Recent Alumni Updates
Heather Frambach, 2009
Heather is currently an urban agriculture planner at the City of Austin, Texas, the Community Outreach Manager for a small East Austin farmers market, and an organizing fellow with Real Food Challenge, a national campaign that organizers for more local and sustainable food on college campuses. She completed her master’s degree in Community & Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012.
Rashad Thomas, 2006
Rashad Thomas c/o 2006 and Imelda Fernandez c/o 2005 had their first child together. A baby girl by the name of Amira Thomas-Fernandaz.
Beckie Menten, 2007
Beckie Menten works at the California Energy Commission as an Energy Efficiency Specialist. She is currently working on programs to increase the energy performance of residential and commercial properties, including finding financing mechanisms for homeowners.
Rashad Korah Thomas, 2006
I am the project manager (country director) for Uganda Village Project. A non-profit orgainzation decited to improving the quality of life for citizens in the villages that make up the Iganga District. We have programs in well construction, nets, fistula repair, among others.
Elaine Hogan, 2007
After serving as a Health Volunteer for the Peace Corps in Honduras, I am back in Arcata. I work for Northcoast Children’s Services as a Bilingual Family Service Specialist serving high-needs families with children enrolled in Head Start.
Elizabeth Fehr, 2011
I just got a job working with The Fund for the Public Interest.
Kyle C. Knopp, 2005
Kyle Knopp (2005) works as a Senior Analyst for budget policy and intergovernmental relations in the Executive Office of the County of Mendocino. Received his Masters in Public Administration in 2009 at SSU.
Rebecca (Beckie) Menten, 2007
Working with the High Performance Building Standards group at the California Energy Commission on reducing energy in existing buildings.
Kristin Peters, 2003
I am living in San Antonio, TX with my husband and fellow HSU grad, Gil Peters.
April Armstrong (2003) started up Paihama.com to provide an ecological solution to save New Zealand’s native forests and birds, while selling warm, comfortable socks.
Joey Apodaca (2007) earned his Masters degree in Political Science from CSU Los Angeles and now works in the Los Angeles field office of Representative Henry A. Waxman (CA-30).
Zack Beasley (2011) is a Research Coordinator/Organizer – Orange County Labor Federation
Michael Bezanson (2001) is an analyst for the State of Washington’s Government Management Accountability and Performance (GMAP) program.
Ethan Bergerson (2008) is a field organizer for the Sierra Club in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Deepa Bhandaru (2003) is pursuing a Ph.D. in political theory at the University of Washington-Seattle.
Kaitlin Borstelmann (2008) has been working in the renewable energy industry. She has been a project and operation manager for a solar integrator (a company that pulls together all the designs, permits, solar modules, installers and state rebate paperwork for clients), overseeing both in-house employees and operations as well as managing solar installations in the field. She is currently planning to pursue an MBA with an emphasis on sustainability.
Seth Bradley (2011) is a team leader with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps in Mississippi.
Rhianna Brandt (2000) is a fine wine sales representative in Dunedin, Florida.
Luke Brownfield (2004) earned his J.D. from Pacific McGeorge School of Law and is now Assistant District Attorney in Humboldt County.
Gordon Bussell (2006) is a cultural worker, linguist, and consultant on the revival of tribal languages, including the Mattole, Hupa, Bear River, and Wailaki languages. He is a master speaker and board member of Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (AICLS).
Ellie Cachette (2006) works as a Software Project Manager in San Francisco. She serves on racing committees for Sausalito and St. Francis Yacht Clubs while consulting socially-minded start-ups through early stage development.
Ian Caliendo (2006) works in Government Relations for PG&E in Eureka.
Diana Campos (2008) will pursue an MFA in photography at the Pratt Institute in New York City. She writes that “I’m really glad that I am graduating with a Political Science degree instead of the obvious Art degree. As a Poli Sci major, I think I leave with a better understanding of the world I’m entering, not to mention a better understanding of what I photograph.”
