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Mark of Excellence Awards
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Questions?
Contact awards@spj.org.

Awards & Honors Committee

Andy Schotz, chair
@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.

2014 Mark of Excellence
National Winners and Finalists

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


2014 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 2014 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2014.

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 2015 conference in Orlando. Follow this link for conference information.


Newspapers

Breaking News Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner: “Wildcat clash with police officers,” by staff of The Daily Wildcat, University of Arizona

Read online

— National Finalist: “Fort Hood shooting leaves three dead,” by Rebecca Fiedler, Rae Jefferson and Paula Ann Solis, Baylor University
— National Finalist: “Katz, trustee and alumnus, dies in plane crash,” by Marcus McCarthy and Joe Brandt, Temple University


Breaking News Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner: “Mold discovered in Elon’s Loy Center addressed by physical plant,” by Michael Bodley, Elon University

Read online

— National Finalist: “Allies, trustees clash over college policy,” by Juliet Suess, Occidental College
— National Finalist: “CCSL drops five Campaigns,” by Lynsey Thut, Abilene Christian University


General News Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner: “Facing a Waning Future,” by Virgie Hoban, University of California, Berkeley

Read online

— National Finalist: “When students die,” by Megan Jula, Indiana University
— National Finalist: “Maryland's International Relationships,” by Idrees Ali and Capital News Service staff, Philip Merrill College of Journalism


General News Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner: “A Viral View,” by Lena Lee, University of Texas at Tyler

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: “Commercial Drones Take Off in Charlotte,” by Rachel Adams-Heard, Washington and Lee University


In-Depth Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner: “Wake of the Storm,” by Katie Shepherd, UCLA

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

— National Finalist: “Animal Heights,” by Lisa Khoury, University at Buffalo
— National Finalist: “On Campus, Grenade Launchers, M-16s, and Armored Vehicles,” by Daniel Bauman, Webster University


In-Depth Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner: “Simple Justice,” by UWT Justice Project at The Ledger, University of Washington Tacoma

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: “A history of red tape,” by Teo Armus, Annie Bryan and Catie Edmondson, Columbia University
— National Finalist: “Cutting master’s pay spells trouble for graduate programs, teachers,” by Katy Canada, Elon University


Feature Writing, Large School Division

National Winner: “At Home in America,” by Mara Klecker, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: “Still Standing,” by Brea Gaudioso, University of Montana
— National Finalist: “Homeless or Not, he's got the month of May,” by Elizabeth Greiwe, Loyola University Chicago


Feature Writing, Small School Division

National Winner: “The Unspoken series,” by Kari Travis, Taylor University

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: “A day with Google Glass,” by Emily Andras, Loyola University New Orleans
— National Finalist: “The Gates Within,” by Madeline R. Conway and Steven R. Watros, Harvard College


Sports Writing, Large School Division

National Winner: “Science of the Serve,” by Thuc Nhi Nguyen, University of Washington

Read online

— National Finalist: “Former Husker football player overcomes drug addiction,” by Chris Heady, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
— National Finalist: “Northwestern's LGBT athletes struggle to find their voices amid a lacking support system,” by Tyler Pager, Northwestern University


Sports Writing, Small School Division

National Winner: “Disorderly Conduct,” by Orlea L. Miller and Juliet Spies-Gans, Harvard College

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: “Men's basketball to leave C-USA as champions,” by Jesse Keipp, University of Tulsa
— National Finalist: “Sabons & Stach: An overseas journey,” by Eden Laase, Gonzaga University


Editorial Writing

National Winner: “Our View,” by The Crimson White Editorial Board, The University of Alabama

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: “Sexual Assault and Students' Right to Vote,” by The Daily Reveille Editorial Board, Louisiana State University
— National Finalist: “Phoenix Editorials,” by Daniel Block, Izzy Kornblatt, Z.L. Zhou and Nehmat Kaur, Swarthmore College


