College of the Canyons student journalists won 22 awards, including first place for news writing and news photography, at a journalism conference where more than 30 Southern California community colleges were represented.
“I think it was a wonderful learning experience,” said Lissette Wagner, who shot the winning news photo and also took honorable mention for sports photo at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges conference.
“Since it was my first time, I was really nervous,” said the 34-year-old returning student. “I was really, really shocked when I won.”
All 12 delegates were writers, editors or photographers for the “Canyon Call,” COC’s student newspaper.
Jesse Knight won first place for his news story covering keynote speaker Louis Amestoy, assistant managing editor for interactive media at “The Sun” in San Bernardino and the “Inland Valley Daily Bulletin” in Ontario.
Amestoy predicted print journalism will go the way of the Edsel; Web-based journalism is the future of the industry, he told students who attended the Journalism Association of Community College’s Southern California conference Nov. 3 and Nov. 4 at California State University Fullerton.
“I love JACC because I get to do two of my favorite things – write and win,” Knight said.
The 22-year-old, a two-year veteran of COC’s journalism program, plans to direct a play that he wrote, “Red Bricks, Blue Socks,” opening locally in February.
“I’m very pleased with the results, especially when I see the students won in so many different categories – writing, photography, art and design,” said Jim Ruebsamen, Journalism Department chairman and lead adviser to the “Canyon Call.” “I was particularly happy to see us win first place in both news writing and news photography with Jesse and Lissette.”
“Canyon Call” editor in chief Brian Jeppeson won second place in the news judgment and page layout contest, as well as an honorable mention in broadcast news writing.
Mark Yanni took third place in page layout. “I was surprised. I was hoping for an honorable mention,” said Yanni, a photojournalist-turned-copy editor.
In mail-in competition, “Canyon Call” staffers took one first place, two second places, and two third places, along with nine honorable mentions.
Staff artist Tony Pettit won first place and an honorable mention for line illustration. Craig Leener, now a sports writer for “The Signal,” won two awards in the mail-in category.
Elina Faskhutdinova, a Russian student on the “Canyon Call” staff last semester, won a third-place award for photo story, as well as honorable mentions for inside page design and a second photo story entry. Faskhutdinova has since returned to .
“We were all very impressed with Elina,” said Bruce Pelkey, coordinator of the International Students Program at COC. “She’s one of the tip top people from her area of .”
Fuskhutdinova attended the campus under International Research and Exchanges Board, a nonprofit organization.
Ruebsamen said he was grateful for the ongoing support from College of the Canyons President Dianne Van Hook and others.
“Of course, we would not have a program without the strong support of the administration,” he said.
Here are the “Canyon Call’s” awards from the Nov. 3-4 conference:
First place: Jesse Knight, news story; Lissette Wagner, news photo
Second place: Brian Jeppeson, page design
Third place: Mark Yanni, page design
Honorable mention: Brian Jeppeson, broadcast news writing; Brad Wilcox, feature story; Matt Ehresman, sports story; Lissette Wagner, sports photo.
First place: Tony Pettit, line illustration
Second place: Brandon Jennings, photo story; Rory Aronsky, news feature
Third place: Elina Faskhutdinova, photo story; Craig Leener, column writing.
Honorable mention: “Canyon Call” staff, front page layout (tabloid); Elina Faskhutdinova, inside page layout; Tony Pettit, line illustration; Karen Brady, feature photo; Ryan Cleveland, news photo; Elina Faskhutdinova, photo story; Craig Leener, column writing; Austen Montero, news feature; Melinda Spencer, opinion.