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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

2019 Mark of Excellence
National Winners and Finalists

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2019 Regional Winners

Click on each region's number to read a press release that contains a complete list of winners from that region.

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Region 12

The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the national winners of the 2019 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2019.

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 2020 conference in Washington, D.C. Follow this link for conference information.


Newspapers

Breaking News Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner

Barge resigns as Monroe County commissioner amid harassment allegations
Caroline Anders, Indiana University

Read story

National Finalist: “Incoming Harvard freshman deported after visa revoked,” by Shera S. Avi-Yonah and Delano R. Franklin, Harvard College
National Finalist: “UNT System assistant general counsel says the n-word at ‘When Hate Comes to Campus’ event,” by Lizzy Spangler and Rebekah Schulte, University of North Texas


Breaking News Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner

Planned Parenthood controversy divides Catholic college
Alyssa Allemand, Jena Emmert, Robin Gee and Anna Hansen, Edgewood College

Read: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: “One dead in Hard Rock Hotel collapse,” by Lily Cummings and Andres Fuentes, Loyola University New Orleans
National Finalist: “Harrison Dillard, 1949 grad and four-time Olympic gold medal winner, passes away,” by Charlie Egli, Baldwin Wallace University


General News Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner

NKU to review women’s basketball after players accuse coach of emotional abuse
Sam Rosenstiel and Sierra Newton, Northern Kentucky University

Read story

National Finalist: “Series on diversity at the University of Georgia,” by Anila Yoganathan, University of Georgia
National Finalist: “Genesis Hansen arrest (series),” by Delaney Shea, Vada Shelby, Michael Eubanks and Tanveer Sandhu, Oregon State University


General News Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner

Elon is set to join the Common Application
Abby Gibbs, Elon University

Read story

National Finalist: “After daughter’s death, a Johnson family takes charge in fighting opioids,” by Alexandre Silberman, St. Thomas University
National Finalist: “Walking the path of migrants, Beyond Borders team volunteers forensic work to help identify migrant,” by Jayden Kennett and Shylah Gibson, University of Indianapolis


In-Depth Reporting, Large School Division

National Winner

Chris Robison special issue
Cameren Boatner and Kristen Grau, Florida Atlantic University

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: “Left behind,” by Matthew Martinez and Sydney Czyzon, Marquette University
National Finalist: “Exploring the dark side of Greek Life: FOIA request details more than a decade of accusations against Phi Sigma Phi


In-Depth Reporting, Small School Division

National Winner

Caught in Rhode Island
College Hill Independent Staff, Brown University

Read story

National Finalist: “Inside Title IX: Office works to educate campus about sexual misconduct, investigating complaints,” by Lauren Franco, Abilene Christian University
National Finalist: “Youth mental health in Oregon,” by Casey Chaffin, Soka University of America


Feature Writing, Large School Division

National Winner

Students who switched tickets escaped the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing
Jordan Muller, Syracuse University

Read story

National Finalist: “Young, small, but mighty: Skateboarder Sky Brown shreds path toward Olympics,” by Jack Harris, Arizona State University
National Finalist: “He once drove a $60,000 Jaguar and almost drank himself to death. Then he found salvation in steel.” by Sarah Bahr, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


Feature Writing, Small School Division

National Winner

Two countries, six hours — one long commute to school
Fernando A. Martinez, Southwestern College

Read story

National Finalist: “‘Friends Help Hearts Heal’: Lehigh student writes a book about friendship during times of hardship,” by Julia Adelizzi, Lehigh University
National Finalist: “A Texas-size mart’s road to fame,” by Hannah Denham, Washington and Lee University


Sports Writing, Large School Division

National Winner

Concussions, consequence and conscience: OU great Rickey Dixon reflects on career that’s killing him
George Stoia, University of Oklahoma

Read story

National Finalist: “‘I don’t feel like she’s ever going to lose’: An Iowa woman’s quest to go pro in MMA,” by David Harmantas, University of Iowa
National Finalist: “The athlete advantage,” by Delano R. Franklin and Devin B. Srivastava, Harvard College


Sports Writing, Small School Division

National Winner

‘Sucker punch’
Ana Faguy and Nick Karpinski, Saint Joseph’s University

Read story

National Finalist: “Back for more: 1 senior night not enough for Wolford,” by Tim Miller, Cedarville University
National Finalist: “The infallible approach of GU women’s basketball’s newest starter,” by Ian Davis-Leonard, Gonzaga University


Editorial Writing

National Winner

The Emory Wheel
Emory University

Read: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: The University Star editorial board, Texas State University
National Finalist: Caleb Greene, Louisiana State University


