Find my most recent articles here!

When I started this website in college, I intended to use it as a hub for all my published work. Over the past few months, I’ve realized it’s a bit more difficult than I thought to keep the website updated — especially since I work for a daily newspaper and write multiple stories per day!

With that said, please find my most recent published articles (Yes, every article!) on my new online portfolio on Muck Rack. Visit this link to check it out!

If link above does not work, visit

I will now be using this website ( for my best written work. I will continue updating this site regularly, but only with what I believe best represents my writing and journalism skills.



Model United Nations Brings Home Two Awards From New York City

Sonoma State University NewsCenter: Model United Nations Brings Home Two Awards From New York City

Amid the competition and international perspectives of students from around the world, Sonoma State University’s Model United Nations delegation earned its 11th and 12th awards in the past six years at the National Model U.N. Conference in New York City last week. I was proud to be a student in the group that took home awards for Outstanding Delegate and Honorable Mention Delegation.


Before I joined, the concept of Model United Nations was foreign to me. I understood there was some type of international government organization, I just didn’t know what that meant exactly. Model U.N. gave me perspective on the United Nations as well as the world and the issues it faces. It also helped me understand how things get done–or don’t get done–in terms of international governance.

The conference includes a competition aspect where students from universities around the world represent one of 193 nations and are assigned to a committee in the U.N. Within that committee, teams are given a topic and debate from the stance of the nation they’re representing. The teams are judged on how they represent their nation and debate their stance.

In the months preparing for the Model United Nations Conference, our group of 22 Sonoma State students went through rigorous hours of preparation. We gave improvised speeches, wrote detailed arguments on our stance on issues and learned the etiquette of the U.N. The conference was long and demanding, though through the hard work and countless hours of dedication, our delegation became a team, each person playing a role and succeeding as part of a cohesive group.

The concept of 22 students working together for the first time and travelling to New York City seemed a bit intimidating when I first joined the class. But as the semester progressed, I soon realized we were more than just a team¬. We were all friends. Through the hard work of being a part of Sonoma State’s Model U.N. program, we all saw each other grow as individuals–something I see as one of the greatest benefits of the program.

Model U.N. teaches students so much more than simply what the United Nations does and how the world cooperates–it teaches young people how to collaborate and communicate with people of different backgrounds, and how to speak confidently in a public setting. Throughout the semester of preparation, each of us developed confidence in our public speaking skills and learned to put faith in the skills of each other to achieve success.

The program offers students the opportunity to develop real-world skills, ones that often can’t be developed in a classroom. Model United Nations was one of the best decisions of my college career, not simply because of the conference itself, but because of the intangible skills and experiences I gained during the weeklong trip.

–Kayla Galloway

Model United Nations is a political science course offered at Sonoma State University every spring semester and is open to students of all majors. The National Model U.N. Conference is held in New York City each year, drawing more than 4,000 students from universities around the world.

Director of SSU Autism Program to Retire after 29 Years

Sonoma State University NewsCenter: Director of Autism Program to Retire After 29 Years

After 29 years at Sonoma State University, psychology professor Lorna Catford, director of SSU’s Collaborative Autism Training and Support (CATS) program, is retiring at the end of this academic year.

CATS was founded in 2005 and gives Sonoma State psychology students the opportunity to work directly with children in the community who’ve been diagnosed with autism. Catford developed the service-learning program to bring students and families in the community affected by autism together.

“Helping students find their voice, their strengths and their passions, and helping them actively live their goals–that’s my passion,” says Catford.

In partnership with the Child Parent Institute and North Bay Regional Center, Catford’s students gain real-life skills needed to pursue a career in autism training by helping families and children who have been touched by the disease. When the training program began at Sonoma State more than a decade ago, Catford says roughly 20 students and 18 families were involved in its first semester. Since then, that number has doubled to 40 students and 35 families in the community.

Students enrolled in the Pyschology 490 course dedicate 50 hours in a semester to working with children on the autism spectrum as part of the CATS. Catford has seen the program grow immensely over the years and hopes it will continue to do so following her retirement.

Catford recalls many positive things from her 29 years at Sonoma State, though seeing her students live out their dreams and pursue fulfilling careers remains one of her best memories.

“I love working with freshmen and helping them develop their goals and values, and spurring them to action to live a life congruent with that,” says Catford. “I love being an ally for students to ignite their passions and motivations in life.”

Following Catford’s retirement, the CATS program will be taken over by Sonoma State psychology professor Jessica Hobson, who will continue the community-based program and course in the spring semester.

“In terms of my love of community service,” says Catford, “I’m not going to stop after I retire. My work is just going to take a more relaxed approach.”

Sonoma State Alumni Tackle Sustainability, Food Security with ‘Farmster’

Sonoma State University NewsCenter: Sonoma State Alumni Tackle Sustainability, Food Security with ‘Farmster’

A group of Sonoma State University alumni have taken the next step in making their dream a reality with the creation of Farmster, a nonprofit dedicated to sustainable living and food security.

“When Farmster was created, we were 4 students in a garage,” says Allison Jenks, Farmster’s chief financial officer. The nonprofit has since expanded to a 5-acre farm in Rohnert Park’s Sonoma Mountain Village and fiscal sponsorship through the Leadership Institute for Ecology and Economy. Perhaps most importantly, the idea is growing too. “At our last volunteer training, we already had 14 student volunteers,” says Jenks.

Farmster began last year with a simple idea of creating an organization that would give back to the local community. The nonprofit’s goal is changing the way people think about the food they eat and helping local communities gain an appreciation for the hard work that goes into growing fresh food.


