News Release

Santa Ana College Student Newspaper el Don Garners National Pacemaker Awards at the Associated Collegiate Press Convention in Austin, Texas

​Faculty Adviser C.W. Little Receives Distinguished Service Award from the College Media Association

(Santa Ana, CA)—Santa Ana College’s (SAC) student newspaper, el Don and the college’s student website have both won Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) National Pacemaker Awards at the annual Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association joint annual convention. The convention took place in Austin, Texas, from Oct. 28 – Nov. 1.

SAC’s student media program is the only community college in the United States to win Pacemaker honors in both the print and online categories. The ACP National Pacemaker Award is one of the most prestigious in college journalism. These awards mark the 21st such honor for SAC Communications and Media Studies student editors and writers since 1991.

“The ACP National Pacemaker Awards for college media is akin to winning the Pulitzer Prize,” says Dean of SAC’s Fine and Performing Arts Division Eve Kikawa. “Being recognized for this stellar academic program is extra sweet during this Santa Ana College’s centennial year.”

The ACP National Pacemaker Award recognizes el Don for its work in the 2014-15 academic year, and is in the two-year, non-daily newspaper category. The student website won its award in the same category as University of Southern California’s Daily Trojan, San Francisco State University’s Golden Gate Xpress, and the University of Minnesota, Minn.’s Minnesota Daily.

On Nov. 1, the Oct. 25, 2015 issue of el Don won First Place Best of Show honors in the two-year college category for the 23rd time. Two SAC journalism students received individual recognition. They include artist Jamie Leeds, who won first place in the 2015 Design of the Year Award, and photojournalist R. Nicanor Santana, who placed third in the Spot News Photography category for his compelling coverage of Santa Ana’s homeless.

In addition to the student awards, Professor Charles W. Little, was honored by the College Media Association with the Reid H. Montgomery Distinguished Service Award. This award is named in honor of Montgomery of South Carolina, who retired in 1988 after serving as president and treasurer of the then National Council of College Publications Advisers and died in 1993. The award is presented to an individual or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to collegiate media and is made only when meritorious candidates are nominated. Little has served as adviser to the SAC el Don journalism students since 1986.

Little began his professional career as a magazine writer and editor, covering sports, health, and science and technology issues. His credits include ESPN Inc., American Sports Network, Muscle Digest, Flex, Fit and senior writer at the Energy Research Institute, Cogeneration World, and a number of local newspaper and radio outlets. He has served as a design and journalism education consultant for numerous organizations including The Orange County Register, General Dynamics, Sullivan Corp., American Sports Network, the Rancho Santiago Community College District, and scores of colleges and universities.

Alums of Santa Ana College’s journalism program have gone on to work at media outlets such as USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Disney, and KNX News Radio. Notable graduates include KTLA meteorologist Vera Jimenez, Redbeard Media owner and director of photography Roger Denman, National Retail Hardware Association publisher Dan Tratensek, Orange County Register senior designer Anthony Mendoza, and Concordia University English professor Thea Gavin.

About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which is turning 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District. Visit to learn more. For information about Santa Ana College’s Centennial, please visit

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Contact: Judy Iannaccone

Phone: (714) 480-7503