General Column Writing, Large School Division

National Winner: Yi "Patrick" An, University of Maryland College Park

Read online: Link 1 | 2 | 3

— National Finalist: “Americans influenced more by YA; #getoverit; Ruined by emails,” by Trey Ross, university of arizona
— National Finalist: “Just to Claire-ify,” by Claire Dodson, University of Tennessee


General Column Writing, Small School Division

National Winner: Jims Porter, Indiana University Southeast

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: “Secret lives of home-schoolers; Grace eludes some particularly me; America embraces its inner nerd,” by Brooke A. Rogers, Laramie County Community College
— National Finalist: “Russ Davis,” by Russ Davis, University of Washington Tacoma


Sports Column Writing

National Winner: Kevin Bowman, UCLA

Read online: Link 1 | 2 | 3

— National Finalist: “Fourth and 26,” by Jesse Flickinger, The University of Montana
— National Finalist: “Jim Dayton Columns,” by Jim Dayton, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper

National Winner: The State News, Michigan State University

Download sample issues [PDF]: 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 Loyola Phoenix, Loyola University Chicago

Download sample issues [PDF]: Issue 1 | 2 | 3

— National Finalist: The Ithacan, Ithaca College
— National Finalist: The Journal, Webster University

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Magazines

Best Student Magazine

National Winner: Curb Magazine, University of Wisconsin-Madison

View online Edition

— National Finalist: Backdrop Magazine, Ohio University
— National Finalist: The Planet, Western Washington University


Non-Fiction Magazine Article

National Winner: “Fever of Unknown Origin,” by Brittany Patterson, University of California at Berkeley

Download [PDF]

— National Finalist: “Dear Dolly,” by Jenna Fagan, Indiana University
— National Finalist: “The Lost Branch,” by Lily Katz, University of Washington

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Art/Graphics

Breaking News Photography, Large School Division


National Winner: “Ablaze,” by Andrew Mather, University of Central Missouri

— National Finalist: “Mug Shot,” by Akash Ghai, The Pennsylvania University
— National Finalist: “Undocumented Student Demonstration,” by John Roark, University of Georgia


Breaking News Photography, Small School Division

National Winner: “Waverly Shooting,” by Al Drago, Elon University

— National Finalist: “Silent Witness,” by Karleigh Santry, Slippery Rock University
— National Finalist: “Black Lives Matter,” by James Crissman, Emory University


General News Photography, Large School Division


National Winner: “Grand Haven community holds candlelight vigil for Trevor Howard,” by Julie Angell, Michigan State University

— National Finalist: “Brown wins democratic nomination, faces Larry Hogan in general election,” by Christian Jenkins , University of Maryland
— National Finalist: “Housing the universe,” by Cary Wilton, Washington State University


General News Photography, Small School Division


National Winner: “Last Touch,” by Al Drago, Elon University

— National Finalist: “Juggling hats,” by Matthew Strissel, Northwest College
— National Finalist: “Students were given the opportunity...” by Chad Phillips, Baker University


Feature Photography, Large School Division


National Winner: “Stripping down stereotypes,” by Abi Reimold, Temple University

— National Finalist: “Poetic Prophecy,” by John Farmer de la Torre, University of Missouri-Columbia
— National Finalist: “Gold Dust,” by Kelly Smith, Gabrielle Mottaz, University of Miami


Feature Photography, Small School Division


National Winner: “Festivus,” by Al Drago, Elon University

— National Finalist: “That old Voodoo magic,” by Zach Brien, Loyola University New Orleans
— National Finalist: “A Baseball Man,” by Rebecca Castagna, Quinnipiac University


Photo Illustration, Large School Division


National Winner: “CommUNITY: Community, not color, builds identity,” by Laura Woodside and Kayla Stigall, University of Texas-Arlington

— National Finalist: “Homecoming,” by Autumn Mariano, Kaitlyn Johnson and Skyler Pyle, Weber State University
— National Finalist: “Richter library celebrates Banned Books Week,” by Nick Gangemi, University of Miami


