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Awards & Honors Committee

Andy Schotz, chair
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.

2008 Mark of Excellence
National Winners and Finalists

2008 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
Region 2
Region 3
Region 4
Region 5
Region 6
Region 7
Region 8
Region 9
Region 10
Region 11
Region 12

The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the national winners of the 2008 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2008. This year, student journalists submitted more than 3,600 entries in 39 categories.

"These Mark of Excellence Awards winners are some of the best journalists coming out of colleges today.” said Neil Ralston, SPJ’s Vice President for Campus Chapter Affairs. “I believe they represent a lot of hope for the future of journalism in America, and SPJ is honored to recognize them for their excellent work."

National 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.

Breaking News Reporting
— National Winner: Arla Shephard, University of Washington, “Students rush to save man who sets himself on fire”
— National Finalist: Brad Petrishen, Alex Smith, Jason Cook & Madison Dennis, Framingham State College, “FSC on Alert”
— National Finalist: Molly Hottle, Grand View University, “Husband accused of murder in I-235 shooting”

General News Reporting
— National Winner: Staff, The Red & Black, University of Georgia, Sexual harassment at UGA series
— National Finalist: Jill Laster, University of Kentucky, “Debate on drinking”
— National Finalist: Ashley Lewis, University of Maryland, College Park, “State Police Spying”

In-Depth Reporting
— National Winner: Marc Beja & Adam Playford, New York University, “Investigating campus crime”
— National Finalist: Brenna Hawley, University of Kansas, “Parched future of the plains”
— National Finalist: Investigative Reporting Class, Humboldt State University, “Nobody’s Fault”

Feature Writing
— National Winner: Thor Nystrom, University of Kansas, “To Hell and Back”
— National Finalist: Sean Rose, University of Kentucky, “Bridging past & present”
— National Finalist: Jen Nevins, Ithaca College, “That’s how they roll”

Sports Writing
— National Winner: Thor Nystrom, University of Kansas, “Both sides of the scalp”
— National Finalist: Brian Hughes, University of Georgia, “Doing nothing worth $94,000”
— National Finalist: Roman Stubbs, University of Montana, “Playing for keeps in Deer Lodge”

Editorial Writing
— National Winner: Jessica Mayrer, University of Montana
— National Finalist: Brian McLean, Central Michigan University
— National Finalist: The Shorthorn Editorial Board, University of Texas, Arlington

Editorial Cartooning
— National Winner: Bill Richards, University of Georgia
— National Finalist: Erin Felton, Marshall University
— National Finalist: Phil Cannon, University of Utah

General Column Writing
— National Winner: Donald Hodge, Louisiana State University
— National Finalist: Alex Muhindura, Tarrant County College
— National Finalist: Katie Drews & Sarah Watts, Loyola University

Sports Column Writing
— National Winner: Josh Spielman, Rutgers University
— National Finalist: Robby Douthitt, Marquette University
— National Finalist: Samuel J. Rosenthal, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper
(published at least 4 times per week)

— National Winner: Staff, The Daily Pennsylvanian, University of Pennsylvania
— National Finalist: Staff, The Diamondback, University of Maryland, College Park
— National Finalist: Staff, The Daily Utah Chronicle, University of Utah

Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper
(published less than 4 times per week)

— National Winner: Staff, Loyola Phoenix, Loyola University
— National Finalist: Staff, The Sentinel, North Idaho College
— National Finalist: Staff, The Carolina Reporter, University of South Carolina

Magazine Non-Fiction Article
— National Winner: Sarrah Benoit, Blot Magazine, University of Idaho, “Cocaine: Drug of choice?”
— National Finalist: Josh Chin, Brink, University of California, Berkeley, “Fantasy Island”
— National Finalist: Lee Morris, Minnesota State University, Moorhead, “Silent Scourge”

Best Student Magazine
— National Winner: Staff, Brink, University of California, Berkeley
— National Finalist: Staff, Fusion Magazine, Kent State University
— National Finalist: Staff, Distraction Magazine, University of Miami

