The second annual Otter Realm Awards, recognizing students who have done excellent work in journalism – including print, video, photography and page design – were handed out at a campus ceremony on May 7.

“Students need more public recognition of their work,” Dr. Estella Porras said last year when she started the competition. “With the awards, students feel encouraged to seek excellence, and are reminded of the value that their work has in their communities.

“I want all students to feel energized and motivated in regard to their work,” she said.
Submissions came from students in Visual and Public Art, Cinematic Arts, Information Technology and Communication Design, Human Communication and Liberal Studies.

Entries were judged on storytelling ability, technical quality, aesthetic quality, journalistic value and creativity.

Winning entries were selected by a six judges: CSUMB alumni Patrick Kelley and Henry Houston; reporters Claudia Melendez of the Monterey County Herald and Ken Stone of the Times of San Diego; and professors Gabriela Martinez of the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon and Deborah Macey of Saint Louis University.

CSUMB’s student newspaper, The Otter Realm, is published six times a semester, on the first and third Thursday of the month. It also operates a website where news stories are posted on a regular basis. Students in Human Communication 389, Otter Realm Workshop, produce both. Professor Porras is the faculty adviser.

Winners by category:

Best sports story: Nolan Davis, “New Season, New Coach, New Plans,” an interview with women’s basketball coach Kerri Nakamoto

Best photography: Lauryn Floyd, “Silent Protest,” a photo that accompanied Floyd’s story on the campus march against racial profiling

Best page design: Scott Horne, “A Fresh Coat of Paint,” a two-page layout that told the story of the “Signs and Symbols” mural, its removal and replacement

Best video storytelling: Belen Sabi, “Saunter”

Best opinion piece: Whitney Carter, “Justice for Farmworkers”

Best general reporting: Jacqueline Fox, “Campus Prepares for New Business and Information Technology Building”

Best feature story: Elizabeth Hensley, “A Semi-Secret Monterey Women’s Group Celebrates 100 Years with its Clubhouse,” printed in the Monterey County Weekly, Feb. 27, 2014 

Photo by Lauryn Floyd, courtesy of the Otter Realm
Silent Protest, winner in the Best Photography category