Board on the Blog: Meet Randy Chen!

randy-1-web-180x270Paying it forward. This phrase is most appropriate when describing Randy Chen, a senior Finance major at Sacramento State. Each and everyday, Randy works hard to lead a bright future not only for his family, but his friends and peers. Randy wears many hats as a student leader on campus. He serves the brotherhood of the co-ed professional business fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi as the Pledge Educator, and he represents over 30,000 students as the ASI Vice President of Finance.

To this lighthearted, ambitious, and slightly germophobic libra, the quote, “Faith can move mountains,” means that you can achieve much more than you think you could if you believe in yourself. As Randy put it himself, “The possibilities are endless if you have faith in yourself.” This statement is a true reflection of the mindset that Randy brings to the table in everything he aims to accomplish. Whether it’s through juggling his positional responsibilities and his academic demands, or through presenting to student leaders on how they can optimize their Dollars for Organizations and Clubs resources, Randy is able to stay focused on what is most important to him–leaving a good example for others while giving back.

As Randy describes, “I feel very fortunate to be where I am today and I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way. I hope to make everyone who believes in me proud.” This is a key component in the goals that he hopes to achieve during his term as an executive on the ASI board. He aims to make Sac State students proud by serving them to the best of his ability. The legacy that he hopes to leave behind is to be a role model for future student leaders on campus. If he could make an impact on at least a handful students’ lives by inspiring them to lead in their own ways, he would achieve his ultimate positional goal.

In Randy’s role as Vice President of Finance for ASI, he acts as the ultimate steward of student dollars that are being spent on behalf of ASI related activity. His objective is to make students across the entire campus aware of the all the scholarship opportunities that ASI provides so that students an obtain monetary resources to help elimate financial stress while complimenting their academic progress. He has seen first hand how the power of giving back to students can impact their lives academically and personally.

Randy is a driven and caring student that truly cares about students and his family. “My goal in life is to be able to care for my parents and family when I am older. They have sacrificed everything to provide me with the life that I live. They have supported and pushed me to be the person that I am today. I plan to provide them with all the opportunities that they have provided for me.” I guess you could say that paying it forward is Randy’s bread and butter. 

Get to know Randy better by stopping in the ASI Government Office during his office hours which can be found at If you are interested in getting involved in the work that Randy is doing as ASI Vice President of Finance contact him at!

Stay tuned for the next Board on the Blog!



halloweentown_6253519_ver1-0_640_360My favorite Halloween memories is going to school as a child and seeing everyone’s costume. It was interesting to see how creative people were when it came to dressing up; though I was the loner who never wore costumes as much as I wanted. An excitement came over me every year on Halloween because it was the only day people could dress up however they wanted and no one judged them. Trick or treating was cool when I got to see all of the creepy decorations everywhere. Of course, I was scared so my brothers had to walk with me to most doors. I just realized last year that I couldn’t trick or treat anymore. So I bought my own back of candy to eat. Halloween is the only time of year when candy seems okay to eat for an entire week and not care. I used to have a backpack full of candy hid in my room from my siblings.

A special tradition my sister and I have is to watch Disney Halloween movies for the entire month of October until Halloween night, which is our special night to watch Halloweentown. No, I am not talking about the second and third Halloweentown movies. I am talking about the original Halloweentown. Though it was a fiction movie, it gave my sister and I an impact on how we should believe in ourselves. Even when others don’t think believe in us. I remember pretending we were witches and making up spells that we thought would work. It never did work but we continued to try. Now my sister have a four year old daughter, and she look forward to the movie every year as much as my sister and I. It’s the only movie that can get my sister and I together to bond over candy and unhealthy food. Now that we are older we thought things would change. It never changed. Even when we are 100 miles away, we call each other over the phone and watch it together. All I can say is Halloweentown is a classic movie.

I miss being younger. Those were the years when anything or anyone mattered. I am looking forward to feeling that way this Halloween. Even if I don’t dress up I will buy candy and enjoy myself. As we get older we forget to enjoy ourselves and everything doesn’t have to be serious all the time. The only thing I have not done yet, but looking forward to doing is carving a jackolantern. No one took the time out to teach me how to do it, but I have always been curious about how to carve them. It seems like a messy project, but I think it will be well worth it. I really want to do something different this year. I don’t know if dressing up would be something exciting to do or what. All I can say is everyone, including myself, should go out and find something extreme to do this Halloween. Everyone work so hard. Halloween should be a day to dress up, eat a lot of candy, and enjoy the holiday since it comes once every year.

