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Region 8 Mark of Excellence Awards 2023 winners announced


4/29/2024


CONTACT:
Lou Harry, SPJ Manager of Publications and Awards, lharry@spj.org
Nadia Gordon, SPJ Communications Coordinator, ngordon@hq.spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists recognizes the best collegiate journalism in Region 8 with 2023 Mark of Excellence Awards winners.

SPJ’s Region 8 comprises Oklahoma and Texas. 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 8 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: One student killed, another injured at high school — by Drew Shaw, Christine Vo, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Swatting incident — by Staff, OU Daily, University of Oklahoma

Breaking News Reporting (Small)
Winner: Student reports aggravated assault in overflow housing — by Xochilt Garcia, Ashley Khamtrashyan, The Mesquite, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Finalist: New college named for Onsteads through $25 million gift — by Jaylynn Ward, The Optimist, Abilene Christian University
Finalist: Baylor caught cheating, Tamusa Chess team awarded first place — by Matthew "Moose" Lopez, The Mesquite, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

General News Reporting (Large)
Winner: Triumph over torture — by Fatimah Azeem, Andre Averion, The Mercury, University of Texas at Dallas
Finalist: First day of testimony centers on sexual assault scandal, Title IX policies — by Jenna Fitzgerald, The Baylor Lariat, Baylor University
Finalist: First day of testimony centers on sexual assault scandal, Title IX policies — by Jenna Fitzgerald, The Baylor Lariat, Baylor University

General News Reporting (Small)
Winner: Zoo Day celebrates partnership with A&M-San Antonio, deadline for zoo internships Dec. 1 — by Beatriz Pizarro, The Mesquite, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Finalist: Title IX hands out multitools with pocket knives as part of 'swag' merch at resource fair — by Ashley Khamtrashyan, Xochilt Garcia, Ally Gonzales, The Mesquite, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

In-Depth Reporting (Large)
Winner: Value of a college degree — by Karoline Leonard, OU Daily, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: SMU archives reveal painful past — by Emma McRae, The Daily Campus, Southern Methodist University
Finalist: Joyless: Amusement park liquidation underway, owner recalls past — by Reece Nations, The Hub@TTU, Texas Tech

Feature Writing (Large)
Winner: A way of life': A walk through Mission Arlington’s humble history, major impact — by Isaac Appelt, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Remembering the Cookie Queen — by Karoline Leonard, OU Daily, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: The Sun God: Behind the man, myth, legend — by Brianna Chavez, The University Star, Texas State University

Feature Writing (Small)
Winner: Communication lecturer shines light on mental health awareness, meditation — by Natalie Tristan, The Mesquite, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Finalist: How tough are ya? — by Dylan Villalon, El Espejo, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Sports Writing (Large)
Winner: Born to ride — by Jonathan Perriello, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Trick plays, T’Vondre Sweat lead Texas to Big 12 Title over Oklahoma State — by Lindsey Plotkin, The Daily Texan, University of Texas at Austin
Finalist: World Series fuels excitement — by Isaac Appelt, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington

Sports Writing (Small)
Winner: Football earns nearly $1 million in contract guarantees from 2023 season — by Will Dalton, The Optimist, Abilene Christian University

Editorial/Opinion Writing
Winner: Editorials — by Staff, The University Star, Texas State University
Finalist: Editorials — by Dang Le, Chris Huddleston, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington

General Column Writing
Winner: The Shorthorn's column portfolio — by Ronaldo Bolaρos, Deekota Diaz, Sam Salabit, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Statues, singers and a political cliff — by George Schroeder, Sarah Gallaher, Emma Weidmann, The Baylor Lariat, Baylor University
Finalist: Opinion columns — by Diya Contractor, Trinitonian, Trinity University

Corbin Gwaltney Award for Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Large)
Winner: The Daily Texan — by Staff, The Daily Texan, University of Texas at Austin
Finalist: The Mercury — by Staff, The Mercury, University of Texas at Dallas
Finalist: The Collegian — by Staff, The Collegian, Tarrant County College

Best Ongoing Student Magazine
Winner: El Espejo magazine — by Staff, El Espejo, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Finalist: SMU Look — by Staff, SMU Look, Southern Methodist University

Best Affiliated Web Site
Winner: OUDaily.com — by Jillian Taylor, Colton Sulley, Karoline Leonard, OU Daily, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: The University Star Online — by Staff, The University Star, Texas State University
Finalist: The Collegian website — by Staff, The Collegian, Tarrant County College

Best Independent Online Student Publication
Winner: The Hub@TTU — by Staff, The Hub@TTU, Texas Tech University


Art/Graphics/Multimedia

Breaking News Photography
Winner: Protestors disrupt student government — by Joel Solis, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: UTA Police arrest suspect for criminal trespass — by Christine Vo, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: San Marcos under flash flood warning — by Kobe Arriaga, The University Star, Texas State University

General News Photography
Winner: Community remembers Arlington police officer’s life, impact — by Christine Vo, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: TCC student leaders take Austin — by Alex Hoben, The Collegian, Tarrant County College
Finalist: Chess team’s historic run ends in the finals — by Tim Danger Ramos, The Mesquite, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Feature Photography
Winner: Powwow uplifts Native American culture — by Ronaldo Bolaρos, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Sing Song senior act — by Daniel Curd, The Optimist, Abilene Christian University
Finalist: Indian Culture Association hosted the Holi Festival of Color — by Daniel Curd, The Optimist, Abilene Christian University

