2016 Northern Short Course Contest Winners

Judging for the 2016 Northern Short Course in Photojournalism Contest was held on Jan. 29 and 30, 2016 at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. Our judges were Michelle Agins, Gary Hershorn and Bob Sacha.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Northern Short Course 2016 Photographer of the Year
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

(A selection of images from his portfolio entry)



Northern Short Course 2016 Photographer of the Year, 2nd place
Matt McClain, The Washington Post

(A selection of images from his portfolio entry)



Northern Short Course 2016 Photographer of the Year, 3rd place
Guy Wathen, Pittsburg Tribune-Review

 (A selection of images and video from his portfolio entry)



Feature Photo
Usually a “found” situation with strong human interest or a fresh view of the commonplace.

Pictorial Photo
A picture that exploits graphic, aesthetic qualities of the subject with an emphasis on composition.

A picture of a person that reveals the essence of the subject’s character, domestic or international.

Sports Action
A peak action picture that captures the competitive spirit – domestic or international.

Sports Feature
Sports-related feature picture, other than game action – domestic or international.

Sports Picture Story
Any domestic or international sports-oriented subject portrayed in a multiple-picture fashion. Pictures should be edited to convey a single theme.

1st Place, Patrick Smith, Getty Images

With the Olympic games in Rio, Brazil approaching in Summer of 2016, the 15th IAAF World Athletics served as a place for competitors around the world to compete one last time before the Olympic games. Celebration and defeat, these are the images of the World Athletics Championships in Beijing.

2nd place, Matt McClain, The Washington Post

The annual Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival drew 18 vintage baseball teams from several teams. The players observe the way the game was played in the nineteenth century. Many of the contests during the festival were done under the rules that would have been in effect during the Civil War era. This called for the pitcher to deliver the ball with an underhand throw. There were other games that more closely resembled the modern incarnation, adhering to rules adopted in the latter portion of the 1800's.

3rd place, Patrick Smith, Getty Images

With more than 25 racetracks, NASCAR continues to be America’s premiere motorsport racing organization. However, of those tracks, there are two famous tracks where drivers pilot their cars to more than 200mph on steep degree banking - Daytona and Talladega. At these restrictor plate racing tracks anything can happen. Drivers and fans alike seek adrenaline. But it’s also the quiet moments in-between the thrills that make these two tracks such a rollercoaster on and off the track.

HM, Michael Henninger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette

Felix Genao, the son of buscone Papiro, eats an ice cream bar while standing with his father's players during an after practice pep talk on May 29, 2015. Papiro is the buscone, or youth coach/manager, who got Starling Marte signed with the Pirates. At this point in the 2015 season, more than a month before the signing day of July 2, Papiro had verbal commitments for 14 of his players above the eligibility age of 16.  Buscones typically receive 25-30% of a players signing bonus, tax free.  Papiro boasted of one player earning a bonus of $550,000 this year. 

Spot News
A picture of an unscheduled event for which no advanced planning was possible. No photographs taken outside of the United States, Canada or Mexico are allowed.

Feature Picture Story
Any feature-oriented subject portrayed in a multiple picture fashion. Pictures should be edited to convey a single theme. This category is for stories produced in the United States, Canada or Mexico only.

1st Place, Jahi Chikwendiu, The Washington Post

According to studies of census data, black children in North Milwaukee, Wisconsin, face disadvantages that accumulate from birth: three times as likely as white children to die in their first year; five times as likely to live with a single parent; nine times as likely to attend failing schools; 15 times as likely to live in poverty; 18 times as likely to go to prison.  President Barack Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.  Paul Gayle, a 19-year-old father of 7-month-old Sapphire, seized his parenting responsibilities by, among other things, enrolling in a 16-course curriculum devoted to fatherhood classes in a program the Obama administration funded for fatherhood classes around the country.  Here in one of the most segregated cities in the U.S., the young father insists that he is "gonna be the best daddy for this girl."

2nd, Jabin Botsford, The Washington Post

Another mass shooting was over. The country had moved on. But inside one house in Oregon, a family was discovering the unending extent of a wound. Cheyeanne Fitzgerald's, 16, after being shot, was one of the survivors who made it out of the shooting at Umpqua Community College. Now its up to her mother Bonnie to try and comfort her angry daughter in the only ways she knows how.

3rd place, Mary F. Calvert, Independent

The Jungle: Surviving Veteran Homelessness
Melissa A. Ramon spent nine years in the US Air Force where she endured military sexual trauma at the hands of her training instructor.
She suffers from Military Sexual Trauma and has been homeless off and on since her discharge. While Melissa has sought help for permanent housing from the Veteran's Administration and Los Angeles County social services, she has only been offered a bed in a homeless shelter in a neighboring county. In addition to not wanting to remove her son from a school where he is thriving, women's shelters will not admit a young man over the age of twelve and Melissa refuses to send her son to the men’s side of the shelter, so she and 13-year-old Sam, live in a drug and crime ridden motel in Pomona, Ca., that she calls "The Jungle."

