Soaking it in

I’ve been feeling really lucky lately to get the chance to sit and listen to people talk.

Whether this is worthwhile depends mostly on the people speaking, and based on who I’ve been listening to, it definitely is.

I spent last weekend in San Francisco at the Associated Collegiate Press Midwinter National College Journalism Convention, where I sat in on sessions with titles like “How to be an editor without killing someone,” listened to keynote speeches from people like Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Mark Fiore, had a small group Q&A session with a news reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle and enjoyed complimentary coffee and red pens.

acpsf I geeked out, to say the least. These conventions get me pumped about my career, and getting the opportunity to engage with professionals and my fellow student journalists from all over the country is priceless. Not to mention the fact that my own newspaper won first place in the Best of Show contest and took home a trophy. I triumphantly carried that bad boy home on BART and then back to the newsroom in Chico. We also won second place in the multimedia package category and fourth place for our website.

The awards were a nice way to end the weekend, but the networking I did and much of what I got to learn were the best parts. Just getting to see how other student newspapers run and look was interesting. And I mean, Storify cofounder Burt Herman made a Storify about the conference during his keynote speech using what all of us had been posting online with the #acpsf hashtag. How cool is that?

I got back to town from the convention Monday, but by Wednesday I was already gaining more insight from another professional, this time on campus. Ali Manzano, the social media editor at The Oregonian, visited our newspaper critique session this week to talk social media as part of the Scripps Howard Foundation/AEJMC Social Media Externship Program.

oregonianShe talked to us about branding, referring to our social media accounts in print and engaging with our audience on these platforms through questions that go along with articles.

Manzano basically created her job at The Oregonian in 2010, which is pretty impressive. It’s always interesting for me to hear about the backgrounds of people with awesome jobs in order to see how they got to where they are.


And even with all of that, I’ll also be sitting and listening to people talk Thursday and Friday. Chico State is hosting its This Way to Sustainability Conference, where I’ll get to gain insight from professionals about various global, national and regional environmental issues. Many of the sessions directly relate to my minor and my interests, so I can’t wait to see what else I can soak in this week.


Green campus title may be a facade

Green campus title may be a facade is an opinion column written for The Orion.

Chico State boasts of being a green campus, but it seems to be a bit more of a dark, murky color.

The university was recently named one of Yahoo News’ top-five green colleges in America for its LEED-certified buildings and solar panels, but while there are solar panels on a couple of buildings, they are oddly absent from the ideally slanted roof of the Wildcat Recreation Center. The roof slants away from the direction in which the sun shines.

Read More »

B.Y.O.B. Bags, that is.

Your essential guide to reusable bags and everything you need to know about them. All the bases are covered.


by Jenna Valdespino

May 16, 2011

The grocery store check-out line.

It’s a standard, familiar place, where you exchange your hard-earned money for groceries. The bored teenage checker, the rolling belt and the sound of products being scanned are all too familiar.

What is becoming less standard is what you carry those goods home in.

Sure, there’s paper and there’s plastic, but you’ve noticed some people declining those offers and bringing in their own various bags. But why? Why is that woman giving you dirty looks for using all those plastic bags?

Read More »