) is a thing of beauty,” says Nowlen. “Sometimes you have people spanning 70 years in age working together to make music. It’s everything I think making music should be.”

The five-day conducting workshop only accepts 20 conductors each year. Attendees have come from as far away as Saudi Arabia and Guam. 

Along with conducting a volunteer orchestra, camp-goers receive movement instruction to perfect their craft. Each conductor is given a video recording of their own work for continued review.

Martha Grener, who teaches and conducts middle-school bands in New York, calls the conducting workshop “very comprehensive.” “In order to be a brilliant conductor, (I learned) one must thoroughly understand the intention of the composer and commit to communicating this to musicians from the podium,” Grener says.

CalCap is noted for introducing students to a vast chamber music repertoire in a short amount of time. Participants are responsible for learning a new piece with an ensemble each day of the weeklong chamber workshop. And they are exposed to up to 15 additional chamber pieces. Musicians work as an ensemble and with individual music coaches.

Claire Tatman, an Arizona State University violin major, has attended five times. “I feel like I am getting a great taste of different types of music that I would not be receiving at camps that concentrate on only one piece or movement of a composition,” she says.          

Books By Sac State Alumni

Filipino Ghost Stories (2011)

Alex Paman (’93, Art)

Paman’s second book offers a collection of chilling, detailed and entertaining ghost stories from his native Philippines. The stories go from ghosts with unfinished business to residential ghosts to a haunted Koi pond, and have been told for generations in the author’s family.

Charlotte: Saved by Grace (2010)

Betty Ruth Weatherby (’05, Education)

Weatherby takes readers on Charlotte Lanover’s journey from her parents’ missionary work in West Africa to her aunt’s farm in America. During herjourney, Charlotte is helped by the people she encounters to rethink her beliefs, reconcile her anger and look deeper into her faith.

No Buddy Left Behind: Bringing U.S. Troops’ Dogs and Cats Safely Home from the Combat Zone (2011)

Cynthia Hurn (’09, Psychology)

No Buddy tells the heart-warming and sometimes heart-breaking story of the first eight months of SPCA International’s “Operation Baghdad Pups” program, and program manager Terri Crisp’s incredible efforts to reunite U.S. soldiers with their animal war-zone buddies from Iraq and Afghanistan.      

Q&A with Alvin Sams Class of 2011
Radio personality inspires no and off the air

When Sacramento radio D.J. Alvin Sams was a 9-year-old in Chicago, he says the only African-American he ever saw wearing a suit and tie was “the pimp down the block.” That was until a stockbroker spoke to his school on career day. “To see (an African-American) in the corporate world who was doing really well, that was powerful to me,” Sams recalls. Now 41, Sams says he is the “stockbroker” inspiring young African-Americans and wants to set an even stronger example by earning his degree. 

The communications studies major known as “Big Al” on KSFM 102.5, regularly speaks at Sacramento-area junior high and high schools and emcees for events benefiting youth including the NAACP, P.E.E.C.E. Keepers and the Sacramento City Unified School District’s African-American Youth Student Leadership Conference.

Q:  Why did you decide to go back to college after a 15-year hiatus from school?

A:  I recently went from full-time work to part-time. And so the opportunity to go back to school presented itself. I realized that maybe I could take my skills I’ve developed on the air and on the corporate side of radio and create a new career for myself.

Q:  What has been the biggest challenge re-entering college?

A:  Getting back to the whole idea of doing research was hard. But, I’ve discovered there are a lot more tools online now. It’s been like learning a new language in a new way.

Q:  What resources have you taken advantage of at Sac State?

A: The Career Center. By helping me draw out my experiences and update my resume, their help has taken away some of the worry for the future. They want to empower you into making your career choice.

Q:  Why do you lend your radio personality celebrity to events benefiting youth?

A:  Because once upon a time when I was a kid growing up in Chicago and Oakland, there were athletes, professionals and community leaders who stepped up and showed me that it is not just your neighborhood that is out there. I want other kids to know that they have a lot of options.               

Cool Course
Criminal Justice 152 Interviewing and Detection of Deception

Description: If you want solve a crime, the ability to get the answers you need when questioning a suspect is one of the most important skills you can possess. Criminal Justice Professor Owen Cater puts his 10 years of teaching experience and 30 years in law enforcement into play as he prepares students to interrogate potential criminals by reviewing real life cases.

Classwork: Cater says he always tries “teaching from the real world—the real field,” incorporating actual cases into the lecture whenever possible. This helps students get an idea of which techniques to use in certain situations. “The main goal when solving a crime is to be able to get the person to confess.”

Assignments: To better understand the interrogation process, students write a paper over the course of the semester, based upon their observations of video depictions of various interviewing techniques. After the students watch the video interrogations, they must evaluate the different techniques to determine which are legal and how effective they are. Because as important as it is to get a confession, Cater adds, “It is important that we do everything perfectly legal.” 

Students say: “Questioning someone is not the same after taking this class,” student Cristina Mendoza says. “You pay attention to every little detail which makes a huge difference when trying to find out the truth.”

—Contributed by Communication Studies major  Dalila Sanchez, Class of 2011

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New Dean and Associate Dean

The College of Arts and Letters and College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics have new leadership. In the College of College of Arts and Letters, Edward S. Inch has been selected as dean. Inch has been a professor in the Department of Communication and Theatre at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., an American Council on Education fellow at Sacramento State and provost at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

Jane Bruner is the new associate dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Bruner is a Sac State alumna (’81, Biological Sciences) and earned her doctorate from UC Davis. She has been a faculty member at CSU Stanislaus since 2000 and has been teaching a clinical hematology class with Rose Leigh Vines, chair of Sac State’s Department of Biological Sciences, since 2001.

Sac State receives record number of applications

The 29,037 applications for Fall 2011 was the largest undergraduate applicant pool in Sacramento State history, an increase of 832 undergraduate applications above Fall 2010. The University enrolled about 7,000 new undergraduates this fall.

Campus hosts World Masters Championships

Sac State was a host and sponsor of the 2011 World Master Athletics Championships. More than 5,000 athletes competed at Hornet Stadium on the world-class track built for the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials. Some competitors also stayed on campus in the   American River Courtyard residence hall.

