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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Express wins 14 awards in journalism association fall contest

This picture of City College student Mackenzie Duval (5) won third Place Sports feature af the Fall 2020 JACC conference. Duval flexes after she hitting a double in the bottom of the third inning against Shasta College in the NorCal Regional Playoffs Friday, May 3, 2019. City College beat Shasta College 7-4. Photo by Sara Nevis | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

The Express, City College’s student-run online news site, won 14 awards at the Journalism Association of Community College’s Northern California fall 2020 contest, it was announced Nov. 10.

Former photo editor Sara Nevis won 10 awards for her still and video photography, the most ever won by an Express staffer in a single contest. Fall 2020 photo editor Arturo Gomez won two first place awards for feature and news photos, and former editor-in-chief Ben Irwin won first place for his feature story, “A tale of two wolves: A Black City College student’s detainment by police and life after.”

“I didn’t get that body-cam footage until the night before we went to publication, so that story’s told from the lens of Theo [Scott-Femenella]. When we got the footage, we went back and verified it, but that was all Theo’s story, and it’s a good one to tell,” Irwin says.“It’s good to get recognition for your work. Seeing those awards reminds me of all the hard work we put into the ‘From Darkness’ project. “

Irwin’s story was part of a series called “From Darkness: City’s journey to light” about the socioeconomic issues affecting City College students, which received meritorious recognition for Irwin, Nevis and former editor-in-chief Rose Vega, who worked on the series. “From Darkness” was funded through a grant from California Humanities.

“We put a lot of work into the project last semester,” Vega said. “It took up a lot of time and energy. It feels nice for someone to recognize that, too.”

Vega added that she is very proud of the work she, Nevis, and Irwin were able to produce. Longtime journalism adviser Jan Haag was astounded by the number of awards given to Nevis’ photos, in addition to the other recognition given to Express staff.

“I don’t remember ever having one person win 10 awards before,” said Haag. “Sara did outstanding work to earn those awards, as did all our students, particularly those who conceived and executed the excellent ‘From Darkness’ series.”

One of the award-winning submissions was a photo Nevis took of City College softball player Mackenzie Duval flexing during gameplay. Nevis says it’s one of her favorite photos because Duval was always reliable for a good feature photo. 

“She was so fun to photograph, I swear. She was such a ham,” Nevis says. “I was hoping, but I was not expecting that. I knew I was submitted for a lot [of photos] and ‘[From Darkness’] was a big project. I wanted to see where we placed. To get that recognition for my hard work felt really good because I busted my ass. I’m just beyond grateful.”

According to Nevis, photography adviser Randy Allen all but demanded that she take the class. When Allen approached Nevis about joining the staff, she was already taking 12 units. Allen said he saw something special in Nevis.

“She approaches her work with tremendous passion and is never afraid to ask questions. I’m really pleased to see her hard work rewarded.”

The Express, which is advised by Haag and Allen, won the following awards in the fall 2020 NorCal JACC contest:

  • Meritorious Recognition, Enterprise News Story/Series: Ben Irwin, Rose Vega and Sara Nevis
  • First Place, Feature Story: Ben Irwin
  • First Place, Feature Photo: Arturo Gomez
  • First Place, News Photo: Arturo Gomez
  • Second Place, Video Journalism: Sara Nevis, Niko Panagopoulos, Arturo Gomez and Rose Vega
  • Second Place, News Photo: Sara Nevis
  • Second Place, Sports Feature Photo: Niko Panagopoulos
  • Third Place, Environmental Portrait: Sara Nevis
  • Third Place, Sports Action Photo: Sara Nevis
  • Third Place, Sports Feature Photo: Sara Nevis
  • Fourth Place, Video Journalism: Sara Nevis
  • Fourth Place, Sports Action Photo: Sara Nevis
  • Honorable Mention, Feature Photo: Sara Nevis
  • Honorable Mention, Environmental Portrait: Sara Nevis
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