Three General Excellence awards were among 23 honors snagged by Pierce journalists at the recent Journalism Association of Community Colleges conference – an event coincidentally keynoted by a 1975 Roundup editor in chief, Steve LeVine.
The conference is hosted annually by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC), alternating between Sacramento and Burbank. Thirteen Pierce students attended, competing in 15 events.
Keynoter Steve LeVine was editor in chief of the Roundup in 1975. After graduating from CSU Fresno and Columbia University, he worked for Associated Press, eventually becoming a foreign correspondent in the Philippines and countries born out of the old Soviet Union. Among his three books are “Putin’s Labryinth,” portraying what Levine calls the “culture of death” in the regime of Russian Premier Vladimir Putin, recently re-elected for his fourth six-year term.
The conference included mail-in entries of writing, design and photography in the Roundup and the Bull magazine, plus on-site competitions in a range of categories.
The top Pierce awards, for overall quality, were Newspaper General Excellence and Online General Excellence, going to the weekly Roundup newspaper, and Magazine General Excellence to the semi-annual Bull magazine.
Individual mail-in award winners were Roundup Managing Editor Joshua Manes, earning both a 2nd place and Honorable Mention (H.M.) in the Sports Game category; and Taylor Arthur, Bull magazine editor, winning 3rd place in Magazine Photo, 4th place and H.M. in both Magazine Photo Essay and Online Photo Essay. Additionally, her edition of the Bull took 3rd place honors in overall Magazine Design.
Pierce students won 11 on-the-spot awards, giving the college a total of 23 awards, the most of any participating college. Four of those went to Roundup Editor in Chief Randi Love: 2nd in News Judgment/Layout, 4th in Feature Writing and H.M. in Social Media and in Creative Portrait. Vanessa Arredondo took 1st in Newswriting and 2nd in Copyediting.
Joshua Manes placed 3rd in both News Judgment/Layout and Sports Writing, while Shae Hammond placed 2nd in Sports Photo. In Creative Portraits photography, Bleu Briggs took 1st and an H.M. in Feature Photography.
Jill Connelly, chair of the Pierce College Media Arts Department — which includes Broadcasting, Journalism, Media Arts, Photography and Public Relations – described the JACC Conference as “a great chance for our students to put into practice what they learn in the classroom.”
She praised “the terrific lineup of speakers, top journalists who are willing to share their experiences with students.”
Besides keynoter Steve LeVine, Pierce was well represented among the conference speakers: former Roundup Editor in Chief Stacy Long, CEO of Stacy K. Music Media P.R. firm, an adjunct at Pierce and CSUN; former Pierce student Robert Hernandez and former Pierce professor Amara Aguilar, both at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism as Associate Professors of Professional Practice; and former Pierce adjunct Stephanie Stassel Bluestein, an assistant professor at CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication, as well as regional chapter president of the Society of Professional Journalists.
“Year in and year out, it’s impressive to see students step up to be part of the journalism community,” said Pierce Journalism Prof. Jeff Favre. “Winning awards is wonderful, but being an active part in this crucial profession is what matters.
“This year, JACC saluted two stalwarts in the JACC family, retiring educators Pat McKean and Meg O’Neil. Seeing their current and former students succeed on so many levels exemplifies the importance of training future practitioners in this vital field. Meg and Pat will be missed, but their legacy remains vibrant in those they taught.”