Palomar College Learning For Success

Palomar College Journalism Department

Educating Tomorrow's Journalists


Student Achievements

The Journalism Department has amazing students. Here is a (partial) list of their accomplishments:

On April 3, 2018 we learned that Palomar’s Journalism students had won the following awards”

General Excellence Magazine – Impact Magazine Staff
Critical Review – HM – Justin Gonzalez
Magazine Illustration – 3rd Place – Maurice Thomas
Magazine Design/Layout – 2nd Place – Impact Magazine Staff
Magazine Cover Design – 4th Place – Kitty Pinney and Johnny Jones
Opinion Story – First Place – Bethany Nash
Student Designed Ad – 3rd Place – Kitty Pinney
Photo Story-Essay – HM – Maurice Thomas, Angel Arenas, Julie Lykins and Momoko Watarai.

The Telescope and Impact staff were honored last night at the SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB – 44th ANNUAL EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM AWARDS – Oct. 24, 2017

First Place: Kitty Pinney, Johnny Jones, Impact Magazine – Cover, Palomar College – College Print, Cover Design-Magazine
First Place: Collin Vore, Scariest Monsters of Halloween 2016, Palomar College – College Print, Drawing, Illustration or Cartoon
Third Place: The Telescope Staff, The Telescope, Palomar College – College Print, Best College Newspaper
Second Place: Impact Magazine Staff, Impact Magazine – Spring 2017, Palomar College – College Print, Best Magazine
Third Place: Philip Farry, Sports – Football – Photo – Farry, Palomar College – College Print, Photograph


Other awards….

Best Color Advertisement (Community Colleges)

Kitty Pinney – Third Place

Promotion for Election Issue


Best Magazine Photo (Community Colleges)

Niko Holt – Honorable Mention

Distinguished Faculty of the Year


Best Magazine Cover Design (Community Colleges)

Kitty Pinney and Niko Holt – First Place

Impact Magazine – Spring 2016


Best Non-News Video (Community Colleges)

Cam Buker – First Place

A home with wheels


Best News Video

Joe Dusel – Honorable Mention

Urban Forestry


Best Headline Portfolio (Community College)

Kirk Mattu – Third Place

Aviation program has wings clipped – Building the library from the bedrock – Anatomy students open up


Best News Photograph (Community Colleges)

Joe Dusel – First Place

Third party picks up the Bernie or bust


Best Sports Story (Community Colleges)

Marcy Cortes – First Place

Bring concussions to the light of day


Best Editorial (Community Colleges)

Mike Peterson – Honorable Mention

We have some questions about new calendar


Best Newspaper Inside Page/Spread Design (Community Colleges)

Kitty Pinney – First Place

East Sierra’s Explored


Best Arts and Entertainment Story (Community Colleges)

Kirk Mattu – Second Place

Boehm hits home with political themed exhibit


Best News Series (Community Colleges)

Kirk Mattu – Third Place

City Sues Palomar­


In October 2016 The Telescope and Impact magazine staff won awards at the annual San Diego Press Club.


Here is a press release on our students’ statewide award.

CNPA Awards Banquet

Contact: Erin Hiro 760-744-1150 ext. 3762 or email

CORONADO, Calif., May 9 ­ Palomar College¹s campus newspaper staff beat out two-year colleges from across the state to win First Place in General Excellence from the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

Seven members of the newspaper staff attended an awards banquet at the Hotel Del Coronado to accept the plaque.

The student-run, independent newspaper competed against about 35 campus newspapers that entered nearly 500 entries, according to CNPA Spokesman Bryan Clark.

The campus newspaper was featured in CNPA¹s The Winners Tab newspaper with a comment from the judges.

³This was a wide-ranging, exciting paper for a student community,² the judges wrote. ³The writing was consistently exceptional! We see the good editing, and the graphics were superb.²

Palomar student Kirk Mattu, who serves as The Telescope¹s Online Editor, also won second place for sports writing among two-year colleges.

The Telescope newspaper is a biweekly publication that produces Palomar-related news, sports, opinion and arts coverage during the fall and spring semesters. It has been covering Palomar College for around 65 years. It also has an active website at and a new app called Telescope News that is available through the Apps Store.

Palomar¹s awards were part of a larger CNPA contest for daily and weekly newspapers across the state. A total of 175 CNPA-member newspapers entered the contest in 11 circulations divisions and 29 categories. The total number of entries was nearly 4,000, Clark said.