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Student-run radio turns 20

KSSU was duo’s dream

Tracing a sound back to its source can sometimes be difficult, but two former college DJs can map the sound of Sac State’s student-run radio station back to its beginnings 20 years ago.

In 1991, Jim Bolt (’91, Communication Studies ) and Chris Prosio (’91, Communication Studies) were the driving force in establishing what is now KSSU. In May, the two joined old friends  made new ones during a 20th anniversary celebration at the University Union.

In the late 80s, Bolt and Prosio pushed the administration and student body to start a student-run radio station to provide real-world, hands-on educational experiences to students, as well as provide an alternative to the pop music and oldies that flooded Sacramento radio back then.

To rally support, Bolt and Prosio enlisted a core group of about 60 students, formed the Associated Broadcasting Club and began gathering signatures. Bolstered by a $100,000 contribution from the University, the station went live using existing wires in the residence halls to broadcast to the campus.

The station has grown up over the years—albums share space with digital music, and the station has developed award-winning programming receiving a College Music Journal Station of the Year Award in 2009. But it is still true to its free-form radio core says Bolt. “Students can get on air and play pretty much what they want, which is part of the point.”

Bolt is now the vice president of marketing and sales for Fair Trade Sports, a sporting goods company, and Prosio is a global product manager for Barco Inc., an LED and projection display company that develops products for musical acts and live events.                     

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Pedaling technology

Sac State is going low-tech to help support high-tech equipment.

Information Resources and Technology, which supports the University’s computers and information networks, recently purchased two tricycles for technicians to use. They feature lockable waterproof storage bins that can transport up to three computers and monitors.

“It not only allows us to respond quickly and efficiently, it allows us to be more green,” says Andy Schloss, director of hardware and software support.

The tricycles are the brainchild of technician Rick Sterner. “They initially laughed, but eventually they began to think it was a good idea.”

At $1,200 each, the bikes are a cheap option to the $11,000 electric vehicles already in use. And they are a hit with the staff. “Most technicians can’t wait to take it out on a call,” says Schloss.     

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Good for the campus, good for the community

Sac State serves links volunteers with organization in need

Mix feel-good community service with a teachable moment, add net-
working and bonding in the name of the Sacramento State, and you get Sac State Serves. The volunteer network links students, staff, faculty and alumni with local non-profit organizations for monthly done-in-a-day projects.

The program fulfills the demand for volunteer opportunities from members of the Sac State community who weren’t being served otherwise, says creator Misty Garcia of the University’s Center for Community Engagement. “Before Sac State Serves, we had only one volunteer program and it was just for students.”

Events are locally based and held on weekends, making it convenient for students and working professionals to take part. And the short duration of the projects enables those who want to make a difference to do so without making a long-term commitment to a cause.

In the year and a half it’s been in place, volunteers have helped the Homeless Connect program distribute resources, tidied up the grounds at the Ronald McDonald House and hosted athletes and guests during the World Masters Athletics Championships at Hornet Stadium. Other events have supported the Sacramento Zoo, the Race for the Arts and Creek Week.

While the majority of volunteers are students, the high participation rate among alumni has been especially gratifying for Garcia. “The program is accessible to everyone, so it hits all majors, not just those who might be drawn to a specific cause,” she says. “Plus, there is often a chance for alumni to work alongside students, and that’s where the greatest conversations happen, when they find common ground.”

Part of the Sac State Serves’ appeal may be the effort to provide a variety of causes to support, keeping the volunteer experience fresh. Organizers hope that in addition to serving the community, volunteers will increase their knowledge and support of the non-profit groups providing assistance in the Sacramento area.

Community organizations are so pleased with the response that some have requested repeat visits.

“Sac State Serves was such a huge help with the Sacramento County Animal Shelter’s ‘Flea’ Market fundraiser,” says Celeste Ingrid, volunteer coordinator for the shelter. “Not only were they super-friendly and helpful assisting masses of shoppers, but they worked with such professionalism. We look forward to including them in future shelter events.”

Fall plans have Sac State Serves participating in the Great American River Clean Up and a Veterans Day outreach to vets who receive Meals on Wheels. To sign up, visit csus.edu/cec/volunteer.

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Putting the Unity in Community

Community organizer. For the good of the community. The online community. The ethnic community. Campus community. Community center. Community property. Community service.

With so many variations on a theme, the word “community” often gets filtered as white noise—almost an expectation for any civilized society. 

“People form a community for two reasons: to fulfill some sort of interpersonal need, such as the need to belong, or to fulfill an objective,” says Larry Chase, a Sac State communication studies professor who specializes in group dynamics.

The sense of shared purpose and feeling of belonging, the “unity” that comes from being part of a community, is a value that is fostered at Sacramento State. Academic and student programs instill the importance of being involved with the campus community and the community at large, and students take that sense of inclusiveness with them long after they graduate.

Of like mind  

Ryan Sharpe (’07, Government) was still a student at Sac State when he made his first foray into the cycling community. He and some friends thought it would be fun to start a Sacramento version of Critical Mass, a group bike outing on the last Friday of the month. They were successful in attracting dozens of cyclists. Unfortunately, the anarchist vibe that permeates Critical Mass in places like San Francisco also brought out riders that weren’t interested in the polite, “Let’s go for a ridealong” that Sharpe had in mind. It also brought unexpected attention from the police.

Since then, he jokes, he’s “gone legit,” volunteering at the Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen and serving as vice president of the board of directors for the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, working with local governments to make it easier for cyclists and motorists to share area roadways.

The Bicycle Kitchen is a do-it-yourself bike repair shop with a volunteer staff that helped more than 3,000 riders last year perform tune-ups and fix flat tires. “We’re very community-oriented,” Sharpe says. “It doesn’t matter what kind of bike you have, we won’t turn anyone away. You shouldn’t have to give up riding your bike because you can’t afford to get it fixed.”

In addition to being a haven for outdoor types, California is known as a food community and a number of movements have sprung up to change the way Americans approach food. One that is continually gaining traction is the farm-to-fork trend.

Sac State alumna Janet Zeller (’08, Communication Studies) is steadily growing a crop of city-based fresh food advocates by putting them in direct contact with the land where the food is grown. But she’s taking it one step further, making sure that healthy produce is also accessible to those in need.

