Alum pursues journalism career after experience with Plainsman Press

by Desiree Lopez

Adán Rubio has come a long way with his writing skills, and he credits South Plains College for the strong foundation it provided him.

A Lubbock native, Rubio graduated from Coronado High School in 2017. During high school, he took dual credit courses through SPC and AP classes to get him ahead in his college education.

He attended SPC in the fall of 2017 through the summer of 2018. After he graduated, he received his Associate of Arts degree in Print Journalism.

Afterward, he transferred to Texas Tech University in the fall of 2018 and is currently working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, with a minor in general business.

“I chose SPC because it just seemed like the smartest choice for me,” explains Rubio. “There’s a lot more hands-on experiences. Since I was going into journalism, I was aware of their journalism program and how much experience you get, and I really just wanted to start there to gain my roots.”

Rubio wanted an easy-going college experience so that he could focus on strengthening his journalism skills. According to him, SPC was a great place for that.

As a high school student, Rubio was good at a lot of subjects, but he was uncertain about what he wanted to do in college.

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“One thing I was interested in was writing,” explains Rubio. “I would always picture so many careers as a kid, and I felt like one common factor out of all of them was writing. The reason I chose journalism, in particular, is because I thought it would give me the opportunity to develop my writing skills and use them for a better purpose.”

Rubio was a staff writer for the Plainsman Press, the campus newspaper at SPC, and was promoted to news editor for his second semester. Most of his time at SPC was spent writing for the paper and laying out pages during “Paper Night.”

After graduating from SPC, Rubio applied for TTU’s Daily Toreador, also known as the ‘DT’, which is a student-run newspaper for TTU. He is currently serving as the news editor.

There are some aspects of SPC that Rubio misses.

“I definitely miss the workload of the Plainsman Press, compared to the DT, and the small college atmosphere,” explains Rubio. “At SPC, there’s a little more time to make mistakes, ask more questions, and really get to know yourself as a college student. I miss the connections with friends and professional connections with professors.”

Rubio is still in contact with friends he met from the Plainsman Press and a couple of professors, including Charles Ehrenfeld, chairperson of the Communications Department, and Billy Alonzo, associate professor of radio, television, and film.

A memory that stands out to Rubio is the time he had to cover a story about the memorial held for a Texas Tech police officer who was shot by a student on the TTU campus. According to Rubio, the deadline pressure is what stressed him out about the assignment.

“Typically, I would have a week to write a story,” recalls Rubio. “But for this one, I had just a few days. I was super stressed about it, but I was able to get it done, and afterward I felt accomplished by it. I guess what I really learned from it is that I can do more than I think I can.”

During Rubio’s second semester with the paper, he covered a story of when Bernie Sanders came to Lubbock and had a rally at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. Rubio’s story won second place in the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association in the Breaking News category.

Rubio doesn’t have a specific favorite memory about his time at SPC, because he said there are too many to just choose one.

“My favorite memory is a compilation of small memories,” says Rubio. “Most of those come from ‘Paper Nights,’ because that is where all the craziness happens.”

During Rubio’s free time, he enjoys reading. He also enjoys school breaks, because it gives him a chance to hang out with his friends.

Rubio’s advice for students who are wanting to pursue a career in journalism is to not compare yourself to other people. Focus on yourself and improving, and do not be discouraged by the lack of experience you have.

“In terms of college, in general, it’s going to be a different ballgame, regardless of where you start,” explains Rubio. “You’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone, and you’re going to have to pull some late hours to get assignments done.”