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HSU Robot Camp for Middle-Schoolers – Sign Up Now!

May 16, 2018 - 1:57pm

Humboldt State University is adding two extra sessions of its Summer Robot Camp this summer.

The popular week-long camp offers students the chance to spark their interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Enginnering, Arts and Math). Incoming 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will have the chance to work in teams to build robots using Lego Mindstorm and other tools. They also get to see drones in action and find out about emerging robot technologies.

The week concludes with robot wrestling and racing, as well as a showcase for family members.

Due to demand, there will be three sessions this summer rather than one. Each session will be five days each from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be held on campus the weeks of June 25-29, July 9-13, and July 16-20. They will be taught by HSU students.

Registration is now open, and early registration is recommended, as this camp always fills fast. Cost is $295.

To register and for more information, including photos and a video from previous years, visit or contact HSU Early Outreach at (707) 826-6226.

Dinner Guests and Their Self-Centered Hosts

April 20, 2018 - 6:34am

The Theatre, Film & Dance Department at Humboldt State University presents Hay Fever by Noel Coward, beginning April 27.

Left to right: Mickey Donovan, Susan Abbey, JM Wilkerson, Shawn Wagner in Hay FeverA cross between high farce and a comedy of manners, the play is set in an English country house in the 1920s, and deals with the four eccentric members of the Bliss family and their outlandish behavior when they each invite a guest to spend the weekend. The self-centered behavior of the hosts finally drives their guests to flee while the Blisses are so engaged in a family row that they do not notice their guests’ furtive departure.

Coward—actor, composer, and playwright once described as the person who “invented the ‘20s”—was born on December 16, 1899, in England. He first visited New York City in 1921 and hoped that American producers would embrace his plays. During that summer, he befriended the playwright Hartley Manners and his wife, the eccentric actress Laurette Taylor. Their over-the-top theatrical lifestyle later inspired him in writing Hay Fever. He wrote the play in three days in 1924.

Coward was one of the first playwrights of his generation to use naturalistic dialogue. His characters speak in the same ordinary phrases that people use in everyday conversation. Earlier dramatists had their actors performing in a more contrived, stilted fashion as they spoke complex and witty phrases that sounded poetic or literary. By contrast, Coward’s plays rely on the interaction between performers to grab attention and the context of a given line to generate laughs. It was understood that audience members might not leave the theater quoting a single clever phrase but chances were good that they laughed their way through the actual performance because of the amusing situations depicted on stage.

The production is directed by HSU Department of Theatre, Film & Dance Professor James McHugh. McHugh is a member of the design and technology faculty whose area of expertise is lighting design. In addition to lighting (shadow design) he teaches classes in visual aesthetics, production management, stage management, color theory, image and imagination and introduction to performance design.

McHugh describes Hay Fever as a screwball comedy.

“Unconventional, risqué, theatrical, and often downright rude, the Blisses are everything an upper-crust English family should not be, they are a divinely mad family,” he says.

McHugh believes the play encompasses three complimentary acting styles: screwball comedy (the dynamic conflict between etiquette and insanity; silent screen acting (the dramatic gestures that need no words); and simple, natural family conversations.

The talented cast of nine actors includes student, faculty and community actors. They are supported by a team of student and faculty designers: scenic and lighting designs are by Derek Lane, costume design by Izzy Ceja, sound design by Cory Stewart, properties design by Ray Gutierrez, and make-up and wig design by Angelica Negrete.

Hay Fever runs April 27- 28 and May 4- 5 at 7:30 p.m. plus two matinee performances April 29 and May 6 at 2 p.m.. The play contains mature content and while there is no profanity, the subject matter is full of complicated relationships and sexual innuendo amid a sophisticated bohemian weekend house party. General admission is $10. Students and seniors are $8. Lot parking is free on weekends.

For tickets, please call 707.826.3928 or go to For more information, call 707.826.3566.

