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Past Stories

Daniel Hahn

Alumnus becomes new Sacramento police chief

August 14, 2017 by Vincent Martinez

With more than 1,000 people in attendance in the University Union Ballroom, Daniel Hahn '95 (Marketing) was sworn in as Sacramento's 45th police chief on Aug. 11.

Although Sacramento police chiefs are traditionally sworn in at City Council chambers, Hahn wanted to have his ceremony on campus.

"I can't think of too many places that are more important to our city, and our community, and our youth and the future of our community than my alma mater Sac State," Hahn said.

Read more about Hahn's achievement  here.

Hornets in professional football

August 2, 2017 by Vincent Martinez

Former Sacramento State football players' careers go beyond Hornet Stadium!

With training campus underway, three Hornets prepare for the upcoming NFL season. Todd Davis '14 (Business Administration) of the Denver Broncos, DeAndre Carter '15 (Communication Studies) of the San Francisco 49ers and Darnell Sankey of the Minnesota Vikings '17 (Communication Studies) all hope to make opening day rosters.

Meanwhile, alumnus Rick Ray '01 (Business Administration) continues to make strides toward the CFL Hall of Fame. In a recent game against Saskatchewan, he became the all-time leading passer for the Toronto Argonauts.

Magazine Cover

Summer 2017 Sac State Magazine now available

July 20, 2017 by Sam Churich

See how the University is transforming the region in the Summer 2017 issue of Sac State Magazine. In our "Catalyst" issue:

  • Hornet alumni challenge our regional identity through works of art,
  • A Sac State student experiences personal growth while studying in Africa, and
  • Our Hornet Hyperloop team explores cutting-edge engineering 

All that plus, get to know this year's Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, Sac State becomes a Keep America Beautiful campus, records and milestones highlight a successful season in athletics and more.

To pick up a copy of Sac State Magazine, stop by Sacramento Hall 169, call 278-2140, email or check out the online version at

female graduate

Sac State celebrates record number of graduates

May 23, 2017 by Anita Fitzhugh

On May 19 and 20, Sac State celebrated its largest Spring Commencement to date with more than 5,300 students eligible to participate in ceremonies. The bachelor's, master's, doctoral and credential candidates walked across the stage in Sacramento's first civic event held at the new Golden 1 Center. 

President Robert S. Nelsen presided over the ceremonies and congratulated each graduate as well as the winners of the President's and Dean's Awards. He also presented the President's Medal for Distinguished Service to Garry Maisel '80 (Business Administration), president and CEO of Western Health Advantage, as well as honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Cheryl Dell '82 (Communication Studies), former president and publisher of The Sacramento Bee, and Ephraim Williams, pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church. 

Graduates' photos are now available to view and order on the GradImages website.

Distinguished award

2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards honor outstanding achievement

May 5, 2017 by Anita Fitzhugh

Every year, Sacramento State and the Alumni Association bestow a Distinguished Alumni Award on a number of influential and prominent Hornets. The awards are given in recognition of professional achievements and for outstanding contributions to the University and the community. 

In April, the following seven alumni were recognized at the Distinguished Alumni Award reception held at the Harper Alumni Center:

  • Kimo Ah Yun '90 (Communication Studies)
  • Kraig Clark '91 (Business Administration)
  • Carol Garcia '80 (Family and Consumer Sciences)
  • Gilbert Herdt MA '72 (Anthropology)
  • Andrei Tokmakoff '89 (Chemistry)
  • Angelo A. Williams, MA '06 (Education), MA '07 (Higher Education Leadership) , Ed.D '10
  • Ryan M. Harrison, MS '11 (Criminal Justice) (Rising Star Award)

Read about the award recipients and watch their acceptance speeches here.

2017 Dean's Award recipient: College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies

May 4, 2017 by Laurie Hall

Aja Johnson got involved with campus organizations early on in her Sacramento State career and they have been a key part of the foundation for her personal growth. Those activities included serving on the student team that helped establish the Martin Luther King Jr. Center.

Read more.

koonce kadina

2017 Dean's Award recipient: College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

May 3, 2017 by Laurie Hall

Kadina Koonce's professors describe her with a multitude of glowing terms: energetic, polite, giving, hardworking, intelligent, organized and inquisitive. This fall she will apply her experience studying abroad into her master's degree studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. 

Read more

nancy nyguen

2017 Dean's Award recipient: College of Health and Human Services

May 2, 2017 by Laurie Hall

Nancy Nguyen, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, began teaching her father English when she was just six years old, sparking her interest in speech and language. Her volunteer work is extensive, including working with Sacramento State's Autism Center for Excellence and her department's NeuroService Alliance.

Read more.

souza brian

2017 Dean's Award recipient: College of Engineering and Computer Science

May 1, 2017 by Laurie Hall

Brian Souza's achievements during his college career run the gamut from a certification in cybersecurity to volunteer photographer for the volleyball team. But what he is most proud of is his participation in the "Men Who Ask" internship, working with the Women's Resource Center to raise awareness of sexual assault and prevention.

Read more.

2017 Dean's Award recipient: College of Education

April 28, 2017 by Laurie Hall

Seth Fujii wasn't sure what he wanted to do after high school, but once he took a course in child development he realized he loved everything to do with the field of education. He plans to apply for Sac State's credential program for the Fall 2018 semester.

Read more.

saunders danielle

2017 Dean's Award recipient: College of Business Administration

April 27, 2017 by Laurie Hall

Danielle Saunders turned her combined interest in psychology and business into a social entrepreneurship effort to promote education. After graduation, she plans to explore the field of learning analytics, looking for ways education can best prepare people for work and life.

Read more. 

kochai jalil

2017 Dean's Award recipient: College of Arts and Letters

April 26, 2017 by Laurie Hall

Jalil Kochai has been an active presence in both the history and English departments at Sacramento State, consistently contributing to campus literary magazines. After graduation, he hopes to teach history at a high school level, earn his doctorate in history and eventually publish a book on modern Afghanistan.

Read more.

pastor williams

Pastor Ephraim Williams receives honorary doctorate

April 21, 2017 by Sam Churich

Commencement will see Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral candidates cross the stage at Golden 1 Center on May 19 and 20. 

It will also feature a couple of honorary doctorate recipients.

One of them is Pastor Ephraim Williams, the most senior pastor in the Sacramento region. The leader of the Missionary Baptist Church, one of the largest congregations in the area, will have his honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters conferred during the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies ceremony on May 20. 

Over his 45-year tenure, Williams has grown the church's membership from 133 in 1971 to more than 4,000 today. He has performed more than 900 marriages, 2,200 funerals and 6,100 sermons. His community outreach includes regular participation in the CSU's and Sacramento State's "Super Sunday" effort to encourage college enrollment.

His many local, regional and national honors include the 2014 Peace Award from Sacramento State's Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution. During the ceremony, Williams was praised for his "exemplary leadership in building bridges between religious and civic life in the Sacramento Region."

Cheers to honorary doctorate recipient Dell

April 17, 2017 by Sam Churich

Cheryl Dell '82 (Communication Studies), former publisher and president of The Sacramento Bee, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the California State University Board of Trustees and Sacramento State. Her honorary doctorate will be conferred during the Arts and Letters Commencement ceremony on May 19.

Her career in the news industry spans nearly 33 years and includes positions in Texas and Washington. She returned to Sacramento to take over the flagship publication of The McClatchy Company after 11 years with the organization where she served as publisher of both The Tacoma News Tribune and the Tri City Herald in Eastern Washington. 

The Bee is the fifth largest newspaper in California and has a 160-year legacy of public service journalism and has won virutally every major journalism award under Dell's leadership, including the Pulitzer Prize. 

In 2014, Dell was named to the Sacramento Business Journal's "Women who Mean Business." At her alma mater, she received a Distinguished Service Award in 2013 from the University and Alumni Association.

maisel blog

Maisel awarded President's Medal for Distinguished Service

April 10, 2017 by Sam Churich

Commencement is a special occasion for graduates and their friends and family. It's also a platform for the University to honor its prominent alumni and community champions. 

Sac State alumnus Garry Maisel '80 (Business Administration) will be recognized as the recipient of the President's Medal for Distinguished Service at this year's spring commencement ceremonies. The medal honors outstanding service to Sacramento State and is reserved for individuals who have made the highest, and most positive, impact on the University. 

The president and CEO of Western Health Advantage personally and professionally supports a number of local organizations including chairing the boards of the B Street Theater and the Health Plan Alliance. At his alma mater, Maisel serves on the University Foundation at Sacramento State's board of directors, co-chairs the Campaign Leadership Committee and was a member of the 2015 Green & Gold Gala Planning Committee. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Alumni Association and the University in 2013.

