The latest Ohio University graduate Alie Skowronski was named the 2021 Hearst Photojournalism Championship winner, with OHIO soaring senior Nate Swanson currently being named a finalist in the very same classification in the 2021 Hearst Journalism Awards Plan.

Nate Swanson. Image Credit: Julia Martins de Sa

The winners and finalists were being picked out of 211 image entries submitted in the 2020-2021 Information & Features and Image Story/Sequence competitions.

Skowronski, an Aurora, Ohio native who graduated in December 2020 with degrees in maritime biology and photojournalism, was awarded a scholarship of $10,000, and Swanson, a photojournalism key from Elmhurst, Illinois, was awarded $1,500.

“After the yr that 2020 was for so several, I come to feel honored that my work was regarded,” Skowronski explained. “It was a tough time for every person, but I instructed myself early on that I desired to turn out to be a much more compassionate photographer. This award feels a tiny bit like I succeeded in this venture.”

Competition ended up assigned to doc the new usual that represents the American knowledge in 8 to 10 pictures, encompassing the situations and changes that have occurred over the final 18 months.

Because of to the COVID-19 pandemic, the championship was held almost again this 12 months, with finalists conference with judges via Zoom and satisfying their assignments from household.

By means of her photos, Skowronski told the tale of Keira Christie and Joslynn Mayhew and their connection owing to organ donation, highlighting that for the duration of COVID organ recipients were at a higher danger thanks to a weakened immune system and incapability to go most spots.

In accordance to Skowronski, Keira passed away in Oct of 2017, about the time that Joslynn was heading into her fourth spherical of chemotherapy.

“The two girls looked extremely comparable at the time and ended up a perfect match, and given that then, the two family members have generated a beautiful relationship to celebrate Joslynn’s everyday living, the daily life produced feasible because of Keira,” Skowronski spelled out. “At the beginning of the pandemic, Joslynn was not capable to go into retailers mainly because organ recipients have weak immune units, but now she enjoys the time with her donor mom and dad.”

For Swanson, his photograph submissions were particular responses to the offered prompt, “Chaotic Normalcy,” which entailed the opening up of America amid the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in financial hardships, tense political polarization and society’s drive to join again. His photograph essay documents his working experience as a lone journalist in Washington, D.C., for the summer whilst navigating the clean slate by way of generating connections inside of the queer community, observing how other folks have shaped connections with a single another and recognizing the repercussions of the pandemic and the Jan. 6  Capitol riot that are even now noticed right now.

“It’s an honor to be picked as a runner-up and granted a scholarship in the prestigious Hearst Awards Software and to stand among 5 other gifted photojournalists whose enthusiasm for telling the visual stories that make a difference does not fall limited,” Swanson stated. “Out of additional than a thousand candidates throughout the country, I finished as a finalist in the championship and I am grateful for the complete practical experience that is additionally an option for younger photojournalists to get their title identified in the discipline it is really a foot in the doorway for the job you have been doing the job toward and hope to make some thing of, serving as a reward for the difficult do the job and devotion that is put into it.”

Swanson and Skowronski placed second and fourth, respectively, previously in the calendar year in the Photojournalism Characteristics and News Level of competition of the 2020-2021 Hearst Journalism Awards Program, the preliminary competitiveness that authorized them to qualify for the Countrywide Championship.

“I often experienced modest point and shoots and disposable cameras from a young age, and the desire never appeared to cease,” Skowronski included.  

Skowronski is currently hunting for employment and internships whilst she learns extra about underwater photography and expands her portfolio, performing in the British Virgin Islands.

Swanson also proceeds to develop his portfolio, with a goal of landing a lot more internships and task alternatives with publications and shops, and to work as a personnel photographer or photograph editor.

“My expertise with The Post during my time at Ohio University is my major resource of graciousness if not for my time and devotion with this publication, these long run aspirations would not exist,” Swanson said. “None of this would have been doable with no the endless assist of my parents, buddies and family members. On top of that, the University of Visible Communication is a powerhouse that has crafted me up to wherever I am today. Blink and you may well not see how speedy you will improve with their drive.”

“We are so very pleased of Alie and Nate for their putting in the Hearst competitiveness,” Stan Alost, professor of Visible Communication, claimed. “This is a extremely aggressive national collegiate contest and Ali gained. She gets the next (VisCom student) in a row to be national champion. Just to make it to the finals is a significant deal. Both these students build remarkable do the job and it is remarkable to see them regarded for their transformative visible storytelling.”

This is the second year in a row that a Hearst Photojournalism Winner has been from Ohio University, with alum Michael Swenson placing very first previous yr.

By Harmony

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