Former Newsweek correspondent Jamie Reno says his favorite thing about SBCC was a tie between the high quality of the classes and faculty, and the college’s unparalleled location overlooking the Pacific Ocean. However, education must have had the edge. Jamie became an honors student, inspired by former SBCC professors Peter Haslund and Royce Adams, as well as others who changed his life by bringing the best out of him and opening the world to him. As proud as Jamie is to have transferred to San Diego State University and attended its School of Journalism, he still believes the best teachers he had in college were at SBCC, which prepared him for his current career simply by showing him that he had the potential to do anything he wanted in life if he put his mind to it.
And apparently, his teachers were right. Jamie is enjoying his 25th year in journalism. As one of the nation’s most successful and honored print journalists, he spent the last 17 years at Newsweek as an award-winning correspondent. He covered the war in Iraq, the last five presidential campaigns, Congress, the CIA, the border, the environment, sports, entertainment, and the list goes on. Jamie has written for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, TV Guide, People, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and more. A winner of more than 70 Society of Professional Journalist and Press Club awards, Jamie was the lead reporter on a Newsweek series on the 9/11 terror attacks, which earned him and his colleagues the National Magazine Award for General Excellence, the highest award in magazine journalism. While Jamie still writes for national publications frequently, his focus has shifted. A 14-year survivor of stage IV, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer, he is a respected advocate for cancer patients and their families, and celebrated author of a book profiling 50 courageous survivors of the disease that included celebrities who’ve never spoken publicly about their cancer. He has directed numerous cancer awareness projects in partnerships with such organizations as American Cancer Society, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Lymphoma Research Foundation.
In gratitude toward the educational awakening he received at SBCC and its influence on his career, Jamie says, “It amuses and pleases me that most of the Newsweek colleagues with whom I’ve worked the last 17 years are graduates of Ivy League schools. I wear my Santa Barbara City College roots like a badge of honor. It will always be a very, very special part of me."