Alumni Updates

Tara Darlene Smith, 2010
Submitted: January 30, 2024
Taraa's memoir essay collection, Sunflowers in Iraq: True Stories of Surviving & Thriving, was published last month. Further information is available on her website:, and she's happy to provide a press release and photos from the book's launch. 

Miranda Olberg, 2019
Submitted: January 6, 2024
Since graduating from Humboldt, Miranda has worked closely with all ages—from infants to young adults—in various education roles across the country. Currently, she teaches at a forest school in northern Vermont. She is finishing a Master of Education at Antioch University New England with concentrations in place-based education, nature-based early childhood, and mindfulness integration. She is also working toward a teaching license with an endorsement in birth to third grade. Miranda hopes to continue furthering her education and research in the environmental humanities.

Joel Heng Hartse, 2007
Submitted: June 29, 2023
Joel Heng Hartse is a Senior Lecturer at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. His latest book is A Very Brief Guide to Reading & Writing in University.

Anne Howard, 2022
Submitted: April 5, 2023
Anne Howard (English, M.A. 2022) has accepted a position as Communications Manager for Tacoma Arts Live. The English department wishes to congratulate Anne on her new role!

Ann Simas, 1971
Submitted: October 24, 2022
Humboldt graduate and former Eureka resident Ann Simas (’71, Special Major, B.A., Business/English) announces the release of her latest book, Last Rites, number six in her Andi Comstock Supernatural Mysteries. Other titles in the series are Holy Smoke, Penitence, Angel Babies, Hellfire, and The Wrong Wicca.  For more information about Ann Simas, go to or email She can also be found on Facebook at Ann Simas, Author. 

Cyndy Phillips, 1998
Submitted: August 26, 2022
On September 3, 2022, Humboldt had its first published anthology of painters, Looking for Beauty. The publishing was designed and compiled by Cyndy Phillips ('98, English), a former English faculty. For nearly four years, the project was advised by Cal Poly Press and professor, James Woglom (who wrote the foreword). In August of 2022 at the Redwood Art Association (603 F St, Eureka), the final 80 limited edition books were on sale as a fundraiser to support the Redwood Art Association’s Annual Paint Out. The event was ushered in by gypsy jazz, North Story Wines, and free food.

Salina Cuddy, 2012
Submitted: August 20, 2021
Salina was recently awarded aPhD in Linguistics from the University of York. Her research focuses on language, gender, and sexuality. She will be starting a position as a Lecturer in Sociolinguistics at Queen Mary University London this fall.

Danielle Dornan, 2021
Submitted: August 18, 2021
Danielle is heading into an online master’s program through Syracuse University for Marriage and Family Therapy. She just moved to Santa Cruz, and is working as a barista/hostess and as a cheese monger!

Jade Bristol, 1993
Submitted: May 8, 2021
Jade Bristol, 1993, English, was named Chief Development Officer of Giving Docs, a revolutionary online platform that is democratizing the estate planning process and making it easier for individuals who want to make an impact by leaving a gift to charity in their Will. Jade is a 2001 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and has spent the last decade helping non-profits fund their missions through planned giving.

Karleigh Shepard, 2019
Submitted: November 18, 2020
Karleigh Shepard is a Master of Public Policy candidate at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs. She has been appointed to the Executive Board of the Association of Master of Public Policy Students as Engagement Chair.

Matthew Woodman, 1998
Submitted: October 6, 2020
Matthew Woodman, English, 1998, was named the 2019-2020 Kern County Poet Laureate.

Daniel Macomber, 1992 (BA),1997 (MA)
Submitted: August 9, 2020
Daniel Macomber, English, 1992, English, M.A.1997 is the manager of Cornerstone Sober Living at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission in Santa Barbara, California. Macomber says "COVID-19 has presented many challenges, but they shall continue to be overcome! I am also an independent contractor in the field of educational assessment/measurement. Great memories of my years at HSU!"

Cristian Martinez, 2020
Submitted: May 20, 2020
Cristian Martinez, English, 2020, says "the HSU English department prepared me for my next intellectual adventure, which is a Master's in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University, New York!"

Robert P. Robinson, 2004
Submitted: April 22, 2020
After teaching K-12 for 11 years, Robert Robinson, English, 2004, pursued a PhD in Urban Education with a concentration in Africana Studies at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. In March 2020, he remotely defended his dissertation with distinction. His doctoral research project, Stealin’ the Meetin’: Black Education History & the Black Panthers’ Oakland Community School, tells the story of the Panthers’ educational center as a site for understanding Black self-determination, the Black radical imagination, and the shift in mainstream curriculum.

Pam Webb, 1987
Submitted: March 19, 2020
Pam Webb, English, 1987, is pleased to announce the upcoming release of her book Someday We Will, published by Beaming Books. This is a book for grandparents and grandchildren who are separated by miles, and the wait until the next delightful visit can seem endless. In Someday We Will, kids and grandparents mark the time by dreaming of all the wonderful things they’ll do together someday, from bicycling down a hill to whiling away the hours on a beach. Before they know it, someday is here! illustrations by Wendy Leach. Someday We Will is perfect for grandparents and grandchildren who look at the calendar with impatience and longing for the the next fun-filled time with their loved ones.

Stephanie Cowherd, 2014
Submitted: July 26, 2019
Stephanie Cowherd, English, 2014, works for Ecotrust, an environmental non-profit based in Portland, Oregon. She leads community outreach and engagement, communications, and manages tribal forestry projects for her Forests & Ecosystem Services team at Ecotrust. Her current projects include a landscape assessment of opportunities and barriers in tribal forestry workforce development, working alongside native educators to design culturally-specific curriculum for forestry education tools, and community engagement with tribal forestry activities.

Heidi (Foote) Bowman, 2009
Submitted: April 15, 2019
In the fall of 2017, Heidi Bowman, English, 2009, helped open the "sister charter school": CSArts-SGV. A free, public comprehensive high school in California's San Gabriel Valley, that embeds seven hours of conservatory arts instruction following the academic school day. Heidi has the distinct honor of being the Department Chair, and because of HSU's English Education program she graduated from in 2009, the department is the "Literature, Language, and Composition" team. The linguistics courses, the not-old-dead-white-guys literature courses, the pedagogy-built-into-my-soul courses, shaped her into an English teacher to be reckoned with!

Joshua McKinney, 1984 (BA), 1987 (MA)
Submitted: January 8, 2019
Joshua McKinney, English, 1984, wrote his fourth book of poetry, "Small Sillion," which was released by Parlor Press.

Jana Lynn Rivers-Norton, 1991
Submitted: February 7, 2018
Jana Lynn Rivers-Norton, English, 1991, graduated with a master's in English from HSU in 1991 and earned a doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2002 from Saybrook University. Since then, she has been teaching at-risk students in Sacramento, New Mexico, and Arizona, and writing and publishing a collection of essays titled "The Demeter-Persephone Myth as Writing Ritual in the Lives of Literary Women" by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (CSP) in Jan. 2017. My next book, "Transcending the Tragedy of Medea in Life, Love and the Literary Arts" was just accepted for publication from CSP for a fall 2019 release.

Thomas Fritzsche, 1990
Submitted: August 2, 2017
Thomas Fritzsche, 1990 English, is celebrating fifteen years of dedication in Respiratory Therapy at UCLA Medical Center.