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SPJ announces 2017 Mark of Excellence Award winners


Update 5/30/18: In a previous version of this release, it was mentioned that the Online/Digital News Videography category was still under consideration. Judging is now complete and the results are included below.

Christine Cordial, SPJ Program Coordinator, 317-920-4788, ccordial@spj.org
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Director of Communications and Marketing, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists congratulates the 2017 Mark of Excellence Awards national winners. The MOE Awards honor the best of collegiate journalism within a calendar year.

National Mark of Excellence Award winners are chosen from the category winners in each of SPJ’s 12 regions, and the awards are judged by journalism professionals with at least three years of experience. Lists of regional winners can be found in SPJ News.

SPJ will recognize first-place national winners at the Student Union event during Excellence in Journalism 2018, Sept. 27-29 in Baltimore.

Judges were directed to choose only those entries they considered outstanding work worthy of a national honor. If the judges determined none of the entries rose to this 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. Large schools have 10,000+ students and small schools have fewer than 10,000 students.

See the list below for details on national winners, and direct any MOE Awards questions to SPJ Program Coordinator Christine Cordial.

The list reflects the spelling and titles submitted in the award-entry process.

Note: The Online/Digital News Videography category is still under consideration. This list will be updated with the results once they are finalized.

Breaking News Reporting (Large school division)
Winner: OSU walkout complete coverage – by The Baro Staff, Oregon State University
Finalist: Protesters take a stand, outnumber Spencer supporters - by Ian Cohen, Romy Ellenbogen, David Hoffman and Jimena Tavel, University of Florida
Finalist: June flood coverage - by Mitchell Kukulka and McKenzie Sanderson, Central Michigan University

Breaking News Reporting (Small school division)
Winner: Gas leak interrupts class, spurs evacuations - by Brock Turner, DePauw University
Finalist: Historic building collapses in Pomona - by Brooke Grasso and Gabriella Chikhani, University of La Verne
Finalist: College Republicans react to notes left on poster - by Katherine Bauer, Drake University

General News Reporting (Large school division)
Winner: Tracking impact of budget cuts - by Forrest Holt, Cody Cottier and Jessica Zhou, Washington State University
Finalist: Succession of scandals hits Auburn Athletics - by Chip Brownlee, Sam Willoughby and Will Sahlie, Auburn University
Finalist: Parents push for Texas to screen all newborns for spinal muscular atrophy - by Matthew Choi, Northwestern University

General News Reporting (Small school division)
Winner: Sexual assault: It happens here, too - by Diego Pineda, Elon University
Finalist: Choosing not to sign the covenant - by Mady Fortier, Bethel University
Finalist: ROTC adjusts training in era of mass shootings - by Claire Desmarais and Brennan Robinson, University of Portland

In-Depth Reporting (Large school division)
Winner: ‘It’s Real’: A seven-part look at how sexual assault is handled at the University of Maryland - by Staff of The Diamondback, University of Maryland
Finalist: Breaking the silence - by Staff of Marquette Wire, Marquette University
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)
Winner: Define: Gordon, an investigation by The Tartan - by Staff of The Tartan, Gordon College
Finalist: The undocumented general - by Hannah Denham, Washington and Lee University
Finalist: Behind the blue - by Savanna DiStefano, Harding University

Feature Writing (Large school division)
Winner: While the Oakland Fire Department takes heat, a new generation of firefighters comes of age - by Rosa Furneaux, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
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
Finalist: The third life of Darryl Pinkins - by Taylor Telford, Indiana University

Feature Writing (Small school division)
Winner: Call to the church - by Hannah Sievert, University of Portland
Finalist: Christmas trees stop costal erosion in Jefferson Parish - by Colleen Dulle, Loyola University New Orleans
Finalist: Discharged from America - by Michael McDonald, Southwestern College

