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Best of Show: JMC Photographers Take Top Honors at ONPA Contest

Posted Apr. 24, 2013

JMC's Chelsie Corso and Dave Foster enjoy a very good day at the ONPA contest. Both won major awards. (Photo credit: Gary Harwood)JMC student photojournalists and photojournalism instructors won 12 awards – including Best of Show – last week at the Ohio News Photographers Association's (ONPA) 2012 annual contest, making 2012-2013 the most award-winning year for JMC's photojournalism program in the last 30 years.JMC photojournalists have already won significant awards in the Hearst, College Photographer of the Year and Society of Professional Journalists competitions.

"The number of overall wins is the fruit of a lot a labor and vision from a lot of people, beginning with [former JMC Director] Jeff Fruit's commitment to growing the program, [current JMC Director] Thor
commitment to excellence and competitive spirit to be the best, and [photojournalism instructors] Gary Harwood and David Foster's numerous contributions of time and money to ensure that students are prepared and able to enter competitions. Harwood led the way with the ONPA entries and set the example with his year-long 'Tiger Legacy' project," said David LaBelle, JMC photojournalism program coordinator.

"It was a special weekend for our JMC photojournalism students," Harwood said of the ONPA contest. "This is a very difficult competition because our students are facing the best work from professional
photographers throughout Ohio. We've not won 12 awards before in this competition, and we didn't expect it. We've never had a weekend like this."

Corso's Senior photojournalism major Chelsie Corso won the Best of Show award, the top honor among all professional and student entries in the contest, for "Sisters," which also earned the top prize
in the Feature photo competition. "This photo was difficult for me to produce. It wasn't just a photo subject, but my own family in it. When I won best of show it meant more to me than just a contest. It had personal value to me."

Among the other honors JMC received were the Ohio Understanding Award and the Larry Fullerton Photojournalism Scholarship. The list of awards includes:

JMC award winners Foster (second from left), Corso, and Alexis Pfeifer with ONPA guest speakers Liz Baylen, Los Angeles Times staff photographer (far left) and John Sale, visuals editor at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis (far right). (Photo credit: Chris Parker,ThisWeek Newspapers)Best of Show: "Sisters" by Chelsie Corso

Student Photographer of the Year: Second Place: Hannah Potes; Third Place: Coty Giannelli

Larry Fullerton Photojournalism Scholarship: First Place: Hannah Potes

James R. Gordon Ohio Understanding Award: "Tiger Legacy," in collaboration with the Massillon Museum, featuring contributing photographers Gary Harwood, David Foster, Adrianne Bastas, Chelsie Corso, Coty Giannelli, Matt Hafley, Jenna Watson, Jessica White and Caitlin Bourque of the School of Visual Communication Design.

Feature: First Place: Chelsie Corso

Illustration: Third Place: "Exorcism," Brooke DiDonato

Award of Excellence: "Mother Nature," Brooke DiDonato

News Picture Story: Third Place: "College Fest," Coty Giannelli

Pictorial: First Place: "Balloon," Alexis Pfeifer; Third Place: "Family Exit," David Foster

Spot News: Second Place: "Fight," Matt Hafley

Captions: JMC's Chelsie Corso and Dave Foster enjoy a very good day at the ONPA contest. Both won major awards.(Photo credit: Gary Harwood)

Corso's"Sisters" won Best of Show and best Feature photo. It shows ChristinaMarten (left) and her older sister, Sarah, at a nursing home in Hollywood,California. Suffering from stage-4 colon cancer, Sarah died just days afterCorso took this image.  (Photo credit: Chelsie Corso)

JMC award winners Foster (second from left), Corso, and Alexis Pfeifer with ONPA guest speakers LizBaylen, Los Angeles Times staff photographer (far left) and John Sale, visuals editor at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis (far right).  (Photo credit: Chris Parker,ThisWeek Newspapers)