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Awards & Honors Committee Chair

Andy Schotz
@spjregion2
Email
Bio (click to expand) picture Andy Schotz was a city editor for The Frederick News-Post in Frederick, Md., for about 19 months until he was laid off on April 17, 2017.

He has been an SPJ member since 2002 and has held various positions on the Washington, D.C., Pro chapter board, including three consecutive one-year terms as president.

He served on the SPJ Ethics Committee from 2004 to 2011, including three years as chairman.

Schotz ran unsuccessfully for at-large director on the national SPJ board in 2012. The following year, he ran unopposed for Region 2 director.

He is a frequent SPJ contest judge (D.C. Pro Dateline Awards, SDX, Mark of Excellence, Green Eyeshade, high school essay) and has twice coordinated Region 2's Mark of Excellence contest.

He joined the SPJ Awards & Honors Committee in 2013 and helped work on a national survey seeking feedback about the MOE contest. He is currently the committee's chairman.

Before joining The Frederick News-Post in 2015, he was an editor at The Gazette, a chain of weekly papers, in Montgomery County, Md. He was there for almost 2 1/2 years before The Gazette folded in June 2015.

Schotz worked for eight years as a reporter and editor at The Altamont Enterprise, a weekly paper in upstate New York, then 13 years as a reporter for The Herald-Mail, a daily paper in Hagerstown, Md.

He is on the board of directors of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.


Sarah Bauer, vice chair
Program Director
Minnesota Newspaper Association
612-278-0250
@sarah_mn
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) Sarah Bauer is the Program Director for the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA). MNA is the trade association all Minnesota Newspapers, and represents the interests of more than 360 daily and weekly publications. Bauer plans all educational and outreach programs for the Association, including hands-on training for journalists, public forums on media issues, an annual excellence in journalism contest, and its annual convention.

Bauer speaks regularly about media ethics issues, community journalism, social media, and issues like the intersection of journalism and politics. Bauer graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in journalism and philosophy. She has been involved with the Society of Professional Journalists as member and chapter leader since she joined the University of Minnesota’s chapter. Since 2006, Bauer has served on the MN Pro chapter board of directors, currently serving as the chapter president and chair of its annual journalism award contest and banquet. She is also the chairwoman of the Society’s national membership committee.


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2015 Mark of Excellence
National Winners and Finalists

Newspapers | Magazines | Art/Graphics | Radio | Television | Online


2015 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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The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the national winners of the 2015 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2015.

The awards honor the best in student journalism. As such, judges were directed to choose only those entries which they felt were outstanding work worthy of a national honor. If the judges determined that none of the entries rose to the level of excellence, no award was given. Any category not listed has no winner.

School divisions are based on student enrollment, which includes both graduate and undergraduate enrollment. Schools with more than 10,000 students are designated as large schools.

National Mark of Excellence Award judges can choose up to 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.

First-place national winners will be recognized at the Excellence in Journalism 2016 conference in New Orleans. Follow this link for conference information.


Newspapers

Breaking News Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner: “WPD arrest armed man near schools,” by Leah Wankum, University of Central Missouri

Read online: Link 1 | 2

— National Finalist: “Guilty,” by Emma Ockerman, Ohio University
— National Finalist: “Task force recommends Northwestern begin academic year in August, still maintain quarter system,” by Alice Yin, Northwestern University


Breaking News Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner: “OBU nursing students serve as first responders at car accident,” by Emma Patton and Katherine Gilbert, Oklahoma Baptist University

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: “Tulane discontinues student-run ambulance service,” by Kristen Stewart, Loyola University New Orleans
— National Finalist: “Flames engulf Pomona building,” by Jolene Nacapuy Cody Luk, University of La Verne


General News Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner: “A&M won’t discuss animal lab tests,” by Nicole Cobler, University of Texas at Austin

Read online: Link 1 | 2

— National Finalist: “Mental health on campus,” by Mario Marroquin, Jennifer Meyers, Marley Paul and Meg McLaurin, Penn State University
— National Finalist: “ASCSU fails to comply with constitutional requirements, does not make all records available,” by Erin Douglas, Colorado State University


General News Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner: “This Shouldn't Happen Here,” by Max Denning, Ithaca College

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: “Data reveals funding disparity between UNA student organizations,” by Ashley Remkus, University of North Alabama
— National Finalist: “High-Tech and High-Touch: FIU Introduces 'Virtual' Dissection,” by Carolyn Holtzman, Washington and Lee University


In-Depth Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner: “The Brothel Next Door,” by staff of Capital News Service, University of Maryland

