"I could work at a lot of other places, but I don't think I would feel the same connection and loyalty that I feel here—I'm a Lumberjack."
As a student and now as project manager for construction at Humboldt State, Traci Ferdolage's connection and loyalty to the University has developed for more than a decade. After playing basketball at Fresno City College in her hometown of Fresno, Calif., Traci was looking for a university where she could finish her degree and continue to play. She visited the Humboldt State campus and met with Pam Martin, the women's basketball coach at the time.
"I knew I was coming here the day Pam walked me across campus on the sidewalk in front of Founders Hall. It was a clear, beautiful day and I could see the bay and the ocean," Traci recalls. "I grew up with family in San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach so being by the ocean was something that was a really wonderful thing for me as a child and here was an opportunity for me to come to school, get a good education, play some basketball and live next to the ocean. How much better does it get than that? I was sold."
Traci played point guard for the Jacks for two years and graduated with a degree in Physical Education. After graduation, she worked as a recreation coordinator for the City of Arcata and as director of parks and recreation for the McKinleyville Community Service District. She returned to Humboldt State to earn a master's degree in business and quickly found a job on campus as a construction management intern. The job was a perfect fit with Traci's experience managing large projects such as the construction of parks and community centers. She was soon hired as a full-time employee and after earning her master's degree became project manager for Humboldt State's new $44 million Kinesiology and Athletics Building that opened in fall 2008. Traci says the project was a good match considering her athletics and kinesiology backgrounds.
"I think it's a wonderful opportunity for the Kinesiology and Recreation Administration program to take a huge jump forward. The improvement in the facilities and the lab space with the new building is phenomenal," Traci says. "I look forward to walking by the Human Performance Lab one day and seeing someone on the treadmill getting tested and learning in a fantastic environment."
As a former student-athlete, Traci is also very excited about the new gym that will provide Lumberjack athletics with one the best facilities in NCAA Division II sports, and offer HSU basketball and volleyball fans a comfortable, attractive venue.
When away from the office and job site, Traci enjoys spending time at home with her family, traveling and exploring the outdoors.
"An ideal week off for me is spent camping, hiking and fishing with my family. I like to get out into the woods and have a nice peaceful place to get rejuvenated."