PRESS RELEASE: 2014 WHNPA Student Eyes Of History Still and Video Photographers of the Year Award Winners Announced

Nation’s Student Photographers Compete for Top Awards (download)

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – Feb. 9, 2014) – The White House News Photographers Association announced that Jabin Botsford of Western Kentucky University has been named the WHNPA Student Still Photographer of the Year and in the first year of the student video division Jon Kasbe of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been named the WHNPA Student Video Photographer of the Year in the 2014 WHNPA ‘The Eyes of History™’ student contest judging on Feb. 8, 2014, at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC.

Additionally, Carolyn Van Houten of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was judged as the Award of Excellence winner in the still contest and Anahita Namaki of University of Maryland was the runner up in the video competition. Students from Syracuse, Florida Gulf Coast University and University of Maryland won in other judging categories. Full results are available on the WHNPA website at

The judges for the WHNPA 2014 ‘Eyes of History™’ Student still photography competition were: Bill O’Leary, Caroline E. Couig, and Patrick Smith. The video judges were Khalil Abdallah, Brian Hopkins and Nathan Luna.

In discussing Botsford’s win, Couig said, “there is a sophistication to the work and he uses a variety of perspectives and lenses. It’s a full portfolio and it’s clear this is a well rounded photographer.” O’Leary and Smith also commented that Botsford’s work was clean, graphic, and toned really well. When contest committee member Andrew Harnik called Botsford with the news he said, “I’m super excited. I am extremely happy to be a part of that wild group of amazing photographers at the White House News Photographers Association.”

Video winner Kasbe won with a short documentary, which Abdallah described as an “impressive long-format piece that shows talent beyond college level photojournalism.” Luna said, “I thought all of the bodies of work demonstrated a high level of ability and overall was very impressed with the submission. Some of the pieces demonstrated not only the ability to tell a story, but artistry with the camera.” When told about his win, Kasbe said he was excited to be the first to be named the Student Video Photographer of the Year. He said, “I appreciate the honor and that the WHNPA is recognizing student stories. It is encouraging for our hard work to be noticed.”

“We are excited about the number of students who entered from across the country. It is remarkable that we received such a strong group of stories for the first year of the video student contest,” said WHNPA President Ron Sachs. “We look forward to expanding both contests even further in the coming years.”

Botsford and Kasbe will be honored at the ‘The Eyes of History™’ gala on May 10, 2014, with round trip transportation via United Airlines to Washington. Judging for the professional divisions of Still, Video and Multimedia also took place over the weekend at National Geographic.

The top winners of the still, video, multimedia and student contests will be honored at the annual ‘Eyes of History™’ gala on May 10, 2014, at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington. The black-tie event celebrates all the winning photojournalists and the President of the United States. Nearly 1,000 guests, including government dignitaries and industry celebrities, attend.