Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Two CSM journalism students win state awards

Two College of San Mateo journalism students have earned top honors in writing contests that included two and four-year college students throughout the state.

John Servatius, senior staff writer for the CSM newspaper and Web site The San Matean, will be among the three top winners for breaking news and Laura Babbitt, a former staff writer, is among the three highest winners for personal opinion writing.

They are being honored by the California College Media Association, which will provide details about the award rankings on April 17 during a presentation at Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Servatius’ entry was a report last March about the sentencing of a man in the 2006 slaying of Boris Albinder, 19, a student at Skyline College.

Albinder was slain in an off-campus fight over a parking space. The defendant, Sarith Soun, 27, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter after conviction in February, Servatius reported.

Babbitt is collecting honors for her opinion article “Returning student gets 2nd chance.” Judges counted entries from 38 college journalism programs, many of them four-year schools. This is the first time the CCMA has opened up competition to two-year colleges since 2004. CSM journalism students also entered contests in that year and were awarded an honorable mention for General Excellence for their newspaper, which is published every two weeks.

“It is wonderful to see our students excel in such a demanding field,” said Ed Remitz, CSM journalism adviser. “We value outstanding student achievement and it calls for even more celebration when skilled professionals honor student work.” Servatius also received top newswriting honors for his Albinder report last November during a journalism conference at San Jose State University by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges, an organization representing nearly every community college journalism program in the state. (Editor's note: Alex Farr of the San Matean submitted this item -- thanks!)

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