Rife, Joanne T.

Title

Rife, Joanne T.

Date Updated

6-2011

Department

University Relations, Public Affairs

Year Retired from SJSU

1992

Educational Background

Occidental College, Los Angeles, 1954, BA, Psychology

Administrative and Professional Experience

Editor/Writer SJSU

Editor, Delano Record, Delano, CA

Editor, Santa Ynez Valley News, Solvang, CA

Staff Writer, Santa Ynez Valley News, Solvang, CA

Selected Publications

Books: Where the Light Turns Gold; Bicycling Country Roads; Solvang: Denmark in the USA.

Articles appeared in: L.A. Times; Phoenix Gazette, Ford Times, San Francisco Magazine; Elks Magazine; American West; Passages; San José Mercury News; and others.

Personal Commentary

I spent eleven years at San Jose State, first as a staff writer for various university publications and as a media liaison, and then as writer and editor of the alumni newsletter and annual fund magazine.

My work allowed me to interview faculty (and staff) regarding their pet projects, programs, research or publications. I had a catbird seat to view the most interesting or newsworthy work taking place at the university. The subject might be Dance or Biology, Political Science or Aeronautics, Athletics or Psychology. I often thought I had the best job on campus because I moved from department to department, subject to subject. Variety was the name of my game. I'm sure that in the course of 11 years I may have missed writing about one or two, or even three, departments – but not many.

The breadth of the university is staggering.

Before coming to SJSU, I was involved in community journalism, in which I did just about what I did at the university. Surprisingly, a community does not reflect the variety a university does. In a community there are many more people and more variety in the people, who do many different things, including murder. But the focus of a community is much narrower than that of a university: governments and agencies, local business, local organizations, leisure pursuits. The way in which a news organization handles that focus is essentially negative--what's wrong today, rarely what's right. At SJSU, projects and programs looked to the future. Even the History Department searched for new information. The emphasis was on finding solutions, answers, excitement.

As for me, in retirement, I've worn the letters off my Macintosh keyboard while writing books, seem to be eternally on the go, and hope to eventually settle down. I had envisioned retirement as a leisurely time in my life. Ha!

And now, may I tell you about my brilliant granddaughters and grandsons...

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Rife, Joanne T.

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