Paul McLeod balances his journalism instructor and advisor duties at two community colleges. (David Bro)
Saddleback College instructor and Lariat adviser Paul McLeod was honored with the Journalism Educator of the Year Award by the California Journalism Education Coalition, as well as the Richard Cameron Volunteer of the Year Award by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges during the JACC state convention held in Sacramento, March 26-29.
“McLeod caught the eye of the Cal-JEC committee because of his devotion to two programs and especially the results we’ve seen with Saddleback students, who seem to be latching on to some good stories and upholding long-standing traditions of seeking
below-the-surface details to stories,” said Richard Cameron, chairman of the Cal-JEC committee.
“The two committees—Cal-JEC and the JACC Board of Directors—both saw that Paul was reaching out beyond his own classroom to help extend journalism education to students across the state,” Cameron said. “He did much of this working through JACC and putting in more than average volunteerism in the organization.”
For McLeod, a modest man when discussing his accomplishments, the recognition is a little overwhelming. “To receive one of these awards is quite an honor. To receive both in the same weekend is unbelievable. I’m still pinching myself,” McLeod said.
As well as teaching classes and advising the Lariat at Saddleback, McLeod works as the adviser to the student newspaper for Los Angeles Harbor College in Wilmington. He is the only instructor in California to hold the distinction of advising two college newspapers, a task he has handled since August 2007. Prior to his transition into teaching, McLeod spent more than 20 years as a professional journalist at the Los Angeles Times, covering mostly sports.
McLeod’s work with college journalists over the years, through part-time teaching stints at Fullerton, Cypress, El Camino, and Orange Coast Colleges, eventually led him to decide to change careers. In 2004, he joined the faculty at Los Angeles City College. The awards given to McLeod came after more than a decade of volunteer work with JACC that started while he was still with the L.A. Times.
“I maintained that relationship (with JACC) after leaving the paper in 2004 and it was through those contacts that I re-started my teaching career,” said McLeod, who was not the only Saddleback recipient of recognition at this year’s JACC convention in Sacramento.
For the fourth time, the Lariat Web site, lariatnews.com received the state’s highest ranking of General Excellence, while online editor MaryAnne Shults received the Beth Bingham Evans Transfer Scholarship.
Lariat Editor-In-Chief Megan Crothers took home honorable mentions in the editorial cartoon competition, as well as the mail-in student-drawn advertisement category. Life editor Tim White also got an honorable mention for his opinion writing entry, while Lariat staffer Shawn Heavlin-Martinez, collected an honorable mention for his entry in the news writing competition. David Bro joined Crothers and Shults who all received editors recognition awards, Bro for Orange Appeal Magazine, Crothers for the Lariat, and Shults for lariatnews.com. Shults was also cited, along with Lariat staffer Joseph Espiritu, for meritorious work for their effort towards the Team Feature 2.0 entry, a two-day, multimedia sound and video competition.
Lariat staff at JACC state convention (Lariat staff)
HONORABLE MENTION AWARD WINNERS (l to r) (Shannon Patrick)
Online editor MaryAnne Shults received the Beth Bingham Evans Transfer Scholarship. (David Bro)