Charles Bell '71, MS '73 (Criminal Justice)

Rosa Parks, author Alex Haley, Muhammad Ali, Jane Fonda, Coretta Scott King, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan, and the Queen of England. That list of who’s who in history includes just a few of the people Charles Bell provided security for as the Sergeant-at-Arms for the California legislature from 1974-96. Read more»

George Raya '72 (Government)

George Raya can trace the start of his reputation as one of the founding fathers of gay rights to his formative years at Sac State. “I came out when I was 19 years old. At that time, I was on the student senate which proved helpful in fighting to establish the first club for gay students,” Raya says. Read more»

Mike Wiley '75 (Social Studies)

Forget the corporate ladder. Mike Wiley’s rise to the top came by way of bus and light rail, not surprising for the general manager/CEO of the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT). Wiley has been with RT for more than 30 years and was named to the top position in February after spending several months as the interim general manager/CEO. Read more»


Melissa Boyle Mahle (Criminal Justice)

Melissa Boyle Mahle may never have become a spy—and subsequently helped save countless American lives—if she had not taken night classes at Sac State where a professor recommended that she meet with a visiting CIA recruiter. As an archeologist, with a flair for international affairs, Mahle fit the CIA’s agent profile. Read more»

Kaye Thompson, MSW '80 (Social Work)

It took her three decades to do it, but Kaye Thompson MSW ‘80 finally landed “the toughest job you’ll ever love.” “I first applied to Peace Corps in 1973,” Thompson says. “But I was screened out because I had a boyfriend. I think they thought I wasn’t fully committed.” Read more»

Maureen Bauman, MSW '81 (Social Work), MPA '87 (Public Administration)

Maureen Bauman would likely champion her cause and make a major difference for Californians even without her prominent title. She happens to be the director of the Placer County Adult System of Care, overseeing mental health services and drug and alcohol services for one of the fastest growing areas in the state. Read more»

Theresa Claiborne '81 (Communication Studies)

Theresa M. Claiborne has had a great career since graduating from Sacramento State nearly three decades ago. No sooner did she receive her bachelor’s degree than the newly commissioned Air Force second lieutenant headed for pilot training at Laughlin AFB, Texas. Upon earning her wings in 1982, Lt. Claiborne became the first African-American female pilot for the USAF. Read more»

John Torres '82, MS '86 (Criminal Justice)

John “J.T.” Torres was 12 years old and delivering newspapers in south Stockton when, just feet in front of him, two drug dealers shot it out. The violent incident became what the Sac State alumnus calls his “defining moment, my inspiration toward a career in law enforcement.” Read more»

Sherilyn Adams '88, MSW '92 (Social Work)

Sherilyn Adams uses words like “stumbled” and “landed” to describe her career path. “I was the first in my family to go to college, so I didn’t know the ‘rules’ of how to go about things. I stumbled into stuff all the time.” Read more»stituted the D.A.R.E. program in local schools, mentored students, formed the Citizens Liaison Committee and enhanced the Neighborhood Watch program. Read more»


Christine Ault ’92 (Communication Studies) & Michael Ault ’92 (Communication Studies)

There is a movement afoot throughout Sacramento that's been in the works for more than 20 years. Some call it a revitalization, others, a renaissance. For Michael and Christine Ault, both ’92 (Communication Studies), it's the couple's vocation—a combined effort to reshape the economic development, identity and reputation of the capital city. Read more»

Rhonda Staley-Brooks '95 (Child Development)

Rhonda Staley-Brooks is the president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Sacramento Area. Her tenure with Big Brothers Big Sisters began as a case worker while she was a student at Sac State and she now oversees nine employees for the non-profit organization that served nearly 400 children last year. The Sacramento Business Journal honored Staley-Brooks with a “Women who Mean Business” award in 2012 and she was Sacramento Magazine’s CEO of the Year in 2006. Read more»

Lisa Mangat, MBA ’96, Director, California Department of Parks and Recreation

There aren't many people who can say that their work is a mainstay on bucket lists across the country and around the world. Such is the case for Lisa Mangat, MBA ’96, director for the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Mangat oversees the state's nearly 300 parks that span 1.6 million acres across California, ranging from Emerald Bay in northern California to Old Town San Diego in SoCal. Read more»


Rosilynn Kline '06 (Criminal Justice)

The capital city was more than just the perfect grooming ground for a young Brandon Kline. At Sacramento State, he was involved in countless activities and racked up a number of impressive accomplishments. But they all take a backseat to Kline’s most memorable encounter as a Hornet. “Rosilynn and I met at Sac State,” Brandon says of his wife, whom he met in a math class in 2001. Read more»

Janay Swain '06, MSW '09 (Social Work)

Janay Swain serves as state youth council coordinator for California Youth Connection and implements the California Fostering Connections to Success Act. A former foster youth herself, she is a dedicated advocate and speaker for child welfare and was recognized by FosterClub as Outstanding Young Leader. Read more»

Brian Berry '07 (Asian Studies & Japanese)

A Sacramento State alumnus is credited with helping reunite two brothers who were separated for nearly 60 years. Even though Brian Berry ’08 had never met Minoru Ohye, 86, or Hiroshi Kamimura, 84, he felt compelled to help. Berry, a current Ph.D. student at the University of Tokyo, first heard about the brothers’ story when his former Sacramento State Japanese professor contacted him. Read more»

Justin Knighten '08 (Public Relations)

For most of his adult life, Justin Knighten has lent his skills to spurring shifts in social thought. While a student at Sac State, he interned at the California Environmental Protection Agency legislation office and helped work on the landmark Assembly Bill 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act. Read more»


Laura '10 (Criminal Justice & American Sign Language) & Lisa (Communication Studies) Allen

Bill Allen is president of Amador Stage Lines. His daughters, Laura '10 (Criminal Justice) and Lisa '11 (Communication Studies) help market the Sactown Hopper—a weekend bus that runs to and from downtown. Read more»

Nicole Anderson '11 (International Studies)

Nicole Anderson knows how to keep busy. A student trustee for the California State University system before she graduated in May from Sacramento State with a bachelor’s in International Studies, Anderson is starting law school at Penn State. And on Aug. 20, she was commissioned in a ceremony at Sac State as an officer in the Marine Corps, where she plans to put her law degree to work. Read more»

Christina Preston '11 (Anthropology)

Christina Preston founded the nonprofit Shoes4Sacramento while she was still a student at Sac State. Her charity partners with other local organizations to provide shoes to those in need. Preston works in Sacramento State’s Department of Anthropology as an assistant on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act compliance efforts and is working toward obtaining her certification in tribal law from UCLA. Read more»

Michael Casper '10 (left) & Michael Lynch, MPPA '14

The need to step in to help is also what drives Michael Casper and Michael Lynch. “We didn’t want to be the ones who sat on the sidelines and complained about the issues. We wanted to get in the game and make a difference,” says Casper. Casper and business partner Lynch know all too well the pitfalls, and potential, facing young men of color. As teenagers raised below the poverty line in single-parent homes, each struggled academically and was suspended. Read more»