Member, Board of Trustees (2011)
The California State University
Bernadette Cheyne is currently a professor of theater, film, and dance at Humboldt State University. Cheyne has served in multiple roles at Humboldt State, which include chairing the Theater, Film, and Dance Department from 1998 to 2001 and again from 2006 to 2010. Cheyne was also the interim associate dean for the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences in the spring of 2003. She has been involved in faculty governance for over 18 years, including chairing the Humboldt State Academic Senate, and served as a statewide senator for the CSU Academic Senate since 2004.
Prior to entering academia, Cheyne spent 16 years in Alaska which served as a springboard for her ongoing interests in wildland resources and sustainable technologies. During that time, she also served as a legal secretary, court transcriber, and for seven years operated her own business as a court reporter.
After undergraduate work at Northwestern University and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Cheyne received an MFA in acting from the University of Texas, Austin in 1990. In addition to her positions in higher education, Cheyne continues to work as an actor and director in numerous venues.
Cheyne is involved in professional organizations such as the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions, and the Redwood Curtain Theatre Consortium. She received the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Medallion in 2004 for exceptional contributions to the teaching and producing of theatre. In 2009, Cheyne was awarded the KCACTF Region VIII Excellence in Education Award.
Cheyne and her husband, Ivan Hess, a retired professor of scenic design and theatre technology, have three children and four grandchildren. When possible, they spend time at their ranch in Trinity County where they focus upon organic gardening and alternative technologies.