“During our experiences as students, we saw the disconnect people have from the food they’re eating,” says Tomio Endo, executive director of Farmster. “We wanted to create a project that empowers people to reconnect with the food they’re eating.”

Endo and Jenks, along with fellow Sonoma State alumni Dustin DeMatteo and Jamal Edwards, created Farmster last year to help their community become more aware of what they’re eating and engage in their local food systems.

During their time at Sonoma State, the four students were involved in multiple campus organizations dedicated to sustainability–something that inspired the idea for Farmster. For nearly half of her college career, Jenks served as sustainability senator in Sonoma State’s Associated Students.

While at Sonoma State, Edwards was a recipient of the Growers Grant, a program that allows students to grow their own produce and sell it to Sonoma State Dining Services. Both Endo and DeMatteo were also involved in Sonoma State’s Students for Sustainability Club–a role that prepared them for creating the nonprofit.

“Every person has a unique and valuable contribution to offer towards creating a better place to live,” says Endo. “We want to inspire action and celebrate the potential that each person has to do their part in making our world a better place.”

Farmster’s latest endeavor is the launch of its Community Farm project on Feb. 19 at Sally Tomatoes in Rohnert Park’s Sonoma Mountain Village. The fundraising event will feature live music, raffle prizes and food beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.
In addition to its five-acre farm, the nonprofit is creating an internship program to teach people in the community about agriculture and an education program where people can learn about health, nutrition and gardening.

“Our team carries a deep passion for doing something small but meaningful to tackle the toughest problems that we face as a community,” says Endo. “The consequences of climate change continue to pose more increasingly urgent issues that we feel we must face with our community.”

Career Center Invites Students to Prepare for Future at Annual Career Fair

Sonoma State University NewsCenter: Career Center Invites Students to Prepare for Future at Annual Career Fair

Companies and organizations from across the San Francisco Bay Area will be at Sonoma State University on Thursday for the university’s annual Career Fair, giving students the opportunity to network, interview and prepare for life after graduation. Hosted by the university’s Career Services, the fair will feature representatives from companies ranging from Tesla Motors to Francis Ford Coppola Winery to Redwood Credit Union.

The university’s 27th annual Career Fair will host more than 100 employers, tailored toward all majors, reflective of Sonoma State’s diverse student population. The Career Fair gives employment opportunity to not only seniors and 2016 graduates, but students of all academic years looking for internships and future job opportunities.

“Whether someone is a senior looking for their next step towards a career or a freshman just exploring different opportunities, any student can benefit from this experience,” says Kimmie Jones, a student assistant at the Career Center on campus. “The Career Fair is a great way to build their network and practice talking about their qualifications, achievements and goals.

In preparation for this week’s event, Career Services hosted multiple workshops last week discussing the topics of networking, preparing a resume and how to use professional networking website LinkedIn.

The Career Fair is on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom and all students are encouraged to attend. For more information, visit the the Career Center in Salazar Hall or visit

SSU Showcases Technology Transforming the Classroom

Sonoma State University NewsCenter: SSU Showcases Technology Transforming the Classroom

With handmade circuit boards and 3D printers on hand, teachers from Sonoma County gathered to demonstrate their innovative approaches to engaging students through technology at Sonoma State University’s Teacher Technology Showcase on Feb. 11.

Carlos Ayala, dean of Sonoma State’s School of Education, says technology is creating a new way of teaching. “Technology gives students the opportunity for collaboration, teamwork and sharing,” says Ayala. “The Teacher Technology Showcase is the future of tech in the classroom.”

At one booth, Stacey Logsdon, a teacher at Kawana Academy of Arts and Sciences in Santa Rosa, demonstrated how she uses a program called Edmodo, which she likens to “Facebook for the classroom.” Her elementary school students use this website as a social network where they can interact and engage in discussions about class assignments online.

“The idea is finding what technology can do to help identify what students know and are able to do,” says Ayala. “With that, educators can identify what students need to do next

Ayala hopes technology will eventually allow teachers to track students’ progress to further allow them to personalize their students’ educational experience by identifying strengths and weaknesses.

“Our job is to understand how to teach and how students learn,” says Pamela Van Halsema, an administrative analyst in the School of Education. “We want to use technology as a tool to learn.”

She says the Teacher Technology Showcase ultimately gives Sonoma State students and community members the opportunity to see how local educators are using modern media and technology in the classroom. “It can open up the joy of learning.”

The Teacher Technology Showcase has been hosted annually by Sonoma State’s School of Education since 2011.

LoboVision Brings Bright New Communication Tool to Campus

Sonoma State University NewsCenter: LoboVision Brings Bright New Communication Tool to Campus

An eye-catching new 300 square-foot digital screen is increasing awareness of events and programs for students at Sonoma State University.

The screen, strategically located in Seawolf Plaza in the heart of campus, will not only improve awareness among students and promote events, but also offer a place where students can gather to watch live campus sporting events, commencement ceremonies and movies. It is called LoboVision as a nod to the university’s mascot, Lobo the Seawolf.

LoboVision is projected to reach 4,000 students per day, says Ryan Ernst, director of sales and marketing for entrepreneurial activities.

Director of Campus Life Mo Phillips sees LoboVision as something that will bring the university together and help engage students. “Anything that helps students know what’s going on is a good thing,” she says. “LoboVision is very visible and is another way to bring the campus together and reach those students who we might not normally reach.”

LoboVision was financed with capital improvement funds, which are designated for campus life purposes only. These funds have the specific purpose of funding repairs, renovations and improvements for the Recreation Center, which the screen is mounted on, and Student Center, which it is adjacent to. This money cannot be used for classes or other purposes not related to capital improvements.