Cactus Shadows alumna earns award for photography from Cronkite school

Nicole Neri, Cactus Shadows High School class of 2016, has earned the Greg Crowder Memorial Photojournalism Award from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

A committee of professional photojournalists and Arizona State University faculty selected Ms. Neri for the award, given to one student each year, a press release states.

Nicole Neri (Submitted Photo)

Dean Christopher Callahan said Ms. Neri’s photos stood out for their excellent composition and use of color, interesting angles and, most importantly, for the way they told a story. These photos are on exhibit for one year on the third floor of the Cronkite building, 555 N. Central Ave.

A lifelong Cave Creek resident, Ms. Neri developed a passion for photography at the age of 13, when she started playing with her twin sister Natalie’s point-and-shoot camera.

Not long after, she was a winner in the Carefree Desert Gardens photo contest and her photos were part of the annual calendars. Her photos also appeared regularly in local newspapers. At CSHS, she was a lead photographer for the CS Press and for the yearbook, according to a release.

Last summer, she completed an internship at the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska, where her photos appeared on a dozen front pages for the daily newspaper.

As photo editor and multimedia director at the student-run Downtown Devil online publication, she has been on the front lines of major news stories such as President Donald Trump’s 2017 rally in downtown Phoenix and the local impact of DACA.

A junior at ASU, Ms. Neri also received a scholarship this year from the Arizona Press Club and she placed 13th in the nation for news and feature photography at the 2017 Hearst Journalism Awards.

As a freelance photographer for Reuters, her photos of Sen. John McCain’s memorial, as well as the Arizona primary election, recently appeared in The Wall Street Journal, and other worldwide publications.

In addition to being a full-time student and leader at the Downtown Devil, Nicole is working on the photo and video team for Cronkite News, as well as the ASU Enterprise Marketing Hub.

Following graduation, Nicole plans to pursue a career in photojournalism as a staff photographer at a news organization. In her rare spare time, she enjoys hanging out at hipster coffeehouses, watching Netflix, finding good new music, reading, origami, and of course, taking pictures.

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