World’s Oldest Student-run Film Festival Returns

April 5, 2018 - 7:04pm

Billed as the world’s oldest student-run film festival, the 51st Humboldt International Film Fest returns April 18-21 to the Minor Theatre in Arcata.

The finalists in four categories will have two screenings each night at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 from April 18-20 and $10 on April 21 for the Best of Fest screenings.

Since 1967, Humboldt State University students have been producing the internationally recognized festival.

Over time the festival has grown, moving from the Sequoia Theater (today the John Van Duzer Theatre) to Arcata’s Minor Theatre and inviting professional filmmakers serving as judges to select the winning films.

The call-to-entry is open to independent filmmakers of all ages and countries for films with a running time 1-30 minutes in Narrative, Documentary, Animation, and Experimental categories. This year, there were 195 entries from 22 countries, including Argentina, Spain, Japan, China, Poland, Korea, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, India, Norway, Italy, and Kosovo. HSU Film Festival classes pre-screen all entries. The films with the highest scores in all four categories compete for cash and Audience Favorite awards.

Joining this year’s festival are industry judges, who will host the second screenings each night followed by a Q&A;.

Patricia Cardoso directed Real Women Have Curves, Audience Award winner at the Sundance Film Festival. Her most recent film, El Regalo, will be released theatrically on December 25 in Colombia. Cardoso has been a trailblazer. She was the first Latino woman in the United States to direct a commercially successful feature film; the first Latino woman to win a Sundance ́s Audience Award; she was the first Latino to win a Student Academy Award; she received the first Fulbright scholarship for film in Colombia; and she directed the first HBO movie that was released theatrically. Her films have screened at festivals including Telluride, San Sebastian, London, Guadalajara and Toronto, winning more than 40 awards, including a Humanitas Prize.

Udi Aloni is an Israeli-American filmmaker whose film Junction 48 won the Jury Award for Best International Narrative Feature at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. His movies and visual art projects have been presented in leading museums, galleries, and film festivals around the world—among them the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and the Berlin, Toronto, Tokyo, Locarno, Tribeca, and Buenos Aires film festivals. His work includes correspondences with the most pre-eminent philosophers of our time, including Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou, Avital Ronell, Judith Butler, Naomi Klein, and Tony Kushner, who describe him as a unique and revolutionary thinker.

Throughout his two decades of casting, filmmaker Hal Masonberg has worked with many of the biggest casting directors and actors in the industry on such films as Lasse Hallström’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Spike Jonze’s I’m Here, as well as hundreds of commercials for directors such as Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Jonathan Glazer, Mark Romanek, Mark Webb, Tony Kaye, Roman Coppola, Mike Mills, and Ted Melfi. He is an active writer and filmmaker. His second feature, the documentary Jazz Nights: A Confidential Journey, is currently playing film festivals around the world and recently won the Audience Award at the 2017 Copenhagen Jazz Film Festival.

51st Humboldt International Film Festival
Arcata Minor Theatre
Two screenings each night at 5 and 7:30 p.m.
Q&A;with judges at 7:30 p.m. screenings
• Wednesday, April 18—Animation & Experimental
• Thursday, April 19—Documentary
• Friday, April 20—Narrative
• Saturday, April 21—Best of Fest

To buy tickets, go to or call 707.822.FILM (3456). For more information on the film fest, go to, call 707.826.4113, or email

Poetic, Vivid Exploration of North Coast History

April 5, 2018 - 7:02pm

Local author, poet, and educator Zev Levinson explores the colorful history, rich diversity, and stunning geography of the North Coast through a blend of lyrical poetry and archival photography in his new book, Song of Six Rivers, published by Humboldt State University Press.

Levinson will give a public reading to launch his new title on Wednesday, April 18, 7-8 p.m. in the HSU Library Fishbowl, room 209. Refreshments will be served.

When educator, activist, and beloved friend Guy Kuttner died unexpectedly, Levinson heard his voice imploring him to sing of the land they both love. Levinson put his pen to the task of meeting Kuttner’s challenge, confronting mortality and loss as he ventured to understand our connection to the land. At its heart, this endeavor weaves history and poetry into the everyday lives of those who live behind the redwood curtain.

