Ashton Nichols named Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism
Lou Harry, SPJ Manager of Publications and Awards, 317-920-4786, email@example.com
Ashlynn Neumeyer, Communications Coordinator, 317-361-4133, firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to honor Ashton Nichols with the 2021 Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism Award. Nichols is a graduate of Ohio University and is currently a storyteller and communications coordinator at Cariloop.
The award honors a journalism graduate nominated by their campus chapters and selected by the Society's leaders based on character, service to the community, scholarship, proficiency in practical journalism and significant contributions to their SPJ chapter.
Nichols was chosen as freshman liaison of her campus chapter her first semester of college. She served as treasurer for a year and then as president as the chapter began the programming year with a full schedule of events and activities, despite COVID-19. She was a consistent part of the chapter’s executive team during its four straight years streak as regional and national chapter of the year.
She won Mark of Excellence Awards throughout her Ohio University career, including this year, when she took both finalist and winner awards in the newspaper general news reporting category. Her work also finished 12th in the national Hearst Awards explanatory reporting category.
At Ohio University’s campus newspaper, The Post, Nichols covered the crime beat during her first year. Then she worked as a senior reporter, producing in-depth and data-driven stories. Nichols has also held internships at the Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism, The Columbus Dispatch and The Dallas Morning News.
In May 2018, she participated in a study abroad trip to Leipzig, Germany, to learn more about opioid addiction. While there, she produced a successful 10-minute video about the annual Goth festival.
Additionally, Nichols partook in a semester-long study abroad trip at Hong Kong Baptist University. She was there during the student uprising and was evacuated from the country about a month before semester’s end, reporting the news along the way. Her story included interviews with several students who had been arrested and/or attacked by police for protesting new laws coming from China.
“Ashton has a strong sense of social justice and breathes good journalism,” SPJ Ohio University Adviser Nerissa Young said in her nomination letter. “She is not afraid to jump into the unknown and has the intellect to figure out ways to make things happen. Ashton’s work as a journalist embodies the adage that journalism should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. She is a watchdog journalist in the best sense of the word.”
Nichols will be recognized during the SPJ21 conference.
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.