Alumni

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Updates From Our Alumni

Here is some of what is happening with our Biological Sciences Department Alumni.

Jessica Elaine Sepulveda, 2017

Jessica Elaine Sepulveda, Biology, 2017, recently got this amazing opportunity to work in startup using stem cell technology to reduce humans impact on the environment. Unlike most stem cell technology that focuses on medicine, VitroLabs Inc goal is to reduce our ecological footprint by making ethical leather in a lab. Her job entails making induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), differentiating our stem cells into skin cell and generating leather. By producing leather in a lab from iPSCs we can eliminate the need for cow hides will still supplying the market with this particular textile. She finds her work satisfying and is able to fulfill her graduation pledge in several ways: our product is ethical & ecological.

Ana Veronica Parra, 2013

Ana Veronica Parra, Biology, 2013, fell in love with Astronomy after watching “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” narrated by Neil deGrass Tyson. She is currently taking math and physics courses at San Diego Mesa College and plans to apply to the University of Colorado’s Astrophysics and Planetary Science Ph.D. program in December 2019.  Here’s is more info as to what she’s been up to: http://www.sdmesa.edu/_resources/newsroom/posts/stem-scholars-ncas.php

Lawrence (Larry) Flammer, 1956 and Teaching Credential

Lawrence (Larry) Flammer, Biological Sciences and Teaching Credential, 1956, taught high school biology at Del Mar. He was largely responsible for the creation and administration of the website of the Evolution and Nature of Science Institutes, which were founded (with NCSE’s encouragement) “to improve the teaching of evolution in high school biology courses by encouraging teachers to teach evolutionary thinking in the context of a more complete understanding of modern scientific thinking,” according to the “National Center for Science Education”:https://ncse.com/news/2017/12/larry-flammer-dies-0018673. He passed away at the age 83 on December 13, 2018. 

Ruben Isaí Madriz Villanueva, PhD, 2007

After graduating from Humboldt State in 2007 (B.S. in Biology & Zoology), R. Isaí Madriz, Biological Sciences, 2007, embarked on a two-year-long bicycle trip through the Americas during which he rode from Chicago to the southern tip of South America, volunteering along the way at wildlife rehabilitation centers and parks. He then attended UNAM in Mexico City and received a master’s degree in Electronmicroscopy. In 2011 he married HSU alum, Kristina Lindsay (2006, Women’s Studies) and they moved from California to Iowa where he earned a Ph.D. in Entomology from Iowa State. He and Kristina are currently living in Patagonia, Chile where he is a Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow focused on rare insects.

Benjamin J. Crain, 2008

Benjamin Crain, Biological Sciences, 2008, recently took a position as an Ecologist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and the North American Center for Orchid Conservation. With a diverse group of collaborators, he conducts research in the Republic of Palau where they study the diversity and distribution of orchids, monitors their dynamics in the Ngardok Nature Reserve, and studies the fundamental ecology of orchids by looking at their relationship with mycorrhizal fungi. The team’s goals are to improve knowledge and increase awareness of orchid diversity in Palau, understand the ecology of these plants, and develop strategic plans for conservation and restoration of orchid species and their habitats.

Danielle Cudahy (nee LeFever), 2005

Danielle Cudahy (née LeFever), 2005 Biological Sciences, recently became the full-time Optometrist at the local Eureka VA office. In 2010, Cuday graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University in Elkins Park, PA. She is expecting her second child in late March.

Tobin Fulmer, 2005

Tobin Fulmer, 2005 Biological Sciences, has taken a position with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality at the El Dorado office.

Ron Fritzsche, 1967

Ron Fritzsche, 1967 Zoology, recently contributed a section to the Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  Fritzsche is an Emeritus Professor of Fisheries Biology.  He was the HSU Outstanding Professor in 1991 and served as an administrator including Dean for Research, Graduate Studies and International Programs. Fritzsche also served as assistant to the Provost for faculty affairs and space and facilities. He is currently an elected board member for the North Humboldt Recreation and Park District and the local Timber Heritage Association. Fritzsche met his wife, also an HSU graduate, in John VanDuzer’s Speech 1 class.

