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During a Week of CSUN Returns, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Alumni Return to Inspire Students on Campus

March 5, 2022

By Cary Osborne  (republished from CSUN Today)

Ringo Chiu & Julio Cortez
CSUN alumni and photojournalists Ringo Chiu '01 (Special Major - Journalism), left, and Julio Cortez '06 (Journalism) spoke to students about their Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs on Feb. 16. (Photo by DJ Hawkins)

Every picture is said to tell a story.

But in a rare opportunity, CSUN students heard the stories behind the exceptional pictures of two Pulitzer Prize winners at an in-person campus event at Kurland Lecture Hall on Feb. 16.

Photojournalists and CSUN alumni Julio Cortez ’06 (Journalism) and Ringo Chiu ’01 (Special Major-Journalism), part of the 10-member Associated Press crew of camera artists who were honored for their 2020 pictures of countrywide George Floyd protests, spoke about their winning photos and professional portfolios.

But what resonated most for many in the audience of nearly 100, was the connection they felt to the photojournalists and fellow Matadors, who provided advice about education, the craft and careers.

“Being able to hear their experiences, it helps give a clearer path for students,” said Kaitlyn Lavo, a senior journalism major and photo editor of The Sundial. “We’re students. We’re trying to figure it out. Life is hard in general; trying to figure out a career on top of that is challenging. But hearing people who have already experienced it and are out there doing it and being able to get to that level, that’s inspiring — especially knowing that’s attainable for us CSUN students.” 

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