Jed D’Abravanel (2007) is in the Peace Corps in Morocco.
Brian Dennert (2001) teaches high school history at Royal High School in Simi Valley. He blogs about Ventura County politics here: http://blogs.venturacountystar.com/dennert/. There’s a story about him falling in love with his future wife, Melody Wendorf (2001) in John Meyer’s Political Theory class on the HSU Alumni Site.
Gentjan Droboniku (2006) was an intern with The Protection Project at Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies and is pursuing a Masters degree in public policy at University of Southern California.
Adam Edgar (2004) teaches English as a Second Language at the Beverly Hills Adult School. He has also taught ESL in Belgium, Spain, and Japan and is an actor in film and theatre.
Ryan Emenaker (2001) is teaching at College of the Redwoods. He completed an MA in Social Sciences at HSU.
Brendon Fisher (2008) is field director and deputy campaign manager for Robert Hamilton’s congressional campaign in CA-49. After the November 2008 election, he is planning to serve as field director for a ballot initiative to make instant run-off voting a reality in California.
Heather Frambach (2009) is pursuing an MS in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin as the 2010-2011 Diversity Recruitment Fellow. She is also working on border and labor issues with local organization Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera.
Jocelyn Godinho (2006) is attending McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. She reports that she is studying in London and Salzburg in Summer 2008* taking a class with Supreme Court Justice Kennedy.
Harmony Groves (2004) earned her J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law – San Francisco, CA
Bryan M. Grundon (2002) runs a law firm specializing in commercial civil litigation. He is also coaching high school football in San Diego. He received his J.D. from University of San Diego in 2005.
Luiz Guevara (2004) is a Program Assistant with the Neighborhood Parks Council in San Francisco. He is also pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at SFSU, with an emphasis on non-profit management.
Elaine Hogan (2007) is in the Peace Corps in Honduras.
Randy Hooper (2004) works as the Community Development Planner for Del Norte County and lives in Crescent City, CA.
Sterling Israel (2005) earned her MS in Arts Management at the University of Oregon in 2007.
Aaron M. Jeweler (2011) will begin as a first year law student in August of 2012 at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.
Tamira Jones (2002) is the California Coastal Trail Project Coordinator for the Mendocino Land Trust. She earned her MA from the Program on Environment and Community at HSU.
Laura Kerr (2001) is the General Manager for the Sacramento region of the Charter Schools Association. Previously, she was the Director of Governmental Affairs for the California State Student Association
Gretchen Kinney-Newsom (2004) is Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a bipartisan commission that has been given a critical non-partisan mission — to examine the causes of the financial crisis that has gripped the country and to report their findings to the Congress, the President, and the American people. Previously, she was Executive Administrator for Canyon Johnson Urban Communities Fund in Los Angeles, and was a California State Executive Fellow and a Deputy Policy Director, Angelides for Governor, 2006.
In case you’re interested, here is an article that sums up the work of the Commission I work for:
Todd Lake (2004) was the campaign manager for Humboldt County Third District Supervisor Candidate Brian Plumley.
Katie Mantz (2005) has been working on a variety of political campaigns in Arizona and California through EMILY’s list and Campaign Corps.
Bryan Maroney (2001) is an attorney for Davis Arneil Law Firm. He received a J.D. and an M.B.A. from Willamette University.
Matthew McGee (2001) received his Masters of Social Welfare, concentration in Management and Planning, at UC Berkeley. He is employed with the County of Marin as a Deputy Probation Officer in the Juvenile Division.
Kasio Kembo Mida Jr. (2000) is an Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice, for the Federated States of Micronesia. He graduated from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he was elected Managing Editor of the school’s Law Review.
Anthony Medrano (2000) is the assistant director of Southeast Asian Studies at Ohio University. He earned an MA in Southeast Asian Studies in 2007 and an MA in Political Science in 2003, both from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. From 2001-2003, he was an affiliate in the East-West Center’s student program. Anthony worked in the Philippines from 2003-2005 as a Development Officer with the Synergia Foundation and has traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia.