Read online

— National Finalist: “BYU women victimized by 'catfish' relationship deception,” by Jenna Koford, Bret Henkel and Gianluca Cuestas, Brigham Young University
— National Finalist: “Two Days of Mental Health Coverage,” by staff, University of Oklahoma


In-Depth Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner: “The Emergency Care Crisis in Uganda,” by Jae Lee, Washington University in St. Louis

Read online: Link 1 | 2 | 3

— National Finalist: “Transition: Transgender student finds a home / Transphobic Incident Spurs Pain, Action,” by Cheyenne Schoen and Lydia Laythe, University of Portland
— National Finalist: “Unaccompanied minors seek new homes and lives in NC,” by Katy Canada, Elon University


Feature Writing, Large School Division

National Winner: “Skiing for the Team,” by Courtney Tanner, University of Utah

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: “The Kings of Dixwell Avenue,” by Maya Averbuch, Yale University
— National Finalist: “Our Way of Life,” by Emily Barske, Iowa State University


Feature Writing, Small School Division

National Winner: “Hotdogs — a 'Life Changer' for Chili Man,” by Athena Cao, Washington and Lee University

Read online

— National Finalist: “An angel's vision,” by Danielle DiStefano, Lehigh University
— National Finalist: “Stoned, sober and all that’s in between: Students speak out on drug use at Oxy,” by Charlotte Umanoff and William Stupp, Occidental College


Sports Writing, Large School Division

National Winner: “From Darkness to Dawn: Ivan Gonzalez won’t let his undocumented status slow him down,” by Hooman Yazdanian, University of California, Berkeley

Read online

— National Finalist: “God of the Playing Field,” by Caleb Lee, Samuel E. Liu and Ali M. Monfre, Harvard College
— National Finalist: “Mike Riley isn't following his father's footsteps anymore,” by Chris Heady, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Sports Writing, Small School Division

National Winner: “Football attempts to move on to ‘new normalcy,’” by Alex Simon, Elon University

Read online

— National Finalist: “No fear: The Lauren Joseph story,” by Eden Laase, Gonzaga University
— National Finalist: “Married to the game,” by Kassandra Merritt, Grambling State University


Editorial Writing

National Winner: Staff, The GW Hatchet

Read online: Link 1 | 2 | 3

— National Finalist: Editorial Board, Arizona State University
— National Finalist: The Crimson Editorial Board, Harvard College


General Column Writing, Large School Division

National Winner: Tim Balk, Northwestern University

Read online: Link 1 | 2 | 3

— National Finalist: Yi Patrick An, University of Maryland College Park
— National Finalist: Mayra Rosales Montoya, Aisha Davis and Courtney Schwing, Eastfield College


General Column Writing, Small School Division

National Winner: Leena Dahal, Elon University

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: Nikita Chirkov, Trinity University


Sports Column Writing

National Winner: Brian Rathbone, Oregon State University

Read online: Link 1 | 2 | 3

— National Finalist: Ryan Baillargeon and Daniel Popper, University of Maryland
— National Finalist: Tim Balk, Northwestern University


Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper

National Winner: Iowa State Daily, Iowa State University

View sample issues: Issue 1 | 2 | 3

— National Finalist: The Daily Mississippian, University of Mississippi
— National Finalist: Daily Bruin, UCLA


Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper

National Winner: The Breeze, James Madison University

View sample issues: Issue 1 | 2 | 3

— National Finalist: Central Florida Future, University of Central Florida
— National Finalist: The DePaulia, DePaul University

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Magazines

Best Student Magazine

National Winner: Vox Magazine, University of Missouri-Columbia

Download sample issue [PDF]

— National Finalist: Alice Magazine, The University of Alabama
— National Finalist: The Meek Report, Meek School of Journalism and New Media, University of Mississippi


Non-Fiction Magazine Article

National Winner: “The death penalty in Missouri from A to Z,” by Vox staff, University of Missouri-Columbia

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: “Science in the Sky,” by Jasper Scherer, Northwestern University
— National Finalist: “American Writer,” by Clinton Crockett Peters, University of North Texas

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Art/Graphics

Breaking News Photography, Large School Division


National Winner: “Black Lives Matter protest,” by Jonathan Glover, Central Washington University

— National Finalist: “Goal posts torn down, tear gas used, several arrested after National Championship win,” by Yann Schreiber, The Ohio State University
— National Finalist: “State flag rally and protests,” by Deja Samuel, University of Mississippi


Breaking News Photography, Small School Division

National Winner: “Protest in Bowman Park,” by Rebeca Bagdocimo, DePauw University

— National Finalist: “LGBT issues addressed on campus,” by Rebecca Dietrich, Slippery Rock University
— National Finalist: “It's Getting Hot In Here,” by Al Drago, Elon University