HM, Rod Lamkey, Jr., Freelance

BAPTISM BY FIREHOSE: The annual event billed as Baptism by Firehose is held by the congregation of the International House of Prayer. Each year hundreds of men, women and children take part in this spiritual prayer service which includes music from four different brass bands. Men and women sing and pray, some speak in tongues and listen to fiery sermons from a wooden stage in the middle of the street. In the end two firehoses attached to and supervised by the Washington DC Fire Dept., are turned on, sending a deluge of water upon the congregation in the afternoon heat.

HM, Jahi Chikwendiu, The Washington Post

Summary:  As the first of six Baltimore police officers goes on trial for the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, fear and fury still grip the West Baltimore neighborhood of Sandtown-Winchester where Gray was arrested and killed.  Nearly seven month after the riots’ fires had been extinguished, the long-troubled relationship between law enforcement and the community left the neighborhood still smoldering.  What so many people don’t understand, said one long-time resident of the area, is that the rage his community exhibited after Freddie Gray’s death only had so much to do with Freddie Gray. It was also about abandoned rowhouses left to rot and forsaken addicts left to die. About the absence of places where kids can safely play and the near-nonexistence of good jobs. About generations of poverty and lifetimes of perceived mistreatment by police.

International Photo
A single picture captured in a country other than the United States, Canada or Mexico.

General News Photo
A picture of a scheduled event for which advanced planning was possible. No photographs taken outside of the United States, Canada or Mexico are allowed.

International Picture Story
A multiple picture package captured in a country other than the United States, Canada or Mexico. This category is for all international multiple picture entries: features, news, etc.

1st, Sarah Voisin, The Washington Post

No event in decades shook up Cuba like the announcement in December 2014 by Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro that their countries would begin normalizing long-broken relations. As the months pass by without concrete changes some Cubans are losing their initial optimism from the thawing relationship and others are fleeing the country in rafts marking the largest wave of migration from the island in decades. Those that remain show a vivacious spirit and resiliency that shines through in their daily life as they wait for the curtain of isolation to rise on their country. Andris Trujillo, 8, tosses a yellow balloon into the air on the rainy evening of August 15, 2015 in the impoverished Cerro (hill) neighborhood of Havana, Cuba. 

2nd, Matt McClain, The Washington Post

Nepal was struck by a large earthquake on April 25th, 2015. Thousands were killed in the quake. Many survivors lost their homes or were unable to return to damaged structures that were deemed unsafe.
Babita Bhandani, right, mourns her brother, an earthquake victim at Pashupatinath Temple on Wednesday April 29, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A deadly earthquake there killed thousands.

3rd, Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

CUBA ON THE CUSP -- When Presidents Obama and Castro announced a huge step forward in normalizing the frosty relationship between the two Cold War enemies, the future of the island nation became full of possibilities and challenges. Plagued with decades of state control and intense poverty, the people of Cuba are ready for change but how much and how fast is still a mystery.

HM, Rachael Cerrotti, Freelance

Nearly two decades ago, Sine and Torsten Christiansen purchased a farmhouse in Tolstrup, Denmark from Sine's elderly uncles. It was just the two of them at that time; Sine was returning to her roots on a farm and for the first time, Torsten, who was born and bred in Copenhagen, engaged in a rural lifestyle. They now have three children, a wide variety of animals, and close to 20 hectares of land. They are learning and experimenting with their organic lifestyle as they grow their property and their business. Their eldest daughter, Liva, now 12, is growing up with responsibilities as well as freedoms that most urban children could not imagine. She rides her bike to school down the country road and comes home in the afternoon to help take care of sheep, horses, chickens, and her younger siblings. Her school and her community is small, offering an intimate and quiet lifestyle. March 11, 2015.

The Natural World
A single image that captures and communicates the devastation wrought by a natural disaster or demonstrates the beauty and majesty of the natural world. This category recognizes coverage of the human or physical impact of this year’s earthquakes, floods, oil spills, hurricanes, and other destructive natural events; or captures the aesthetic and graphic qualities of nature and wildlife with an emphasis on dramatic composition. This aesthetic appreciation does not mean that the image can only capture pristine environments.


News Picture Story
Any general or spot news subject portrayed in a multiple picture fashion. This category is for stories produced in the United States, Canada or Mexico only. Pictures should be edited to convey a single theme.