The poem includes historic photographs from the HSU Library Special Collections, most of which have never been published. HSU and College of the Redwoods instructor and indie publisher Cyndy Phillips reviewed thousands of historic photographs, incorporating nearly 50 of them into her design, and HSU student Ashley Schuman provided invaluable assistance with image selection and design. Contemporary yet timeless images were taken by photographers Thomas B. Dunklin and Martin Swett.

Copies of the publication are available now through Amazon and soon online through Humboldt Digital Commons.
Known locally by his first name, Dan, Levinson works with California Poets in the Schools, bringing poetry to classrooms and other sites. He has taught at Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods, is a Redwood Writing Project teacher-consultant and teacher-leader, and a founder and facilitator of the Lost Coast Writers Retreat. He holds degrees in creative writing, literature, and the teaching of writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; the University of California, Santa Cruz; and Humboldt State University.

About Humboldt State University Press
Humboldt State University Press publishes high-quality scholarly, intellectual, and creative works by or in support of the HSU campus community. HSU Press operations and publications support HSU’s mission to improve the human condition and our environment by promoting understanding of social, economic, and environmental issues. All electronic publications are openly available on the Digital Commons platform, a network that brings together free, electronic scholarly texts from hundreds of universities and colleges around the world.

For more information about Humboldt State University Press, please contact HSU Scholarly Communications and Digital Scholarship Librarian, Kyle Morgan at 707.826.5602.

HSU Does it Again! Student Heads to National Theater Arts Competition in D.C.

March 15, 2018 - 8:43am

For the fifth consecutive year, an HSU Theatre Arts student is heading to Washington, D.C. for a prestigious theater competition.

Roman Sanchez will compete in a leadership category against seven other students from around the country in the 49th annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) next month.

Thousands of student artists from eight regions nationwide submitted their work for consideration. Representing Region VII, Sanchez is among the 125 students chosen to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Kennedy Center event.

He advances after winning the ASPIRE Leadership Initiative category in the recent KCACTF contest for Region VII. The category asks students to demonstrate their theater management skills by pitching their ideas for a new theater company.

Sanchez joined about 36 HSU students in Spokane, Washington for the regional event, which gave students the opportunity to participate in workshops; exhibit their work; audition or interview for employment and graduate school opportunities; network with industry professionals; and connect with theater-makers from other universities and colleges.

An HSU student has competed in the national KCACTF for the past four years: Alexander Stearns for costume design (2017); Heidi Voelker for scenery design (2016); Marissa Menezes for costume design (2015); and Caitlin Volz for stage management (2014).

Derek Lane, an instructor for the Department of Theatre, Film & Dance, says HSU students make a particularly strong showing in design at KCACTF. That’s because HSU’s program gives students the chance to do actual, realized designs.

“HSU has a reputation for giving them real experience designing mainstage productions and mentoring our undergraduate students,” says Lane.

Other HSU students made a strong showing in Region 7 competitions:
• Liz Whittemore and Ayanna Wilson: finalists in the KCACTF Musical Theatre Initiative category.
• Amy Beltrán and Isaiah Alexander, and scene partners Victor Parra and Shawn Wagner: semi-finalists in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition. Beltrán and Parra advanced to the final round.
• Valerie Ramirez: Meritorious Achievement Award for her “Properties Design of Avenue Q.”
• Isabella Ceja: Meritorious Achievement Award for her Costume Design of “Julius Caesar.” Ceja was also the Regional Champion in Costume Design for her work on a dance piece “Instilled Text and Subtext,” as part of the HSU Spring Dance Concert.
• Marissa Sanchez and Roman Sanchez: Regional and National Achievement Awards through the League of Regional Theatres ASPIRE Leadership Fellows Program.
• Margarita Liberto, Angie Negrete, and Roman Sanchez: special Collaboration Award for their work on “Real Women Have Curves.”

