Humboldt State University

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About Us

HOP Peer Counselors

picture of abdul

Name: Abdul Shaikh

Year: Freshman

Major: Computer Science and Engineering

Minor: Business

Hometown: Visalia, CA

I chose to attend HSU not only because of the amazing science programs that the campus offers, but also because of the type of environment that the campus is in. You are surrounded by beautiful redwood trees and every direction, and some of nicest people I have ever met. One of my favorite memories at HSU is grabbing all my closest friends and paying a large scale game of laser tag across the entire HSU campus. I myself decided to join the ambassador team because I really liked the title I was given, and the job also seemed like a great learning experience for me, and it truly has been thus far. My favorite moment as an Ambassador would have to be fall admissions day. FAD was my favorite moment because I truly felt as if I was representing the campus. I got to meet so many eager students, and many interesting parents was well. After I graduate from HSU would like to move to the Bay Area and lie in a city near either San Jose or San Francisco and work as a software engineer in the big city.


Name: Alana Souza

Year: Senior

Major: Film

Minor: Writing

Hometown: Kailua, HI

I'm Alana and I love my job as an Ambassador!I joined the Ambassador program 2 years ago, and I've been having so much fun learning everything about HSU and teaching it to new students ever since! When I graduate, I'd love to travel a bit! ! I love playing video games, dancing, and tie-dying!


Name: Alexis Demetropoulos

Year: Junior

Major: Marine Biology

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

I came to HSU as a transfer student this past fall, and since then I have enjoyed many wonderful experiences.  I’ve been able to see what it is like to be aboard a research vessel, visited our local beaches and rivers and seen so much great wildlife. The classes here at HSU are very hands-on and the surrounding areas are excellent for exploring. My favorite classes that I have taken are my ichthyology courses. The level of knowledge and experiences that I've had in those classes is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Moving to Humboldt has been one of the best decisions of my life. The school is amazing, the air is clean, and the people are friendly.


Name: Angelica Lua

Year: Junior

Major: Child Development Minor: American Indian Education

Hometown: Garden Grove, CA.

Hi, my name is Angelica and I have been here at HSU for about 4 years now.  I want to be able to be some sort of mediator for the native community to the government.  Being at HSU has been the best 4 years ever!  Why you may ask?  It is one of the most beautiful campuses and I fell in love with the community and the people.  The atmosphere is unlike anything I have ever felt before the people here are amazing!  One of the main reasons I decided to join the AMB Team was because they were tight knit group of students that wanted to help incoming and potential students to have the most worthwhile experience.  After experiencing it myself I wanted to help students that were in my position have worthwhile experience here.  Being here has made me realize that I want to be able to help my community as well.  One of the most rewarding memories is seeing student I have mentored come to me and tell me that they were happy that I was able to help them when they first came here.  On another note I believe that since I have been here at HSU I have found that one of my favorite classes was Botany.  It was an interesting class that just fascinated me even though it isn’t a class related to my major.  I hope to see you at Orientation!

Name: Angela Nguyen

Year: Senior

Major: Kinesiology: Pre-Physical Therapy

Hometown: Alameda

Well hello! My name is Angela Nguyen and this is my fourth year here at HSU! I'm from a little island called Alameda in the bay area. I chose HSU because of the opportunities it had to give as well as the beautiful campus. Our backyard IS the redwood forest! I enjoy every second being here. This is my first semester working with HOP and fourth year working for Admissions at the visitor's center. I'm most likely the person who picked up your calls and scheduled your visits! By working here I have met so many people and I'm able to help prospective students with the admission process as well as giving my insight of life on campus. My favorite moment here has to be living in the dorms. It is the best experience I had on campus because I met all of my close friends there and got to live on campus. Go Jacks!


Name: Austin Chester

Year: Senior

Major: Cellular Molecular Biology

Hi. If you're reading this, then let me personally welcome you to Humboldt State University. This isn't your typical place, or college for that matter. It's so much more than that. You'll see what I mean when you get here. What I do here is simple. I have fun and live life to the fullest I can. Nothing is better than a spontaneous random adventure. In fact that's how I ended up here. While I'm here, I'm Pre-Med studying Cellular Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, with a minor in communications. I'm also an EMT, and Chief Medical Scribe at our local ER. But work aside, I'm here to live, learn, and have fun; just like you. So in the spirit of Humboldt State University, I welcome you my friend.



