13 Students Honored with SPJ Region 7 Mark of Excellence Awards

Columbia, Mo. (April 28, 2009) — The published work of 13 Missouri School of Journalism students has earned Region 7 Mark of Excellence Awards, a competition sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists for the best in student journalism. Several students received multiple awards.

SPJ Region 7 includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. This year, collegiate journalists submitted more than 3,700 entries in 39 categories across SPJ’s 12 regions.

Andrew Astleford Robby Berlin Mike Brannen Kevin Gehl Holly Jackson Sean Powers
Dhomonique Ricks Kyle Stokes Alex Swoyer David Ubben Catherine Wolf

Top row, from left: Andrew Astleford, Robby Berlin, Mike Brannen, Kevin Gehl, Holly Jackson, Sean Powers. Second row: Dhomonique Ricks, Kyle Stokes, Alex Swoyer, David Ubben, Catherine Wolf.


The honorees were recognized on April 25 during the regional spring conference held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel-Clayton in St. Louis. First place regional winners advance to the national round of judging, which is ongoing. National winners will be announced in mid-May.

Assistant Professor Holly Edgell, who is SPJ’s Region 7 director, said she is thrilled for the students who won awards.

“The awards are a great way to recognize student achievement,” she said. “Students who win or place have the satisfaction of knowing they are among the best in their peer group and that they’re on the track in terms of doing quality work. Having a Mark of Excellence Award on your resume also signals to future employers that you strive for excellence.”

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. The School’s chapter was founded in 1913.

Region 7 Mark of Excellence Awards went to the following Missouri Journalism students.

Newspaper

  • Newspaper Feature Writing
    • Third Place: Andrew Astleford, “A Pitcher’s Dual Dreams of Delivering at Sea, on Hill,” a story published in The Washington Post
  • Newspaper Sports Writing
    • Second Place: David Ubben, “A Special Kind of Respect,” an article published in the Columbia Missourian
    • Third Place: Andrew Astleford, “Seeking Relief, McHale’s Life Took a Fatal Turn,” a story published in The Washington Post

Radio

  • Radio News Reporting
    • First Place: Robby Berlin, “Fulton Treatment Facility,” a story broadcast on KBIA-FM
    • Second Place: Bonnie Thomas, “Grant School,” a story broadcast on KBIA-FM
    • Third Place: Sean Powers, “Iraq War Protest,” a story broadcast on KBIA-FM
  • Radio News Feature
    • First Place: Kyle Stokes, “Saving Lincoln School,” a story broadcast on KBIA-FM
    • Second Place: Sean Powers, “Coyote Hill,” a story broadcast on KBIA-FM
    • Third Place: Austin Coates, “Ghost,” a story broadcast on KBIA-FM
  • Radio In-Depth Reporting
    • First Place: Catherine Wolf, “Energy Matters: Living Green,” a story broadcast on KBIA-FM
    • Second Place: Sean Powers, “Immigration and Health,” a story broadcast on NPR
  • Radio Sports Reporting
    • First Place: Alex Swoyer, “Conrad Stands Out,” a story broadcast on KBIA-FM

Television

  • Television General News Reporting
    • First Place: Dhomonique Ricks, “Teen Gun Violence,” a story broadcast on KMSP FOX 9
  • Television Feature Reporting
    • First Place: Dhomonique Ricks, “Mr. Taco Bell,” a story broadcast on KMSP FOX 9
    • Second Place: Mike Brannen, “Monica Hudson,” a story broadcast on KOMU-TV
  • Television In-Depth Reporting
    • Second Place: Dhomonique Ricks, “Missouri Roads,” a story broadcast on KOMU-TV
  • Television Breaking News Reporting
    • First Place: Dhomonique Ricks, “Live Election Night Coverage,” a story broadcast on KOMU-TV
    • Second Place: Mike Brannen, “St. Charles Levee Break,” a story broadcast on KOMU-TV
  • Television Sports Reporting
    • First Place: Mike Brannen, “Carlos Ivory,” a story broadcast on KOMU-TV
    • Second Place: Kevin Gehl, “The Phantom Dutchman,” a story broadcast on KOMU-TV
  • Television News Photography
    • First Place: Mike Brannen, “Holiday Holdup,” a story broadcast on KOMU-TV
    • Second Place: Mike Brannen, a story broadcast on KOMU-TV
  • Television Feature Photography
    • First Place: Mike Brannen and Phil Rapisardo, “Monica Hudson,” a story broadcast on KOMU-TV
  • Television Sports Photography
    • First Place: Mike Brannen, “Fast Food,” a story broadcast on KOMU-TV

Web

  • Online News Reporting
    • First Place: Holly Jackson, “Hands-free Law Drives Big Marketing Opportunities,” a story on CNET News.com, a division of CBS Interactive
  • Online Feature Reporting
    • First Place: Holly Jackson, “Photographer Without Legs Tells Life Story from Ground Up,” a story on CNET News.com, a division of CBS Interactive

Updated: May 4, 2020

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