Senior photojournalism major Clint Datchuk spent the past year documenting history, as he covered the 2016 presidential election. One of his photos of President-Elect Donald Trump earned him gold (first place) in College Photographer of the Year’s general news category.
The College Photographer of the Year contest, administered by the University of Missouri, is co-sponsored by Nikon. Students from 130 different colleges and universities submitted portfolios to be judged.
Datchuk’s winning picture was taken at a Trump rally in Akron on Aug. 22, 2016. It was part of a 20-photo portfolio he submitted after meeting with multiple advisors and professors during the selection process
“I am not surprised that (Datchuk) won because I felt like he had good work and competitive work,” said David LaBelle, instructor in Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC).
Datchuk followed the election cycle from beginning to end. During the primaries, he attended rallies hosted by Democratic candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; Republican candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich, Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President-Elect Trump. Datchuk photographed the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and he even traveled to New York City on election night to photograph Trump’s party.
“My experience at Kent State allowed me to see it from beginning to end and document history as it happened,” Datchuk said.
JMC students frequently travel locally, nationally and internationally to cover important news. The Wallace J. Hagedorn Scholarship provides funds for portfolio-building experiences for photojournalism students. In 2015, more than $34,000 was awarded to support these enriching experiences.
“The lessons and the resources our professors provide really helped me lay the foundation of knowledge I needed for when I go out of the classroom,” Datchuk said.
Though JMC professors ask a lot of their students, LaBelle said the School tries to create an environment where students can grow and gain confidence.
“If you learn to have confidence in what you do and your skills, then you’re really going to succeed,” LaBelle said.