Name: Brianna Rodriguez

Year: Sophomore

Major: Marine Biology

Hometown: San Dimas, CA (between LA and Orange County)

Some of my hobbies include playing with animals, reading, swimming, and hiking. I chose to come to Humboldt State because of the surrounding environment and all the amazing hands on learning experience you can get as an undergraduate. I am absolutely in love with my school and everything about the community, and I can't wait to share my experience with you!


Name: Brittani Alberto

Year: Freshman

Major: History and Art History

Favorite Moments at HSU: playing lazer tag with friends across the entire HSU campus

Favorite Class: History 105

Favorite Ambassador Moments: participating at Fall Admissions Day

Favorite Song: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen


Name: Cailin Ashley McLaughlin

Year: Sophomore at HSU

Major: Zoology

Minor: Cultural Anthropology & Biology

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

I chose Humboldt State back when I was a freshman in high school, because I had a love for forest life and I thought it would be a good place to start some amazing adventures! Being at HSU my favorite moments have happened with my friends that I made in the dorms, in my first year. We all loved just sitting in the hallway and playing games to get to know each other; we also loved going on night hikes and getting lost in the forest. We used to say “where there’s a tree there’s a trail!” I joined AMB team as a way to get more involved with the school, and make new friends. My favorite moment as an Ambassador was our annual retreat! Though I’m not a fan of karaoke, I did enjoy our game of ultimate musical chairs (we lost many chairs that night). My plan for after I graduate is to hopefully join the Peace Corps, I would like to be part of the Environmental Education program and after that I hope to go on to acquire a Masters/ PHD.


Name: Charlotte Rutigliano

Major: Journalism-News Editorial

Year: Freshmen

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

I choose HSU because I went to a small high school and I knew that it would be better for me to go to a smaller university.  My favorite moment so far at HSU was when I walked into my first journalism class, I knew right then I was where I was supposed to be!My favorite classes are JMC 120 Beginning Reporting and PE 289 Kick Boxing!!


Name: Cheyenne Hoffman

Year: Sophomore

Major: Art Studio

Hometown: American Canyon

I have many favorable moments here at Humboldt State and hope to encounter many more as I continue my journey here, but if I had to choose the best moment that I have experienced it would be joining this amazing program and working with such great people. There is a sense of community in HOP that you cannot recreate elsewhere. I personally chose HSU because of how small the campus is and the intimacy of a small class setting. I decided to join HOP when I realized that I needed to break out of the shell I has created for myself and it was one of the best decisions I could of made for myself. This program has helped me grow as a person and it is so rewarding to have the opportunity to witness incoming students really taking in all of the information that they need in order tosucceed here.When I graduate I plan to pursue a career in Graphic Design, I alsowould love to do some traveling and continue my schooling. My favorite class that I have taken so far would be Beginning Graphic Design because it confirmed what I would love to do with the rest of my life.


Name: Darren Schumaker

Year: Sophomore

Major: Microbiology

Hometown: Pleasanton, CA

I chose HSU because of its strong reputation in the sciences, cultural uniqueness, and its stunning location on the beautiful misty California coast. I joined the HSU Ambassador team because I had the most wonderful high school college transition and I sincerely want to make sure every incoming student here has an amazing successful transition as well. To this day my fondest memory of HSU is still the first time I visited the campus and by chance stumbled into the Arcata Community Forest lost and alone. As I walked amongst the tall giants I grew more and more aware with every step that this was home for me. After graduation I intend to live my life to the fullest! Live, see the world, and of course get a job in the microbiology field where ever I am needed.


Name: Dayshia Lesueur

Year: Freshmen

Major: Social Work

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Hey Guys! My name is Dayshia, I am a freshman at HSU, and I am majoring in social work. I am from Southern California in the beautiful city of San Diego. Choosing HSU is one of the best the decisions that I could ever make. I have wanted to go to HSU since I was a freshman in high school. Originally,one of the many reasons why I wanted to go to HSU was because of are amazing science programs. But after coming to HSU, it has helped me find out that I love science, but not as much as I love people. Just in my first semester I have had so many great moments, such as going on ahike in the amazingly beautiful Arcata forest with a group of friends, and going to the HSU sporting events like football and basketball games. GO JACKS! I wanted to become and HSU ambassador because I love HSU! I want to share my love of HSU with everyone. I am proud to say that I am a lumberjack! Some favorite moments were after break first day back at work, everyone with smiles and open arms. After HSU I plan to join to Peace Corps, and then after I am done with my services, go off to grad school to earn my MSW. I hope that your first year here at HSU is a positive life changing experience! See you all soon!


Name: Dylan Karl

Year: Junior

Major: Wildlife Management & Conservation; Minor in Music

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

I chose HSU because I fell in love with the Wildlife program and the multitude of opportunities to gain hands-on experience in my field, which is great for a career resume. So far, my favorite class has been all of the wildlife classes I’ve taken. I chose the AMB team for the same reason I’ve chosen any job, I needed money; but it has turned into one of the best jobs I’ve ever worked (and I’ve worked a lot of jobs). My favorite moments as an Ambassador is seeing the new students, who were a part of my peer group, and listen to them tell me how HSU is working for them on their first semester. My favorite moments at HSU have been spending time with all the amazing people that go to this campus, I feel truly blessed to a member of the HSU family and the AMB team!




Name: Gabby Pelayo

Year: Sophomore at HSU

Major: Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing

Hometown: North Hollywood

This is my second time being a counselor and I absolutely love it. It was an HOP counselor that made me realize Humboldt was the place for me. Humboldt is a really great place. Everyone is always so friendly and helpful; it made the transition from home to Humboldt easier.


Name: Joel Ryan McKeehan

Year: Senior 2014 & Grad Student for fall 2014 at HSU

Major: Psychology

Minor: Anthropology

Hometown: Simi Valley, CA

So hi, my name is Joel McKeehan and I am currently a senior at HSU. I have been here in Humboldt now for 2 years with my Fiancé Jessica and our two dogs Jackie and Ivan. I chose HSU for the hands on experience and personal contact you get to have with your professors as well as the amazing scenery surrounding the campus. My favorite class here at HSU was Psychological Tests & Measurement because it was a class that truly delved into the areas of Psychology that I am truly interested in. I hope to one day work on doing research into the identification and implementation of developmentally appropriate educational practices and I believe that my time here at HSU has prepared me to pursue that goal. My favorite moment as an Ambassador hasn't happened yet because I haven't had the chance to meet my awesome HOP Peer group.


Name: Josephine "Josie" Murphy

Year: Freshman

Major: Environmental Education and Interpretation

Hometown: Vacaville, CA

Hey everyone! My name is Josephine Murphy, but everyone calls me Josie. Just like Josie and the Pussycats. I love HSU because the forest is our backyard. I always feel most happy when I am in the forest, either hiking with my friends, by myself, or just chilling on a quiet log. My dream job is to become a Park Ranger Interpreter. That’s one of those rangers that leads you on the Ranger Led Hikes at state or national parks. You are in for a real treat if you get the chance to meet or work with anyone from this Ambassador team. We are all so much fun and want to get you just as excited about HSU as we are! If you see me around campus, don't be afraid to say "Hey!"


Name: Julia Gomez

Year: Freshman

Major: Environmental Resources Engineering

Hometown: Fontana, CA

My name is Julia Gomez and I am from Fontana, California.I am a freshman at HSU majoring in Environmental Resources Engineering with a minor in Spanish. I chose to attend HSU because of the great engineering department and the overall beauty of the campus. So far in my first year, my favorite part of attending HSU has been having a forest on campus. Not only is it fun to go hiking but also serves at a great tool for practicing the skills I need to become an engineer! I am very excited to experience more of what Humboldt State has to offer and hopefully help to make it an even better place!


Name: Katherine Schmiderer

Year: Freshman

Major: History (Education)

Hometown: Murrieta, California

Hi! This is my first year at Humboldt and it has been one of the most rewarding times of my life. Here at HSU I have found that there is so much to do between classes, the outdoors, friends, living in the dorms, homework, clubs, and work that I grown to love the chaos of college life. Luckily enough I chose Humboldt all based its looks, I wanted to get away from the desert or what I thought looked like home. And now being here I can proudly say that I love the college I chose and the community that surrounds it.


