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Contact Awards Coordinator Chad Hosier via email or by phone 317/927-8000, ext. 210.

Awards & Honors Committee Chair

Andrew Seaman
Bio (click to expand) Andrew is a medical journalist for Reuters Health in New York. Before coming to Reuters Health, he was a Kaiser Media Fellow at Reuters’s Washington, D.C. bureau, where he covered the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

In 2011, Andrew graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he studied investigative journalism as a Stabile Fellow and was named “Student of the Year.” Andrew also graduated with his B.A. from Wilkes University in 2011.

He’s won numerous awards throughout his short career, including being named a 2010 Tom Bigler Scholar for ethical standards in journalism, the 2009 Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award, the 2009 and the Arthur H. Barlow National Student Journalist of the Year Award.


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2009 Mark of Excellence
National Winners and Finalists

Four-Year Colleges/Universities | Two-Year Colleges/Universities


2009 Regional Winners

Click on each region's number to read a press release that contains a complete list of winners from that region.

Region 1
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Region 12

The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the national winners of the 2009 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2009. This year, student journalists submitted more than 3600 entries.

“Regardless of what else is happening in the industry, college students across the country are continuing to embrace journalism, and these Mark of Excellence winners reflect some of their best work,” SPJ Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs Neil Ralston said. “These students are excited about journalism, and they understand that a strong press is vital to our nation's future.”

National Mark of Excellence Award judges choose one national winner in each category and two national finalists (runners-up).

Winners and finalists were previously recognized by receiving first place in one of the SPJ’s 12 regional competitions. Each first place regional winner advanced to the national competition.


Four-Year College/University Winners & Finalists

Breaking News Photography
— National Winner: Trading Post Fire - by Jake May, Central Michigan University.
— National Finalist: Fort Hood Remembers Its Fallen - by Sara Strick, Texas State University, San Marcos.
— National Finalist: Sarah Cooper, President Elect - by Kevin Zansler, Loyola University, New Orleans.

Editorial Cartooning
— National Winner: Christopher Sharron, Kent State University.
— National Finalist: Jeff Sheridan, University of South Florida.
— National Finalist: Willus Branham, University of Utah.

Feature Photography
— National Winner: Autism — by Jules Ameel, University of Minnesota.
— National Finalist: Ace Study — by Blake Lipthratt, University of Georgia.
— National Finalist: A Lion’s Strength - by Kimberly Yee, The Pennsylvania State University.

General News Photography
— National Winner: Red Bull Infantry Departure - by Matthew Mead, University of Minnesota.
— National Finalist: Illumination - by Mark Farnik, Metropolitan State College of Denver.
— National Finalist: Scattered, Smothered, Covered - by Allison Carter, University of Georgia.

Photo Illustration
— National Winner: Deetscreek Vault - by Lennie Mahler, University of Utah.
— National Finalist: Miami Vice, Spring 2009 - by Donna Schichler, University of Miami.
— National Finalist: Diviner's Sage - by Ronald Villegas, Texas Christian University.

Sports Photography
— National Winner: Just out of Reach - by Daniel Shirey, University of Georgia.
— National Finalist: Drive for Two - by Maxwell Kruger, The Pennsylvania State University.
— National Finalist: Borha Drive - by Tyler Cobb, University of Utah.

Best Student Magazine
— National Winner: North by Northwestern, Staff, Northwestern University.
— National Finalist: MPJ Magazine, Staff, Syracuse University.
— National Finalist: Curio, Staff, James Madison University.

Non-Fiction Magazine Article
— National Winner: Keeper of the Court (Kevin Crane) - by Chris Hamby, Missouri University.
— National Finalist: The Leader, His Lover, and the Scandal that Split Gay America - by Aaron Scott, Columbia University.
— National Finalist: Toking for Taxes - by Sara Hemmenway, Lamar University.

Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper
— National Winner: The Minnesota Daily, Staff, The University of Minnesota.
— National Finalist: The Daily Tar Heel, Staff, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
— National Finalist: The Daily Athenaeum, Staff, West Virginia University.

Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper
— National Winner: The Whitworthian, Staff, Whitworth University.
— National Finalist: The Optimist, Staff, Abilene Christian University.
— National Finalist: The Arkansas Traveler, Staff, University of Arkansas.

