May 11, 2015Vol. 45, Issue 5

Finding His Voice

Angel Huracha prepares for life after Chico

As music director at KCSC Radio, Angel Huracha writes music reviews, manages 20 interns, and interacts with promoters.

As music director at KCSC Radio, Angel Huracha writes music reviews, manages 20 interns, and interacts with promoters.

Angel Huracha has always known he liked to write; what he hasn’t always known is where his talent for writing would take him. After graduating from high school in San Diego, he worked as a hotel desk clerk for a year to pay for tuition at the New York Film Academy, where he studied screen writing. He completed the program but didn’t feel it was the right direction for him. Returning to San Diego from New York City, he enrolled at Southwestern College in nearby Chula Vista. “Someone suggested journalism as a field to go in,” Huracha says, and he took some classes to find out. Southwestern has a strong student newspaper, and was a place that Chico State instructor Dave Waddell, former adviser to The Orion, would go to recruit underrepresented students. “I hadn’t ever heard of Chico, had no idea where it was,” Huracha says, but Waddell was persuasive and he came for a visit. Like so many first-time visitors before him, Huracha says he “fell in love with the campus” and transferred in fall 2011.

Since deciding on Chico State, Huracha has made a big impact. “He has taken advantage of nearly every opportunity that has come his way while at Chico State, completing both the news and PR options in the journalism major, along with an English minor,” says Department of Journalism chair Susan Wiesinger. Along with writing features and columns for the arts section of the Orion, Huracha has also worked for the student-run Tehama Group Communications (TGC) public relations agency as an account executive and social media specialist. "Angel has been really innovative in helping Tehama Group develop a more engaging voice on social media,” says Debra Johnson, adviser. “He's been creating recurring themes that have actively involved our alumni, current TGC staff and students. His social efforts have definitely increased our audience engagement rates across our social channels."

Huracha hopes to use his writing skills to land a job in radio journalism after he graduates.

Huracha hopes to use his writing skills to land a job in radio journalism after he graduates.

Off campus, Huracha writes art reviews and the “Starving Student” column for the Chico Enterprise-Record. The column is a restaurant review for the budget-minded, since he only reports on meals costing $9 or less. “The Oven Marketplace & Cafe isn’t so much aiming for originality as it is for bringing the comfort of home to all the employees in the area working their Dolly Parton 9 to 5,” Huracha writes in a recent review. “I’ve really enjoyed watching Angel grow and throw himself into so many different jobs and internships,” says Waddell. “Talk about versatile.”

Huracha’s greatest interest after writing is music, and he has been music director at campus-based KCSC Radio for five semesters. In that capacity he manages 20 interns, interacts with labels and promoters who want KCSC to feature their artists and, of course, writes music reviews for the website. “I would really like to get into radio journalism,” he says. “I listen to a lot of National Public Radio, and I’m impressed how their reporters can paint such a vivid picture in the listeners’ heads.”

Huracha admits it’s a little scary contemplating life after graduation this week. “I’ve been here four years, and that’s all coming to an end,” he says. “You kind of know the day’s coming, but you don’t want to leaveyou’ve made a home for yourself.” Huracha knows his aspirations as a writer may take him away from Chico, and that will be difficult. Not only will he miss the city’s ambiancewhat he calls “Chico’s calm vibe”but his faculty mentors in the Department of Journalism. “I owe so much to them,” he says. 

—Joe Wills, Public Affairs and Publications 
Video link

What Would You Tell Your Freshman Self?

In this video, seniors share their touching—and funny—reflections on their college careers. Watch the video.


125th Commencement

Four days of commencement ceremonies begin Thursday, May 14. Search #Chico2015 on social media for a live chronicle of events. See schedule.

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