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Cronkite Students Win Numerous Awards in 2013-2014

July 27, 2014

Students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University earned awards and recognition in reporting, photography and public relations, among other areas, for work done during the 2013-2014 academic year.

The accolades included national recognition from the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, The Associated Press, Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

“We are extremely proud of the outstanding work of our exceptional students,” said Cronkite School Associate Dean Kristin Gilger. “Year after year, our students are among the best in the country in national and regional journalism award contests – testifying to the dedication of our phenomenal students and faculty.”

Hearst Journalism Awards
For the 13th-consecutive year, the Cronkite School finished in the top 10 nationally at the prestigious Hearst Journalism Awards. Cronkite secured sixth overall in the national contest based on student work in a variety of categories, including multimedia, television, radio, print and photojournalism.

Cronkite students placed second in the Hearst broadcast category and fourth in writing. Individually, several students received notable recognition. Cronkite student Shayne Dwyer finished fourth in TV news reporting and traveled to the annual Hearst National Championships in Washington, D.C., where he won the television broadcast news championship.

Connor Radnovich was one of two students in the 2013-2014 competition to place in the top 10 in three separate categories — personality/profile writing, breaking news and photojournalism picture story/series.

Other top students included Molly J. Smith, fourth place for feature writing; Erin O’Connor, fifth place for multimedia news; Robby Baker, sixth place for TV feature reporting; Mark Remillard, seventh place for radio feature reporting; David Robles, eighth place for enterprise reporting; Cooper Rummell, ninth place for radio feature reporting; and Yihyun Jeong and Laura Sposato, ninth place for multimedia team reporting.

Rocky Mountain Emmys
Cronkite NewsWatch, the school’s student-produced television newscast, was recognized as the best student newscast at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recognized NewsWatch for an April 2013 broadcast covering immigration reform and the dangers of online donation scams. This is the third-consecutive year NewsWatch has won best student newscast in the nation.

Kim Pestalozzi also won a Rocky Mountain Emmy in the student sports category for her story on a high school wrestler who overcame significant odds to achieve greatness. “Overcoming the Odds” aired on “Sports Watch 101” on FOX Sports Arizona. Cronkite NewsWatch is a 30-minute newscast produced by advanced broadcast students that reaches 1.9 million homes on Eight, Arizona PBS four days a week.

Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards
Carnegie-Knight News21 was a finalist in the Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards for outstanding student investigative work for a project examining the enduring battles facing post-9/11 veterans as they return home from war.

Top journalism students from across the country participated in the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, creating a multimedia project with dozens of stories, videos and photos that documented veterans as they navigate a federal bureaucracy ill-equipped to help them. ASU students Caitlin Cruz, Chad Garland, Peter Haden, Trahern Wallace Jones, Andrew Knochel, Rachel Leingang, Kay Miller, Mary Shinn, Jake Stein and Mauro Whiteman worked on the project, which was featured by national news organizations such as The Washington Post, NBCnews.com and the Center for Public Integrity.

AP Television and Radio Association Regional Awards
Cooper Rummell secured second place in the best use of sound category at the annual AP Television and Radio Association Regional Awards. Rummell was recognized for his KTAR radio story on “Maricopa County Jail Flags,” which examined Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s penalties for inmates who deface American flags in their jail cells.

The annual AP Regional Awards represent the highest standards of professional broadcast journalism across 13 states, including Arizona.

Arizona Photojournalism Awards
Jessie Wardarski was named the Arizona Press Club’s College Photographer of the Year at the Arizona Photojournalism Awards for her captivating photos of skydivers and farming. The awards program also honors professional still and video photography in categories ranging from news to sports. Wardarski’s award, which recognizes a portfolio of her work, includes a $1,000 scholarship.

The Arizona Press Club is a nonprofit organization of professional reporters, editors, photographers and designers from publications across the state.

Accolade Awards
The Cronkite School’s Public Relations Lab won seven awards in the Accolade Competition, an awards program for new media, film, television and videography.

The PR Lab took home an Award of Excellence for public service programming and two Awards of Merit for contemporary issues/awareness raising and editing for their “Be Bold. Be Strong. Be Able/ABIL.” campaign for the Arizona Bridge to Independent Living. Annie Carson, Montserrat Camacho, Nora Merza, Michelle Rivas and Morgan Theys contributed to the project.

The PR Lab also won an Award of Excellence in content/message delivery and an Award of Merit in script/writing for the “Where Lives Touch” campaign for the National Newspaper Association. Abby Dugan, Cristina Peralta, Alex Lancial and Kyleigh Zmijewski developed a public service announcement. Kara Burns, Valerie Nunez, Victoria Stangl and Emily Wininger developed a website and infographics as well as conducted social media outreach for the campaign.

For their work for the Arizona Broadcasters Association, the PR Lab secured an Award of Merit in public service programming for a public service announcement titled “Inform. Inspire. Insight.” Jessica Choi, Alexa Chrisbacher, Kelsey Pfeffer, Kayla Pologa and Joshua Skalniak won the award. The Public Relations Lab is a full-service public relations agency at the Cronkite School that puts students to work creating communications campaigns and strategies for professional clients.

The PR Lab also took home an Award of Merit in public service programming for a campaign for the Tempe Coalition to eliminate marijuana use among adolescents. Jennifer Borbon, Zander Buel, Hannah Lurie and Leila O'Hara did production work on a PSA. Marlee Bever, Wahida Ifat, Steven Kapoloma, Ashley Provenzano and Torunn Sinclair worked on the script, concepts and initial shooting of the PSA.

GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence Awards
Cronkite Public Relations Lab students won a GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence Award for their Tempe Coalition campaign to reduce underage drinking. The winning campaign by Cassidy Olson, Rachel Steingard and Samantha Womer included outreach at community events, a pledge program, PSAs and billboards for the Tempe Coalition, an organization working to reduce drug use and underage drinking.

The GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence Award is sponsored by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, a national organization committed to building drug-free communities.

Biotech University
Rachel Lund received top honors at the 2014 Biotech University contest. Lund captured the grand prize, an all-expenses-paid trip to Australia for her winning entry, “Milk in America.” For her entry, she produced a radio segment exploring how genetically modified organisms can be an affordable solution to feeding the world’s population.

Biotech University is a one-day spring seminar that introduces journalism students from across the country to the emerging science of biotechnology.

Global Editors Network Hackdays
Thania Betancourt, Sachit Dhal and Mauro Whiteman were part of a select group of college students who competed against professional news organizations in the Global Editors Network Hackdays, a worldwide competition that addresses the need for more collaborative innovation in newsrooms by generating new ideas and best practices.

The Cronkite team, one of only two colleges in the 13-team field, engaged in the November 2013 competition at Yahoo’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. The field included professional news organizations such as CNN, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. The judges commended the Cronkite team’s creativity and execution.

McCain Institute Sedona Forum
Torunn Sinclair and Hannah Lurie were selected to participate at the prestigious Sedona Forum hosted by the McCain Institute for International Leadership at ASU. The Sedona Forum brings together top government and private sector leaders and issue experts to Sedona, Ariz., for focused discussion around some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

This year’s event included visits from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns. Headquartered in the nation’s capital, the McCain Institute is a center for research and action in national security and foreign policy.