General Column Writing, Large School Division

National Winner

Andrew Raychawdhuri
UCLA

Read: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: Kevin Schablin, Marquette University
National Finalist: Community Voices, University of Texas at Arlington


General Column Writing, Small School Division

National Winner

Justin Dottery
Southwestern College

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: Thomas Maye, Framingham State University
National Finalist: Andres Salerno, Butler University


Sports Column Writing

National Winner

Christopher Vinel
Miami University

Read: Link 1Link 2Link 3

National Finalist: Josh Kirshenbaum, University of Washington
National Finalist: Josh Mullenix, Butler University


Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper

National Winner

The Daily Iowan
University of Iowa

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: The Daily Bruin, UCLA
National Finalist: Yale Daily News, Yale University


Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper

National Winner

The Red & Black
University of Georgia

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: The Temple News, Temple University
National Finalist: The Pendulum, Elon University


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Magazines

Best Student Magazine

National Winner

The Sustainability Issue
REFINE Magazine, Temple University

Read issue

National Finalist: Alice Magazine, The University of Alabama
National Finalist: Hill Magazine, University of Arkansas


Non-Fiction Magazine Article

National Winner

Under the table
Catherine Wendlandt, University of Missouri

Read story

National Finalist: “Hold your ground,” by Natalie Yahr, University of Wisconsin-Madison
National Finalist: “Vibrant light,” by Abby Church, James Madison University


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Art/Graphics

Breaking News Photography, Large School Division

National Winner

Getty fire
Jintak Han, UCLA

National Finalist: “MPD challenges community to snowball fight,” by Scott Fleener, Ball State University


Breaking News Photography, Small School Division

National Winner

Climate strike crowd
Jennifer Ng, University of Portland

View gallery

National Finalist: “Lightning strikes Saylor Hall, starts fire,” by Jesse Kucewicz, Baldwin Wallace University


General News Photography, Large School Division

National Winner

Twenty years later: Remembering Columbine
Ali C.M. Watkins, Metropolitan State University of Denver

National Finalist: “Vigil at beneficence,” by Jacob Musselman, Ball State University
National Finalist: “United, not divided,” by Charlie Blalock, Del Mar College


General News Photography, Small School Division

National Winner

Water main break
Alexandria Whitten, Loyola University New Orleans

National Finalist: “June Speakman sweeps primary,” by Kayla Ebner, Roger Williams University
National Finalist: “Youth climate strike advocates for change, legislation,” by Tony Reeves, University of Indianapolis


Feature Photography, Large School Division

National Winner

Milk made
Emily Nevils, University of Missouri

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: “Jab jab: Tia Jablonsky fights to go pro in MMA competitions,” by Ashley Sanchez, Virginia Commonwealth University
National Finalist: “Fairgoer stares at chicks,” by Duy Vu, University of Texas at Arlington


Feature Photography, Small School Division

National Winner

L’Esprit
Clare Grant, Elon University

National Finalist: “Campus jungle,” by Jacob Waring, Southern Connecticut State University
National Finalist: “Gloves and determination of steel,” by Luke Kenneally, Gonzaga University


Photo Illustration, Large School Division

National Winner

Vapergate
Sara Diggins, University of Montana

Read story

National Finalist: “Celestial standards,” by Gianna Sanchez, Lauren Maingot, Jacqueline Dubois and Gabby Rosenbloom, University of Miami
National Finalist: “Cost of crossing,” by Connor Wodynski and Kevin Hurley, Arizona State University


Photo Illustration, Small School Division

National Winner

Alternate personas
Tyler Judson, SCAD Atlanta

Download [PDF]

National Finalist: “Cal U for life,” by Lily Gongaware, California University of Pennsylvania


Sports Photography, Large School Division

National Winner

Flying high
Sara Donato, Kent State University

National Finalist: “Gymnastics earns first meet win of the season,” by Graeme Sloan, George Washington University
National Finalist: “Little league World Series champions,” by James Leavy, Penn State University


Sports Photography, Small School Division

National Winner

Cross country runner
Sabelo Jupiter, Loyola University New Orleans

National Finalist: “Chasing a loose ball,” by Pawan Khanal, Troy University
National Finalist: “Women’s rugby,” by Tiffany Trumble, Vassar College


Data Visualization

National Winner

White supremacy movements spark rise in religion-based hate
Saffeya Ahmed, Virginia Commonwealth University