Breaking News Photography
— National Winner: Tess McEnroe, University of Montana, “Nepali Protest”
— National Finalist: Aaron Schwendiman, University of Utah, “Olympics Protest”
— National Finalist: Peter Franklin, University of Texas at Austin, “Perry prepares the state”

General News Photography
— National Winner: Deanna Dent, Arizona State University, “Border Orphans”
— National Finalist: Juan Ramirez, Del Mar College, “Hillary Returns”
— National Finalist: Staff, The Metropolitan, Metropolitan State College of Denver, “Five Days”

Feature Photography
— National Winner: Kasha Stevenson, University of Kentucky, “Bridging past & present”
— National Finalist: Tyson Kuznia, Minnesota State University, Moorhead, “Florian, MN”
— National Finalist: Nick Gallo, Creighton University, “Let the cards fly”

Photo Illustration
— National Winner: Zach Woodward, University of Miami, “We the students”
— National Finalist: Joseph Herr, The University of Toledo, “Boozing students face shrinking brains”
— National Finalist: Dan McClanahan, Iowa State University, “Logging out for good”

Sports Photography
— National Winner: William Colsher, The Pennsylvania State University, “Home plate collision”
— National Finalist: Lennie Mahler, University of Utah, “Borha fouled on dunk”
— National Finalist: Adam Fried, University of Maryland, College Park, “Waking up”

Radio News Reporting
— National Winner: Adam Cavalier, Marshall University, “ Big dips for 50 years”
— National Finalist: Jonathan Horn, University of Southern California, “Naturalization Ceremony”
— National Finalist: Leslie Picker, University of Illinois, “Birth Centers”

Radio Feature
— National Winner: Kyle Stokes, University of Missouri, Columbia, “Lincoln School memories”
— National Finalist: Nathan Matson, Minnesota State University, Moorhead, “Bio-diesel bus”
— National Finalist: Ben Frisch, Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah, “Bicycle Co-op”

Radio In-Depth Reporting
— National Winner: Mandy Walker, University of Colorado at Boulder, “No place like home”
— National Finalist: Staff, Terp Weekly Edition, Spring 2008, University of Maryland, College Park, “Terp Weekly Edition Special Report: Out of the shadows”
— National Finalist: Nathan Matson, Minnesota State University, Moorhead, “Ethanol Parts 1 and 2”

Radio Sports Reporting
— National Winner: Joe Staudenmayer & Jim Vassallo, Rowan University, “From first snap to stagg”
— National Finalist: April Dembosky, University of California, Berkeley, “No room for mermaids in synchronized swimming”
— National Finalist: Marco LaNave, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, “Sliding to the finish line: Gopher football 2008”

Radio Newscast
— National Winner: Staff, Annenberg Radio News, University of Southern California
— National Finalist: Staff, Carolina Connection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
— National Finalist: Staff, Daily Illini On-Air, University of Illinois

Television Breaking News Reporting
— National Winner: Miles Doran & Patrick Fleming, University of Florida, “Tropical Storm Fay”
— National Finalist: John Wist, University of Maryland, College Park, “Bank robbery”
— National Finalist: Josh Middleton, Colorado State University, “Iraq vets march for peace to DNC”

Television General News Reporting
— National Winner: Carly J. Swain, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, “Dead man walking” series
— National Finalist: Ashley Cohen, University of South Florida, “Meningitis Awareness”
— National Finalist: Rossana Woo & Simone Luker, California State University, Northridge, “Train Crash”

Television Feature
— National Winner: A. Seraphina Lin, Northwestern University, “A special bond: Brooke’s journey”
— National Finalist: Catherine Ciciretto & Sloane Cameron, University of Oregon, “Bass Driven”
— National Finalist: Amber Dixon, Arizona State University, “Dairy in the city”