Green and gold gala

Green & Gold Gala centered on students

April 3, 2017 by Sam Churich

Sacramento State's Green & Gold Gala, the University's signature black-tie fundraising event, raised more than $373,000 on Friday, March 24. An 11-minute paddle auction for student scholarships and programs, namely the Green and Gold Scholarship and Student Emergency Grant Fund, netted $162,000. An additional $211,000 was secured through sponsorships.

"Sac State is all about the students," President Robert S. Nelsen told the audience. "The scholarship funds we raise tonight will make a tremendous difference in their lives."

The Green and Gold Scholarship was created to assist undergraduate students of any major who have demonstrated enthusiasm and determination to obtain a degree despite personal, financial, or other hardships.

The Student Emergency Grant Fund assists students who experience a financial emergency that could jeopardize their studies at Sacramento State, such as a significant loss due to fire or natural disaster, sudden unemployment, unexpected eviction, or homelessness.

The gala program featured students who have benefited from philanthropic support:

  • Yanni Bullock, a biology major who is a member of the McNair Scholars Program
  • Olga Dubenchuk, a social sciences major who is a Green and Gold Scholarship recipient
  • Margarita Kovalchuk, a civil engineering major who is a President's Ambassador
  • Abraham Mendoza, a social work major and Associated Students Inc. vice president of Academic Affairs. He is a Student Emergency Grant Fund recipient. 
  • Paha Xiong, a psychology major who is a Full Circle Project student

"What I like most about Sac State's Green & Gold Gala is that it supports our students. The University cares about its students and their performance, and provides the help they need," said The University Foundation at Sacramento State board member Sonney Chong, DMD.

The event's theme, Reflections of Gratitude, was inspired by the artwork of alumnus and world-renowned artist Gregory Kondos '51, MA '57 (Art), who received a standing ovation. 

Sponsors of the 2017 Green & Gold Gala included:

  • University Enterprises Inc. at the Redefine the Possible Level
  • Chevron, Speeding Edge and Western Health Advantage at the Gold Level
  • Capital Public Radio, Clark Pacific, Comstock's magazine, Crowe Horwath LLP, Placer Ranch Inc., Sacramento State Administration and Business Affairs, SMUD, and The Sacramento Bee at the Bronze Level

For a complete list of sponsors, visit

Visit for photos and more information.


Alumnus named one of California's CIOs of the Year

March 15, 2017 by Vincent Martinez

George Akiyama '89 (Accountancy) is the California Public Sector CIO Academy's 2017 Government Technology CIO of the Year.

Akiyama received his honor for his ongoing efforts to the state's information technology initiatives as the California Department of Transportation's (Caltrans) chief information officer. 

In 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Akiyama as Caltrans' CIO to oversee all information technology functions including developing policies and the department's overall strategic direction for IT. 

Since then, Akiyama furthered Caltrans' business partnerships and implemented a CIO communication program that ensures consistent communication on all levels of information technology.

The California Public Sector CIO Academy is a statewide leadership event for top technology executives who seek to improve their management and business skills and develop the IT leaders of the future. 

Photo courtesy of the CA CIO Academy's SmugMug page.

Alumni lead students to victory in national competition

March 14, 2017 by Vincent Martinez

Sac State's construction management program earned national recognition at the Associated Schools of Construction's student competition last month in Sparks, Nev.

The concrete solutions team made its seventh consecutive podium appearance placing first among 12 other universities across the nation. The electrical, heavy civil and mixed use teams also placed second in their divisions while the design build team finished third. 

Each team is coached by a member of the construction management faculty as well as local building-industry volunteers who have earned degrees at Sac State. 

Alumni coaches include Mike Seegert '08 (Construction Management), Brad Dent '10 (Construction Management) and Bill Naramore '07 (Construction Management).

Construction management professor Tony Tipton finds great value in the alumni who serve as volunteer coaches. 

"Due to continuity among the coaching staff, we have put together a study program that is second to none," Tipton said in an interview with Sac State's Dixie Reid. "The atmosphere allows students to form real, lasting bonds with one another so that they give their best not just for themselves but for the team."


72-year-old alumnus proves it's never too late for an education

February 27, 2017 by Vincent Martinez

Rodolfo "Rudy" Castillo '16 (Child Development) is the University Professional and Continuing Education Association's (UPCEA) 2017 Outstanding Continuing Education Student. 

According to President Robert S. Nelsen, Castillo's tenacity and perseverance to pursue his dreams of higher education despite life's hardships is what makes him worthy of the award.

After 28 years of service in the U.S. Navy, Castillo got a job as a custodian at a school district in San Diego where he became inspired to become a preschool teacher. It was then he earned his associate's degree to acheive his next endeavor.

However, due to new Head Start program policies that required teachers to have a bachelor's degree, Castillo enrolled in a long-distance degree program through Sac State. He finished his bachelor's degree in three years while living and working in San Diego, despite the difficulty of pursuing a college education later in life and the language barrier as a non-native English speaker. 

The UPCEA previously recognized Castillo as the 2016 Outstanding Nontraditional Student at its West Regional Conference. He will receive this year's national honor at UPCEA's Annual Conference in Chicago next month. 

Read more about Castillo's journey. Photo courtesy of Jessica Vernone/Sacramento State.


Corporate Giving impacts student learning

February 10, 2017 by Vincent Martinez

Gifts from corporate donors allow Sac State to provide students with educational opportunities through hands-on learning.

Recently, Sac State's Sustainable Interdisciplinary Research to Inspire Undergraduate Success (SIRIUS) program received a $250,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to support its ongoing scientific research on the American River. The program spans across 12 laboratory classes in the biological sciences department. 

Through its gift, the Keck Foundation, who focuses primarily on scientific, engineering, and medical research, is helping to provide job-ready skills and experiences for students.

The Keck Foundation previously donated $300,000 toward the SIRIUS project. This year's grant will cover equipment costs for six classes including General Chemistry, Inorganic Quantitative Analysis, Physical Geology, Hydrology, Environmental Toxicology and a new Field Methods course.

Sac State values its partnerships with the business community as it offers long-term vitality to the campus and its students' education. 

For more information on how to donate and its impact on student learning, visit


Come celebrate Black History Month

February 1, 2017 by Sam Churich

February is Black History Month and Sac State has a full slate of events scheduled to commemorate. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's. visit to Sacramento State, when the civil rights activist addressed a crowd of thousands at Hornet Stadium.

A Black History Month kickoff sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr., Center on Feb. 6 highlights the handful of events held on campus. 

Visit for a full calendar of events. Alumni and members of the community are welcome to participate. 


Winter 2016 Commencement videos available online

January 23, 2017 by Sam Churich

Did you miss the opportunity to see your graduate walk across the stage? Or do you simply want to relive the memorable experience from the Winter 2016 Commencement ceremonies?

We got you covered.

Visit to access high-definition videos from each of the seven ceremonies. Plus, check out public relations photos courtesy of GradImages. Congratulations to the 3,800 graduates who are now #HornetProud alumni!

News makers

Alumnus turns up heat on 'The Great American Baking Show'

December 12, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Julliard-trained flutist, Jeremiah Bills '00 (Music), is trading his instrument for cooking utensils as a contestant on the current season of "The Great American Baking Show" on ABC. According to his biography on the television network's website, the accomplished musician says that he uses baking as a way to connect to his Portuguese roots. "One of my fondest childhood memories is kneading the dough for my grandmother's 'massa sovada' (Portuguese sweet bread)," he adds. Bills prepared his grandparents' cheesy rolls during last week's "Bread Week" episode. 

The talented Bills has given solo recitals at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, Diablo Symphony, the Sacramento Philharmonic and Sacramento Bach Festival. Bills shares his passion for music with students enrolled in his privately-owned music school.


Ready, set, graduate!

December 8, 2016 by Sam Churich

Sacramento State's Winter Commencement ceremonies will be held at Sleep Train Arena on Friday, Dec. 16 and Saturday, Dec. 17. Nearly 3,800 students are eligible to walk across the stage—the highest eligible number of graduates for Winter Commencement in the past five years. 

The University is requiring tickets for guests attending the ceremonies, and graduates participating in Winter Commencement can claim up to 12 complimentary tickets for their guests on the Commencement website

Sacramento Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg will be the community Commencement speaker at the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 16. The College of Business Administration ceremony will feature the college's "Golden Grads," as graduates from the Class of 1966, attired in special gold gowns and mortarboards, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their own commencements.

Sac State will continue to feature a live-stream feed of the ceremonies with remote-and replay-viewing (available through the streaming link on There will also be an inaugural live-stream viewing party Dec. 16 and 17 in Mariposa Hall 1001 on campus for guests who are unable to attend the ceremonies or do not have tickets. 

