Experience staff takes home 11 awards


Brenna Enos

Experience Editor in Chief Adria Watson and Web Editor Kimberly Stelly examining another schools paper at JACC.

The staff of the Los Medanos College Experience attended the Journalism Association of Community Colleges 2018 Annual Convention in Burbank and returned with 11 awards.

The conference was held from March 22 to March 24 at the Burbank Marriott Convention Center.

The event, which attracted 400 students and faculty from 34 colleges, is designed to support journalism education by bringing professional reporters, photographers, editors and other journalists to speak with students about real-life experiences. Students attended workshops and panels, and competed in on-the-spot awards and competitions.

The annual State Publication Awards were also announced at the convention and the Experience staff won seven awards for works submitted in January.

  • First Place, Critical Review: Tyler Mortimore
  • Third Place, Sports Feature Photo: Eric Perez
  • Third Place, Photo Story-Essay: Cathie Lawrence
  • Third Place, News Photo: Perry Continente
  • Fourth Place, D’Aujah Gordon
  • Honorable Mention, Sports Feature Photo: Cathie Lawrence
  • General Excellence, Print Edition: Experience Staff

The competitions made for an unexpected surprise for LMC Experience Web Editor, Kimberly Stelly, and Social Media Editor, Robert Pierce, who each won top honors in two of the 15 categories.

Stelly, a long time staff member for the Experience and former co-editor-in-chief, wrote an assessment of the band “No Big Deal” that won first place in Critical Review.

“It still hasn’t quite hit me yet. My dad is super proud of me and keeps bragging to everyone in my family, so that feels good,” said Stelly. “Also, I’m incredibly proud of the staff. Whether they won or not, they are all incredibly talented.”

Pierce was especially surprised, this being his first year and win. He took first place in Social Media for onsite live coverage via Instagram stories of a panel discussion with former writers of the LA Weekly, entitled “Battle of Los Angeles”.

“Winning was amazing, I literally could not believe it,” said Pierce, “I heard them call my name and I almost forgot to stand up and walk to the podium.”

The event was a first for many on staff. Experience Features Editor, Brenna Enos, won second place award for Feature Writing, an on-the-spot competition based around writing a story on a speaker.

“I did not expect to win at all,” said Enos regarding her win. “I was going into the contest with the mindset that I just wanted a learning experience, so it was really cool that I actually got something out of it.”

Sports Editor, Jesus Cano, was recognized with an honorable mention in sports writing for coverage on a softball game during the convention at Northridge.

“I made it a goal in 2018 to win a JACC award and it only took me three and a half months to prep for it, so I’m pretty happy about that,” he said.

“I feel really proud of this staff,” said Editor-in-Chief Adria Watson. “I don’t want us to do this to win awards, but when you see all that hard work paid off with things like General Excellence, it’s great to see people get recognized and awarded for all that they do.”