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Region 4 Mark of Excellence Awards winners announced


Matthew Kent, SPJ Program Coordinator, 317-920-4788, mkent@spj.org
Zoλ Berg, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, zberg@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists recognizes the best collegiate journalism in Region 4 with 2019 Mark of Excellence Awards winners.

SPJ’s Region 4 comprises Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania. First-place winners will compete at the national level among other regional MOE winners from the 12 SPJ regions.

Regional winners would normally be recognized at regional conferences, however, all SPJ Regional Conferences have been either canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Regional winners have been notified by email and will receive their award certificates via mail.

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 4 winners. If you have any questions regarding the MOE Awards, contact Matthew Kent via email or phone at 317-920-4788.

This list reflects the spelling and titles submitted in the award entries. New MOE categories this year include Immersion Journalism, Data Visualization and Collaborative Journalism.

Breaking News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: One stable after Ohio State campus-area shooting – by Sam Raudins and Lantern Staff, Ohio State University
Finalist: Athens police face backlash from social media users, UC student leaders over weekend arrest – by Keely Brown, University of Cincinnati
Finalist: ‘Call 9-1-1, I feel like I’m going to die.’ Miami frat suspended and members face criminal charges – by Tim Carlin, Ceili Doyle and Rachel Berry, Miami University

Breaking News Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner: Harrison Dillard, 1949 grad and four-time Olympic gold medal winner, passes away – by Charlie Egli, Baldwin Wallace University
Finalist: University considering breaking Methodist affiliation – by Emma Selmon, Baldwin Wallace University
Finalist: Lightning strikes Saylor Hall, starts fire – by Skylar Sakonyi, Baldwin Wallace University

General News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Ohio University’s party school reputation fell off in the 2010s – by Keri Johnson, Ohio University
Finalist: Fighting for life: How an infestations pest has killed eastern hemlock trees across Appalachia – by Ashton Nichols, Ohio University
Finalist: Snow day – by Daily Athenaeum staff, West Virginia University

General News Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 students
Winner: Waynesburg police carry Narcan to save more lives – by Rachel Pellegrino, Waynesburg University
Finalist: LGBTQ issues lead BW to sever 174-year Methodist affiliation – by Emma Selmon and Kasey Hughes, Baldwin Wallace University
Finalist: CASA volunteers advocate for kids at risk in county – by Holly Hendershot, Waynesburg University

In-Depth Reporting (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Exploring the dark side of Greek life: FOIA request details more than a decade of accusations against Phi Sigma Phi – by Melissa Frick, Andrew Mullin and Sara Kellner, Central Michigan University
Finalist: Meet the student who initiated an investigation into Athens City School District’s Title IX policies – by Maggie Campbell, Ohio University
Finalist: Coverage of firing of Coach Jerry Reighard – by Evan Petzold, Central Michigan University

In-Depth Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 students
Winner: Students visiting counseling center have tripled in year – by Holly Hendershot, Waynesburg University
Finalist: Drug disorder, by the numbers – by Edward Boice, Waynesburg University
Finalist: Clery Act data shows small schools experience less crime – by Holly Hendershot, Waynesburg University

Feature Writing (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: 107-year-old Miami alumna reflects on her college years – by Alex Cox, Miami University

General Column Writing (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Media therapy – by Will Gorman, Miami University

Sports Writing (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Myja White finds solace in creativity – by Christopher Vinel, Miami University
Finalist: A father and son shared a sport. Now, they share a team. – by Emily Dattilo, Miami University
Finalist: Antonio Plus 1 – by Ian Kreider, Kent State University

Sports Writing (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner: Back for more: 1 senior night not enough for Wolford – by Tim Miller, Cedarville University
Finalist: The Carroll News sports writing – by Kyle Kelly, John Carroll University
Finalist: Freshman QB racking up wins – by Charlie Egli, Baldwin Wallace University