For more information regarding tickets, the live-stream feed and general inquiries, visit the Commencement website (

Giving Tuesday

Sac State enjoys record donations on 'Giving Tuesday'

December 2, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Giving Tuesday donations hit a record high this year across the nation and at Sac State. On Nov. 29, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University opened their hearts and wallets to donate more than $130,000—just over an 82 percent increase from last year's donations. 

Scholarships and student support topped the leaderboard with more than $54,000 in donations. The College of Arts and Letters came in second with $24,600 and the College of Health and Human Services rounded out the top three with nearly $12,000 in donations. 

Giving Tuesday takes place annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and uses the power of social media to encourage online donations. Gifts to Sac State help create a better campus and increased opportunities for students. To learn more about the impact of supporting Sac State, visit


Global Entrepreneurship Week brings game changers to campus

November 4, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Sac State will host its inaugural Global Entrepreneurship Week Nov. 14-18 when dozens of alumni innovators and founders of area startups come to campus to share their personal journeys and offer valuable advice. 

Free sessions are offered throughout the week during which speakers will share insight on what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur, essential tools to success and how to turn creative ideas into reality. 

Hear from local restaurant owners and chefs who balance food and profit in the signature event, "Farm-to-Fork: Gastronomy and Economy," Tuesday, Nov. 15, 6-8 p.m. in the Harper Alumni Center. Be part of the "Shark Tank"-style business idea competition "The Pitch," on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 5:30-9 p.m. in the Hinde Auditorium of the University Union. And on Thursday, Nov. 17, 6-8 p.m. in the Harper Alumni Center, hear from the alumnus founder of Sleep Train Mattress Centers who will talk about the importance of social entrepreneurship in our community. 

These and all of the week's events are free to attendees. An event schedule is available at

Dance Marathon

Dance Marathon shines spotlight on Student Emergency Grant Fund

November 1, 2016 by Sam Churich and Anita Fitzhugh

The Sac State Alumni Association and Student Advancement Leader Team hosted its third annual Dance Marathon where a very special number was unveiled: $40,075. That's the total amount raised for the Student Emergency Grant Fund since last fall's Dance Marathon. 

The work of the Student Advancement Leader Team inspires peers and alumni to support undergraduate students who are experiencing hardship and have exhausted all other resources. Also known as the Hornet Proud Fund, the grants are made to reimburse students for expenses, with a maximum of $1,500 each. The fund is one of the priorities identified by the President's Circle giving society. 

As part of Homecoming week festivities, students enjoyed a fun-filled night of dance competitions, games, prizes and more. A full Dance Marathon photo gallery can be viewed here . To help students continue their mission of helping peers in need stay in school, please consider making a donation


Distinguished Alumni Awards nominations due Nov. 1

October 11, 2016 by Sam Churich

The Sacramento State Alumni Association invites nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards, which are presented jointly by the University and the Alumni Association to recognize alumni for their professional achievements and community service. 

The four categories are: Lifetime Achievement, Distinguished Service, Rising Star and Honorary Alumnus. Nominations are due Nov. 1 and be sure to save the date for the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 20. 

Nominations forms and more information are available at

Windy Ly

Government student receives prestigious internship

September 30, 2016 by Sam Churich

Windy Ly, government major and minor in economics, went from one Capitol to another. Ly was nominated by President Nelsen for the Panetta Congressional Internship program, which began at the Panetta Institute in Monterey Bay, and continues in Washington D.C. through mid-Nov. The Office of the Chancellor, California State University is one of many supporters of the fully-funded program to allow participation by any qualified student.

Undergraduates (junior or senior) selected from all 23 CSU campuses and other universities attend academic courses ranging from U.S. foreign and defense policy to cybersecurity issues to fiscal and monetary policy, among others. Interns apply the knowledge gained from the classroom to practice when they report to work on Capitol Hill. Each intern is assigned to a member of the California congressional delegation. Ly was assigned to Barbara Lee (D). 

Ly told the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies Newsletter, "Sac State means opportunity for immense personal growth, long-lasting friendships and professional development through the people you meet and clubs/organizations you participate in. It's home."

The San Francisco native is well on her way to achieving her professional aspirations of working in the politics and policy field. 


Holt to lead first Presidential Debate

September 26, 2016 by Sam Churich

Lester Holt will moderate the first presidential debate tonight at Hofstra University from 6 to 7:30 p.m. PST. 

The debate between candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be divided into six segments of 15 minutes each. The first two will touch on "America's Direction." The following two segments will highlight "Achieving Prosperity" and the final pair will focus on "Securing America."

The anchor of NBC Nightly News and award-winning journalist studied government at Sacramento State and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the University's Spring 2015 Commencement ceremonies. 

"I am honored, and I certainly accept this degree with deep gratitude," said Holt, who noted that his father also attended—and graduated from—Sacramento State. "I am so proud to be and (to) have been associated with this University."

news makers

Alumna hired as marketing director for Vacaville Outlets

September 20, 2016 by Sam Churich

The Premium Outlet Center in Vacaville named Bianca Bacy '10 (Marketing) director of marketing and business development. She will be tasked with overseeing the marketing team to drive traffic and sales to the outlets which consist of 120 retail stores. Additionally, Bacy will serve as the primary contact for on-site advertising. 

Bacy has seven years of experience in marketing and sales, including leadership positions with two senior living providers. 

today on campus

Emergency Grant Fund a Safety Net for Students

September 13, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

An unexpected crisis or financial hardship can be difficult for anyone to manage. For students, the experience can become even more stressful when faced with the need to continue paying for tuition, books and other expenses. Fortunately, there is a safety net in place at Sac State called the Student Emergency Grant Fund. 

Also known as the Hornet Proud Fund, the emergency grants support undergraduate students who have exhausted all other resources and are in need of financial assistance in order to continue their studies. The grants are made to reimburse students for expenses, with a maximum award of $1,500 each. The idea for the fund came from members in the Student Advancement Council which helps build a culture of philanthropy on campus. The fund also is one of the priorities identified by President Robert S. Nelsen in supporting students and creating a stronger campus community. 

Read about the benefits of joining the President's Circle and the impact you can make by supporting special programs, including the Student Emergency Grant Fund


Sac State Food Pantry accepting donations

September 1, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

With students back on campus for the new academic year, volunteers at the ASI Food Pantry are busy stocking shelves to make sure no Hornets go hungry. 

Sac State is one of 11 CSU campuses with a program or pantry in place to help provide hunger relief to students in need. Last year, the Food Pantry served nearly 850 students and received more than $17,000 in donations. And just this week, Sunsweet donated 68 cases of prunes with plans to give more in the coming months. 

"We are always in need of toiletries, peanut butter, dried pasta, rice and dry beans as those items are often in demand," says Davin Brown, director of student engagement and outreach.

The Food Pantry is one of the priorities identified by the President's Circle giving society, a growing number of community members dedicated to joining President Robert S. Nelsen in supporting students and creating a stronger campus community. 

Read about the benefits of joining the President's Circle and the impact you can make by supporting special programs, including the ASI Food Pantry. Donations to the Food Pantry can be dropped off at the ASI Hot Spot on the first floor of the University Union weekdays from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 


Spotlight shines on alumnus

August 25, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

When it comes to creating the latest big screen blockbusters, Hollywood is turning to Joe Carnahan '95 (English Literature and Film Studies).

Carnahan is slated to write a film adaptation of popular PlayStation video game "Uncharted," and will write and direct,  Bad Boys 3 starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. As Carnahan tells CinemaBlend, "Unless you're  Toy Story 3, usually third ones aren't the strongest, but I think this one will be the strongest of the trilogy thus far." The sequel comes 15 years after the last Bad Boys franchise release and is scheduled to hit multiplexes in 2018. 

The accomplished director of The Grey, Smokin' Aces and The A-Team recently sat down with Sac State Magazine to share how he got his start at Sac State:


White House honors alumnus for teaching excellence

August 23, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

President Obama has named Andy Kotko '01 (Physics), Credential '02, as one of the country's best math and science teachers. Kotko received the 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. He is recognized for his work as a first-grade teacher at the Folsom Cordova Unified School District's Academy for Advanced Learning, a public magnet school at Mather Heights Elementary focused on inquiry and project-based learning. 

"Teachers transform lives by inspiring and equipping students as lifelong learners," Kotko told the National Science Foundation. "I am grateful for the many educators who have invested in my teaching practice as well as for the colleagues and families that work beside me each day. This honor is also a testimony to the great effort of the students under my guidance who work dilligently to grow in their mathematics understanding."

