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Photojournalism Students Receive International Recognition

November 21, 2008

Loyalist College Photojournalism Students Receive International Recognition in College Photographer of the Year Competition

Two Loyalist College Photojournalism students were named when the judges announced the winners on November 15th for the 63rd College Photographer of the Year (CPOY) competition on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia. Farzana Wahidy was awarded Gold in the Portrait category and John Hanley an Award of Excellence in Spot News. Judges viewed 13,313 still images and 169 multimedia projects entered by 566 student photographers from 121 colleges and universities in 13 different countries.

Farzana Wahidy was home in Afghanistan when she took the photograph that was awarded the Gold. “I heard that a young couple was to be married so I asked if I could follow them and cover the entire wedding using the flash and lighting techniques that I was learning at Loyalist. This portrait was taken at the very end of the day. The dancing and laughing was over, the guests had gone home and the young couple was in their one-room home with only each other. Winning this award is a great opportunity for me. I want people to see my photographs and this recognition encourages me to work even harder.”

“My picture is of Toronto firefighters battling a six-alarm fire on Queen Street West on a very cold winter morning last February,” said John Hanley. “I feel that Loyalist has helped me grow as a photographer. I came to this program with some experience in spot news that I gained shooting news on the streets of Toronto, but did not have much experience in shooting portraits, features, sports and so on. After a year and a half here, I feel that my portfolio is now well rounded.”

“The ability to capture that unique moment that tells a story and draws the viewer into the scene is an exceptional talent and skill,” said Jane Harrison, Acting Dean of the School of Media Studies. “Farzana and John have done this. Their photos take you to that tiny room with the newlyweds and make you feel the heat of the flames in Toronto. Recognition in international competitions such as the CPOY shows the industry that our students and graduates are true professionals.”

Judges for this year’s competition were Melissa Farlow, freelancer for National Geographic; Travis Fox, multimedia producer at; Tammy Lechner, freelancer/co-owner of Still Productions; and, Steve Rice, photographer/videographer at the Star Tribune.

The College Photographer of the Year Competition was founded by Cliff and Vi Edom in 1945. The University of Missouri administers the contest with support from its co-sponsor, Nikon Inc. The competition is of educational value to the students in that it encourages photographers to evaluate their own work and assemble the best of it to show, both to peers and to the working professionals who donate their time to judge the contest.

Farzana Wahidy’s Winning Portrait

John Hanley’s Photograph

For more information regarding the Photojournalism program at Loyalist College please contact program coordinator Frank O’Connor at (613) 969-1913, ext. 2270.

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Media Contact: Marilyn Warren, Communications, Loyalist College (613) 969-1913, ext. 2332, e-mail: or Jane Harrison at (613) 969-1913, ext. 2437