View story and graphics

National Finalist: “How IU does its laundry,” by Jacob deCastro and Vivek Rao, Indiana University
National Finalist: “Salary database,” by Jade Myers, University of Texas at Arlington


Editorial Cartooning

National Winner

Alexandra Bowman
Georgetown University

View portfolio

National Finalist: Teagan Kimbro, Central Washington University
National Finalist: Ryan Greene, Colorado State University


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Radio

Radio News Reporting

National Winner

Michael: One year later
Nicole Rogers, University of Florida

Listen online

National Finalist: “Students say THC vaping products are common in some local high schools,” by Jared Weber, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
National Finalist: “Emmett Till memorial rededicated,” by Will Stribling, University of Mississippi


Radio Feature

National Winner

Mom maintains hope for shaken baby
Madeline Wilson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

National Finalist: “Richmond’s first women’s theatre festival puts female stories at center stage,” by Evie King, Virginia Commonwealth University
National Finalist: “Preserving Pennytown: A small church contains a world of memories,” by Emily Aiken, University of Missouri


Radio In-Depth Reporting

National Winner

After a semester of tumult, Columbia parents and officials still at odds over police in schools
Isabel Lohman and Mawa Iqbal, University of Missouri

Listen online

National Finalist: “Fear and loathing in a New York nursing home,” by Shira Feder, Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY
National Finalist: “Vegas massacre effects — One year later,” by Austin Westfall, Arizona State University


Radio Sports Reporting

National Winner

Revamped Milwaukee Marathon attracts thousands of runners
Nick Knute, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Listen online

National Finalist: “Mr. Two-Bits,” by Skyler Lebron, University of Florida
National Finalist: “Jack & Lehner,” by Kenny Conrade, Hofstra University


Best All-Around Radio Newscast

National Winner

Carolina Connection
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Listen online

National Finalist: WUFT newscast, University of Florida


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Television

Television Breaking News Reporting

National Winner

Migrant caravan arrives in Tijuana
Jessica Cardenas and Xochilt Lagunas, California State University Fullerton

Watch online

National Finalist: “Campus shooting,” by Shayla Klein, West Virginia University
National Finalist: “Troy tornado,” by Brady Talbert, Troy University


Television General News Reporting

National Winner

From Puerto Rico to Washington, dogs find their forever homes
Jasmine Darakjy, Washington State University

Watch online

National Finalist: “Public safety power shutoffs spark confusion in Lake Isabella,” by Joey Maya Safchik, Northwestern University
National Finalist: “Hammett Bowen: A hero’s legacy,” by Quan McWil, University of Florida


Television Feature Reporting

National Winner

CSI camp
Quan McWil, University of Florida

Watch online

National Finalist: “Rich the custodian,” by Josh Lamberty, Iowa State University
National Finalist: “Amputation inspires runner,” by Scotty Gange, Arizona State University


Television In-Depth Reporting

National Winner

Trash talk: Montana’s recycling challenge
UM Student Documentary Unit, spring 2019, University of Montana

Watch online

National Finalist: “Native suicides,” by Jennifer Alvarez, Arizona State University
National Finalist: “Living on the edge: LGBTQ+ and mental health,” by Aaron Cardenas, University of Oklahoma


Television Sports Reporting

National Winner

Crown Boxing Club teaching students more after school
Griffin Stroin, Michigan State University

Watch online

National Finalist: “Transgender runner, June Eastwood,” by Tessa Nadeau, University of Montana
National Finalist: “Husky baseball team has hot start,” by Tony Langfellow, St. Cloud State University


Best All-Around Television Newscast

National Winner

Centre County Report
Penn State University

Watch online

National Finalist: UATV News, University of Arkansas


Best All-Around Television News Magazine

National Winner

After the eye
WUFT News staff, University of Florida

Watch online

National Finalist: “The last spike,” by Cache Rendezvous Staff, Utah State University
National Finalist: “Southeastern Times,” by Kaylee Normand and John Sartori, Southeastern Louisiana University


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Online

Online News Reporting

National Winner

The emotional trauma of Hurricane Maria
Devna Bose, University of Mississippi

Read story

National Finalist: “Funded but forgotten,” by NYCity News Service, Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY
National Finalist: “Disappeared: 10,000 and counting,” by Media Milwaukee staff, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Online Feature Reporting

National Winner

Deported U.S. veterans find aid, comfort in a Tijuana ‘bunker’
Madeline Ackley and Mara Friedman, Arizona State University

Read: Link 1Link 2Link 3Link 4

National Finalist: “Tail of the Dragon attracts thrill-seekers, motoring enthusiasts,” by Oliver Fischer, Elon University
National Finalist: “Ladies’ luck,” by NYCity News Service, Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY


