A Peek Behind the Curtain

Working at Chico State is an important experience that helps students develop professional skills they carry with them post-graduation. Approximately 4,600 students work on campus each year, becoming more involved with their campus and the community. We wanted to start highlighting some of those hard workers and their experiences here on the blog. So, we’re kicking things off with a two-part series featuring Chico Performances student employees. (Stay tuned for Part 2 of the series next week!)


By Kristen Warshaw, Junior, Business Marketing, Chico Performances Marketing Assistant

When patrons want to attend a performance at Laxson Auditorium, they go to the Box Office, purchase tickets, find their seats, and anxiously await the curtain to rise. But there is much more to a show than what is visible to that excited theatergoer.

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The excitement first begins to build here, in the marketing department at Chico Performances. This is where my job as marketing assistant comes in.

Preparation for a new season at Laxson Auditorium begins about nine months prior to opening day. We start gathering information, music samples, and photos for each and every performer. We use this information as a platform to create the web page, brochures, season advertisements, and much more.

It’s a rollercoaster every day when you are in contact simultaneously with more than 40 agents, all representing different types of performers. I never know what to expect in my email inbox when I would come into work: “Did the STOMP agent get back to me?” “Who is opening for Andrew Bird?” “The Onion Live got canceled!?”

It is always interesting to see how different artists’ agents react and respond to me. The more precise and direct I am, the more likely they are to give me what I need. I learned very quickly that less was always more. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get the correct information or to even just get a hold of the correct person!

I began to realize a connection between performers and accessibility to their agents.  Performers represented by a large organization usually had very organized systems that use technology to allow me easy access to information and marketing tools. With some of the artists with smaller representation, it’s a struggle just to get adequate information.

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This juggle between easy access and those that take more time to collect info from has been very exciting for me in my daily work. I’ve realized I actually like the challenge of working with a smaller artist more that of working a larger one.

Working for Chico Performances has also allowed me to develop my business organization skills. I have multiple projects with different deadlines. Having this responsibility has taught me a lot about when to stop one task and begin another in order to meet deadlines, an essential skill in the field of marketing.

My overall experience at Chico Performances has allowed me to further develop my skills and prepare me for what post-graduation life has to offer.

Working for Chico Performances has made me realize that I love to be a part of the MORE that happens before the curtain rises; the more than meets the eye.

Fall Cover Photo Contest: Fall-ing in love with Chico

Help us choose CSU, Chico’s Facebook cover photo! Share your photos, and then help select from our favorites to be the next California State University, Chico Facebook page cover photo.

Photos should show off the best of Chico State and the Chico experience. Take photos of our beautiful campus in all its fall glory or your student club hard at work—or make a creative collage of campus scenes. All photos should represent your own work, be in good taste, and comply with the Chico State Social Media Comment Policy.

Photos need to be large enough to work for a Facebook cover photo (851p x 315p, file sizes of 1 to 2MB work well). Most current smartphone camera photos are OK. (Sorry, Instagramers—most Instagram images won’t have high enough resolution when cropped and enlarged to Facebook cover size.)

You may submit up to three photos.

How to Enter:
Share your photo(s) with us in one of three easy ways!

  1. Post it to our Facebook Timeline. Put “cover contest” or “photo contest” in the comment
  2. Tweet it to us by tagging @ChicoState and including #photocontest.
  3. Email your photo as an attachment to PAintern1@csuchico.edu. Include “cover contest” or “photo contest” in the subject line.

Selection Process:
Share your photos with us by Weds., Nov. 6, at 5 p.m. The Chico State social media team will select finalists to be featured in a photo album posted on our page Thurs., Nov. 7. The photographers’ names will accompany the photos, so brag to your friends and encourage them to “like” your entry if you’re featured. The photo within the album with the most “likes” by Thurs., Nov. 14, at 5 p.m. will become the next CSU, Chico Facebook cover photo!

Note: This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook Inc. Any and all information provided with your submission is to California State University, Chico and not to Facebook.

