Worth Sharing: Cybersecurity and Marketing Clubs Excel on National Stage – Chico State

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From left to right, Natalie Bourn, Kristen Chatham, and Finn Blacker pose in front of a Wildcat statue. Chatham holds a small trophy in her hand.

(Jason Halley / University Photographer)

From left to right, students Natalie Bourn, Kristen Chatham, and Finn Blacker.

The following is a listing of professional achievements by Chico State faculty, staff, and students. Submit your professional achievements to [email protected]. 

Publications, Presentations, and Exhibits 

Arina Xiong (Liberal Studies, ’15), a Peace Corps Education Volunteer in Armenia, was recently profiled by the global organization. She credits her experience studying abroad in Thailand during her junior year at Chico State with teaching her the importance of community service and sustainability—both of which ignited her passion for working with a global community.     

Awards, Honors, and Activities 

Chico State cybersecurity club, Usr0, put on an incredible performance at the recent National Cyber League competition, taking home first place out of more than 1,000 teams from across the country. 

In more good news from our clubs, the American Marketing Association (AMA) at Chico State was named a Top Chapter of the Year at the AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, placing in the top 20 out of more than 300 chapters.  
Among the team’s many standout performances, business administration majors Natalie Bourn and Jasmine Vargas both received honorable mentions in the perfect pitch event. Natalia Holmes, a senior majoring in business administration, received an honorable mention for the recruiting video she produced. Senior Kristen Chatham, graduating in May with a BS in business administration, placed first in the student research competition and second in the nation for sales. 

Music, theatre, and dance professor Natalya Shkoda was selected to adjudicate in the 2024 Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) Certificate of Merit (CM) exam in piano and harp. Initiated in 1933, CM is a statewide music exam in performance, technique, ear training, sight reading, and music theory. 

In February, Shkoda’s piano students Kandolisa Mwesiga and Thomas Hubbard successfully performed “Myrto” and “Diver’s Ragtime” by Elias Davidsson in the MTAC Butte Branch Piano Duet Recital at Butte College.  

In April, Shkoda’s piano students Victoria Alesandroni, April Smirnoff, and Ellie Gifford were invited to perform in Kirill Gliadkovsky’s piano master class at Butte College. Alesandroni performed Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 (I. Adagio). Smirnoff performed Sergey Prokofiev’s March, Op. 65 No. 10, and “Quiet Lagoon” by Jon George. Gifford performed Bach’s “Solfeggietto.” In addition, Smirnoff competed on both national and international levels in spring 2024, taking second in the OPUS National Music Competition

Chico State

Founded in 1887, California State University, Chico is the second-oldest CSU campus and one of the highest-ranked master’s-level public universities in the West.

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