Our student newspaper and student magazine both won Best of Show at this year’s San Diego County Fair.

The Telescope wins at the fair Impact wins at Fair

Telescope Staff wins big at regional conference!


News coverage about The Telescope.

Recent recognition from our Fall 2013 student journalism conference.

Check out UT-San Diego news coverage about our program.

Here is a student, David Krueger, a Telescope staffer who won at the Society of Professional Journalists in the summer 2013.

Spring 2013

By Kaity Bergquist

Palomar College’s journalism students earned 20 awards at a state-wide community college journalism convention this weekend, including the coveted Pacesetter award, which was received by only four schools.

The Journalism Association of Community Colleges organization hosted its annual state convention April 11-14 at the Double Tree Hotel in Sacramento. Over 41 schools were in attendance with about 500 delegates.

Eleven representatives and two advisers from the Telescope, the college’s newspaper, and Impact, the college’s magazine, attended the convention, participating in competitions, workshops, critiques and networking.

Impact took first place in Magazine Design/Layout by the staff, Magazine Cover Design by former students David Leonard and Kiigan Snaer, and Magazine Illustration by Snaer, with a third place for Magazine News Feature by Leonard and Impact Editor-in-chief Hannah Villaruel, fourth place for Magazine Profile Article by writer Shaun Kahmann, and second place for Magazine Opinion Story by Kahmann.

The Telescope received General Excellence for both print and online. It also won first place for Front Page Layout, Informational Graphic and Enterprise News Story/Series, with a third place Editorial and second place for Sports Game Story by Matthew Slagle.

In the on-the-spot competitions, The Telescope Editor-in-Chief Kaity Bergquist won first place for Bring-in Ad, second place for News Judgment/Layout Tabloid, and the People’s Choice Award for News Judgment/Layout Tabloid. Opinion Editor Marissa Milloy won a meritorious award for the new Twitter competition. Staff writer Heather Randall won an honorable mention for Feature Photo and staff writer Nicole Gibbs won first place for the Feature Story category.

The Pacesetter award is determined by a tallying of points from all awards won by the school. This was the first time since 2006 that Palomar won the award.

Spring 2012:

Palomar Journalism students have been written up twice in the North County Times for the awards they have won, including an article in June where The Telescope won Best College Newspaper by the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists! Here is the link.

In March 2012, Palomar College’s journalism students earned 18 statewide awards for their campus newspaper, magazine and newspaper website at the annual state convention of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC). For the third year in a row, The Telescope received a state General Excellence Award for its campus newspaper, which is published 20 times per year. Palomar’s new campus magazine IMPACT and The Telescope’s redesigned website <> also received General Excellence Awards. The student-run publications beat out about 45 other community college journalism departments across the state.

Lastly, several of our students have secured internships or jobs because of the Journalism Department’s solid network of media contacts.

Here is a partial list:

David Leonard, Front Page Designer, Gannett Company

Kaity Bergquist, Internship, U-T San Diego

Colleen Peters, Internship, U-T San Diego

Deb Hellman, Internship, North County Times

Nick Shumate, Internship with LA marketing firm

Belinda Callin, Job with Tennis Pro website

Maggie Avants, Job with

Mark Saunders, Freelancing with

Shaun Kahmann, Freelancing with

Matt Slagle, Internships with UT-San Diego, North County Times and KUSI


Fall 2011: Journalism Association of Community Colleges, Southern California Conference

The Journalism Department took 17 students to Cal State Fullerton to compete against community colleges from all around Southern California. The staff won more than 20 awards in both on-the-spot and mail-in categories.

Spring 2011: Journalism Association of Community Colleges, State Conference

The Journalism Department took 13 students to Sacramento for the state conference of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges.  There, The Telescope earned 13 statewide awards in photography, news writing, sports writing, design, video journalism, critical review and others.

For the second year in a row, The Telescope received a state General Excellence Award for its campus newspaper, which is published 18 times per year. The Telescope staff also received first place for design, beating out about 50 other community colleges and 600 students across the state.

Those awards lead to the North County Times feature the newspaper staff. Here is a newspaper article about the newspaper staff:

That article resulted in an award from the City of San Marcos. Here is a link to the video

If you know of another accomplishment of a Palomar journalism student, please leave a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.