1st, Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images


On April 27, 2015, the day Freddie Gray was buried, hostility between some residents of Baltimore and the police boiled over and riots raged all day and night across the west side of the city. Freddie Gray, 25, who was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody.

2nd, Mary F. Calvert, Independent

Missing in Action: Homeless Women Veterans

Women veterans are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in the United States and are four times more likely to become homeless than civilian women. Women who have survived Military Sexual Trauma are the most hidden population of homeless women and often flounder in unsafe relationships, live in their cars and will endure anything to avoid shelters or the street. Many of these women escaped a difficult situation by joining the military and when they get out find them unable to cope with the stresses of unemployment and a weak economy.

Although the Pentagon recently paved the way for women to serve in combat positions, the US Military has a long way to go. Women are under-represented in the upper ranks and many who signed up for a military career are getting out due to dashed hopes of career advancement and high levels of harassment and sexual assault. Women who courageously served their country in Iraq and Afghanistan have arrived home with healthcare issues including Military Sexual Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to scattered families, jobs that no longer exist, an impotent Department of Veteran’s Affairs and to a nation who favors their male counterparts.

3rd, Justin Merriman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Traveling across the United States border with Mexico, the story of immigration unfolds for both the undocumented migrants and the law enforcement entities that stretch across the more than 1,900 miles.

Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, Border Patrol doubled in size to nearly 21,000 agents, all but 3,000 of whom are stationed along the border with Mexico. That’s more than nine agents for every mile of border from Texas to California. Officials estimate that three of every five undocumented aliens use northern Mexico to cross into America.

Critics of American immigration policy contend undocumented immigrants are flouting U.S. visa laws to steal jobs, hiking taxpayer costs for medical care and schools. Others argue that immigration can boost the economy and applaud a White House proposal to raise the number of temporary work permits for low-skilled workers who have migrated here without documentation, creating a potential path to citizenship for an estimated 11-12 million people already here.

HM, April Saul, Freelance

Nearly every young man murdered in Camden, NJ last year left children behind: sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and even some yet to be born; the emotional wounds cut deep and the pictures of victims were even seen on maternity dresses and baby shirts.  Here, a memorial sheet for popular murder victim Javon "Weezy" Boyd, murdered last summer in Camden.

Student Photographer of the Year
Nicholas Pfosi, Tufts University

Daily Multimedia, Individual
A single piece of work produced by a single journalist containing stills and/or video. Audio, text, graphics, etc. are allowed by not required. Entries in this category should have been shot in roughly a single shift. Maximum length three minutes.

1st Place, Guy Wathen, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


2nd Place, Guy Wathen, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


3rd Place, Guy Wathen, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


HM, Cameron Hart, Student, Penn State


HM, Guy Wathen, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


HM, Andy Colwell, Erie Times-News


Long Form Multimedia

Work produced by a single journalist containing stills and/or video. Audio, text, graphics, etc. are allowed but not required. Entries in this category must be produced by a single journalist but may contain multiple stories or a longer form single piece.

1st Place, Kara Frame
I Will Go Back Tonight

2nd Place, Nadia Sussman
In Rio, Pacification Without Peace

3rd Place, Ricky Lasser
Trailer Park

HM, Nadia Sussman
Touch of Faith

HM, Jessica Rotkiewicz, Newsday
The Lost Art of St. Nicholas

HM, Lauren Schneiderman, Hartford Courant
Pets for Vets: Charlie and Aliana


Team Multimedia
Work produced by a staff or team containing stills/and or video. Audio, text, graphics etc. are allowed but not required. Entries in this category can be produced by multiple journalists and contain multiple stories or a longer form piece. Not all team members are required to be NPPA members.

1st Place, NBC News, Barber Brings Art to the Neighborhood
Photographer: André Chung
Editor and Producer : John Makely
Producer: Amber Payne



2nd Place, NBC News, Autistic Brothers Excel in Southern University Marching Band
Amber Payne, John Makely, Marshall Crook, Natalie Johnson and Chris Zabriskie


3rd Place, Newsday, Gabriel’s World: A mother’s devotion to a boy allergic to all foods
Alejandra Villa

HM, Hartford Courant, Portraits of Addiction
Patrick Raycraft and John Woike



HM, Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland
Viewfinder Spring 2015 Favorites
Cloe Buzan, Regina Capiton, Brittany Linton, Ulysses Munoz, Marissa Parra, Trey Sherman, Agnes Varghese and Asa Winborne


HM, The Day, WiredZone: Bacon 33, Fitch 32
Tim Cook, Peter Huoppi, Eric Strand, Shelly Yang, Casey O’Neill and Keith O’Brien