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 AmeriCorps CSU STEM VISTA


I am the AmeriCorps CSU STEM VISTA for the 2018-19 year and feel proud to work with the wonderful community of people here at Humboldt State University. I recently graduated from HSU with majors in Religious Studies and Geology and I am an alum of Youth Educational Services’ Leadership Education Adventure Program. My experiences as a student at HSU and as an AmeriCorps VISTA have inspired my passion for community and the environment and have empowered my desire to pursue a career that involves social and environmental justice advocacy. As the CSU STEM VISTA at HSU, I work on projects that support the increase of equity, inclusivity, diversity, and student retention through community-based learning and career readiness practices. Specifically, I assist in building out Academic Internship and Service Learning courses and career curriculum integration in the College of Natural Resources and Sciences. Outside of work, I love to gallivant around local beaches with my two dogs, cook delicious meals with friends, volunteer at the Clarke Historical Museum, and work towards a zero-waste lifestyle.

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!

President's Honor Roll

Humboldt State University has been a recipient of the National President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in the past 8 out of 9 years: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. HSU is honored to receive this award which “annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement byrecognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve.”