Chico Spikeball: 360 Degrees of Fun

By Skyler Boles, teaching credential program, Chico State Spikeball Club president 


Spikeball is a fast-paced, high-agility, and hand-eye–intensive sport that is fun to play and highly addicting. We want to share this amazing sport with everyone because it brings out so much joy in players.

Here is the breakdown of spikeball, which is most similar to volleyball:

  • 2 versus 2
  • No sides. No boundaries. Play 360 degrees around the net.
  • Up to 3 hits to spike the ball back onto the net
  • When the ball hits the net, it changes possession.
  • If your team spikes the ball off of the net and the other team fails to return the ball onto the net within 3 touches, you win.

Spikeball in Chico started about two years ago, and local enthusiasm has made the city one of the most fun and competitive places in the world to play. In fact, Chris Ruder, the Chicago-based “chief baller” and CEO of Spikeball said that the best players in the world hail from Chico.

Chico Spikeball Club

The goal of the Chico State Spikeball Club is to build community, host events, and play as much as we can so that “Chico” is synonymous with the word “spikeball.”

We had our first big tournament in September 2012. With 33 teams, it was the largest spikeball tournament to date. We have continued to travel to tournaments around the country to build the Chico spikeball name. We took first place at a New York tournament in June and were featured in a spikeball short on ESPN 2’s SportsNation.

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National Championship in Tennessee.

Two weeks ago, Shaun Boyer and I traveled to the Spike-a-Palooza national competition in Nashville. There were 64 teams from eight states, and Chico Spikeball took home the championship.

We play on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. at Yolo Field behind the tennis courts. Look for the giant spikeball flag.

Everyone is welcome to come play. We have all the equipment—just bring your friends and be ready to have the time of your life!

We will be hosting a tournament on Oct. 11 from 3-5 p.m. at Yolo Field. Sign-up at The WREC with a partner today.


Get connected through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for more information.

If you have any questions, email sboles@mail.csuchico.edu.

Upward Bound: “Once a UB’er, always a UB’er.”

ImageBy Humberto Ramos, Senior, Journalism and Spanish major

If you ask me if I work, the answer is “yes.” But explaining what I do? That is tougher—it depends on the time of the year or even the season.

I work for the Upward Bound Projects at Chico State. This is an academic program that helps low-income, first-generation high school students who are college bound but don’t have the necessary financial resources or family background to help them take that next step.

I have done everything from participating in the program during high school to volunteering for the summer program hosted at Chico State and tutoring during the school year to serving as president of the Upward Bound Alumni Association.

As a new participant of the program, I never really realized how much hard work and effort it took to apply to college. I also never realized that I was preparing for college years before I would actually start thinking about applying. The tutoring, summer program classes, and advising that I received were all necessary for me to stay on the path to college. I would have had no clue about how to deal with applications and requirements if it weren’t for the help of Upward Bound.

As a participant of the program, I also started to make a lot of friends. And those Upward Bound friends started to become family. One of the greatest Upward Bound catchphrases is, “Once a UB’er, always a UB’er.” I run into UB friends I haven’t seen for years, and we greet each other like we had never said goodbye.

I also spent time as a residential advisor for the summer program. The position requires rigorous courses during the spring semester and then six weeks of living in the dorms with the students. In those six weeks, the students take classes and have jobs on or around campus during the day. In the evenings, they study at the dorms.

This was a great experience because I had a chance to make such a great difference in student lives. Participants have told me that they look up to me as a big brother because of the help I have given them not only in school, but also in their lives in general. I was up late at night answering questions are about college and how I had to go through obstacles myself growing up. I shared the experience of growing up with parents that understood only Spanish, being part of a low-income family, and other challenges that I had to overcome growing up.

Most of the students also come from tough backgrounds, and I tell them that if I made it this far, they can go much further. Giving each other feedback and support is the main reason we consider Upward Bound a family. So you could say I have a lot of siblings in the program—in addition my biological brother and sister!

I never realized that making a positive impact in young people’s lives could be so rewarding. I always tell the members of the program that they should give back to the program in whatever way they possibly can because of the many great things that the program gave to us as we were growing up. They are things that I can use in the future and I will never regret spending my time on. This is truly the greatest reward of being part of the Upward Bound family.