Shaun Garrity, a St. Clair Journalism grad, is nominated for this year's Ontario Newspaper Awards Student Journalist of the Year.
"I still can't even believe it," said Garrity on Wednesday. "This is the biggest accomplishment of my life, just the nomination on its own."
Garrity has been nominated for a converged report he put together about a migrant worker in Leamington. His story focuses on a Mexican man's escape from the notoriously violent drug cartel in his home country, the immense loss of life he's experienced in his family and his new, better life here in Canada.
The ONA Student Journalist of the Year award is open to anyone enrolled in a journalism program at a college or university across Ontario. Only three students are chosen from all submissions from across the province.
Up against Garrity is a student from Carleton University and a student from Ryerson University.
Garrity's feature piece had both a print and radio broadcast component. Veronique Mandal, Coordinator for both the Media Convergence and Journalism programs, said Garrity did such a great job at reporting the story across different media platforms, she was not surprised to hear of his nomination.
"I think what this does is indicate that what we're doing in the Journalism and Media Convergence programs here at St. Clair is exactly what young journalists need," said Mandal. "If that wasn't the case, we wouldn't have someone from here competing against students from these top journalism universities."
Garrity said he gets goosebumps just talking about his award nomination.
"This isn't just my award – this is the MediaPlex and St. Clair's award," said Garrity, adding that he is honoured to have had the privilege to study in one of the most top-notch media facilities in the world. "And this is for every student that walks through the doors of the MediaPlex, too."
The Ontario Newspaper Awards will take place May 16 in Hamilton.