Communications Deparment University of La Verne
From the Editor...
Eric Iberri

Cover Story
The Price of War Hits the Shore

Five Ways to Stop Global Warming
True Poetry Close To Home
One Team, One Family...One Goal
You’re Broke, But There’s Hope
Staying Fit and Healthy for Free

First Person Accounts
Now That’s Racin’
Flyin’ High: One Man’s Experience

La Verne’s Own Renaissance Woman
The Definition of a Man
America, Here I Come!

Peruvian Culture: It’s What’s for Dinner

Video Games: Your Best Buy for the Future
Pizza, Burritos and Kebab...La Verne Style

Meet the Staff

About the Magazine



Past Issues


Winter 2007:
Meet the Staff

Every semester, during the class' final, the staff of La Verne Magazine reflects on the journey of the story they have written for the magazine. Here's a look behind the scenes of the Winter 2007 Issue:

Eric Iberri
Eric Iberri
Editor in Chief

My story, "The Price of War Hits the Shore," began as a piece about the Arlington West Memorial at the Santa Monica Pier, but it quickly evolved into more of an opinion-based piece using the Arlington West Memorial as a backdrop. The memorial is a very tragic place; it’s hard to stand amid the crosses and not become emotional. It was very difficult to imagine not taking an opinionated stance on the issue. I ended up writing an obviously anti-war piece, but it was very difficult incorporating quotes and people from the memorial. It was also difficult to return to the story for rewriting and revision because it’s a difficult subject to write about.

Tom Anderson
Tom Anderson

My story, "Now That's Racin," all started with an idea; a rather crazy one, yes, but an idea nonetheless. I thought, “Wouldn't it be cool if I could write a first-person story on the safe and legal alternatives to street racing?” Well, it turns out I could, but it wasn't as simple as spending a couple of days wringing out my car, taking notes and then typing something up. The first indication that this would be something other than business as usual was the fact that the drag strip nearest to where I live, Irwindale, was only open to street legal vehicles on Thursday evenings, a day and time that was in direct conflict with my class schedule. Fortunately, there was an alternative in the form of the recently remodeled (or more specifically, relocated) drag strip at California Speedway in Fontana. The only problem with this arrangement was that I would have to leave home before dawn on a Saturday morning in order to have a chance of getting to the track before they reached their limit for racers for that particular day. Luckily, that part of the research went more or less according to plan.  The second part of the story, the road course track day at Willow Springs, required waking up at an even more ungodly hour on a Friday morning. But the more significant curveball thrown my way for that part was the fact that I had to switch cars for it, from my familiar daily driver Mercedes diesel to the fractionally less enthusiastic driving averse Oldsmobile Alero, recently dumped by my grandmother for a late-model Mercedes station wagon.  After managing to reacquaint myself with the car on the drive up, I was thrown in the deep end of trying not to embarrass myself too badly out on the track. Though I wasn’t laughably off the pace, it certainly would have been nice to drive a car with more grip and/or mojo under the hood.  Alas, no fully operational example of such a machine is in our disturbingly vast fleet at the moment, so I had to and did make do with the Olds.
Laura Bucio
Laura Bucio
My story, "Peruvian Culture: It's What's for Dinner," for this semester went through at very dramatic transformation from the time I decided to write it until now. It began as just a simple review for a restaurant but after doing some research and having the first interview with the owner of the restaurant, it was evident that there was a lot more to the story. What was supposed to be a restaurant review eventually turned into the profile on the person who runs the restaurant, about her challenges and how she has overcome them.  The first draft of the story was almost a complete waste because it was a very basic review of the type of food they served at the restaurant. At this point I felt like I had a lot to say about Patty Rodriguez, the owner of Inka Trails, but there was no place to say it within the review. I decided to change the focus of my story from the restaurant to her, Patty, and as a result I found myself starting from zero. This was perhaps the hardest part of the semester for me. I found myself sitting in my room with pages and pages of sloppy notes spread out on my bed and a blank computer monitor staring up at me. It was difficult to think that I had to start from zero. But it was necessary; to start from zero to make the story what I wanted it to be. A professor once told me to just write what I remembered first, to write what I wanted to tell the reader; and that’s what I did. I forgot about all the notes I had on my bed and covered them all with a blanket, and then wrote what I knew about Patty Rodriguez, and what I wanted the readers to know about her. This ended up being the beginning of a story I can consider myself proud of.
I decided to write my La Verne Magazine story, "Pizza, Burritos and Kebab ... La Verne Style," on restaurants in La Verne that I have discovered to be tasty as well as inexpensive. I have lived in La Verne for almost four years now and it took me awhile to find good place to dine at that I really enjoyed. I thought it would only be nice of me to share with the public what I have discovered over the last four years. It wasn’t as easy as I thought, however. Although I had already visited the delicious restaurants, I knew that I had to revisit the restaurants one more time to examine all the different things that would be incorporated into my story. I began my mission on dining at the three restaurants by visiting Pizza ‘n’ Stuff. I soon after realized my story had become more complicated that it seemed. I had to visit the restaurants three times in a matter of two weeks and had to pay for myself, as well as the person whom I invited to accompany me. This might not sound all that difficult but for full-time college student it can be a bit overwhelming.
By writing the story, "America, Here I Come!" I learned several things. I had so much fun interviewing these students because I found out what they expected from being abroad for one and two semesters, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of living in the U.S.