Board on the Blog: Meet Andrew Michaud!

andrew-1-web-180x270As Sophocles stated, “If we are to keep our democracy, there must be one commandment: ‘Thou shalt not ration justice.’” The meaning of this quote plays a large role in the life of Andrew Michaud. As a student pursuing his Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice at Sacramento State, Andrew is passionate about making positive changes in the world around him, but most importantly, he strives to make the necessary changes to benefit the whole. Not only does he dedicate his work to helping those in need, but he also serves graduate students as the ASI Director of Graduate Studies.

This East Coast Swing dancer, jazz music lover, and Jitterbug groover, is much more than just an exceptionally hard worker–he’s also a terrific friend. He tends to welcome each new person he meets with genuine kindness and care. When working on projects in the ASI Government Office, Andrew is known to provide invaluable advice and thoughtfulness when a board member needs assistance or a second opinion on a topic. Andrew is always there to lift up a friend.

As the Director of Graduate Studies, Andrew’s main goal is to continue to build the connectedness that graduate students feel to one another and the campus community. He has been working towards this goal in many aspects including his contributions in improving institutional policies that govern the graduate studies program at Sac State as well as working to cultivate a sense of belonging among graduate students in various campus settings. The work that Andrew has been dedicating himself to stems from his ultimate goal of positively impacting individuals and contributing to the equity of peoples.

Aside from being a rock star student advocate, Andrew changes lives of ex-convicts each and every day. He helps introduce a brighter future to formerly incarcerated individuals as an instructor and mentor in the Ascend re-entry program. This program helps stop the cycle of crime by giving these adults the tools and the drive to connect to a productive and lifestyle. This work takes patience, perseverance, and compassion towards other human beings. It has been proven to change people’s lives and give them hope that they might not have known existed. These are all of the traits that Andrew exemplifies.

This Gemini is a strong ally to students, and an inspiration to so many of his friends and colleagues. When asked what legacy he would like to leave behind at Sacramento State, his comment was, “A legacy? I wouldn’t want to leave one. A legacy implies being remembered; strangely enough, I don’t want to be remembered. I want to ensure graduates are never overlooked, but I don’t need credit for that. When credit is given, people see that achievement as beyond their abilities. I want people who come after me to try harder and go beyond what I’ve done.”

Andrew is a person worth getting to know by any and all means. He sheds bundles of happiness, wisdom, and strength on the world. Visit the ASI Government Office during his weekly office hours to get to know him better yourself, and for him to get to know you!

Feel free to email him at or visit to see when his office hours are!

Stay tuned for next week’s Board on the Blog!


How to Adult-The Interview

imagesWhat are we here for? Every time I am up until midnight writing some paper I find trivial and tiresome, I try and remind myself about the point of all this strife and struggle. We are here…to leave. I don’t know about you but I tend to get stuck in the worries of today and tomorrow and forget to freak out about the unknowns of next week, or the next step. Mind you, I am not advocating ‘freaking out’ as a best practice, but truth be told, there is a certain amount of comfort that comes from analysis coupled with preparation and what better way to prompt that very unlikely foresight then a good freak out over life’s what-ifs. So if we go to college with the eventual goal of getting the heck out, why don’t we talk a little about what happens next—since inevitably we all have to let the safety blanket of school go no matter how we go about doing so. Eventually, the majority of us are going to have to reach deep down into ourselves to try and salvage that freshman ‘eagerness’ (buried under layers of exhaustion and exasperation) to plaster it on our faces for our career interviews.

Whether it’s time to start freaking out or not, I’m going to give a crash course in the do’s and don’ts of that interview, you know, the one that matters so much you study for it.

