The Corsair, Santa Monica College’s student-run news outlet, has won 14 awards from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) during its Spring 2021 JACC State Publication Contest. The virtual awards ceremony was held Saturday, March 30; The Corsair’s wins included three first-place awards.

The full listing of awards are below:

First Place, Informational Graphic: Sonia Hiew

First Place, Student Designed Ad: Glenn Zucman

First Place, Online Photo Story/Essay (“The Year in Photos”): The Corsair Staff

Second Place, Feature Photo: Marco Pallotti

Second Place, Illustration: Sonia Hiew

Second Place, Online Photo Story/Essay: The Corsair Staff

Third Place, Photo Story-Essay: The Corsair Staff

Third Place, Sports Action Photo: Glenn Zucman

Third Place, Photo Illustration: Johaira Dilauro

Fourth Place, Sports Action Photo: Alex Ramirez Canales

Fourth Place, Front Page Layout: Sonia Hiew

Honorable Mention, Illustration: Octavia Anderson

Honorable Mention, News Story: Jackie Sedley

General Excellence, Print Edition: The Corsair staff

“The shift to a completely online environment for The Corsair staff was challenging, but time and time again these student journalists have decided to use this new environment as an opportunity to exceed expectations, rather than a barrier to their success as a news media outlet,” said SMC Journalism Professor Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, Corsair faculty adviser. Each day they find new and creative ways to create content and tell the stories SMC students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community need to hear, especially now. These awards prove just how much our journalism students can accomplish, even in the face of adversity.”

Gerard Burkhart, photojournalism professor and Corsair photo adviser added: “It is a continuing honor to be a part of a staff that is this dedicated and talented. They never cease to amaze, delight and inform on the full spectrum of news coverage in a truly professional manner.”

Founded in 1955, JACC is a nonprofit which bridges the gap between students, educators and publications by providing networking and educational events aimed at inspiring members at each stage of their journalism career; JACC also holds contests that are a benchmark for community college journalism excellence, offers scholarships and professional development for educators, among other things. Visit to learn more.

The Corsair staff produces a bi-weekly newspaper in the spring and fall semesters and also maintains an online news site: SMC Journalism Professor Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins advises the Corsair; Photojournalism Professor Gerard Burkhart is photo adviser. For more information on The Corsair, email

Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Submitted by Grace Smith