About the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival
Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 20,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide annually. For 47 years, the organization has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 700 academic institutions throughout the country.

Spanish-language Radio Programming to Reach More Listeners

February 28, 2018 - 2:13pm

Humboldt State University’s new Spanish-language public radio programming is expanding its reach to most of the North Coast.

On March 1, KHSU programming for the nonprofit radio network, Radio Bilingüe, will move from 95.5 FM (KHSQ)—a 100-watt station—to 103.3 FM (KHSM), a more than 3,000-watt station which carried the BBC. The move is temporary as Radio Bilingüe awaits federal approval for its future home on 107.7.

Until then, listeners can tune in to the BBC on 90.1 FM (KHSF, Ferndale) and then 107.7 FM starting in April.

With the power increase, Radio Bilingüe’s Spanish-language public affairs and music programming can now be heard from Smith River and Crescent City in Del Norte County to Southern Humboldt County.

Founded in 1976, the nonprofit radio network based in Fresno, California, reaches listeners across the United States, Puerto Rico, and parts of Mexico. Programming provides not only a vital service for the region’s growing Spanish-speaking communities but also a learning experience.

HSU students are producing local Spanish-language programming for the new service, covering topics important to the HSU community, such as DACA, immigration reform, environmental education, food security, sexual harassment, and local bilingual education efforts.

“As additional federal approvals come through for upgrades to our signals, we will cover the North Coast with both formats, which are unique for our region, and play an important role in keeping the community informed,” says Jessica Eden, KHSU’s Radio Bilingüe program director.

Eden, also the main programmer for HSU’s BBC stations, says KHSU saw the station switch as a chance to expand support Radio Bilingüe’s offerings to local listeners.

“Because KHSU’s English-language programming is so well-established as a media leader, we decided that focusing additional resources on our new Spanish-language programming was necessary to establish it as a community institution,” she says.

The initial purchase of the Radio Bilingüe station license was made entirely from grants from the California Endowment, the Irvine Foundation, the Smullen Foundation, the St. Joseph Foundation, and the Humboldt Area Foundation. Eden and other KHSU staff members will provide help to community members and students who want to learn to provide programming. Additional foundation grants and community donations will underwrite the new station.

About KHSU
KHSU is part of Humboldt State University’s six-station community-supported, non-commercial public radio network, licensed to and located on the campus of HSU in Arcata, California. We broadcast a diverse mix of programs to a population of about 135,000 people throughout Northwest California and Southwest Oregon.

Ratings data show KHSU’s weekly listenership and the time listeners spend with us provide Northcoast residents and visitors more than 12 million listener-hours of information and entertainment per year.

20th Annual International Latino Film Festival

February 12, 2018 - 9:52am

The 20th Annual International Latino Film Festival will be held February 27 and 28, and March 1 at the Mill Creek Cinema in McKinleyville, 6 – 10:20 p.m. This long-standing community event is a collaboration of College of the Redwoods Humanities Department and Humboldt State University’s World Languages & Cultures Department.

Students and the general public are invited to experience three outstanding films relating to the theme “Recent Chilean Blockbusters”: The Maid (Sebastián Silva, 2009); Gloria (Sebastián Lelio, 2013), and Neruda (Pablo Larraín, 2016). All films will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles. The festival is free for students enrolled in SPAN/ HIST/ ES 396 and SPAN 99A courses.

The special guest speaker is Isabel Lipthay—a writer, musician, journalist, and professor. Each evening, Lipthay will introduce the films and provide insight into the content and key social issues portrayed in the films. Following the screening, CR and HSU professors will share their impressions of the films, and together with Lipthay will engage the audience in a panel discussion in English. For academic credit, enrolled students will write an additional paper.

Lipthay studied journalism and voice (singing) in Chile. During Augusto Pinochet´s dictatorship, she worked under strict censorship as a cultural journalist for HOY, Radio Chilena, La Bicicleta, Televisión Nacional, Análisis.
On television she performed musical programs and between 1976 and 1978, she directed the weekly program “Érase una vez” (Once upon a time), featuring Chilean crafts (mule drivers, miners, artisans, folk musicians).