Photo Illustration, Small School Division


National Winner: “Trafficking Trap,” by Cole Norum, Drake University

— National Finalist: “It could be you,” by Gabriella Warren, Northwest College


Sports Photography, Large School Division


National Winner: “Rozier steals and storms,” by Austin Lassell, University of Louisville

— National Finalist: “Snowboard Competition,” by Griffin Harrington, James Madison University
— National Finalist: “Jubilation,” by Caity Kramer, The Pennsylvania University


Sports Photography, Small School Division


National Winner: “Gonzaga Soccer,” by Ryan Sullivan, Gonzaga University

— National Finalist: “Eye Ball,” by Al Drago, Elon University
— National Finalist: “#CowboyUp,” by Tamara Rodgers, Laramie County Community College


Editorial Cartooning


National Winner: Jay Fondin, The George Washington University

View online: Link 1 | 2 | 3

— National Finalist: Connor Coughlin, North Idaho College
— National Finalist: Jonathan Wences and Alex Hernandez, Eastfield College

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Radio

Radio News Reporting

National Winner: “Greenworks employes ex-cons,” by Reem Nasr, University of Michigan

— National Finalist: “Ridesharing apps cause concern for local taxi companies,” by Jessica Clark, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
— National Finalist: “You Should Know: Bus Boycott Pioneer Mary Smith,” by Katy Ganaway, David Caddell and Winn Carroll, Troy University


Radio Feature

National Winner: “Me, my dad and Marvin Gaye,” by Sarah Zahedi, University of Southern California

— National Finalist: “Painting To Your Own Beat,” by Molly Evans, University of Oklahoma
— National Finalist: “Cell phones making it harder to sleep,” by Parth Shah, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Radio In-Depth Reporting

National Winner: “Beleaguered School in Far Rockaway Bounces Back,” by Gwynne Hogan, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

— National Finalist: “Marijuana Birds-I-View,” by Tyler Bachman, Emily Pomorski and the WZND News Team, Illinois State University
— National Finalist: “UNC academic scandal,” by Carolina Connection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Radio Sports Reporting

National Winner: “Race Fans Flock For The ‘Almost-Crashes’,” by Peter Haden, Arizona State University

— National Finalist: “Dave Finn: Golf Fanatic,” by Rich DeKorte, Hofstra University
— National Finalist: “KBVU Sports Homecoming Week,” by Tanner Hoops, Buena Vista University


Best All-Around Radio Newscast

National Winner: Carolina Connection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

— National Finalist: WRHU-FM Newsline, Hofstra University
— National Finalist: ARN Live Show, University of Southern California

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Television

Television Breaking News Reporting


Watch online

National Winner: “Spanish Trace Shootings,” by Nicole Acevedo, Molly Robinson, James Torrez and Stephanie Matarazzo, University of Florida

— National Finalist: “CMU Protests Ferguson Decision,” by Clayton Cummins, Central Michigan University
— National Finalist: “Waiting Game—Midterm Elections,” by Paul Dudley, Jake Dmochowski, David Shorr and Susan Walker, Boston University


Television General News Reporting


Watch online

National Winner: “Mesa police body cameras,” by Tara Molina, Arizona State University

— National Finalist: “Controversy Over Emissions Testing,” by Brandon Fonda and Aaron Griffiths, Utah State University
— National Finalist: “‘Shake and Bake’ Changing the Face of the Local Meth Industry,” by Omar Jimenez, Northwestern University


Television Feature Reporting


Watch online

National Winner: “Fun with Physics,” by Onize Ohikere, Minnesota State University Moorhead

— National Finalist: “GDD Wine Class,” by Nicole Suarez, DePaul University
— National Finalist: “Powerful Performer,” by Lily Checketts, Brigham Young University


Television In-Depth Reporting


Watch online

National Winner: “Arizona’s Water Future,” by Vondalynn Dias, ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

— National Finalist: “ViewFinder: A Free Smile,” by Bradleigh Chance, Tim Drummond, Phil Staiman, Drew Snadecki, Chloe Leshner, Shannon Atran and Megan Brooke, University of Maryland
— National Finalist: “Underemployment in Utah,” by Justin Ashby, Brigham Young University