  1. For the love of all that is holy, leave your smart phone in the car. Don’t even bring it into the office with you. In life, we all have stigmas to rise above and we have many as millennials. I implore all of my fellow twenty-somethings to be aware and surprise the world with our fantastic attention spans.
  2. Research! Know the company, its mission, and at the very least the job description of the position you are applying for. The benefits here are twofold: quote the mission statement in your interview and it says ‘look at me, I give a crap’ and when you really do your homework you should discover the most important thing…is this company a good fit for you.
  3. Be brave. TIME magazine tells us applicants that have an entrepreneurial background are going to win out against those with just a degree and an internship or two. It makes total sense when you think about how companies are constantly on the struggle-bus to innovate and be the most freaking awesome thing since the hover board. They are going to want self-starters and risk takers.
  4. Dig a little into your past and dust off some of those ice breakers and (appropriate) anecdotes about yourself—especially the ones that have a clear lesson or moral because if you are really good it’s interview gold to bring those stories full circle and apply them to the role you are seeking. It is totally normal to be nervous, and you will be put on the spot so preparing a few of these gives a person a go-to.

Gosh all of that sounds like hard work. Maybe I’ll just become a professor so I never have to leave school! Psyche! They have terrible panel style interviews and directors that sit in on lectures….yikes. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but seriously…the above advice aside, make sure your goals, personality, and moral compass are a good fit for whatever employer it may be. You’ll be happier.

I think next week we’ll talk about resume do’s and don’ts.


I Lost My Java Programming Book

2_lostbookyellowSo I’m currently in the middle of developing an OpenGL application using JOGL. OpenGL is a 3D programming language, the kind of stuff that’s working behind the scenes in a lot of your favorite movies/video games. JOGL is a java wrapper class for OpenGL, which basically boils down to me making 3D stuff using the programming language Java.

I realize this may seem a bit technical at first, so I want to thank you for following me this far. Now Java is a higher level programming language, which basically means that it makes it easier to accomplish things then something much more low-level like Assembly or writing a program in C. Both of those languages are actually used to write your operating system, meaning that they have to be a bit lower level. This doesn’t really matter within the confines of this blog, I just wanted to give you the reader some background information on the wonderful world of computer programming. Join us, just do it.

In the beginning of my academic development I took a Java programming class at the junior college level. While there, we were instructed to pick up one of the more affordable books I’ve had to purchase during my college experience. It boils down to a pretty basic reference guide for different programming concepts in the Java programming language as well as the ranges of various variables. If I were to compare it to something, I’d say as far as programming books go this is probably somewhat close to one of those mechanic guides you can get for your car at the auto parts store. The majority of this book has basically become obsolete thanks to the wonders of the internet and the awesome communities of programmers on Stack Overflow and the like.

Having said that I do have a profound love of books, the technical term is “Bibliophile” and given the opportunity I’d much rather read a concept in detail out of a book then on a computer screen. Oddly enough most books don’t do it for me, my love is primarily for programming books which puts me in an interesting contradictory niche of both the computer world as well as book lovers. Not to mention that technology is a rapidly evolving construct that quickly leaves many books on the subject outdated, but there are things that do not change with age. In fact many of the concepts used in computer graphics were developed ages before we even had computers. My hat’s off to the mathematicians who dedicated their lives to laying down the framework for something they would never see. It’s really almost poetic.

So down to the subject of the blog, I did in fact lose my Java programming book. Which although functionally not necessary for me to really do anything that I would need to do, I have grown sentimentally attached. This is a sad day, that is of course unless I left it in my laptop bag. Perhaps if I check a fifth time..

Nope, not in my laptop bag. It was under my Object-Oriented Design & Patterns book though! The day is mine! All shall rejoice! For today is a good day!

My name is Chris Diel and when I’m not writing about books I misplace I’m a DJ on the KSSU🙂


Untitled-1I’m sitting at my desk, it’s 1 am and I’ve just returned from the bar where I’ve been singing karaoke with a bunch of old friends. The cool air is flowing past from a whole house fan and I’m  listening to my hip hop Pandora station while drinking a large glass of ice water. It’s a good night.

Anyhoo, I’m here to write about Inktober. Created in 2009 by a Mr. Jake Parker, this is something that has been popping up in my social network feeds for awhile now and this coming October will by my first time participating. The premise is simple enough; you draw something once a day for the entire month of October, and place it on one of your social media websites. They aren’t all that particular about which one, but if you’re planning on participating, I’d suggest Twitter as that seems to be the largest following I’ve seen.