Darnell Gilbert

When I took on the task writing my story, "The Definition of a Man," a profile on Eugene Shang, I knew it would be a difficult one, because he is a busy man. For two weeks Shang and I played phone tag, trying to set up a date to sit down and talk. We finally decided to meet on an early Sunday morning at Starbucks. We sat in Starbucks for more than four hours discussing his pastimes, future plans, divorce and his career in student affairs. After talking to Shang, I stepped up to meeting this boss and best friend Dr. Byron Howlett. The interview with Howlett went well. He was open and friendly and showed a lot of emotion when talking about Shang and his divorce.
Matt Griffin
Matt Griffin
My story, "Your Broke, But There's Hope," is on the history of the credit card and college student relationship. This story includes the highs and lows of what credit debt will do to a student. It goes anywhere from having to get two jobs during school to committing suicide. To get this printed I had to find many students and confront them about their credit. This was not easy because your debt is more a personal thing rather than to be published in a magazine. I got a few people to go on the record so it enhanced the credibility of my story. I was surprised to find how much information was out there when looking for references. This is a major problem in America.
For my first story, "Staying Fit and Healthy for Free," I decided to settle on a fitness guide. …  Seeing that our community was so beautiful, I wanted to write a how-to article on health and how to take advantage of our great climate and terrain in exchange for the gym.  I felt that this would be a guide for people who couldn’t afford or rationalize a gym membership. Because I am a runner, I knew a few beautiful running routes around town and incorporated those into my story, but I also wanted to discuss other activities that people could do if they don’t enjoy running. Swimming and biking were the first two sports that came to mind that could be practiced on little or no budget. In order to find a biking route, I followed a pack of bikers one day and watched them as they biked down the long street on Bonita that gracefully slices through the cities of San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont, So, when describing an adequate bike route, I suggested biking the length of Bonita Avenue. As for swimming, I decided to take some advice from one of my friends who is a surfer, and he suggested that a quick womp in the ocean would prove to be an invigorating workout that involved swimming and could be kept on a relatively low budget.

The minute that I decided to take on the enormous task of taking on the issue of global warming for my second story, "Five Ways to Stop Global Warming," I immediately began to worry. The issue of global warming is very large and I didn’t want to write an article that people would shy away from due to the intensity of the information inside. As a result, I chose to focus the issue of global warming to our small community of La Verne and write an easy, how-to guide on tackling the issue here at home. I felt that many people wanted to do something about global warming but were automatically turned off due to the complication of the issue. I decided to break the “tips” down into five points and elaborate on these five “easy” ways to deal with the issue without violently changing your daily life. I thought that if I could make these tips easy enough that people would be more likely to respond and alter their daily routine in order to accomplish them. I wanted this to be something that people could hang on their refrigerator, some simple reminder that they as individuals could make an important contribution to the future of our beautiful “Beverly Hills”-like planet.
Jason Javis
If my first story, "Flyin' High: One Man's Experience," about the experience I had flying, were hanging in a gallery, I believe it would have to talk about “trust.” I had to overlook the fact that I was putting my life in the hands of my 18-year-old cousin and just trust him. I had to trust that he had properly prepared for the flight and took every precaution necessary for the flight. … I am most proud of the fact I overcame a fear in this story. I don’t mind flying the big commercial airliners but this experience was different. Being pushed in different directions and having the controls at my fingertips was a mind-blowing experience for me.

My second story, "One Team, One Family ... One Goal," involved a great amount of work to get the players and coaches to call me back, I learned that the team is more than just champions and All-Americans. I really got an idea of how close these women are. They truly do become a family.
My article, "Video Game Consoles: Your Best Buy for the Future," came to fruition as a result of my need for a video game-related article for my portfolio. As an aspiring video game journalist, I felt that it would be important to have at least one magazine-style story in the clips that I will give to potential employers. … After much thought, I settled on writing a buyer’s guide for the systems released in late 2006. Such a story would be both helpful and timely. I compared and contrasted the Microsoft Xbox 360, the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii, stating their strong points and their shortcomings. Despite my video game knowledge, I had to do a lot of research. The vast majority of my gaming expertise does not lie within the realm of next-generation system statistics. I knew the most about the Nintendo Wii, but since the system was yet to be released at the time of my writing, I had to do a lot of fact-checking to make sure my statements were accurate.
Short visits to catch up with a great friend and teacher soon turned into taped interviews as my profile, "La Verne's Own Renaissance Woman," on Maia Kinsinger unveiled. I would peer into her office more often, and soon had the opportunity to tour her house and have an encounter with particular aspect of the story. I walked through her garden, touched her Porsche and bike, tasted her pizza and heard more anecdotes behind these items. The elements of the story slowly came to life. Now the difficulty was choosing which ones to incorporate into the story. The story went though countless drafts as anecdotes, leads and transitions were chosen and then rewritten again, or replaced with other anecdotes. Right when everything seemed to be in place, an error or inconsistency would be spotted and I would find myself shuffling the pieces of the puzzle and giving it another try once more. However, through these rewrites, the story was able to find a direction and tie one of Maia's great qualities into another.
Amira Seyoum
Amira Seyoum
I learned a lot about Dim Lights and its contribution to the youth in the community through my story, "True Poetry Close To Home." Dim Lights is such as great outlet for the youth to express themselves in a positive way and the community truly appreciates them for being there. Attending their six-year anniversary and watching the poets come and celebrate on that joyous occasion in the packed room was a great moment for me. It allowed me to see and feel what the community felt and being in the midst of all that energy you can see clearly in the photos taken by Lindsey Gooding.
Randy Miller
Chief Adviser
Randy Miller, an adjunct professor of journalism, is the current chief adviser for La Verne Magazine. He received his Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of La Verne in 1978 and his Master of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton in 1995. Traveling all over the world, Miller worked for World Vision helping publish its magazine for about 20 years mainly editing. Joining the Communications Department in 1995, Miller teaches several public relations and journalism courses, including feature writing.

Lindsey Gooding
Photography Editor

Gary S. Colby
Photography Adviser

Eric Borer
Layout Associate

Kevin J. Holland
Photo Desk

Z Graphics