By: Susann Shinn

Student members of the University of Maryland’s chapter of the National Press Photographers Association joined national members at the Northern Short Course this past weekend. Over the course of these two days, UMD NPPA brought 12 students to Fairfax, Va., ranging from freshman to graduate students. The weekend’s agenda was filled with presentations from talented photojournalists, practical workshops and panels focused on visual journalism. Discussion topics ranged from covering the 2016 presidential campaign, balancing the relationship between photographers and editors and producing long-form passion projects.

In addition to all the scheduled events, the conference was a great networking opportunity. Students connected with various industry leaders, asking them questions and learning about their journey in the field of journalism. Bethany Swain's Award from NPPA.They also had the opportunity to have their work reviewed by these professionals during one-on-one meetings.

To end the workshop series, the Northern Short Course Awards ceremony took place Saturday night. Merrill College lecturer Bethany Swain was honored with the Robin R. Garland Educator Award, which her nominated her for outstanding service as a photojournalism mentor and educator.

Members of Swain’s Viewfinder capstone, which specializes in advanced video storytelling, were also honored with third place in the team multimedia category. Their reporting work from the fall 2016 semester on the heroin epidemic in Anne Arundel County competed against entries from professional publications such as Newsday and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.