Sports Writing (Large school division)
Winner: Afraid of the unknown - by Michal Dwojak, University of Illinois
Finalist: Unwanted, unconventional and unrelenting: the Michael Wroblewski story - by Orion Sang, University of Michigan
Finalist: ‘My escape': How football saved Antwan Cordy’s life - by Jon Mettus, Syracuse University

Sports Writing (Small school division)
Winner: Tall standards - by Ben Arthur, University of Portland
Finalist: Reaching for a dream on her tiptoes - by Maddie DeBilzan, Bethel University
Finalist: ‘Knott’ to be denied: Fearless fifth-year talks life in Florida, finally winning Patriot League - by Austin Vitelli, Lehigh University

Editorial Writing
Winner: Sam Topp, Lehigh University
Finalist: The Daily Reveille Editorial Board, Louisiana State University
Finalist: Staff of North Texas Daily, University of North Texas

General Column Writing (Large school division)
Winner: Kyle Hampel, Kansas State University
Finalist: Mariana Alfaro, Northwestern University
Finalist: Tafari Robertson, Texas State University

General Column Writing (Small school division)
Winner: Madeleine Lucchetti, Butler University
Finalist: Rachel Rippetoe, University of Portland
Finalist: Maddie DeBilzan, Carlo Holmberg and Kellie Lawless, Bethel University

Sports Column Writing
Winner: Ethan Bauer, University of Florida
Finalist: Jack McLoone and Alvin Halimwidjaya, Fordham University
Finalist: Logan Jones, Utah State University

Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper
Winner: The Daily Orange - by Staff, Syracuse University
Finalist: Iowa State Daily - by Emily Barske, Iowa State University
Finalist: The Daily Evergreen - by Staff, Washington State University

Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper
Winner: The Post - by Staff, Ohio University
Finalist: The Temple News - by Staff, Temple University
Finalist: The Miami Hurricane - by Staff, University of Miami

Non-Fiction Magazine Article
Winner: Missouri’s opioid epidemic - by Rick Morgan, University of Missouri
Finalist: Life amid the levees - by Jacob Shea, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Finalist: A water-bottling plant creates a rift in Montana - by Olga Kreimer, University of Montana

Best Student Magazine
Winner: Focus Magazine: Rebuild - by Staff, Baylor University
Finalist: Hill Magazine - by Alex Gladden, University of Arkansas
Finalist: Vox Magazine - by Staff, University of Missouri

Breaking News Photography (Large school division)
Finalist: Hunter sets eyes on governing after SGA presidential win - by Jacob Arthur, University of Alabama
Finalist: Urban Meyer walks through enemy lines - by Jack Westerheide, Ohio State University

Breaking News Photography (Small school division)
Winner: Total eclipse - by Ben Davis, Lipscomb University
Finalist: Dreamer - by Natalie Mosqueda, Southwestern College
Finalist: Fists rising in fall - by Brenna Sinding, Peninsula College

General News Photography (Large school division)
Winner: Couple hug in rubble of home - by Dakota McGranahan, Santa Rosa Junior College
Finalist: Taking a bite out of the competition - by Antonella Crescimbeni, Penn State
Finalist: The people united - by Abby Potter, Western Kentucky University

General News Photography (Small school division)
Winner: That’s an image that will always be in my head - by Nikole Kost, Point Park University
Finalist: Women’s March draws hundreds of people - by Jose Arredondo, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Feature Photography (Large school division)
Winner: 'Mutton Busted' (2017 Fiesta de los Vaqueros) - by Rebecca Noble, University of Arizona
Finalist: Marching Chips - by Josie Norris, Central Michigan University

Feature Photography (Small school division)
Winner: Concert glow - by Lauren Franco, Abilene Christian University
Finalist: What does the hijab mean to you? - by Annika Gordon, University of Portland
Finalist: #WhyWeMarch - by Samantha Reposa, University of New Haven

Photo Illustration (Large school division)
Winner: War stories - by Hannah Burnett, University of California, Los Angeles
Finalist: 3 and out - by Zbigniew Sikora, Oregon State University
Finalist: 2017 eclipse - by Kiffer Creveling, University of Utah

