Kent Stater cartoonist wins national award

Lydia Coutré

Chris Sharron won the Charles M. Schulz Award for his work as a college cartoonist, the Scripps Howard Foundation announced with its 2009 national journalism awards Friday.

Sharron, a senior general studies major, received the award for his “diverse entry of traditional, alternative and humorous editorial cartoons,” according to the news release.

“It’s one of the first awards that I’ve won where I (am) being nationally recognized,” Sharron said. “I feel like that’s a huge accomplishment, and I’m very proud of that.”

He will receive $10,000 and a trophy for the award. He and other winners will be presented with their cash awards at a dinner April 23 in Tampa, Fla.

Sharron said he attended the dinner last year as a finalist, where he was in the same room as people who later went on to win the Pulitzer Prize.

“It’s just a very weird, surreal sort of feeling to be in the same room with all those people, but it’s a huge honor,” Sharron said. “They’re holding you up to the same esteem as them. I can’t put enough emphasis on the fact that it’s just amazing that they do that.”

This is at least the third time he has entered his work to this competition.

“This is my last semester, so it’s nice that I was able to finally win before I leave college because this was my last chance to be eligible to enter,” Sharron said.

Sharron started working for the Daily Kent Stater the summer before his senior year of high school and has continued on the staff since then.

Students applying for the award submitted an entry of between 10 and 20 samples, Sharron said. He submitted about 16 — half from the print version of the Daily Kent Stater and half that were published on He said about half were editorial and half were more humorous samples.

“I thought that the work would be a little bit more well-rounded this year, and so I decided that I would enter,” Sharron said. “(I) included a lot of different things as opposed to just editorial cartoons. I felt like I would have a better chance.”

Sharron said the award is a motivation for him to further his passion.

“I mean, if other people recognize that in you, sometimes it’s hard to recognize that in yourself because I know in my case, I’m sort of my own worst critic,” Sharron said. “So, to have other people that are saying ‘Well, his work’s good enough to win,’ then that sort of says to me, ‘Well, maybe this is something that I could do.’”

Contact news correspondent Lydia Coutré at [email protected].