As a Presidential Awardee, Kotko receives a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, a certificate signed by President Obama and a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. 

Photo courtesy Folsom Cordova Unified School District.


Another alumna takes home a bronze in Rio

August 22, 2016 by Sam Churich

The U.S. men's volleyball team rallied to defeat Russia in five sets to win the Olympic bronze medal in Rio yesterday. Watching it all unfold was Andrea Becker '01 (Kinesiology), MS '04 (Sport Performance). The former shortstop and second baseman for the Hornet softball team is the men's volleyball team's sports psychologist. 

Becker told  Vice Sports, "People think a sports psychologist would make the players think more. But I'm actually trying to get them to play in the absence of thought—analytical thought." 

You can find Becker on the bench studying players' behavior throughout a match, specifically looking for visible signs of mental lapses. In addition, she holds one-on-one meetings with players to help them grasp why they did or didn't play well. To medal in her first Olympics, it's apparent Becker's methods are on the right track. 

Olympic Trials

TBT: U.S. Olympic Team Trials—Track and Field

August 18, 2016 by Sam Churich

The world's fastest man Usain Bolt looks to defend his Olympic gold medal in the Men's 200 Meter Dash tonight in Rio. Do you remember when Hornet Stadium hosted the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Team Trials? Former 200 Meter Dash world record holder Michael Johnson and other top American athletes were on full display. 

Visit the Sacramento State Alumni Facebook page to view a gallery. 

Kasey Perry Glass

Alumna and Team USA win bronze in Rio

August 18, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Kasey Perry-Glass '11 (Business Administration) and her horse, Dublet, helped the United States win bronze in their Olympic equestrian event final in Rio. The duo competed in dressage, described as "dancing on horseback" a routine of walking, trotting, galloping and halting. 

Perry-Glass started riding at age five when she received her first pony. By the time she was in high school, she had fallen in love with dressage. Perry-Glass shared with The Sacramento Bee, "To be an Olympian is being blessed enough to have the honor of representing my country, first and foremost. On a personal level, it represents the hard work and sacrifices my family, trainers and I made over the last several years to get to this point."

Check out our coverage of her journey on Facebook at

Photo courtesy of Kasey Perry-Glass. 

In the news

Career Center Services Free to Alumni 

August 3, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Looking for a new job or considering a career change? A visit back to your alma mater may be just what's needed to help you chart a new professional course. 

Sac State's Career Center offers dozens of free resources for grads, including: 

-Access to career counseling staff to discuss life transitions, goal setting and resume writing

-Career Center fairs, events, lectures and panels

-Hornet Career Connection job-posting database

For more information and a full listing of scheduled events, workshops and services, visit or call 916.278.6231. 

Dinner Under the Lights

Wine and dine on the gridiron

July 28, 2016 by Sam Churich

Join head football coach Jody Sears for Dinner Under the Lights—a gourmet meal on the field in Hornet Stadium—on Saturday, Aug. 27. It promises to be a fun and surprise-filled evening to help the team's enhanced nutrition program which provides players—who consume more than 6,000 calories a day—healthy food. The annual event also includes tickets to the first home game and a silent auction. 

Host a table for 10 or buy a pair of tickets for you and your favorite Hornet football fan. Register today


news makers

Alumna named to Governor's office

July 25, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Melinda McClain '03 (Social Science/Interdisciplinary Studies) has been appointed deputy legislative secretary in the Office of the Governor by Gov. Jerry Brown. 

McClain previously served as deputy director of legislative and regulatory review at the California Department of Consumer Affairs, a lobbyist at Platinum Advisors, legislative aide in the Office of California State Senator Kevin Murray, and a legislative analyst at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. 

McClain is a member of Leadership California and the Hornet Politics and Policy Chapter of the Sac State Alumni Association. She earned a master of public administration degree from the University of San Francisco. 

Scholarship recipients

Scholarships keep students focused on grades and graduation

July 7, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

On the surface, the value of a Sac State scholarship may appear purely monetary. They pay for a student's tuition. They buy books and parking pases. But for more than 700 Sac State students who received close to a million dollars in scholarships last year, the funds provide much more than meets the eye. It is a step toward fulfilling a dream of becoming a college graduate. 

Here, we introduce you to four Sac State students, who with the help of private scholarships are proud members of their families and the University. For more information on how you can help make an impact on a student's education, visit

HPPA alumni

Staying connected

July 5, 2016 by Sam Churich

Are you getting the most out of your Alumni Association membership? Alumni chapters provide members the opportunity to develop professional and social relationships, volunteer in the community and reconnect with their alma mater.

Sac State Torchlight spoke with three chapter presidents about their experiences and what they have in store for members going forward. Read more and join a chapter today. 


Sac State Food Pantry a model for fighting student hunger

June 27, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

A recent CSU conference addressing student hunger and homelessness is leading to the creation of more campus-based intervention programs such as the ASI Food Pantry at Sac State. 

Currently, Sac State is one of 11 CSU campuses with a program or pantry in place to help provide hunger relief to students in need. In fact, the ASI Food Pantry is one of the priorities identified by the President's Circle giving society, a growing number of community members dedicated to joining President Robert S. Nelsen in supporting students and creating a stronger campus community. 

Read about the benefits of joining the President's Circle and the impact you can make by supporting special programs, including the ASI Food Pantry

Parish and Herky

The Time is Now: New Power of 1,000 Hornets website

June 17, 2016 by Sam Churich

The buzz is building for a new Event Center at Sac State thanks to The Power of 1,000 Hornets. A website dedicated to the fundraising effort attempting to raise $1 million in seed money for an Event Center debuted this week. Take a look at some exciting renderings, hear testimonials from those already supporting the cause and learn how you can get involved.

Visit for more information. 

Jamillah Moore

Alumna takes the helm at Cañada College

June 15, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Jamillah Moore '92 (Communication Studies), MA '95 (Intercultural Communication and Public Policy) has been named president of Cañada College by the San Mateo County Community College District. Moore currently works as the district's interim vice chancellor of educational services and planning. 

She is the author of Race and College Admission: A Case for Affirmative Action and is an adjunct faculty member with teaching experience at both two and four-year institutions. Moore also is the recipient of the 2014 California State University, Channel Islands African American in Higher Education Achievement Award. Moore earned a doctorate in multicultural education from the University of San Francisco after earning her master's and bachelor's degrees at Sac State. 

Spring 2016 Torchlight

Check your mailbox for Sac State Torchlight 

June 13, 2016 by Sam Churich

The Spring 2016 edition of Sac State Torchlight is here. 

Take a look at how student competitions provide real world learning opportunities. See how the ASI Food Pantry has succeeded in helping students in need. And find out how the Peer-Assisted Learning Program spurs student achievement. All that, plus the College of Arts and Letters expands its community ties, the Guardian Scholars Program celebrates its 10th anniversary, the impact of scholarships on students' academic dreams and more. 

Can't wait for the print version? The online issue is now available. 


New Giving website is mobile-ready

June 10, 2016 by Sam Churich

The Office of University Development's new website debuted this week. Our interactive and responsive design provides a user-friendly experience across all devices from your desktop to your tablet and smartphone.

Visit to learn how your support of Sacramento State provides life-changing opportunities for our students, preparing them to be leaders in their professions and communities.   


Let's make a deal

June 1, 2016 by Sam Churich

Rancho Cordova-based rocket maker Aerojet Rocketdyne awarded Sac State a $1,000 grant to support senior projects in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Supporting the Univeristy is nothing new to Aerojet. The company employs a number of Sac State graduates, including Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient Tim Murphy, who formerly served as director of public affairs. 

Click here for more information on corporate giving at Sacramento State.   

Honorary Doctorate

Hornet alumni family welcomes newest members 

May, 27 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

This month, nearly 5,000 Sac State graduates were eligible to walk across the commencement stage and into the Hornet alumni family. The bachelor's, master's, credential, and doctorate in education candidates join more than 224,000 Sac State alumni. 

In his second commencement, President Robert S. Nelsen shook the hand of each graduate, and recognized the sacrifices and contributions made by their loved ones. Nelsen also honored each college's Dean's Award recipients and conferred two honorary degrees on Sacramento artist Gregory Kondos and local business leader Dave Lucchetti

Take a look at our photo gallery of select 2016 Commencement photos. In June, visit for full photo galleries and videos of each ceremony. 

Kit Miyamoto

Alumnus presented President's Award from Department of Commerce

May 25, 2016 By Anita Fitzhugh

Kit Miyamoto, MS '97 (Civil Engineering), CEO of Miyamoto International, a global earthquake structural engineering firm, recently received the President's "E" Award for Exports. The "E" award is the highest recognition in the U.S. for contributing to the expansion of national exports. 