Breaking News Reporting
— National Winner: Vanished: An April weekend, changed forever - by Carolyn Crist, University of Georgia.
— National Finalist: Rao on the move - by Jackie Smith, Heidi Fenton, Lindsay Knake and Jake Bolitho, Central Michigan University.
— National Finalist: Football special section - by Herald sports staff, Western Kentucky University.

Editorial Writing
— National Winner: Daily Kent Stater Editorial Board, Kent State University.
— National Finalist: The Chart, Brennan Stebbins, Missouri Southern State University.
— National Finalist: The Daily Northwestern, Liz Coffin-Karlin, Stephanie Wang, Brian Rosenthal, Northwestern University.

Feature Writing
— National Winner: Fire burns town to death - by Aubrey Whelan, The Pennsylvania State University.
— National Finalist: Out from behind the Iron Curtain - by Julieta Chiquillo, Texas Christian University.
— National Finalist: A day in transit - by Robert Downs, The University of Minnesota.

General Column Writing
— National Winner: J. Gavin Mathis, Washington State University.
— National Finalist: Hayley Peterson, University of Georgia.
— National Finalist: Jessica Opoien, Iowa State University.

General News Reporting
— National Winner: Raids leave immigrants living in fear - by Diana Montaño, University of California, Berkeley.
— National Finalist: Lynch's wife tied to agencies he won grants for - by Marino Eccher, Northeastern University.
— National Finalist: Overdrafts under review - by Daniel Johnson, University of Kansas.

In-Depth Reporting
— National Winner: Beyond Reach — by Nate Rott, University of Montana.
— National Finalist: Dream deferred — by Derek Quizon, Arizona State University.
— National Finalist: Women and academics at University of Georgia - by Chelsea Cook, University of Georgia.

Sports Column Writing
— National Winner: Tim Chapman, James Madison University.
— National Finalist: Fletcher Page, University of Georgia.
— National Finalist: Thomas Gallick, Kent State University.

Sports Writing
— National Winner: Arena of Dreams — by Andrew Astleford, University of Missouri.
— National Finalist: Rise, Fall, Rebuild — by Dan Greene, The George Washington University.
— National Finalist: The Hardest Hit — by Casey Michel, Rice University.

Best Affiliated Website
— National Winner: Ball Bearings, Staff, Ball State University.
— National Finalist: www.theshorthorn.com, Staff, University of Texas, Arlington.
— National Finalist: Statepress.com, Staff, Arizona State University.

Best Independent Online Student Publication
— National Winner: NYCity News Service, Staff, City University of New York.
— National Finalist: The 195, Staff, Northwestern University.
— National Finalist: Living Galapagos: Battle for Balance Between Man and Nature, Staff, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Online Feature Reporting
— National Winner: Reclaiming creation - by Courtney Woo, Eileen Mignoni and Monica Ulmanu, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
— National Finalist: Your body as a mural - by Machiko Yasuda, Adria Tinnin, Kimberly Lajcik and Alene Tchekmedyian, University of California, Los Angeles.
— National Finalist: Up Close and Personal: Ash spills, mountaintop removal & sandhill cranes - by Nancy Robinson, University of Tennessee.

Online In-Depth Reporting
— National Winner: Tough Choices, Tough Times, Staff, Syracuse University.
— National Finalist: Photo Enforcement - by Jeremy Rudy, Carleen McGillick and Melanie Kiser, Arizona State University.
— National Finalist: Cleaning Coal - by Sarah Coefield, Elisabeth Pernicone, Yang Zhang and Rachael Gleason, Michigan State University.

Online News Reporting
— National Winner: Faces of the Crisis - by Nacho Corbella, Eileen Mignoni, Chris Carmichael and Zach Ferriola-Bruckenstein, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
— National Finalist: College Fest Riot Coverage - by KentWired staff, Kent State University.
— National Finalist: Shock and Sadness: The Town & Gown murders - by The Red & Black staff, University of Georgia.

Online Opinion & Commentary
— National Winner: Morgan Little, Elon University.
— National Finalist: Spencer Morris, San Francisco State University.
— National Finalist: District Staff, Savannah College of Art and Design.

Online Sports Reporting
— National Winner: The rise of men's volleyball - by Vinnie Lopes, Jay Sowers, Jessi Smithson and Samantha Irons, Ball State University.
— National Finalist: College World Series coverage - by Zac Lemoine, Jerit Roser and Andy Schwim, Louisiana State University.
— National Finalist: Pregame Playmakers - by Evan Bush, Adam Falk and Taryn Wood, University of Missouri.

