Happy to share that I won two awards at the 2014 ACP/CMA College Media Convention in Philadelphia. The awards were given for individual cartoons I drew as an editorial cartoonist in my final semester with The Appalachian (@theappalachian).

I won 1st place for the College Media Association’s Pinnacle Award for best editorial cartoon. Cartoon: “Putin is walking all over diplomacy” published March 6th, 2014 in The Appalachian.

I won 2nd place for the Associated Collegiate Press’ Cartooning Award for editorial cartoons. Cartoon: “The Bible Belt (of equality)“ published February 28th, 2014 in The Appalachian.

Thanks so much to those at The Appalachian, Michael Bragg (@braggmc) - my editor-in-chief and opinion editor at the time, CMA, ACP, and everyone who has supported my work along the way!

#editorialcartoon #politicalcartoon #artwork #art #fineart #drawing #award #awards #political #politics #pinnacle #journalism #collegemedia #associatedcollegiatepress #cma #acp #theapplachian #appstate #nc #artists

Daily Bruin reporting around the world

Three Daily Bruin staffers left for the the Philippines this week to cover the aftermath of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. The trip is sponsored by the Bridget O'Brien Scholarship Foundation, created in honor of a incredibly talented former Bruin photo editor who died in 2007. 

To celebrate the launch of a new international reporting adventure, we’re taking a look back at some previous packages funded by the foundation. 

Private groups create change

In 2008, Bruin journalists traveled to Thailand to report on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Thailand and the harsh stigma attached to those who have the virus. 

The strong network of family and friends she developed after living her whole life in the same village disintegrated after she got the news (she had the virus).

“Everybody in my house – they wouldn’t accept it,” Pakronphan said through an interpreter. “They said, ‘We can’t sit at the table with you, we can’t be close to you. We don’t want you to be here.’”

Exiled from her family, single with daughters and unable to find work, Pakronphan set out for sprawling Bangkok, where the only stigma she would have to face was from within.

Over & Back

Reporters spent a month in Cameroon in 2010 to uncover the story of young basketball players who strive to get out through a student visa and play ball in the United States.  

In the center of the neighborhood, taxis are honking their way down the main road, barely missing the street vendors who are playing cards under umbrellas. And on an elevated plateau, children selling goods are watching a basketball game unfold on the chipped concrete.

The kids’ eyes get wide as they stare at Arnaud Noah Ndzna. The star of the scrimmage makes basketball beautiful. His strides resemble a gazelle, and he slashes through the lane almost untouched, as if he is performing a ballet on the concrete. He’s even got that NBA five-step-without-dribbling-no-travel thing down. Everything he does is effortless. He very well might be the biggest young talent in Cameroon.

“Wow,” his coach mutters, shaking his head as he watches. “Wow.”

A Cooperative Cup

The foundation was inspired by Bridget O'Brien’s impressive package, published in 2004. O'Brien slept on friend’s couches and in her car to pay for a trip to Nicaragua, where she reported on the affects of Fair Trade coffee in rural farming towns. 

For eight years, coffee farmer Adolfo Talavera held classes in a dirt-floored room of his home while he wrote to government officials explaining the need for a school in the area. But no progress was made until he and other members of a Fair Trade coffee cooperative decided to acton their own. The co-op provided land, international non-government organizations donated materials, and parents of children in the community did the manual labor.

“Individually, we have no voice, but as a cooperative we can accomplish things,” Talavera said.

Follow our reporter Katie Shepherd (@katemshepherd) for live updates as they report on the latest package. 

Watch on

Too much heart for one barroom, and not enough for the recognition of the swaths of costumed ingrates out on the the streets. Regardless, they’ve won hearts, and posthumously gratified. These devotees are the Caesar Brother’s Funkbox. @caeasabrother’s #Nawlins #nola #collegemedia #collegemedia13 #unrequitedlove #jazz (at Vaso)

Daily Bruin wins regional award for best daily student newspaper

Daily Bruin wins regional award for best daily student newspaper

The Daily Bruin received first place for best all-around daily student newspaper and secured four other first-place finishes in the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence regional awards.

The Bruin earned five first place awards and received finalist recognition in six other categories. The Society of Professional Journalists announced the awards on its website Monday, following the regional conference in Honolulu over the weekend. The region includes schools in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada.

First-place regional winners will advance to judging at the national level. National winners will be announced in the coming months.

First place: 

Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper (Staff)

In-depth reporting (Sonali Kohli and Blaine Ohigashi for In the Shadows)

Feature Photography (Blaine Ohigashi for Revealing Voices)

Photo Illustration (Neil Bedi and Madeleine Isaacs for A New Era)

Television Feature (Patricia Ferido and Janna Macatangay for Artifacts of Media Archaeology)


Non-Fiction Magazine Article (Alexandra Tashman for Seen Not Heard)

General News Photography (Brandon Choe for Nick Pasquale Vigil)

Sports Photography (Lexy Atmore for UCLA women’s soccer advances to NCAA finals)

Editorial Cartooning (Kara Yasui)

Radio Sports Reporting (Aubrey Yeo for From best friends to teammates)

Best Affiliated Web Site (Staff for Spectrum)