Sports Column Writing
Winner: Christopher Vinel, Miami University
Finalist: Brady Pfister, Miami University
Finalist: Kyle Kelly, John Carroll University

Editorial Writing
Winner: The Post editorials – by Staff of The Post, Ohio University
Finalist: Editorial-in-chief – by Douglas Soule, West Virginia University
Finalist: The Miami Student editorial writing – by The Miami Student’s Editorial Board, Miami University

Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper
Winner: Central Michigan Life – by Dylan Goetz and Emma Dale, Central Michigan University
Finalist: Cedars – by Staff, Cedarville University
Finalist: The University Times – by Donal MacNamee, Cormac Watson, Katy Amos and Aisling Marren, Trinity College Dublin

Collaborative Journalism

Collaborative Journalism
Winner: Generation Opioids – by West Virginia University and George Washington University


Non-Fiction Magazine Article
Winner: Monument man – by Ceili Doyle, Miami University
Finalist: Covering a crisis: Young journalists undertake heavy reporting on the Dayton shooting – by Leanne Stahulak, Miami University
Finalist: Four-legged doctors – by Carmen Nesbitt, Wayne State University

Best Student Magazine
Winner: In Living Color - by Staff of UP Magazine, Miami University
Finalist: Vol. 12, Issue 3: The Community Issue - by Staff, Ohio University
Finalist: YOU are Here – by Staff, Ohio University


Breaking News Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner: Lightning strikes Saylor Hall, starts fire – by Jesse Kucewicz, Baldwin Wallace University

Feature Photography (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Not just a body – by Sophia Adornetto, Kent State University
Finalist: The story of Ben Schlater, the Vinton Elementary School teacher turned pro boxer – by Blake Nissen, Ohio University
Finalist: Cincinnati Period Day rally – by Mary LeBus, University of Cincinnati

Feature Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner: Bold + Gold Festival – by Jesse Kucewicz, Baldwin Wallace University

General News Photography (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Students take to College Green to protest budget crisis – by Sarah Donaldson, Ohio University

General News Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner: Rake’s progress – by Jesse Kucewicz, Baldwin Wallace University
Finalist: Passing the crown – by Jesse Kucewicz, Baldwin Wallace University

Photo Illustration (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner: Cal U for life – by Lily Gongaware, California University of Pennsylvania
Finalist: Wrestling champions – by Jesse Kucewicz, Baldwin Wallace University
Finalist: One of the giants of BW – by Staff, Baldwin Wallace University

Sports Photography (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Flying high – by Sara Donato, Kent State University
Finalist: Redhawks host Toledo and look for fourth straight win – by Macy Whitaker, Miami University
Finalist: West Virginia vs. Iowa State – by Duncan Slade, West Virginia University

Sports Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner: Header – Soccer – by Jesse Kucewicz, Baldwin Wallace University
Finalist: Eyeing the enemy – Football – by Jesse Kucewicz, Baldwin Wallace University
Finalist: Swimming – by Jesse Kucewicz, Baldwin Wallace University


Best All-Around Radio Newscast
Winner: Newscenter 88 3-13-19 – by Staff of Newscenter 88, Marshall University

Radio News Reporting
Winner: House fire shows communities kindness – by Makaylah Wheeler, Marshall University

Radio Sports Reporting
Winner: Jon Elmore’s legendary career – by Tyler Kennett, Marshall University
Finalist: Taylor Porter feature – by Andrew Rogers, Marshall University
Finalist: Marshall football’s evolving offense – by Nick Verzolini, Marshall University


Television Breaking News Reporting
Winner: Campus shooting – by Shayla Klein, West Virginia University
Finalist: I signed a lease to live there next year – by Katie Birecki, Michigan State University
Finalist: We want to provide a future that people look forward to – by Brandon Rothenberg, Michigan State University

Television General News Reporting
Winner: Continue to serve – by Alyssa Burr, Michigan State University
Finalist: Transgender discrimination in the Mountain State – by Darren Hartwell, West Virginia University
Finalist: Finding her voice – by Kendall Ashman, Michigan State University

