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Region 3 Mark of Excellence Awards 2023 winners announced


4/24/2024


CONTACT:
Lou Harry, SPJ Manager of Publications and Awards, lharry@spj.org
Kimberly Tsuyuki, SPJ Communications Specialist, ktsuyuki@hq.spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists recognizes the best collegiate journalism in Region 3 with 2023 Mark of Excellence Awards winners.

SPJ’s Region 3 comprises Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. First-place winners will compete at the national level among other MOE winners from the 12 SPJ regions.

National winners will be notified in the late spring.

MOE Awards entries are judged by professionals with at least three years of journalism experience. Judges were directed to choose entries they felt were among the best in student journalism. If no entry rose to the level of excellence, no award was given. Any category not listed has no winner.

School divisions are based on student enrollment, including both graduate and undergraduate: Large schools have at least 10,000 students and small schools have 9,999 or fewer students.

The list below details all Region 3 winners. If you have any questions regarding the MOE Awards, contact SPJ Manager of Publications and Awards Lou Harry by email.

This list reflects the spelling and titles submitted in the award entries.

Print/Online

Breaking News Reporting (Large)
Winner: Pilot of small plane who died in crash pleaded for help in final moments: ‘I’m losing altitude’ — by Gabriel Velasquez Neira, WUFT, University of Florida
Finalist: Idalia survivor of storm’s fury near landfall: ‘Don’t ever want to go through that again’ — by Jack Lemnus, Fresh Take Florida/WUFT, University of Florida

Breaking News Reporting (Small)
Winner: University president denounces 'antisemitic' rhetoric at campus protest — by Sarah Davis, Jack Rutherford, Matthew Chupack, The Emory Wheel, Emory University

General News Reporting (Large)
Winner: Will new regulations mean fewer Airbnbs in Columbia? — by Camdyn Bruce, The Carolina News & Reporter, University of South Carolina
Finalist: UF to spend $300,000 on new pool for incoming university president — by Emma Behrman, Fresh Take Florida/WUFT, University of Florida
Finalist: Linnentown lives on: Demolished neighborhood’s fight for redress and recognition — by Jesse Wood, The Red & Black, The University of Georgia

General News Reporting (Small)
Winner: Eckerd tightens budget as costs rise — by Grey Curcio, Triton Publications, Eckerd College
Finalist: Biden calls for stronger voting rights in Selma — by Emily Mosier, The Tropolitan, Troy University
Finalist: Transgender Eckerd students ‘carded’ in bathroom at New College; Eckerd community protests … — by Grey Curcio, Triton Publications, Eckerd College

In-Depth Reporting (Large)
Winner: Teacher vacancies and school leadership can go hand-in-hand — by Madelyn Weston, The Carolina News & Reporter, University of South Carolina
Finalist: Learning to think outside the box — by Allison Mawn, Personal website; The Red & Black, University of Georgia
Finalist: Remembering Devin: Loved ones keep the memory of No. 77 alive — by Dawn Sawyer, The Red & Black, The University of Georgia

In-Depth Reporting (Small)
Winner: Athletes struggle with pressures and mental health — by Sydney Preston, Flagler College Gargoyle, Flagler College
Finalist: Eckerd College students want more safe spaces to discuss Israel-Hamas War — by Hanna Kobs, Triton Publications, Eckerd College, Eckerd College

Feature Writing (Large)
Winner: White man to be sentenced for recent, racially motivated attack at site of massacre of Black resident — by Jack Lemnus, Fresh Take Florida/WUFT, University of Florida
Finalist: Retired cop never forgot unsolved case, helped convict rapist decades later — by Alexa Herrera, Fresh Take Florida/WUFT, University of Florida
Finalist: Patience and perseverance: The story behind Athens’ rainbow crosswalk — by Maddie Brechtel, The Red & Black, The University of Georgia

Feature Writing (Small)
Winner: Fashion Your Seatbelts: Decades of fashion and its significance at Eckerd College — by Nicole Vogler, Triton Publications, Eckerd College
Finalist: No regrets: Elizabeth Montavon pro water skier learns to live with an autoimmune disease — by Gabby Alfveby, Flagler College Gargoyle, Flagler College
Finalist: Food insecurity — by Chloe Smith, Flagler College Gargoyle, Flagler College

Sports Writing (Large)
Winner: New group emerges to pay UF athletes; Gator Collective dissolves after mishandled QB deal — by Aidan Bush, Fresh Take Florida/WUFT, University of Florida
Finalist: A silent journey: Gamecocks volleyball star excels despite being born deaf — by Dylan Jackson, The Carolina News & Reporter, University of South Carolina
Finalist: Doris Lemngole's 'improbable' journey — by Theodore Fernandez, The Crimson White, University of Alabama

Sports Writing (Small)
Winner: Black student-athlete group to ‘bridge the gap,’ empower Emory athletes — by Claire Fenton, The Emory Wheel, Emory University
Finalist: Micro tussle, big hustle: Changing perspectives on micro wrestling — by Carter Weinhofer, Ian Shepperd, Triton Publications, Eckerd College
Finalist: Team setting helps BRAVE Project run deep for athletes — by Mary Harrison, Campus Carrier, Berry College