Skill really isn’t a factor, but most of the people I’ve seen share their drawings generally know which end of the pen has ink coming out, and also tend to know how to use said pen as well. It ranges from people who are learning to draw and need the practice to people who are basically showing off. The whole point of it is to practice though, so I wouldn’t let the pro’s discourage. Or really ever in anything you do. This is your life, don’t let skilled people intimidate you from doing what you want to do. Everyone was a beginner once.

Also, once you’ve done the deed, (by that I mean drawing your drawing) you’ll want to tag it with a hashtag which is totally a twitter thing, but you can do it on other services as well.



This will allow people to look up inktober submissions and enjoy your artwork!

There are actually a lot of different months like this. The other one that comes to mind is November’s Nanowrimo, where people attempt to write a book in a month. I’ve attempted this one as well and didn’t finish, but I think this year I’ll give it another shot. If I don’t succeed this time, I’ll give it a shot next year. You can also attempt to grow a beard in November for no shave November. There are also 48 hour game making competitions if you’re more of a techy. These guys are great. I’ve been apart of Ludum Dare for a few years now and if you’re into making games, I’ve found few communities I like as much.

When November starts coming up, I’ll attempt to write a book and write another blog post about my attempt as well as a postmortem.

My name is Chris Diel and when I’m not singing karaoke, doing Inktober, attempting to write a book in a month, not shaving for November, developing video games, or programming in general, you can find me at Sacramento State’s only student run radio station KSSU.

Look forward to next week when I release an article on my current progress with my Raspberry Pi, or Linkedin, or something else. I don’t know what I’m going to write about yet, but it’ll be good!

Let’s Review Pomades Vol.1, Review 1: Lockhart’s Goon Grease

pomade-pomadeLockhart’s Goon Grease is a heavy hold pomade created by Steve and Nichole Lockhart, owner and operators of Lockhart’s Authentic Grooming Company in Michigan. Goon Grease applies like a light hold, but keeps your hair up and shining all day according to the Lockhart’s website. Made for “The scary fellas that come from the other side of the tracks,” The Lockharts suggest that Goon Grease is perfect for slick backs, pompadours, and everything in between.

hr_465-166-00_lockharts-goon-grease-hair-pomadeTHE TIN

Lockhart’s Goon Grease comes in a nice and sturdy 4oz tin can. The tin comes in a variety of designs including the original, which just says “Lockhart’s Goon Grease” on the top of the tin (The one featured in this review), the special edition, which features the Goon Grease mascot, and the recent “Goon For President” tin, a presidential campaign button appearance guaranteeing you that Goon Grease is a “REAL” pomade that you can trust.


The original Goon Grease comes in a teal color with either two scents: a cucumber citrus blend (Featured in this review) or a cinnamon sandalwood blend. The cucumber citrus blend is uniquely aromatic, but not too overpowering. It is an oil-based pomade made of petrolatum, microcrystalline wax, beeswax, avocado oil, lanolin, and parfum for the scent.


Surprisingly, the product was easy to apply for a heavy hold pomade. Though the top layer of the pomade is pretty hard, a few seconds under the hot air of a blow dryer should make the top layer easier to scoop. Just a knuckle’s worth of Goon Grease did the trick for my hair, but you may need more or less depending on what you are trying to achieve with your hair. The break down of the pomade took about fifteen seconds. Like the Lockharts stated on their website, Goon Grease does not apply like your average heavy hold pomade. There was not much hair tugging or struggle to run a comb through the hair like the past experiences of dealing with heavier pomades, but a more simple process.


Using a fine-toothed comb, styling with Goon Grease was moderately simple. Though the short hairs on the sides were resistant at first, I managed to get them down as well as creating an executive contour-like look with a clean part on the right side under ten minutes. In other experiences with heavier products, it has taken as long as twenty minutes to style my hair, but in this case, I got the style I wanted in half the time.


Heavy holds have the reputation to keep your hair up all day even through the roughest of working and extracurricular conditions. Goon Grease has a strong endurance. After an afternoon work shift exposed to the California heat, Goon Grease kept my hair looking good throughout my shift. The cucumber citrus scent became subtle as time passed by, but still stood out as an evening breeze passed by. Goon Grease’s shine is great for a heavy, but the shine will dip down as time goes by, but that’s normal




Compared to heavy hold oil-based pomades, Goon Grease can take a couple of washes to completely remove from your hair, which may be a good thing or bad thing depending on your preferences. To get Goon Grease out of my hair, I used a little dab of Brylcreem to reduce the build up in my hair and proceeded to shower. Most of the product washed out thanks to the Brycreem and thoroughly shampooing my hair.


