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Region 3 Mark of Excellence Awards winners announced


Lou Harry, SPJ Manager of Publications and Awards, 317-920-4786, lharry@spj.org
Zoë Berg, SPJ Communications Specialist, 317-920-4785, zberg@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists recognizes the best collegiate journalism in Region 3 with 2021 Mark of Excellence Awards winners.

SPJ’s Region 3 comprises Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. 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 the MediaFest22 convention in Washington, D.C., Oct. 27-30.

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 3 winners. If you have any questions regarding the MOE Awards, contact SPJ 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 cultural criticism, arts/fashion journalism and food/restaurant journalism.


Breaking News Reporting
Winner: ‘Calamitous Reality’: Florida governor speaks on virus, vaccines, elections and Black Lives Matter — by Stephany Matat, University of Florida
Finalist: UF in political firestorm over decision to block professors’ testimony in voting rights lawsuit — by Anna Wilder, Houston Harwood, University of Florida
Finalist: UGA professor resigns mid-class after student refuses to wear mask — by Dania Kalaji, University of Georgia

General News Reporting (Large)
Winner: Felon who won GOP congressional primary never applied for right to hold political office — by Corbin Bolies, University of Florida
Finalist: Racist texts in group message lead to Alpha Phi president’s removal, member’s termination — by Ainsley Platt, University of Alabama
Finalist: ‘I’m Exhausted’: Emory community addresses anti-Asian hate — by Anjali Huynh, Emory University

General News Reporting (Small)
Winner: AU protesters call for mask mandate from BOR — by Chris Woods, Augusta University
Finalist: Struggling with mental health during the pandemic and the need for self-care — by Abby Bittner, Flagler College
Finalist: The design of a better future in Haiti — by Danielle Filjon, Flagler College

In-Depth Reporting (Large)
Winner: Emory’s compost is going to a landfill, here’s why — by Matthew Chupack, Gabriella Lewis, Emory University
Finalist: Data show Florida’s new law against texting while driving is rarely enforced — by Christopher Cann, University of Florida
Finalist: Florida State University determines three professors guilty of sexual misconduct with students — by Tristan Wood, University of Florida

In-Depth Reporting (Small)
Winner: Vaccination stories — by Brady Talbert, Troy University
Finalist: What happened at the ECOS debate and what does it mean for the future of student government? — by Claire Bomer, Carter Weinhofer, Eckerd College
Finalist: Challenges of being a student with a learning disability — by Elisabeth Shirley, Flagler College

Feature Writing (Large)
Winner: Black Thursday — by Sarah Breske, University of Florida
Finalist: Unseated — by Michaela Mulligan, University of Florida
Finalist: Love in the big house: Former inmate plans unauthorized wedding in Florida federal prison to... — by Natalia Galicza, University of Florida

Feature Writing (Small)
Winner: The Navajo people handcrafted jewelry for centuries. COVID-19 made it a means of survival — by Brenna Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University
Finalist: Local historian seeks to uncover Lincolnville’s hidden past — by Abby Bittner, Flagler College
Finalist: Holy water and a pet food truck in front of Triton’s Pub: Eckerd’s unique pet blessing continues — by Carter Weinhofer, Eckerd College

Sports Writing (Large)
Winner: Former Florida women’s basketball players detail abuse under Coach Newbauer — by Zachary Huber, University of Florida
Finalist: Florida’s college football stadiums have been packed, but so far no apparent pandemic outbreaks — by Elisabell Velazquez, University of Florida
Finalist: Meet the Inferno, Tampa Bay’s unbeaten women’s tackle football team — by Payton Titus, University of Florida

Sports Writing (Small)
Winner: Fan discovers USC-Aiken given extra point in one-point victory over Jags — by Carlos Rodriguez, Augusta University
Finalist: Anxiety and depression: The new pandemic in soccer — by Osvaldo Godoy, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Editorial Writing
Winner: Columns — by The Emory Wheel editorial board, Emory University
Finalist: Our view — by The Crimson White editorial board, University of Alabama
Finalist: Afghanistan withdrawal unacceptable; Abandon Trump; Civil liberties are absolute — by Samuel Stroud, Troy University

General Column Writing
Winner: 1963 — by staff of The Emory Wheel, Emory University

Corbin Gwaltney Award for Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Large)
Winner: The Emory Wheel — by staff, Emory University
Finalist: The Red & Black — by staff, University of Georgia