Editorial/Opinion Writing
Winner: The Independent Florida Alligator — by Editorial Board, The Independent Florida Alligator, University of Florida
Finalist: Electoral Ellie — by Ellie Fivas, Sophia Peyser, The Emory Wheel, Emory University

General Column Writing
Winner: Columns — by Chance Phillips, The Crimson White, University of Alabama

Sports Column Writing
Winner: Title IX 50th anniversary reflections from a female collegiate athlete — by Pilar Rossi, The Emory Wheel, Emory University

Corbin Gwaltney Award for Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Large)
Winner: The Red & Black — by Staff, The Red & Black, The University of Georgia
Finalist: The Current — by Staff, The Current / Mako Media Network, Nova Southeastern University
Finalist: The Independent Florida Alligator — by Staff, The Independent Florida Alligator, University of Florida

Corbin Gwaltney Award for Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Small)
Winner: The Emory Wheel — by The Emory Wheel staff, The Emory Wheel, Emory University

Best Ongoing Student Magazine
Winner: Distraction Magazine — by Staff, Distraction Magazine, University of Miami
Finalist: SCAN Magazine — by Staff, SCAD Connector/SCAN Magazine, Savannah College of Art and Design- Atlanta
Finalist: Muse — by Staff, Alice Magazine, University of Alabama

Best Affiliated Web Site
Winner: SCAD Connector — by Staff, SCAD Connector, Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta
Finalist: Mako News — by Staff, Mako News/Mako Media Network, Nova Southeastern University

Best Independent Online Student Publication
Winner: Viking Fusion — by Staff, Viking Fusion, Berry College
Finalist: Flagler College Gargoyle — by Staff, Flagler College Gargoyle, Flagler College


Art/Graphics/Multimedia

Breaking News Photography
Winner: Israel rally — by Augustus Hoff, WUFT News, University of Florida

General News Photography
Winner: Gun laws — by Augustus Hoff, WUFT News, University of Florida
Finalist: Childcare closure — by Azhalia Pottinger, WUFT News, University of Florida
Finalist: Gaza rally — by Gabriel Velasquez-Neira, WUFT News, University of Florida

Feature Photography
Winner: Homecoming parade sights and sounds — by Valentina Sarmiento, WUFT News, University of Florida
Finalist: 2023 Gator fly-in — by Rae Riiska, WUFT News, University of Florida
Finalist: A wave of one — by Ethan Goddard, WUFT News, University of Florida

Photo Essay/Slideshow
Winner: Alumni: Then and now — by Alya Khoury, Hayley Powers, The Emory Wheel, Emory University
Finalist: Brilliantly beautiful: Learning to love yourself ‘flaws’ and all — by Hallie Cowan Barrera, Triton Publications, Eckerd College
Finalist: Slept on Eastside — by Trey Johnson, WUFT News, University of Florida

Illustration
Winner: Who can have the American dream? — by Annika Harley, Evian Le, Fon Limsomwong, SCAN Magazine, Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta
Finalist: Save our schools — by Rachel Farinas, Distraction Magazine, University of Miami

Photo Illustration
Winner: Retail in the Vista – a balance or imbalance? — by Sophia Laico, The Carolina News & Reporter, University of South Carolina

Sports Photography
Winner: 4th and 31 — by Riley Thompson, The Crimson White, University of Alabama
Finalist: A moment with the Sabans — by Natalie Teat, The Crimson White, University of Alabama
Finalist: Trevor Etienne — by Gabriel Velasquez-Neira, WUFT News, University of Florida

Best Use of Multimedia
Winner: Behind the bet: Stories of illegal sports betting on the University of Florida’s campus — by Alexis Ashby, WUFT, University of Florida

News Videography
Winner: Inside ICAC — by Chris Will, WUFT News, University of Florida

Feature Videography
Winner: Focus on the Everglades: Behind the scenes — by Finn Wilson, UMTV, University of Miami
Finalist: UF Turf team — by Chris Will, WUFT News, University of Florida
Finalist: Ace of Augusta: Wheeler's all-American two-year career at AU — by Rachel Carman, Augusta Business Daily, Augusta University


Audio

Radio Feature
Winner: UF IDF reservists deploy to Israel — by Ailee Shanes, WUFT News, University of Florida
Finalist: A symphony for Mom: Darkness to light — by Brendan Bryan, TROY Public Radio, Troy University

Radio In-Depth Reporting
Winner: Transgender Floridians weather the political storm around their rights — by Siena Duncan, WUFT News, University of Florida
Finalist: Helen of TROY: A look at equitable campus representation — by Emily Mosier, TROY Public Radio, Troy University

Best All-Around Radio Newscast
Winner: The Point Newscast — by Serra Sowers, WUFT News, University of Florida

Podcast (Narrative)
Winner: Georgia v. Foster — by Grace Snell, Viking Fusion, Berry College
Finalist: From athlete to ironman — by Kelsi Mauzy, Kelsi Mauzy, Furman University
Finalist: One More Time — by Meghan Bowman, USF Z News, University of South Florida