Best All-Around Radio Newscast
— National Winner: Carolina Connection, Staff, University of North Carolina.
— National Finalist: Annenberg Radio News, Best All Around Radio Newscast, University of Southern California.
— National Finalist: Central Beat, Staff, Central Michigan University.

Radio Feature
— National Winner: Gainesville Joint Aviation Unit - by William Brooks Sherrel, University of Florida.
— National Finalist: Low Pork Prices Hurt Farmers - by Brandon Smith, University of Missouri.
— National Finalist: The Horse Whisperer - by Rebecca Feldhaus, Murray State University.

Radio In-Depth Reporting
— National Winner: Neither here nor there: Bhutanese Refugees in the U.S. - by Adelaide Chen, University of California, Berkeley.
— National Finalist: Life After Prison - by Lindsey Foat and Emily Coppel, University of Missouri.
— National Finalist: Generation Y Michigan - by Lauren Silverman, University of Michigan.

Radio News Reporting
— National Winner: Red Becomes Blue - by John T. Santucci, Hofstra University.
— National Finalist: Principles found by picture of sea slugs' reflex memory could apply to human learning - by Chris Benderev, Sarah Rogozen and Alene Tchekmedyian, University of California, Los Angeles.
— National Finalist: Salvation for the Powerless - by Adam Cavalier, Marshall University.

Radio Sports Reporting
— National Winner: Tailgaters Ride to Football Games in Style: In the ZouBus - by Brandon Spencer, University of Missouri.
— National Finalist: Rumble at Ritchie - by Jeremy Moreland, University of Maryland.
— National Finalist: Time is Changing at Alabama - by Allen Faul, University of Alabama.

Best All-Around Television Newscast
— National Winner: NewsWatch 16, Staff, Ithaca College.
— National Finalist: WEIU-T.V. News Watch, Staff, Eastern Illinois University.
— National Finalist: Campus New, Staff, Minnesota State University, Moorhead.

Television Breaking News Reporting
— National Winner: NSM march In Arizona - by Toby Phillips, Arizona State University.
— National Finalist: Muhammad Execution - by Evan Lambert, University of Maryland, College Park.
— National Finalist: Poudre River Asphalt Spill - by Madalynn Shields, Colorado State University.

Television Feature Photography
— National Winner: Uganda Medical Mission - by Liz McKernan, Arizona State University.
— National Finalist: Mud Bog - by Vic Micolucci, University of Florida.
— National Finalist: Rockville's Own Electric Car - by Chris Yu, University of Maryland, College Park.

Television Feature
— National Winner: Inside Looking Out - by Jessica Reedy and Tiffany Kimmel Stubbert, University of Oregon.
— National Finalist: Uganda Medical Mission - by Liz McKernan, Arizona State University.
— National Finalist: Amber Bradley profile - by Cristina Xuarez, University of Florida.

Television General News Reporting
— National Winner: Driven to Distraction - by Randy Gyllenhaal and Drake Springer, Elon University.
— National Finalist: GITMO Guard Duty - by Miles Doran and Patrick Fleming, University of Florida.
— National Finalist: G20 - by Rachid Haoues, The Pennsylvania State University.

Television In-Depth Reporting
— National Winner: Las Abuelas Series - by Bethany Tuggle, University of North Carolina.
— National Finalist: The Night Shift - by Sarah Coefield, Mary Hansen, Marla Kalmbach and Lou D'Aria, Michigan State University.
— National Finalist: Cronkite News Tracks H1N1, Staff, Arizona State University.

Television News Photography
— National Winner: Late Night Bagging - by Todd Kurtz, Minnesota State University, Moorhead.
— National Finalist: Ocean Smuggling - by Amber Dixon, Arizona State University.
— National Finalist: Search for Missing Woman Reaches One Week - by Jennifer Trammell, Northwestern University.

Television Sports Photography
— National Winner: Nasty Nine - by Michael Brannen, University of Missouri.
— National Finalist: GCU Basketball - by Mike Pelton, Arizona State University.
— National Finalist: Mike Lee "Behind the Mask" - by Bruce Meyers, St. Cloud State University.

Television Sports Reporting
— National Winner: Welcome back to campus - by McKenna Ewen, University of Minnesota.
— National Finalist: Traband - by Dan Sullivan, Pennsylvania State University.
— National Finalist: Fan Rumps - by Michael Kelly, University of Missouri.

