Alumni News

Joe Newnam, 2005

Joe Newnam, 2005 Music, moved to Mammoth Lakes, Calif, upon receiving his music teaching credential. Newnam rebuilt a district-wide public school music program, which resulted in developing middle and high school jazz bands and choirs. After marrying his soulmate in 2009, the couple purchased a small ranch in Trinity County, where Newnam again rebuilt a very successful district wide music program. During this same time, Newnam released “Sitar Joe, Venus Tribe.” Selections from the album have been featured on syndicated radio shows, and broadcast worldwide from the Middle East to India and the U.S. Last year Newnam and his wife moved to a mountain forest log home on 20 acres in Washington, where the couple raises organic food and animals while caring for their lush forest. Newnam is currently the owner and lead instructor of a private music instruction studio in Washington, plays and studies Kirtan music with a working ensemble, and works professionally as an actor for a SyFy Channel series currently being filmed.

Peter Jain, 1989

Peter Jain, 1989, Music, published his first prose poetry and photography book 25 years after graduating from HSU. “Let the Dance Begin—Greetings from Humboldt” was released in September. 

Julie King, 1985

Julie King, 1985, Music, (née Reich) went on to earn a Master’s degree in music (choral conducting) but pivoted her career to the nonprofit sector. King is currently vice president of Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group and engages in executive search as well as advising nonprofits on capacity building.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of BeadforLife, a social enterprise serving women living in extreme poverty in Uganda. King and her husband, Chuck, live in Redwood City, Calif., where Julie rows on Bair Island Aquatic Center’s competitive crew team.

Richard Caldwell, 1969

RICHARD CALDWELL, 1969 Music, was in the Navy Band Program for 20 years after graduating from Humboldt State. Since retiring in 1991 Caldwell has been a Band Instrument Repair Technician. Caldwell says he owes his career in instrument repair to a repair class he took at Humboldt the summer of 1969. 

Bonnie Jeanne Koski, 1974-BS in Nursing, 2009-BA in Music

I have retired from a long-time working as a Public Heath Nurse in Humboldt County (28yrs.) I then went back to my alma mater and acheived a BA in music (my 2nd Love) in May, 2009.  I’m not doing too much now--recovering from my open heart surgery last July.  I really enjoy helping my 2 young granddaughters, ages 5 and 7 with their piano lessons.  That’s all for now!