A letter from our professor
This website highlights the work of 11 students who traveled more than 10,000 miles to Cambodia. The students, handpicked members of my Communications 438T Specialized Reporting class, took part in a medical mission to help the poor in rural areas of this Southeast Asian country. It was far from an easy task. The students assisted the physicians, nurses and other volunteers in mission tasks and worked as foreign correspondents, developing stories about life in Cambodia today and the medical needs of its citizens. Far from their comfort zone in Southern California, the students braved the 90-plus degree heat and oppressive humidity, the language gap, the lack of familiar food and sanitary facilities.
They saw numerous amputees, victims of land mines and the brutal Khmer Rouge regime that tore apart the country. They saw men and women with sores and tumors, and babies suffering from malnutrition. They helped dentists fill and pull rotten teeth. A desperate mother brought one student to tears when she asked her to take her child. The slums littered with garbage and overwhelmed by sewage brought awareness of the vast public health needs of the country. I assisted a student who interviewed a family that slept next to an indoor pigpen.
In these pages you will read their articles. They may be shocking but they are real and the students in the class should be recognized for their effort and professionalism. They worked along side some of the most dedicated physicians, dentists, nurses and volunteers in the world. About one-third of the class, who traveled with Dean William Briggs and me to Cambodia, got sick, mainly from stomach ailments. But that didn’t stop any of them from reporting their stories. No one complained and at the end of the two-week trip, they all agreed that it had been a life-changing experience. I hope you appreciate their journalism. They’ve earned the right to call themselves journalists.
William is studying Creative Photography in the Fine Art Department at Cal State Fullerton. He holds a Professional Photography certificate from Fullerton College. He is also part of Fullerton College’s Photography Advisory Committee and has received an Art scholarship for his photography as a transfer student, upon entering Cal State Fullerton. His love for music has made him pursue band photography, which has taken him all over the country. He freelances for The Garden Grove Journal, The OC Weekly, and ZUMA Press.
The sound of honking, two-stroke engines and Khmer greeted me as I walked out of Phnom Penh International Airport. An organized chaos of traffic lead us from the airport to our hotel and within the hour, Cambodia had my heart. As a graduating student of 2012, I am earning a B.A. in Spanish and journalism, with a minor in geology. I expect to spend post graduation continuing journalism through travel. I have a drive for layout and web design, but converging writing, multimedia, photography and interactive media is a challenge that attracts me.
After traveling to Southeast Asia two years ago, I found myself in Cambodia once again. There, I found a love for the developing country that has been affected by genocide and poverty. I got a chance to cover a medical mission with a Cal State Fullerton journalism class in January. Even though I have a background in visual arts, I found that I also have a passion for photojournalism. With my new Canon 60D in hand, I explored the lives of Cambodian locals, American volunteers and international travelers. I have been taking photos for more than a decade, but never have I felt so grounded behind my camera than when I covered the Cambodian Health Professionals Association of America medical mission.
I left a piece of my heart in Cambodia, and I will return one day to help the people.
My attraction to authentic moments is what drew me into the field of journalism. As well as an innate need to ask a lot of questions. I am a seeker of knowledge and chaser of truths. I have a deep passion for filmmaking, writing, photography, and thanks to my dear friend Chelsea, I can add a curious fondness for foreign bakeries to the list. I plan on spending the rest of my journey traveling and documenting the human condition.
Karmina Landicho is a News Reporter who is seeking to convergence media with experience in everything including broadcast field production, videography/photography, nonlinear editing, full studio news show production and writing, and has experience with basic web design. Karmina is a 2012 Broadcast Journalism graduate of California State University, Fullerton's respected College of Communications.
Prior experience include Field Producing for KCET's "OC Insight", CSUF's "OC News" Reporter and Anchor, Titan Radio DJ, "World Press" and award-winning "Here and Now" Producer and Reporter. Karmina's most prominent work resides in the stories she told during "Project Cambodia", which is CSUF's hand chosen Specialized Reporting team, to become Foreign Correspondents.
As the Vice President of Cal State Fullerton's Society of Professional Journalists, an active member of the Radio Television News Association and the Broadcast Education Association, Karmina wants to pursue a future as a Multimedia Journalist where she can utilize her knowledge and experience to tell the stories of voices which otherwise may never be heard.
Joseph McHale graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2012, where he received his B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in broadcast journalism. The California native moved from the state capitol of Sacramento in 2008 to pursue his dream of being a reporter.
Starting as a sports writer for a weekly community college paper, Joseph found his love for journalism. After enrolling in an introductory level broadcasting class at CSUF, he new he was destined to stand in front of the camera.
Joseph's college broadcasting career took off when he began working as a reporter for The Daily Titan in 2011. He also produced and anchored newscast for the universities daily broadcast. In his last semester, Joseph made the decision to join a group of student-journalists on a trip to Cambodia. On top of fine-tuning his stories when he returned, Joseph took on the task of working for The Daily Titan as the multimedia editor, and interned at CBS2/KCAL9 News in Los Angeles.
In his spare time, he loves to snowboard, travel and spend time with family and friends.
Lina Norena has a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism. Throughout her career she's had the opportunity to intern at KNBC and has demonstarted a passion for telling stories. She was fortunate enough to have been picked as one of the student journalists to participate in the trip to Cambodia, and her experiences there helped shape her into the individual she has become. After this experience, she hopes to remain involved with the non-profit sector and become a true advocate for the poverty stricken people of Third-World countries.
I have been doing journalism for more than five years now. It has taken me to far away places and has given me the chance to meet interesting people. It has also forced me to always work on bettering myself. Because of that, I have won awards and have been recognized for my work by peers, professors and professionals alike.
I don't see myself as a journalist who focuses on writing, although that is my first love. I am a journalist who knows how to write, take photographs and video, edit, and manage websites. Currently, I am pursuing a bachelors in journalism and Spanish. Through my educational career, I have had the opportunity to travel.
Never would I have imagined myself in Cambodia this year, let alone covering a Cambodian Muslim community. I was lucky enough to cover a different kind of community in Cambodia — one that holds a special place in my heart. I come from a Muslim family, so to be able to go back to that atmosphere while being away from my parents (for only the second time in my life) was liberating. I was on my own, going back to the lifestyle I came from.
Cambodia is definitely a country that I will return to. For what, however, remains to be determined.
Laura is a junior double majoring in political science and journalism at California State University, Fullerton. During her freshman and sophomore years she held the position of news editor and news director for the university’s paper, the Daily Titan. Last fall Laura wrote political features for the Washington, D.C. publication Roll Call. Currently, she writes politics and investigations for The Orange County Register. Next, Laura will spend her summer covering politics for The Oregonian in Portland, Oregon. She has interviewed multiple United States Representatives in the Congress and the Senate, attended multiple political galas and her pieces have been picked up by The Huffington Post and published on the front page of The OC Register. Her future dreams include foreign correspondence and returning to Washington to continue political reporting on Capitol Hill..
Amber Stephens is a senior majoring in print journalism. She served as Assistant Opinion Editor, Staff Writer and columnist for The Daily Titan during the spring 2012 semester. She is a member of Phi Beta Delta, the Honor Society for International Scholars. In 2009, Amber started a blog about social justice issues called "The Other Side of the Tracks." Since then, she has written for LA Activist and Fullerton Stories. Currently she is a news reporter intern at 90.7 KPFK Pacifica Radio. Amber has a passion for reporting on the issues that are not featured frequently in the mainstream media.