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PPAGLA Student Amy Gaskins places third in College Media Association Pinnacle Awards

Khai Le

Community Colleges can create great photojournalists. 

Santa Monica College’s Amy Gaskin Placing Third against giants like Western Kentucky and the University of Kentucky in the College Media Association Pinnacle Awards is a deeply satisfying proof.

Ms. Gaskin was reeling from the sleeplessness of the Eddie Adam’s Workshop in October, but forged ahead on more deprivation by covering California Chrome at the Breeders Cup during the last weekend in October.

A day after publication on the SMC Corsair website last spring the Chrome story was the second most searched story on Google, behind the Sports Illustrated story. Old pro’s at the Breeders Cup have been talking about it and surprised to find the shooter working in their midst.

At the EAW Ms. Gaskin’s interviewed with former Sports Illustrated photo editor Jimmy Colton. Colton said in an email interview, “I told her that her work on the California Chrome story would have been a winner regardless of the horse's status. Some really fine images behind the scenes as well as gorgeous light in some of the race action. She was one of the most enthusiastic students I have ever met during my 24 years at EAW!”

There is insight in Ms. Gaskin’s work, coupled with a curiosity about people and society, photographic excellence, and drive. Speaking as an educator, Ms Gaskin best embodies the qualities we hope to instill in a successful new generation of visual journalists.