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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.

2017 Mark of Excellence
National Winners and Finalists

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Newspapers
Magazines
Art/Graphics
Radio
Television
Online
Videography


2017 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 2017 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2017.

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 2018 conference in Baltimore. Follow this link for conference information.


Newspapers

Breaking News Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner

OSU walkout complete coverage
The Baro Staff, Oregon State University

Read online

National Finalist: “Protesters take a stand, outnumber Spencer supporters,” by Ian Cohen, Romy Ellenbogen, David Hoffman and Jimena Tavel, University of Florida
National Finalist: “June flood coverage,” by Mitchell Kukulka and McKenzie Sanderson, Central Michigan University


Breaking News Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner

Gas leak interrupts class, spurs evacuations
Brock Turner, DePauw University

Read online

National Finalist: “Historic building collapses in Pomona,” by Brooke Grasso and Gabriella Chikhani, University of La Verne
National Finalist: “College Republicans react to notes left on poster,” by Katherine Bauer, Drake University


General News Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner

Tracking impact of budget cuts
Forrest Holt, Cody Cottier and Jessica Zhou, Washington State University

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

National Finalist: “Succession of scandals hits Auburn Athletics,” by Chip Brownlee, Sam Willoughby and Will Sahlie, Auburn University
National Finalist: “Parents push for Texas to screen all newborns for spinal muscular atrophy,” by Matthew Choi, Northwestern University


General News Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner

Sexual assault: It happens here, too
Diego Pineda, Elon University

Read online

National Finalist: “Choosing not to sign the covenant,” by Mady Fortier, Bethel University
National Finalist: “ROTC adjusts training in era of mass shootings,” by Claire Desmarais and Brennan Robinson, University of Portland


In-Depth Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner

‘It’s Real’: A seven-part look at how sexual assault is handled at the University of Maryland
Staff of The Diamondback, University of Maryland

Read online: Link 1Link 2

National Finalist: “Breaking the silence,” by Staff of Marquette Wire, Marquette University
National Finalist: “In the dark: Records shed light on sexual misconduct at Kentucky universities,” by Nicole Ares, Western Kentucky University


In-Depth Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner

Define: Gordon, an investigation by The Tartan
Staff of The Tartan, Gordon College

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3Link 4Link 5Link 6

National Finalist: “The undocumented general,” by Hannah Denham, Washington and Lee University
National Finalist: “Behind the blue,” by Savanna DiStefano, Harding University


Feature Writing, Large School Division

National Winner

While the Oakland Fire Department takes heat, a new generation of firefighters comes of age
Rosa Furneaux, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Read online

National Finalist: “The Whole Picture: How a cheerleader became the face of Syracuse University on the night of the Pan Am Flight 103 attack,” by Satoshi Sugiyama, Syracuse University
National Finalist: “The third life of Darryl Pinkins,” by Taylor Telford, Indiana University


Feature Writing, Small School Division

National Winner

The call to the Church
Hannah Sievert, University of Portland

Read online

National Finalist: “Christmas trees stop costal erosion in Jefferson Parish,” by Colleen Dulle, Loyola University New Orleans
National Finalist: “Discharged from America,” by Michael McDonald, Southwestern College


Sports Writing, Large School Division

National Winner

Afraid of the unknown
Michal Dwojak, University of Ilinois

Read online

National Finalist: “Unwanted, unconventional and unrelenting: the Michael Wroblewski story,” by Orion Sang, University of Michigan
National Finalist: “‘My escape’: How football saved Antwan Cordy’s life,” by Jon Mettus, Syracuse University


Sports Writing, Small School Division

National Winner

Tall standards
Ben Arthur, University of Portland

Read online

National Finalist: “Reaching for a dream on her tiptoes,” by Maddie DeBilzan, Bethel University
National Finalist: “‘Knott’ to be denied: Fearless fifth-year talks life in Florida, finally winning Patriot League,” by Austin Vitelli, Lehigh University


Editorial Writing

National Winner

Brown and White editorials
Sam Topp, Lehigh University

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: The Daily Reveille Editorial Board, Louisiana State University
National Finalist: Staff of North Texas Daily, University of North Texas