Miyamoto is an internationally recognized expert on earthquake structural engineering and disaster mitigation, response and reconstruction. Based in Sacramento with 20 offices worldwide, Miyamoto International provides global technical knowledge and expertise. Read more about the award or take a look at the Sac State Magazine article on Miyamoto as a 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. 

Commencement grad

Thousands of new grads to join Sac State alumni family

May 19, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Years of hard work, dedication and perseverance are about to pay off for close to 5,000 Sac State students. Spring Commencement takes place May 20 and 21 at Sleep Train Arena honoring the University's bachelor's, master's, credential and doctoral candidates. 

To help Commencement run smoothly for graduates and attendees, we've compiled some helpful tips to keep in mind. For a full schedule, step-by-step video, FAQs and parking information, visit For those unable to attend, videos of all ceremonies will be posted to the Commencement site on June 1. 

Dean's Award medals

Meet our 2016 Dean's Award recipients

May 18, 2016 by Sam Churich

May is a time of celebration for Sac State. Each spring, the deans of the University's seven Colleges select a student who they feel exemplifies the best of their College. These students demonstrate a commitment to academic achievement and community service, and possess high hopes for the future. We're #HornetProud to welcome them and the rest of the Class of 2016 to the Hornet alumni family. 

Learn more about reach recipient.

Honorary Doctorate

A toast to honorary doctorate recipients Kondos and Lucchetti

May, 13 2016 by Sam Churich

The historic Julia Morgan House played host to a couple of special receptions over the past two weeks. Guests gathered to congratulate Gregory Kondos '51, MA '57 (Art) and David Lucchetti '67 (Physical Education), Credential '68 for their honorary degrees from the California State University Board of Trustees and Sacramento State. 

Kondos (left), who will receive a doctor of fine arts during the College of Arts and Letters Commencement ceremony on May 21, is considered one of America's leading contemporary landscape painters. He has also been a generous supporter of the campus, donating his painting "River Life" to the University Library and has spoken at Alumni Association's artist lecture series. 

Lucchetti (right) will accept a doctor of humane letters degree during the College of Health and Human Services Commencement ceremony also May 21. The president and CEO of Pacific Coast Building Products built the family-owned company to become one of the nation's largest privately held firms. He has been honored as both Businessman of the Year and Sacramentan of the Year. 

Dreams to Degrees

Students and donors come together for "Dreams to Degrees"

May 11, 2016 By Anita Fitzhugh

Sac State's annual "From Dreams to Degrees" reception recognized nearly 70 student scholarship recipients along with the generous donors of their gifts. Hosted by The University Foundation at Sacramento State, the event is a favorite for dozens of private, corporate and not-for-profit donors who meet and mingle with their deserving students. 

"Growing up as a Mexican American, I never thought I would attend college since no one in my family has gone or ever mentioned about going," Miguel Aranda, fourth-year mechanical engineering student and recipient of Chevron's College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) scholarship told the packed house at the Harper Alumni Center. "I saw how hard my parents work just for us to have a better life than they had growing up and I knew I wanted something different for myself."

Click here for a full gallery of the event. 


ICYMI Fridays

May 6, 2016 by Sam Churich

Event season rolls on at Sac State. Have a look at the sights from last week's Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony, which honored eight influential Hornets for their outstanding representation of the University and contributions to the community. 

And this week The Faculty Senate celebrated its 50th anniversary with colleagues and friends of the University. For 22 years the group has supported both undergraduate and graduate students through the Faculty Senate Endowment, which has provided 108 scholarships. #HornetProud

TBT Commencement

TBT: Commencement on campus

May 5, 2016 by Laurie Hall

May signals the start of the Commencement season and Sac State is in the thick of the many receptions and awards banquets that lead up to the big celebration at Sleep Train Arena. Keep an eye on this space for images and stories about our graduates and special honorees.

But before there was a Sleep Train (and before that an Arco) Arena, Commencement celebrations took place on campus. This image from the '50s depicts a History Commencement at the Outdoor Theatre. Spring Commencement briefly moved back to campus in the early 2000s. 

It is anticipated that a new campus Event Center will be the go-to location for Commencement ceremonies in the future, as well as concerts, lectures, athletics events and more. Find out more about the effort and the fundraising behind it at Power of 1,000 Hornets

In the news

Peace Corps names Sac State a top volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institution

May, 3 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

More than a dozen Sac State alumni are currently lending their talents and education around the world as Peace Corps volunteers. As a result, Sac State ranks seventh of the top 13 Peace Corps volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions nationwide.

"Graduates of Hispanic-Serving Institutions come to Peace Corps with a strong educational background and the flexibility and curiosity needed to make an impact to communities around the world," says Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Peace Corps director. 

The announcement comes as Sacramento State emphasizes the importance of international travel and service, as well as the unique skills graduates bring to the Peace Corps. #HornetProud


ICYMI Fridays

April 29, 2016 By Sam Churich

Alumni Month has been jam packed with events. Guests attended Classes without Quizzes to learn about the programs involved with the proposed downtown Capital School of Public Affairs. The Business Alumni Chapter hosted author Jessica Kriegel to speak on ways to overcome generational stereotypes. And it all started with the Open House, where alumni and friends made new connections and enjoyed delicious fare from the Harper Alumni Center's preferred caterers. 

Check back next week for photos from more festivities including David Mering's '81 (Communication Studies) presentation to students on the world of advertising, the Hornets Policy and Politics' Capitol Swarm Photo and the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards. #HornetProud

Watson signing day

Students from near and far reach higher at Sac State

April 28, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Sac State celebrated this week's National College Signing Day by recognizing local students excited for the University to become their alma mater. The event is inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative to celebrate high school students taking charge of their future by pursuing higher education. 

But it's not just local students boosting the University's recent record-breaking enrollment. More and more aspiring Hornets hail from outside the six-county Sacramento region. Read more about how and why Sac State is becoming the college of choice for students across California. 


Mark your calendar for events to connect and give back

April 26, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Still looking for a few opportunities to connect with fellow Hornets during Alumni Month? We've got you covered with two exciting events this week, plus a special opportunity to give back in May.

Alumni Night at Hornet Baseball: Come cheer on the Hornets on April 27 at 6 p.m., as they take on the Fresno State Bulldogs at Raley Field. Tickets on sale now.

Gala Celebrando el Éxito Latino Recognition Gala: On April 30 from 6-9 p.m., the Sac State Latino Alumni Chapter presents its first gala with food, entertainment and awards to exceptional alumni. Reserve your spot today.

Big Day of Giving: Help the Sac State Alumni Association raise funds during this year's regional day of giving on May 3. Donors may choose to support the Student Emergency Grant Fund and/or the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.

For a look at all the upcoming Alumni Association events and how to get involved, visit

Rose garden squirrel

Every Day is Earth Day at Sac State

April 22, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

While today is Earth Day, protecting our planet is always top of mind at Sac State. Our beautiful campus along the American River is in full bloom and lined with more than 4,000 trees. But behind the scenes, a number of department faculty and students are working to increase the sustainability and efficiency of our University's natural resources. Take a look at our current issue of Sac State Magazine to see how the campus is reducing energy and saving costs, as well as what's being done to protect California's water supply. Happy Earth Day!

by the numbers

Where do all the alumni go?

April 19, 2016 By Laurie Hall

As we celebrate Alumni Month at Sacramento State, you are likely to hear one of our favorite fun facts: One in 20 Sacramento region residents is a Sac State alumnus. But where can you find the rest of our 221,000 Hornets?

While the vast majority of Sac State graduates remain local—with nearly 84,000 in Sacramento County alone—you'll find alumni in every county in California, every state in the country plus the District of Columbia, and in nearly 40 countries and territories. 

  • Non-Sacramento region county with the most alumni: Contra Costa with 6,546
  • California county with the fewest Hornets: Alpine with 10
  • Non-California state with the most alumni: Washington with 3,254, followed by Oregon (3,097), Texas (2,628) and Nevada (2,239)
  • Country with the most Hornet alumni: Japan with 105 followed by India (93), China (60) and the United Kingdom (58)
  • Countries with only one Hornet alumnus: 19, including Nepal, Ghana and Austria

2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards to honor outstanding achievement 

April 15, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Sacramento State and the Alumni Association are gearing up for the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards, the culminating event of Alumni Month. This year, eight influential alumni will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the University and our community. You can read about them here

Join leaders and community members in supporting the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees on April 28, from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., at the Harper Alumni Center. Purchase tickets online to reserve your seat at the event that celebrates some of Sac State's best and brightest. #HornetProud

Classes without Quizzes

Classes without Quizzes: The Capital School of Public Affairs

April 14, 2016 by Sam Churich

We're taking Sac State Magazine on the road. Join the Alumni Association and Hornets Policy and Politics to learn all about the plans for a downtown School of Public Affairs, a story we first told you about in the Spring 2016 issue. Featured panelists include Orn Bodvarsson, dean of the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies, and Roger Dickinson, former Sacramento County supervisor and state assemblymember. This FREE event held at the State Legislative Building includes a networking session and a reception with appetizers and a no-host bar. Pre-registration is required. RSVP today. 

