Mar 082006
Authors: Collegian Staff

He has won national news writing awards and has two years' experience at a professional newspaper under his belt. And he's only 22.

Brandon Lowrey has been offered and accepted the position of editor in chief of the Rocky Mountain Collegian for the 2006-07 school year.

The decision came after a tough week of being grilled by the Collegian staff on Monday night and then by the Board of Student Communications on Wednesday afternoon.

"The process was nothing short of brutal," said Lowrey, a junior technical journalism major. "Last night, I tossed and turned. I looked at my alarm clock about six times. I couldn't get any real sleep."

Lowrey served as editor in chief of the Canyon Call, a junior college newspaper in Santa Clarita, Calif., a suburb located about 40 miles north of Los Angeles.

His work handling all elements of the operation landed him a job at the Santa Clarita Signal, a local paper where he quickly became a lead reporter, routinely producing two or three stories daily in addition to being a full-time student.

"I'm excited about the knowledge and strong news background he's going to bring to the paper," said JP Eichmiller, the Collegian's current editor in chief. "I hope he will put a finishing touch on a lot of the changes we've begun this year."

Last year, Lowrey was denied access to a school he had dreamed of attending for years. After having his heart set on becoming a USC Trojan, he received the rejection letter early in the summer.

However, he had applied to CSU as well. Although not having the international name recognition of USC and being more than a thousand miles away from home, he was told the university had an exceptional journalism program.

"Being rejected from USC was the greatest thing that ever happened to me," Lowrey said.

Lowrey said he plans to focus more on hard-hitting news that impacts the community and especially the campus.

"Although I believe regional news is important, I believe the focus should be on news geared toward the campus community," Lowrey said. "Students will always be the Collegian's focus."

Eichmiller said the decision this semester was "incredibly tough," but that he's confident the paper will be in good hands.

"Brandon brings a strong understanding of what's newsworthy to the paper," Eichmiller said. "He's not afraid of touching on subjects that may not be popular with the CSU administration or Collegian advertisers. He understands that our primary goal is to serve our readers."

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