SRJC Oak Leaf student reporters recognized for journalistic excellence

students from the Oak Leaf holding awardsApril 5, 2019, Santa Rosa, CA – At the Journalism Association of Community College state conference on March, 14 Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) student reporters for the Oak Leaf student newspaper received more than 20 awards for excellence in writing and journalism, including the Online General Excellence Award. Oak Leaf faculty advisor Anne Belden was also awarded the Educator of the Year by California Journalism and Media Affiliates.

The students were excited and appreciative of the recognition. 

“Winning for me was never about the awards, but about what they represented,” said managing editor Dakota McGranahan. “To win General Excellence and Pacesetter awards for a second consecutive year validated not only my work as an editor but as a leader for a group of passionate, dedicated and hardworking staff.”

“It means the world to win an award for my writing for the first time,” said features editor Aria Quinn. “All my learning has paid off, and I feel completely validated and ready to take on the world.”

Belden said that it was extremely gratifying to see her students recognized.
“I’m super proud of all of my students and all the hard work they’ve done this year,” she said. “The Online General Excellence award is a testament to that because it represents the collective content they’ve created, from online news, feature, sports, opinion and arts, and entertainment articles to photo galleries, podcasts, and videos as well as the new Oak Leaf Magazine.”

student from The Oak Leaf holding an awardstudent from The Oak Leaf holding an award  student from The Oak Leaf holding an award  

The full list of awards received by the SRJC students is below:
Overall Award

  • Pacesetter Award

On-the-Spot Awards

  • First Place, Team Feature: Mark Fernquest, Jessie Kapukui and Dakota McGranahan
  • First Place, Feature Writing: Riley Palmer
  • Second Place, Feature Writing: Leslie Levy
  • Second Place, Video Journalism: Jose “Chuy” Gonzalez and Kaila Cotherman
  • Second Place, Opinion Writing: Aria Quinn
  • Third Place, News Photo: Abraham Fuentes
  • Third Place, Social Media: Edgar Soria Garcia
  • Third Place, News Judgment/Layout: Dakota McGranahan
  • Honorable Mention, Copy Editing: Leslie Levy

Publication Awards

  • Online General Excellence – Oak Leaf Staff
  • Meritorious award, Enterprise News Series on “Summer cuts”: Dylan Kerzin, Brandon McCapes, Séamus Reed, Rachel Edelstein and Kevin Johnson
  • First place, Column Writing 1 and 2: Michael Barnes
  • First Place, Magazine Photo: Adeira Sherpa
  • First Place, Critical Review: Dakota McGranahan
  • Third place, Opinion Article: Riley Palmer
  • Third Place, Profile Feature Story: Lauren A. Spates
  • Third place, Photo Story Essay: Séamus Reed and Joshua Torres
  • Third place, Webcast/Broadcast News: Brandon McCapes and Julia Modell
  • Honorable Mention, Column Writing 1 and 2: Brandon McCapes

California Newspaper Publishers Association Campus Journalism Awards finalists:

Illustration, “Profanity”: Rachel Edelstein