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Mark Cotright (’76, Art)
Reese Bullen. It’s a name on a building to some but for me it’s so much more.
He became my mentor and unknown to me at that time his lessons influenced an ethic in me that holds true to this day. I had no idea that what he taught me would become my full time profession in life for more than 40 years now.
I started out with ceramics in high school in 1969 in long Beach ,Ca. moved to Humboldt in 1971 and took a year and half of junior college at CR.-transferred as an art student to Humboldt state in 73. I met Reese that first quarter in ceramics, as that was my main interest in art. Over the next decade I got to know him very well. I graduated in early 1976 with a BA in art with as much ceramic work I could absorb and during that time had made friends with Reese and his wife Dottie. I did some property work for him as well as house sitting and helped him move from their close to campus house to one on the coast near Trinidad. I ended up buying one of his kilns and he passed on his calligraphy and clay tools to me, as he got older.
He instilled a work ethic into me that is part of my everyday nature now. Working thru issues with clay or life with a focus and honest approach.
I learned much about glazes and firing and technique ceramics from him but what I recall most was his great stories about life love and war (he was on Oahu during the pearl harbor attack in the military) and his jokes.
I choose to stay in Humboldt after school and have been here ever since making pottery for a living running Liscom Hill Pottery. You may see my ceramic work around the county or my booth at 4th of July or North Country fair in Arcata but what you really are seeing is a student of Reese Bullen who is still working on the knowledge he passed on to me.
Whenever I see his name on the gallery wall at HSU I’m so thankful I got to know him as the great man he was passing on lessons in life that still ring true today for me.
Daniel Mandell (’79, History)
Favorite professor: Thomas Cooper, who taught photography at HSU circa 1977-80. I took all of his classes, the advanced one more than once, and worked as his lab and teaching assistant the summer of 1979 after I had officially graduated.
Groups and activities: I started studies at HSU in the fall of 1975, after a year of living in Israel. There was no Jewish student group, so I started the Jewish Student Union and, with a small but great and active core organized a series of activities.
The most amazing was the Passover seder that we organized the first year, in April 1976. We decided to invite any and all who wished to attend, so made it a potluck (no pork or bread, please), bought a large order of matzo and other necessities, and reserved the old Arcata Community Center with the hope that 25 or perhaps a few more might come. We were shocked when over 180 people packed the building. It became a transcendent evening.
JSU members scattered around the various tables so that, as we went through the ritual story of Passover and the symbols, all could (and did) feel involved. I have attended, organized, and run many seders since, but that remains the most meaningful and magical one, and it sealed my connection to the community. My work with the JSU was my first leadership experience, which has been helpful in life after HSU. But more important is the memory of that wonderful loving seder.
Miss about Humboldt: Redwoods, waves, fog, banana slugs, the Arcata Co-op, and the people.
Graduation: Instead of the usual commencement address, a math professor gave a fascinating talk on the history of computers. Now that I’m a college professor and frequently attend graduation ceremonies, it’s one of those memories that I pull out to entertain and amaze my colleagues.
Roger Bucholtz (’71, Social Sciences)
First week: I was one of the first groups to live in Humboldt Village by the Auto Shop. They put 8 students to a trailer and in our first week. We had numerous water fights and got everything wet, ourselves and the inside of the trailer. One water fight on Friday night, we doused a bus full of high school students going to Redwood Bowl for a football game. The trailer complex flooded during the rains until they put in a central drain.
Favorite professor: Dr. Raymond Barratt was the Dean of Science and when I petitioned to use my science classes for my Social Science degree he counseled me to get a minor in Botany. He even tutored me in the late afternoon on Organic Chemistry so I could pass Dr. Lovelace’s Plant Physiology class. Dr. Barratt somehow got me accepted in to Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania for a summer program in horticultural, which included students from the most prestigious schools in horticulture like Cornell, Michigan State and Purdue. In the 20 years they had the program, I was probably the only Social Science major they ever allowed.
