Home / News and Events / News / Cronkite Students Dominate National and Regional SPJ Contests

Cronkite Students Dominate National and Regional SPJ Contests

May 3, 2010

For an unprecedented five years in a row, students in the Cronkite School won more awards than any other school in the country in the Society of Professional Journalists’ prestigious Mark of Excellence awards competition.

Cronkite students won a total of nine awards, two of them first places, in the intercollegiate news contest that recognizes the top work done by college journalists across the country in 2009. The University of Georgia and the University of Missouri followed with a total of eight awards each, and the University of North Carolina earned a total of six awards.

Student journalists from across the country submitted more than 3,600 entries. The winners will be recognized Oct. 4 during the 2010 SPJ convention and national conference in Las Vegas.

The Cronkite students who advanced to the national competition first won at the regional level. This year, the Cronkite School took home a total of 43 awards in Region 11, which includes Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam and the Mariana Islands. Cronkite swept five categories, winning first, second and third places in four TV categories and in Online In-Depth Reporting.

Cronkite students won more regional awards than any other school in the country, taking nearly half -- 43 percent -- of all the awards given in the region. The University of California, Los Angeles, won 15 awards; the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University, Northridge, tied for third with 10 awards each; and the University of Southern California and the University of Arizona received eight awards each.

The Cronkite School has taken first place in the region every year since 2000.

Dean Christopher Callahan applauded the dozens of students whose work was recognized by SPJ at the regional and national levels. “It’s gratifying to see them do so well year after year,” he said. “And it’s especially gratifying to see them perform so well across all platforms – in broadcast, print and online.”

Results of the two levels of competition follow:

2009 National SPJ Contest

National Winners and First in Region
TV Breaking News Reporting
Toby Phillips
“NSM March in Arizona”

TV Feature Photography

Liz McKernan
“Uganda Medical Mission”

National Finalists and First in Region
Best Affiliated Website

Staff, The State Press
statepress.com



In-Depth Reporting

Derek Quizon

“Dream Deferred”



Online In-Depth Reporting

Jeremy Rudy, Carleen McGillick and Melanie Kiser

“Photo Enforcement”



TV In-Depth Reporting

Staff, Cronkite NewsWatch

“Cronkite News Tracks H1N1”



TV Feature Reporting

Liz McKernan
“Uganda Medical Mission”




TV News Photography

Amber Dixon
“Ocean Smuggling”


TV Sports Photography

Mike Pelton
“GCU Basketball”


2009 Regional SPJ Contest

First Place
In addition to the national winners above, the following students earned first places in the regional contest.

Non-Fiction Magazine Article
Celeste Sepessy
“A Commander’s Challenge”

Television Sports Reporting
Nick Landauer
“Manzanita Closes”

Online News Reporting
Jonathan J. Cooper
“Border’s Virtual Fence: Over-budget and Under-performing”

Television General News Reporting
Christie Post
“Indigent Burial”

Best All-Around Television Newscast
Cronkite NewsWatch Staff
Cronkite NewsWatch 2009

Sports Writing
Andrew Pentis
“A Labor of Love”

Editorial Writing
The State Press Editorial Board
“Backward Bound,” “All Broken Up” and “Much Ado about Nothing”

Second Place
Television Sports Photography
Maxine Park
“Night Golf”

Best Independent Online Student Publication
Advanced Online Media Class
“Cronkite Zine”

Radio In-Depth Reporting
Colton Shone
“Broken Dreams on Burgess Lane”

Television Feature
Toby Phillips
“Heritage Hats”

Online News Reporting
Stephanie Riel
“Living on the Line: Border Fence is Boon to Some, Bother to Others”

Television News Photography
David Gonzalez
“Lightrail Platform Safety”

Television General News Reporting
Brian McBride
“Horse Tripping”

Television Breaking News Reporting
Desiree Dietiker
“Light Rail Crash”

General News Photography
Deanna Dent
“Border Patrol”

Feature Writing
Tessa Muggeridge
“The World Down Under”

In-Depth Reporting
W.J. Hennigan
“Special Report on Mexican Economy”

General News Reporting
Melanie Kiser
“Legislator: Abuse Still Rampant in Arizona’s Polygamist Communities”

Online In-Depth Reporting
Jeremy Pennycook and Elizabeth Shell
“Building Success”

Television Feature Photography
Toby Phillips
“Heritage Hats”

Online Feature Reporting
Jonathan J. Cooper, Corey Schubert, Tessa Muggeridge and Megan L. Thomas
“Pulse of a Corner”

Radio Feature
Colton Shone
“Growing Your Own Garden”

Third Place
Radio Sports Reporting
Jill Galus
“Cardinals Super Bowl”

Television Feature
Brian McBride
“80-year-old Bowler”

Television Sports Reporting
Maxine Park
“Night Golf”

Television News Photography
Kenneth Wong
“Agua Linda Checkpoints”

Television News Reporting
Amber Dixon
“Ocean Smuggling”

Television Breaking News Reporting
Rafael Carranza
“Swine School”

General News Reporting
James Kindle
“Danger Along Border Threatens Research on Endangered Species”

Sports Photography
Matt Pavelek
“ASU Throttles ULM, 38-14”

Online In-Depth Reporting
2009 Cronkite Boot Camp
“Streets of Dreams”

Online Sports Reporting
Andrew Pentis
“Examining Football’s Two-Way Risk”

Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper
The State Press Staff
The State Press