Under the leadership of journalism professor Max Branscomb, The Sun has had the National College Reporter of the Year eight times in the past 15 years and the Leader of the North American Press award for best Editor-in-Chief five times in 14 years. Last year’s Editor-in-Chief, Mirella Lopez, was named a Woman of the Year by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, Latino Student of the Year in the 79th Assembly District by Dr. Shirley Weber, and Chula Vista Champion by Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. A total of 88 journalism students have earned the Southwestern College Student of Distinction Award. The Sun and El Sol have also been named College Newspaper and Magazine of the Year by the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the San Diego Press Club. The Sun earned more than 300 state, national, and international awards in 2016-17, and was named National College Newspaper of the Year by three media organizations as well as California College Newspaper of the Year. El Sol Magazine was named National College Magazine of the Year and earned Southwestern College’s first-ever Western Publishing Association Magazine Award, “The Maggie.” The Sun and El Sol are both finalists for the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award, the collegiate Pulitzer Prize, in Dallas later this month. In the past 14 years the Southwestern College Journalism Program has earned 11 Pacemakers, the most of any college in the world.
Jeff Phair is a resident of Bonita.