General News Photography, Large School Division


National Winner: “The Last Shot,” by Jacob Byk, Kent State University

— National Finalist: “Bras For A Cause,” by Stephanie Distasio, Penn State
— National Finalist: “Candlelight vigil honors student,” by Richard Hoang, University of Texas Arlington


General News Photography, Small School Division


National Winner: “Lean on Me,” by Al Drago, Elon University

— National Finalist: “SPU John Perkins - Chapel,” by Christopher Yang, Seattle Pacific University
— National Finalist: “Icepocalypse,” by Grant Schol, Harding University


Feature Photography, Large School Division


National Winner: “Seattle group’s training program saves lives of moms and babies in Kenya,” by Paul Nevin, University of Washington

— National Finalist: “Festival of Colors,” by Richard Hoang, University of Texas Arlington
— National Finalist: “Maasai Women: Breaking Out of the Boma,” by Sydney Combs, University of Chicago


Feature Photography, Small School Division


National Winner: “Heaven on Wheels,” by Ethan DeGree, Minnesota State University Moorhead

— National Finalist: “Photo series: Obsessions,” by LuAnne DeMeo, Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta
— National Finalist: “Cal U twirlers incorporate gymnastics and dance into their performances,” by Matt Palichat, California University of Pennsylvania


Photo Illustration, Large School Division


National Winner: “Food Issue,” by Rori Kotch, Claudia Fernandes-Hernandez, Allie Pakrosnis, Valentina Escotet, University of Miami

— National Finalist: “Columbia's Sweet Treats,” by Alex Menz, University of Missouri-Columbia
— National Finalist: “Technological Meltdown,” by Alberto Calderon and Luz Aramburo, Southwestern College


Photo Illustration, Small School Division


National Winner: “Obsessively compulsive & totally disordered,” by LuAnne DeMeo, Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta

— National Finalist: “Close 2 the Heart,” by Taylor Schley, Baker University
— National Finalist: “A Day in the Life: Zaid Hearst,” by Rebecca Castagna, Quinnipiac University


Sports Photography, Large School Division


National Winner: “Airborne,” by John Baranoski, Penn State


Sports Photography, Small School Division


National Winner: “Rugby Prom,” by Al Drago, Elon University

— National Finalist: “Men's basketball gets back on roll,” by Kameron Casey, University of Indianapolis
— National Finalist: “Lose Ball,” by Ryan Sullivan, Gonzaga University


Editorial Cartooning


National Winner: Gareth Bentall, Virginia Commonwealth University

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Radio

Radio News Reporting

Listen online

National Winner: “Rated No. 1 Courtney Conlogue Seeks World Championship Title,” by Quinn Owen, San Diego State University

— National Finalist: “Students March as Part of Selma Commemoration,” by David Caddell, Troy University


Radio Feature

National Winner: “The Journey: An Unaccompanied Minor's Story of Coming to the U.S.,” by Maira Perez, Mills College

Listen online

— National Finalist: “Archeologists Uncover History in Morganton,” by Louis Fernandez, UNC-Chapel Hill
— National Finalist: “Cayuga's Watchers,” by Kelli Kyle, Elena Piech and Riley Ludwig, Ithaca College


Radio In-Depth Reporting

Listen online

National Winner: “UnCharted Territory For a Brooklyn School,” by Levi Sharpe, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

— National Finalist: “Busy Taxidermists,” by Ryan Nelson, University of Florida


Radio Sports Reporting

National Winner: “Husker Countdown: Nebraska-BYU Football Suspensions,” by Tommy Rezac, University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications

— National Finalist: “Spartans Are Hungry For More: MSU Media Day Recap,” by Blake Froling, Michigan State University
— National Finalist: “Jockeys: Misunderstood Athletes,” by Taylor Trache, University of Florida


Best All-Around Radio Newscast

Listen online

National Winner: Carolina Connection, UNC-Chapel Hill

— National Finalist: Aaron Zufall and Riley Ludwig, Ithaca College
— National Finalist: “Long Story Short,” by Kelly Yeo and Yuri Enokida, UCLA

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Television

Television Breaking News Reporting


Watch online

National Winner: “Akron Plane Crash,” by Alexa Maslowski, Kent State University

— National Finalist: “Big Case Rocking a Small Community - Danny Heinrich,” by Brett Mensing, St. Cloud State University
— National Finalist: “Woman struck, killed at Downtown Crossing T Station,” by Catherine Casey and Amelia Fabiano, Emerson College


Television General News Reporting


Watch online

National Winner: “Integrity Report,” by Katie Ryan, Brigham Young University

— National Finalist: “Middle School Garden,” by Danielle Maroney, St. Cloud State University
— National Finalist: “Text Neck,” by Maddie Gardner, UNC-Chapel Hill