Goon Grease has a big following in the pomade community, praised by reviewers for its easy application and its impressive hold. Though I’d recommend Goon Grease for styles such as vintage pompadours and slickbacks, Goon Grease can be a reliable product to use for many styles from the quiff, executive contour, and everything in between. With a variety of good scents, easy application, and low styling difficulty, Lockhart’s Goon Grease is a must try for all of you who prefer heavy hold oil based pomades and for those of you who think you are one of “The scary fellas that come from the other side of the tracks.”

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

BeachDJ Sloppy Joe here.

It’s sad to know that Summer fun is over with and its’ back to the grind with Fall 2016. However, it’s not completely bad that Fall 2016 is upon us; in December, I will be graduating with my bachelors degree in Communications and minoring in Psychology. All the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears at Sacramento State is finally going to pay off. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

However, let’s do a recap of my Summer 2016. For starters, at the end of Spring 2016, I attended the Bernie Sander rally at the Sacrament Cal Expo. During a time where political debate is high and presidential candidates are going to be voted on in November, I felt that it was necessary to attend the Bernie Sanders rally. To be honest, I am not very political and I am not very happy with the candidates we have to choose from, but listening to Bernie Sanders speech was very insightful and shed light on economic topics that I had never considered before. I didn’t attend this rally to be a band wagoner, but more so to learn about a candidate that I thought fit the middle road between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Overall, the rally was fun to attend and I learned a lot about the possibility of change within our country.

20160608_144600Beyond the Sanders rally, I actually was a part of some fun activities. For instance, my girlfriend Jessica and one of my best friends, Devin visited the South Yuba River State Park for the first time where we were able to lounge in some watering holes and float in our inner tubes down a few rapids. This place was really cozy and not crowded by tons of people, which made it relaxing. We packed enough food for the afternoon, had lunch, jumped off some rocks into the water, and headed home for the day. Overall, it was the perfect day escape when the temperatures in Sacramento were 100 plus degrees.

Next on the Summer list was Pokemon Go. This app took me by storm. For those who don’t know, Pokemon Go combines the feature of geocaching with the means of catching Pokemon characters. Mind you, I never grew up watching Pokemon or playing with Pokemon cards, so Pokemon Go was completely foreign to me. When I initially started playing, I had no idea what I was doing and luckily my friend Amanda is a comic nerd and she educated me on everything Pokemon related. What started out as this fun app quickly turned into an addiction of wanting to “Catch Them All”. Nepokemon-go-logoarly every night that I was not working, I would spend evenings in Davis parks, the Woodland Cemetery, and Old Sacramento attempting to spin Poke Stops and catch Pokemon over and over again so I could keep leveling up. Eventually the problem got so bad that I racked up a nice data charge on my phone bill. Ha! It was at this point that I had to do some self-reflection and wean myself off of playing Pokemon Go. The game in general is extremely fun, but super addicting and it makes it hard to play during the semester when you’re balancing work, school, and organizations that you are a part of.

Another fun event that I was a part of this Summer was taking my 89-year-old Grandpa to Yosemite National Park. We collectively went as a family and got a chance to see Half Dome and El Capitan. We stayed at a cabin within the park for only two nights, but we packed in as much sightseeing as we possibly could, including hiking to Yosemite Falls.

Between traveling and working as a server at a restaurant, I  spent my free time hitting the gym religiously, teaching myself Spanish, going out to restaurants with friends, and viewing the latest films of the Summer. In sum, I feel that I had a pretty successful Summer and I am looking forward to graduating in December. Sacramento State University has been one of the best chapters of my life.

