2020 Student Still and Video Contest Winners Announced

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – Feb. 23, 2020) – The White House News Photographers Association® announced that Gabriel Scarlett of Western Kentucky University has been named the WHNPA Student Still Photographer of the Year, and in the sixth year of the student video division, Mackenzie Behm of University of Florida has been named the WHNPA Student Video Photographer of the Year in the 2020 WHNPA ‘Eyes of History®’ student contest judging on Feb., 22, 2020, at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC.

Additionally, Maranie Rae Staab of Syracuse University was awarded an award of excellence. Full results are available on the WHNPA website at www.whnpa.org.

The judges for the WHNPA 2020 ‘Eyes of History®’ Student still photography competition were: Annaliese Nurnberg of The Washington Post, Jabin Botsford of The Washington Post, and Tom Williams of Roll Call. The video judges were Beth Brown of WRC, Brian Hopkins of WJLA and Nate Luna of ABC News.

In discussing Scarlett’s win, Nurnberg said, “It shows that the photographer can gain trust and tell people’s stories well.” Williams also noted Scarlett’s strong intimate portraits. When notified of his win, Scarlett said, “Putting my work together for this entry, with the help of a close friend, gave me the chance to look back over stories from my whole time in college and honestly all I’m left with is gratitude. Gratitude for my subjects’ willingness to share life with me and for the many opportunities I was given along the way. I appreciate the judges recognizing this collection of images. It was such a pleasant surprise to get this phone call today.”

When told about her win by Student Video Chair Bethany Swain, Behm said, “I’m honored and grateful to be chosen… and I look forward to celebrating with everyone at the gala in June.”

Reflecting on Behm’s win, Luna said, “’The Last Race’ was a stunning personal story about the struggle of a man dedicated to a dying sport in America. Behm’s piece showcased a level of mastery I am proud to say has become commonplace among our student POY winners year after year.”

The student video contest also honored work created by students from University of Maryland, Western Kentucky University, Unversity of North Texas and Michigan State University in a range of categories. In discussing these videos, Brown said, “The stories this year were striking and wide ranging from suicides on the rise in farming to looking into the universe. Year after year the entries coming from the students continue to impress and inspire us.”

“We’re so pleased to honor the work of these two talented students and we look forward to seeing great visual storytelling come from them for many years to come,” said WHNPA President Whitney Shefte.

Mackenzie Behm and Gabriel Scarlett will be honored at the ‘Eyes of History®’ gala on June 13, 2020. Judging for the professional divisions of still, video and digital also took place over the weekend at National Geographic. The top winners of the still, video, digital and student contests will also be honored at the annual ‘Eyes of History®’ gala at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington. The black-tie event celebrates all the winning visual journalists.

The White House News Photographers Association is a 99-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the efforts of Washington’s professional visual journalists. The WHNPA aims to provide professional and educational outreach to its members and the community through scholarships, programming, an annual competition and a celebration of the industry at the annual “Eyes of History®” gala.

For more information, please contact Whitney Shefte at [email protected] or executive director Heidi Elswick at [email protected] . For further information about ‘The Eyes of History®’ and to view the winning images and videos, visit the WHNPA website at www.whnpa.org.

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