by Adrian Medrano
University of La Verne communications students won numerous prestigious awards recently from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
La Verne Magazine won in the SPJ Mark of Excellence Region 11 student competition and a CSPA award. The Campus Times won seven national CSPA awards, while LVTV won 11 honors.
Journalism majors Matt Paulson, junior, and senior Kenneth Todd Ruiz, won a CSPA award for their story, “Fire leaves local destruction,” for a Fall 2003 Campus Times issue. The story focused on the local fires.
Junior journalism and English major Bailey Porter received an award for her photograph titled “ULV Walks Out” for Campus Times in Spring 2003 which featured a peace rally held on campus to protest war in Iraq.
“We get our assignments every week and work to uphold our own standards and the high professional standards set by the publication,” Porter said. “When we do that, it’s the highest accomplishment, but receiving these awards is an additional honor.”
Sophomore photojournalism major Adam Omernik won an award in the sports photography category with a picture of “Men’s soccer vs. Whittier.” Omernik also won an award for his photo layout “Rocky Horror Show.”
Recent ULV graduates Jason Cooper and Jennifer Contreras also won for their layouts. Cooper’s “Oaxaca” and Contreras’ “War Protests” were part of their senior projects.
LVTV swept the video categories including the News Package, Feature Package and Documentary categories.
The entire staff won the award for a documentary “Latino USA.”
Recent graduates Johnnya Center, Michelle Renteria, Nathan Baca, Christian Lopez, Agustin Avalos, Ayana Moultrie, Nick Schober and Danny Lee also won awards for their work on LVTV.
For the News Package category, Center won for “Citizen’s Academy;” Renteria won for “Habitat for Humanity;” Baca won for “Fire Update;” Lopez won for “Terrorist Survival Plan;” Avalos and Center won for “War Protest;” and Center and Moultrie won for “Muslims in La Verne.”
For features, LVTV swept the category with Schober and Lee’s “Van’s Skate Park,” Mark Chiapelli and Gayane Grajian’s “It’s Raining Leos,” Chiapelli and Nate Michael’s “Pumpkin Patch” and Jorge Lezzam, Samantha Hodges and Doug Bradley’s “Logan’s Candies.”
Recent graduate Jaclyn Roco won a CSPA award for “From the Editor,” for La Verne Magazine.
La Verne Magazine was also recognized with three SPJ awards, including Honorable Mention for best all-around magazine.
The students earned two of three awards in the only magazine category, magazine non-fiction. The recipients of the SPJ awards were at the Region 11 Conference awards ceremony in San Diego on March 20.
“It’s essential that the University send students to such things,” Ruiz said. “But without participating in these events we exist in a vacuum.”
In the SPJ competition, ULV students were up against students from Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Roco won first place for her story titled “Weaving a web of controversy,” a story about the Brown Recluse Spider. Ruiz won third place for his article, “The Fairgrounds summer of infamy,” about the incarceration of Japanese Americans at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds during WWII.
The SPJ Mark of Excellence contest is one of the most prestigious journalism contests in the western United States.
Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.