2017 Northern Short Course Contest Winners

Judging for the 2017 Northern Short Course in Photojournalism Contest was held on Feb. 3 and 4, 2017 at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. Our judges were Sara Lewkowicz, Angel Franco and John Smock.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Northern Short Course 2017 Photographer of the Year
M. Scott Mahaskey, Politico

(A selection of images from his portfolio entry)

Student Photographer of the Year
Bryan Bennett, Rochester Institute of Technology

Multimedia Photographer of the Year
Guy Wathen, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Northern Short Course Staff of the Year
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


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

Keith Boissiere has been running nearly every day for the past three decades - averaging more than 20 miles per day - for his health. Many residents only know the enigmatic figure by his nickname of the ‘Running Man’ - but Boissiere, 64, is a green-card-carrying Trinidad and Tobago native living in solitude on the border of Harlem Park and Sandtown-Winchester: two menacing neighborhoods in Baltimore City. Having never competed, nor having a desire to do so, the ‘Running Man’ held a daily streak of 12 and a half years which helped him earn his alias. But his health took a turn for the worse in 2008 - the streak ended - as his life almost did, too. Through all of his troubles, which includes being on a kidney donor recipient list, Boissiere copes the only way he knows how - he continues to run - as the hospital encouraged him to do in order to aid his failing health. He doesn’t brag about his accomplishments or mention his celebrity-like status despite being constantly acknowledged - and these days barriers such as rain, snow and hospital appointments often dictate his running schedule. His drive and passion for his own health is often described as bringing positivity and strength to residents in the city, and the people of Baltimore still witness the ‘Running Man’ from West to East, and North to South, as he competes with only himself to stay upright by staying fit in a city plagued by: drugs, guns, crime, and violence.

2nd, Patrick Smith, Getty Images

It's no easy journey for the thousands of athletes that descend to a host city every four years to participate in the world's largest event in sports - The Olympics. For what many call one of the best track and field teams on the globe, one just don't show up and secure a spot on the U.S. Track & Field roster. Whether they're the face of the sport or a newcomer fresh out of high school - everyone is put on the same level at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. 

3rd, Thomas A. Ferrara, Newsday

As spring approaches, the call goes out, Pitchers and catchers report!
There are currently 33 pitchers on the New York Yankees spring training roster, all of whom vying for only 12 spots on the team. Veterans and hopefuls alike all assemble in Tampa with their eyes on the same goal. Some are shoe ins, others are long shots but all must compete inside The Bullpen.

HM, Matt McClain, The Washington Post

Besides being a single mother of two children and working a full-time job, Tia Watkins plays for the D.C. Divas, a full-contact female football team.  The D.C. Divas is a full-contact female football team. Among the things that motivate her to play a sport not widely known as a women’s sport is the role model she can provide for her children.
“Having a son, I’m showing him to respect women and that women can do anything you can do.” For her daughter Tia believes that having Jori watch her play football will result in her having a greater “sense of self” as well as “increasing her confidence and just showing her that I can be whatever I want to be , even if it’s not playing football. If I want to be President of the United States or the CEO of a company, there’s no limits.”

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, M. Scott Mahaskey, Politico

When it started in the 1960s, the Machine Gun Shoot and Military Gun Show at Knob Creek Gun Range outside of Louisville, Kentucky, attracted only a handful of people. Today, the twice-yearly event draws about 13,000 spectators as they come to watch shooters fire fully automatic, military-grade weapons at downrange targets, instantly shredding propane tanks and cars. The event builds to a crescendo of fire and heat during Saturday’s “Night Shoot” as range security officers outfit targets with explosives that detonate on impact. As voters prepared to go to the polls in an election in which gun rights have become one of the biggest dividers, these gun owners are doubling down on their rights—and, fearing a Hillary Clinton presidency, taking a closer look at where they’ll take their fight for gun rights next. A woman laughs while trying to pose with a grenade launcher near a destroyed car used as a target when spectators were allowed to tour the gun range at the Machine Gun Shoot October 14, 2016 at the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, KY.

2nd, Justin Merriman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

A white-tailed buck lays on the floor of Doug Peffer's Deer Cutting and Smokehouse in Ellwood City on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015.  The Beaver County meat processor takes part in the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program and has taken in 45 deer so far this year to be donated to local food pantries.   

3rd, Jackie Molloy, Independent

Quadruplets Brody, Ashlyn, Kylie and Cooper Larson crawl in bed with their father, Cameron Larson before church on Oct. 23, 2016 in Lima, New York. 

HM, Thomas Ferrara, Newsday

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 Place, Matt McClain, The Washington Post

Recife, Brazil has been the epicenter of the Zika virus outbreak, which is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It also has had some of the largest numbers of babies born with microcephaly, a condition tied to the virus. The climate of northeast Brazil and improper sanitary conditions are possible reasons why the area has been the heart of the epidemic.

Campaign 2016
A single photograph that captures the energy, environment, struggle or personalities of the 2016 campaign season for local, state or national races.

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 Place, April Saul, Independent

In Camden, NJ--arguably the most violent city in the country--murder is common and it's felt the keenest by the children, who lose mothers, fathers, and even playmates.

2nd Place, Hilary Swift, for the New York Times

The Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando was the largest mass shooting in US history.

3rd Place, M. Scott Mahaskey, Politico

During a campaign stop January 9, Donald Trump told supporters in Ottumwa, Iowa that he embraced greed."I'm a greedy person. I've always been greedy. I love money," Trump told an audience of several hundred southern Iowans. Just ten days after that speech, a report ranked Wapello County - of which Ottumwa is the county seat - the poorest county in Iowa. In other hands, it would have seemed like a misfire. But the crowd laughed, cheered and later stood in applause as Trump exited the stage. 

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, Kristen Zeis, The Virginian-Pilot

HM, Chris Post, NBC 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, Jonathan Levinson, Independent

2nd Place, Shelby Lum, Richmond Times-Dispatch
No Life Worth Having Like This

3rd Place, Guy Wathen, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Our Stories: Luke & Natalie’s Wedding

HM, Ricky Lasser, University of Maryland


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, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Our Stories: Robin’s Good Day
Team Members: Jasmine Goldband, Guy Wathen

2nd Place, Newsday, Brothers Joe and John Tardiff
Team Members: Thomas A. Ferrara, John Paraskevas and Matthew Golub

3rd Place, University of Maryland, Viewfinder Fall ’16: Strength and Shame
Team Members: Hannah Burton, Karen Castillo, Ryan Eskalis, Mya Green, Mackenzie Happe, Hannah Klarner, Susann Shin and Alexandra Simon


Social Video
Short form news video produced to take advantage of various mobile/social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, often including, but not limited to graphics, text and other visual elements, produced by an individual.

1st Place, Michael Santiago, Syracuse University
Soy Dominicano