Allison Formica, 2014

Allison Formica 2014 Biological Sciences, is working as a Life Science Research Professional in the Genetics Department at Stanford University studying the cellular and molecular biology of the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis, which is a critical relationship to the lives of reef-building corals. She was recently promoted to Laboratory Manager and is assisting in developing a reliable spawning protocol for the sea anemone, Aiptasia, in an attempt to improve spawning efficiency and predictability in the lab.

Gail Newton, 1989

Gail Newton, 1989 M.A. Biology, married alumnus, Jared Haynes (see above), in 1986 under the redwoods in Eureka. Newton and Haynes have one child, Blythe Newton-Haynes, who is currently attending Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. Newton began her career in Humboldt County as a self-employed botanist. During her 10 years as a professional botanist, she provided 1,400 specimens to the HSU herbarium (many of which are rare species from remote areas of the North Coast) and restored coastal dune, riparian, and wetland systems. After the couple moved to Sacramento, she spent 27 years employed by the state of California as a restoration ecologist and manager in the Departments of Conservation, Fish and Game, Water Resources, and the State Lands Commission. Newton retired in 2015. They plan to split their retirement time between Connecticut, California, and traveling.

Jared Haynes, 1982

Jared Haynes, 1982 M.A. Biology and 1986 M.A. English, married alumna Gail Newton in 1986 under the redwoods in Eureka. Haynes started his career at College of the Redwoods, teaching math and English. After the couple moved to Sacramento, Haynes spent 25 years teaching writing in the University Writing Program at UC Davis, including an advanced writing course for biology students and an advanced writing course for pre-law students. Haynes also taught the university’s English grammar course and a Science in the Renaissance course. Haynes retired in 2014. 

Crystal Schalmo, 2004

Crystal Schalmo, 2004 Biological Sciences, participated in Miami University’s Earth Expeditions global field course in Costa Rica during summer 2015. In Costa Rica, Schalmo studied biotic, physical, and cultural forces that affect tropical biodiversity at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and La Selva Biological Station. Schalmo, a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo Global in San Diego, Calif., took the graduate course in pursuit of her master’s degree from Miami University’s Global Field Program.

Mary Katherine Wicksten, 1972

Mary Wicksten, 1972 Biological Sciences, is a Professor of Biology at Texas A&M University, College Station, and just published her book “Vertical Reefs: Life on Oil and Gas Platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.” Published by Texas A&M University Press, it is the only non-technical book on the subject. The illustrated book discusses the biota of these structures, its origins, and what happens to these organisms over the lifespan of a platform. A copy is on its way to the Humboldt Library.

Kathryn Hedges, 2010

Kathryn Hedges, 2010 Biological Sciences, started a handcrafting business in Silicon Valley at TechShop in 2011. She creates jewelry, holiday decor, and souvenirs and sells locally and globally online. 

Douglas Turner, 1980

Douglas Turner, 1980, Biological Sciences, has two sons on the college path. Turner’s oldest is a Chemical Engineering major at Cal Poly Pomona and his youngest, currently a high school senior, is applying to HSU.

Terri Bidle, 2011

Terri Bidle, 2011 Zoology, is beginning a new chapter of her life as a marine education program manager in Southern California. After seven years with the USC QuikSCience program, she will be working with ExplorOcean in Newport Beach, Calif., to bring quality ocean exploration to young people.

Tonja (Olson)Tallent, 1998

Tonja (Olson)Tallent, 1998, Biological Sciences, worked at a winery as a microbiologist, then for a bio-tech company doing the same. She recently left corporate America and started a business with her husband and now happily runs a tea-bar in Fair Oaks, Calif.

David E McLean, 1996

David E. McLean, 1996, Biological Sciences, is the current president of the Vermont State Dental Society and a delegate to the American Dental Association. McLean earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 2000 and now lives in South Burlington, Vt.

Doug Downie, 1994

DOUG DOWNIE, 1994 Biological Sciences, earned his doctorate in Entomology (Population genetics in grape phylloxera) at UC Davis. Downie spent four years doing postdoctoral research on grape phylloxera, mealybugs, and ants. He took an academic position at Rhodes University in South Africa in 2003, where I stayed to 2011. Downie now works at the Dept. of Pesticide Regulation in Sacramento. Along the way he has published poetry and prose and self-published five books of fiction.

Jason W. Cooley, 1994

Jason W. Cooley, 1994, Biological Sciences, is currently a professor of Chemistry at the University of Missouri.

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