Awards and Honors

Longleaf Film Festival

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The Photography Program at Randolph Community College was well represented on Friday night at the Longleaf Film Festival at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. The event was held outdoors under the stars on the Bicentennial Plaza in front of the museum.

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Photojournalism students taught by Jay Capers and Khadejeh Nikouyeh produced an 18 minute documentary video entitled “Blue and Gold Marching Machine” that features the musicians and dancers of the North Carolina A&T State University’s marching band, now in their 100th year.

RCC photography graduate, Griffin Hart Davis, presented his 10 minute narrative short film entitled “Fall of the Matador” that depicts a matador who struggles with his emotional and spiritual existence as he practices his craft of bullfighting. Another RCC photography graduate, Eric Waters, was among those who assisted Griffin with the project.

These two films with Randolph Community College connections are among 59 juried films that were included in the 2019 Official Selections for the Longleaf Film Festival.

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Signing the commemorative filmmakers poster

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Taking questions after the viewing.

Hugh Morton Photographer of the Year

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Photo by Melissa Sue Gerritts

 

Congratulations to Melissa Sue Gerritts, Photojournalism alumni class of 2011, winner of this year’s North Carolina Press Association’s Hugh Morton Photographer of the Year for her work at the Fayetteville Observer.

Check out the photos that earned Melissa the top honor for photographers.

Allison Lee Isley wins MNCC Photographer of the Year

August 4 Bowman Gray Racing

Bryce Nixon, 17, and his father Lee Nixon cheer for Street Stock driver Spencer Martin in the 20-lap Street Stock race Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Allison Lee Isley

Three photojournalism grads finish in the top 10 of the National Press Photographers Association’s Southeast Region Monthly News Clip Contest. Each month photographers submit published images and points are awarded each month. Allison, a 2016 graduate and staffer at the Winston-Salem Journal, beat John Spink from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution by 130 points.

Southeast Guilford vs Matthews Weddington

Khadejeh Nikouyeh

Khadejeh, a 2018 graduate and staffer at the Greensboro News & Record finished 6th, but only participated for half the year during her internship at the paper and then when she was hired in August.

Melissa Gerrits, a 2011 graduate and Fayetteville Observer staffer finished 10th.

PJ students win state video competition

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ASHEBORO (Jan. 17, 2019)— Sometimes the best gateway to a future career is the real-world, hands-on experience of an internship.

Two Randolph Community College photojournalism students recently won awards in the North Carolina Business Committee for Education’s statewide Experience More Video Competition, shadowing two former RCC students and learning about the internship experiences that led them to their current careers.

Nathan Burton took first place with Aly Vermillion grabbing second in the community college category. The NCBCE hosted an Experience More Summit on Work-Based Learning Dec. 7 with five regional satellite locations, including RCC’s JB & Claire Davis Corporate Training Center, highlighting the two winners’ work.

Both second-year students said they were surprised by the awards.

“I didn’t have extensive experience in video at all,” Burton said. “I was grateful for the opportunity. … I gained a lot of valuable experience.”

The goal of the competition, which RCC Photojournalism Instructor Jay Capers turned into an assignment for his photojournalism students, was to encourage high school and community college students to highlight work-based learning in their community. Held in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina Community College System, students were asked to submit an up to three-minute video focusing on one of the following themes:

  1. Why is work-based learning important?
  2. What are the impacts of work-based learning?
  3. Why do students want employers to engage in work-based learning?

Burton’s video features RCC graduateKhadejeh Nikouyeh, who is now a staff photographer at the Greensboro News & Record, while Vermillion shadowed former RCC photojournalism student Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez, who is now the Carolina Panthers team photographer. Both women featured said their internships were integral not only in preparing them for a career, but also in paving the way to a profession — a lesson Burton and Vermillion took to heart.

“I learned through Khadejeh that there is a lot to a job,” Burton said. “Following in her footsteps — there are things you can’t teach, you have to be there. … The hardest part was working with scheduling and then how to make something good out of it. It’s a practiced skill.”

“I’m still figuring out what I want to do (after RCC),” said Vermillion, whose subject participated in four different internships before landing a job with the Panthers. “The project helped me see that you can find what you want to do even if you aren’t in the perfect place. I also learned that I don’t want to do sports photography.”

The NCBCE received 36 submissions from 17 counties, selecting four winners — two submissions from high schools and two submissions from community colleges. RCC boasted five submissions. The first-place winners from each category received $500 and the second-place winners received $250 for their schools.

As a part of the photojournalism class, Burton, Vermillion, and their classmates are filming and producing a documentary featuring the North Carolina A&T State University band.

To view Burton’s contest video, vimeo.com/298494366. To view Vermillion’s contest video, visit vimeo.com/298461358.

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