She worked as public relations officer for the theater group “El Telón” of Juan Radrigán and “Taller 666,” where she organized movies and festivals for music and theater. In 1980 she was imprisoned. In 1983, she went into exile to Germany where she still lives today.

In 1986, she founded the duo “Contraviento” with Martin Firgau, making performances of Latin American music, with Lipthay’s own poetry and pictures. The topics included subjects like 500 years of the Spanish conquest of America, Pablo Neruda, Frida Kahlo, Víctor Jara, Mercedes Sosa, the Civil War in Spain, and Violeta Parra. “Contraviento” has recorded three CDs. (
Lipthay has published books of short stories and poetry like “Seltsame Pflanzen/Curiosas Plantas” and “Die Begegnung/Aquel Encuentro,” in Spanish and German.
Since 1983, she has been teaching Spanish for adults, visiting schools and working with theater and dance groups, translating and dubbing films, presenting movies in German cinemas, and directing seminars. She has attended international congresses in the United States, Mexico, Hungary, Chile, Germany, and Italy. The Irishman Gerry Sheridan made a film about her story “El Abuelo” (The Grandfather).

In 2006 and 2008, she taught Spanish and directed two seminars of Latin American protest music at HSU. In 2008, she was a member of the Latino Film Festival with HSU and the College of the Redwoods. In 2015, she directed a seminar of Latin American protest music at the Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy. She has also given many performances in different European countries, in Latin America, and the United States.

From 2007 to 2013, she was a main character and organizer in the film “Following the Ninth,” directed by Kerry Candaele (trailer: In 2017, “Contraviento” organized performances about the Civil War in Spain and Violeta Parra.

The films and panelists:

Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Maid (Sebastián Silva, 2009)
Raquel (Saavedra) has served as the maid for the Valdes family for over 23 years. She treats her employers, Pilar (Celedón) and Edmundo (Goic) with the utmost loyalty and respect. She gets along well with their teenage son, Lucas (Agustín Silva), but clashes with their headstrong daughter, Camila (García-Huidobro). When Raquel begins to suffer dizzy spells, due to an excessive use of chlorine for household cleaning, Pilar decides to hire additional maids to assist Raquel in her daily chores. The fiercely territorial Raquel resents this and engages in a series of increasingly desperate attempts to drive away maid after maid, including the younger Lucy (Loyola), in order to maintain her position in the household.

The Panelists will include keynote speaker Isabel Lipthay; Barbara Curiel, HSU Professor of Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies; and Gabrielle Gopinath, CR Professor of Cinema.

Wednesday, Feb. 28
Gloria (Sebastián Lelio, 2013)
A story set in Santiago and centered on Gloria (García), a 58-year-old, free-spirited divorcée. Her grown son and daughter have their own lives. She meets Rodolfo (Hernández), seven years her senior and a former naval officer who, like her, is seeking companionship, but he cannot give up his other relationships.

The Panelists will include keynote speaker Isabel Lipthay, Writer, Musician, Journalist and Professor; Suzanne Pazstor, HSU Professor of History; and David Holper, CR Professor of English.

Thursday, March 1
Neruda (Pablo Larraín, 2016)
Popular poet and Communist Senator Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) opposes the administration of President Gabriel González Videla and denounces his brutal anti-communist repression in a speech in the National Congress in 1948. Threatened with arrest, he goes underground. Refusing to live the life of a fugitive, he taunts the government authorities by appearing in public venues or leaving evidence of his movements. His pursuer is the fascist Chief of the Investigations Police of Chile Oscar Peluchonneau (Gael García Bernal). Eventually he takes an escape route via Argentina, having to pass through the Andes Mountains.

The Panelists will include keynote speaker Lipthay; Lilianet Brintrup, HSU Professor of Spanish; and Nicole Bryant Lescher, CR Professor of English.