City Times Media students acknowledged at national conference

Students who attended the ACP/JACC Conference took home 17 individual and team awards


City Times Media’s Jillian Fortner (left), Susana Serrano (center) and Ingrid Estrella (right) accept awards at the Associated Collegiate Press awards on March 5. Photo courtesy of Susana Serrano

Victor Ortiz, Jr., Multimedia Journalist

City Times - Spring 2022This story appeared in the latest print edition of City Times.

Over 500 participants from two- and four-year colleges across the U.S. attended the ACP Spring National College Media Conference hosted by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges and the Associated College Press in Long Beach, California March 3-5. 

Represented by six City Times Media students along with journalism advisor and assistant professor Nicole Vargas, San Diego City College competed in several state and conference-wide competitions, winning 17 awards. 

“I was very, very excited,” City Times Multimedia Editor Susana Serrano said. “One of the awards was for a video my team and I created for a fellowship we worked on during spring semester 2021 and it was a project that took us six months.”

Serrano, along with peers Katia Pechenkina, Gabriel Schneider, and Vicky Pineda, won fourth place for The Highland Avenue Project in the JACC state publication award category for video journalism.

Serrano also won a first-place group award with Jillian Fortner and Ingrid Estrella in the JACC on-the-spot competition for their work in video. 

“Just to be considered was a big deal to me,” Serrano said. “We all worked so hard on that project. It was so exciting.” 

Model Yoni Baker
The photo of model Yoni Baker won top honors in the state JACC publication awards for feature photo. Photo by Philip Salata/City Times Media

The three-day event included training sessions and panels providing participants with the tools necessary to succeed as a journalist.

“It is an incredible honor to have been able to enter all of these competitions at all,” said CT News Editor Philip Salata.

Salata won five JACC student publication awards and one on-the-spot competition award. 

Salata said the award that meant the most to him was the feature photo that won first place in the JACC student publication category. It was the first photo he took after joining the City Times staff. 

CTM, which was already an award-winning student news organization prior to the event, won three ACP awards in the categories of best in show for two-year programs for its work in broadcast, web and magazine.