Chico journalism professor recruits at Media Academy

Chico journalism professor recruits at Media Academy

Features editor Aleanna Santos and Chico professor Dave Waddell show off each other’s school newspapers.

A professor drove three hours from Chico to Oakland to sell his award-winning journalism program to an award-winning high school journalism staff.

Dave Waddell, director of Journalism at Chico State University, came to Media Academy on Oct. 31 to recruit seniors and inform juniors about the journalism program at Chico.

“Our school newspaper, The Orion, won 11 Pacemaker awards,” Waddell told members of Media Academy’s Green & Gold newspaper, which won fourth place last year in a national competition.

The Pacemaker is a national award for excellence in student journalism and is known as the “Pulitzer Prize of college journalism.”

Media Academy has been a recruitment target for Waddell for at least five years. Several former Green & Gold editors have attended Chico State, including student Emely Srimoukda, Ronald Johnson, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Brittany Sneed from the class of 2009. Jamari Caldwell and Powell Lee, both members of the Class of 2008, also are at Chico.

Waddell, who has been at Chico more than 16 years, wasn’t just trying to admit more newspaper journalism students. He also spoke about other majors such as a new multimedia program.

Features editor Aleanna Santos was one of several Green & Gold students to talk to Waddell about how Chico would match her interests. Speaking with Waddell, she said, expanded her knowledge about the college. It is one of her top choices.

“I would recommend students to go to Chico because it’s really different compared to Oakland,” said Santos, who learned Chico has very few minorities. “If people only stay in their comfort zone, then I feel like that won’t get them really far in their life because of the lack of experience.”

Green & Gold adviser Lisa Shafer said Chico has been a good fit for many Media Academy students.

“Chico State has an excellent award-winning newspaper,” said Shafer. “Dr. Waddell is committed to having more diversity in his journalism program, and when our kids go to Chico, he helps them feel at home.”

During his visit, Waddell also shared his thoughts about the Green & Gold.

He liked a lot of stories, including one by Santos on the California Dream Act and one on teacher Richard Yacco’s experience in the world-famous Stanford prison experiment by Gloria “Jack” Mejia. However, he told Mejia she could have used more than one source in the story.

Mejia added another source for that story and it will be published in the Oaktown Teen Times.