Name: Katie Lowe

Year: Junior

Major: Communication

Hometown: Lemoore, CA

Hi everyone! My name is Katie and I’m in my third wonderful year here at Humboldt State. I still remember my first day coming up the 101 through the beautiful redwoods from the small town of Lemoore, hugging my mom goodbye, and starting on an exciting new journey. It turns out that making the choice to attend HSU was the best thing I could have done. I truly have found a sense of community in the unique town of Arcata. I love meeting new people so it has been an awesome opportunity to be a part of the Orientation Program, Admissions Office, and the local Hospice Shop. When I have free time, I enjoy exploring the great outdoors and simply enjoying time with loved ones. But for the most part, my time is happily spent at Humboldt State so you will more than likely see me smiling around campus :-)


Name: Laurel Coleman

Year: Freshman

Major: Anthropology/Religious Studies

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Hi my name is Laurel Coleman and I'm a freshman here at HSU. I chose Humboldt State for the amazing scenery and its beautiful location. After moving here, I fell in love with the people, the lifestyle and the state of mind here. My favorite class that I have taken so far here at HSU has been world religions. It opened my eyes to new ideas and worlds that I had been totally unaware of and helped me decide what to major in. I'm so excited to be your HOP counselor!


Name: Luna Loganayagam

Year: Junior at HSU

Major: English

Minor: TESOL and Linguistics

Hometown: Hayward, CA

HSU is an experience of a lifetime. I can't imagine who I would be right now without the guidance of my talented professors and welcoming friends.When I graduate, I hope to teach abroad and spread the knowledge,as well as the values,that HSU hastaught me. I joined the Ambassadors chiefly to be able to re-experience the excitement of becoming a college student. Every time I see someone excited to come to HSU I am reminded of how lucky I am to be here, at the best college in the world.


Name: Madi Whaley

Year: Freshman at HSU

Major: Journalism

Minors: in Environmental Management & Protection and Political Science

Hometown: Elk Grove, CA

I chose to come to the beautiful Humboldt State, because I fell in love with the friendly atmosphere, the gorgeous environment, and the school's admirable commitment to social justice and environmental protection. I have made some great memories here through rock climbing, acro-yoga, volunteering at CCAT, and of course, AMB. I look forward to working with HSU's new students this coming year!

Name: Paige Corey

Year: Sophomore

Major: History

Hometown: Pleasant Hill, CA

I chose to come to Humboldt State for several reasons.  My family has had a cabin in Humboldt County, in a very small town called Petrolia along the Lost Coast for generations. I have been coming up north from the Bay Area my entire childhood and had always been taken back by the miles of beautiful coastlines and tower redwoods that surrounding the area. I also have always had a passion when it comes to learning about history and when I found out HSU offered history as a major I knew I would have to come here. After I graduate I want to go on to get my teaching credential and become a history teacher. My favorite moments as an ambassador so far have been getting to know to everyone else and making so many new friends while also being able to help other students at the same time.


Name: Paul Yzaguirre

Year: Senior

Major: Economics

Hometown: Irvine

Hi there, I’m Paul and I’ve loved it here at HSU ever since coming here as a freshman back in 2010. I’m actually pursuing a Master’s degree in Sociology here beginning in the fall of 2014, and it’s been an exciting time getting to this point. Besides being a part of HOP, I’m an Admissions Intern for the Office of Admissions here alongside Katie Lowe, and I’ve enjoyed being a part of the HSU Phone Jacks, the Econ Department here, and our Associated Students in semesters past. It couldn’t be more different here than it was down south in Orange County where I grew up, but I feel right at home with the cooler weather and redwoods (plus the great local food). I’m hoping that I can show others (including you!) how to have the best time possible here at HSU, because it has been a priceless experience for me.


Name: Rattnak Sokhom

Year: Junior

Major: Economics

Minor: Business Administration and Chinese Studies

Hometown: Monterey Park, Ca

One of my favorite moments is waking up early on a weekend when the campus is quiet and taking a walk in the woods. The crisp air in my lungs; the sunlight dappling my path; and a sense of hushed expectation that time has paused; as I settle my thoughts was something that I didn’t do until I came to Humboldt. The most important thing about Humboldt that cemented my decision to attend was the small classroom sizes and the small town environment. Joining the Ambassador team lets me be a part of a community of students helping like-minded students accomplish the goals that brought them to college. Soon I will be taking off to other continents, working and exploring (soul-seeking really) then applying to graduate schools for a Masters and PhD. The best part of being an Ambassador is when all the work is done and we get to HOParty! No lie but I like my economics classes, NOT just because it’s what I’m interested in, but because of the interdisciplinary approach to the problems facing society.


Name: Rebecca Ashjian

Year: Senior

Major: Forestry

Hometown: Fresno, CA

The reason I chose Humboldt State is because of the small classroom sizes, excellent hands on learning opportunities, and the 2,000 acres of redwoods right next door! I joined the Ambassador team because I love HSU and enjoy sharing my experiences here to other students. When I graduate, I hope to obtain a forestry position in the federal, state, or private industries conversing with visitors about our natural resources.


