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Mark of Excellence Awards
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Awards
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Mark of Excellence
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Questions?
Contact Matthew Kent.

Awards & Honors Committee

Sue Kopen Katcef, chair
Philip Merrill College of Journalism
University of Maryland
301-405-7526
@umnewsie
Email
Bio (click to expand) picture Sue Kopen Katcef is an award winning reporter who's currently the Broadcast Bureau Director for the Capital News Service operated by the Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Sue has been a member of SPJ since 1974 (when it was still Sigma Delta Chi) while a student at the University of Maryland. She is a past president of the Maryland Pro Chapter and a former long-time board member of the Washington, D.C. Pro Chapter. She has previously served on the SPJ national board as a campus adviser at-large and is currently SPJ's National Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs. Sue has served on SPJ's Awards & Honors Committee for a number of years. As chair of the committee, Sue led the panel in what is now an on-going review of both the MOE and SDX awards to try and contemporize both contests. Sue has submitted MOE entries (on behalf of her students) as well as judged and coordinated (regionally) the Mark of Excellence contest and served as a judge for many years of the Sigma Delta Chi contest.

Andy Schotz, vice chair
@spjregion2
Email

2018 Mark of Excellence
National Winners and Finalists

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Radio
Television
Videography
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2018 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
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Region 12

The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the national winners of the 2018 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2018.

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 2019 conference in San Antonio. Follow this link for conference information.


Newspapers

Breaking News Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner

Yale student Saifullah Khan navigates rape charges
Britton O'Daly, Hailey Fuchs, Jingyi Cui and Serena Cho, Yale University

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

National Finalist: “Bomb threat at University of Kentucky,” by Staff, University of Kentucky
National Finalist: “DJ Durkin fired as Maryland football's coach,” by Diamondback Staff, University of Maryland


Breaking News Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner

“After months, an arrest and some answers in Mandadi case”
Grace Frye, Daniel Conrad and Kathleen Creedon, Trinity University

Read online

National Finalist: “Rains from Tropical Storm Michael drench Elon,” by Anton L. Delgado, Elon University
National Finalist: “Sit-in leads to meeting with University President Mark C. Reed,” by Ana Faguy and Luke Malanga, Saint Joseph's University


General News Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner

Arrest Sparks Allegations of Police Brutality
The Crimson News Staff, Harvard College

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

National Finalist: “UI student research found over 100 birds collided into 5 campus buildings in 10 weeks,” by Katelyn Weisbrod, University of Iowa
National Finalist: “Sexual Harassment on Campus,” by Talis Shelbourne, Jennifer Rick, Henry Morgan, Madison Sepanik, Elizabeth Sloan, Nyesha Stone and Miela Fetaw, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


General News Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner

As Silent Sam is toppled, conversation around Confederate monuments continues
Alex Hager and Emmanuel Morgan, Elon University

Read online

National Finalist: “On border road, a barrier to entry marks a changing way of life,” by Alexandre Silberman, St. Thomas University
National Finalist: “Butler Dining Services,” by The Butler Collegian, Butler University


In-Depth Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner

Corporate Influence Series
Michael Burke, Syracuse University

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: “Chartwells Workers Series,” by Megan Zerez, University of Texas at Dallas
National Finalist: “Wild admits knowledge of clergy abuse allegations,” by Morgan Hughes, Marquette University


In-Depth Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner

Police assault homeless black man outside of protest
Katy Stegall, Southwestern College

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: “Flaws in Florida's SunPass toll system,” by Hannah Denham, Washington and Lee University
National Finalist: “Collado Has Sexual Abuse Conviction, Denies Guilt,” by Aidan Quigley, Ithaca College


Feature Writing, Large School Division

National Winner

The man in black
Jack Evans, Indiana University

Read online

National Finalist: “The Village That Flipped Back,” by Royce Podeszwa and Derek Grant, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
National Finalist: “Working Stiffs series,” by Staff, University of North Texas


Feature Writing, Small School Division

National Winner

Super-Fly struggles
Callahan Jones, Cedarville University

Read online

National Finalist: “Making life small,” by Brigid Lowney and Molly Lowney, University of Portland
National Finalist: “Bickford makes leap in frog science,” by Catalina Diaz, University of La Verne


Sports Writing, Large School Division

National Winner

BJ Duling: Meet the high-flying freshman with style on and off the court
Cameron Hoover, Kent State University

Read online

National Finalist: “After the last sunset: Patterson's legacy lives in new OSU soccer stadium, beyond,” by Hallie Hart, Oklahoma State University
National Finalist: “A new hope,” by Jordan Guskey, Indiana University


