Wednesday, October 21, 2009

HSU art professor passes away

M. Wayne Knight allegedly suffering from flu-related complications

Humboldt Sentinel staff


M. Wayne Knight, 60, a Professor of Art at Humboldt State University, died the morning of Oct. 21 at Mad River Hospital of complications brought on by H1N1 influenza. He had been hospitalized for a number of days.

Knight joined the Humboldt State faculty in 2002 and taught graphic design, graphic design program development and graphics lab management. His exhibits spanned galleries from Rome to Los Angeles. His works also were featured on the Redwood Coast at HSU’s First Street Gallery and Reese Bullen Gallery, the Morris Graves Museum in Eureka and the Grace Hudson Museum and Mendocino College in Ukiah, where his family resides.

Knight earned his master of arts degree at San Francisco State University and his bachelor of arts at UCLA. From 1996 to 2002, he was art director and graphics specialist at SoftMed Systems, in Sacramento. A long-time freelance artist, he engaged in a broad variety of projects, including computer and traditional graphic design, portraiture, set design, murals, architectural rendering, video production and photography.

In a message to the campus community, HSU President Rollin Richmond wrote, “We have lost a friend and dedicated professor who will be sorely missed. A number of individuals from our campus have been in close contact with Professor Knight's family, and we have conveyed heartfelt condolences on behalf of the University. I ask that you keep his family in your thoughts in the days to come.”

Memorial arrangements are pending.

For students needing assistance dealing with Professor Knight’s death, help is available through HSU Counseling and Psychological Services at 826-3236. Staff and faculty can obtain counseling services through the University’s Employee Assistance Program at 443-7358.

Humboldt State Student Health Center Director Rebecca Stauffer called Knight’s death a terrible loss for the campus, and said it was an important reminder about the seriousness of H1N1. She said this is an important new H1N1 warning for the small number of people who are severely affected by H1N1. Sick individuals, she said, are advised to seek medical care if they do not start feeling better after three to four days, or any time they become suddenly worse.

Stauffer issued a reminder to individuals with certain underlying health conditions that they might be at especially high risk. These include pregnancy, cancer, blood disorders (including sickle cell disease), chronic lung disease (including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), diabetes, heart disease, kidney and liver disorders and neurological disorders (including nervous system, brain or spinal cord), neuromuscular disorders (including muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis) and weakened immune systems (including people with AIDS).

Persons with these pre-existing conditions who become sick with the flu should call or visit their medical provider early in their illness to be assessed for possible anti-viral medication.

Precautions for all persons to stay healthy include frequent and thorough hand washing, coughing and sneezing into sleeves and avoiding contact with anyone who is ill. Individuals who suspect they have contracted influenza should stay at home until the fever has subsided for at least 24 hours without medicine to keep the fever down.

Depending on distribution timetables, H1N1 vaccine is expected to be delivered to the Student Health Center in mid-November, and an all-day campus vaccination clinic is being planned. All eligible people are urged to be vaccinated.

Updated campus news and information about H1N1 is available at

No comments: