Waddell Garners Advising Award

Dave Waddell, adviser to The Orion, Chico State’s award-winning student newspaper, has won the 2006 Distinguished Adviser Award for a four-year university or college from College Media Advisers, Inc., a national professional organization.

Waddell, who teaches in the university’s Department of Journalism, received the award Oct. 29, 2006, at the National College Media Convention in St. Louis.

"What it comes down to is that I've been selected as a distinguished adviser because I've been able to work with students with the talent and commitment to put out an excellent college newspaper -- week in and week out, year after year," Waddell said. 

The Orion is a 10-time winner of the National Pacemaker award for general excellence, considered by many to be the top prize in college journalism, and was inducted into the Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame in 2005 for its record of achievement. The California Newspaper Publishers Association has named The Orion the state's best university newspaper a record eight times over the past 12 years.

Waddell holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Fresno State and a master’s degree in English from Chico State. Before joining the journalism faculty in 1996, he worked 20 years in newspapers, most of it at the Redding Record Searchlight, where he rose from reporter to the position of city editor.

"When I came to Chico State in 1996, I was the 11th Orion adviser in the newspaper's 21-year history," Waddell said.

The longest previous tenure of an adviser was five years and Waddell is now in his 11th year working with The Orion.

“I do think that continuity has been helpful to a publication that constantly should and does turn over its reporters and editors and managers," he said.

In the summer of 2001, Waddell did a six-week summer reporting fellowship at The Sacramento Bee through the American Society of Newspaper Editors' Institute for Journalism Excellence.

Waddell is taking a hands-on role in bringing new reporters and editors to Chico State via a university partnership with MediaNews Group to enroll and train journalism students from historically underrepresented populations. Waddell laid much of the groundwork for the agreement with MediaNews Group while on sabbatical last spring, when he visited 37 schools in California talking to students and teachers about journalism.

Part of the $59,000 that the university is receiving from MediaNews Group will go toward Waddell continuing recruitment efforts throughout the state.