Favorite class: Plant Taxonomy with Dr. James Payne Smith. I fell in love with the subject and did very well in the course as well. I would have gone into the field but Jim said there were no jobs and if I loved plants, I should go into horticulture. And that’s what I did: I got a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from CPSU, San Luis Obispo.
Groups and activities: I was involved with the Newman Club and the California Native Plant society.
Humboldt connection: Humboldt felt like home and I still have a soft spot in my heart for it even though I went on to several other universities, finally getting my masters at UC, Davis in PPPM.
Study: Used to study in the empty classrooms in Founders Hall on weekends or in the library.
Miss about Humboldt: The small intimate classes and the great outdoors.
Graduation: The pits, it was held in the gymnasium as it was raining, it was the first graduation that Cornelius Siemens couldn’t attend and it rained.
Special: I befriended several of the gardeners on campus and became lifelong friends. I still have several close friendships with people I met at HSU.
Rick Hoffmann (’68, Forest Management)
Dr. David Lauck and his forest entomology class changed my life. I was finishing my BS in Forestry and took the dreaded forest entomology class. It was difficult. He was demanding, but a magical teacher. I absolutely fell in love with the science. I went on to get a master’s degree in Biology/Entomology, worked for 17 years in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on citrus insect pests for UC Berkeley and did some foreign IPM consulting in Morocco and Spain. I married a microbiologist studying viruses of stored product insect pests.
To Dr. Lauck, or his memory, thank you.
Christina Castaneda-Hull (’06, Political Science)
Steve Hull was the first friend I made at HSU. We started dating our freshman year and even worked together at HOP. He was a math major and I was deep into prepping for law school. We married June 25th 2010, the ninth anniversary of our first day as friends. At our wedding, both my Maid of Honor and his Best Man were our closest friends at HSU. Today we live in Oakland, happily married and still close to many of our HSU friends. At HSU, we not only built a solid educational foundation, but also friendships and a marriage for life.
Deanna Chew (’93, Marine Biology)
First week: It was quite an overwhelming and exciting experience. It was the first time I was so far away from home. I was also excited about starting my journey to earning a biology degree. I had loved biology since I was young, so I knew HSU was the best choice for me because of its location and professors.
Favorite professor: I had two, Dr. Rasmussen, my advisor, and Dr. DeMartini. They both influenced my path toward graduation. Dr. Rasmussen helped me by suggesting I get tested for academic challenges. Thanks to him, I got the assistance I needed for my learning disability. He was also very supportive in encouraging me to never quit on my dream of graduating with a biology degree. Dr. DeMartini also encouraged me to learn word roots, which was a great skill in biology.
Favorite class: Mammalogy with Dr. Tim Lawlor. I loved studying one of my favorite subjects, mammals. I especially liked the marine mammal skulls and visiting Dr. Lawlor’s property, where he accidentally caught a skunk.
Groups and activities: I was a member of the swim team and the Humboldt Orientation Program class. I also participated in the environmental education volunteer program at the Youth Educational Services building.
Humboldt connection: I feel the most growing up I did as a person was volunteering at the Y.E.S. House with the environmental education program. It allowed me to teach kids about something I loved, while having fun. I also grew up during the retreats with the Humboldt Orientation Program. The retreats really allowed me to look at myself, to be more open and have confidence.
Study: I loved the Fish and Wildlife Student Lounge. I enjoyed the animals around me. I would also study in a small area in between the science buildings, where a professor used to live years ago.
Miss About Humboldt: I miss the Redwood Forest.
Graduation: It was fun. I sat right next to my lab partner from invertebrate zoology. It was nice to have finally graduated. I also had my family and friends there for support. It meant a lot to me. The weather was beautiful.
Special: I feel the personal growth and sense of accomplishment affected me for the rest of my life. I value my time at HSU and will always have fond memories of my time there.
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