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Waynesburg University’s student newspaper, the Yellow Jacket, was recently named a regional winner in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) annual awards contest for the Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper category. 

“The SPJ awards are the top of the line for student journalism contests, and this category is akin to a best in show award that judges the entire publication, so we are quite excited,” said Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication at Waynesburg University and faculty adviser to the Yellow Jacket. 

Nick Farrell, a senior communication (sports broadcasting/sports information) major and the executive editor of the Yellow Jacket, took home two regional awards for General News Reporting. The awards recognize his article on past Waynesburg University president A.B. Miller’s diary returning to campus and his series on the University’s student senate changes. 

“Having the piece on Miller's diary recognized was a gratifying experience for me, especially since I found out about the award a few weeks before President Lee's inauguration and at a time when the campus community is greatly in touch with its history,” Farrell said. 

Farrell enjoyed the opportunity to tell Lee about the Yellow Jacket award in person, in Lee’s office where the diary is kept. 

“The Yellow Jacket's role is to serve the campus community, and we have a history of exceeding that call to service that dates back to the early 1900s,” Farrell said. “To be recognized individually for my work is quite an honor, but I'm most pleased by the fact the entire staff has been recognized for its outstanding commitment to the weekly execution of reporting news factually and effectively.”

While the Yellow Jacket typically wins at least one award from SPJ each year, this is the first time it has won an SPJ Best All-Around award in nearly a decade. The Yellow Jacket won SPJ All-Around awards in both 2004 and 2005, a time when Szuminsky, then a student at Waynesburg University, was editor of the paper.

In April, the Yellow Jacket will learn how it placed in region four. First place winners move on to the national SPJ competition. Farrell, too, will learn how he placed among other young journalists from across the region. 

“No matter how the placing works out, we know that the preeminent journalism organization thinks the Jacket is one of the top three papers in this region,” said Szuminsky.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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