At the Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture and Education Project, where Zeller is co-founder and co-director, urban dwellers learn to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables in their lives by getting up-close and personal with the people who grow them. “When people are having fun and eating food that tastes, they are more open to hearing about eating healthy,” she says.

Believers and future converts receive that message at Soil Born’s original one-acre urban farm, located smack-dab in the middle of a Sacramento neighborhood, or at their 40-acre site just miles down the American River from Sac State. The American River site offers a weekly farm stand that helps raise funds for its educational and outreach campaigns. They also provide produce to local restaurants and community-supported agriculture programs, helping to nurture the “eat local” movement in Sacramento.

And, with help from a cadre of volunteers, Soil Born efforts are putting fresh produce in the hands of area food bank recipients. Six acres at the American River Farm are set aside for the Sacramento Food Bank. They also run the Harvest Sacramento program, which relieves homeowners of excess fruits and nuts that are then given to people in need.

“We changed the quality of the food they distribute,” Zeller says. “People are getting fresh, organic, amazing produce.”

Zeller says they see Soil Born as a model project that they hope other cities will replicate. “This feeds our souls,” she says. “It’s a practical hands-on operation, but it’s also magical.”

United in grief

It’s not unusual for communities to find themselves using their passion to express compassion, or even to emerge because of a single, tragic event. After a student was killed on a bicycle in front of Sac State in April—the second bike fatality in the block in less than a year—Sharpe’s group met with another community group, the River Park Neighborhood Association, to work on ways to make the corridor that borders the north side of the campus safer.

Local cyclists also held a candlelight vigil for the student and placed a riderless, white “ghost bike” in front of the campus to remind drivers and riders to be careful. “It has been a terrible intersection for a long time and we are adamant that something needs to be done,” Sharpe says. “We might finally have the momentum to bring it forward.”

Such spontaneous showings of community support are common after tragic events. After the Sept. 11 attacks, the country experienced a shared shock, sadness and resilience.

“One of the things I recall about Sept. 11—and most people felt this—was a desire to be with friends, family and other people,” says Stephen Brock, a Sac State school psychology professor. “Social connectedness is a powerful coping mechanism.”

He said in times of stress, communities are formed, and people connect with each other because they have something they can mutually identify with. “A crisis can break down walls between very diverse groups or individuals because they have something to talk about, something to share and they discover that they can give and receive support.”

Ten years ago, the Sac State community filled the ballroom for a memorial service and signed a condolence book. The University Staff Assembly also conducted a teddy bear drive as an expression of comfort for families of the victims.

“Such events remind us of our common human experiences—death, grief, sorrow,” says Jackie Donath, a professor in Sac State’s Department of Humanities and Religious Studies.

More recently, a series of random acts of violence and insensitivity—such as the bullying-related suicide of a Rutgers University student and the assassination attempt on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords—spurred Sac State to hold a convocation to strengthen the sense of community on campus.

Sacramento State’s Fall Convocation is scheduled for Oct. 20. See the sidebar on page 13.

Common culture

Shared experience of a different kind can bond communities. In cities all over the country, people—particularly recent immigrants—naturally congregate with others with whom they share language as well as preferences in food and music and other cultural expressions.

“There were communities in California that were oriented in the search for gold. They came into existence, and then they went away,” says Manuel Barajas, professor of sociology. ”Those were economic-based communities. But you need more than economics to sustain a community. You need shared values such as culture and language.”

Barajas points to the Southeast Asians who came to the United States because of the Vietnam War. “They were isolated from each other, but there remained a desire to belong. They wanted to find other Southeast Asian families and start communities, so they began migrating. They created communities with a common language, culture and traditions.”

Over the years the Southeast Asian community in Sacramento has come together to establish Little Saigon, an economic development district to bring attention and jobs to an area of Stockton Boulevard. Terrence Johnson (’75, Criminal Justice), executive director of the Stockton Blvd. Partnership, which provided funding for and advocacy efforts toward Little Saigon, says the distinction not only makes sense but also is a tribute to where they came from. “They are entrepreneurs. They are hardworking, contributing citizens who have not only proved themselves to be successful, but have provided jobs for others.”

Johnson’s group provided the signage that identifies the Little Saigon district. He says that in Sacramento, as in other areas where Vietnamese refuges settled, Little Saigon is not just a gathering place for people with a common culture or an economic base, it’s an acknowledgment of their former home.

“The recognition strikes a chord,” Johnson says. “Their ancestors have sacrificed so much so that they could have a better life. It’s an homage that symbolizes their fight for freedom.”

“When communities, especially those who may have struggled economically in the past, adopt a label giving them identification, they help strengthen their political recognition and influence,” says Suzanne O’Keefe, a Sac State professor of economics. “That can affect how that community is treated by the rest of the city and can lead to more interest there.”

Cultural ties can also result in a community within a community. When alumnus Paul Cha (’05, Biology) returns home from his job as a medical interpreter at Sutter Health Care, he says hello to his wife and 1-year-old son…and to his mother, father, grandmother and five brothers.

He is part of a multi-generational household, common in Hmong culture, with four iterations of family living under one roof. “It’s pretty much its own little community,” he says.

Cha is the first American-born child in his extended family. He is also the oldest son, and by tradition, first in line to take care of his parents, who by the way, were already caring for his grandmother. “In the American culture, when you turn 18, you are supposed to move out and be independent,” he says. “In the Hmong culture, we stay with our parents and take care of them.”

There are advantages to living within an extended family, Cha says. “You have a lot of help doing housework or moving stuff, and you have someone to watch the kids. We help each other out financially, and if we need to make a big purchase like a new refrigerator, the whole family can go in on it.”

But, he says, there are also higher utility costs, more food to cook, more dishes to wash and more noise. “A lot more noise,” he says laughing. “You don’t get as much peace and quiet.”

Firing up the fan base

Of course “community culture” isn’t limited to ethnic groups. A bond can form over an identity that ties you to your city, your area of the country or even your support for a sports team.  Last spring’s rallies to convince the Sacramento Kings to stay in Sacramento were as much about what having an NBA team in the city says about Sacramento as they were about not wanting to lose the team.

“People were threatened with a common problem, the loss of the Kings, a dear friend,” Professor Chase says, and they formed a community to protect their team. “It starts with one voice, and pretty soon, everybody is singing the same song.”

