Newsletter - Spotlighting Our Faculty, Staff and Students

Message from the Dean

We have made it through another academic year, one with plenty of challenges. I have been in this role for less than a year and a half and am delighted at the opportunity provided by Cal Poly Humboldt and the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences to work with all of you. I appreciate the level of dedication to students on the part of faculty and staff as well as the cutting-edge scholarship and creativity generated by our colleagues. 

Picture of Dean Jeff Crane and his cat Shadow

Dean Jeff Crane with Shadow

We live in troubling times. As a historian, I should hesitate to open a paragraph with such a sentence. How many times has that phrase been used throughout the centuries? But there are issues and struggles in our nation and universities that would have been difficult to comprehend a few years ago, at least for some of us. Higher education is under concentrated and brutal attack in many states across the nation. The liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences especially are targeted because of their focus on analytical thinking, critical race theory, and teaching about and supporting fluid gender and sexual identities. Of course, the major reason for these attacks is the knowledge that critical analysis is the lifeblood of democracy, at least our version of democracy, and like our disciplines, democracy is under siege.

The work we do is crucial.  In the mix of discussions about course caps, program reviews, assessments, annual reviews etc., it is easy to forget that we are tasked with labor and craft that is integral to human and societal growth. The fact that our disciplines and tenure are under attack in half of the states in this country speaks volumes about the importance of our labor.

One great joy of service in being a dean is attending the numerous events showcasing our students. Attending the Toyon Launch Party, the Hip Hop Conference, the El Lenador 10 Year Anniversary, the Anthropology Symposium, the Courageous Cuentos Launch Party, the History Conference, and the International Film Festival, among others, I was struck repeatedly by how joyously our students engage with and tackle the most difficult and important of issues. And I am proud to be part of an academic culture that celebrates and supports their creativity, growth,and scholarship. I have also been impressed by the deep respect and generosity they show each other. This is at least partially a function of your teaching and the cultures of dialogue and thoughtfulness created in your classroom spaces.

This brings me great hope. It is this very culture that is so feared by too many people in this country. As you head off to your summer work, and, hopefully, some fun and recreation, remember the importance of your scholarship, teaching, creative endeavors, and engagement to the growth of our students and society and return refreshed and recharged.

Geography Students Win at California Geographic Society (CGS) Conference

Student Rae Hills at the California Geographic Society (CGS) Conference

As part of a geography course led by Rosemary Sherriff, 11 students attended the annual California Geographic Society (CGS) Conference held at East LA College. As part of the field experience Humboldt students and faculty jointly participated in an all-day field trip with another field class from CSU Northridge exploring urban geography in east LA.

At the CGS meeting, Humboldt student presenters won awards in each of the three undergraduate presentation competitions. Keith Staats won first place for the Cartographic Map competition. Jeremy Webb won third place for the undergraduate student research presentation competition. Dulce Vallejo won the social justice presentation award (undergraduate or graduate student level competition).


Tap Dancers Thi Samelson, Gabrielle Jones at the Dance Visions Performance (Photo by Cal Poly Humboldt)

Professor Ramona Bell with students during the 10th Annual Hip Hop Conference (Photo by Ramona Bell)

Co-directors, Richard Schild and Ralph Valle at the 56th Annual Humboldt International Film Festival (Photo by Dave Jannetta)

Izzy Alvarez, Senior Anthropology major at the 10th Annual Anthropology Student Research Symposium (Photo by Marissa Ramsier)

Overall Outstanding Students of the Year, Steffi Puerto, Journalism and Critical, Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Molly Jane Urtz, Social Work (Photo by Cal Poly Humboldt)

Students lining up to share at the Courageous Cuentos release event (Photo by Ramona Bell)

Journalism Alumni at the 10th Anniversary of El Leñador Celebration (photo by Mark Larson, JMC Professor Emeritus)

Success at the Model United Nations of the Far West Conference


“I can honestly say that--between the awards the team won at the New York conference and the ones they won in San Francisco this weekend--this is the best performance Humboldt has had. I'm very proud of the hard work put in and amazing outcomes achieved by this team!” - Professor Zerbe

This year at the San Francisco (Model United Nations of the Far West) competition, Humboldt represented four countries at competition (Burundi, Cuba, Finland, and Ghana), and brought a total of 24 students to the conference.

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Alumni Participate in Careers in Government Panel

Department of Politics Professor, Joice Chang introducing the panel

The Department of Politics presented the 19th annual Victor T. Schaub Memorial Lecture - "Alumni in Government Career Panel".

The lecture series' namesake, Victor Schaub, was an Arcata civil attorney and professional mediator who was elected to the City Council in 1988 and served two terms, until 1996. He served as mayor from 1990-95. Victor died in 2004 at the age of 60, and the Victor Schaub Memorial Lecture series was established in his honor.

The Panel featured:

- Joey Apodaca ('07), Deputy Director for Rep. Ted Lieu
- Rosemary Deck ('14), Chief Prosecutor at Yurok Tribe
- Kyle Knopp ('05), Rio Dell City Manager
- Robin Praszker ('14), Eureka Environmental Project Manager
- Steven Steward ('01), Humboldt County Superior Court Judge

Past Issues

April 12, 2023