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Region 8 Mark of Excellence Awards winners announced


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4/13/2021


CONTACT:
Lou Harry, SPJ Manager of Publications and Awards, 317-920-4786, lharry@spj.org
Ashlynn Neumeyer, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-361-4133, aneumeyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists recognizes the best collegiate journalism in Region 8 with 2020 Mark of Excellence Awards winners.

SPJ’s Region 8 comprises Oklahoma and Texas. First-place winners will compete at the national level among other regional MOE winners from the 12 SPJ regions.

National winners will be notified in the late spring and will be recognized at SPJ’s national conference.

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 Manager of Publications and Awards Lou Harry by email or 317-920-4786.

This list reflects the spelling and titles submitted in the award entries. New MOE categories were added this year for COVID-19 and video game reporting.

Newspapers

Breaking News Reporting
Winner: Texas State student-athlete killed in apartment shooting - by Staff, Texas State University
Finalist: Tornado hits Arlington - by Colby Farr, Cecilia Lenzen, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: University president steps down - by Brian Lopez, Reese Oxner, Megan Cardona, University of Texas at Arlington

General News Reporting
Winner: Black on campus - by Tritima Achigbu, David Silva Ramirez, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: As the nation reevaluates policing, SMU is no exception - by Audrey McClure, Southern Methodist University
Finalist: Students express doubt as reported campus COVID numbers fall - by Audrey McClure, Southern Methodist University

In-Depth Reporting
Winner: The 11% Project - by Staff, Texas State University
Finalist: Insufficient evidence: Victims accuse SMU of mishandling campus sexual assault - by Michelle Aslam, Southern Methodist University
Finalist: Baylor backstory - by Staff, Baylor University

Feature Writing
Winner: Transformers: Bold moves - by Kara Dry, Alexis Lea, University of North Texas
Finalist: Professor paints mural - by Cecilia Lenzen, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Breaking the cycle: Paul Juarez’s journey of fatherhood - by Sadie Brown, University of North Texas

Sports Writing
Winner: Raising Declan - by Aidan Bea, Texas State University
Finalist: Early buzzer sounds - by Brian Yancelson, Trinity University
Finalist: "Louisiana born, Texas raised: how Hurricane Katrina shaped Anderson's path to college basketball" - by Hallie Hart, Oklahoma State University

Editorial Writing
Winner: Staff editorials - by Staff, Texas State University
Finalist: Shorthorn editorials - by Staff, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: The Collegian editorials - by Dang Le, Amber Davis, Alyson Oliver, Tarrant County College

Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: The Shorthorn - by Staff, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: The University Star - by Staff, Texas State University
Finalist: The Collegian - by Staff, Tarrant County College

Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Small) 1-9,999+ Students
Winner: Trinitonian - by Kathleen Creedon, Kendra Derrig, Kayla Padilla, Genevieve Humphreys, Trinity University

Magazines

Non-Fiction Magazine Article
Winner: Major Garrett's wild ride - by Elise Adkins, University of North Texas
Finalist: Closed curtains - by Maggie Kelleher, Southern Methodist University
Finalist: Receiving mercy and finding grace - by Sommer Stanley, Baylor University

Art/Graphics

Breaking News Photography
Winner: Demonstrators burn flags - by Elias Valverde II, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Photographer captures images of protest - by Johnathan Johnson, Tarrant County College
Finalist: In the line of duty - by Johnathan Johnson, Tarrant County College

General News Photography
Winner: Activist group marches through Arlington - by Elias Valverde II, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Officer embrace - by Elias Valverde II, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: The 36th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Celebration - by Jaden Edison, Texas State University

Feature Photography (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Illuminated dancers - by Elias Valverde II, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Folklorico dancers - by Azul Sordo, Tarrant County College
Finalist: Chicken love - by Anna Geyer, University of Texas at Arlington

Feature Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner: University steps into Black History Month - by Maegan Mendoza, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Photo Illustration
Winner: Covid causes fall skips - by Shay Cohen, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Biden White House - by Shay Cohen, University of Texas at Arlington

Sports Photography (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Hair flyin' ride - by Elias Valderde II, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Teague attempts layup - by Caleb Boren, Baylor University
Finalist: Behind the lens: My experiences capturing fall sports during COVID-19 - by Kate Connors, Texas State University

Sports Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner: Sophomore forward Clay Gayman leaps over junior forward Gavin Kensmil for a layup - by David Mitchell, Abilene Christian University

Editorial Cartooning
Winner: Claudia Humphrey portfolio - by Claudia Humphrey, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Chelsea Akpan portfolio - by Chelsea Akpan, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: Baylor Lariat editorial cartoons - by AB Boyd, Hannah Holliday, Baylor University

Radio

Radio Feature
Winner: When eviction court moved to Zoom, this attorney kept fighting for renters’ rights - by Daisy Espinoza, University of Houston

Television

Television General News Reporting
Winner: Panic in the Chicago suburbs - by Shannon Ehrhardt, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: Dia De Los Muertos - by Dominique Leh, Lamar University
Finalist: Follow the rules, bars will stay open - by Grace Smith, Baylor University

Television Feature Reporting
Winner: A popular pastime during a pandemic: COVID vs. TikTok - by Hannah Jones, Southern Methodist University
Finalist: The Electoral College explained - by Alyssa Weems, University of North Texas
Finalist: The College Try: Beaumont's "Burger King" - by Chandler Smith, LUTV News, Lamar University

