Who to know
And what you should know about them
Cool New People
As you scurry around the Chico State campus taking in all the new scenery and new faces, there are a few people you should pay attention to.
Whether it’s the president of the university or the GM of the campus radio station, the five people profiled here pull some weight around these parts and could be of assistance during your tenure at Chico State.
Even if you never speak a word to them, you should at least know who they are. So we’ve taken the liberty of painting a little portrait of each of them. Add them to your friends list. No, please, thank us later.
Chico State University president
Paul Zingg looks every bit the university president—tall, immaculately dressed, distinguished white hair and beard.
Zingg came to Chico State University in February 2004 after spending his previous nine years as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
The university’s 11th president said he likes the campus’ relationship with the downtown and the accessibility to the arts and the outdoors. Aside from Chico’s being a beautiful place to live, Zingg said, Chico State is an excellent place to get an education.
“I see it evidenced here every day,” Zingg said. “The bottom line is student success.”
Zingg is an avid baseball fan, in particular of the San Francisco Giants, and has written a couple of books on the topic. He’s currently working on new books about two of his other passions—golf and Ireland, a country he travels to when his schedule allows.
So what’s something students may not know about the university president?
“I’ve got a tattoo,” Zingg said sheepishly, although he wouldn’t divulge what was eternally inked on his skin or where it was located. “I can’t tell you that,” he said with a grin. “People can speculate.”
Music: R.E.M., David Grey, Bruce Springsteen, U2.
Movies: Lawrence of Arabia, Groundhog Day, Annie Hall, Bull Durham, Saving Private Ryan.
Television: ESPN, CNN
Books: Poetry by Robert Hass, The Killer Angels by Michael Schaara, anything on Abraham Lincoln, The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn.
Smoke/Drink: Do not smoke and never have.
Associated Students president
As last year’s A.S. executive vice president, Thomas Whitcher kept the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) meetings moving and fellow officers on their toes.
Now he passes down his gavel to this year’s executive V.P., Katie Connett and eases into the role of A.S. president.
Calling himself a “super senior,” Whitcher is a history major pursuing a minor in leadership studies. When he’s not doing presidential stuff, Whitcher said he likes to wake-board at Shasta Lake and ski at his cabin in the winter.
One of Whitcher’s goals is to work with the university and the city on the issue of student safety—a hot topic over the last year. He said he also wants to make sure the new Wildcat Activity Center stays on schedule to open in fall 2008 by working with University Advancement to get outside donations.
There probably won’t be many trips to the cabin this year, but Whitcher seems intent on tackling what have been some contentious issues.
Music: Third Eye Blind, Garth Brooks, Usher.
Movies: The Indiana Jones trilogy, The Patriot, The Incredibles.
Television: When I have time, ER, Will & Grace, The Apprentice.
Books: Ender’s Game.
Smoke/Drink: I don’t smoke and I drink two-three Nalgenes (water) a day.
Managing editor, The Orion
Becky Regan was 15 when her dad bought her The Last of the Best, a collection of stories from the late, great Jim Murray, the Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist at the Los Angeles Times. It was then that she knew exactly what she wanted to do.
“I became one of the millions of sportswriters who aspire to Jim Murray’s greatness,” Regan said earnestly.
A product of Orange County, Regan bleeds Dodger blue and has a knack for relating everything in life to baseball. She started her Orion career as a sportswriter in fall 2002.
“I weaseled my way onto the paper,” she joked.
From there Regan became sports editor before trying her hand at news writing. In fall 2004, she became assistant news editor and took over as the award-winning weekly’s news editor the following semester.
She’s grown accustomed to the long weeks and even longer nights spent down in the basement of Plumas Hall, where the paper is put together, but still manages to sneak away for the occasional weekend of snowboarding.
Now Regan holds down the fort as managing editor of The Orion and says the newspaper is one of the most important institutions on campus and that students should come introduce themselves.
“I’m in charge of the campus paper, and it’s their voice.”
Music: Radiohead (“There’s Radiohead and then there’s everything else.”), Smashing Pumpkins, Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Norah Jones, Jets to Brazil.
Movies: The Royal Tenenbaums, Meet Joe Black, October Sky, Wet, Hot American Summer, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Television: “It’s a baseball aid.” Gilmore Girls, The OC.
Books: Cannery Row, The Good Earth, The Stranger, Memoirs of a Geisha, All the President’s Men.
Study Abroad program coordinator
So now you are in Chico, far from home. Ever thought about leaving the country?
Almost 10 percent of graduating seniors at Chico State study abroad for a semester or a year, well above the 2 percent national average, said Tasha Dev, coordinator for Chico State’s Study Abroad program.
“It’s a bit hectic over here,” said Dev, explaining that although the number of students traveling has grown, the staff has remained the same size.
After a few stints filling in as the program’s coordinator, Dev finally took the position full-time in 2001 upon finishing her master’s thesis in Grenada, Spain.
Dev said the number of Chico State students who’ve studied abroad has tripled and that last semester 300 students representing 38 different majors traveled over the pond.
“There’s this idea that only language majors study abroad, and that’s not the case,” Dev said.
One of the most important things students take away from studying abroad is developing patience and empathy toward those who struggle with the language and cultural barrier in our own country.
“Every student who leaves our country is a cultural ambassador,” Dev said. “And I think that is going to build bridges.”
Music: World Lounge, Afro-Cuban rhythms, Maná, Damien Rice, Dave Matthews, Maroon 5.
Movies: Monsoon Wedding, L’auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment), Lost In Translation, Love Actually, When Harry Met Sally.
Television: BBC, Link TV (“I’m a news junkie.”)
Books: Historical or cultural fiction.
General manager, KCSC Radio
KCSC, Chico State’s student-run radio station, has been kicking around since the beginnings of rock ‘n’ roll.
The station premiered on March 14, 1951, in what is now Ayres Hall, at 720 on the AM dial, and made the jump to the Internet in 1999.
In its 50-plus years, the station has seen countless DJs and programmers enter the fray—all with the common goal of spinning music that doesn’t reek of corporate stink.
Matt Kiser, a kid from Sonoma with a penchant for punk rock, started at KCSC in the fall of 2002 as a DJ and now is the station’s general manager.
Kiser, who’s double majoring in journalism and American studies, said the benefits of the station are two-fold: Not only does KCSC provide internships to students interested in broadcasting, but it is also an outlet for the best music out there.
“Pretty much every band that’s made an impact spent time at the college radio level,” said Kiser, citing Elliot Smith and Nirvana as examples.
Kiser believes Internet radio will become the norm in the future and said the upside is there are no FCC regulations on the music and that someone across the nation can listen as well.
However, the station’s future location is still unclear. The equipment, thousands of records and CDs have to be cleared by Dec. 9, before the Stiles Warehouse on the corner of Second and Cherry is demolished to make room for the Wildcat Activity Center.
Kiser said no matter where the station ends up, KCSC will continue on, hopefully with a few new surprises.
He puts it simply: “A new home, a new era.”
Music: Ted Leo + Pharmacists, Blues Explosion, Iggy Pop, The Clash, Screeching Weasel.
Movies: Fight Club, Office Space, Major League, The Family Guy DVD, Da Ali G Show DVD.
Television: “I don’t really watch it except for Giants baseball.”
Books: Culture Jam, 1984, A Drink With Shane MacGowan, Dispatches from the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit.