West Windsor, NJ: The New Jersey Collegiate Press Association announced April 5 that Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) student newspaper, The College VOICE, won 11 awards in the two-year college category. The contest was judged by active or former editors, writers and photographers from newspapers that are members of the association.
The College VOICE won third place in General Excellence, and took six first-place awards. Student journalists and photographers whose work won the top awards include Sierra Downs in News Writing, Stephen Harrison in Bio/Personality Profile, Daniela Rocha in Investigative Reporting, Jenny Keris and Jason Pomerantz in General Photography, Dan Asnis in Sports Photography, and Daniela Rocha in Photo Illustration.
Second place winners include Sierra Downs in Opinion Writing and Laura Pollack in Photo Illustration. Third place winners were Val DaGrain in Sports Writing and Matthew Arnold in Photo Illustration.
“I am proud of The College VOICE staff, all members, not simply the award winners” said Journalism Professor and College VOICE Club Advisor Holly Johnson. “Everyone who works consistently for the paper is exceptional in my view.” Johnson says it’s not simply a matter of personal pride that compels her to encourage student journalists to strive for excellence. “I believe I am carrying out the core mission of the college and doing so in a way that is unusually effective.”
Not only do student journalists have high graduation rates, according to Johnson, they also receive major scholarships, and transfer to excellent baccalaureate colleges. Recent MCCC graduates have transferred to Stanford University, Columbia University, Emerson College, Hampshire College, and The College of New Jersey.
Johnson says VOICE students learn essential skills such as time management, critical thinking, effective written communication, professional comportment and conflict resolution. They receive the thrill of success and learn to accept critique and interact with media professionals.
The full Collegiate Press Association’s list of winners is online here.