Class Notes – August 2019

Have you recently celebrated a wedding, baby, new job, promotion, or honor? Been published, moved into a new home, or welcomed a grandchild? Share your news with the CSU alumni family by submitting a class note. Approved class notes will be published here and in Colorado State University Magazine.

Something Good Inside of Me, by Carolynn Scully

1970s

Carolynn Scully’s (B.S., ’74) children’s poetry journal, Something Good Inside of Me, was published in 2015. Scully is currently the chaplain for the Florida branch of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. and is the student contest chair for the Florida State Poets Association. Scully was awarded a certificate of completion for the accredited the 12 Chairs course, a 180 hour course on poetry from FSPA.

1990s

Abdelouahhab-Zaid, at left, accepting gold medal of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Abdelouahhab Zaid (Ph.D., ’90) was recently presented the gold medal of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) by Dr. José Graziano Da Silva, director general of the FAO for his work and achievements to develop the infrastructure, development of date palm cultivation and the production and processing of dates at the Arab and international levels. Zaid is also the goodwill ambassador, agricultural advisor at the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs and secretary general of Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation. Zaid has held several administrative and technical positions since his arrival to the United Arab Emirates, including the director of studies and research unit of palm and dates development, coordinator of the Global Date Palm Network, general director of the Arab Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, and director of a palm cultivation program in Namibia.

Doug Johnson

Doug Johnson (B.A., ’93), chair of Colorado for TIGER 21, the premier peer membership organization for high-net-worth wealth creators and preservers, announced the launch of the third group in Colorado. This new group will be chaired by accomplished business leader Elizabeth Ledoux. Johnson said he is grateful for his liberal arts education from Colorado State University, which prepared him to be a leader of leaders who desire to be good stewards of their success.

Julie Pignataro (B.A., ’95) was elected to serve a four-year term on the Fort Collins City Council representing District 2 in April 2019.

Jeff Kahl

Jeff Kahl (B.S., ’97), with Colorado Springs Pediatric Dentistry, recently became president of the Colorado Dental Association. After earning his bachelor’s degree at CSU, Kahl obtained his dental degree at the University of Colorado and completed residencies with the National Naval Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Colorado. He has been active with professional organizations and in public-policy advocacy.

2000s

Matthew Staver (B.S., ’01) is a freelance photographer and photojournalist based in Denver who started his career working for CSU student media and since has shot multiple stories for The New York Times, among other clients.  In one recent project, he provided aerial drone video for a news investigation and film by FRONTLINE and the Wall Street Journal, titled “Predator on the Reservation,” about a doctor indicted for assaulting Native American children.

Brian Hunt

Cara (Wright) Brzezicki’s (B.A., ’06) children’s picture book Jazzie Beans Saves the Planet, about a dog that teaches about the plastic pollution problem and how to resolve it and recycle, was published and is available on Amazon. Brzezicki’s invention, the Sippie Clippie, is currently in the middle of a licensing agreement.

Brian J. Hunt (B.A., ’06) is a staff writer at LEGO, and his new show “LEGO City Adventures!” just premiered on Nickelodeon. He’s also celebrating five years as the radio host of “The Brian J. Show” on Denver’s The Rock 93.7FM.

Danika Shockley (B.S., ’07) has been named business development manager for McCarthy Building Companies’ Denver office according to Justin Peterson, vice president of operations. A 12-year veteran of McCarthy, Shockley most recently served as Project Superintendent where she was responsible for overall coordination, supervision and inspection of all field operations. As business development manager, Shockley will be responsible for the development of the business/sales relationship with potential clients.

Danika Shockley

2010s

Jason Helsen (M.B.A., ’11) accepted a new position starting in July 2019 as director of financial services at Muskegon Area Intermediate School District in Muskegon, Michigan.

Nick Johnson (M.A., ’14) is an associate editor of Colorado Encyclopedia, an online resource funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, with hundreds of entries about the state and its history. Johnson has also published a book, entitled Grass Roots: A History of Cannabis in the American West, that traces the arc of marijuana cultivation in the West; he writes about the cannabis industry on his blog HempiricalEvidence.com.

Hailey Frederiksen

Hailey Frederiksen (B.S., ’19) will be crowned Miss Rodeo Colorado 2020 during the National Western Stock Show in Denver in January. Frederiksen recently earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science, with a minor in agricultural business, and will spend the coming year traveling Colorado and the nation to represent rodeo and agriculture. This photograph of Frederiksen was taken by another alumna, Chelsea Stockton (B.F.A., ’12), of Beulah, Colo., who owns a professional photography business called PhotoChic Imagery.

 In Memoriam

*CSU Alumni Association member