Television Feature Reporting
Winner: Bridge day – by Sarah Poteracki, West Virginia University
Finalist: It’s more than just grass and dirt – by Michael Epps, Michigan State University
Finalist: Play for pay – by Joey Ellis, Michigan State University

Television In-Depth Reporting
Winner: Inpatient care in the Mountain State – by Sarah Poteracki, West Virginia University

Television Sports Reporting
Winner: Crown Boxing Club teaching students more after school – by Griffin Stroin, Michigan State University
Finalist: ‘He just melted my heart, he was just that one kid I really liked’ – by Christine Kanerva, Michigan State University

Best All-Around Television Newscast
Winner: Focal Point News 11-22-2019 – by Staff of Focal Point, Michigan State University
Finalist: TV2 KSU Best Television Newscast Entry – by Staff of TV2, Kent State University
Finalist: Oxford Weekly News – by Staff of Oxford Weekly News, Miami University


Online News Reporting
Winner: A harsh reality for undocumented immigrants in Butler County – by Maia Anderson, Miami University
Finalist: ARMCO plant in New Miami: An environmental danger or economic opportunity? – by Patrick Keck, Miami University
Finalist: Solutions Journalism: A review and analysis of patterns – by Michigan State University School of Journalism Media, Society & Theory class, Michigan State University

Online In-Depth Reporting
Winner: Rebuilding families – by Anna N. Saab, West Virginia University
Finalist: ‘We’re ready for a fresh start’: The aftermath of a faculty union strike – by Sarah Cavender, Wright State University
Finalist: Baileys Trail System: What its construction means for Athens County – by Emily Crebs, Ohio University

Online Opinion & Commentary
Winner: The Daily Northwestern and its impact on ethical journalism – by Charlotte Caldwell, Ohio University

Online Sports Reporting
Winner: RedHawks win MAC championship – by Massillon Myers, Miami University

Best Independent Online Student Publication
Winner: Women Beyond Bars – by Staff of WomenBeyondBars.com, West Virginia University


Winner: This Week @ TMS – Does Miami fail sexual assault survivors? – by Ben Deeter, Miami University
Finalist: Coping in college: Navigating mental health – by Ceili Doyle and Megan Zahneis, Miami University
Finalist: Ministry Moments Podcasts – by Breanna Beers, Cedarville University


Broadcast News Videography
Winner: They’re no different than traditional sports – by Tony Black, Michigan State University
Finalist: How a bright idea turned into a BRITE business – by Ruta Ulcinaite, Michigan State University
Finalist: New Michigan State bike lane – by Griffin Stroin, Michigan State University

Broadcast Feature Videography
Winner: I don’t know if I was nervous. I don’t know if I was excited. – by Tony Black, Michigan State University
Finalist: 30 years of student radio – by Griffin Stroin, Michigan State University
Finalist: I’ll plant trees as long as I’m physically able to – by Tony Black, Michigan State University

Broadcast Sports Videography
Winner: It’s the best smell in the world – by Michael Epps, Michigan State University
Finalist: A trip to Camp Randall – by Ian Gilmour, Michigan State University

Online/Digital Feature Videography
Winner: Cal U’s club and organization fair, fall 2019 – by Sam Kuhne, California University of Pennsylvania
Finalist: The demolition of Brown House – by Sarah Donaldson, Ohio University
Finalist: Aaron Rop: A journey from battling cancer to becoming a Chippewa – by Ryan Wright, Central Michigan University

Online/Digital News Videography
Winner: March 2 shooting documentary: Looking back one year later – by Natalie McCorvie, Central Michigan University
Finalist: Brownsville Sheetz Store marks grand opening – by Colin Kirkwood, California University of Pennsylvania

Online/Digital Sports Videography
Winner: Yellow Jackets basketball travels to Ohio State – by Jacob Bentley and Abigail Hintz, Cedarville University

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