About Us

Our mission is to promote and support learning and reciprocal connections among students, faculty, and community members through academic coursework integrated with community partnerships; and to encourage the development of socially and environmentally responsible citizens through Service Learning and Academic Internship courses. 

Meet our Staff

Kathy Thornhill Director



As an HSU alum, it is my privilege to work on campus to help develop and implement programs to help students achieve their goals. Throughout my career, I have created numerous workshops and programs aimed at developing leadership skills, increasing awareness and commitment to diversity and social justice issues, and fostering academic success. I am fortunate to work with an amazing group of people committed to helping students make the most of their college experience.  I recently returned to the area after living and working across the country, most recently in Colorado where I earned my Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. I love sports, and am an avid baseball fan. My bucket list includes going to all the Major League Baseball stadiums (I am about half way there). I have two wonderful dogs, Hannah and Jake. Like me, they loved the mountains of Colorado but have fallen in love with the beaches of Humboldt County.

Kelly Fortner Student Support Coordinator


As the Student Support Coordinator with the Center for Community Based Learning, I am, first and foremost, here to support, listen, and advocate for you, the HSU student. You are brilliant and inspirational and I feel so grateful for the opportunity to work with you in my role! Thank you for all that you do. Through my position, I provide direct and programmatic support for students involved in community-based learning practices at HSU. I strive to find and create opportunities where students can build community, discover their strengths and values, and pursue their personal, professional, and academic goals and dreams. I graduated from HSU with a double major in Religious Studies and Geology and these experiences, together with my time as a leader at Youth Educational Services (YES), fueled my passion for community-based learning and leadership. Since graduating from HSU, I have stayed on-campus to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA, work as a Career Advisor, and begin the Environment and Community M.A. in Social Science Program. These academic and professional experiences have strengthened my commitment to social and environmental justice and the liberation of all through solidarity, self-reflection, and action. When I’m not at HSU, you can find me spending time with my partner and our two dogs, going to the beach, talking with friends and family, working on projects with Zero Waste Humboldt, and watching the Lord of the Rings.

Loren Collins Faculty Support Coordinator for Service Learning and Career Education



I am proud to be a graduate of HSU's history program who has returned to assist future graduates of HSU with a building a future of their own. Since graduating I've gained 7 years in the field of career planning and employment counseling with three separate certifications.  I started my career working with non profits working with teens and at risk youth, then worked as an employment counselor for the County of Humboldt and then came to work with the HSU Academic and Career Advising Center.  I am excited to have just become the Faculty Support Coordinator for Service Learning and Career Education.  Getting the needs of our students and the community met through classroom experiences has become a passion.  I am working on the last third of my Master's Degree in Sociology, love watching my two daughters grow into strong young girls, love literature and theory, and am the only one in our department who prefers the Lord of the Rings just slightly more than Harry Potter.

Shannon Berge Administrative Support Coordinator



As an alum of HSU with a BA degree in Art and a teaching credential for Art Education, I feel fortunate to live, work, and play in such an amazing place. I love to utilize my skills and creativity for special event coordination, advertising, and finding ways to help our center run more efficiently. When I’m not on HSU’s beautiful campus, you can usually find me at one of our local beaches or forests, taking photos and getting exercise. I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Critical Race, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and hope to further my career as a student services professional.

Stacy Becker Community Partner Coordinator



As Community Partner Coordinator, I network with community organizations and support faculty and students engaged in Service Learning and Academic Internship courses and practices. I am a California State Service Learning Certified Trainer.  I also hold two teaching credentials from Humboldt State University (Elementary Multiple Subjects; Secondary Single Subject – Art), and a third Credential in Cross Cultural & Language Development.  I completed my B.A. in the Humanities Field Major at U.C. Berkeley, which meant I was able to focus on the fields I’m passionate about: arts, cultures, languages, environmental issues. Previous to my work at HSU, I worked with the Volunteer Center of the Redwoods for 10 years, after many years teaching language and fine arts with an emphasis on environmental and cross-cultural education, to all ages and in many venues. In my spare time, I enjoy the arts, hiking and volunteering. As the coordinator for the Hammond Volunteer Trail Stewards project, I’d like to invite you to join our group on the first Saturday of each month for volunteer work on the Hammond Trail- newcomers always welcome!


  • Redwood Roots Digital Magazine Call for Submissions – Help us celebrate community engagement at HSU and get published in Redwood Roots Magazine. Submissions are due September 25, 2020 to ccbl@humboldt.edu
  • CCBL Introduction Video – Check out just a little of what we do!
  • The Urgency and Relevance of Community Engagement – This statement from California Campus Compact articulates the value of community and civic engagement and Service Learning centers.
  • REDWOOD ROOTS – We are pleased to announce the inaugural edition of Humboldt State University’s Redwood Roots digital magazine.
  • Virtual Chats for Students – CCBL’s Student Support Coordinator, Kelly Fortner, is available via Zoom for informal chats. Ask questions, share ideas, and get expert advice about community-based learning in our changing world.