Experience staff recognized at ACP Conference

Crew comes home a success

Experience Staff

The Los Medanos College Experience racked up a total of eight awards announced at the annual Associated Collegiate Press Spring National College Media Conference that took place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Embarcadero in San Francisco. Awards consisted of two first-place, one third-place and one fourth-place, among others. The Experience staff also won in General Excellence for the print edition of the paper.

The awards were distributed on the final day of the conference that featured three different keynote speakers on each day: Rick Green, the executive editor and chief content officer of the Press Democrat, Odette Alcazaren-Keeley, the director of the Maynard 200 journalism fellowship program of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and Elizabeth Smith, the director of Pepperdine Graphic Media at Pepperdine University. There were many different activities for attendees to participate in, including workshops, round-tables and both on and off-site contests.

Juan Cebreiros, current editor-in-chief of the paper, and Michael Benedian, former editor-in-chief, both won a meritorious award for enterprise news story coverage of an audio recording leaked on social media that contained what was described as insensitive remarks by a college manager about Black people.

“It’s just an honor to win something that prestigious and get that level of credit for something myself and the whole staff worked so hard on,” said Cebreiros.

Michael Benedian also won two other individual awards at the conference, including first place in inside page layout and honorable mention in photo illustration.

For me, hearing that I was nominated and won awards for my works as a journalist feels like I’m doing something right. I often lose sight of what my strengths are but these help with bringing confidence in myself,” said Benedian, also adding, “I most definitely couldn’t have reached that point without the help from everyone in the journalism department and anyone else who supported me.”

Kai Arellano, the former managing editor last semester, placed fourth for his editorial cartoon about the California propositions on the 2022 ballot.

“I’m just amazed that my work is still being shown and appreciated,” said Arellano, adding, “I’m glad that I can still have a part in journalism.” 

Sarina Grossi, former editor-in-chief for the paper, won two individual awards, including third- place in critical review and honorable mention in editorial.

Experience managing editor Mohammad Najimi won first place in the News Judgment and Page Layout contest.

“I didn’t expect to win this award honestly. When I saw my name come up as the winner, I felt overjoyed and a little bit embarrassed because it gave me the sense of accomplishment that I’m doing things right to win this award,” said Najimi.