Corbin Gwaltney Award for Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Small)
Winner: The Tropolitan — by staff, Troy University

Best Student Magazine
Winner: Distraction — by staff, University of Miami
Finalist: Ascend — by staff, University of Alabama
Finalist: New Growth — by staff of Nineteen Fifty-Six, University of Alabama

Best Affiliated Web Site
Winner: The Red & Black — by staff, University of Georgia

Best Independent Online Student Publication
Winner: Viking Fusion — by staff, Berry College
Finalist: The Gargoyle — by staff, Flagler College


General News Photography
Winner: Anti-mandate rally held in Rome over the weekend — by Taylor Corley, Berry College

Feature Photography
Winner: Screaming in Indigo — by Chasity Maynard, University of Florida
Finalist: Shutout: Gators take huge SEC win against rival Auburn — by Emma Bissell, University of Florida
Finalist: Berry Bees to undergo expansion due to high demand — by Rette Solomon, Berry College

Photo Illustration
Winner: Atrium illustrations — by Apoorva Thapa, University of Florida
Finalist: Cane Records — by Keagan Larkins, University of Miami
Finalist: Heads of hair — by Tyler Hogan, University of Alabama

Sports Photography
Winner: ‘Saved’: GK blocks a shot in loss against in-state rival Miami — by Emma Bissell, University of Florida
Finalist: Field goal attempt — by David Gray, University of Alabama
Finalist: National championship postgame celebration — by Kathryn Skeean, Jessica Gratigny, University of Georgia

Editorial Cartooning
Winner: Cartoons — by Christopher Labaza, Emory University
Finalist: Welcome back; The library computers; Dinner — by Dior Brown, Troy University
Finalist: COVID storm; The jab; Supply chain issues — by Wesley Picard, University of Alabama

Broadcast/Online Feature Videography
Winner: Never say never — by Chris O'Brien, University of Florida


Radio News Reporting
Winner: Soil collection ceremony for lynching victims — by Kristin Moorehead, University of Florida

Radio Feature
Winner: A conversation with Alabama Noir contributor Kirk Curnutt — by Baylen Parker, Troy University
Finalist: The Traveling child: How one Miami family is using their story to inspire through travel — by Nadia Gordon, Florida Atlantic University

Winner: Wheel Talk — by staff of The Emory Wheel, Emory University


Television Breaking News Reporting
Winner: Problems at the polls — by Robbie Greenwald, University of South Carolina

Television General News Reporting
Winner: Sex offenders — by Chris O'Brien, University of Florida
Finalist: University of Miami dorms ventilation does not comply with COVID-19 CDC guidelines — by Liam Fabre, University of Miami
Finalist: Enforcing Columbia's mask ordinance — by Ward Jolles, University of South Carolina

Television Feature Reporting
Winner: Never say never — by Chris O'Brien, University of Florida
Finalist: Living for Leonard — by Sophia Vitello, University of Miami
Finalist: Beneath Lake Murray — by Ward Jolles, University of South Carolina

Television In-Depth Reporting
Winner: Throwing up the hand U — by Derryl Barnes, Gianna Sanchez, University of Miami

Television Sports Reporting
Winner: Gators fire Dan Mullen, hire Billy Napier — by Alexa Harley, Harrison Smajovits, Sofia Mingote, Madi Camporese, University of Florida
Finalist: Advantage Chris — by Victor Prieto, University of Florida

Best All-Around Television Newscast
Winner: NewsVision — by staff, University of Miami
Finalist: Carolina News — by staff, University of South Carolina
Finalist: TROY TrojanVision News — by staff, Troy University

Best All-Around Television News Magazine
Winner: Rising from the rubble — by WUFT-TV staff, University of Florida
Finalist: Python pursuit — by UMTV staff, University of Miami

All Platforms

Arts/Fashion Journalism
Winner: Fall 2021 fashion section — by Distraction staff, University of Miami
Finalist: Gainesville arts scene coverage — by Drew Dees, Jill Colombo, Macie Goldfarb, University of Florida
Finalist: ‘Dust Ye Shall Be’ presents spice as art — by Sydney Kate Watson, Berry College

Food/Restaurant Journalism
Winner: Tlaloc brings Mexican authenticity, family tradition to Athens community — by Nava Rawls, University of Georgia
Finalist: Sophia's smorgasbord — by Sophia Ling, Emory University

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