Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Best PJ colleges and recruits 08

In 2005, 2006 and 2007 we tried to ascertain which colleges are best for PJ students. My answer is always the same:   The university doesn't make the best PJs. The best PJs make the most of their time at university.

This fact was proven when the College Photographers of the Year Casey Templeton and Rick Gershon were both lone wolves from their universities. Tim Hussin, the 2008 College Photographer of the Year, is also a lone wolf from the University of Florida.

We now have four years of data to show us benefit-for-investment trends at different universities. Let's use the information we have and draw a few conclusions.

When looking at the winners list, let's ignore who won gold, silver, bronze and honorable mention. Instead, we'll look at how many individuals from different universities got any awards. Of these winners, we'll eliminate the universities with only one winner (no matter how many awards were won) and eliminate the redundancies.

Again, what remains is a solid guess at the quality of the PJ education at different universities. If nothing else, it shows a consistent ability to teach students to shoot and select quality images for competition.

Here's the breakdown by number of individual students who won any awards at this year's CPOY:

2008 top award winning schools
13 (+1) - Ohio University
11 (+3) - Western Kentucky University
06 (+2) - San Francisco State University
05 (-2)- University of Missouri
04 (-2) - Brooks
04 (=) - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
03 (+1) - Syracuse University
02 (new) - Loyalist College
02 (new) - Southern Illinois University

Western Kentucky gained the most ground this year and picked up three. San Francisco State increased awards by a third. Ohio held the lead and increased its total by one. Syracuse also picked up one. The University of North Carolina was stable while the University of Missouri and Brooks both lost two.

Loyalist College and Southern Illinois University are new on the leader board this year while the University of Nebraska vanished.

As stated before, universities with strong programs draw strong students. These students are frequently as demanding on one another as they are on themselves. The top two PJ universities continue to impress. Both have remained at the top of the leader board for the last four years. This means their students are producing consistently high-quality work from year to year.

Meanwhile, one driven PJ can still take all the marbles without cohorts. Tim Hussin took the portfolio win. He also accumulated the most overall wins. What makes him so dangerous to other collegiate PJs is he accomplished this with still images and mixed media. Hussin's skills match what's happening on the pro side of this biz.

He won awards in Spot News, Feature, Domestic Picture Story, Still Image Audio Story, Video/Mixed Media Photo Story and Portfolio.

Unlike last year's multimedia dominance by Ohio and UNC, awards were won by many schools. Ohio University, University of Florida, University of Missouri, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Western Kentucky University all earned awards. This means these universities, have a grip on industry demands.

Best recruits
The College Photographer Of the Year is the shooter with the best portfolio. This system is similar to the Pictures Of the Year (POYi) awards. Meanwhile, the NPPA regional photographer of the year is determined by points. This point system shows consistent commitment to excellence and competition throughout the year.

Since it's not possible to give the same points because the NPPA student competitions are held quarterly (incidentally, Hussin is currently leading in those points as well by 150 points), we can use a different scoring system. We'll assess the following points:
6 - CPOY (Gold 4 + 2)
5 - CPOY runner up (Silver 3 + 2)
4 - Gold
3 - Silver
2 - Bronze
1 - Award of Excellence

Since we have four years of data now, we can crunch some numbers. Editors who get resume packages from these folks should take a serious look-see at the packages. These numbers indicate a consistent ability to perform at a high level in multiple categories over time.

Top 10 individuals from 2005 - 2008
20 - Matt Eich - Ohio University
20 - Andrew Henderson - Western Kentucky University
20 - Yoon Byun - Ohio University (Boston Globe)
18 - Tim Hussin - University of Florida
18 - Jenn Ackerman - Ohio University
18 - Tim Gruber - Ohio University
17 - Dominic Nahr - Ryerson University
16 - Travis Dove - Ohio University
16 - Carl Kiilsgaard - Western Kentucky University
16 - Daryl Peveto - Brooks Institute of Photography
The 2008 top three draft picks are:
18 - Tim Hussin - University of Florida
12 - Jenn Ackerman - Ohio University
9 - Andrew Burton - Syracuse University
The cumulative draft picks are:
20 - Matt Eich - Ohio University
18 (tie) - Tim Hussin - University of Florida
18 (tie) - Jenn Ackerman - Ohio University
18 (tie) - Tim Gruber - Ohio University

The folks still in college will drive up their numbers in the next few years. Those who graduated three years ago may not have done as well on this list as they would have if I had the whole data set. Nonetheless, the top 10 above are all strong recruits for newspapers and magazines. Of these, we again see Ohio continues to be the top school.

Enough for now,


John MacDonald said...

Ohio. Interesting. I would love to know what makes their programme so strong. Oh yeah, thanks for dropping by my blog to leave a comment the other day about Hussin. I actually think he's a ghost. His photos come off like he is invisible to his subject matter. Eerie and scary how good he is at this stage in his career. He's a PJ prodigy in my opinion. Good to see some strong recognition this early.

Mark M. Hancock said...

You were one of the first people to identify the quality of his work. :-)