Read about the proposed downtown school in the latest issue of  Sac State Magazine .

Sac State at Kings

Alumni Month: Sac State Night at the Kings

April 7, 2016 by Sam Churich

Tonight join fellow alumni to support the Sacramento Kings in their second to last game at Sleep Train Arena. Show your Hornet pride and stay after the game for a group photo on center court. RSVP now to purchase your tickets with the promo code hornet47. #HornetProud

paddle board

Adventure awaits with Alumni Association membership

April 4, 2016 By Anita Fitzhugh

It's Sac State Alumni Month - a great time to join the Alumni Association and save money on warm weather adventures and activities. Members enjoy special pricing on Peak Adventures excursions throughout the state, including Point Reyes backpacking, rafting on the American River, camping along the Santa Cruz coast and more. Those wanting to stay closer to the Sacramento region may want to spend the afternoon at the Sac State Aquatic Center with discounted kayaking or stand up paddle boarding rentals. Plenty of adventure—and discounts—await with your Sac State Alumni Association membership. What a great month to join. #HornetProud

Alumni Month

April is Alumni Month at Sac State

April 1, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

This month is all about our Sac State alumni. Whether you are a current Alumni Association member or thinking about joining, we invite you to take part in a number of activities hosted by the Sac State Alumni Association. It's also a chance to discover special benefits with our Alumni Month Discount Card. It's a great time to engage, connect and be #HornetProud.

SSM mobile

Sac State Magazine is Live and Mobile-Ready

March 29, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Our spring issue of  Sac State Magazine is live online and now easier than ever to take with you on the go. Our new responsive website design optimizes the magazine across all devices from your desktop to your tablet and smartphone. Our simplified and streamlined layout is designed with readers in mind for an enjoyable and interactive experience. Take a look, see who you know and share what you think of our "California" issue. 

Alumni mixer

Alumni Month Kicks Off with Open House

March 28, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

April is Alumni Month at Sac State and we have plenty of opportunities for you to reconnect with fellow Hornets and make new connections. Stop by the Alumni Open House on March 29, 5-7 p.m., at the Harper Alumni Center. Enjoy free food and learn more about the benefits of joining or renewing membership to your Sac State Alumni Association. Register and take a look at all the special events in April planned especially with you in mind. 

East Coast alumni

ICYMI Fridays

March 25, 2016 By Sam Churich

Last week's CSU New York/Tri-State Alumni Reception was a great success. California State University's Alumni Association reported a large turnout, which included representation of #HornetProud Sac State alumni who call the East Coast home. Thank you for your support of the University and today's students. 

Check out event photos of Hornet alumni on our Facebook page. Visit the Proud California State University Alumni Facebook page to view the full gallery of the reception. 

Spring 16 SSM Cover

Hot off the presses: It's our "California" issue of Sac State Magazine

March 18, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Just in time for spring break, our latest issue of Sac State Magazine takes a trip across California. Read about how to explore the Golden State with Peak Adventures. Meet alumni keeping the state’s economy booming. Go behind the scenes to learn about how our experts are keeping an eye on California’s water supply and read about the downtown plans for Sac State’s School of Public Affairs. The spring issue hits mailboxes next week and we can’t wait to hear your thoughts.


Alumni Newsmaker: Alan Wong

March 17, 2016 by Laurie Hall

Great article in tomorrow's Bee on alumnus Alan Wong '00 (Philosophy). When we last wrote about him in Sac State Magazine , he only had 10 restaurants...#HornetProud

Mike working on mag

Right back where we started from...

March 15, 2016 by Laurie Hall

We're putting the final touches on Sac State Magazine's "California" issue and are looking for some musical inspiration. Our cover references the Mamas and Papas' "California Dreamin'." What are your favorite California-themed songs? Share your California playlist with us on Facebook


Alumni Newsmaker: André Pichly

March 10, 2016 By Sam Churich

Shout out to André Pichly '89, MS '03 (Recreation Administration) on his appointment as new director of parks and community services for the City of Tracy. Pichly brings more than 25 years of experience in recreation in the public sector, including teaching part-time in Sac State's Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration. #HornetProud

Read more here

Summer academy

Future Hornets get taste of campus life at high school summer academies

March 9, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Looking for educational and fun summer enrichment for the teen in your life and a way to introduce them to your alma mater? Check out Sac State's Summer Academies. The one-week specialized courses provide high school students the opportunity to explore various career paths. 

Summer Academies range from health care careers, engineering and robotics, fashion, theater, law enforcement and more. Two new academies in the 2016 lineup include Farm-to-Fork during which teens discover careers in food and agriculture, and Go with the Flow, where students become scientists to investigate the critters and chemistry in aquatic ecosystems. 


ICYMI Fridays

March 4, 2016 by Sam Churich

It's been a busy semester at Sac State:

  • Eight of our 11 Sac State alumni "40 Under 40" award recipients enjoyed lunch with President Nelsen as a token of appreciation for their professional achievements and positive representation of the University. 
  • The Faculty Endowment for Student Scholarships Awards Ceremony highlighted the excellence of our students and the connections they have with faculty. Seven students, five undergraduate and two post baccalaureate, received a scholarship honoring their accomplishments in the classroom and in the Sacramento community.
  • Sacramento State alumni and local business leaders enjoyed a breakfast and conversation with President Nelsen and Insight host Beth Ruyak during State of Sac State. The event showcased President Nelsen's future plans for the University. 
HPPA Alum Chapter

2016 Alumni Chapter Challenge

March 3, 2016 by Sam Churich

As spring season approaches, the 3rd annual Chapter Challenge is underway. It's an opportunity to help your chapter of the Sacramento State Alumni Association become the "2016 Alumni Chapter of the Year" by making a tax-deductible donation to support the efforts of your chapter and the Alumni Association. These funds support student scholarships, speaker events, educational opportunities, mentoring and more. Make plans to attend the Alumni Open House on Tuesday, March 29 to see which group came out on top. 

To find out which chapters are participating and how you can support each one during the competition, visit the Chapter Challenge webpage.

Today on campus

Catch Women's "Herstory" Month

March 1, 2016 By Sam Churich

March is Women's History Month or "Herstory" as it's referred to here at Sac State. The University has a number of events slated to celebrate the occasion including the sixth annual Women of Influence Awards, a women in STEM panel discussion, a spoken-word event, three film screenings and more. 

For a look at all the scheduled events, visit the 2016 Women's Herstory Month events calendar.


In the news: Computer Science students earn recognition

February 25, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Big congrats to computer science professor Behnam Arad and his Scholarship for Service students for being awarded residence in the CyberCorps SFS community for the next five years. Scholarship for Service is designed to increase and strengthen the pool of professionals who protect the government's critical information infrastructure. Professors Isaac Ghansah and Ted Krovetz collaborated to help Sacramento State achieve the distinction as one of only three universities in California with the designation. #HornetProud


Students thank donors for support and generosity during 'I Love Sac State Week'

February 25, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Scholarships, extra-curricular activities and enhanced learning opportunities are just some of the ways donors enrich the lives of Sac State students. And this week, the generosity of those donors is being recognized by students during "I Love Sac State Week" as part of Student Engagement and Philanthropy Month.

Pinwheels adorn the Library Quad representing thousands of donors who gave to Sac State last year. Today, students are signing thank you cards in the University Union to wrap up the week of gratitutde. In 2014-2015, alumni, business and community supporters, along with other friends of Sacramento State, provided more than $15 million in private contributions. 

SSM Fall 2015

Sac State Magazine honored

February 23, 2016 by Laurie Hall

Sac State Magazine received a 2016 CASE Award of Excellence from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. For the second year in a row, the University's alumni magazine was named a bronze award winner for general interest magazine in District VII, which includes public and private universities in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.

CASE is the professional association for educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development and marketing.

I heart Sac State

I love Sac State Week: February 22-26, 2016

February 19, 2016 By Anita Fitzhugh

February is Student Engagement and Philanthropy Month across the nation and here at Sac State. To celebrate, the Student Alumni Association and their Hornet Pride Challenge program have a number of activities planned that promote altruism and student gratitude during "I Love Sac State Week" taking place Feb. 22-26. All events are from 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. 

