Patti Piburn Returns to Journalism Department
Patti Piburn has returned to the Journalism Department as the adviser to Cal Poly’s student-run radio station, KCPR. She had previously worked as KCPR adviser and a full-time lecturer for the department before taking a two-year leave of absence from Cal Poly to work on her doctorate at the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University.
By Yasel Hurtado
Piburn has worked as a journalist since 1995, and as an educator since 2006. After graduating from Arizona State University (ASU) with bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism and political science, she began her career delivering traffic reports in her hometown of Phoenix. She then worked as an anchor and reporter for stations in New Mexico, Idaho, and the Salinas area in California and decided to call the Central Coast home when she landed a job reporting and anchoring at KCOY in Santa Maria.
Piburn joined the Cal Poly Journalism Department as a part-time lecturer in 2006. At this time, she began teaching JOUR 333, Broadcast News, and later other courses in the department. In 2016, she decided to return to ASU to continue her education in order to broaden her knowledge and abilities as a professor. After spending more than 20 years working in news, Piburn felt teaching was her priority.
“I was really enjoying teaching and wanted to transition into it full time,” Piburn said. “I wanted to leave the newsroom for the classroom.”
Piburn had already completed a master’s degree in journalism and communication from South Dakota State University in 2013. While at ASU pursuing her doctorate, she also taught at the Cronkite School and was the adviser for Blaze Radio, the institution's student station.
This year, Piburn is back at Cal Poly and fully immersed in the Journalism Department. “I missed the feeling of being at home in a familiar place,” Piburn said.
As the adviser to KCPR, she is teaching JOUR 320, the Cal Poly Radio Laboratory course, which is available only to KCPR staff. She will teach the Introduction to Radio Broadcasting class, JOUR 220, next quarter.
“I would like to see KCPR continue to grow, as it has been over the last few years,” Piburn said. “I want to continue on the trajectory of building a larger audience and improving the website.”