Regina Benzonelli

Systems Specialist, IBM Tivoli Worldwide Education

Portrait of Regina BenzonelliI have a real loyalty to Humboldt State University. I grew up in Humboldt County and I feel very lucky to have gone to HSU.

I was the first person in my immediate family to go to college and it was a huge stepping stone for me. I hope to help ensure young people can continue to attend HSU and receive the same excellent education that I did as a student.

At Humboldt State, students get personal attention. When my husband and I were students, we knew our professors and they knew us. That kind of support—especially as an undergraduate—is hugely important. It becomes part of your foundation. And having a positive experience as an undergraduate can help foster the desire and confidence for a student to continue his or her education.

After graduating from HSU with an interdisciplinary degree in Environmental Resources Engineering and Physics, I was inspired to pursue a master's in Computer Science at UC Davis. Afterward, I began working with IBM, where I was able to broaden my involvement with technology as well as with community service.

As a committee member for the IBM Uptown Classic Race, I've had a hand in helping raise $20,000 to $40,000 annually for charities for over ten years. My husband and I, both dog lovers, also volunteer at our local Austin Humane Society.

Although I no longer reside in Humboldt County, I understand the critical role the university plays within the community. The size of the university also helps to create a close-knit community on campus.

At HSU, students aren't separated into isolated, academic wings. Science students can walk across campus and see music students playing guitar outside on the grass, displays of art students' work and political science students tabling on the quad. It creates a feeling of both intimacy and diversity. It's critical that HSU continues to operate as a small, quality university. I hope to have a role in preserving that.