Journalism Times
Fall 2010     CSU, Chico

Graduate leaves one Paradise to find another

By Sarah Kennedy

It’s normal for average travelers to daydream of the lives they could have if they stayed on vacation. Nicole Pothier, who graduated from Chico State in 2006, turned those daydreams into reality, and her career in journalism is allowing her to live where she used to vacation.

Nicole first visited Germany as a graduation gift from her mother. Now she is living there working for the Kaiserslautern American newspaper.

Nicole describes her journey to Germany as a bit of organized chaos.

Taking a risk, Nicole booked her ticket before finding a job and followed a tip from her dad about a newspaper job.

When Nicole first spoke to the editor in Germany before she left, it was obvious that he had little faith in the fact that Nicole would ever walk through his doors. Yet a month later, there she was.

“I think he was pretty much relieved when I came in for the in person interview,” Nicole said. “You know AP style, you know how to design newspapers, you’ve had experience, you’ve gone to college, you’re hired.”

Nicole thought that the universe was working in her favor, but for her it wasn’t an option for it to not work out.

Nicole has become one of the only editors for the newspaper. She receives stories from 10 different writers from the military where she then edits, designs layouts, prints drafts and then edits again until it is ready to go to print.

This experience comes from Nicole’s first job upon graduation where she was an intern turned reporter at the Paradise Post for a year before moving to Germany.

Although Nicole brought a lot to this new newspaper, it has continued to be a learning experience for her.

Journalism students are taught to leave college still clutching their AP Stylebook, but in Nicole’s new job she had a higher rule to follow: The military.

Nicole Pothier

Nicole Pothier in Barcelona, Spain in Nov. 2007.



Nicole Pothier and Kelly Reed, Chico State graduate who worked with Nicole on The Orion, at the Schloss Hohenschwangau.

“There are a lot of things that are military style that trumps AP style, so it was a big time learning process,” Nicole said.

This current system of editing has Nicole recalling on the times at The Orion when she would have three sets of eyes looking over the newspaper.

“I actually miss the organization of The Orion,” she said.

Although Nicole sometimes misses The Orion and Chico, she loves her life in Germany, she said. Though it will always remain a fond memory for Nicole, she never sees herself coming back to Chico or anywhere in the United States — at least not anytime soon.

German culture is what originally drew Nicole in. The German passion for enjoyment of life has kept her there for three years.

“America is very much the type of country where your life is your job. You live to work,” Nicole said. “Here in Germany, they go by the motto of ‘working to live.’”

Nicole works her 8-to-5 job but once the day is done she unwinds with friends.

“Alcohol is actually a huge part of German culture,” Nicole said. “You don’t drink to get drunk. You actually enjoy the taste of beer.”

Sitting at a local pub allows Nicole time to enjoy the comfort of having friends around.

“The culture’s amazing,” Nicole said. “On a Tuesday afternoon when there’s nothing to do and the weather’s nice, there are people sitting outside under umbrellas drinking a beer just chatting and it is just that lifestyle.”




Roseanne Keagan

Roseann Keegan

Chico State alumna Roseann Keegan has been busy since graduating from Chico State in 1997.  Since 1995, this California native has covered education, health and city government as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, the Napa Valley Register and the Chico Enterprise-Record.  She served as a marketing manager for a Fortune 500 company writing articles about its rebuilding efforts in the South following the devastating hurricane season of 2005.  Roseann recently received the Health Journalism Fellowship from the University of California.  Roseann continues to work in journalism with more than 15 years of experience and is currently working as the community editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune in South Lake Tahoe.


Chris Vongsarath

Chico State graduate Chris Vongsarath has accepted the position of editor at the Cupertino Courier. Chris graduated in 2007 from Chico State and has worked with the Silicon Valley Community Newspapers for the past three years, before which he was a reporter in Saratoga and Campbell. Chris has also been a part of two programs that focus on diversifying the newsroom: The MediaNews Group Journalism and Diversity Partnership and the Chips Quinn Scholars program.



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In this Issue










“America is very much the type of country where your life is your job, you live to work,” Nicole said. “Here in Germany, they go by the motto of ‘working to live.’”

















Sarah Kennedy

Kaitlyn MacGregor

Jorie Westley


Emmalee Kremer

Megan McCourt



Kristina Richmann


Danielle Maglione

Chayla McDavid

Department Chair

Glen Bleske

Publication for alumni and friends of the Department of Journalism