Online In-Depth Reporting

National Winner

We are still here
Media Milwaukee staff, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Read series

National Finalist: “Rebuilding families,” by Anna N. Saab, West Virginia University
National Finalist: “Power struggle: Anticipating cyberattacks on the electric grid,” by Vaughn Golden and Tara Lynch, Ithaca College


Online Opinion and Commentary

National Winner

Anxiety shapes my life, but I’m not alone
Connor Henricksen, Washington State University

National Finalist: “The Daily Northwestern and its impact on ethical journalism,” by Charlotte Caldwell, Ohio University


Online Sports Reporting

National Winner

‘Chaotic, beautiful thing’: The story behind Party Hard Wrestling
Tyler Dunn, Arizona State University

Read story

National Finalist: “Bobby,” by Noah Schmick and Jakob Thorington, Washington State University
National Finalist: “Athletes with disabilities in it to win it,” by Neel Madhavan, Northwestern University


Best Use of Multimedia

National Winner

How we heal
NYCity News Service, Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

Visit website

National Finalist: “Death of a dream: Two responses to migrants who go missing in the desert,” by Nicole Ludden, Julian Hernandez, Meg Potter and Erica Figueroa, Arizona State University
National Finalist: “Concentrated poverty and criminality: Homicide rates remain high in Chicago,” by Nicole Sroka and Miriam Torres, University of Illinois at Chicago


Best Affiliated Website

National Winner

Vox Magazine
Vox staff, University of Missouri

Visit website

National Finalist: The Harvard Crimson, Harvard College
National Finalist: The Daily Mississippian, University of Mississippi


Best Independent Online Student Publication

National Winner

NYCity News Service
Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

Visit website

National Finalist: Cronkite News, Arizona State University
National Finalist: New Mexico News Port, University of New Mexico


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Videography

Broadcast News Videography

National Winner

Mayor’s salary debate
Dylan Domangue, Southeastern Louisiana University

Watch online

National Finalist: “Creating a new normal,” by Hasley Pitman, University of Florida
National Finalist: “Bobcat thunder,” by Nathaniel Snipes, Ben Johnson, Matthew Weathermon and Caleb Brubaker, College of the Ozarks


Broadcast Sports Videography

National Winner

Hockey: Penn State sweeps Wisconsin
Will Desautelle, Penn State University

Watch online

— National Finalist: “Life’s curveball — The Stallard story,” by Kynan Marlin, Arizona State University
— National Finalist: “Southeastern vs. Northwestern State football,” by Dylan Domangue, Southeastern Louisiana University


Online/Digital News Videography

National Winner

MPD snowball fight
Scott Fleener, Ball State University

Watch online

National Finalist: “March 2 shooting documentary: Looking back one year later,” by Natalie McCorvie, Central Michigan University
National Finalist: “Students counter-protest demonstration against abortion rights,” by Danny Schapiro, George Washington University


Online/Digital Sports Videography

National Winner

Walk in my shoes: The Brad Anderson story
Tyler Lamb, Middle Tennessee State University

Watch online

National Finalist: “OU Daily pre- and post-game videos,” by Will Conover, University of Oklahoma
National Finalist: “Tackling the draft — Episode one: Roller coaster,” by Daily Northwestern staff, Northwestern University


Online/Digital Feature Videography

National Winner

Finding the light
Joe Valdez, University of North Texas

Watch online

National Finalist: “South Florida Access goes from Holly Hard Rock to the Lighthouse of Broward,” by Jay Valle, Monica Lebro and Andrea Igliozzi, Florida International University
National Finalist: “Safe or Unsafe U?” by View from the U, University of Utah


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Podcasts

Podcasts

National Winner

Syracuse Side Hustles, Syracuse University

WebsiteApple PodcastsStitcher

National Finalist: “Sea level rise threatens the Florida Keys,” by Avery Van Etten, Northwestern University


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Immersion Journalism

Immersion Journalism

National Winner

Homeless realities
JOVRNALISM Staff, USC Annenberg

View project

National Finalist: “Surviving a school shooting,” by Anton L. Delgado, Elon University


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All Platforms

Collaborative Journalism

National Winner

Uprooted: The Faces of the Venezuelan Crisis
Uprooted Staff, Colombian Network of University Journalism (Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB), Universidad Catolica Luis Amigo, Universidad de Antioquia (UdeA), University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Watch online

National Finalist: “Generation Opioids,” by West Virginia University and George Washington University


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