The Pioneer student newspaper of Pierce College Fort Steilacoom earned first and second place at the Society of Professional Journalist annual awards banquet May 20th at the Seattle Hilton. The regional awards were for excellence in journalism among Western Washington community and technical colleges.
Three subsequent issues were judged on quality of writing, newspaper coverage, photography, design, and editorial leadership. The Pioneer took first for winter quarter and second for fall quarter.
“I do believe this is the best set of issues I’ve seen across the board…and I believe this is the hardest working staff, and editor in chief,” said advisor Michael Parks.
Editor in chief Dorene Paulson said that the team was really proud of the work they’ve done throughout the year and that the real reward was that “people noticed the good work. It felt great and it was good to see our advisor so happy. Another cool thing about the banquet was rubbing elbows with the professionals in the field.”
Professionals in newspaper, magazine, radio and television companies in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska attended the event.
Paulson also received the outstanding Journalism student award Wednesday, May 24 at the Fort Steilacoom awards ceremony.
Paulson will graduate with an associate’s degree in digital design. This is her second career. She spent eight years working in the biology field as a field agent in the spotted owl and marbled murrelet programs and more recently at a 24 hr. vet clinic where she was a manager. After her husband was stationed in Iraq, Paulson decided she wanted to be more creative. Some of her hobbies were videography and photography and she enjoyed working in Photoshop, so the idea that she might be able to turn these interests into a career began.
Paulson searched for programs in the area and became impressed with the digital design program at Pierce College. “My experiences at Pierce College have given more than just the classes I need to succeed in the field. It has also given me the opportunity to have experiences that will move me into the work place with a strong resume and real life skills,” said Paulson.