El Camino’s journalism department wins 35 awards in national competitions


Editors and staff from The Union represent El Camino College in New York for the College Media Association Apple Awards Ceremony in New York City, featuring (From left to right) Khoury Williams, Maureen Linzaga, Nicholas Broadhead, Elizabeth Basile and Delfino Camacho. The Union’s Editor-in-chief Khoury Williams said being in attendance at the awards ceremonies in Long Beach and New York left him feeling more inspired and confident in his decision to pursue journalism. (Stefanie Frith | The Union)

El Camino College’s student-run magazine and newspaper publications took home a total of 35 awards for their work over the past year.

These awards were distributed over two national college conferences that took place in California and New York, hosted by the Associated Collegiate Press and the College Media Association.

This is the first time since 2020 that both awards ceremonies were hosted in person.

The Union and Warrior Life magazine received a combined total of 35 awards that recognized several individual journalists and an adviser of the journalism department.

A few notable awards were given to Stefanie Frith for an Educator of the Year award, Mari Inagaki winning first place for Best Magazine Photo and Greg Fontanilla winning first place for winning Best Sports Photo.

Here is the full list of awards won:


California College Media Association (CCMA):


  • Educator of the Year (Two-year Division): Stefanie Frith, Union & Warrior Life Adviser
  • Best Magazine Photo: First Place – Mari Inagaki, Warrior Life
  • Best Sports Photo: First Place – Greg Fontanilla, The Union
  • Best Infographic: First Place – Walter Jay Jr., The Union
  • Best Feature Photo: First Place – Jose Tobar, The Union
  • Best News Video: Second Place: Maverick Marcellana, The Union
  • Best Non-News Video: Second Place – Abigail Puentes, The Union
  • Best Magazine Story: Second Place – Else Rosales, Warrior Life
  • Best News Photo: Second Place – Jose Tobar, The Union
  • Best Photo Series: Second Place – Jose Tobar, The Union
  • Best COVID-19 Coverage: Second Place, The Union Staff
  • Best Magazine Photo Series: Second Place, Gary Kohatsu, Warrior Life
  • Best Newspaper Website: Third Place – The Union Staff
  • Best Arts and Entertainment Story: Third Place – Kim McGill, The Union
  • Best Illustration: Third Place – Naereishee Jones, The Union

    Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC):


  • General Excellence, Online edition: The Union Staff
  • Magazine Illustration: First Place – Kendal Foreman, Warrior Life
  • Feature Photo: Second Place – David Tran, The Union
  • News Photo: Third Place – Jose Tobar, The Union
  • Magazine Profile Article: Third Place – Elsa Rosales, Warrior Life
  • Profile Feature Story: Third Place – Kim McGill, The Union
  • Illustration: Fourth Place – Lauren Hadnot, Warrior Life
  • Illustration: Fourth Place, Mackenzie Matt, The Union
  • Editorial: Fourth Place – Molly Cochran, The Union
  • Magazine Design/Layout: Fourth Place – Jennifer Torres, Warrior Life
  • Magazine Opinion Article: Fourth Place – Manuel Guzman, Warrior Life
  • News Writing: Honorable Mention – Nicholas Broadhead, The Union
  • Magazine Illustration: Honorable Mention – Lauren Hadnot, Warrior Life
  • Environmental Portrait: Honorable Mention – Jose Tobar, The Union
  • News Photo: Honorable Mention – Jose Tobar, The Union
  • Profile Feature Story: Honorable Mention – Walter Jay Jr., The Union
  • Photo Story-Essay: Honorable Mention – Gary Kohatsu, Warrior Life
  • Feature Story: Honorable Mention – Kim McGill, The Union

Associated Collegiate Press (ACP):


Best of Show – Feature Magazines: Third Place – Warrior Life

Best of Show – Website (Two-year campus): Seventh Place – The Union

The Union’s editor-in-chief, Khoury Williams attended both ceremonies and enjoyed seeing his peers being honored for their hard work.

“Receiving these awards for our journalism department feels great and is a great achievement to have as both editor-in-chief for The Union and a reporter for Warrior Life. It’s an honor.”, Williams said.

Being in attendance at the awards ceremonies in Long Beach and New York left Williams feeling more inspired and confident in his decision to pursue journalism as a major among his peers at both awards ceremonies.

“If you surround yourself with work-minded people it tends to rub off on you”, Williams said.

While Retired Photojournalist instructor, Gary Kohatsu did not attend the ceremonies in person, he remains proud to see his fellow students receive awards for their hard work. Kohatsu remains amazed by advisers Stefanie Frith and Kate McLaughlin for their work in inspiring young journalists.

Kohatsu is now a student for Warrior Life magazine and has a special interest in seeing the magazine do well as a reporter for the publication.

“When I look at all the winners that tells me that they are on their way to greater success and that they are dedicated and continue to be inspired wherever they take their careers”, Kohatsu said.

Warrior Life’s editor-in-chief, Elsa Rosales is honored to see past awards won by her publication, but this year’s awards particularly felt special to Rosales because she got the chance to see both current and former reporters being honored.

A few of Rosales’ peers and reporters won multiple awards, including Jose Tobar who was a photographer in the fall 2021 semester and former photography professor Gary Kohatsu, who came out of retirement in 2020 to contribute to the journalism department as a student.

Student Media Adviser and journalism teacher, Stefanie Frith, won an award for Educator of the Year award from the California College Media Association. Frith is honored to have won an award for Educator of the Year and is proud of both herself and Professor McLaughlin for running the journalism department.

Frith shares her happiness in seeing her students receiving awards and being recognized for the hard work and dedication that they have committed to journalism.

“I think our students are brave, smart and interesting people who are trying their very best to complete their homework on behalf of the college,” Frith said. “The quality of work that our students have put together this past year has been incredible…I’m really proud of them.”


Editor’s Note: Corrected writer’s byline on April 14, 2022, at 5:32 p.m.