2009 News Hall of Fame Inductees
News editor of The Orion in 1979, graduated with the Outstanding Mass Communications Student Award in 1980 and went on to write and edit for the Chico Enterprise-Record, Visalia Times-Delta and The Bakersfield Californian. Since 1987, she has worked as a writer and editor of the Sunday Datebook entertainment magazine at the San Francisco Chronicle, taking over as editor in 2005. She is married to fellow journalist Jim Rose, with whom she has traveled the world.
A 1976 graduate in journalism and broadcasting, was described by a contemporary as "a pioneer" in her work as one of The Orion's first sports writers. Since leaving Chico, Nieto's passion has been for social justice causes. She has been executive director of a number of non-profit organizations, including a bilingual social service program in Santa Cruz, a people of color AIDS program in Santa Fe, N.M., and a women's health clinic in San Francisco.
Dr. Bob Nowell
An associate professor of mass communication at North Carolina Central University, taught journalism at Chico State from 1987 to 1993. As adviser to The Orion in 1988-89, he helped the newspaper win its first National Pacemaker award after sweeping awards at the state and regional levels. Under his leadership, The Orion went from a tabloid to a full-size paper, introduced full color, went to a regular publication schedule and made its first advertising profits.
An Orion art director and online manager in the 1990s & the founder of Quinn Interactive, a San Francisco-based Web design and development firm. He earned his bachelor's degree in visual communications from Chico State, where he also taught Web design, computer graphics, and electronic printing and publishing. In addition, Quinn taught graduate classes at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. His clients include Verizon Wireless, Alltel, Mother Jones magazine, Wired and BART.
A 38-year news veteran, recently retired as an editor and columnist at The Sacramento Bee where he led 20 reporters and editors in a project that examined hunger in California. The series was a runner-up for the prestigious RFK awards and won the World Hunger Media Award. Before The Bee, Sirard was an editor at the San Jose Mercury News and the Sacramento Union. He is married, the father of four and coaches Special Olympics.