November 16, 2020

The Corsair Wins 13 JACC Awards

1st place news photo Elramsisy
Corsair photojournalist Maxim Elramsisy won a first place Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) award in the news photo category for this photograph of an anti-police brutality protest in Los Angeles on May 30, 2020.

SMC Student News Outlet The Corsair Wins 13 JACC Awards 

Includes Two First-Place Awards for Santa Monica College’s Student Photojournalists, plus General Excellence for both Print & Online Editions                                          

SANTA MONICA, CA—Santa Monica College’s student-run news outlet The Corsair has won 13 awards from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC). Eleven of those awards—including two first place wins in the news story and news photo category—were JACC SoCal Regional Awards, while two individual awards were “on-the-spot” conference competition wins. JACC announced the winners during the Fall 2020 JACC Conference held online Nov. 6 – 8, 2020.  

A complete list of the Corsair JACC Awards and winning photo/journalists follows: 

JACC SoCal Regional Awards: 

  • General Excellence, Print Edition: The Corsair staff 
  • General Excellence, Online Edition: The Corsair staff 
  • First Place, News Photo: Maxim Elramsisy 
  • First Place, Photo Story-Essay: The Corsair staff 
  • Second Place, Editorial Cartoon: Carolyn Burt 
  • Third Place, News Story: Chrissa Loukas 
  • Third Place, Sports Action Photo: Glenn Zucman 
  • Third Place, Online Photo Story/Essay: The Corsair Staff 
  • Fourth Place, Inside Page Layout: Marco Pallotti 
  • Honorable Mention, Illustration: Carolyn Burt 
  • Honorable Mention, Column Writing: Deshawn Pouper 

JACC On-the-Spot Award Winners: 

  • First Place, News Photo: Kevin Tidmore 
  • Third Place, News Photo: Marco Pallotti 

“These 13 awards from the JACC prove The Corsair student journalists continue to thrive and create quality content under the most difficult of circumstances,” said SMC Journalism Professor/Corsair Faculty Adviser Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins. “The staff has a deep-rooted dedication and commitment to keeping SMC students, faculty and staff informed of what’s going on in their community and abroad, especially so during these turbulent times. It really speaks to the quality of the journalism program here at SMC.”

1st place story essay
The Corsair staff won a first place JACC award in the photo-story/essay category for this coverage of a Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles.

Photo adviser and SMC Photojournalism Professor Gerard Burkhart added that he is “always amazed and proud of the professional level work that the entire Corsair staff produces every single semester! It makes teaching a joy to see students take the basics and do remarkable things.”

The Corsair staff produces a bi-weekly newspaper in the spring and fall semesters, currently available on, and it is also online at SMC Journalism Professor Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins advises The Corsair. Photojournalism Professor Gerard Burkhart serves as the photo adviser. 

1st place story essay 1
Part of the multi-page photo story that won The Corsair’s staff a first place JACC award for photo story/essay.

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. 

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). For more information on The Corsair, email

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