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Santa Ana College Student Newspaper & Website Win National Pacemaker Honors

November 8, 2011

(Santa Ana) - Santa Ana College student newspaper and student news website each won Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) National Pacemaker Awards for excellence in journalism during the 90th Associated Collegiate Press / College Media Advisers National College Media Convention in Orlando, Fla.

The college newspaper’s website was the only community college website to place in the 10,000 to 20,000 Enrollment Online category. Other institutions that received recognition were Louisiana Technical University, Ruston, La.; Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.; University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, Nev.; and Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.

“Our students are excited to win in a category that included respected universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” said Communications and Media Studies Department chair and el Don adviser Charles W. Little, Jr. “We are grateful to the Santa Ana College Foundation for the Innovation Grant that helped launch our student media website which won the National Pacemaker in its first competition.”

In addition to winning its 17th National Pacemaker Award, SAC’s student newspaper el Don also won its 20th First Place Best of Show honors for its Oct. 17, 2011 issue. The student newspaper received Third Place nationally in the Newspaper Special Sections category for its coverage of the U.S. Armed Forces capture and killing of Osama bin Laden. According to Little, the students were thrilled to place above top journalism schools like the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla.; Columbia University, New York, N.Y.; and Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., in this most competitive category.

“I am happy for our students. Bringing home national awards reflects their commitment to journalism and the hours of hard work necessary to achieve excellence. Being recognized as the best in America is an honor and something that our SAC journalism students will treasure throughout their lives,” Little said.

The ACP National Pacemaker Award is considered the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism. ACP and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation have co-sponsored the Newspaper Pacemaker competition since 1971. ACP began the awards in 1927. Judges select Pacemakers based on the following: coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, design, photography, art and graphics.

About the Rancho Santiago Community College District
The mission of the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) is to respond to the educational needs of an ever-changing community and to provide programs and services that reflect academic excellence. Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College are public community colleges of RSCCD, which serve the residents of Anaheim Hills, East Garden Grove, Irvine, Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin and Villa Park. Both colleges provide education for academic transfer and careers, courses for personal and professional development, customized training for business and industry, and programs to train nurses, firefighters and law enforcement personnel.

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Media Contact(s):
Judy Iannaccone, RSCCD Director of Communications, (714) 480-7503 or