College of the Redwoods


Cal Poly Humboldt

College Matters | Taking some time to ‘Talk Humboldt’

This article was originally posted in the College Matters column of the Times-Standard.

Thursday, January 19, 2023 - 12:45pm

In our roles as presidents of the College of the Redwoods and Cal Poly Humboldt, we’re able to have in-depth discussions with leaders across the North Coast. It’s one of the best parts of the work we both do, and in our meetings with each other, we often end up talking about the important projects and insights these leaders have shared with us. We are in the business of learning — gathering information, sharing information, learning from others, and helping others to succeed in their endeavors.

It would be great if more people could enjoy this, we would say. And late last year, we turned that idea into a new radio show. It started with inviting individuals to share more about their businesses and the work they do.

The show, which airs every other Thursday and Friday on KHSU 90.5, is called “Talk Humboldt with Keith and Tom.” The longer 8-minute version runs four times during All Things Considered on Thursday — 2:50 p.m., 3:50 p.m., 4:50 p.m., and 5:50 p.m. Then the shorter version runs four times during Morning Edition on Friday, with the first one at 5:45 a.m. Episodes can also be streamed from

Our goal is to provide a platform for these leaders. We don’t try to catch them off guard, and we’re not looking to create “Gotcha!” moments. These leaders are working to make this region even better, and we want to give them a chance to highlight their priorities while sharing things we ordinarily wouldn’t know or have time to explore.

As part of that, we allow the guests to guide what we talk about. They get to share what they are focused on, what important efforts are underway, and what we should all be aware of from their work. We also seek to learn more about what their daily work and life are really like.

The show debuted in mid-December with Susan Seaman, who recently completed her tenure as the mayor of Eureka. She talked about some of the highlights of her time in that role, and let us know what it’s really like to serve as mayor.

The second episode, which aired at the end of last year, featured Ted Hernandez, the chairperson of the Wiyot Tribe. We interviewed him at the Wiyot Tribe’s new Da gou rou louwi’ Cultural Center in Eureka, and he shared a bit about why opening the center was such an important priority.

In the third episode, which recently aired, we heard from Blake Alexandre about his journey from a one-room schoolhouse to studying dairy science in college. He shared some of the effort that was involved in moving his family farm to organic.

Future episodes will include conversations with other tribal leaders, leaders within the medical and dental communities, aviation experts, educators, large and small business owners, and many others.

This show is fun and it’s positive outreach. It’s also an example of the important role that institutions of higher education can play in a community. We are places where people gather to discuss ideas and collaborate on solutions, and “Talk Humboldt” helps us showcase that role on a regular basis.

We are open to your ideas. Who are some leaders on the North Coast you would be interested in hearing from? Let us know, and maybe we can get them on the schedule. You can email ideas to the president’s office at Cal Poly Humboldt at

We already have quite a few more interviews done, and can’t wait for them to air. Please tune in. These leaders will surprise you with new information, new insights, and a new perspective on what their work entails. Be well.

Dr. Tom Jackson Jr. is the president of Cal Poly Humboldt. Dr. Keith Flamer is the president of College of the Redwoods.