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First Year at Humboldt


Allison Sadauskas (Pasto) (’00, English)

First Year at Humboldt: As a high school senior from a tiny suburb of San Francisco, I was very much looking forward to leaving my home after graduation and beginning a new chapter of my life. After visiting several colleges in California, I decided on Humboldt State University. I felt the small town atmosphere of Arcata, its location in the Redwoods, and the small class sizes would be a perfect fit for me. As I drove up to unload my car the first day at Redwood Hall, I was excited and nervous about all the new people I would meet and the task of making entirely new friends. But nothing could prepare me for the wonderful new people I met that first year at HSU. Not only did I become fast friends with my fellow third floor roommates, I also embraced my classmates and fellow students. Now, nearly 16 years later, I am even closer than ever to that “core” group of friends from my first year of college. We have traveled together, celebrated weddings, babies and many achievements. We would never have even met, let alone become friends, had it not been for HSU. I am eternally grateful to HSU for introducing me to these amazing people in my life.


Parker Polluck (’63, ’67, Economics)

First Week: Frosh Camp conducted many activities on and off campus for new students but you were asked to wear a beanie. This all took place the week before classes began. I missed most of it as football practice was twice a day with a great free lunch set up in the gym all provided by the Big Four restaurant which was located below campus and a bit to the north up 101.

Favorite professor: Dr. Robert Dickerson (Econ), Coach Phil Sarboe & Dr. Don Karshner (Dean of Men)

Favorite class: Industrial Relations, Labor Economics & Economic History all taught by Prof. Dickerson.  He was dedicated to his field and was enthusiastic in class. He influenced my teaching of econ in a myriad of ways.

Groups and activities: I was a member of Delta Sigma Phi, played varsity football for four years and taught first year econ as a graduate student. The fraternity was great for a social life; football allowed me to meet some really fine men and to play on Humboldt’s first undefeated team which amassed a 20 & 0 record over two seasons, albeit we lost by a point in the Holiday Bowl in 1960; and the teaching experience convinced me that teaching would be my career, which it was for 42 years.

Study: The library which was at the south end of Founders’ Hall.

Miss about Humboldt: The people I worked with over the summers at Arcata Redwood Co.  I was a gyppo car loader and my partner and I split $1.20 per 1000 bf.  I also really miss going to the beach.

Special: The community/campus unity was impressive, really stands out in my mind.


Kate Goodenough (’00, Marine Biology)

First week: It was intimidating at first because I was an older student attending HSU, but then I met a group of students around my age and I found that I wasn’t the only older student at Humboldt. I loved the smaller class sizes because it meant I could get to know my professors better.

Favorite professor: Dr. Dennis Walker was my general botany professor. He was tough as nails, but I learned more with him as my professor than any other class I took at Humboldt. His passion for plants drew me in and encouraged me to learn more.

Favorite class: I had so many favorite classes that I cannot even choose. Intertidal ecology, plant taxonomy, animal development, mammalogy, and history of rock and roll were just a few of my favorites.

Groups and activities: Field Biology Club and the Marine Mammal Education and Research Program were the two main groups I was involved with. They were the start to a very long career in field biology and coastal and marine research.

Humboldt connection: My life long connection to Humboldt has been all of the alumni that I have met across the country. I have worked from California east to the Carolinas and I have always found someone who either attended Humboldt or had a friend or family member who had attended. I never realized what a great reputation Humboldt had for wildlife biology until after I graduated and was working in the field.

Study: My favorite place to study was under the Redwoods back behind the Wildlife Building. It was quiet and very peaceful.

Miss About Humboldt: I miss the Redwoods and spending the day on the south spit of the Bay. I also miss going down to the Marina and buying albacore tuna from the fishing boats and going salmon fishing.


Roger Bucholtz (’71, Social Sciences)

First week: I was one of the first groups to live in Humboldt Village by the Auto Shop. They put 8 students to a trailer and in our first week. We had numerous water fights and got everything wet, ourselves and the inside of the trailer. One water fight on Friday night, we doused a bus full of high school students going to Redwood Bowl for a football game. The trailer complex flooded during the rains until they put in a central drain.

Favorite professor: Dr. Raymond Barratt was the Dean of Science and when I petitioned to use my science classes for my Social Science degree he counseled me to get a minor in Botany.  He even tutored me in the late afternoon on Organic Chemistry so I could pass Dr. Lovelace’s Plant Physiology class. Dr. Barratt somehow got me accepted in to Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania for a summer program in horticultural, which included students from the most prestigious schools in horticulture like Cornell, Michigan State and Purdue. In the 20 years they had the program, I was probably the only Social Science major they ever allowed.

Favorite class: Plant Taxonomy with Dr. James Payne Smith.  I fell in love with the subject and did very well in the course as well.  I would have gone into the field but Jim said there were no jobs and if I loved plants, I should go into horticulture. And that’s what I did: I got a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from CPSU, San Luis Obispo.

Groups and activities: I was involved with the Newman Club and the California Native Plant society.

Humboldt connection: Humboldt felt like home and I still have a soft spot in my heart for it even though I went on to several other universities, finally getting my masters at UC, Davis in PPPM.

Study: Used to study in the empty classrooms in Founders Hall on weekends or in the library.

Miss about Humboldt: The small intimate classes and the great outdoors.

Graduation: The pits, it was held in the gymnasium as it was raining, it was the first graduation that Cornelius Siemens couldn’t attend and it rained.

Special: I befriended several of the gardeners on campus and became lifelong friends. I still have several close friendships with people I met at HSU.


Deanna Chew (’93, Marine Biology)

First week: It was quite an overwhelming and exciting experience. It was the first time I was so far away from home. I was also excited about starting my journey to earning a biology degree. I had loved biology since I was young, so I knew HSU was the best choice for me because of its location and professors.

Favorite professor: I had two, Dr. Rasmussen, my advisor, and Dr. DeMartini. They both influenced my path toward graduation. Dr. Rasmussen helped me by suggesting I get tested for academic challenges. Thanks to him, I got the assistance I needed for my learning disability. He was also very supportive in encouraging me to never quit on my dream of graduating with a biology degree.  Dr. DeMartini also encouraged me to learn word roots, which was a great skill in biology.

Favorite class: Mammalogy with Dr. Tim Lawlor. I loved studying one of my favorite subjects, mammals. I especially liked the marine mammal skulls and visiting Dr. Lawlor’s property, where he accidentally caught a skunk.

Groups and activities: I was a member of the swim team and the Humboldt Orientation Program class. I also participated in the environmental education volunteer program at the Youth Educational Services building.

Humboldt connection: I feel the most growing up I did as a person was volunteering at the Y.E.S. House with the environmental education program. It allowed me to teach kids about something I loved, while having fun. I also grew up during the retreats with the Humboldt Orientation Program. The retreats really allowed me to look at myself, to be more open and have confidence.

Study: I loved the Fish and Wildlife Student Lounge. I enjoyed the animals around me. I would also study in a small area in between the science buildings, where a professor used to live years ago.

Miss About Humboldt: I miss the Redwood Forest.

Graduation: It was fun. I sat right next to my lab partner from invertebrate zoology. It was nice to have finally graduated. I also had my family and friends there for support. It meant a lot to me. The weather was beautiful.

Special: I feel the personal growth and sense of accomplishment affected me for the rest of my life. I value my time at HSU and will always have fond memories of my time there.


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