The Corsair Wins 11 JACC Awards for Excellence in Community College Journalism

Includes 5 First-Place Awards Recognizing Excellence in Community College Journalism

This photo by Matthew Martin of a protester at the March for Our Lives protest rally held Saturday, March 24, 2018 garnered first place in the Environmental Portrait category at the 2018 Journalism Association of Community Colleges SoCal Conference. (Photo Credit: Matthew Martin / The Corsair)

Zane Meyer-Thornton’s first place-winning photo in the Feature Photo category at the 2018 JACC SoCal Conference. (Photo Credit: Zane Meyer-Thornton / The Corsair)

Ana Ramiro, at the time a student in the Introduction to Journalism class at Santa Monica College, was enjoying a night out when she got notification of a fire that broke out in downtown Los Angeles on April 6, 2018. Her photo of a homeless man, Sam, making his way away from the fire which burnt his only belongings, won first place in the News Photo category at the 2018 Journalism Association of Community Colleges SoCal Conference. (Photo Credit: Ana Ramiro / The Corsair)

Matthew Martin’s photo essay of the 1st Annual Westside LGBTQ+ Prom held Friday, May 18 at The Church in Ocean Park in Santa Monica, Calif., won first place in the Online Photo Story/Essay category at the 2018 Journalism Association of Community Colleges SoCal Conference. (Photo Credit: Matthew Martin / The Corsair)

October 4, 2018

SANTA MONICA, CA—Several Santa Monica College (SMC) student journalists, current and former staff/contributors of The Corsair, SMC’s student-run newspaper, have won 11 awards—including 5 in first place—from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC). The awards were announced at the 2018 JACC SoCal Conference held Saturday, Sept. 29 at California State University, Fullerton.

Student journalists from 19 Southern California community colleges competed in various categories; there were 671 entries overall for the JACC awards, which represents the best of student journalism from California community colleges.

"The Corsair student staff are dedicated journalists who through the years have established The Corsair newspaper as one of the best student publications among community colleges in the region,” said Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SMC Journalism Professor and Corsair adviser. “These latest awards serve as a testament to the talent and hard work of the newspaper staff, and the strength of the Journalism program at Santa Monica College."

The full listing of 2018 JACC awards won by the Corsair is:

  • Feature Photo, First Place - Zane Meyer-Thornton

  • Online Photo Story/Essay, First Place - Matthew Martin

  • Online Photo Story/Essay - Second Place - Helena Sung

  • Environmental Portrait, First Place - Matthew Martin

  • Environmental Portrait, Fourth Place - Matthew Martin

  • News Photo, First Place - Ana Ramiro

  • News Photo, Third Place - Jayrol San Jose

  • Sports Action Photo, Third Place - Matthew Martin

  • Feature Story, First Place - Wilson Gomez and Helena Sung

  • General Excellence, Print Edition - Edward Lee, Lauren Label, Pyper Witt, Daniel Cifuentes-Farr, and Trevor Schock

  • General Excellence, Online Edition - Emeline Moquillon and Edward Lee

SMC Journalism Professor Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins advises the Corsair; Photojournalism Professor Gerard Burkhart serves as the photo adviser.

The Corsair staff produces a weekly newspaper in the spring and fall semesters and also maintains an online news site,

Founded in 1955, JACC is a nonprofit which bridges the gap between students, educators and publications by providing networking and educational events aimed at inspiring members at each stage of their journalism career; JACC also holds contests that are a benchmark for community college journalism excellence, offers scholarships and professional development for educators, among other things. Visit to learn more.

Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

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