How to Adult: Establishing a Credit Score

imagesWelcome to the first installment in my ‘How to Adult’ series. Today, we are going to focus on establishing a credit score. We live in post-recession times, and a major contributor to that recession was poor risk management by major financial institutions. Basically, that means banks and other lenders were handing out loans, even to people who couldn’t afford them. Consequently, when everything went to hell, the federal government (who can’t keep their nose out of anything) increased regulations which has made it harder to get a loan. This has greatly impacted those of us who want to get started building credit, which is something the real adults have been nagging us about forever. Now that the regulations are more stringent, lenders are not handing out credit cards to the inexperienced anymore, so we will explore ways to get credit, even when you have none.
First, let’s explore what a credit score is. There are three major bureaus (which are actually publicly traded companies…yea…put that in your pipe and smoke it) creating elaborate algorithms in order to determine if a person is lendable. Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian each have their own patented equations intent on turning a person’s nature into a number, and often times there are many equations that weigh factors differently in order to meet specific needs of a lender. Just in case having countless financial institutions, and three different credit bureaus isn’t convoluted enough, now we have to come to terms with having something like…30 different scores!? But fear not; we are going to work through this together.
First to build credit: My three recommendations to get you started.

  1. Get a low limit student credit card from a larger institution that won’t be overly concerned about taking a potential loss. From the perspective of the financial institution you choose, you having no score means they have no way to tell if you are a person who ‘makes good’ on your obligations. In other words, lending to you comes with higher risk. This is why I recommend a larger institution who may have a higher tolerance for risk.
  2. If you are like me, and absolutely loath big banks, but still need to get started building credit, fear not, because this will be the option for you. Find a smaller financial institution, like your local credit union, and ask for a secured credit card. The financial institution will ask you to put down on deposit all or some of the dollar amount limit on your credit card, meaning you put $300 into an account and allow the institution to hold that money. In return, they give you a credit card with a $300 limit. The money you put down is still yours, it is merely held just in case you choose to use the credit card irresponsibly. This means less risk for the smaller financial institutions which increases the likelihood of lending to an individual without a credit score. An excellent option to start building a credit score for those of us without a co-signer.
  3. Although this is by no means the last option to start building credit, it will be the last explored in this post, and the most simple: have a co-signer or qualified co-applicant. A family member who is willing to take responsibility for a person without a credit score mitigates risk for the financial institution, making it more appealing to lend to you. This is an excellent option for a person wanting a higher limit credit card, but does not necessarily have the money to put a large amount down.

Join us here on the KSSU Blog for the next instalment ‘How to Adult: Improving a Credit Score’ where we will take a deeper look into what the magic number means, how the bureaus come up with the numbers, and what to do if you need to turn that score around.


Introduction-How to Adult Series

imagesWe live in the age of instant gratification, short attention spans, and even shorter sighted goals. The myriad of distractions available have such a hold on our generation—mind you, I am no exception— they can and often do usurp from our minds all things uninteresting and dull. What motivation do we have to spend any amount of thought on the practical when the time could be passed scrolling through social media while watching Netflix and simultaneously Facetiming our S.O.? It is human nature to take the path of least resistance, and we see this played out most dramatically in the lives of us young adults.  The problem is a snow-balling self-fulfilling prophecy; as college students we are aware it is happening, we understand that each moment willingly spend on the readily available distractions does nothing to improve the quality of self, yet we do not resist. That new cat video on YouTube is still more interesting after 30 views than some article about the election, or the pile of homework that never seems to go away, right? Arguably the most depressing part of that idea is not that we are such terrible people who don’t find academics and learning interesting, it is that no one creating curriculum tries very hard to make it interesting—or even relevant half the time.
As a collective, college students are stuck on a cycle of ‘memorize, regurgitate, forget’ and are unwittingly perpetuating the assignment of tasks that can be depressingly menial, all in order to beget knowledge that often times is never interesting enough to file past short-term memory. It is my hope though, that knowledge and learning that has a practical application to life will have ability to hold our interest in a way that a teacher telling us something is relevant does not.
All that being said, I am going to endeavor to do something here that should have begun in grade school. In a series of Blogs I will attempt to share important life skills—knowledge that will actually benefit the life of a college student, or anyone—in a brief and hopefully interesting way. It is my hope that these short, beneficial lessons on ‘How to Adult’ will be able to contend with those ubiquitous distractions and impact in a meaningful way.
Join me here on the KSSU Blog for our first instalment next week: ‘How to Adult: Establishing a Credit Score’ which will be a precursor to our second article ‘How to Adult: Improving a Credit Score’.