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SMC Students Take Home 5 Journalism Awards


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By Lookout Staff

February 15, 2024 -- Santa Monica College's (SMC) student-run media outlet The Corsair has won six Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) awards, including two first-place awards for individual photojournalists.

The winners of the Clips & Clicks competition were chosen from among 561 submissions nationwide featuring work produced in the Fall 2023 semester by ACP members .

SMC student Caylo Seals took home a first place award in the Newspaper Page/Spread category for “Gone AWOL: Living in an RV Dwelling in Los Angeles,” as well as an honorable mention for the sports photo “Failed catch in endzone between rivals USC and UCLA.”

Also taking home a top award was Danniel Sumarkho, who finished first in the News Photo category for pictures taken during last fall's “Inkwell Beach Clean up” sponsored by the college.

SMC students also tied for fifth place award with The Daily of University of Washington for in the Fall 2023 Leaders category.

And three students -- Sumarkho, Elizabeth Bacher and Victor Chambers -- took fifth place for Newspaper Front Page Design for "Living in Community."

“The important thing about these wins is that our students, who only have a few semesters of photojournalism experience under their belt, are besting peers from major four-year journalism programs!” said Gerard Burkhart, Corsair photojournalism adviser.

“I am in continuing awe of their professionalism and dedication to craft," Burkhart said.

Said Corsair adviser Sharyn Obsatz, "You can really see the passion and dedication of the student journalists in the SMC Corsair newsroom.

"They treat it as a calling, a vocation, and not just a class," . "It's inspiring to watch them work and to see their efforts recognized by these awards."

The Corsair advising team includes professors Burkhart, Obsatz and Samantha Nuñez.

The Corsair staff produces a bi-weekly newspaper in the spring and fall semesters, currently available on, online at

To learn more about Santa Monica College’s journalism program -- including an Associate of Arts for Transfer in Journalism, and an Associate of Arts in Journalism (Multimedia Storytelling -- visit

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