GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Photographer Paige Allen has earned a Media Excellence award for her work with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Men’s Futures Tournament, which has been held at Lewis and Clark’s Godfrey campus for the past 16 years.
“Paige’s writing and photography skills have helped earn the L&C tournament regional, national and international recognition – as the players often send Paige’s photos and stories home to their native countries for publicity and coverage,” said Vice President of Media and Foundation Relations Lori Artis.
Allen has covered the tournament at L&C for the past seven years. Her coverage starts weeks before the tournament, reaching out to the media and community to attend the matches and drum up publicity. During the 10-day long event, she hits the courts first thing in the morning and stays for the duration, sometimes enduring 100-degree weather conditions to get photographs of all the players, as well as the top story for the day. Even after matchups have finished and the players leave campus, she heads back to her office to process photos, write stories, and send everything off to local media outlets to meet their deadlines.
“Paige has been a valued member of the Media Services department here at Lewis and Clark since 2005. Since she started covering the USTA, she has put in countless hours to maximize media coverage of the tournament and its players,” Artis said.
Allen’s photographs and stories have been featured by the USTA on its website and in various publications. A photo she took in 2011 of Tournament Champion Tennys Sandgren was selected by the USTA as one of the cover photos for the 2012 USTA programs.
“This is such an honor for me. Each year I look forward to meeting and photographing such talented players from around the world and telling their stories,” Allen said. “This award is possible through the support of the USTA, Lewis and Clark Community College and our community.”
In addition to her photography and news coverage of the tournament, Allen has also increased awareness of the tournament on a large scale through social media, utilizing Facebook and Twitter as a way to connect with the players and their fans throughout the world.
Allen earned her Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with an emphasis on photojournalism from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She developed her skills in sports photography while studying with her mentor and professor Bill Ward at the university, and while covering Blues hockey and Saint Louis University Billikens basketball as an intern for bureau chief photographer Art Phillips at United Press International in St. Louis.
“I have a passion for photography, especially sports, and feel lucky to be able to photograph men’s professional tennis each year during the USTA tournament, as well as Trailblazer Athletics and other departments at Lewis and Clark throughout the year,” Allen said.
Lewis and Clark’s USTA tournament has long been recognized as one of the best in the country, having received the “Facility of the Year” and “Tournament of the Year” awards by the USTA Missouri Valley St. Louis District in the past.
Allen was honored at the USTA Awards Dinner on Friday, Nov. 22 at the Probstein Center in Forest Park.
Learn more about the USTA at L&C and see Allen's work at www.lc.edu/USTA.