Students win nine first-place awards in regional journalism competition

moe-logoMiami University students won nine first-place awards and another nine finalist awards in the annual Mark of Excellence competition hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

The results mark Miami’s best-ever showing in the competition for Region 4, which includes Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia and half of Pennsylvania. Miami picked up four wins and six finalist awards last year and a total of 10 recognitions in the prior two years.

 “Miami students have once again shown the width and breadth of their talent,” said Patricia Gallagher Newberry, journalism program area coordinator. “I’m impressed with the range of topics they took up – with stories on mental health, sexual assault, Greek life, immigration and gun violence among them.”

Newberry, who is also the adviser to Miami’s SPJ chapter and president of the national SPJ board, said, “I’m impressed, too, that we had winners from student-run media and classes, with work produced for print, online and broadcast.”

Winners and finalists would have been honored this past weekend at a Region 4 conference scheduled for Columbus. The event was canceled because of the coronavirus crisis.

Miami first-place awards (in alphabetical order) went to:

  • Maia Anderson, (Miami “19), general news reporting, for “A Harsh Reality for Undocumented Immigrants in Butler County,” produced for the Oxford Stories site of a multimedia journalism course.
  • Alex Cox, sophomore, feature writing, for “107-year-old Miami Alumna Reflects on her College Years” in The Miami Student.
  • Ceili Doyle, senior, nonfiction magazine writing, for “Monument Man” in the spring 2019 issue of the Miami Student Magazine.
  • Ben Deeter, (Miami ’19), podcasts, for “Does Miami Fail Sexual Assault Survivors?” for The Miami Student This Week @ TMS podcast.
  • Will Gorman, senior, general column writing, for three selections from The Miami Student: “Facing Reality: the Social Importance of Reality Television;”  “No One Prepared Me for Life Pre-Grad;” and “ ‘Love Island’ is a 21st Century British Invasion and for Some Reason We Need It.”
  • Massillon Myers, senior, online sports reporting, for “RedHawks Win MAC Championship,” for the Oxford Observer site produced by journalism capstone students.
  • The staff of UP fashion magazine, best student magazine, for “In Living Color,” its fall 2019 issue.
  • Chris Vinel, junior, sports column writing, for three selections from The Miami Student: "Marty Brennaman's Retirement Ends Summer and Our Sports Editor's Childhood;" "Lack of African-Americans in MLB Trickles Down to Tee-Ball;” and "Tiger Woods and I Wore Red on Sunday."
  • Vinel, sports writing, for "Myja White Finds Solace in Creativity" in The Miami Student.
Miami finalist awards (the equivalent of second and third place) went to:
  • Tim Carlin, junior; Ceili Doyle, senior; and Rachel Berry, senior, breaking news, for “Call 9-1-1, I Feel Like I’m Going to Die” and three related stories in The Miami Student.
  • Emily Dattilo, junior, sports writing, for “A Father and Son Shared a Sport. Now, They Share a Team” in The Miami Student.
  • Ceili Doyle, senior, and Megan Zahneis, (Miami ’19), podcasts, for “Coping in College: Navigating Mental Health” produced for the What’s Next site of a journalism digital audio reporting course.
  • Patrick Keck, senior, general news reporting, for “ARMCO Plant in New Miami: An Environmental Danger or Economic Opportunity?” for the Oxford Stories site produced by a multimedia journalism course.
  • Staff of The Miami Student, editorials, for three entries written by senior Kate Rigazio: “Want Us to Change the World? Leave Us a World to Change, Crawford;”  “ ‘From Now On’ We Want Real Talk, No More Fluff;” and “It’s Time Miami Held Fraternities to the Same Standards as Sororities.”
  • Staff of “Oxford Weekly News,” best all-around television newscast, for a March episode produced by a journalism capstone class.
  • Brady Pfister, senior, sports columns, for three entries in The Miami Student: “I Was Wrong About Chuck Martin;” “Miami Football is Just Getting Started” and “Cincinnati <3s Ken Griffey Jr.”
  • Leanne Stahulak, junior, nonfiction magazine article, for “Young Journalists Undertake Heavy Reporting on the Dayton Shooting” in the winter 2019 issue of Miami Quarterly magazine.
  • Macy Whitaker, senior, sports photography, for “RedHawks Host Toledo and Look for Fourth Straight Win” for The Miami Student.

The work of first-place winners will be judged at the national level, against the work of winners from the Society of Professional Journalists’ other 11 regions.

National winners will be recognized at the national Excellence in Journalism Conference in Washington, D.C., Sept. 10-12.