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Students Take Top Honors In College Photographer of the Year Competition

Posted Jan. 21, 2013
enter photo description
Kent State student Brooke DiDonato won an award for
this photo illustration during the 67th College Photographer
of the Year Competition .

Three senior visual journalism students in Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication earned top honors during the 67th College Photographer of the Year Competition at the University of Missouri.

Brooke DiDonato took home a gold medal for Photo Illustration, Kristin Bauer won a silver medal in the Domestic Picture Story category and Philip Botta won a bronze medal in the Spot News category.

"By far, this is the most competitive college photography contest any student – in any program, in any country – can enter.  Some categories have thousands of entries,” says Dave LaBelle, lecturer in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Judges viewed 14,100 still photographs entered by 573 student photographers from 125 colleges and universities in 17 countries. The annual College Photographer of the Year Competition is co-sponsored by the University of Missouri and Nikon, Inc.

"Having three different students who placed in the top three in three different categories is a really good sign that we are doing things right,” says LaBelle.  “Our students are engaged, and they recognize the importance of entering.  Three years ago, none of our students won, and only two or three entered.  This year, we had 15 or 20 who entered."

LaBelle says although DiDonato and Bauer are upperclassmen, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication has a very strong freshman class.

“We will be heard from again in this competition,” says LaBelle.