Karin Hibma goes solo as a branding maven

Michael Cronan was a branding guru with a knack for names. He dreamed up the moniker “TiVo” on his own and “Kindle” in collaboration with his wife, Karin Hibma. They were partners in the Berkeley naming, visual identity, and brand strategy firm ::CRONAN:: until his death from colon cancer in 2013.

“Michael and I met at Sac State when we were both art students,” says Hibma, a graduate of Sacramento’s Encina High School. “John Fitzgibbon was the art chair, and he brought in all of these young California artists as teachers.

“It was a very innovative faculty, and the great thing about Sac State was that there were a lot of overlapping disciplines where Michael found interesting dialogues,” she says. I remember (underground artist) R. Crumb playing music on the (Library) Quad with his band, and the Art and Mythology professor, Kurt von Meier, brought in Joseph Campbell (author of The Power of Myth) to speak. It was just a great art department.”

Learn more about Hibma and her fascinating life and career in this Q&A profile in the Los Angeles Times.


Lester Holt enjoys a proud homecoming

Lester Holt is one of the world’s most respected broadcast journalists – and it all began for him at Sacramento State. He became a better student and made the decision to become a journalist while at the University, he says. “It set me off into the world.”

He still considers himself a student – “and my finals are every night at 6:30 Eastern time when I get in front of the camera.”

Holt, 57, who anchors both NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC, came home to Sacramento this month when he interviewed Sac State graduate students Ahlam Abdul-Rahman and Norma Mendoza as a part of a national discussion on immigration in the days leading up to the presidential inauguration. Sacramento was the first stop on his “Across America” series for Nightly News.

President Robert S. Nelsen with NBC News anchor Lester Holt on the Sac State campus during Holt’s Jan. 17 visit. (Sacramento State/Rob Neep)

While in town, he also visited the Sacramento State campus, where he was a government major in the late 1970s. (See our photos from his visit.) His parents worried when he left school to take a chance on a job with a San Francisco radio station. They needn’t have been concerned: Eighteen months later, he was working at the CBS-TV affiliate in New York City and was on his way.

Last year, Holt was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. And in September 2016, he became the first African American moderator of a general-election presidential debate in nearly a quarter-century when candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off for the first time.

Holt’s alma mater has recognized his world-famous achievements – conferring an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on the broadcaster during Spring 2015 Commencement ceremonies at Sleep Train Arena. Holt noted in his remarks that his father, Lester Holt Sr., is a Sac State graduate. (View a video of his Commencement talk.)

Please enjoy this video – and read more about Lester Holt Jr., who is proud to be #MadeAtSacState.


Viridiana Díaz honored as a shining star for underrepresented Sac State students

Viridiana Díaz is inspired every day by the students she serves as assistant vice president of Strategic Diversity Initiatives at Sacramento State.

Over the past 15 years, she has dedicated herself to creating a more inclusive campus for first-generation, Pell Grant-eligible, migrant, immigrant, undocumented, viridianadiaz-jpegand underserved students, including out-of-school youth.

“They keep me full of energy, optimism, and pride,” she recently told Villa en el valle, a publication of The Sacramento Bee. “They are willing to go outside of their comfort zone to access resources, build a strategic network of caring mentors, and furthermore choose to transform their lives and, by doing so, the lives of their future generations.”

The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honored Díaz – who was #MadeAtSacState – with its 2016 Latina Inspiration Estrella (“star”) award during a Dec. 14 luncheon at the Sterling Hotel.

“You were chosen by our committee for your dedication and perseverance to achieve your goals and motivate others to do the same,” chamber president Cathy Rodriguez said in congratulating Díaz. “Your professional achievements and leadership are an inspiration to us all.”

Díaz oversees a number of equity programs on campus: the Dedicated to Educating, Graduating, and Retaining Educational Equity Students (DEGREES) Project; the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP); the Serna Center; the Dreamer Resource Center; the Migrant Student Leadership Institute; and the High School Equivalency Program (HEP).

She came to the United States from Mexico at age 12 and was the first in her family to graduate from college, earning a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and two master’s degrees – art in Spanish and art in history – all from Sacramento State. She went on to complete an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy at Sac State.

To learn more about Díaz and her tireless efforts to help students succeed, please see the story in Villa en el valle: http://bit.ly/2eDllzi.