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b2ap3_thumbnail_monogram.jpgWaynesburg University’s student newspaper, the Yellow Jacket, was recently recognized with five awards from two preeminent professional journalism organizations.

The student-run paper was named a finalist for two top regional awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and was awarded three statewide awards for individual excellence in reporting from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA).

Selected as a finalist for the Region 4 Mark of Excellence Award for Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper by SPJ for the second consecutive year, the Yellow Jacket will learn how it placed in its region later in March at a conference at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. First place regional winners will move on to the national SPJ competition.

"These two consecutive awards show great progress not just at the paper, but in our own development as journalists," said Nick Farrell, senior communication major and executive editor of the Yellow Jacket. "I have no doubt that those staff members who choose to continue careers in journalism after college will continue the success we started here."

Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication and co-advisor for the Yellow Jacket at Waynesburg University, said that the Best All-Around category "is basically a best-in-show award that takes into account the entire paper and is judged regardless of school."

"Last year's winner, for example, has an enrollment of 28,000, and we were right there behind them with only 1,500," Szuminsky said. "For us to be one of the three finalists for this award means we've got one of the three best non-daily student newspapers in a four-state region for back-to-back years – that's pretty impressive for a small school such as this."

SPJ also named the Yellow Jacket a finalist in the Best In-Depth Reporting (Small School) category for the coverage of Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee’s inauguration last spring.

SPJ presents the Mark of Excellence Awards annually, honoring the best in student journalism. The awards offer categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism.

Additionally, PNA recognized the Yellow Jacket with three Student Keystone Press Awards in Division II, the category for four-year colleges and universities with enrollment under 10,000 students within the commonwealth.

The Yellow Jacket’s PNA awards include first place in the category "Ongoing News Coverage" for the series "Administration overhauls academic calendar" by Farrell, John Lydic, Jacob Meyer and Kimmi Baston; first place in the "Feature Story" category for "Nursing a life of stress" by Rebecca Burcham; and an honorable mention for sports story "Jacket football writes history with a tale of two kicks" by Farrell.

"It's hard to overstate how proud I am of these student journalists," Szuminsky said. "To win two first place awards and an honorable mention in such diverse categories speaks to the depth and breadth of the coverage of the Yellow Jacket that the students put out each and every week. They pour so much of their time and talent into the newspaper that it's incredibly gratifying to see them recognized for their work at a state-wide level."

The Student Keystone Press Awards contest recognizes high school and college journalism that provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers.

"As editor, few things have been more gratifying than these awards," Farrell said. "They're a reminder of how important good journalism is in our society and how much my classmates and I have grown through our instruction at Waynesburg. I hope that future writers at the Yellow Jacket continue to evolve with the paper, not for the sake of awards, but for the betterment of our campus community."

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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PRSSA-Resized.jpgWaynesburg University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) was awarded the Star Chapter Award for meeting specific chapter and professional development goals. The chapter was one of 27 from around the country honored with the prestigious award. A chapter must meet eight of the 10 Star Chapter requirements to earn the national award.  

Seven members of the Waynesburg University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter traveled to the PNC Park Hall of Fame Club in Pittsburgh, Pa., Tuesday, Jan. 28, to work the 2014 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Pittsburgh Renaissance Awards. The annual ceremony celebrates the brightest stars and best work in Pittsburgh’s public relations community. 

Sándor Mécs, a senior communication (journalism) major at Waynesburg University, traveled to the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., to present at the 28th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) Thursday, April 3 through Saturday, April 5, 2014. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native presented his paper titled, “Burnham's Managerial Revolution: The Unexamined Reality of Contemporary Class Conflict.” 

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. 

Waynesburg University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) held its fourth annual PR Week celebration Monday, April 7, through Friday, April 11, 2014. This week-long event recognizes the hard work and dedication public relations majors show within the field of public relations throughout the academic year. 

Dr. Chad Sherman, assistant professor of communication, received the 2014 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Award for a faculty member with a relatively recent history of teaching excellence.

WCTV, the Waynesburg University student television station, recently earned a bronze award from the 35th annual Telly Awards for its piece titled “The Buzz: November 11, 2013.” Waynesburg’s piece stood out among nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries.  

From Friday, Oct. 25, through Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, members of Waynesburg University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) traveled to Philadelphia to participate in the 2013 PRSSA National Conference: Foundation for Innovation, hosted by Drexel University.

Brandon Szuminsky was named Instructor of Communication at Waynesburg University in August of 2013. He received his B.A. and M.B.A. from Waynesburg University. In the summer of 2013, he waspublished within an edited anthology marking the 75th anniversary of the iconic “War of the Worlds” broadcast. Szuminsky co-authored “Mediating Misinformation: Hoaxes and the Digital Turn,” one of the chapters within “War of the Worlds to Social Media: Mediated Communication in Times of Crisis.”

Kyle Oland, a senior public relations major from Westminster, Md., and Nick Farrell, a senior sports broadcasting major from Lower Burrell, Pa., took home the second and third place prizes, respectively, at the annual Gertrude Gordon Contest conducted by the Women's Press Club of Pittsburgh.

Waynesburg University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter celebrated the public relations field with a week long event Monday, April 15 through Thursday, April 18, 2013. PR week celebrates the study of public relations by offering professional presentations, networking opportunities and activities relevant to the communication field.

The Waynesburg University Yellow Jacket won a Region One Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for its in-depth reporting of the University’s announcement of Mr. Doug Lee as president elect. Six members of the Yellow Jacket staff attended the Region 1 Spring Conference Friday, April 12 through Saturday, April 13, 2013 to accept the award.

Molly Winters, a junior public relations major, and Brittany Semco, a junior public relations and design major, traveled to Albuquerque, N.M., to represent Waynesburg University at the 2013 Public Relations Student Society of America National Assembly Thursday, April 4 through Sunday, April 7, 2013. 

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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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