Sports Writing, Small School Division

National Winner

Hurdles of Life
Brittany Cruz-Fejeran, Southwestern College

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: “Butler’s Matt Howard at a crossroads in professional basketball career,” by Drew Favakeh, Butler University
National Finalist: “Career-ending injury doesn't hinder Bain's legacy,” by Tim Miller, Cedarville University


Editorial Writing

National Winner

Daily Bruin Editorial Board
University of California, Los Angeles

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: “Kentucky Kernel Editorials,” by Staff, University of Kentucky


General Column Writing, Large School Division

National Winner

Josh Petersen, University of Utah

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: Rizza Estacio, University of California, Berkeley
National Finalist: Didi Martinez, Maya Butler and Cameron Stuart, Baylor University


General Column Writing, Small School Division

National Winner

Madeleine Lucchetti, Butler University

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: Jenna Piper, Laramie County Community College
National Finalist: Alex Hentschel, Cedarville University


Sports Column Writing

National Winner

Locker Room Talk
Alicia Sadowski, University of California, Berkeley

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: Henry Zhu, Harvard College


Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper

National Winner

Yale Daily News
Yale University

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: The Daily Californian, University of California, Berkeley
National Finalist: The Daily Northwestern, Northwestern University


Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper

National Winner

The Shorthorn
University of Texas at Arlington

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: The Red & Black, University of Georgia
National Finalist: The Daily Pennsylvanian, University of Pennsylvania


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Magazines

Best Student Magazine

National Winner

North by Northwestern
Northwestern University

Read online

National Finalist: Curb: FEARless, University of Wisconsin-Madison
National Finalist: Yale Daily News Magazine, Yale University


Non-Fiction Magazine Article

National Winner

Sit-in at the Minute Inn
Lauren Puckett, University of Missouri

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: “Declined help, declining help,” by Teddy Rosenbluth, University of California, Los Angeles
National Finalist: “Diagnostic Deficit,” by Elizabeth Guthrie, Northwestern University


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Art/Graphics

Breaking News Photography, Large School Division

National Winner

After the National Championship Game
Casey Sykes, University of Georgia

See more photos

National Finalist: “Protesters flock to Capitol Hill to protest Supreme Court nominee,” by Margaret Wroblewski, The George Washington University
National Finalist: “Honoring King's Legacy,” by Ariel Cobbert, University of Mississippi


Breaking News Photography, Small School Division

National Winner

Scenes from Tropical Storm Michael
Anton L. Delgado, Elon University


General News Photography, Large School Division

National Winner

IV Party Attains Unprecedented Power with Election Victories
Juan Gonzalez, University of California, Santa Barbara

National Finalist: “Herculean Task, Little Help,” by Claudia Perez-Brito, University of Florida
National Finalist: “Faces of the Gun Divide,” by Media Milwaukee Staff, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


General News Photography, Small School Division

National Winner

In Solidarity
Grace Hulin, Drake University

See more photos [PDF]

National Finalist: “Back on top,” by Matt Repplier, Gonzaga University


Feature Photography, Large School Division

National Winner

The good, the bad, the tatted
Hannah LeTulle, Lamar University

See more photos [PDF]

National Finalist: “St. Thomas celebrates color-filled Holi,” by Esmee Verschoor, University of St. Thomas
National Finalist: “Wearing Her Game Face,” by Meiying Wu, University of Missouri


Feature Photography, Small School Division

National Winner

Despite Setbacks, Buku Festival triumphs
Angelo Imbraguglio, Loyola University New Orleans

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: “Through the Lens,” by Jefferine Jean-Jacques, Southern Connecticut State University
National Finalist: “JJ Johnston,” by Gavin Doremus, Gonzaga University


Photo Illustration, Large School Division

National Winner

A mass shooting generation
Jack Lambert, Central Washington University

National Finalist: “Hazing,” by Dani Watts, Kent State University
National Finalist: “Meteor Shower,” by Yutong Zhou, Penn State University


Photo Illustration, Small School Division

National Winner

#TheMentalIssue
Emily Griffin, Harding University

National Finalist: “Intersectionality,” by Stephanie Hays, Elon University
National Finalist: “Challenging Religious Traditions: College students are shedding family ties in quest for answers,” by Kat Owens, Lindenwood University


Sports Photography, Large School Division

National Winner

Photos: Ballyard Brawl mixes it up in Haymarket Park
Nicole Neri, Arizona State University

National Finalist: “Diving Catch,” by Eric Firestine, Penn State University
National Finalist: “Freshman quarterback,” by Josh Wineholt, Weber State University


Sports Photography, Small School Division

National Winner

Harlem Globetrotters kick off homecoming weekend with a bang
Jessica Rapfogel, Elon University