Television In-Depth Reporting
Winner: Dust-to-dust - by Parker Thune, Ben Possehl, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: ACUTV/Optimist election show - by Owen Simpson, Emily Shafer, ACUTV Team, Abilene Christian University

Television Sports Reporting
Winner: Sports safety - by RaShaud Buie, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: Faith over femurs - by Nate Smith, Baylor University
Finalist: Sooner coaches - by Shannon Ehrhardt, University of Oklahoma

Best All-Around Television Newscast
Winner: OU Nightly - by Brooke Murski, Marissa Marcotte, University of Oklahoma

Best All-Around Television News Magazine
Winner: Routes TV-Oklahoma’s mental health battle - by Stingray Schuller, Aspen Endriss, University of Oklahoma

Online

Online News Reporting
Winner: BERT sit-in - by Staff, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: Professor uses racial slur in class - by Jordan Miller, Nick Hazelrigg, Blake Douglas, Emma Davis, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: Local performing arts studio dances its way through COVID-19 pandemic - by Tyler Pressley, University of North Texas

Online Feature Reporting
Winner: Maggie Nichols: Courageous - by George Stoia, Will Conover, Caitlyn Epes, Paxson Haws, University of Oklahoma

Online In-Depth Reporting
Winner: The 11% Project - by Staff, Texas State University
Finalist: A town divided - by Beth Wallis, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: Perils of playing: Experts discuss CTE in U.S. football - by Cross Warnock, Texas Tech University

Online Sports Reporting
Winner: Season of work - by Caleb McCourry, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: No. 7 Bears fall short of comeback in Sugar Bowl loss - by DJ Ramirez, Baylor University
Finalist: UH football looks to blitz COVID-19 - by Marc Ray, University of Houston

Best Use of Multimedia
Winner: 5 years after SAE - by Paxson Haws, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: Birx lauds Baylor's COVID-19 response - by Sarah Gill, Vivian Roach, Brittney Matthews, Baylor University
Finalist: Waco Rage Room - by Chase Li, Madison Miller, Madalyn Watson, Baylor University

Best Affiliated Web Site
Winner: The Collegian online - by Staff, Tarrant County College
Finalist: The University Star online - by Staff, Texas State University
Finalist: The Shorthorn - by Staff, University of Texas at Arlington

Best Independent Online Student Publication
Winner: The Hub@TTU - The center of all things Texas Tech - by Reece Nations, Texas Tech University

Videography

Broadcast News Videography
Winner: Thousands of protestors fill downtown Houston for George Floyd march - by Marc Ray, University of Houston

Broadcast Sports Videography
Winner: Olympic dreams - by Jackson Dunavant, Christian Taliaferro, University of North Texas

Online/Digital News Videography
Winner: Barnacle - by Justin Jayne, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: Harris county drive-thru voting thrives despite GOP opposition - by Daisy Espinoza, University of Houston
Finalist: LULAC oppose ballot drop-off limitations for Texas voters - by Marc Ray, University of Houston

Online/Digital Feature Videography
Winner: 2 Daily staffers see color for the first time - by Chandler Engelbrecht, Jonathan Kyncl, Justin Jayne, Will Conover, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: SMU students party despite pandemic restrictions - by Jillian Taylor, Southern Methodist University
Finalist: Breaking the cycle: Paul Juarez’s journey of fatherhood - by Sadie Brown, University of North Texas

Online/Digital Sports Videography
Winner: Maggie Nichols: Courageous - by Will Conover, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: Miners spoil Wildcats' season-opener, 17-13 - by Owen Simpson, Abilene Christian University

Video Game Reporting

Video Game Reporting
Winner: Esports - by Jacob C. Lara, Our Lady of the Lake University

Podcast

Podcast
Winner: Optimist Overtime - by Owen Simpson, Abilene Christian University
Finalist: Umbrella: What's at stake - by Locan Crews, Trinity University

COVID-19

COVID-19: Newspaper, Magazine and Online Coverage (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Limbo: Pandemic perspectives - by Mayborn Photojournalists, University of North Texas
Finalist: Shorthorn Coronavirus news coverage - by Staff, University of Texas at Arlington
Finalist: The University Star COVID-19 coverage - by Staff, Texas State University

COVID-19: Newspaper, Magazine and Online Coverage (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner: Rising xenophobia during pandemic - by Daisy Gonzalez-Quezada, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Finalist: Wellness checks not required for faculty - by Veronica Valdes, Clarissa Martinez, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

COVID-19: Video Coverage (Small) 1-9,999+ Students
Winner: Coronavirus on the hilltop - by Lauren Rangel, Southern Methodist University
Finalist: COVID-19 & OLLU athletics - by Sophia Mora, Our Lady of the Lake University
Finalist: Back to the gym - by Gabriel Cook, Our Lady of the Lake University

COVID-19: Video Coverage (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Dancing through Covid - by Katherine Tipton, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: The Native American fight against COVID-19 - by Logan Dunn, University of Oklahoma
Finalist: Grocery stores during coronavirus - by Ashley Castillo, Texas Southern University

COVID-19: Digital (Still) Photography (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Limbo: Alone together - by Jessica Strange, University of North Texas
Finalist: Limbo: Sister cities - by Enrico Rodriguez, University of North Texas
Finalist: Hundreds wait in cold for vaccine - by Elias Valverde II, University of Texas at Arlington

COVID-19: Digital (Still) Photography (Small) 1-9,999+ Students
Winner: Off the clock during COVID-19 - by Victoria Martinez, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

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