FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) — Jonathan Blair, a first-year master of divinity student and photographer’s assistant in the Office of Public Relations at Southwestern Seminary, received two first-place awards at the fifth annual Baptist Press National Collegiate Journalism Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 13-15.

Blair’s photographs won the awards within the category of Individual Photojournalism (Color). He won first place in the sub-category of Individual/Artistic photography, and another first place award in the Sports sub-category. He composed the photographs last year while he was enrolled at Union University in Jackson, Tenn.

The photograph that won in the Individual/Artistic category was taken during a mission trip Blair took to Botswana last January. In it, a Christian grandmother totes her granddaughter after worship services in a Gukutu village church near Gaborone, Botswana, the nation’s capital. The little girl’s mother had died of AIDS just a few weeks prior to this photo. According to reliable estimates, some 40 percent of the children in Botswana have lost one or both parents due to the AIDS epidemic, Blair said.

The winning Sports photograph was taken in the Jackson Boxing Club in Jackson, Tenn., last March. It captures Union University sophomore Michael Yzaguirre sparring with a boxing coach. The club is home to many national boxing champions. 

“These awards just confirm what we already know about Jonathan; he is a gifted photojournalist,” Matthew Miller, director of photography at Southwestern, said. “The fact that Jonathan is here at Southwestern Seminary shows our commitment to the highest levels of professionalism in photojournalism. We are very proud of him.”