Volume XII, Issue 30: February 21, 2014

Alex’s Week

Alex’s backpack is filled with veggies!

President Jessica showed a photo of our Rotary Exchange Student, Alex Rialet, being “kicked out” by his host dad, Craig Reed. His transgression? Cooking vegetables! As Jessica noted, “No PlayStation for you!”

We found out that it was all in fun, but apparently Alex still needed a week to recover – at least following a weekend with friends. Fortunately, he had Presidents’ Week off. Alex celebrated like most American kids would – “I stayed home, slept, and watched TV.”

Despite short notice, there were Sunrisers helping the HSU Natural History Museum move its display cases on Saturday, February 15th. Lori Breyer and Karen Burgesser were on hand, along with Rotary Kid Kate Breyer and Cori Suttell from the North Bay Rotaract Club. Karen described the work: “It’s like Christmas and putting a puzzle together”. Thank you all for representing our Club in the effort.

Lori & Kate

Karen & Cori

The Pirates’ Ball Spring Fundraiser is only days away, so please be sure to get your auction and raffle prizes to HealthSport and let the coordinators know what you’re donating, so the lists and signage can be compiled. Be thinking about what task(s) you would like to take on at the event – we will be discussing and signing up at our next meeting. 

Other calendar items

  • March 7-9: President-Elect Training Seminar for Barbara Browning, Terri Clark, and Lori Breyer.
  • March 30: Opportunity to meet Rotary International President Ron Burton at a dinner at the Doubletree Hotel in Sacramento. See President Jessica for details.
  • April 4-5: District Assembly at Mendocino College in Ukiah. A great way to learn more about Rotary and to meet with other Rotarians from our District.
  • April 19: Mad River Work Day. The cleanup will be followed by a Hoedown at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center – the Friends of the Dunes headquarters.

Board Reports
President Jessica provided the highlights of the February 11th meetings of the Club and Foundation Boards of Directors, as follows:

Club Board

  • January attendance was 60%, on a par with the previous year. She encouraged us to visit other Clubs for makeups if we can’t be here on Friday.
  • Two members are currently on leaves of absence – Brenda Bishop, who is expected to return this month; and Amy Bohner, who is scheduled to return in July.
  • Two other members – Travis Schneider and Garrett Perks – realized that they don’t currently have the time to fully participate in Rotary, so they tendered their resignations. We hope that their schedules will allow them to rejoin us at some point.
  • The resignations remind us that we should always be looking for potential Sunrisers. Talk with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others who may be interested.
  • Julie Vaissade-Elcock, Barbara Browning, and Karen Burgesser are putting together our applications for District Awards. Please let them know if you are interested in helping.

Foundation Board

  • More income came in for November’s Taste of the Holidays fundraiser, and we also received additional funds from the Arcata Invitational Basketball Tournament.
  • The Board discussed a request by the World Community Service Committee to consider the annual budget line item to help fund Project Amigo in Colima, Mexico. The committee would like the flexibility to consider a variety of projects, in several countries. This discussion will be ongoing, and you are encouraged to attend Board meetings and/or committee meetings to weigh in on the topic.
  • The Board is still looking at the cash balance in our checking account, and discussing options for storing the extra funds. President Jessica also encourages the committees to find projects, commit funds, and spend the money in their budgets. 

Recognitions with Tomas Chavez
Tomas’s first few intended victims honorees were not in attendance last Friday, but Brandi Easter was recognized for taking an area in her kitchen/pantry which had previously been occupied by stacks of canning supplies. So she availed herself of scraps from the “Free Box” at Arcata Countertops, and put together a set of shelves that are “all pressure-fit … there are no nails, no screws, no glue” involved. It looks great, and it’s a lot more accessible for Brandi.

Howard and Rebecca Stauffer’s anniversary was on January 26th, and Howard said that they celebrated by visiting New York and Washington for about two weeks. Their visit coincided with the first big snowstorm of the year, which was an issue when they needed to travel from the west side of Manhattan to the east. Since most of the transportation runs north and south, they “hiked across Central Park at the height of the blizzard”. Later they went to a museum, where they encountered a woman picking up her cross-country skis at the coat check counter. 

Maggie Kraft had company from France for her birthday on February 5th. She said that the day started with her asking “how that could possibly happen – again and again and again”. Since she had company from France, she said that they did “French things for my birthday – we ate and we drank (well, I drank)”. Afterwards, she went to her tango class – Lionel knows how to tango, so that worked well. 

Romi Talks Up Humboldt State
Last week, our featured speaker was a Sunriser – Romi Hitchcock-Tinseth – who gave us the skinny on Humboldt State University. Romi works at HSU on the faculty of the Communications Department and as an Outreach and Admissions Counselor, but she is also an HSU graduate. (She also graduated from Arcata High, and she earned a Masters Degree in Education from Oregon State University.) She met her husband Glenn at HSU, and the couple and their two daughters Sky and Zoë volunteered for a year at Project Amigo in Mexico. 

Romi is a tireless advocate for HSU, talking up both its contributions to the community (and the  world), as well as the opportunities it offers potential students. If I heard her correctly, Humboldt State makes a $216 million impact on the region.

Romi listed the reasons why HSU is an excellent choice for students:

  • An amazing environment for learning 
  • Exceptional academic opportunities
  • Personal connections with faculty
  • Hands-on learning
  • Strong support
  • Success after graduation
  • We use our education to make a difference in the world!
Romi Hitchcock-Tinseth

She is especially proud that the University pioneered the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility in 1987. Since then, the pledge to “thoroughly investigate and take into account the social and
environmental consequences of any job opportunity that I consider” has been adopted by over 100 schools, including Stanford, Harvard, and MIT.

Romi said that as she travels to discuss Humboldt State with potential students throughout the West, she is able to show them the natural beauty of Arcata and Humboldt County, and all of the activities available locally. 

The faculty, students, and facilities at HSU are excellent. Romi gave some examples, including Geography Professor Stephen Cunha, whose study guides for the National Geographic Bee are among Amazon’s top-sellers; Sunriser Kyle Visser is a great example of a graduate living the Pledge, running Shred-Tec; the School of Business recently revamped its curriculum to help students learn how to implement the Pledge into their careers; and the Advising Center and the Learning Commons provide direction and support when needed by students. Romi also noted that HSU has the highest percentage of students with documented disabilities in the CSU system, because they receive excellent support.

Romi provided many examples of excellence at Humboldt State including these:

  • The new Fire Science Laboratory
  • HSU’s Wildlife Students are once again #1 in the nation
  • The Botany program is the largest in the country (be sure to check out the greenhouse when you get a chance)
  • HSU boasts the largest telescope in California that is used for undergraduate research
  • A few years ago, two HSU Astronomy students on an internship at Aricibo Observatory in Puerto Rico discovered a new galaxy
  • The Art Department has the largest metal foundry on the West Coast
  • The campus’s Behavioral Sciences Building was designed in part by the the HSU Psychology Department
  • There are two campus radio stations – the NPR member-station KHSU, and the student-run KRFH (Radio Free Humboldt)

In closing, Romi reminded us that two HSU Spring Previews are coming soon. On March 28th and April 11th, please roll out the welcome mats for prospective students and their parents.