Television Sports Reporting


Watch online

National Winner: “Concussions: It's a Girl Thing, Too,” by Kari Osep, ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

— National Finalist: “UW Boxing,” by Alex Bosco, University of Washington
— National Finalist: “Recruiting Rankings,” by Rixon Lane, University of South Carolina


Television News and Feature Photography


Watch online

National Winner: “Breakthrough law strives to bring gender equality to Senegal’s government,” by Contessa Gayles and Ali Withers, NYU

— National Finalist: “Depression: The Hidden Struggle,” by Jetske Wauran, University of La Verne
— National Finalist: “There's something happening here,” by Daniel Hamburg, Michigan State University


Television Sports Photography


Watch online

National Winner: “Scuba Class at MSUM,” by Lindsay Anderson and Mike Hanson, Minnesota State University Moorhead

— National Finalist: “CircumBurke Challenge,” by Kevin Kelleher, Lyndon State College
— National Finalist: “Warren East Practice,” by Daniel Blommel, Western Kentucky University


Best All-Around Television Newscast


Watch online

National Winner: Cronkite News, ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

— National Finalist: Carolina Week, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
— National Finalist: Northwestern News Report, Northwestern University

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Online

Online News Reporting

National Winner: “Iowa Chinese Students Struggle to Adjust, Feel Lack of Support,” by Lu Shen, University of Iowa

Read online: Read online

— National Finalist: “Black Lives Matter protest sparks conversation about on-campus racism,” by Lyssa Goldberg, University of Miami
— National Finalist: “The Kenny ‘Zulu’ Whitmore Case,” by staff, Northwestern University


Online Feature Reporting

National Winner: “Saving Sisay,” by Faiz Siddiqui, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Read online

— National Finalist: “Dad's bucket,” by Charles Scudder, Anna Teeter and Missy Wilson, Indiana University
— National Finalist: “American Dream, Mexican Nightmare,” by Lucinda Holt and Sarah Self-Walbrick, Texas Tech University


Online In-Depth Reporting

National Winner: “DenseCity,” by NYCity News Service staff, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

Visit website

— National Finalist: “Whole Hog: The Power of Pork,” by Powering A Nation staff, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
— National Finalist: “Breaking the Class Ceiling,” by Shelbi Anderson, Jeff Wade, Ricardo Quintana and Jared Jakins, Brigham Young University


Online Opinion and Commentary

National Winner: Alexa Epitropoulos, Flagler College

Read online: Link 1 | 2 | 3

— National Finalist: Meryl Gottlieb, Ohio University
— National Finalist: Abby Student, Washington State University


Online Sports Reporting

National Winner: “Baltimore's Forgotten Champions: An Oral History of the Baltimore Stallions,” by CNS Staff, University of Maryland College of Journalism

Read online

— National Finalist: “For the love of baseball,” by Steven Goldstein, Northwestern University


Best Use of Multimedia

National Winner: “Whole Hog: The Power of Pork,” by Powering A Nation staff, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Visit website

— National Finalist: “Chop, boom, you're gone,” by The Temple News Staff, Temple University
— National Finalist: “Our Blue Highways,” by Vox staff, University of Missouri-Columbia


Best Affiliated Website

National Winner: Vandal Nation, University of Idaho

Visit website

— National Finalist: The Harvard Crimson, Harvard College
— National Finalist: Central Florida Future, University of Central Florida


Best Digital-Only Student Publication

National Winner: Bellwethr, Syracuse University

Visit website

— National Finalist: Vox Magazine iPad edition, University of Missouri-Columbia
— National Finalist: West Virginia Uncovered, Reed College of Media, West Virginia University


Best Independent Online Student Publication

National Winner: NYCity News Service, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

Visit website

— National Finalist: “Driving Forces, Innovation on Montana's Reservations,” by Native News Project Team 2014, University of Montana School of Journalism

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