SANTA FE, N.M.—Laramie County Community College’s student newspaper, Wingspan
, won first place “best all-around nondaily student newspaper” in the small college category in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region IX Mark of Excellence competition.
The awards were presented April 13 in Santa Fe, N.M., at the SPJ Region IX conference, which includes Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.
The judges’ comment was “Wingspan is commended for its colorful fonts, serious examination of academic issues, and multitude of relevant campus news and features stories.”
In addition, Wingspan captured 12 other awards, more than any other small college. First-place awards will advance to national competition with the winners to be honored at the SPJ national convention Aug. 24–26 in Anaheim, Calif
The regional awards were as follows:
- Allie Hurley: first place, breaking news photography, for “Hands-on reporting,” for a photo of the Wyoming Highway Patrol’s Convincer to raise seat belt safety awareness.
- Katie Blaser: first place, editorial writing, for a series of three editorials, “College must seek students in their village, speak their language,” “Sealed: All cases, especially death penalty trials, must remain public” and “Sweet new property beats an old hole.”
- Will Hebert, first place, column writing, for a series of three columns, “Friend’s marriage proposal brings surprise, acceptance” “Mad science: Experiments transform into crazy, culinary adventures” and “Forced change of mind brings balance in life.”
- Jennifer Stogsdill, first place, general news reporting, for a legislative story on a bill to increase speed limits.
- Matt Rooney, first place, feature writing, for a story on an LCCC actor pursuing his dreams.
- Susann Robbins, Aaron Boyd, Cassie Kelly and Katie Blaser, first place, online in-depth reporting, for the LCCC search for a new vice president of academic affairs.
- Will Hebert and Josh Kimmel, second place, feature photography, on the theatre department’s production of “Mere Mortals.”
- Will Hebert and Bruce Enever, second place, photo illustration, for the cover of the Chute-Out rodeo special edition.
- Susann Robbins, second place, column writing, for a series of three columns, “Like this column! Facebook filled with pointless posts,” “Worrying becomes mom’s second job” and “Survive the apocalypse: Find your mother.”
- Susann Robbins, second place, online in-depth reporting, for the LCCC search for a new vice president of student services.
- Shawn Havel, second place, sports photography, for a soccer photo called “Charging ahead.”
- Shawn Havel, third place, column writing, for a series of three columns: “Gods forsake mortal,” “Einstein, Gandhi, Sun Tzu and…The Dishwasher: Editor gains inspiration from unusual source” and “Magnets: Survive when your iPhone turns killer; Machines will never suspect will souvenirs are weapons.”
The competition was for calendar year 2012. Herbert and Havel were co-editors during the spring 2012 semester, and Stogsdill and Havel were co-editors during the fall 2012 semester. Rosalind Schliske and J.L. O’Brien are faculty advisers to the publication.
The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. 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.