General Column Writing, Large School Division

National Winner

Kyle Hampel, Kansas State University

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: Mariana Alfaro, Northwestern University
National Finalist: Tafari Robertson, Texas State University


General Column Writing, Small School Division

National Winner

Madeleine Lucchetti, Butler University

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: Rachel Rippetoe, University of Portland
National Finalist: Maddie DeBilzan, Carlo Holmberg and Kellie Lawless, Bethel University


Sports Column Writing

National Winner

Ethan Bauer, University of Florida

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: Jack McLoone and Alvin Halimwidjaya, Fordham University
National Finalist: Logan Jones, Utah State University


Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper

National Winner

The Daily Orange
Syracuse University

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: Iowa State Daily, Iowa State University
National Finalist: The Daily Evergreen, Washington State University


Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper

National Winner

The Post
Ohio University

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: The Temple News, Temple University
National Finalist: The Miami Hurricane, University of Miami


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Magazines

Best Student Magazine

National Winner

Focus Magazine: Rebuild
Baylor University

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: Hill Magazine, University of Arkansas
National Finalist: Vox Magazine, University of Missouri


Non-Fiction Magazine Article

National Winner

Missouri’s opioid epidemic
Rick Morgan, University of Missouri

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: “Life amid the levees,” by Jacob Shea, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
National Finalist: “A water-bottling plant creates a rift in Montana,” by Olga Kreimer, University of Montana


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Art/Graphics

Breaking News Photography, Large School Division

National Winner

No winner awarded

National Finalist: “Hunter sets eyes on governing after SGA presidential win,” by Jacob Arthur, University of Alabama
National Finalist: “Urban Meyer walks through enemy lines,” by Jack Westerheide, Ohio State University


Breaking News Photography, Small School Division

National Winner

Total eclipse
Ben Davis, Lipscomb University

View gallery online

National Finalist: “Dreamer,” by Natalie Mosqueda, Southwestern College
National Finalist: “Fists rising in fall,” by Brenna Sinding, Peninsula College


General News Photography, Large School Division

National Winner

Couple hug in rubble of home
Dakota McGranahan, Santa Rosa Junior College

National Finalist: “Taking a bite out of the competition,” by Antonella Crescimbeni, Penn State
National Finalist: “The people united,” by Abby Potter, Western Kentucky University


General News Photography, Small School Division

National Winner

That’s an image that will always be in my head
Nikole Kost, Point Park University

National Finalist: “Women’s March draws hundreds of people,” by Jose Arredondo, Texas A&M University-San Antonio


Feature Photography, Large School Division

National Winner

Mutton Busted (2017 Fiesta de los Vaqueros)
Rebecca Noble, University of Arizona

View gallery online

National Finalist: “Marching Chips,” by Josie Norris, Central Michigan University


Feature Photography, Small School Division

National Winner

Concert glow
Lauren Franco, Abilene Christian University

National Finalist: “What does the hijab mean to you?,” by Annika Gordon, University of Portland
National Finalist: “#WhyWeMarch,” by Samantha Reposa, University of New Haven


Photo Illustration, Large School Division

National Winner

War stories
Hannah Burnett, University of California, Los Angeles

View online

National Finalist: “3 and out,” by Zbigniew Sikora, Oregon State University
National Finalist: “2017 eclipse,” by Kiffer Creveling, University of Utah


Photo Illustration, Small School Division

National Winner

The Mystician 78.6 Reality Check: Reporters Talk Real News
Hunter Andes and Quinnlyn Nelson, Bismarck State College

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: “The life and struggles of a domestic abuse survivor,” by Emily Rowan, Cabrini University
National Finalist: “Debuting Dorrel,” by Lauren Franco, Abilene Christian University


Sports Photography, Large School Division

National Winner

Drake relays
Emily Blobaum, Iowa State University

National Finalist: “At arm's length,” by Kelsea Hobbs, Western Kentucky University
National Finalist: “Little League World Series Champions,” by Linsey Fagan, Penn State