Television Feature Reporting


Watch online

National Winner: “Artist and ‘Bug Guy’ Christopher Marley,” by Nicolas Walcott, Dana Bredeweg and Chloe Huckins, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication

— National Finalist: “Child life specialists help young patients, families,” by Yahaira Jacquez, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Comm
— National Finalist: “Grove Wall,” by Oliver Redsten, University of Miami


Television In-Depth Reporting


Watch online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3

National Winner: “Woodburning Ban,” by Eric Mock, Brigham Young University

— National Finalist: “Changing Home: Small Town Survival,” by University of Montana Student Documentary Unit, University of Montana
— National Finalist: “Doomsday Warrior: The Story of George Andrie,” by Peter Basch, Michael Cianciolo and Brian Georgeson, Marquette University


Television Sports Reporting


Watch online

National Winner: “‘I'll do it through you down here:’ The Kyle Cody Story,” by Megan O'Brien, Northwestern University

— National Finalist: “Rodeo Club,” by Joy Carey, University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications
— National Finalist: “The skater's edge: Evan Bender,” by Collette Del Poso and Iris Lee, UCLA


Television News and Feature Photography


Watch online

National Winner: “Golden Knights,” by Josh Holland and Daniel Blommel, Western Kentucky University

— National Finalist: “Funerals for the Forgotten,” by Taylor Curet, Louisiana State University
— National Finalist: “ViewFinder: Ballet for Disabled Children,” by Karen Tang, University of Maryland


Television Sports Photography


Watch online

National Winner: “ViewFinder: Troops Deploy Game Ball,” by Ricky Lasser and Karen Tang, University of Maryland

— National Finalist: “Cross Country Runner Makena Morley,” by Peter Riley, University of Montana
— National Finalist: “Kicker Makes History,” by Joey McReynolds, Texas Christian University


Best All-Around Television Newscast


Watch online

National Winner: Northwestern News Network, Northwestern University

— National Finalist: Centre County Report, Penn State University
— National Finalist: UATV, University of Arkansas

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Online

Online News Reporting

National Winner: “SAE Racist Chant,” by staff, University of Oklahoma

Read online: Link 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

— National Finalist: “Hooked: Tracking Heroin's Hold on Arizona,” by staff, Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School
— National Finalist: “The Missing,” by NYCity News Service staff, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism


Online Feature Reporting

National Winner: “The Land of Royal Honey / The Beekeeper,” by Danielle Garcia, Tyler Cleveland and Laura Jarriel, University of North Texas

Read online

— National Finalist: “Dream and the War,” by Kae Holloway, Western Kentucky University
— National Finalist: “Street Scenes,” by Amanda Proscia, College of Communication Arts & Sciences


Online In-Depth Reporting

National Winner: “Crime & Campus,” by staff, Temple University

Read online

— National Finalist: “Feed Alabama,” by staff, The University of Alabama
— National Finalist: “America's Weed Rush: A News21 Investigation,” by staff, Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School


Online Opinion and Commentary

National Winner: Kaley LaQuea, University of Colorado

Read online: Link 1 | 2 | 3

— National Finalist: John Irwin, Central Michigan University
— National Finalist: Megan Fleming, Pennsylvania State University


Online Sports Reporting

National Winner: “Moving beyond the arc,” by James Badas, Ashley Wu, Peter Chung and Raleigh Capozzalo, Yale University

Read online

— National Finalist: “More than a decade of drought: An oral history of the 2003-04 Blue Demons,” by Matthew Paras, Kirsten Onsgard and Mariah Woelfel, DePaul University
— National Finalist: “Outside the Ring,” by Daine Pavloski, Michigan State University


Best Use of Multimedia

National Winner: “#MSKatrina10,” by staff, University of Mississippi

Visit website

— National Finalist: “West Texas Water Issues,” by Sarah Self-Walbrick, Nicole Molter, Kaitlin Thogmartin and Anibal Galindo, Texas Tech University
— National Finalist: “Bridging Selma,” by staff, Reed College of Media and Morgan State University


Best Affiliated Website

National Winner: The Harvard Crimson Website, Harvard University

Visit website


Best Digital-Only Student Publication

National Winner: PhiladelphiaNeighborhoods.com, Temple University

Visit website

— National Finalist: Capital News Service, University of Maryland College of Journalism
— National Finalist: Flagler College Gargoyle, Flagler College


Best Independent Online Student Publication

National Winner: University Chronicle Online, St. Cloud State University

Visit website

— National Finalist: Lumination Network, Lipscomb University
— National Finalist: Flagler College Gargoyle, Flagler College

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