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Campus Times alumni take home regional awards

Christian Orozco
Editor in Chief

Three recent La Verne alumni and former Campus Times editors were honored this month by the Society of Professional Journalists for stories published in the Campus Times in 2012.

Jason Cox, class of 2012, received first place for general news reporting; Kristen Campbell, who graduated in January 2013, received second place for feature writing; and Karo Chakhlasyn, a January 2013 graduate, received second place for breaking news reporting.

“It’s a huge honor for the students and for the Campus Times,” said Elizabeth Zwerling, associate professor of journalism and faculty adviser for the Campus Times.

Cox’s story, “Law school ABA bid begins again,” centered on ULV College of Law losing its ABA accreditation and attempting to win it back.

“The law school debacle has been going on for awhile,” Cox said. “Since 2007, I believe, so what my story essentially did was chronicle the timeline from 2007 to now.” The story was a part of Cox’s senior project and took an in-depth look at the expensive project.

“I tried to contextualize everything so it was easy for people to digest, and I think that’s why it got the recognition,” Cox said. “I was very surprised. It was nice to know my article was clear and concise.”

Chakhlasyan’s story, “Debaters face judicial review,” focused on the ULV team and the DUI arrest of debaters on the way to a tournament.

“It was terrible that it happened,” Zwerling said. “But Karo covered it aggressively and it was handled very well.”

“The first paragraph about the weed is pretty hard hitting,” Chakhlasyan said.

Campbell’s three-part series, “Keeping It Together: Mental Health and College Collide,” took an in-depth look at mental illness on college campuses through the eyes of three students and their personal struggles.

“Kristen’s series was important,” Zwerling said. “Mental illness affects more people than we know.”

“I think the judges noticed the hard work that was put into the series,” said Campbell whose stories were also part of her senior project. “It was a higher caliber of reporting.”

The regional contest pitted the  Campus Times stories against those from colleges across the Western United States. SPJ, founded in 1909, is one of the nation’s oldest and largest organizations representing journalists.

Christian Orozco can be reached at christian.orozco@laverne.edu.

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