Photo Illustration (Small school division)
Winner: The Mystician 78.6 Reality Check: Reporters Talk Real News - by Hunter Andes and Quinnlyn Nelson, Bismarck State College
Finalist: The life and struggles of a domestic abuse survivor - by Emily Rowan, Cabrini University
Finalist: Debuting Dorrel - by Lauren Franco, Abilene Christian University

Sports Photography (Large school division)
Winner: Drake relays - by Emily Blobaum, Iowa State University
Finalist: At arm's length - by Kelsea Hobbs, Western Kentucky University
Finalist: Little League World Series Champions - by Linsey Fagan, Penn State

Sports Photography (Small school division)
Finalist: Head above the rest - by Alexander Contreras, Southwestern College

Editorial Cartooning
Winner: Jake Thrasher, University of Mississippi
Finalist: Eva Shen, University of Maryland
Finalist: Dan Cordero and Michelle Phillips, Southwestern College

Radio News Reporting
Winner: Strike a chord: Addiction series - by Jonathan Woodward, Fordham University
Finalist: Butte holds "wake" for birds killed in the Berkeley Pit - by Nora Saks, University of Montana

Radio Feature
Winner: Dining with Doyle - by Neil Doyle, Illinois State University
Finalist: Peer treatment program offers new hope in Fort Belknap - by Nora Saks, University of Montana
Finalist: The appeal of modern obstacle courses - by Hannah Jerome, University of Kansas

Radio In-Depth Reporting
Winner: When the lights go out, and stay out - by Luke Sullivan, University of Florida
Finalist: Grieving father takes on district attorney's office - by Elizabeth Tung, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
Finalist: Mar-a-Lago or Trump Tower: Could a federal law force Trump to choose? - by Madeline Fox, Northwestern University

Radio Sports Reporting
Winner: Brady's record day - by Adam Rogers, Marshall University
Finalist: Columbia College's Girls Who Game event connects teen girls to electronic sports - by Hannah Haynes, University of Missouri
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
Winner: Newsline March 13, 2017: Long Island prepares for major snow storm - by WRHU News Team, Hofstra University
Finalist: From where we are - by Alana Bracken, William Rehbock, Gabe Gross and Iris Lee, University of Southern California
Finalist: November 3, 2017 newscast - by Neil Doyle, Illinois State University

Television Breaking News Reporting
Winner: USC active shooter scare - by Sam Bergum, Garrett Schwartz, Taylor Edghill and Kim Rogers, University of Southern California
Finalist: Winding Way house fire - by Kinsey Grant, Washington and Lee University
Finalist: Pulse anniversary - by Ryan Roberts and Daniela Hurtado, University of Florida

Television General News Reporting
Winner: ViewFinder: a chief's promise - by Emily Kallmyer, Jojo Dominick and Ryan Eskalis, University of Maryland
Finalist: High school sexual assault - by Grant Tosterud, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: Women's March on Madison - by Jenna Gaidosh, Tisia Muzinga, Stevan Stojanovic and Jenna Graham, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Television Feature Reporting
Winner: A survivor’s story - by Jamie Weiss, Syracuse University
Finalist: Opera - Good Day DePaul - by Dan Beedie, DePaul University
Finalist: Bob Benson mirror artist - by Julianne Maxwell, University of Maryland

Television In-Depth Reporting
Winner: ViewFinder: Aging - by ViewFinder Fall 2017 Team, University of Maryland
Finalist: Routes TV: Dirty little secrets - by Jstyn Strain, University of Oklahoma

Television Sports Reporting
Winner: D'Mauri Jones: Painting inspiration - by David Perez, University of Miami
Finalist: Triple threat: Meet Charlee Harris - by Erin Kate Dolan, Penn State University
Finalist: Leigh Healey is finally ready to hit the bodybuilding stage - by Grace Choi, Northwestern University

