Mesa College student journalists earn awards at regional conference

The Mesa Press, San Diego Mesa College’s student newspaper earned three awards Tuesday night at the 37th annual San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards, including top honors in the opinion/commentary category.

Co-editor in chief Brook Dailey earned first place in college newspaper opinion/commentary for her editorial condemning last spring’s Mission Bay “floatopia” event.  Brook is in her fourth and final semester on The Mesa Press staff; this is her first award.

Two former Mesa Press staff members took home awards.  Former news editor Jennifer Karnan earned third place in the college newspaper feature category for her story about the gender transition of communication studies professor Katie Holton.  This is the third award Jennifer has won for this particular story.  Former staff writer Anthony Templeton earned second place in the college newspaper reviews category for his review of the movie “The Wolfman.”  Anthony transferred to UC San Diego this fall and is currently majoring in political science.

earned four awards at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges Southern California regional conference at Cal State Fullerton on October 23-24.

Co-editor-in-Chief Sarah Swasey, 20, of Mission Hills, captured one of the top individual prizes, first place in the on-the-spot News Writing competition, during the convention that drew about 400 students, teachers and professional journalists from all over Southern California.  This award marks the first time a Mesa Press staff member has earned first place in any JACC on-the-spot writing competition.

In addition, past and present Mesa Press staff members earned awards in the prestigious mail-in competition. Swasey again was honored for her work in the News Writing category, earning honorable mention for her story about the arrest of a convicted sex offender on the Mesa campus who was volunteering with a youth music group. Additional mail-in competition honors went to former Mesa Press staff members Brittany Wiczek (Honorable Mention – Editorial Writing) and BJ Grieve (Honorable Mention – Column Writing).

About 27 colleges competed in the mail-in categories and events at the conference. The conference also included dozens of workshops and training seminars, including a powerful keynote speech by Orange County Register photo editor Kari Rene Hall and Kim Komenich, assistant professor of multimedia at San Jose State University, in association with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.

The Mesa Press is advised by Janna Braun, associate professor of journalism, and is currently edited by Sarah Swasey, Brook Dailey, and Danny West.