News Releases

May 21, 2012
For Immediate Release
For additional information: 
Barbara Kerr, APR
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Telephone: 360-992-2921


Independent staffers at the 2012 WCCJA awards ceremony in Bellevue, Wash.

Clark College student journalists brought home 12 awards in the Washington Community College Journalism Association annual competition, including three first-place acknowledgments. Staffers who attended the event at Bellevue College are, from left, Bradley York; Nick Parton; Kyle Yasumiishi; Jim Camin (writing coach); Evan Jones; Anna Shakina; Daniel Hampton; Dee Anne Finken; Jackson Zeiner; Kevin Dowdell; Ryan Whetstine; Jim Evans; Michael Sigler and Aleksi Lepisto. Photo courtesy The Independent.  All rights reserved.

By any “Independent” standard,
these student journalists excelled

Student journalists for The Independent,
Clark College’s student newspaper, received 12 awards in

the 2012 Washington Community College Journalism Awards

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Clark College’s student newspaper, The Independent, captured 12 awards in the annual statewide competition of the Washington Community College Journalism Association (WCCJA).

For their individual efforts, Clark student journalists were honored for news reporting, photography, comprehensive or extended coverage, sports reporting, illustration, multimedia, column or commentary and reviews.  They received three first place awards, two second place awards, two third place awards and five honorable mentions.

According to WCCJA President Michael Parks, judges reviewed 359 entries in 21 categories. The awards ceremony was held May 19 at Bellevue College in Bellevue, Wash.

This is the third consecutive year that The Independent has been honored by WCCJA.  During that time, the paper has received 44 awards for excellence.

James Evans, Independent editor-in-chief, said “Our student journalists have worked hard all year to put together a great newspaper, and it was really wonderful to see some of their individual efforts recognized in the awards we received.  We've got a really great program with quality instructors and advisors and I think the number of first place awards we came away with reflects that.”

Dee Anne Finken, journalism instructor and advisor to the Independent staff, said, “Our Independent staff delivered again this year at the WCCJA competition, capturing an impressive number of awards and demonstrating real skill, insight and commitment.  The recognition from the judges signals once again that our students care deeply about practicing principled journalism.  I am proud to work with each and every one of them.”           

The Independent is published every other Wednesday during fall, winter, and spring quarters.  It is available at Clark’s main campus as well as at Clark College at Columbia Tech Center, Town Plaza and WSU Vancouver.  The Independent is also available online at

About the honorees

First-place awards

Second-place awards

Third-place awards

Honorable Mentions



Nick Parton resides in Battle Ground. James Evans and Aleksi Lepisto reside in Portland.  Kevin Dowdell, Thomas Steffl and Kevin Vandenberg reside in Vancouver.  Amy J. Smith and Bradley York reside in Washougal. 

For additional information, please contact advisor Dee Anne Finken at or (360) 992-2972 or Independent editor-in-chief James Evans at