Photo Essay/Slideshow
Winner: 2023 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: Texas State vs. Rice University — by Kobe Arriaga, The University Star, Texas State University
Finalist: Goin' Band embarks on Macy's Day Parade — by Jacob Lujan, Marianna Souriall, The Daily Toreador/dailytoreador.com, Texas Tech University
Finalist: Preserving paradise in pictures — by Ronaldo Bolaρos, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington

Illustration
Winner: Asian cinema — by Claudia Humphrey, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Hispanic Heritage Month — by Cristina Del Coro Trio, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Hands on horticulture — by Markus Meneses, The Collegian, Tarrant County College

Photo Illustration
Winner: Beauty industry — by Kelsey Wells, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington

Sports Photography
Winner: Texas State upends Baylor — by Ken Prabhakar, The Baylor Lariat, Baylor University
Finalist: Disbelief and relief — by Ronaldo Bolaρos, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Saints send the Jags home; OLLU showers A&M-San Antonio with home runs — by Tim Danger Ramos, The Mesquite, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Best Use of Multimedia
Winner: Texas State upends Baylor — by Michael Haag, George Schroeder, Ken Prabhakar, The Baylor Lariat, Baylor University
Finalist: Miss Juneteenth — by Christine Vo, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Trump launches 2024 campaign in Waco — by Caitlyn Meisner, Luke Lattanzi, Ken Prabhakar, Jessica Rajkumar, The Baylor Lariat, Baylor University

Feature Videography
Winner: Valley brush strokes — by Camilo Diaz, Jr., VocesdelaComunidad.com, University of North Texas


Audio

Radio News Reporting
Winner: Council approves new library policy — by Athena Triantopoulos, KACU, Abilene Christian University

Radio Feature
Winner: Texas archeologists team up with Indigenous communities in Paint Rock excavation — by Sheridan Wood, KACU, Abilene Christian University
Finalist: Two 81-year-old best friends have begun their expedition around the world — by Paige Taylor, KACU, Abilene Christian University

Radio In-Depth Reporting
Winner: Texas adolescents need more access to mental healthcare — by Sammantha Gutierrez, KACU, Abilene Christian University
Finalist: West Texas landowners can get federal money to clear invasive plants to fight drought — by Sheridan Wood, KACU, Abilene Christian University

Podcast (Conversational)
Winner: The Pony Pod — by Katie Bergelin, The Daily Campus, Southern Methodist University


Broadcast

Television General News Reporting
Winner: Boxed-In: Improving storm shelters — by Carson Sanders, Gaylord In-depth, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: Language barrier-storm warnings for Spanish speakers — by Kevin Palomino, Gaylord In-depth, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: The College Tour premiere — by Khalaya Coleman, LUTV News, Lamar University

Television Feature Reporting
Winner: Parents keep child's memory alive ten years after school tornado — by Sydney Price, Gaylord In-depth, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: Milk Mondays — by Claire Goodyear, Lariat TV News, Baylor University
Finalist: Recognizing greatness — by Taylor Justice, LUTV News and Media Online, Lamar University

Television Sports Reporting
Winner: Crypto's final frontier — by Austin Hedgecoth, DCTV, University of North Texas

Television Sports Reporting
Winner: The dark side of sports betting — by Alex Weister, DCTV, University of North Texas
Finalist: Texas State upends Baylor — by George Schroeder, Lariat TV News, Baylor University

Best All-Around Television News Magazine
Winner: Hell in the Heartland: 10 Years — by Staff, Gaylord In-depth, University of Oklahoma


All Platform

Arts/Entertainment/Fashion Journalism
Winner: Fashion goals — by Bo Rubenstein, SMU Look, Southern Methodist University
Finalist: Students focus on a different kind of paperwork with Crafty Jaguars and ACM — by Bryan Lopez, The Mesquite, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Finalist: Mural sparks public arts' conversation — by Jonathan Perriello, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington

Campus Reporting
Winner: Campus reporting from The Daily Texan — by Samantha Greyson, The Daily Texan, University of Texas at Austin
Finalist: Renaming Woolf Hall — by Josι Romero, Franceska ‘Wolf’ Isaly, Jonathan Perriello, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Campus shuts down, employees step up — by Dang Le, Mandy Huynh, Jonathan Perriello, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington

Cultural Criticism
Winner: Columns — by Dang Le, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington

Food/Restaurant Journalism
Winner: From Scratch — by Jonathan Perriello, Leo Rosas, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington

Investigative Reporting
Winner: Thinking Theta? Think again. — by Ellis Rold, The Daily Campus, Southern Methodist University
Finalist: Vice president solicited gifts — by Dang Le, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington

Regional Political Reporting
Winner: Texas' DEI reporting — by Drew Shaw, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Voters’ guide: Propositions 1-14 — by Mesquite Contributing Writers, Jemareon Moore, The Mesquite, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Retail/Small Business Journalism
Winner: Egg prices doubled — by Jonathan Perriello, The Shorthorn, University of Texas at Arlington

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