Television In-Depth Reporting
— National Winner: Student Documentary Unit, University of Montana, “Dear Mom”
— National Finalist: Amanda Soares, Arizona State University, “Children of the borderlands”
— National Finalist: Marci Manley, University of Arkansas, “Weathering the storm”

Television Sports Reporting
— National Winner: Ashley Porter & Richard Feindel, Emerson College, “Kick to the finish”
— National Finalist: Liam Scholey & Breanna Roy, University of Montana, “Overcoming Obstacles”
— National Finalist: Jason Kahn, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, “Ping pong phenom”

Television News Photography
— National Winner: Kyle Johnson & Christopher Flynn, Minnesota State University, Moorhead, “Energy Drinks”
— National Finalist: Mathew Mendez, University of Southern California, “Wildfires”
— National Finalist: Cassandra Wilson, University of Maryland, College Park, “MD voters work VA”

Television Feature Photography
— National Winner: Amber Dixon, Arizona State University, “Dairy in the city”
— National Finalist: Jennifer Carpenter, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, “Golden Olympics”
— National Finalist: Tim Gerszewski, Minnesota State University, Moorhead, “Earth Day”

Television Sports Photography
— National Winner: Richard Feindel, Emerson College, “Kick to the finish”
— National Finalist: Michael Seiden, Arizona State University, “Fighting for redemption”
— National Finalist: Jason Kahn, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, “Ping pong phenom”

Television Newscast
— National Winner: Staff, WUFT News, University of Florida, WUFT Newscasts
— National Finalist: Staff, WVU News, West Virginia University, WVU Newscasts
— National Finalist: College of Communications, The Pennsylvania State University, “Centre County Report”

Online News Reporting
— National Winner: Staff, NYCity News Service, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, “Election 2008: A date with history”
— National Finalist: Alison Denny, Matthew Burrows & Michael Shawn Tucker, Arizona State University, “ASU Crime”
— National Finalist: McKenzie Romero & Matthew Montgomery, Southern Utah University, “Fire destroys local businesses”

Online Feature Reporting
— National Winner: Ryan Kost, Arizona State University, “U.S. children stuck in Mexican orphanages”
— National Finalist: Kristen M. Daum, Michigan State University, “Three youths battle to breathe”
— National Finalist: Staff, Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation, Colorado State University, “AIDS Awareness”

Online In-Depth Reporting
— National Winner: JMC 470 & JMC 494, Arizona State University, “Divided Families”
— National Finalist: Staff, The Red & Black, University of Georgia, “A semester of shame”
— National Finalist: Staff, North by Northwestern, Northwestern University, “Freshman housing guide 2008”

Online Sports Reporting
— National Winner: Courtney Servaes, Zack Rockey, Chelsea Twietmeyer & Chris Smith, Baker University, “65-27 Morningside”
— National Finalist: Joel Ede, Jimmy Graben, Logan Hopkins & Bryan Cole, California State University, Fresno, “San Jose win give Dogs bowl hope”
— National Finalist: Patrick St. Michel, Jason Plautz, Tom Giratikanon & Michael Lanning, Northwestern University, “North by Northwestern at the 2008 Alamo Bowl”

Online Opinion and Commentary
— National Winner: Nate Hulings, Pacific Lutheran University
— National Finalist: Jason Plautz, Northwestern University
— National Finalist: Pamela Richter, Elon University

Best Affiliated Web site
— National Winner: Staff, Maryland Newsline & Capital News Service, University of Maryland, College Park, “Maryland Newsline”
— National Finalist: Staff, State Press & Web Devil, Arizona State University, “Web Devil”
— National Finalist: Staff,, Texas Christian University, “”

Best All-Around Independent Online Student Publication
— National Winner: JMC 470 & JMC 494, Arizona State University, “Cronkite Zine”
— National Finalist: Staff, Northwestern University, “North by Northwestern”
— National Finalist: Staff, NYCityNews Service, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, “NYCity News Service”