October 19, 2018
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Voter’s registration deadline nears Speed limit changes in Rohnert Park In their very own words: Q&A with CRPUSD trustee candidates - Part 2 Airman Garcia graduated from Lackland Air Base DMV warns Californians Garage door safety becomes law RP man arrested with a knife Senator Dodd announces Child Passenger Safety week Gov. Brown signs bill to expand insurance relief for homeowners County targets un-permitted cannabis operations R. Haley heading to new job in San Diego County New law allows voters to track ballots Construction on Redwood Drive and Highway 116 Weaver says hello to the ‘friendly city’ Coffee with a Cop Check point coming Sept. 15 Pamatmat honorary mayor of Cotati Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works receives CAL FIRE Prevention Grant Traffic collision in ‘A’ section leads to a DUI arrest Checkpoint catches 7 charioteers Fire caused by big rig crash Outlook for RP economy looks good Smart safety tips for public transit riders Robbery suspect needs lessons in probation law Beautifying with boulders in RP Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Coffee with Cops at Cotati Coffee Company Cotati gives go-ahead for complex sewer extension City of RP hires expert to help with investigation of police practices Shooting for the stars: Rancho alumna joins Boeing Space Cotati Police & SSU Police 911 Dispatch Services unify 30th annual summer hog run Local 4th of July festivities Public auction in Cotati Rancho Adobe launches tax initiative for November ballot Schwartz enjoys lunch at RP Senior Center Cal Fire issues open burn suspension: Hot weather brings ban Cotati's National Night Out Celebrating National Night Out in our local cities Domestic violence case leads to vehicle pursuit Locals celebrate National Night Out World’s ugliest dog retires to Penngrove Come “Stuff the truck” for Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue Mountain lion sightings increase in Sonoma County A sea of flags wave proudly in the breeze Police Officer Wardle receives MADD award Scheduling makes waves at Magnolia Pool Unclear whether Chili’s data hack affected Rohnert Park location Local election results: Supervisors hold their seats and Regional Measure 3 passes Stop in the name of the paw Cotati continues discussion with VP on carbon fee program RP Dept. of Public Safety holds community meetings Opinion editorial RP looking for applicants Fire recovery events at SSU One famous flag 4Cs partners with the North Bay Fire Relief Fund Weeds, just the tip of the iceberg

SSU counselor being remembered as energetic and hard-working

  • Photo courtesy of Jamie Zamjahn.

By: Katherine Minkiewicz
June 8, 2018

Sonoma State University Academic advisor Hollie Pruden, who was killed in a violent car accident on Bennett Valley Road in May, is now being remembered by community members and peers as a hard-working advisor who had a passion for helping undeclared students find their path in school.

Pruden was killed the morning of May 25 after her Toyota Yaris was struck by a Mercedes sedan on Bennett Valley Road near the Santa Rosa boarder. Reportedly her Yaris slid sideways, careening on the slippery, wet road directly into the oncoming sedan. 

While the driver of the Mercedes was taken to the hospital with only mild injuries, Pruden died at the scene and is now being remembered by her colleagues as a patient and passionate student mentor.

Pruden had started her position at the university as an academic advisor in February of 2018 and had made the move across country from the east coast to settle into her career.

“Her start date was Feb. 7. She had just moved here from Florida with her husband,” said Paul Gullixson, associate vice president for strategic communications at Sonoma State. “We were afraid it was her and when we heard it was a car with Florida plates our hearts sank.”

The 37-year-old had an extensive background in academic affairs, counseling and education leadership and had numerous degrees.

She held a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Sarasota, a master’s degree in academic advising and master’s in education leadership.

“She was a coordinator of academic affairs at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. She had done academic advising for two years. She was a grad-school graduate from Kansas State University in 2015 with her M.A. in academic advising, she also got her master’s in education leadership from Argosy University in Florida,” Gullixson said.

In a Jan. 30 Sonoma State Student Affairs announcement post, Senior Director of Student Academic Services, Jami Zamjahn wrote of Pruden, “Hollie comes to Sonoma State with great experience as an academic and career advisor at multiple institutions… She takes great pride in the partnerships she forms with students..”

Zamjahn also said that Pruden was excited about making Santa Rosa and Sonoma State her new home.

When asked if she was well-liked by students and the Seawolf community, Gullixson said he hasn’t spoken to many students about her but that she was well-liked and respected among her colleagues in the academic advising department.

“I know she was highly respected among her peers for her energy and creativity… She helped students find their passion and their path — she was particularly gifted at that,” Gullixson said.

Sonoma State University President, Judy K. Sakaki issued a statement May 25, saying Seawolves’ hearts were heavy upon learning about the fatal accident. Sakaki also echoed Gullixson’s comments, saying that Pruden was highly valued by her colleagues.

“Our hearts are breaking at the tragic passing of Hollie Pruden… a beloved member of our Seawolf family. Although Hollie was a relatively new member of our campus community, she was a highly valued colleague and mentor to our students. She was energetic, creative and dedicated to helping our undeclared students find their passion and offering them the  guidance they needed,” Sakaki said.

In her spare time, Pruden enjoyed spending time with her husband, baking, experimenting with photography and exploring the outdoors. She was also an avid movie and music fan, according to the student affairs announcement post.

Sakaki also mentioned the University would be offering counselling to anyone who may need it following the tragedy.

Gullixson said the University is planning a memorial to celebrate Pruden, however, the details are still being worked out.

“We are extending our deepest and most sincere condolences to Hollie’s family,” Sakaki said. “She was much too young with so much potential for us to lose her.”