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Journalism Program Wins Numerous Awards

A.C.P. Award Winners

November 13, 2019 - 02:04 PM

The national Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) held its annual conference in Washington D.C. and several students came home with awards, as well as overall awards for the Mt. SAC Journalism Program’s student-run media websites. Winners are listed below.

According to ACP, “The National Pacemaker Awards are awards for excellence in American student journalism, given annually since 1927. The awards are generally considered to be the highest national honors in their field, and are unofficially known as the Pulitzer Prizes of student journalism."

Toni Albertson, Professor of Journalism and Adviser of Student Media, said she is, “Beyond Proud. This is a major deal for us.” She said that of the students nominated they are, “the only community college students in two of the four categories, and only one of two community colleges in the others.” 

J.A.C.C. Award WinnersIn addition, at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) Regional So Cal Convention and Competition, Mt. SAC took home 26 awards, 17 placing in the top three. Both of the student publications, SAC.Media and Substance Magazine, received the highest award of General Excellence. The students will go on to compete at the State Competition in the Spring.

 “I am often overwhelmed by these students,” said Albertson. “(It’s) not easy being a journalist today, but they are determined to do their jobs, and to do it with integrity.”

 National ACP awards include:

  • Joshua SanchezJoshua Sanchez won third place Pacemaker for Story of the Year. He was the only community college student in that category of 10 finalists. 
  • Lauren Berny (Feature Photo of the Year) and Pablo Unzueta (News Photo of the Year) received honorable mention Pacemakers in the Photo of the Year category. 
  • SAC Media was awarded a Pacemaker for being one of the top 10 college media outlets in the United States. 
  • Brigette Lugo, Travis Jepeway, and Mychal Corbin received a Best of Show Award for Best Multimedia Package.  

Also at the ACP conference, student Natalie Lu (editor-in-chief of SAC.Media) and Lily Lopez (Editor of the SAC.Media section Somos) were chosen by ACP/CMA (College Media Association) to lobby for the First Amendment. The students went to Capitol Hill to meet with Representative Gil Cisneros (CA 39th District). 

A.C.P. Award WinnersProfessor Albertson was asked to present a session at the convention with her students on SAC.Media/@SAConScene's local community reporting effort. Student editors Joshua Sanchez, Brigette Lugo and Ferry Baylon joined her on the panel. 




Regional JACC Awards included:


General Excellence

  • Best College Online News Site - SAC.Media 

General Excellence

  • Best College Magazine - Substance Magazine 

First Place 

  • News Story- Joliana Frausto 
  • Feature Photograph - Andrea Lizarrgia 
  • Editorial Cartoon - John Athan 
  • Magazine Illustration - Joseph Harvey 
  • Copyediting - Natalie Lu 

Second Place 

  • Feature Story - Doug de Wet 
  • Sports Action Photo - Abraham Navarro 
  • Magazine Opinion Story - Angelica Cruz 
  • Magazine Photo Essay - Brigette Lugo, Lauren Berny 
  • Critical Review - Shannon Carter 

Third Place 

  • Video Story - Nicole Nocie, Alexandra Carmona, Brian Gonzalez, Noemi Guzman 

Fourth Place 

  • Editorial Cartoon - Adam Valenzuela 
  • Opinion Writing - Lux Montes 
  • Editorial Cartoon - Leni Santos 
  • Magazine Photo Essay - Pablo Unzueta 
  • Video Story - Travis Jepeway 
  • Sports Game Story - Andres Soto

 Honorable Mentions 

  • Column Writing - Brigette Lugo 
  • Opinion Writing - Brigette Lugo 
  • Critical Review - Joshua Sanchez

In addition, Albertson was named by the JACC as Innovation Coordinator. According to Albertson, this is a new position designed to move JACC in a digital direction that focuses on innovation.  

For more information about Mt. SAC's award-winning Journalism Program, please visit