Sports Photography, Small School Division

National Winner

No winner awarded

National Finalist: “Head above the rest,” by Alexander Contreras, Southwestern College


Editorial Cartooning

National Winner

Jake Thrasher, University of Mississippi

National Finalist: Eva Shen, University of Maryland
National Finalist: Dan Cordero and Michelle Phillips, Southwestern College


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Radio

Radio News Reporting

National Winner

Strike a chord: Addiction series
Jonathan Woodward, Fordham University

Listen online: Link 1Link 2Link 3Link 4Link 5

National Finalist: “Butte holds ‘wake’ for birds killed in the Berkeley Pit,” by Nora Saks, University of Montana


Radio Feature

National Winner

Dining with Doyle
Neil Doyle, Illinois State University

National Finalist: “Peer treatment program offers new hope in Fort Belknap,” by Nora Saks, University of Montana
National Finalist: “The appeal of modern obstacle courses,” by Hannah Jerome, University of Kansas


Radio In-Depth Reporting

National Winner

When the lights go out, and stay out
Luke Sullivan, University of Florida

Read story and listen online

National Finalist: “Grieving father takes on district attorney's office,” by Elizabeth Tung, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
National Finalist: “Mar-a-Lago or Trump Tower: Could a federal law force Trump to choose?,” by Madeline Fox, Northwestern University


Radio Sports Reporting

National Winner

Brady's record day
Adam Rogers, Marshall University

Listen online

National Finalist: “Columbia College's Girls Who Game event connects teen girls to electronic sports,” by Hannah Haynes, University of Missouri
National Finalist: “May the best lifeguard win: Regional competition tests lifesaving skills of south Florida's rescuers,” by Allison Light, Princeton University


Best All-Around Radio Newscast

National Winner

Newsline
WRHU News Team, Hofstra University

National Finalist: “From Where We Are,” by Alana Bracken, William Rehbock, Gabe Gross, Iris Lee, University of Southern California
National Finalist: “Neil Doyle Newscast,” by Neil Doyle, Illinois State University


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Television

Television Breaking News Reporting

National Winner

USC active shooter scare
Sam Bergum, Garrett Schwartz, Taylor Edghill and Kim Rogers, University of Southern California

Watch online

National Finalist: “Winding Way house fire,” by Kinsey Grant, Washington and Lee University
National Finalist: “Pulse anniversary,” by Ryan Roberts and Daniela Hurtado, University of Florida


Television General News Reporting

National Winner

ViewFinder: a chief's promise
Emily Kallmyer, Jojo Dominick and Ryan Eskalis, University of Maryland

Watch online

National Finalist: “High school sexual assault,” by Grant Tosterud, University of Oklahoma
National Finalist: “Women's March on Madison,” by Jenna Gaidosh, Tisia Muzinga, Stevan Stojanovic and Jenna Graham, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Television Feature Reporting

National Winner

A survivor’s story
Jamie Weiss, Syracuse University

Watch online

National Finalist: “Opera - Good Day DePaul,” by Dan Beedie, DePaul University
National Finalist: “Bob Benson: The 87 Year Old Mirror Artist,” by Julianne Maxwell, University of Maryland


Television In-Depth Reporting

National Winner

ViewFinder: Aging
ViewFinder Fall 2017 Team, University of Maryland

Watch online

National Finalist: “Routes TV: Dirty little secrets,” by Jstyn Strain, University of Oklahoma


Television Sports Reporting

National Winner

D'Mauri Jones: Painting inspiration
David Perez, University of Miami

Watch online

National Finalist: “Triple threat: Meet Charlee Harris,” by Erin Kate Dolan, Penn State University
National Finalist: “Leigh Healey is finally ready to hit the bodybuilding stage,” by Grace Choi, Northwestern University


Best All-Around Television Newscast

National Winner: ViewFinder, University of Maryland

Watch online

— National Finalist: “WUFT News First at Five,” by WUFT News Student Staff, University of Florida
— National Finalist: “NewsLink Indiana,” by Mallory Weil, Tony Sandleben, Ryan McClain and Evan Like, Ball State University