  • Monday-Friday: Pinwheels for Donors (Library Quad) One thousand pinwheels will represent nearly seven donors who gave to Sac State last year
  • Monday: Kick-Off with Krispy Kreme (Library Quad) Proceeds to benefit Student Emergency Grant Fund
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: Thank-a-thon (University Union) Students sign thank you cards for donors
  • Thursday: Props to Profs (University Union) Students sign thank you cards for professors who donate to the Student Emergency Grant Fund

Alumni Newsmaker: Brandon Kline

February 16, 2016 by Sam Churich

Congratulations to former ASI President Brandon Kline '05 (Government) on being selected to participate in the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program. The program is a collaboration among the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson. The scholars will learn a variety of approaches to leadership from former presidents, key administration officials and leading academics. Kline is currently an energy law fellow in the Green Energy Institute at Lewis & Clark School in Portland. 

For more on Kline's selection, click here


Love is in the air at Sac State

February 12, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Valentine's Day is this Sunday and a number of our alumni will be thinking back to where their relationship began as students at Sac State. Couples like Michael and Christine Ault, recipients of a 2016 Distinguished Service Award, who met during their senior year as communication studies majors. Did you meet your sweetie on campus? Share your love story with us on Facebook.


TBT- Forty years of the University Union

February 11, 2016 by Laurie Hall

It's the place you likely grabbed a bite to eat between classes, perhaps saw a movie or a music performance or just hung out with friends. And this semester the University Union celebrates its 40th anniversary with an exhibit detailing the history of the "University's living room." Take a trip down memory lane with " Est. 1975: A Visual History of the University Union" in the University Union Exhibit Lounge through March 31. For more on how the Union came to be, see  Sac State Magazine's  recognition of the campus hub when it turned 30. 

Campus icon

Don't miss Black History Month

February 5, 2016 By Sam Churich

The University's joyous celebration of Black History Month is underway with a packed schedule of informative and inspiring events. The headliner features an appearance by President Obama's maternal half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, who will speak about the ideas of leadership and conflict resolution during her presentation on Feb. 25.

For more on this month's festivities, take a look at the Black History Month events calendar

Alumni Association Logo

Did you know?

February 3, 2016 by Laurie Hall

Recent graduates and Alumni Association members can access a number of Career Center services for free or at a discount. Job-search resources include events such as career fairs and lecture series, career counseling sessions, interviewing and resume-makeover workshops.


Fill up the Food Pantry

January 27, 2016 by Laurie Hall

Last fall, in its first semester of operation, more than 600 Sac State students used the services of the ASI Food Pantry. With the spring semester underway, it's time to stock up the Pantry with non-perishable groceries and household items for students in need. 

You can make your donation to the Pantry in Yosemite Hall or at the ASI Hot Spot in the University Union. For operating hours or information on volunteering, visit the ASI Food Pantry website. President Robert S. Nelsen has also made the Pantry a campus fundraising priority and you can make your contirbution here

In the news

Alumni a part of championship Sunday

January 22, 2016 by Sam Churich

This weekend's NFL AFC Championship game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots features a Sac State twist. Clancy Barone '92 (Recreation Administration), Greg Knapp '86 (Communication Studies) and former Hornet athlete Todd Davis seek a trip to the Super Bowl as members of the Denver Broncos. Barone serves as the offensive line coach, Knapp as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator and Davis plays inside linebacker. #HornetProud

Pres Nelsen

President Nelsen delivers spring address

January 21, 2016 By Sam Churich

President Robert S. Nelsen will give his Spring Address to the campus community today from 10 - 11 a.m. in the University Union Ballroom. President Nelsen will be joined by Associated Students, Inc. President Melissa Bardo, who will provide an update on the student body. 

You can watch the address at Live streaming starts at 10.


TBT: Martin Luther King, Jr. 

January 14, 2016 by Sam Churich

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. day next week, did you know that he spoke in front of a packed crowd at Hornet Stadium in 1967? For more on MLK and other famous campus visitors, view our Spring 2015 Sac State Magazine story


New Hornets attend Winter Orientation

January 11, 2016 by Anita Fitzhugh

Remember being new to Sac State and having so many questions about classes, majors, housing and more? This week, the University's newest students are learning the answers to these questions and others during Winter Orientation. Students enrolling in the spring also have the opportunity to take a tour of our beautiful campus as well as attend workshops on money matters, athletics, study abroad programs and more. What do you wish someone had told you as a new student? Tell us on Facebook


Alumni Newsmaker: Kimo Ah Yun

January 8, 2016 by Sam Churich

Congratulations to Kimo Ah Yun ’90 (Communication Studies) the new dean of the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University. Ah Yun has served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters and a professor of communication studies at Sacramento State. Additionally, he serves on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the  Sac State Magazine Advisory Council. 

We wish Kimo the best of luck in his new position. More details can be found here. 

Commencement ICMI

ICYMI Fridays

January 8, 2016 By Anita Fitzhugh

More than 3,500 Sac State students are now proud alumni after taking part in December's Winter Commencement at Sleep Train Arena. President Robert S. Nelsen led his first graduation ceremonies and shook the hands of each graduate who crossed the stage. Check out the sights and sounds from the two-day celebration.

This just in

A great year for giving

January 7, 2016 by Laurie Hall

Thanks to the support of alumni and friends of the University, 2014-15 was one of the best years ever for private gifts to Sacramento State. More than 6,700 individuals and organizations contributed $15 million in gifts and commitments, and for the fifth year in a row the University exceeded its fundraising goal. The gifts included more than $1.6 million for scholarships and the establishment of 27 new endowments and funds. For details see the news release or read our Annual Report of Giving

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

January 4, 2016 by Sam Churich

As the New Year begins, we wish everyone in the Hornet family a wonderful year ahead. We look forward to the Spring 2016 semester, sure to be filled with events and highlights featuring alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the University. Stay tuned. 

Happy Holidays

Seasons Greetings from University Advancement 

December 22, 2015 by Laurie Hall

Best wishes from all of us in University Advancement for a happy and safe holiday season. We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the generosity and support you have provided to us, and especially to our students, all year long. 

The campus will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 3. However, if you would like to make a year-end gift to the University, please be aware of the following dates if you would like your donation to count for the 2015 calendar year: To make a gift by check, it must be postmarked by Dec. 31, 2015. Please mail it to: Development Office, 6000 J Street Mail Stop #6030, Sacramento, CA 95819. To make a gift by credit card, visit by Dec. 31 and click on the "Give Now" link to visit our secured online giving form. 

See you in the New Year.


Congratulations to the Class of 2015!

December 21, 2015 by Laurie Hall

We are happy to welcome the nearly 3,500 new members of the Hornet alumni family. Many of them stopped by our Alumni Photo Booth at this weekend's Winter Commencement ceremonies at Sleep Train Arena. 

Check out the results in our college galleries on Facebook and let them know how #HornetProud we are of our new graduates.

Graduating Student Photo

’Tis the season to get a diploma

December 18, 2015 by Laurie Hall

This weekend’s Winter Commencement ceremonies will be filled with pomp, circumstance and a few fresh twists. President Robert S. Nelsen will mark his first Sac State ceremonies by shaking the hand of each graduate who crosses the Commencement stage. The University will also live-stream the Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18 and 19 ceremonies from Sleep Train Arena, viewable through a link at the Commencement website.

For more on Winter Commencement, including a complete schedule, visit the Commencement website or see our news release. And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Joyce Raley Teel

Raley Teel to receive honorary doctorate

December 16, 2015 by Laurie Hall

Congratulations to Joyce Raley Teel, recipient of an honorary doctorate from Sac State and the California State University system. Mrs. Teel, daughter of Raley's Family of Fine Stores founder Thomas Raley, will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at this Saturday's College of Business Administration Commencement. She and her husband, alumnus James Teel ’53 (Business Administration), co-chair the Thomas Raley Foundation.


ICYMI Fridays

December 11, 2015 by Anita Fitzhugh

Winter Commencement 2015 is just a week away and students are gearing up for their celebratory walk across stage as they enter a new chapter of life.

At Sacramento State, the age-old tradition of caps and gowns recently took on some modern twists as students took time to decorate their caps at an event hosted by the Alumni Association. We look forward to seeing all the customized caps at Commencement. Good luck, grads!

In addition, fall is one of the most colorful times of year on campus. Enjoy some of the scenery with these beauty shots by our photographer, Andrea Price.

