Humboldt State University
Letter from Humboldt
January 2011

Hello Humboldt families! We hope this newsletter helps keep you involved with your student's experience at Humboldt State.

Excellent Lessons Come From Excellent Teachers

Desiree Perez

With the new semester kicking-off, students are getting to know new friends, new subjects and new teachers. And sometimes, the right teacher can make all the difference between a student "getting it" and "getting into it."

I've had a great experience with my professors at HSU. They inspired me and got me excited about the material beyond what was on the test. My parents certainly heard a lot about them. This month, I'm happy to introduce you to Jeff Dunk, the recipient of this year's "Excellence in Teaching" award at HSU.

Jeff Dunk
Jeff Dunk is this year's recipient of HSU's "Excellence in Teaching" award.

Jeff Dunk is a Humboldt State University lecturer and alum ('88, '92) who teaches in the department of Environmental Science & Management. For many students who've had a class with Dunk, the teaching award comes as no surprise.

"He's been one of my favorite teachers," says Thorin Somers, a senior in Environmental Science. "When he starts to explain it, you really start to get engaged. He has a great attitude. He wants to see everyone succeed, but he won't coddle you."

As a student at HSU, Dunk discovered a passion for natural resources.

"My intention as an undergraduate was to get my degree," Dunk says. "But as I finished my sophomore year I remember transitioning from 'I have to study' to 'I get to learn about this stuff.' Learning about Natural Resources is somewhat infectious."

In addition to taking classes, Dunk worked as a teaching assistant. The experience resonated with him and inspired him to pursue teaching. Now, as a lecturer, he hopes to pass on that inspiration to his students. And his excitement for his subject is definitely "infectious."

"One of the things that was surprising to me after I read my first, then second, then third semester student evaluations is that students would say 'This guy is really excited about this stuff,'" Dunk says. "I didn't know that, by just lecturing about it, my interest was coming off that way."

For Dunk, learning is about much more than memorization; it's about better understanding the world around you. Everywhere he goes, he's mindful of the lessons he has learned and the ones he's passing on. "I pride myself on being an engaged observer. It just makes the world more wonderful."

Eighteen years and nearly 7,000 students later, Dunk still cherishes the role he can play in students' lives.

"I try to express that you can make a difference and it can be personally fulfilling. And I try to help students figure out what that means to them," he says. "It goes way beyond job preparation. I try to help them become well-prepared citizens."

Read more about Jeff Dunk
HSU Lecturer Surveys Ecological Research

Meet Humboldt: Professor Stephen Cunha


With so many stories from all over the world, it's no wonder that 150-plus students line up to take Steve Cunha's Cultural Geography course every semester.

Steve's not one to sit back and let the PowerPoint do the work. His riveting Cultural Geography course takes students on a penetrating tour of our planet and the amazing people who make up the human race.
Read More »

Latest News from HSU

Student's Research Gives Clues to Famed Pirate's Identity

New VP for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

State Budget News

The governor's plan to address a $28 billion state budget deficit would mean large cuts to HSU and other public universities in California. For updated information visit the HSU budget office and CSU Budget Central.

Lifeguard Training
Lifeguard Training

Wallpaper Want to show off Humboldt State on your smartphone or desktop? Head over to our Flickr site and grab one (or all) of our 12 new wallpapers. There are sizes for iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones.

» More Humboldt photos on Flickr

Stay connected

Important Dates

  • Jan. 31
    Deadline to file for Spring 2011 graduation without late fee
  • Feb. 1
    Financial Aid "Freeze Date"
  • Feb. 3
    Last day to register for Feb. 19 Graduation Writing Proficiency Exam
  • Feb. 14
    Last day to Add, Drop or Withdraw from classes
  • Feb. 18
    Career Expo and Volunteer Fair
  • Feb. 19
    Graduation Writing Proficiency Exam
  • March 14-18
    Spring Break

Parents & Family Fund

HSU thanks the many families who supported students last year through the Parents & Family Fund. One such parent who supports the campus is Glenda Hay. "My son is being directly shaped by his experience at HSU. I feel I should do what I can to help HSU in this important task," she says.

» Learn more


Humboldt State University
1 Harpst Street Arcata, CA 95521

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