Humboldt State University
Fern Canyon
President's Report
President Jackson
As I look at all the things happening around us, I have chosen to be hopeful and to find inspiration in our students as I look ahead to the influence higher education has on students, communities, and society. I am more convinced than ever about the vital role of higher education in empowering many to guide and teach others, so they can guide and teach others.
This month marks the end of my first year at Humboldt State. I'm grateful to all the welcoming, amazing people I have met in this truly special place.
I admit that I never, ever could have predicted my first year at Humboldt State would be filled with the positive change, and dynamic world and local events. The last year has included, among other things, multi-day planned power outages and a global pandemic. HSU learned things like how to feed and support thousands with the help of a generator (and a sense of humor), and how to launch a full online academic program in a matter of days.
The very challenging times of the year have mixed seamlessly with the very positive ones. This last month was a clear example. We ended the academic year on a high note, with a virtual graduation celebrating over 2,100 new alumni that was both personal and surprisingly emotional. Then, within weeks, we were in the midst of a distressing, maddening reminder of our national failure to address racism. Our students provide great inspiration.
One student submission, as part of the virtual graduation, continues to resonate with me.
Jesus Cornejo, who earned a degree in Psychology, wrote: "We all have different paths, and we all have different stories to tell, but somehow we all made it this far. Let's honor those who stood here before, let's honor ourselves, and let's honor the ones who are yet to be here. Let's get rid of fear, and let's tear down walls, for we all can make a difference to steer the world in the direction of kindness. ¡Felicidades clase del 2020, la aventura nunca termina!"
As a community we are also having powerful conversations on race and injustice. These conversations are also emotional and action filled in a way that is unprecedented. This is a positive and will result in subtle changes to how we view each other in our communities. There is hope – and I share with many of you that optimism and hope.
Lastly, we are evolving as a campus. COVID-19 certainly has changed us as a campus, and in many respects it is making us better. It has helped us focus on our "hands-on" strengths through our face-to-face instruction while also forcing us to masterfully engage in online/virtual instruction. Online instruction is not new to higher education, but it was something HSU did not do frequently – until now. This will help HSU greatly as we reach further to engage students outside of this region.
There is much hope, and many changes at HSU. The soul of campus remains the same as we continue to provide a positive, meaningful, educational experience for our students.
Mosaic of Gradusates

Messages of Solidarity

HSU and many of its departments have written messages of solidarity, outrage, and support in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. You can read them on this webpage.
Read the Messages
Mosaic of Gradusates

Grads Recognized at Virtual Ceremonies

HSU's class of 2020 graduated last month in a ceremony full of good spirits and inspiring messages. Graduates were recognized in a live-stream video format, with more than 7,500 viewers tuning in and sharing messages in the chat. Many then gathered online for virtual receptions held by academic departments. Videos, photos, and messages from students are archived on the Commencement website, where you can also watch the full ceremony videos.
Read About Virtual Commencement
Doug Cherry & Ellen Colegrove

HSU's Outstanding Students for 2020

Prior to the end of the Spring semester, HSU honored recipients of the Outstanding Student Awards for 2020. The awards recognize academic and co-curricular excellence. The Overall Outstanding Students of the Year are Doug Cherry (Psychology) and Ellen Colegrove (Child Development & Native American Studies). Read about the all winners and nominees.
Read Story About Outstanding Students

HSU Distinguished Alumni

Seven accomplished individuals have been named HSU Distinguished Alumni for 2020. Each is a leader in their fields as well as a contributor to their nation, community, or Humboldt State.
HSU Distinguished Alumni
Professor Sillett working in Redwood

Outstanding Faculty and McCrone Award Recipients

This year's Distinguished Faculty Award recipients are William Fisher, Department of Economics, Kishan Lara-Cooper, Department of Child Development, and Cutcha Risling Baldy, Department of Native American Studies.

McCrone Promising Faculty Scholars Award recipients are Janelle Adsit, Department of English, Renée Byrd, Department of Sociology, and James Woglom, Department of Art. Max Alvarnaz, Environment & Community graduate student, is the recipient of the McCrone Graduate Fellowship.

New Nursing Program Now Accepting Applications

After years of planning and fund-raising, HSU is set to launch the new Bachelors of Science in Nursing program this fall. The University and Senator Mike McGuire, who along with College of the Redwoods created a partnership to establish the North Coast Nursing Program, are proud to announce the program is now accepting student applications!
Humboldt State University Opens Enrollment
for New Nursing Program

$7 Million in Federal Emergency Aid for HSU's NorCal SBDC

HSU's Northern California Small Business Development Center has received $7 million in federal emergency funding to continue helping thousands of small businesses in Northern California during the pandemic. The grant comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
Read About the Grant

Summer Session: Faculty Work to Enhance Remote Teaching

How do you humanize a virtual course? What does quality online teaching and learning look like? These are questions instructors around the nation are grappling with amid the pandemic, and are a few of the topics HSU faculty are exploring this summer.
Summer Session: Faculty Work to Enhance Remote Teaching

New Leaders at HSU

Jenn Capps
Jenn Capps has been appointed the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. She comes to Humboldt State from the Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she was Dean of the College of Professional Studies and a leader in developing public-private partnerships as well as interdisciplinary programs responsive to workforce needs.
Christina Lofthouse
Christina Lofthouse, a veteran law enforcement officer with two decades of experience at universities, has been named the Interim Chief of Police at HSU.
Tae Norwood
Tae Norwood has joined HSU as the new head coach of the men's basketball team. It marks the next step in the evolution of a coach with nearly two decades of experience at all levels of collegiate athletics.

Online Magazine Showcases Community Engagement

Honoring the community engagement of students, faculty, staff, and regional partners is at the heart of a new digital magazine, Redwood Roots. The magazine highlights stories of community-based learning in and around Humboldt State and is inspired by the hundreds of students who work with community partners to apply their learning and make a difference.
Online Magazine Showcases Community Engagement
Redwood Roots
Otter Sculpture Photo

North Coast Otter Sculptures Unveiled

World Otter Day on May 27 featured a virtual sneak peek of more than 100 otter sculptures designed and decorated by artists from the North Coast and beyond. It was all part of the North Coast Otters project.
North Coast Otter Sculptures Unveiled

Campus Departments Print Face Shields for Health Center

A campus wide effort recently produced 245 plastic face shields to protect healthcare providers at the Student Health Center from contracting the coronavirus. They were printed (in a variety of colors!) using 3-D printers.
Campus Departments Print Face Shields for Health Center
Humboldt Connected

Donors Step Up Support for Students

Alumni and other supporters have been giving generously to support students. Hundreds of individuals have given to provide immediate assistance to students dealing with the challenges of the pandemic. And they have responded strongly to the need for scholarships, with giving to those funds on a record-setting pace through April.
Donors Step up Support for Students

Giving Opportunities

The new Nursing Program at Humboldt State University has begun accepting applications for its first cohort of students, and alum Robin Smith ('78, Nursing) has stepped up with a $150,000 gift for nursing scholarships. You can also support nursing students by giving to the Robin M. Smith, RN, BSN Nursing Scholarship Endowment. To learn more about the HSU Nursing program, visit
Now, through June 30, 2020, all gifts to support HSU California Dream Act students will be doubled, thanks to a matching $10,000 grant from Humboldt Area Foundation. Gifts will help undocumented HSU students offset the loss of wages, secure housing, and afford basic needs during this time. HSU Dreamer students are among the students who did not qualify to receive the federal CARES support in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more about Supporting Dreamers.

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