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Online

Online News Reporting

National Winner

Killing Rikers
Newsroom 2017, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism

View online: Link 1Link 2

National Finalist: “Opioid overdose deaths continue to mount,” by Ryan Santistevan and Ben Moffat, Arizona State University
National Finalist: “On her own,” by Hallie Miller and Ellie Silverman, University of Maryland


Online Feature Reporting

National Winner

Life and terror: John Paul Mugisha finds a new life on The Bluff
Rachel Ramirez, University of Portland

Read online

National Finalist: “The life and struggles of a domestic abuse survivor,” by Caitlyn Huebner, Cabrini University
National Finalist: “Can't get there from here,” by Emma Sarappo, Northwestern University


Online In-Depth Reporting

National Winner

Montana's meth effect
Metheffect.com, University of Montana

View project online

National Finalist: “Breakdown,” by NYCity News Service Staff, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
National Finalist: “Keeping kids alive in West Virginia,” by Nick Foutrakis, Dalia Elsaid, Zane Coss and Jade Artherhults, West Virginia University


Online Opinion and Commentary

National Winner

State Press Editorial Board, Arizona State University

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3


Online Sports Reporting

National Winner

Heisman history
Joe Buettner, University of Oklahoma

View project online


Best Use of Multimedia

National Winner

Closed doors; open questions
Staff of OR Magazine, University of Oregon

More information/download ePub

National Finalist: “Our Gainesville,” by Staff of WUFT News, University of Florida
National Finalist: “When I am healed,” by Abby Potter, Western Kentucky University


Best Affiliated Website

National Winner

Alpine Living New Zealand
Jonathan Norris, Taylor Armer, Kaylin Bowen and Hailey Grace Steele, University of Alabama

Visit website

National Finalist: The Harvard Crimson, Harvard University
National Finalist: The Shorthorn, UT Arlington


Best Independent Online Student Publication

National Winner

City Blocks
Syracuse University

Visit website

National Finalist: Media Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
National Finalist: Urban Plains, Drake University


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Videography

Broadcast News Videography

National Winner

Solar eclipse
Ben Johnson and Jordan Davis, College of the Ozarks

Watch online

— National Finalist: “ViewFinder: On the call,” by Emily Olsen, University of Maryland
— National Finalist: “Trade drives rise of middle class in Mexico,” by Lillian Donahue, Arizona State University


Broadcast Feature Videography

National Winner

From the military to the classroom
Lauren Sinatra, Syracuse University

Watch online

— National Finalist: “ViewFinder: Take you there,” by Jay Reed, University of Maryland


Broadcast Sports Videography

National Winner

“Armstrong” — a purpose worthy of pursuit
Chris Venzon, Syracuse University

Watch online

— National Finalist: “Fighting for fearlessness,” by Tyler Paley, Arizona State University
— National Finalist: “Feel close to him,” by Griffin Wasik, Michigan State University


Online/Digital News Videography

National Winner

No winner awarded

— National Finalist: “Unstable ground in Pinal County,” by Melanie Abramoff, Arizona State University
— National Finalist: “Convict of 302: Death penalty in Pakistan,” by Shakeeb Asrar and Urooj Kamran Azmi, Northwestern University in Qatar


Online/Digital Sports Videography

National Winner

GCU's Russell gets 'one shining moment' on Final Four floor
Zac Pacleb, Arizona State University

Watch online

— National Finalist: “Beating the buzzer: Wizards keep games tight to the end,” by Evan J. Berkowitz and Gabe Fernandez, University of Maryland College of Journalism
— National Finalist: “Scaling new heights,” by Maria Camila Montañez and Carlos Serrano, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism


Online/Digital Feature Videography

National Winner

Troubled waters
Jesse Nichols and Kjell Redal, Western Washington University

Watch online

— National Finalist: “ViewFinder: Going home,” by Tina Vo and Pearl Mak, University of Maryland
— National Finalist: “Battling fate,” by Josh Barnhart, Central Michigan University


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