“We found something we could get excited about,” says Mark Lowe (’76, Psychology), better known as Phantom on KHTK radio’s “Rise Guys” show and now “The Don Geronimo Show.”

Though Lowe can’t claim credit for the push himself, he was happy to be able to promote the activities on the radio and participate in a downtown rally that drew thousands.

“It was an effort I could put some energy in, working together, talking it up,” Lowe says. “It was nice in that it gave people something they could do. There’s a renewed energy and interest and optimism.”

Going forward, Lowe is hopeful that Sacramento can remain a part of the NBA community. “Kings fans need basketball.”

Ties that bind

Though the dictionary defines community as “all the people living in a particular district, city, etc.” or “the district or city that they live,” there’s more to a community than location. Communities can have an identity, a purpose, a character well beyond a physical space, just as the impact of the “Sac State community” resonates well beyond the borders of campus. The more we understand and appreciate those commonalities that bring us together, the better equipped we are to respect and value our diversity, bringing unity to our communities.

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Uniting a campus

We often reference the “campus community” when talking about the students, faculty, staff and alumni at Sacramento State. In an effort to bring that community closer together President Alexander Gonzalez established a campus committee to organize a President’s Convocation, “Fostering Community at Sacramento State.”

Concerns over incidents around the country spurred the dialogue—the apparent bullying-related suicide of a Rutgers student and the attempted murder of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. More than 700 faculty, staff and students took part.

After a keynote address, participants broke into small groups to share their experiencing about feeling welcome, or not, on campus. They were also asked for ideas for making the University more united. Recommendations included requests for similar events  in the future such as convocations, small-group  dialogues, campus-wide lectures and annual days of service centered on a theme. Other suggestions were to establish “T-shirt” days, wear the campus would where a unity-themed T-shirt on select days, to incorporate the “fostering community” topic into course curriculum and to create a campus research competition with a culminating poster session and picnic to show the results.

“I was able to attend four of the breakout sessions and the honest, constructive dialogue I heard will be very helpful as we work to build a greater community at our University,” President Gonzalez said. “It was very inspiring to see that this goal of building a greater community is one that we are interested in pursuing collectively.”

The convocation organizing committee said, “It is ironic that efforts to find ways to build community, served to build community. The Sacramento State family grew closer and the excitement was piqued in the days following the convocation, and the anticipation of wanting more still remains.”

As the result of that first convocation the President created the Committee to Build Campus Unity, which developed a second  convocation to be held  Oct. 20 in the University Union. Keynote speaker will be Michele Norris, cohost of NPR’s All Things Considered and author of this year’s One Book, The Grace of Silence.  

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Meeting Needs

Sac State faculty and students are addressing issues affecting the region

Teaching social skills to children with autism, developing resources for senior citizens, providing a role model for middle- and high-school students. Sacramento State is taking on a cross-section of community needs with the help of a volunteer force made up of budding professionals.

Through a combination of internships and service-learning opportunities students gain invaluable work experience while serving the people of the Sacramento Region.

Solutions to a puzzle

Serving a rapidly growing population—children with autism—is the focus of two Sac State programs: the Autism Center for Excellence, based in the Department of Kinesiology, and the Verbal Behavior Laboratory in the Department of Psychology.

In 2006, a partnership with United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Sacramento launched the Autism Center for Excellence, also known as ACE. The after-school program uses play to teach social skills to 8- to 12-year-olds with autism. 

“There’s a paucity of services for individuals with autism,” says Scott Modell, kinesiology professor and director of ACE. “During the past 10 years a lot of resources have gone into diagnosis and finding a cause. It is increasingly apparent that these kinds of programs are needed (as well.)” 

Each semester, 50 children are referred to ACE where they work with 40 student interns from various majors—kinesiology, special education, psychology, speech pathology, pre-physical therapy and even art. In the controlled environment of the center, the children are introduced to etiquette skills such as taking turns, looking others in the eye and initiating conversation. They also learn strategies for responding to successes and failure.

Many of the teaching methods used at ACE have been introduced and studied by psychology graduate students working with the Verbal Behavior Laboratory.

Students and faculty conduct rigorous studies, both on campus and in the homes of children with autism, to understand and enhance behavior, says lab co-director and behavioral psychology Professor Caio Miguel. “We evaluate different methods for teaching a variety of skills. Then, we design procedures and test them with kids.”

Currently, they are looking at ways for the children to initiate nonverbal behavior without cues from others and evaluating methods for teaching basic verbal skills. Previous efforts had students showing caregivers how to give kids the ability to sort and categorize their belongings.

Serving seniors

At the other end of the life spectrum, interns enrolled in the University’s gerontology program are conducting case studies with senior citizens. They also develop specialized programs for individual groups.

“The diversity in gerontology is huge—from well to sick to dying, to young to old, to public to private agencies,” says Cheryl Osborne, nursing professor and director of the University’s gerontology program.

Students representing just about every discipline on campus intern at retirement facilities, senior centers and service agencies. The results of those efforts help seniors long after the students graduate. Interns have designed health education programs, ways to promote socialization and artistic expression, and developed a series of informational packets on everything from navigating the legal system as a grandparent raising grandchildren to helping hip replacement patients with their recovery.

The importance of higher education

Building the ranks of under-represented students at Sacramento State is the focus of many programs at the University. One that has been particularly successful is the 65th Street Corridor Community Collaborative, an outreach program that provides mentors and tutors while stressing the benefits of attending college. It recently began a new partnership with the Greater Sacramento Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce pairing Sac State tutors with as many as 35 students from the Vietnamese community.

“I think the parents are very, very enthusiastic and very touched by the new partnership,” says Gregory Mark, ethnic studies professor and head of the collaborative.

For the last several years the 65th Street program has been in a strong relationship with Will C. Wood Middle School and Hiram Johnson High School which, as two of the most ethnically diverse schools in the region, represent both challenges and opportunities.

To make sure the message gets through, Sac State faculty, staff and students give annual campus tours to potential college students and their often non-English-speaking parents. The secret? Like a mini-United Nations, the parents are accompanied around campus with translators communicating simultaneously via headset in Chinese, Hmong, Mien, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian or Vietnamese. Along the tour, the visitors are encouraged to discuss such topics as financial aid and degree requirements in their native languages.