Best All-Around Television Newscast
Winner: ViewFinder: Opioid crisis - by ViewFinder, University of Maryland
Finalist: WUFT News First at Five - by WUFT NEWS Student Staff, University of Florida
Finalist: November 23, 2017 broadcast - by Mallory Weil, Tony Sandleben, Ryan McClain and Evan Like, Ball State University

Online News Reporting
Winner: Killing Rikers - by Newsroom 2017, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism
Finalist: Opioid overdose deaths continue to mount - by Ryan Santistevan and Ben Moffat, Arizona State University
Finalist: On her own - by Hallie Miller and Ellie Silverman, University of Maryland

Online Feature Reporting
Winner: Life and terror: John Paul Mugisha finds a new life on The Bluff - by Rachel Ramirez, University of Portland
Finalist: The life and struggles of a domestic abuse survivor - by Caitlyn Huebner, Cabrini University
Finalist: Can't get there from here - by Emma Sarappo, Northwestern University

Online In-Depth Reporting
Winner: Montana's meth effect - by Metheffect.com, University of Montana
Finalist: Breakdown - by NYCity News Service Staff, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
Finalist: Keeping kids alive in West Virginia - by Nick Foutrakis, Dalia Elsaid, Zane Coss and Jade Artherhults, West Virginia University

Online Sports Reporting
Winner: Heisman history - by Joe Buettner, University of Oklahoma

Online Opinion & Commentary
Winner: State Press Editorial Board, Arizona State University

Best Affiliated Web Site
Winner: Alpine Living New Zealand - by Jonathan Norris, Taylor Armer, Kaylin Bowen and Hailey Grace Steele, University of Alabama
Finalist: The Harvard Crimson - by Staff of The Harvard Crimson, Harvard University
Finalist: theshorthorn.com - by Staff of The Shorthorn, UT Arlington

Best Independent Online Student Publication
Winner: City Blocks - by Staff, Syracuse University
Finalist: Media Milwaukee - by Staff, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Finalist: Urban Plains - by Staff, Drake University

Best Use of Multimedia
Winner: Closed doors; open questions - by Staff of OR Magazine, University of Oregon
Finalist: Our Gainesville - by Staff of WUFT News, University of Florida
Finalist: When I am healed - by Abby Potter, Western Kentucky University

Broadcast News Videography
Winner: Solar eclipse - by Ben Johnson and Jordan Davis, College of the Ozarks
Finalist: ViewFinder: On the call - by Emily Olsen, University of Maryland
Finalist: Trade drives rise of middle class in Mexico - by Lillian Donahue, Arizona State University

Broadcast Feature Videography
Winner: From the military to the classroom - by Lauren Sinatra, Syracuse University
Finalist: ViewFinder: Take you there - by Jay Reed, University of Maryland

Broadcast Sports Videography
Winner: "Armstrong” – a purpose worthy of pursuit - by Chris Venzon, Syracuse University
Finalist: Fighting for fearlessness - by Tyler Paley, Arizona State University
Finalist: Feel close to him - by Griffin Wasik, Michigan State University

Online/Digital News Videography
Winner: Award vacated after winning entry was disqualified.
Finalist: Unstable ground in Pinal County - by Melanie Abramoff, Arizona State University
Finalist: Convict of 302: Death penalty in Pakistan - by Shakeeb Asrar and Urooj Kamran Azmi, Northwestern University in Qatar

Online/Digital Feature Videography
Winner: Troubled waters - by Jesse Nichols and Kjell Redal, Western Washington University
Finalist: ViewFinder: Going home - by Tina Vo and Pearl Mak, University of Maryland
Finalist: Battling fate - by Josh Barnhart, Central Michigan University

Online/Digital Sports Videography
Winner: GCU's Russell gets 'one shining moment' on Final Four floor - by Zac Pacleb, Arizona State University
Finalist: Beating the buzzer: Wizards keep games tight to the end - by Evan J. Berkowitz and Gabe Fernandez, University of Maryland College of Journalism
Finalist: Scaling new heights - by Maria Camila Montañez and Carlos Serrano, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism


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