Podcast (Conversational)
Winner: Mad Melodies — by Marissa Lacey, Jaelanne Thomas, TROY Public Radio, Troy University
Finalist: The Sports Squad — by Carlos Rodriguez, The Bell Ringer/The Sports Squad, Augusta University
Finalist: Clifton Culture — by Staff, The Emory Wheel, Emory University


Broadcast

Television Breaking News Reporting
Winner: Apartment complex delays move in — by Kennedy Mason, WUFT News, University of Florida
Finalist: Hurricane Idalia preps — by Chris Will, WUFT News, University of Florida

Television General News Reporting
Winner: Purple for Mackinzie — by Ophelie Jacobson, WUFT News, University of Florida
Finalist: UF releases panic video, reveals threat — by Loren Miranda, WUFT News, University of Florida
Finalist: Ukrainians hold rally in South Florida — by Anna Coon, UMTV, University of Miami

Television Feature Reporting
Winner: The 12th man — by Emmanuel Naccarato, UMTV, University of Miami
Finalist: History of the Florida Everglades — by Derryl Barnes, Embrik Eyles, UMTV, University of Miami

Television In-Depth Reporting
Winner: How oil drilling has affected the Florida Everglades — by Embrik Eyles, Finn Wilson, UMTV, University of Miami
Finalist: Inside ICAC — by Chris Will, WUFT News, University of Florida
Finalist: Life beyond height: Little people’s struggle to access public buildings — by Laura Palfrey, Jasmine Arocha, Sheetal Bahadursingh, Caplin News, Florida International University

Television Sports Reporting
Winner: UF turf team — by Chris Will, University of Florida
Finalist: Using protective vests in equestrian sport — by Morgan Champey, University of Miami
Finalist: Harper's Race — by Ryan Marshall, University of Miami

Best All-Around Television Newscast
Winner: NewsVision — by Maddie Bassalik, Katelyn Kucharski, Finn Wilson, Darrel Creary, UMTV, University of Miami
Finalist: First at Five — by Staff, WUFT News, University of Florida

Best All-Around Television News Magazine
Winner: Focus on the Florida Everglades — by Staff, UMTV, University of Miami


All Platform

Arts/Entertainment/Fashion Journalism
Winner: Fashion Section — by Staff, Distraction Magazine, University of Miami
Finalist: ‘Teach Me a Song:’ Indigenous music and art installation at Crisp Ellert — by Sara Orr, Flagler College Gargoyle, Flagler College

Campus Reporting
Winner: Laney graduate students vote to unionize — by Madi Olivier, Ilah Ross, The Emory Wheel, Emory University
Finalist: How women protect themselves on campus and other columns — by Lindsay Capps, Knightly News, Furman University
Finalist: Here’s a full timeline of the chaos at the Turlington Plaza vigil for Israel — by Serra Sowers, WUFT, University of Florida

Cultural Criticism
Winner: Wahidi's What's Happening — by Safa Wahidi, The Emory Wheel, Emory University
Finalist: The Culture: Roundtable dialogue — by Melanie Lowe, Nia Williams, Laila Pettus, Beluchi Ibe, UMTV, University of Miami
Finalist: SCAD Manor — by Staff, SCAD Manor, Savannah College of Art and Design

Investigative Reporting
Winner: Underage drinking in a college town: How strictly should police, prosecutors enforce laws? — by Troy Myers, Fresh Take Florida/WUFT, University of Florida
Finalist: Redondo condo? GOP candidate wins state House race in South Florida amid questions over district res — by Silas Morgan, Fresh Take Florida/WUFT, University of Florida
Finalist: ‘Stop being racist:’ Tickets for loud music nearly 3 times more likely for Black drivers under new Florida law — by Meghan McGlone, Fresh Take Florida/WUFT, University of Florida

Regional Political Reporting
Winner: Former death row inmates slam new Florida law making it easier to impose capital punishment — by Carissa Allen, Fresh Take Florida/WUFT, University of Florida
Finalist: ‘Ain’t seen nothing yet’: DeSantis touts making Florida attractive destination, largely tempers fire — by Makiya Seminera, Fresh Take Florida/WUFT, University of Florida
Finalist: Then and now: How DeSantis’ State of State speeches have changed — by Makiya Seminera, Fresh Take Florida/WUFT, University of Florida

Retail/Small Business Journalism
Winner: Huizenga College promotes student entrepreneurs — by Ronald Martinez, Nicole Shaker, Daja Long, The Current/Mako Media Network, Nova Southeastern University

Science/Environment/Climate Reporting
Winner: Sustainability race — by Elijah Poritzky, Knightly News, Furman University
Finalist: Crews bust 'ghost traps' that kill lobsters, crabs in Biscayne Bay. They hauled out a ton — by Alan Halaly, The Miami Herald, University of Florida
Finalist: Hurricanes and Nor’easters taking their toll on St. Johns County coastline — by Megan Churchill, Flagler College Gargoyle, Flagler College

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