National Finalist: “Men's soccer team defeats Findley at home opener,” by Bill Woods, California University of Pennsylvania


Editorial Cartooning

National Winner

Aftin Gavin, Tarrant County College

National Finalist: Nick Sandifer, Washington State University
National Finalist: Samuel Myers, University of Kentucky


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Radio

Radio News Reporting

National Winner

Plastic Bag Fee
Storme Jones, University of Oklahoma

National Finalist: “Gang Impact,” by WFUV staff, Fordham University
National Finalist: “Some Missouri Healthcare Professionals, Advocates Disagree on Medical Marijuana Measures,” by Betsy Smith, University of Missouri


Radio Feature

National Winner

A Problem with Pythons
Alexa Lorenzo, University of Florida

Listen online

National Finalist: “A Dynamic Duo: Partnership Between Musicians And Public Land Agencies Inspires ‘Music For Nature,’” by Rhesa Ledbetter, Utah State University
National Finalist: “Choosing Abortion: Honest Reflections on a Private Decision,” by Alexis Amenson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Radio In-Depth Reporting

National Winner

Sleep Paralysis
Josh Christensen, Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

Listen online: Link 1Link 2

National Finalist: “Dairy Industry Threatened By Recent ICE Arrests,” by Taylor Pomasl, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
National Finalist: “Legacy of Missing Lloyd Gaines, 1938 Supreme Court Plaintiff, Still Haunts Higher Education,” by Kathryn Palmer, University of Missouri


Radio Sports Reporting

National Winner

Overcoming Adversity Through Archery
Meredith Sheldon, University of Florida

Listen online

National Finalist: “Sweep sweep victory: giving curling a try,” by Kennedy Erdossy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
National Finalist: “NCAA ISU Volleyball Recap,” by Julie Martin, Illinois State University


Best All-Around Radio Newscast

National Winner

From Where We Are
Rennie Svirnovsky, Sabby Robinson, Camila Rios and Selena Seay-Reynolds, University of Southern California

National Finalist: KGOU-FM Noon Newscast, University of Oklahoma
National Finalist: WUFT Radio Newscast, University of Florida


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Television

Television Breaking News Reporting

National Winner

Ole Miss Community Reacts to Controversial Facebook Post
Madison Scarpino, University of Mississippi

Watch online

National Finalist: Cronkite News Midterm Election Coverage, by Cronkite News Staff, Arizona State University
National Finalist: Hurricane Michael, by WUFT News, University of Florida


Television General News Reporting

National Winner

Medical Marijuana Businesses Booming in Florida
Clarisa Melendez, University of Florida

Watch online

National Finalist: “Oklahoma Baptist in Florida,” by Storme Jones, University of Oklahoma
National Finalist: “Helicopter Wreaks Havoc On Tailgate,” by Brandon Pelter, Penn State University


Television Feature Reporting

National Winner

Art Class Dementia
Samie Gebers, Arizona State University

Watch online

National Finalist: “Banana Jack,” by Karthik Venkataraman, Syracuse University
National Finalist: “Blessed: The Isaiah Westfall Story,” by Joe Scarella, St. Cloud State University


Television In-Depth Reporting

National Winner

Montana Jails: Slammed for Solutions
Student Documentary Unit (Spring 2018), University of Montana

Watch online

National Finalist: “Concrete Change,” by Courtney Mally, Marissa Roper and Maya Patrose, Arizona State University
National Finalist: “Survival,” by Alia Haytham, Ahmed Zada, Laila Sherif Said and Nada Mawsouf, The American University in Cairo


Television Sports Reporting

National Winner

A Dangerous Edge
David Perez, Luis Gonzalez and Gianna Sanchez, The University of Miami

Watch online

National Finalist: “Erin Fons Dives In,” by Aaron Simmons, Minnesota State University Moorhead


Best All-Around Television Newscast

National Winner

Annenberg TV News
Chris Cheshire, Courtney Burke, Cici Pan and Nick Alfano, University of Southern California

Watch online

National Finalist: Elon Local News, Elon University
National Finalist: WVU News, West Virginia University


Best All-Around News Magazine

National Winner

Centre County Report in Israel
Penn State University

Watch online

National Finalist: VCU InSight, Virginia Commonwealth University
National Finalist: Cronkite Sports Report, Arizona State University


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Online

Online News Reporting

National Winner

Algal Blooms in the Great Lakes: Investigating Efforts to Protect and Preserve Water Quality
Kurt Williams and Andrew Blok, Michigan State University

