By JohnTaylor Wildfeuer
City College’s student publications The Guardsman and Etc. Magazine each won General Excellence awards, and together won 15 more at the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) Spring National College Media Convention.
The convention was co-hosted with the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) and California College Media Association (CCMA) and took place in Long Beach from March 3 – 5.
In prior years City College has sent a delegation to the convention, including during the pandemic when the event migrated to an online platform. This year, however, delegates met in-person, and City College journalism students opted out due, largely, to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19.
Derek Chartrand Wallace, who took the first place award in Feature Writing for his piece “Calel Olicia-Aramboles: Reading the Signs Leading to Rams’ Success,” said that being a part of City College’s Journalism program means “standing on the side of truth and justice,” a position, he said citing Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Peter Parker, his childhood heroes would support.
Chartrand Wallace described the experience of receiving the rewards as one of the great honors of his lifetime, particularly as it reflects well on the department and its chair, Juan Gonzalez, who he views as a mentor and both of which he speaks of in glowing absolutes.
“The man is a national treasure,” Chartrand Wallace said, “and his J-team, held together by the wonderful JohnTaylor and Skylar Wildfeuer, is a class act through and through.”
He credited many others with the success of his story, from his editor Kaiyo Funaki to Greg Lee of KTVU, who picked up Calel’s story and brought it to a larger audience, and offered appreciation of Celia Deck and the JACC,“for the accolades, the opportunity to network with career professionals and the ability to have my published work seen by a wider audience”
Chartrand Wallace closed in gratitude with the following statement:
“And big ups to my Father in Heaven, God Almighty, for this Blessing. In an era where journalists are being targeted, and ‘all news is fake news’ sentiment runs rampant and most of what gets printed seems so dark and foreboding, it was a privilege to be able to share something positive about someone as inspiring as deaf football player Calel Justice-Aramboles (during an undefeated season)! #GoRams”
Trinh says she gained more working in student publication than just the technical skills needed to produce articles, that she learned “to work with different personalities, make friends with people I have just met and will only get a few minutes with, and above all how to deal with non-negotiable deadlines.”
Describing the cooperative dynamics of publication, and the tension that sometimes arises from mutually dependent deadlines Trinh said the pressure can be weighty, but its weight is commensurate with its importance.
“It means what I do matters and there are people who trust me enough to depend on me,” Trinh said, “The hard work is very rewarding.”
This semester Derek Chartrand Wallace reprised his role as The Guardsman’s social media editor, and, expressing a desire for more to join the publication, said, “Everyone has a story to tell and our department can help – so please join us in the Justice League that is known as The Guardsman,” adding to the call to join, “The future of democracy depends upon a free and educated press, plus we’re also fun people to hang out with!”
Last year City College’s journalism department pulled in over 80 awards between the Spring and Fall semesters. Given the track record, therefore, these 17 decorations are likely only the first of many to be awarded to City College journalists in 2022.