Wooldridge advances in Hearst competition, two students receive certificates of merit

Wooldridge advances in Hearst competition, two students receive certificates of merit

Friday, January 27, 2017 - 9:45am
A man yelling at a woman.
Kevin Pulver, right, from the Consuming Fire Fellowship, argues his religious beliefs with Zahraa Albusharif, a Muslim from Iraq, on Sept. 11, 2015, outside the Student Union at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This photo is by James Wooldridge and was one he submitted to the Hearst competition.

by Savanah Baker

James Wooldridge, a junior journalism student in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, placed fifth in the Photojournalism One – News and Features Competition of the 2016-17 Hearst Journalism Awards Program. Wooldridge received a $1,000 award and moved on to the next round of the competition. He was one of 10 students selected from 124 entries submitted from 67 schools nationwide.

According to The Hearst Journalism Awards Program website, “The program was founded in 1960 to provide support, encouragement, and assistance to journalism education at the college and university level. The program awards scholarships to students for outstanding performance in college-level journalism, with matching grants to the students’ schools.”

“It's an honor to have qualified for the Hearst Photojournalism semifinal round,” Wooldridge said. “Placing fifth in the Photo News and Feature category is really exhilarating. I'm excited to keep improving through the next round in April.”

The top winners, along with the top finalists in the next photo competition and two overall highest scorers, will submit additional photos for the semi-final round of judging in April. Six finalists will be chosen from that round to compete in the program’s National Photojournalism Championship, which will be held this June in San Francisco.

“I wouldn't be here without my professors, mentors and friends who push me forward and believe in me,” Wooldridge said. “I'm proud to represent this school, and I hope to continue to live up to the quality of photojournalism that I have learned in its classrooms.”

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln placed third in the Intercollegiate Photojournalism Competition based on accumulated student points from this competition. The final intercollegiate winners are announced in April, and the top three intercollegiate winners earn $10,000, $4,000 and $2,000 respectively.

Calla Kessler, a senior journalism student in the CoJMC, also placed in the Photojournalism One – News and Features Competition. Kessler received tenth place, which comes with a certificate of merit but does not qualify her to compete in the next round.

Marcella Mercer, a junior journalism student, placed sixth in the feature writing portion of the Hearst Journalism Awards competition. She received a certificate of merit but will not move on to the next round.