Another population that is receiving additional support and guidance to navigate college is former foster youth. The Guardian Scholars Program, which acts as a safety net for Sac State students who have been emancipated from the foster care system, has been able to expand to sponsor internships. Students who have gone through the program serve as guides to incoming students, explains Joy Salvetti, Guardian Scholars director. Internship positions include community outreach, student leadership, mentoring, orientation and social events.

Guardian Scholars serves as many as 55 students per semester. “We really look at giving the students a holistic education,” Salvetti says. “It’s not just the academics. It’s also forming the students’ identity.”   

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Home Sweet Folsom

New nursing space offers optimum learning environment

Last month, President Alexander Gonzalez announced a $1.8 million fundraising campaign to support the School of Nursing and improvements to its new home, Folsom Hall.

The Campaign for Nursing will help fund enhancements that provide an optimal learning environment for the next generation of nurses—“smart” classrooms, numerous simulation laboratories featuring high-tech patient simulators and two study lounges. The six-fold increase in space is designed to address the state’s need for nurses by allowing the School to increase its enrollment.

Catalyzed by a $500,000 gift from The Frank M. and Gertrude R. Doyle Foundation and a pledge to match the gift by the University Foundation at Sacramento State, the campaign has already successfully raised more than $1.3 million toward its goal. Donors, including Western Health Advantage, Herzog Surgical, Sierra Health Foundation, Catholic Healthcare West, members of the University Foundation Board of Directors, several current and former faculty members, and alumni have committed support toward rooms, labs and other essential equipment.

A “class gift” program, encouraging peer-to-peer outreach to support the nursing program and Folsom Hall, also began last month. Nearly 100 nursing alumni have contributed—including a special group pledge of $10,000 from the most recent graduates, the Class of 2011.

On these pages are some highlights of what could be one of the most innovative learning facilities in the region. For information on giving opportunities in the School of Nursing, contact the Office of University Development at (916) 278-6989 or giving@csus.edu.  

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Lessons Learned

Studying the past informs the present, suggests the future

“Hopefully as a country, we learn from our mistakes of the past.”

 —Robert Matsui

Understanding the history of a region and the people who live in it, can teach us how a community became what it is today and offer clues to what it will be tomorrow.

Geography Professor Robin Datel has been studying Sacramento neighborhoods since she was a student intern. Her efforts have encompassed Midtown, Oak Park and even Broadway’s ethnic restaurant row.

Datel came away from the Oak Park project with a well-received walking tour brochure. But the interviews she and her students did with current and past residents of the area also gave her extraordinary insight into a community that has seen major changes over the years, including its current revitalization.

“You pay attention to whose history and what eras are being reflected,” Datel says. “Dredging up the past and understanding what happened has potential for building community but it is also somewhat fraught because there are so many different stories and viewpoints.

“Even if a subject is controversial, we need to talk about it, to continue to keep present our knowledge of events and continue to talk about them, to study them. For kids, it brings home the fact that history happened right here. That local connection gets people interested.”

“When we can be reminded of what came before and why, our sense of being part of a community grows,” says Heather Lavezzo Downey, interpretive specialist for the Center for Sacramento History and graduate of the Sacramento State public history master’s program. “You make that connection.”

It’s no coincidence that a University in the state capital—home of the state parks department, state archive and state library—emphasizes public history, with the only doctoral program in California (offered jointly with UC Santa Barbara). In fact, half the staff at the Center for Sacramento History are Sac State public history alumni. Granted, it’s a four-person office, but it shows the contributions alumni can make.

“We have a passion for telling stories, giving them context,” Downey (‘07, Social Science and ‘10, History) says. “It allows people to connect to history in a less ‘academic’ way.”

Downey started working on an Old Sacramento Underground tour as a volunteer and later turned her research into her thesis. This summer, she added a video component to the tour program which will be viewed by tourists and history buffs visiting Old Sacramento. She is also developing new interpretive signage for the area.

“The goal is to have an appreciation of that community,” she says. “You get a sense of what the city was like, how it changed and why it changed. Having a connection to that past gives it added significance.”

History shows us that a cause or even a struggle can bring a community together. And once that shared experience is seemingly resolved, the community needs to continue to work together to ensure the memory doesn’t fade.

Sacramento native and Congressmember Robert Matsui was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, the landmark acknowledgement of the injustice of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Matsui died in 2005 but his legacy endures supported by a digital archive of materials from his career. The Robert Matsui Digital Archives (csus.edu/matsui) are “housed” in the Sacramento State Library and serve as a virtual companion to the campus’ Japanese American Archival Collection, which also provides resources to educate Americans about the incarceration.

“It was important to commemorate him because he was in Congress for 25 years,” says Timothy Fong, professor of ethnic studies and co-director of the archive project. “On top of that was his work on the Civil Liberties Act.”

The archive includes videos, congressional papers, news clips and photos, including an image of Matsui witnessing President Ronald Reagan signing the Civil Liberties Act into law. The virtual nature of the archive lets anyone anywhere in the world to use it without having to visit campus. “Elementary school students can look at the videos, while scholars and graduate students can use it for research,” Fong says. ”The beauty of it is its versatility, its accessibility.”

Both archives are used by the California Museum of History, Women and the Arts for their annual “Time of Remembrance.” “It continues the education process,” says Fong, who plays speeches from the Matsui collection in his classes, particularly one where Matsui invokes the Constitution when speaking about the fight for reparations. “It should be a Constitutional argument,” Fong says.

Fong adds that even though reparations have been made, it is essential that the lessons the country learned from the Japanese American internment are still taught. He notes that after Sept. 11, some groups were calling for similar treatment toward Muslim Americans and the Japanese American community was the first group to come to their defense.  

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One Book, One Community

Like many communities across the country, Sacramento State has adopted the “One Book” concept, where a group of people read the same book at the same time. Faculty, students, staff and alumni are encouraged to take part.

The power of community reading has drawn the attention of organizations such as Wells Fargo and Follett Higher Education Group, who have donated funds to ensure that books are available to students who want to be part of the experience.

This year’s book, The Grace of Silence, is a memoir by National Public Radio personality Michele Norris.  “I set out to write a book that would allow me to tap into America’s hidden conversation about race and when I started listening to the hidden conversation in my own family, I instead wound up writing an accidental memoir about the long suppressed secrets that came spilling out.”    