Read online

National Finalist: “Free Press or Oppressed: Why America Needs the Fourth Estate,” by Lauren Malner, Brigham Young University
National Finalist: “Tennessee death row inmates ask for electrocution over lethal injection. It’s a form of protest.” by Stavros Agorakis, Northwestern University


Online Feature Reporting

National Winner

Welcome to Barron
Media Milwaukee staff, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3Link 4

National Finalist: “Hidden Legends: Prominent black women in OU history,” by Anna Bauman, University of Oklahoma
National Finalist: “Virginia communities, legislators breathe new life into preserving black cemeteries,” by George Copeland Jr. and Thomas Jett, Virginia Commonwealth University


Online In-Depth Reporting

National Winner

In a hole: Arizona official lack funds to find, secure at least 100,000 abandoned mines
Chris McCrory, Arizona State University

Read online: Link 1Link 2

National Finalist: “1217,” by Jenny Roberts, Julie Christie and Sydney Schaefer, Temple University
National Finalist: “The impact of illegal immigration: from the Mexican border to Salt Lake City,” by Kaitlyn Bancroft, Riley Waldman and Jillian Argento, Brigham Young University


Online Opinion and Commentary

National Winner

Cody Corrall, DePaul University

Read online: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: Lindenlink Editorial Board, Lindenwood University


Online Sports Reporting

National Winner

In This Corner
Jacob Gedetsis and Bryan Cereijo, Syracuse University

Read online

National Finalist: “Safety in Numbers: Women find refuge through running groups,” by Jessica Spangler, Drake University


Best Use of Multimedia

National Winner

After Michael’s Fury, An Angel Saves The Forgotten In A Florida Tent City
Mackenzie Behm, University of Florida

Read online

National Finalist: “Food Plight,” by NYCity News Service staff, Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY
National Finalist: “Activism in Argentina: Protest, prostitution, feminism and faith,” by Connor Perrett, Kat Tenbarge, Marianne Dodson and Nate Doughty, Ohio University


Best Affiliated Website

National Winner

The Ball State Daily News
Ball State University

Visit website

National Finalist: ElonNewsNetwork.com, Elon University
National Finalist: theDP.com, University of Pennsylvania


Best Independent Online Student Publication

National Winner

NYCity News Service
Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

Visit website: Link 1Link 2Link 3Link 4

National Finalist: The State Press, Arizona State University
National Finalist: Catawba Calling, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill


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Videography

Broadcast News Videography

National Winner

The Wild is Closer Than It Appears
Tilly Marlatt, DePauw University

Watch online

National Finalist: “Helping with Cleanup After Record Storms,” by Lillian Donahue, Arizona State University
National Finalist: “Rookie Rider,” by Jacob Granneman, Washington State University


Broadcast Feature Videography

National Winner

Operation Restoring Hope
Matt Lively, Arizona State University

Watch online

National Finalist: “Give Kids a Smile Day,” by Sara Erickson, Minnesota State University Moorhead
National Finalist: “Mosquito Control,” by Amanda Kitch, Southeastern Louisiana University


Broadcast Sports Videography

National Winner

Rez Golf
Jake Trybuslki and Drake Dunaway, Arizona State University

Watch online

National Finalist: “BUBA Baseball,” by Alex Littlehales, University of Maryland
National Finalist: “Lions Basketball vs. LSU,” by Dylan Domangue, Southeastern Louisiana University


Online/Digital News Videography

National Winner

Breaking it Down: Partisan Gerrymandering
Katie Litwin, Penn State University

Watch online

National Finalist: “Boundary Waters mining battle,” by Charlie Siddons, University of St. Thomas
National Finalist: “A video portrait of election day in Evanston,” by staff of The Daily Northwestern, Northwestern University


Online/Digital Sports Videography

National Winner

Lady Movin' Mavs leave legacy
Arianna Vedia, University of Texas at Arlington

Watch online

National Finalist: “Sights and faces of Fight Night 2018,” by Grace Pritchett and Michelle Hanks, Western Kentucky University


Online/Digital Feature Videography

National Winner

Florida Voices | Brad Kendell, Sailing Forward
Mackenzie Behm, University of Florida

Watch online

National Finalist: “Restorative Flames: Igniting Oregon Forests,” by Delaney Young, University of Oregon
National Finalist: “Rooted In El Caño,” by Nathan Klima, Matt Couch, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill


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Podcasts

Podcasts

National Winner

Friends of the Promised Land
Alexander Richey and Alayna Clay, University of Alabama

Visit website

National Finalist: “Hate in America: Evolution of Hate,” by Storme Jones, University of Oklahoma
National Finalist: “Elijah’s (W)hole Story: Faith and Fraud in Lemuria,” by Cat Schuknecht, University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism


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