Digital Arts students receive awards, recognition

MESA, Arizona -- April 12, 2018 – Five Mesa Community College students received awards for their photography works. Digital arts students Jessica Swofford, Sadera Nye, Mihwa Werle and James Maggio were chosen as finalists from over 12,000 entries in the 38th Annual College Photo Contest, an international competition sponsored by Photographer’s Forum magazine and Fujifilm. Anthony Calderas, a graphic design student, was named a finalist in the Masters of Tomorrow Art Exhibition and Contest sponsored by Benedictine University in Mesa.

MCC art professor Tom Klare said all the student entries represent the high quality work produced by the college’s art students.

“These students are to be congratulated for their award recognitions.These are well-deserved honors for hard-working and creative individuals,” Klare said. “I believe these recognitions will be just the beginning of many career accomplishments for these students.”

Photographer’s Forum magazine and Fujifilm recognitions:


Swofford’s night photograph of the Owens Valley Radio Telescope array and Werle’s image of an ancient Bristlecone Pine were taken last summer in Mammoth Lakes, California, during the MCC Sierra Summer Digital Photo Class.

Maggio’s black and white photo, “Approaching Storm,” was taken while on a trip to Colorado in 2017.

Nye’s photo composite of a giraffe and model was created during the Fall 2017 semester using Adobe Photoshop.

Benedictine University in Mesa recognized CalderasMasters of Tomorrow Art Exhibition and Contest.

Night photograph of Owens Valley Radio Telescope array by Jessica Swofford

Image of an ancient Bristlecone Pine by Mihwa Werle Approaching Storm by James Maggio Composite of a giraffe and model by Sadera Nye "Worlds Apart II - The Sequel" by Anthony Calderas
Swofford’s Owens Valley Radio Telescope array Werle’s ancient Bristlecone Pine Maggio’s “Approaching Storm” Nye’s giraffe and model Calderas's "Worlds Apart II - The Sequel" 

The overarching goal of the MCC Digital Arts Program is to teach students how to create and present art and design that is technically sound, conceptually rich and visually powerful. While computers have opened up a seemingly limitless amount of creative options for artists and designers, making truly effective work requires a mix of technical capabilities and creative intelligence.

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer,, 480-461-7892

About Photographer’s Forum magazine: Established in 1977, Photographer's Forum magazine is an award-winning, quarterly publication dedicated to quality reproduction of photography in the United States and Canada. Each issue strives to facilitate communication and publication experience among emerging professionals.

About Fujifilm: Beginning in 1934 as Japan's pioneering photographic film maker, Fujifilm has leveraged its imaging and information technology to become a global presence known for innovation in healthcare, graphic arts, optical devices, highly functional materials and other high-tech areas.

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for service-learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to higher education. The college serves as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 30,000 students annually, MCC offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. MCC is an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution with a diverse student body that enriches the learning experience. Renowned faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to compete locally and nationally. MCC, located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, is one of 10 colleges comprising the Maricopa County Community College District. For additional information visit

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA)

Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the college.

The Maricopa Community Colleges do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 Concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit the following weblink:

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Publication Date: 
Thursday, April 12, 2018