Inquirer writers bring home awards from state conference

Curtis Uemura

The Inquirer won General Excellence awards from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges for its online site,, and a four-part series by editor in chief Ariel Messman-Rucker on the 60-year history of DVC’s student newspaper.

“A print edition of the Inquirer has existed for 60 years,” adviser Jean Dickinson said.  “But we’ve only been making a priority in the last few semesters, and to win the General Excellence this early is a real testimony about how much progress the staff has made in a very short time.”

Messman-Rucker was happy with her General Excellence award as well.  “I put so much work into the Inquirer history series. I am really proud of that piece.

“Speaking with professional journalists that used to work at the Inquirer really highlighted the success of the paper over the years.”

Messman-Rucker also won honorable mention for a story on the trial of a former DVC student suspected of buying grades in the scandal that rocked the campus when it became public in 2007.

The judge commented on her story that, “The lead really pulls the reader in. [It’s] a solid, fair story and interesting too.”

While DVC students were enjoying their week off for spring break, six Inquirer editors and a staff writer were in Los Angeles from April 8 – 11 for the state JACC conference, which was attended by more than 600 students from 47 community colleges, including one as far away as Rhode Island.

Other Inquirer awards included an honorable mention for Christian Villanueva’s feature profile about a 14-year-old DVC student.  This marks Villanueva’s fifth award in five semesters on the newspaper.

And first semester online editor Christopher Long won an honorable mention for his editorial cartoon about texting while driving in the on-the-spot contest at the conference.

All but Long’s award were based on work completed during the 2009-2010 school year. Both the mail-in and on-the-spot contest were judged by professional journalists

These latest awards brings Messman-Rucker’s total to four in her five semesters on the Inquirer.


Contact Curtis Uemura at [email protected]