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Protectors of the Online Community

Keeping computer users safe from cyber danger

From social networking to Internet research to the ability to buy items from the comfort of the living room, there’s a lot of “upside” to the online community.

But there is a downside, too.

Keeping users safe from identity theft attempts, scams, spam—even terrorists—is a challenge being addressed every day at Sac State, directly by campus technology experts and indirectly through faculty educating the graduates who will provide those services to public and private industry.

The University itself is quite successful in defeating the multitude of efforts to infiltrate the campus information technology system, says Larry Gilbert, Sac State’s chief information officer and vice president for information resources and technology. “For example, we catch more than 95 percent of the spam and viral attacks that come to us in email every day. Tens of millions of messages, mostly trying to obtain critical personal identification information, are filtered out before they ever reach users.”

Gilbert points out that a campus of 35,000 people is a rich target for identity theft. Many University operations process credit card information, which adds opportunity for an outsider to cause problems. “If there were a breach in the tuition payment system, for example, it would bring us to a halt.”

To address the need to protect personal information, the campus has put numerous safeguards in place, including a campuswide effort to encourage users to change to more hacker-resistant passwords. The University now requires the use of “passphrases,” a series of characters representing lengthy passwords that are easier to remember, easier to type and naturally complex.

But, Gilbert points out, it takes just one simple oversight for a breach to occur and he counts on the campus to be on alert. “Most incidents are reported, not by IRT, but by people on campus who notice something isn’t quite right. They are not just protecting their own information, they are protecting the community at large.”

“You need to presume anything you are doing electronically, someone else can too,” says Isaac Ghansah, computer science professor and director of the Center for Information Assurance and Security in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “A lot of information looks innocuous, but if someone pieces it all together they can trick someone into giving private data.”

After the Sept. 11 attacks, the federal government became concerned about the security of computers that run critical infrastructure such as banking systems, water purification plants and power grids and recognized the need for trained information security personnel.

Sac State’s Center for Information Assurance and Security is one of fewer than 150 information security programs in the country to be recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The distinction, which applies to the entire University, indicates that the campus’ information security curriculum adheres to national standards and is available to non-engineering majors.

Courses include cryptography, network security and computer system attacks and countermeasures, where one team “attacks” the systems of the other team to see if the defenses they put in place are effective. In addition, they gain legal tools through a forensics course that shows how to determine if a hacker has violated laws, and if so, how to handle the evidence.

Sac State’s emphasis on information security was crucial in its selection as the site of the California Smart Grid Center, an effort to modernize and upgrade the nation’s electric grid. It will rely on secure technology to transmit information about energy usage between the source, the supplier and the customer. 

For more details, visit csus.edu/irt or www.ecs.csus.edu/csc/iac.

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Connected to campus

Penny Kastanis’ Sac State roots run deep. Really deep. She went to school here, taught here and she’s related by marriage to the ranching family that once owned the land where the University is located.

“This area of Sacramento has been my home for so many years,” says Kastanis (’57 Music, ’61, Music Education). “I saw the area as farm field, and then saw the new growth.”

Kastanis’ sister married into the family that owned the White and Terry Ranch. Over time, family members lost interest in continuing farming, she says, and were ready to sell when the state approached them in 1949 to purchase 244 acres of the ranch for what would become Sacramento State College.

“I was a child, and I remember hearing my parents say they were going to put a college out where the peach orchard was. My question was, ‘Where are we going to go buy our peaches?’” 

The property was sold and construction of the new school began in 1952. “It’s interesting to see all the changes that have taken place,” Kastanis says. “Every once in a while, I drive by the school and say, ‘Boy, I remember those jackrabbits that used to run across the field.’”

Kastanis was in the first freshman class at Sacramento State College, but if her mother hadn’t stepped in, chances are, she may have gone somewhere else. 

“I had received a music scholarship to the University of the Pacific, but my mother said, ‘You have a school down the street, and that’s the one you are going to.’ So, I said, ‘Okay, Ma.’ But, I’m very proud to say I graduated from here.”

And she has been a part of the University ever since. After earning her bachelor’s degree in music in 1957, she added a master’s in music education along with two teaching credentials and a library teaching credential. She also taught library science here for 15 years.

In 2010, she retired from Sac State, but has remained active with the campus community. She was on the advisory committee for the College of Arts and Letters for five years and is a board member for the Sacramento State Alumni Association. She and her husband Terry (’70, Secondary Education) have also set up two scholarships for students pursuing degrees in education and one for students studying music. They are also contributors to the University’s Alumni Center.

“Sac State became part of my life,” she says. “Whether it has been attending functions or plays and musicals, whatever was going on, I wanted to be close to the University, and I wanted to see if I might be able to help.” 

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Faith Alchorn Selk and Terry Selk

A Couple for the ‘Places’

Of course Terry Selk (’86, Communication Studies, ‘88, Recreation and Leisure) proposed to his Sacramento State sweetheart Faith Alchorn-Selk (’87, Home Economics) in an airport.

Since that proposal more than 23 years ago in Las Vegas, the pair has traveled to more than 30 destinations around the world as a function of Terry’s long career promoting travel to Sacramento and California. He is currently the director of tourism for the Sacramento Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

“It’s given us tremendous opportunity to make friends around the world and to travel,” says Faith. “If he was going on a trip that was business for him and it worked with my schedule, I would pick up and go.”

The globetrotting has included Asia, Europe and Latin America, where Terry attended conferences, built relationships and promoted travel to California.

Travel plays into Faith’s career as well. Her emphasis in college was textiles, clothing and merchandising. She is currently is the customer service and communications manager for Nordstrom in Arden Fair Mall and has enjoyed comparing foreign marketplaces—particularly South Korea and Europe—to her own.

The Selks credit their adventurous life to a random decision by Terry to take a recreation elective at Sac State. That class has led to a 25-year career in the tourism industry. “I think what intrigued me about the class was that even though we all recreate everyday, we never picture ourselves in it as a career,” he says.

So inspired, Terry went on to complete one of the first master’s degrees in commercial recreation and leisure at Sac State while interning for the California Office of Tourism. After graduation, he continued at the California Office of Tourism for 18 years before heading his own tourism company TASMARK Enterprises. He joined the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau as director in 2007. 

