11 Missouri Journalism Students Receive Mark of Excellence Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists

Columbia, Mo. (April 30, 2008) — The Society of Professional Journalists recently honored 11 Missouri School of Journalism students’ reporting skills with 20 Mark of Excellence awards.

Eleven stories from all of the School’s student-staffed outlets won first-place awards in the 2008 Region 7 competition, allowing them to advance to the national competition. In addition, nine other stories received second- or third-place awards. The awards were presented April 4-5 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Charles Davis, the SPJ adviser at the School, said each year more students from the School are receiving awards.

Mike Brannen Patrick Fleming Katherine Harmon Jason Lamb
Sean Powers Taylor A. Rausch Matt Tarnawa Catherine Wolf

Top row, from left: Mike Brannen, Patrick Fleming, Katherine Harmon, Jason Lamb. Second row: Sean Powers, Taylor A. Rausch, Matt Tarnawa, Catherine Wolf.


“There is an awful lot of really great journalism being done in these halls,” he said. “The winning comes naturally if they enter the contest.”

Each year, SPJ presents awards for the best in student journalism. Published student work may be entered in 39 different categories for print, radio, television and online journalism.

Missouri Journalism students competing in SPJ’s Mark of Excellence competition can submit work prepared as part of their experiences in the School’s various community newsrooms. Radio-television students, for instance, enter stories they broadcast on either KOMU, the only university-owned network affiliate in the country that uses its newsroom as a working lab for students, or KBIA, mid-Missouri’s award-winning NPR station. Writing and photojournalism contestants submit examples of their stories and photos from the Columbia Missourian, the city’s faculty-run, student-staffed morning newspaper, or one of several other publications affiliated with the School.

“For the School, it just reiterates, for the world, that Mizzou is the place to study and do journalism,” Davis said. “When we win all those awards at the regional SPJ meeting, don’t think that doesn’t send a strong message. And that reflects right back on the students, because it is their work that is being recognized out there.”

Region Seven Mark of Excellence Awards went to the following students from the Missouri School of Journalism:

  • Feature Writing: Second Place: Taylor A. Rausch, Yoga: Where Old Meets New
  • General Column Writing: First Place: Taylor A. Rausch, In Their Own Words
  • Breaking News Reporting: Second Place: Elizabeth A. Phillips, Cole County residents mourn slain boy
  • In-Depth Reporting: First Place: Katherine Harmon, Murky Waters: Current Woes
  • Radio News Reporting: First Place: Catherine Wolf, Teens Behind the Wheel
  • Radio Feature Reporting: First Place: Elizabeth Langton, Hunting for Tradition. Second Place: Sean Powers, Tales From the Transit: New Beginnings. Third Place: Sean Powers, Moonlight Hoops.
  • Radio In-Depth Reporting: First Place: Jordan Witt, Being Muslim in Columbia. Second Place: Patrick Fleming, Veterans on Campus.
  • Radio Sports Reporting: First Place: Matt Tarnawa, XCX: Enjoy the Moment. Second Place: Sean Powers, Watching Mizzou.
  • Television General News Reporting: First Place: Jason Lamb, The Back to School Staple
  • Television Breaking News Reporting: First Place: Jason Lamb, A Flood of Hope
  • Television Feature: First Place: Jason Lamb, Standing Guard. Second Place: Mike Brannen, Lending Many Ears. Third Place: Jason Lamb, The Secret To a Long Life
  • Television News Photography: First place: Jason Lamb, Disaster on Ice
  • Television Feature Photography: First Place: Mike Brannen, Lending Many Ears. Second Place: Jason Lamb, Standing Guard

Updated: April 27, 2020

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