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26 students graduate from 65th CSPA Workshop

26 students graduate from 65th CSPA Workshop

The 65th-annual California Scholastic Press Association Journalism Workshop ended July 22, when all 26 students participated in the graduation ceremonies at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and celebrated 13 days of work and fun.

Karan Nevatia of Aragon High School in San Mateo, Calif., received the Ralph Alexander Award while Daisy Bolin of Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kan., received the Millie Alexander Award and Whitney Wachtel of Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, Calif., received the Stan Kelton Award. The awards, voted on by workshop instructors and counselors, annually honor top all-around students.

Olivia Olander of San Dieguito High School accumulated the most points, as she and her classmates completed approximately 35 workshop assignments. Julia Qiao, Karan Nevatia, Meghan Bobrowsky and Whitney Wachtel also were in the top five in total points.

During the workshop, students took classes in news writing, editorial writing, sportswriting, reviews, column writing and other aspects of print journalism. They learned about public relations and how to access public records. They shot photos, produced a four-page newspaper, taped a television broadcast and did extensive social-media reporting. They took trips to the local television station and newspaper office and enjoyed an afternoon at the beach.

Most importantly, the students learned skills that will benefit them for decades to come, and made lifelong friends.

CSPA’s Harmonson named senior editor at OC Register

Todd Harmonson, CSPA vice president and member of the Board of Directors, has been named senior editor of the Orange County Register.

Harmonson, previously the paper’s assistant managing editor and sports editor, will be responsible for “newsgathering across all platforms including websites, mobile, apps, daily and community newspapers, and monthly magazines,’’ according to the Register’s news release.

“Todd is a natural leader and top-notch journalist who has already made major contributions to the Register newsroom,’’ Frank Pine, executive editor of the Register, said in the release. “In his new role, Todd will ensure we maintain a local focus and high standard of quality for readers, and guide us into a future that includes enhancing how we package our print and digital content.’’

A native of Hacienda Heights, Harmonson attended the CSPA Workshop in 1985. For the past 26 years, has served the organization as an instructor and board member, and has volunteered his time on a year-round basis to serve CSPA, which is preparing for its 65th-annual workshop.

Harmonson, a Cal State Fullerton graduate, started his award-winning writing career at the Daily Breeze, then moved to the Register, where since 1998 he has worked as a writer, editor and a member of the newspaper’s management team.

Harmonson will be part of the editorial management team for Southern California News Group, which operates 11 daily newspapers in the region, including the Register and the Los Angeles Daily News.

“I am honored to lead a talented, dedicated team of reporters, editors, photographers and designers who pride themselves in serving our communities,’’ Harmonson said in the release. “I am committed to strengthening the Register’s position as the leading source of local news and information.’’

CSPA will hold its 65th-annual high school journalism workshop on the campus of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, from July 10-22.

CSPA graduate Kellen Browning named National Journalist of the Year

Kellen Browning of Davis High, a 2015 graduate of the CSPA Journalism Workshop, has been selected as National High School Journalist of the Year by the Journalism Education Association.

Julia Poe, a 2014 CSPA graduate, won the same award last year.

Browning, a senior, is the website editor-in-chief for his school newspaper and also works for the Davis Enterprise newspaper. Browning was one of the top students at last year’s workshop and, in recognition of his all-around work, he was given the Ralph Alexander Award in honor of one of CSPA’s founders.

Browning previously had been selected as California Journalist of the Year, and as part of that contest, Browning submitted a portfolio of his work and displayed a variety of skills.

The JEA, which sponsored the award, said Browning’s portfolio “included breaking news, profiles, features and video on a wide range of topics, from the arrest of a teacher for sexual battery, to a district decision to demolish a multipurpose room used intensively by disabled students, literally leaving them out in the rain.’’

The latter story influenced the local school district to build a new multipurpose room, and Browning’s work earned a JEA Student Impact Award for Browning and colleague Grace Richey.

According to the JEA, one judge, photo teacher and magazine adviser Betsy Snow from Menlo-Atherton High, said Browning showed “mature understanding of the journalistic relationships that go along with doing stories that don’t necessarily please your audience.’’

Browning also received a scholarship from the Sacramento Bee.

The 65th-annual CSPA Workshop will be held on the campus of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, from July 10-22.

What you need to know about the CSPA Workshop

CSPA Workshop graduates do more in 13 days than most people do all summer. Whether you’re an experienced student journalist, a beginner or simply a student interested in improving your writing skills, you’ll find the CSPA Workshop beneficial. It’s an opportunity not only to sharpen journalism skills but to become a better writer, to improve your time management and to learn how to communicate and cooperate with others in a professional environment. You also will learn cutting-edge digital skills to go along with the journalistic principles that are vital in any medium.

Every summer, 25 students come to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, for 13 days of learning and fun. Our curriculum covers a wide variety of journalism-related areas, including writing, editing, photography, blogging, newspaper and television production and social media. We even take a trip to the beach (no work required there).

Want to know more about the workshop? Here’s a rundown of several of our courses, which represents only a small sample of everything our students learn each summer (courses and instructors subject to change):

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