News Makers

Alumna’s bakery success leads to new location

December 10, 2015 by Sam Churich

Tapping into the gluten free market is paying dividends for Olga Turner ’09 (Business Administration-Finance). She and her husband Danny are expanding their Pushkin’s bakery, which offers gluten-free treats ranging from muffins to cupcakes to sandwiches. Their new location will be 3,000-square-feet, compared to their current 692-square-foot space. Click here for more details.

We featured Olga in our Fall 2014 issue of Sac State Magazine. Take a look.

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Basketball Stewardship

ICYMI Fridays

Decemeber 4, 2015 by Sam Churich

The past two weeks have seen a number of great events at Sac State. Take a look at photos from a few of them:

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the happenings in University Advancement. Enjoy the weekend, Hornets.

Justin Knighten

Alumni Newsmaker: Justin Knighten

Dec 3, 2015 by Laurie Hall

Did you catch alumnus Justin Knighten’s op-ed in Sunday’s Sacramento Bee? In it, Knighten ’08 (Public Relations) shared his views on the role of millennials can play in shaping the future of Capital City, and California. We are particularly #HornetProud because in addition to his day job as a vice president with Lucas Public Relations and work with numerous charitable organizations, Knighten is active in Hornet Politics and Policy Chapter of the Alumni Association, helping launch its “What’s Possible” series, in conjunction with California Forward and the League of California Cities. He also serves on the Sac State Magazine advisory board.

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Giving Tuesday sets record

December 2, 2015 by Sam Churich

Our third year participating in the national #GivingTuesday campaign was the best yet. We’re so #HornetProud of our alumni, faculty, staff, student and community donors who gave in support of our students. Together, we met our $75,000 goal in only 36 hours. Thank you so much!

Giving Tuesday

Make your Giving Tuesday gift today (or tomorrow)

November 30, 2015 by Laurie Hall

There is a day for giving thanks, and two days for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving back.

Starting at noon, Monday, Nov. 30 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, you can be part of #GivingTuesday by making a gift to your favorite Sac State college or program. Gifts from faculty, staff, students, first-time donors and recent graduates will be matched up to $100 by the University Foundation at Sacramento State.

Sac State Family at Causeway Classic

ICYMI Fridays–Special Wednesday Edition

November 25, 2015 by Laurie Hall

The campus hosted three big annual events this week:

  • Endowment Breakfast: The University Foundation at Sacramento State’s yearly report to our donors featured a surprise $75,000 donation from Wells Fargo
  • Causeway Classic: Despite the results, we were #HornetProud at the 62nd Hornet-Aggie matchup.
  • Rock Auction: It was rock-hound heaven at the fundraiser for Sac State’s Geology Club.

For more images from campus events, visit our gallery. ICYMI Fridays will return next week on its regular schedule.

Sac State Torchlight Cover

Sac State Torchlight now online

November 25, 2015 by Laurie Hall

Find out how your gifts are making an impact at Sac State in the Fall 2015 Special Edition of Sac State Torchlight. This special edition includes the 2014-15 Annual Report of Giving and Honor Roll of Donors.

You’ll learn how students are helping fellow students in need through the Student Emergency Grant Fund, see how efforts to build a new Event Center got big boost from a $750,000 gift commitment and find out how peer support programs help students stay on track for graduation. All that, plus the Retirees Association scholarship program, five ways your company can connect with the campus, a look at the year in fundraising and more.

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Safe Credit Group Shot

ICYMI Fridays

November 20, 2015 by Sam Churich

We continue to have a busy semester at Sac State. Follow the links below for images from a couple more events from the past few weeks:

Also, check out the story on biological sciences professor Kimberly Mulligan’s quest to crack the code on autism by studying the behavior of fruit flies. The story made national news and you saw it here first in Sac State Magazine.

Hooray for Causeway

Hooray for Causeway

November 19, 2015 by Laurie Hall

It’s Causeway Classic weekend and it’s Sac State's turn to host our annual gridiron matchup with UC Davis.

Before you head to Hornet Stadium to watch the Hornets crush the Aggies, check out the pre-game barbeque at the Alumni Center on Saturday, Nov. 21 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. There will be food and beverages from Capital City Catering, beverages and plenty of Hornet Sprit. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available at

And don’t forget to share your Causeway photos using the #HornetProud hastag.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Distinguished Alumni Awards nominations due

November 13, 2015 by Laurie Hall

Do you know a Sacramento State alumnus who makes Hornets everywhere proud, or an individual who deserves special recognition for his or her contributions to the University community? Nominate that person for a Distinguished Alumni Award. The University and the Alumni Association each year honor alumni and recognize their excellence in four categories: Lifetime Achievement, Distinguished Service, Rising Star and Honorary Alumnus. Nominations are due by Wednesday, Dec. 2. Also, be sure to “save the date” for the Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner on Thursday, April 28, 2016.

Nomination forms and more information are available at For more information, contact Jennifer Barber at (916) 278-4723.

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Sac State Homecoming 2016

ICYMI Fridays

November 13, 2015 by Laurie Hall

It’s been a busy fall at Sac State. Follow the links below for images from some of the events we’ve held over the last month:

And be sure to check back next Friday for more photos.

US Flag thanking veterans

Thank you veterans

November 10, 2015 by Sam Churich

In honor of Veterans Day this week we would like to thank our veterans in the Sacramento State community for their service.

Also, a big thank you to community partner Wells Fargo for its ongoing support of the Veterans Success Center on campus. Watch as students from the Veterans Success Center express their gratitude:

Green Fireworks at Night

Welcome to the Advancement Dashboard

November 3, 2015 by Sam Churich

We’re excited to introduce University Advancement’s new dashboard. The dashboard highlights the integrated efforts of each department in the division—Advancement Communications and Stewardship, University Development, and Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.

The site will be a space to keep up with the latest happenings within the division, from alumni profiles, donor stories, event photo galleries and more. You can also join the conversation with our social media feeds displayed on the page. We hope you visit often.

Sac State gradfest

Grad Fest

November 3, 2015 by Sam Churich

Today marked the bi-annual Grad Fest event. Students were busy taking care of all their graduation needs, from taking graduation photos and purchasing announcements and class rings, to buying caps and gowns. They also had the opportunity to network with job recruiters and grad school representatives.

What a great event by the Alumni Association to usher in the next wave of Sac State alumni—consisting of nearly 3,600 eligible graduates. Be on the lookout for photos.

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Sac State Magazine Fall 15 Cover

The Fall 2015 Sac State Magazine is here

October 24, 2015 by Laurie Hall

In our new “family” issue we explore the that bind:

  • President Robert and Jody Nelsen share their thoughts on the transformative power of higher education and their plans for their new University family,
  • Sac State faculty attempt to define the evolving American family, and
  • We get to the root of some Hornet family trees.

All that, plus Sac State’s role in the Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center, a research roundup on the causes, treatments and management of autism, five storylines to follow in Hornet sports and more.

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Sac Business Journal 40 under 40 logo

Sac State alumni shine in “40 Under 40”

October 24, 2015 by Laurie Hall

More than a quarter of this year’s Sacramento Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” award recipients are Sac State alumni. Congratulations to:

  • Kyla Aquino ’10 (Communication Studies), Health Education Council
  • Veronica Delgado, Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Tim Harris ’11 (Communication Studies), Insight Public Relations
  • William Hodges ’01 (Communication Studies), Dignity Health
  • Shiloh London ’09 (Journalism), CGA Education Foundation
  • Katie McConnell ’06 (Business Administration), Gallina LLP
  • Josh Rosa, MPPA ’08, Redwood Pacific Public Affairs
  • James Shelby, MBA ’05, Intel
  • Justin Wandro ’06 (English), Loaves and Fishes
  • Lisa Wrightsman ’05 (Communication Studies), Street Soccer USA
  • Rachel Zillner ’09 (Business Administration), SAFE Credit Union

Read more about recipient Justin Wandro in Sac State Magazine.

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API Chapter Social event for blogs

Coming soon: The API Alumni Chapter

October 24, 2015 by Laurie Hall

Efforts to establish an Asian Pacific Islander Chapter of the Sac State Alumni Association kicked off this month with a reception featuring entertainment by students from the Full Circle Project. Also at the event, Vice President for University Advancement Vince Sales issued a challenge to recruit 25 new Alumni Association members in support of the new chapter. View photos from the event. Learn more about joining the Alumni Association, including the new API Chapter.

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Sac State student rowing home

Did you know?

July 15, 2015 by Sam Churich

The Sac State Aquatic Center at Lake Natoma is one of the premiere rowing facilities in the nation and is under consideration as the rowing venue for a San Francisco-based Olympics. It’s also among the reasons the University was named one of the top 10 water ski schools in the country by Water Ski Magazine. Show your Alumni Association membership card for a discount on rentals.

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