Name: Ronniesha Ford Spears

Year: Freshman

Major: Kinesiology Pre-Physical Therapy

Hometown: Hercules, CA

Hi! My name is Ronniesha, but people call me Roro for short. I love video games, especially RPGs and if you like video games, I like you automatically by default. I chose HSU not only because of the low cost of attendance, but also because of all of the wonderful opportunitiesit offers its students. For example, my on campus job is being an Ambassador, where I can connect with bright new individuals and help make HSU an even better place for incoming students. So far, I couldn't be any happier with my decision to attend HSU.


Name: Terence D. Brierly

Year: Senior

Major: English with an emphasis on writing practices

Minor: Linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language(TESL)

Hometown: Middletown, California

Humboldt State University was my top choice because I wanted to be part of an artistic and environmentally conscious community that is as vibrant as it is varied. I learned more about myself and the world around me during my first semester here, than my little hometown could teach me in 18 years. As a senior student and a dedicated counselor, I hope I can guide my peers to that same level of preparedness and excitement I felt, when I first gawked up at Founder's Hall. I can be especially helpful to those hoping to enter the teaching or literary career fields, and I'm always happy to lend a hand regardless.


Name: Will Culver III

Year: Senior

Major: Wildlife - Conservation Biology/Applied Vertebrate Ecology

Minor: Chemistry

Hometown: Various locations of Orange County, CA

What up everyone! I chose HSU because the university has provided me with immense opportunity, beauty, and a future. In my time here I have been afforded many amazing opportunities, from becoming an HOP Peer Counselor to learning more about my role as a Native American in science through my involvement in INRSEP (Indian Natural Resource and Science Program). When I graduate I plan to attend veterinary school and obtain a Master's in Public Health. I joined the ambassador team because it represents a unique community of students and faculty that have built their jobs and countless hours around one thing: your success as a student here! My favorite moments as an ambassador by far are when I get to talk with students about their hopes, dreams, fears, and ambitions. Then I do my best to help them remove their fears and chase those hopes, dreams, and ambitions! What you can do at HSU is limitless, and it is truly my pleasure to be a guide for you in this wonderful place!


HOP Leadership Team


Name: Emma Hopson

Year: Junior, class of ‘16

Major: English Writing

Hometown: Tracy, CA

Hey everyone, my name is Emma, I am one of the Student Ambassador Coordinators here at HOP, and I am wrapping up my second year here at HSU as an English education major. After graduation, I hope to become a high school English teacher, just like all the teachers in my life who have inspired me and believed in me.  When I first sent in my intent to enroll here I wasn’t sure I would be in the right place (at this point I had never seen the campus).  But the minute I actually came up here for the first time, I was in love.  The trees, the ocean, the rain and cold weather, I was sold.  It was when I actually moved up here, and got a feel for the town and the people going here that I knew I was in the right place.  I am a proud lumberjack, and am so happy to be a part of a team that gets to share their HSU pride just by showing up to work every day! See you soon!


Name: Banning Ramirez

Year: Junior

Major: Journalism and Mass Communications (PR)

Hometown: Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i

Hey everyone my name is Banning Ramirez and I’m the ambassador coordinator here at HOP. An average day in the office for me consists of lots of coffee, note taking, managing a team of amazing ambassadors, and event planning with my two favorite people, Emma and Marissa. On days outside of the nine-to-five, I spend my time working on the Cultural Times for the MultiCultural Center, playing some tunes on our school’s student-run radio, KRFH, traveling across the California highways to places I’ve never been to, or attending alocal concert or two. My time here at HSU has been nothing but an exciting journey filled with so many amazing experiences and memories in the beautiful Redwood trees and I’m looking forward to creating many, many more this upcoming school year before I graduate.



Marissa Mourer, Director, Orientation & Preview Programs
Masters: Library Science, 2010; Education, 2006
Bachelors:Journalism, 2002, Humboldt State University!!
One of the best decisions that I've ever made was to study at HSU as an undergraduate! After some globe-trotting, I love being back at HSU! It's a joy to work with outstanding student leaders, give back to a great university, and to walk through the woods to the beach after work each day.

HOP is always looking for students interested in improving their leadership skills while making a positive difference in the transition of new students to HSU, find out how you can join the HOP staff.