The Orion is My Life

By Liam Turner, Senior, Major: Communication Design — Graphic Design, Minor: Photographic Studies

The Orion is unabashedly my life. During the semester, from midday Sunday until Tuesday night, I spend about 14 hours sleeping and what seems like the other 46 in The Orion offices in the Plumas Hall basement. With a couple more hours thrown in throughout the rest of the week, I spend about half of my waking hours at The Orion each week.

You may call it insanity, but I call it passion. I became the art director at the end of the fall 2010 semester, and the spring was a whirlwind. The Orion quickly defined my life with a meeting or task every day (except Saturday). I was rudely awakened early on more than one Wednesday morning to help distribute the paper. Sunday night work shifts rolled into Monday morning often, and with an 8 a.m. class, that’s hell. But I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.

Almendra Carpizo & Liam Turner at the Hollywood Journalism Convention

I was hired a little over a year ago as an editorial designer, someone who helps lay out the stories, photos, and other content. Then I was paired with a first-time editor, Almendra Carpizo, on the features section, and the two of us have moved up together. Almendra will be The Orion’s editor-in-chief this fall.

This is my Chico experience. I get to be a part of this community while at The Orion. I have the chance to learn how to be an art director and a leader. I get the opportunity to build my own staff and train my designers. And we all get the privilege of putting together a high-quality product and seeing it in the hands of students every week.

This is a pretty rare opportunity in college, too. To lead fellow students and really create an environment of development and design is something I wouldn’t have expected. I’m grateful, though.

Even after all the stressful deadlines, all the late nights and long hours, and the toll a full-time job (plus a 15-unit schedule) takes, this is still the best job I’ve ever had. There are three reasons for this.

First and foremost, I’m able to work with some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. Secondly, we get the opportunity to hone our respective talents in a professional environment with real consequences and real rewards. Finally, the work we do has a real effect on the community, and we operate on a relatively large stage.

Orion staff at Hollywood Journalism Convention

The people, of course, are incredible. I’m very, very proud of our staff, from the upper management to the section editors to the staff writers and the business staff. We’re learning, but we’re still doing a great job. In fact, The Orion has historically been a very successful college newspaper. This last year, we again won the national excellence award at the annual collegiate newspaper conference—for the fifth straight year.

The Orion also provides an important voice for students and organizations on campus. While we use campus facilities (visit us in Plumas 001), we’re independent of the school and pay for our printing and distribution expenses entirely through sales of advertising. We strive for excellence, and we try to be as professional as possible.

You won’t see much of my writing in the fall, but you will see a fantastic and still developing video department as part of The Orion. It’s a great opportunity for students to get behind and in front of the cameras. You’ll also see Chico State’s award-winning student newspaper enter its 72nd semester.

The Perks of a Passport!

 By Amanda Clifford, Senior, Major: International Relations and Social Science, Marketing minor

I never thought I´d leave Chico State with my most valued possession being my passport, but the places it has taken me and what I´ve learned have sincerely changed my life. Spring semester of my sophomore year came, and I was feeling stuck in a little rut. I had a great job, loved running on the track team, and had no major complaints about classes, but I needed to mix things up a bit. I marched on up to the Study Abroad office, bombarded them with questions, filled out some paperwork, and was on my way.

Bangkok, Thailand

For all of you Chico State students who have never lived abroad, you´re missing out. I spent fall 2010 semester in Thailand, and I am currently enjoying my second study abroad experience this summer in Costa Rica. When I returned from Thailand I was hooked and wanted to be as involved as possible, so I became an intern in the Study Abroad office, where I got the opportunity to increase awareness of the study abroad options available at Chico State. Studying abroad is an invaluable experience; you will learn so much about yourself, your opportunities, and gain a more global perspective. You will experience a new culture with new foods, new language, different people with different beliefs—and you’ll have amazing adventures.

My host mom & me Puntarenas, Costa Rica

I know people have their reserves—it costs too much, you want to graduate on time, and so on. (I spent less on a semester in Thailand than I would have in Chico, and I’m still graduating in four years with a double major and minor, so I can personally promise that it is possible!) But no excuse is worth passing up on this experience that you can bring back to Chico and share with others. It increases your Chico Experience by instantly connecting you to the wonderful people in the Study Abroad office as well as all of the other students who have studied abroad. Not only that, but you will make lifelong friends in the process. I will forever have a couch that I can crash on in at least six other countries and amazing relationships with people all over the world.

While studying abroad I’ve learned languages, taken cooking classes, and experienced two amazing cultures. In Thailand I rode elephants, played with monkeys, shopped the busy outdoor markets, and had to close my eyes because the taxis drive so crazy. This summer in Costa Rica I’ve learned some Spanish, surfed, zip-lined, and lived with a host family who has been absolutely wonderful. I could go on for hours about what I’ve learned.

I’m here to let you know about the amazing study abroad opportunities that Chico State has to offer. No study abroad student I’ve ever talked to has regretted their decision to study abroad, but I’ve talked to countless graduates who look back and regret not doing so. College is a time of freedom before the real world to experience all that you can. I dare you to go up to the office and take the first step—just look at your options and consider the possibilities.

This is the first piece in a series of four about the Study Abroad opportunities available at Chico State year round.

Zesty Lemon Chicken — Chico Style!

chelsea beights

By Chelsea Beights, Senior, Major: Studio Art — Photography

Ciao! My name is Chelsea and I am the new social media and photography intern for Public Affairs and Publications. I will be blogging, tweeting, and Facebooking on the official University sites as we work to connect more with you, our audience. As a Chico local, I hope to share the charm and adventures Chico offers through the words of guest authors and a dash of my personal experiences. As many of you know, Chico is a substantial agricultural area, holding farmer’s markets year round and possessing fertile soil for growing fruits and vegetables right in your own backyard. I am very thankful for this rich soil and the lemon tree in my backyard, which blooms wildly and produces huge, succulent lemons! I really enjoy my time in the kitchen trying out new recipes and making my own, so I figured I’d share one that uses the lemons from my bountiful backyard tree. Enjoy!

Many people go through the same sort of conundrum around 5 p.m…. What should I make for dinner? Well, why not make something simple yet tasty with easily accessible ingredients! Let me introduce you to my


Let’s start with the ingredient list:

•    6 cloves of garlic
•    2 lemons
•    olive oil
•    salt
•    ground black pepper
•    Italian Seasoning
•    2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts

*Pre-heat oven to 375 °F
1. Take the 6 cloves of garlic and mince them.

2. Place the minced garlic in a pan with enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Let the garlic simmer in the oil for a few minutes, until golden, then remove from heat.

3. Take one of the two lemons and use a fine grater to make about 1/4 cup of zest.

4. Add about 1/2 tbsp of Italian Seasoning, the zest, and the juice from the first lemon into the cooling garlic and oil mixture. Mix thoroughly and then pour about 3/4 of the mixture into a 9X12 glass baking dish.

5. Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the breasts evenly in the pan.

6. Take the other lemon and cut into small slices. Take the lemon slices and spread them around the chicken in the pan. Then pour the last part of the mixture on top of the chicken, and generously sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

7. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes (or until cooked entirely through) at 375 °F.

… And VOILÀ! Let your taste buds relish!

If you enjoyed this recipe and would like to view more, check out Chelsea’s Food/DIY blog!

We’d love to share your favorite Chico recipes, so please send them to me at!