New advisers for a new semester

Veteran journalists Tara Pixley and Jerry McCormick become the new co-advisers in the Digital Journalism department starting in spring 2016

Ricardo Soltero

Two adjunct instructors are joining San Diego City College’s Digital Journalism program during the upcoming spring semester.

One an experienced photojournalist, Tara Pixley, and the other a seasoned news writer, Jerry McCormick, are set to join the program alongside current adjunct instructor Aida Garcia as full-time professor Roman S. Koenig scales back to adjunct instructional duties.

“I’m so excited to work on Legend with the talented City College journalists, photographers, designers and every other skill that makes publications happen,” said Pixley, San Diego City College’s new photojournalism instructor and Legend magazine adviser.

A freelance photographer, Pixley’s work has been published by many respected publications such as The New York Times, CNN, Newsweek and others. A Miami native, Pixley attended Florida A&M University and the University of Tampa studying journalism, philosophy and theater. She landed in California to work on a Ph.D. at UCSD and set her sights on being a teacher.

“I’ve wanted to be an educator since I became a journalist. I had excellent professors and advisers who instilled ethics and news judgement in me, but who weren’t always well-versed in critical theory. I want to teach media producers to think not just about how to make exceptional journalism but also what it means to make images and words that situate the world in particular ways. Not just what to do and how to do it but also how to think critically about what they do,” Pixley said via email.

McCormick is a newspaper business veteran, the founding president of the San Diego Association of Black Journalists. Having worked for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph, The State in Columbia and The San Diego Union-Tribune, McCormick transitioned into the broadcasting business in 2009, winning an Emmy for News Special Coverage of the Boston bombing.

Eager to shape the minds of aspiring journalists and nudge them in the right direction, McCormick will team up with Garcia to co-advise the labs that produce City College’s student newspaper, City Times.

“We’re teaching the next generation of journalists,” McCormick said. “We’re picking up the baton and going on with it. My goal is to continue the basics; luckily I have a long experience in the business.”

Pixley, on the other hand, will take over the still very young Legend magazine, hoping to help the current staff and newcomers get to next level of their professional careers.

“You can expect to come out of the experience with a solid portfolio and contacts. To use that portfolio for the next step in your career,” Pixley said. “And fingers crossed, I hope to help the Legend staff win the student journalism awards it so richly deserves.”

Current journalism professor Koenig said he is very enthusiastic about both Pixley and McCormick joining the department with Garcia. Koenig will be minimizing his role with the program starting in the spring to pursue outside endeavors.

“Tara, along with Jerry McCormick and Aida, are bringing some fresh perspective to the program. I’m very excited to see what they do with our newspaper,” Koenig said.