“Sac State holds a special place in our hearts,” Faith says, of the place where she and her husband met when they both lived in the residence halls. “Sac State played a huge role in our lives, personally, professionally and socially.”

Terry puts his degree to work spotlighting the rest of what Sacramento has to offer, developing group and leisure travel opportunities in the Sacramento area. He says the city’s recently established luxury and boutique-style hotels, like the Citizen Hotel and Le Rivage Hotel, are helping to increase the number of visitors. And the area’s wine industry and “farm-to-fork” culinary themes are growing in popularity.

But he admits his two favorite locales remain the Delta King and the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento.

”He does know all of the cool places in town,” says Faith. 

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Class Notes


Thomas Carpender (’58, Physical Education) recently celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary with the entire family and went to Lake Tahoe. The Carpenders have five children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Keith Burns (’68) enjoys being a director and a writer. Over the years, Burns has worked for NBC in Burbank, Calif., produced various TV productions and directed “Real People,” “Ernie Kovacs” and “Hollywood Meatcleaver Massacre.”

Rebecca Davis (’69, English) is retiring after 41 years in educational service and her seventh year as the principal of Roy Herburger Elementary. She received a tree from the Parent Teacher Association and it was announced that the library at the school would be named the Rebecca Davis Library.

John Klein (’68, Finance) served as president of Central Arizona College from 1989 to 2003. His interest in education developed out of teaching martial arts. He still practices and has a black belt in judo.

Gary Pruner (’64 and ’90, Art) recently exhibited more than 50 years of his art in a retrospective art show at the Solomon Dubnick Gallery.


Jill (’71, History) and Jerry Carter (’76, Biological Sciences) retired from the Lake Tahoe School District. Jill began teaching in 1975 in the Elk Grove Unified School District. Jerry began in 1982 in the Linden Unified School District. Both are avid volunteers and give back to their community.

Claire L. Cortner (’77, English) has joined Sedgwick LLP in the firm’s insurance practices division as a partner in the San Francisco office. She is a seasoned litigator experienced in various insurance industry matters, ranging from coverage and bad-faith litigation to regulatory proceedings. She most recently served as vice president and claim counsel for the CNA insurance companies.

Frank Darling (’70, Strategic Management) earned his M.B.A. at Pepperdine University after graduating from Sac State. He then joined the paper industry and retired in 2000 as a vice president at Georgia Pacific Corp. Since then, he has been active in four non-profit organizations, gives guitar lessons for at-risk kids and serves as a court-appointed special advocate. He also provides small consulting teams to non-profits to help with specific projects and serves as president of the Rotary Club of Orinda, Calif. Aside from volunteering, he has been married 40 years to a fellow Hornet and enjoys traveling, Tahoe and friends.

Judy Flores (’79, Business Administration) is the new chief financial officer for San Diego County Credit Union. She was previously the president/CEO of Heritage Community Credit Union in Sacramento and of McDonnell Douglas West Federal Credit Union in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Sherwood Girion (’74, Government) was recently appointed by Fidelity National Financial, Inc. as senior vice president, government relations. Additionally, he was the co-chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Title Insurance Task Force, and he established the first consumer services bureau, which was a precursor to the California Department of Insurance Consumer Services and Market Conduct Branch.

Raymond Goyenechea (’72, Biological Sciences) worked briefly in pharmaceutical sales but settled into insurance and estate planning, and eventually co-founded Capitol Insurance Group. Fascinated with traveling abroad, he later founded a travel agency. He also served as president of the EIR Group, raising money for local children’s entities. He married later in life and ventured into real estate, ultimately combining his businesses as the Madrid Financial Group.

Bruce Haley (’79, Criminal Justice) just released a new book of his signature stark, unadulterated photography. Sunder, was compiled between 1994 and 2002 and depicts the decay rampant in parts of the former Soviet bloc.

James Allen Huff (’71, History) earned an associate’s degree before graduating from Sac State in 1971. He was the first black switchman on the Southern Pacific Railroad and the first black legislative representative for United Transportation Union Local 1798, a position to which he was elected three successive times. Huff went on to work for the late Rep. Robert T. Matsui and for Superior Court Judge James L. Long.

Robert Van Der Volgen Jr. (’72, History), while visiting Okinawa, Japan, was promoted to hachi dan in uechi-ryu karate.

Robert Wichert (’77, Mechanical Engineering) is the technical director for the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, “the voice of the fuel cell industry.”

Frank Zaccari (’79, Finance) is the owner of an insurance agency in Sacramento after a long career in the high-tech industry. He has also written and published three books. His first book, When the Wife Cheats, follows one man’s journey to cope with the devastation of infidelity. His second book, From the Ashes: The Rise of the University of Washington Volleyball Program, chronicles the business management principles that helped turn a losing program into a national power. The third book, Inside the Spaghetti Bowl, is a story of a family as they discover family history, traditions and secrets.


Katheryn Allaman (’80, Math and ’95, Education) is the principal at Folsom High School and was honored as Teacher of the Year in 2002. Under her leadership, Folsom High is receiving favorable recognition for the success of its football team, choir, band, academic achievements and community support.

Jim Burden (’85, M.B.A.) has signed on with Emerald Packaging Inc., a flexible packaging company, as business strategy director. This new position will leverage his talents in many areas including forecasting, developing operating metrics and identifying markets for continued growth.

Scott McAdams (’86, Strategic Management) started his career 31 years ago at Mechanics Bank, and has recently been named senior vice president, corporate banking manager. He started his career in the Mechanics Bank
equivalent of the corporate mail room, rolling coins in the main vault, and worked his way through the ranks. He also coaches girls’ fast-pitch softball and enjoys waterskiing, playing golf and taking road trips around the U.S.

Kenneth Munson (’88, Communication Studies) is the president and co-founder of Sunverge Energy. He was recently a featured panelist at the Electricity Storage Association’s 21st annual meeting in San Jose, Calif. He has a long history of technology ventures including Inertia Engineering and Kinetek, Inc. He has been responsible for global new business and marketing initiatives, corporate partnerships, and expansion, merger and acquisition activities in Asia, Europe and North America.