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Two-Year College/University Winners & Finalists

Breaking News Photography
— National Winner: Car bash - by Travis Sherman, Laramie County Community College.
— National Finalist: Where have all the classes gone? - by Misael Virgen, Southwestern College.
— National Finalist: No Award.

Editorial Cartooning
— National Winner: Daniel Worthington, Tarrant County College.
— National Finalist: Mike Beckom, Piedmont Technical College.
— National Finalist: Joel Hamid, Edmonds Community College.

Feature Photography
— National Winner: Firefighter Jonathan Masterson (Top photo) - by Matt Moyer, Tarrant County College.
— National Finalist: Game Face - by Diana Inocencio, Southwestern College.
— National Finalist: No Award.

General News Photography
— National Winner: Enough! - by Daniela Padilla, Southwestern College.
— National Finalist: No Award.
— National Finalist: No Award.

Photo Illustration
— National Winner: The new depression - by Houston Woodhouse, Laramie County Community College.
— National Finalist: No Award.
— National Finalist: No Award.

Sports Photography
— National Winner: Instructor Stacy Lueking Underwater - by Jennifer Covington, Tarrant County College.
— National Finalist: Round 'em up - by Stephanie Maas, Laramie County Community College.
— National Finalist: Soar Feet - by Russell Scoffin, Southwestern College.

Best Student Magazine
— National Winner: Figments of Imagination, Staff, Bismarck State College.
— National Finalist: No Award.
— National Finalist: No Award.

Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper
— National Winner: The Sentinel, Staff, North Idaho College.
— National Finalist: Aztec Press, Staff, Pima Community College.
— National Finalist: The College Voice, Staff, Mercer County Community College.

Breaking News Reporting
— National Winner: Faculty union members banned - by Sean Campbell and Lyndsay Winkley, Southwestern College.
— National Finalist: Parking pandemonium - by Jake Donahue, North Idaho College.
— National Finalist: Trustees vote 4-3 to increase fees - by Wingspan staff, Laramie County Community College.

Editorial Writing
— National Winner: The truths and myths of Raj K. Chopra - by Southwestern College Staff, Southwestern College.
— National Finalist: Administration rams ban through - by Steve Knight, Tarrant County College.
— National Finalist: Cafeteria slices options; chilled student voice; my college takes more - by Wingspan staff, Laramie County Community College.

Feature Writing
— National Winner: Economic blast from the past - by Vernon Hedrick, Laramie County Community College.
— National Finalist: Going Back: Moving Forward - by Liza Porter, Pima Community College.
— National Finalist: Hooked on Hookah - by Eli Francovich, North Idaho College.

General Column Writing
— National Winner: Loren Kelly, North Idaho College.
— National Finalist: Dominic Benintende, Laramie County Community College.
— National Finalist: No Award.

General News Reporting
— National Winner: Sean Campbell, Southwestern College.
— National Finalist: Steve Knight, Tarrant County College.
— National Finalist: Valerie Topacio, Edmonds Community College.

In-Depth Reporting
— National Winner: Internet Courses: Easy to Cheat - by Brandon Banks, Elizabethtown Community College.
— National Finalist: Bill allowing concealed weapons on college campuses divides students - by Steve Knight, Tarrant County College.
— National Finalist: Bad blood: Campus may ban blood donations - by Peter Sessum, Edmonds Community College.

Sports Column Writing
— National Winner: Kalyn Lovlyn, North Idaho College.
— National Finalist: No Award.
— National Finalist: No Award.

Sports Writing
— National Winner: Removed from the Mat - by Collin Reischman, St. Louis Community College, Meramec.
— National Finalist: Sean Higgins uses experience to influence good character - by Sandra Chansa, Edmonds Community College.
— National Finalist: No love for tennis teams - by Sean Campbell, Southwestern College.

Best Affiliated Website
— National Winner: The Communicator Online, Staff, Spokane Falls Community College.
— National Finalist: The Ranger Online, Staff, San Antonio College.
— National Finalist: The Columns online, Staff, Pierpont Community and Technical College.

Online News Reporting
— National Winner: Breaking news: OCCC student found dead - by Mark Smith, Oklahoma City Community College.
— National Finalist: No Award.
— National Finalist: No Award.

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