Beckie Menten (2007) is the Energy Program Specialist for the City of Arcata. She received a prestigious Switzer Foundation Fellowship for her work in the M.S. program in Energy, Environment, and Society at HSU.
Paul Moss (2007) is pursuing his M.A. degree in the Environment and Community graduate program at HSU.
Cassidy Nichols (2005) works in law. He lives in Fremont, CA.
Greg Paoli (2007) is a staff member in the Eureka district office for State Assemblymember Patty Berg.
Miranda Perry (2008) writes: During my last year of college, I interned for League of Women Voters of Humboldt County. That experience not only sparked my interest and passion for the organization, it also allowed me to ‘get my foot in the door’ at the state level. I have now worked for the League of Women Voters of California in a bottom of the totem pole type of position for a year. I am learning a lot and am confident that my experience at the League will be positive for my career advancement. Thank you Humboldt State Political Science Department for all the support you provided over the years!
Manolo Platin (2005) was appointed by the Governor as special assistant and legislative analyst for the Office of the Insurance Advisor in January 2007. He analyzes legislation affecting insurance, probate and workers’ compensation, and assists the Director with special projects including catastrophe planning and mitigation.
Mathew Savage (2002) works as a GIS Developer for CH2M HILL. He resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Melissa Scolari (2002) has been Senior Legislative Aide for Assemblywoman Carol Liu, working on issues pertaining to women and children, the environment, water quality and privacy. She was the Panetta intern in Washington D.C. in 2001.
Delia Sharpe (2001) is Directing Attorney in California Indian Legal Services’ Eureka office. She received her J.D. from the New College of California School of Law. During law school, she also interned at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.
Sarah Shoenberger (2011) is working at Casa do Caminho, an orphanage in Xerém, Brazil.
Kristan Simpson (2001) received a second bachelor’s degree in Nursing from SJSU and works as an ICU nurse in San Francisco. She plans to pursue a masters degree with a focus on health care policy.
Natalie Soder (2004) just received an M.A. in Sociology from HSU. Her thesis, “Community Currency: An Approach to Economic Sustainability in our Local Bioregion” was recently published in the International Journal of Community Currency Research.
Hale Soyster (2007) is a Peace Corps Masters International student at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies in the global finance, trade, and economic integration track. In April 2009, he will begin service as a district AIDS coordinator in Botswana.
Steven Steward (2002) is a policy associate for the American Public Human Services Association, representing state welfare administrators to Congress and the Administration. Previously, he worked for the Office of Congressmember Brad Sherman. He is also attending law school at Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. Steven lives in Washington, D.C.
Craig Swaim (2001) works for the League of California Cities as a consultant in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. He earned a master’s degree in political science from CSU Sacramento.
Rashad Thomas (2006) completed service in the Peace Corps in Tanzania and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Public Policy Program at University of California, Berkeley.
Sean D. Thueson (2000) is an attorney with Holland and Hart in Las Vegas. He earned his J.D. from the University of Wyoming.
Andrea Tyler (2005) is Associate to the Vice President of Development for the California Pacific Medical Center Foundation. She was a major gifts associate for the Save-the-Redwoods League. She is enrolled in an MPA program at SFSU.
Bryan Wagner (2005) is Director of Technical Support at Brady/TISCOR. He was also the manager of a developmental group home called Joshua House in Eureka before settling in San Diego.
Jessica Whatcott (2004) is a case manager with North Coast Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
Ben Wocken (2006) is a Washington D.C. for a Congressmember from Eastern Washington.
Stephen Wynbrandt (2003) is a self-employed musician and songwriter.
Jimmy D. Vigil (2004) received his J.D. from California Western School of Law.
Erin Ziegler (2003) graduated from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked in Congressman Mike Thompson’s D.C. office and was the Panetta Intern from HSU in 2003.