Terri Rehg (’82, Family and Consumer Sciences) spent a lifetime wanting to open a space that was exclusively dedicated to selling toys as an art form. Her dream came true in December when she opened the Art of Toys gallery in downtown Sacramento.

Kathleen Rose (’82, Nursing) is a lecturer for the Sac State School of Nursing and is retiring after teaching at the University for 27 years. She hopes to be able to travel and enjoy time with her husband.


Susan List Bassett (’97, Government/Journalism) and her husband, Kevin Bassett, welcomed daughter Kara Marie on Dec. 28. Big brother Jack starts preschool this fall and both kids enjoy visiting the campus.

Codi Dada (’99, Finance) graduated from Empire College School of Law in its 35th graduating class.

Kevin Kalman (’92, Recreation Administration) recently became the general manager of the Desert Recreation District. He has been employed by the district since 1998 and served 10 years as the assistant general manager. He has worked in recreation for more than 25 years as a coach, instructor, counselor, programmer and administrator.

Robert Killgore (’93, Business Administration) has been promoted to chief operating officer for Sleep Train with responsibility for strategic planning and daily operations of the Sacramento-based mattress retailer and its nearly 1,200 employees. He started with Sleep Train 25 years ago, working as a delivery driver part time while attending Sac State.

Adam Pannell (’93, Finance) is working as senior vice president, mergers and acquisitions for Digital Insurance Inc. Prior to joining the firm, he spent 20 years in sales and management roles with Health Dialog, WebMD’s Health
Services Group and Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Early in his career, he was a top-producing group sales representative for The Standard Insurance Company and Liberty Mutual.

Claudine Schardijn (’96, Criminal Justice) has been promoted to general manager of TERIS in its San Francisco location. She is also a member of the Silicon Valley Chapter of Women in Discovery.

Jon Walker (’93, Business Administration) recently returned from Nairobi, Kenya where he and 14 men from Bayside Church of Roseville, Calif., teamed up with Compassion International to work in some of the largest slums in Africa. They helped construct a church in the Dandora Project with $100,000 donated by Bayside members. They also helped encourage and motivate families and children, many suffering with HIV. He says the poverty was astounding with living conditions of more than 2,000 people per acre with no public services. Wanting to make a difference, he started a long-term sponsorship of an 11-year-old boy he met.

Michael Willihnganz (’91, Psychology) was appointed as the Placer County Water Agency director of administrative services, overseeing human resources, and safety and risk management as well as other services and activities.


Sam Amick (’00, Journalism) is a columnist, writing about the NBA for Sports Illustrated at SI.com. He started his career at the Sacramento Bee while he was a student. After serving as a beat writer for the Sacramento Kings from 2005-10 he landed a national job covering the league at AOL FanHouse before moving to SI.com.

Jason Campbell (’05, Construction Management) is preparing for a new 35,000-square-foot Social Services Dental Clinic project and is working with architects planning a 512-bed jail expansion scheduled to begin in 2012. He previously managed the replacement of a cogeneration plant and three solar arrays generating 1.5 megawatt-hours of energy.

Ryan DeVore (’09, M.B.A.) has been named chief building official for the City of Sacramento. He has been with the city since 2004 in the capacities of associate and senior engineer, and project manager, and successfully managed key projects including the $50 million Citizen Hotel. He previously held positions with Psomas and TY Lin International, working on various design and engineering projects.

Matthew Easley (’09, Kinesiology) is serving as an Army Reserve staff sergeant and is one of only 43 soldiers from among more than 200,000 reservists worldwide who competed in the Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wis. He is a combat medic assigned to the 807th Medical Deployment Support Command in Sacramento. He has served in the military six years.

Brandon Fleshman (’08, Communication Studies/Public Relations) is currently a production coordinator for All Weather Window Company in Vacaville, Calif. and hopes to launch a sports-related career in marketing, journalism or public relations.

Casey Fuller (’02, Psychology) recently completed the California Highway Patrol cadet training program and was assigned to the Oakland area office. Before joining the CHP, he worked as a baseball instructor.

Peter Hansen (’00, Criminal Justice) has been promoted to the rank of sergeant in the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. Upon promotion, he was assigned to the Operations Bureau, Patrol Division. Hansen is also a member of the Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.

Brittney Henry (’09, Communication Studies) is the 2011 Miss Washington and will represent the state in January at the Miss America 2012 pageant in Las Vegas.

Patricia Mills (’07, Art Studio) is an award-winning abstract artist. She recently exhibited a collection of her works titled, “Retrospective and New Works” at her Fair Oaks, Calif. establishment, Studio Tupos.

Judd Mynderup (’06, Physical Therapy) specializes in athletic rehabilitation and orthopedics. He has been a physical therapist for four years. He resides in Hanford, Calif.

Sabrina Nicola (’08, Communication Studies/Public Relations) is making plans to open her first restaurant, a branch of Squeeze Inn, in midtown Sacramento. She will be mentored and work under the guidance of Squeeze Inn owners Travis and Vicki Hausauer, who will be silent partners. The new restaurant is expected to open in October on K Street.

Ashley Robison (’09, Business Administration/Human Resources Management) and Paul Harris (’07, Business Administration/Accountancy) are happy to announce their engagement. Paul and Ashley met at the regional public accounting firm GALLINA LLP in February 2009. The two intend to stay in the Sacramento area and the wedding is scheduled for June 2012.

Andri Tambunan (’06, Photography) is participating in the summer intern program at The Sacramento Bee while “aggressively” pursuing a career in journalism. He says, “Photography is a catalyst for positive social change.”

Lauren Palmer Zahedani (’00, Government) and Ardie Zahedani are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Ryan Luc. He was born on April 5 in Folsom, Calif. Ryan is Ardie and Lauren’s second child, joining big brother Kian Matthieu.


Melissa Corker (’10, Government/Journalism) recently became the city hall reporter at The Sacramento Press. She’s not new to the organization as she wrote at least a dozen stories for them while completing her degree at Sac State.

Kristine Anne Guerra (’10, Journalism/Digital Media) was recently welcomed to the 37th class of Pulliam Fellows. Her fellowship is with The Indianapolis Star.

Amanda Plante (’11, Government) has been selected to participate in the California Senate Fellows program to serve as full-time senate staff for 11 months.

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