Blog posts tagged in Yellow Jacket news

b2ap3_thumbnail_2-16-MattieWinowitch.jpgWaynesburg University’s student-run newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, recently got word that it received eight awards from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA), for work published in the 2017 calendar year.

The PNA is a nonprofit trade association for print and online media in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Each year, student and professional journalists are given the opportunity to submit entries for the Keystone Press Awards, in categories including general news, profile and feature writing and photography, among others.

Staff members and alumni from The Yellow Jacket won a total of eight awards in the Division II category, for four year colleges and universities with enrollment under 10,000. This is four more awards than the publication received from the organization last year, which had been a record-breaking year. For Mattie Winowitch, junior journalism major and executive editor of The Yellow Jacket, this is an exciting accomplishment.

“This is a moment that I have been waiting for from the moment I first sat in my executive editor chair this past August,” said Winowitch. “And to be able to say that I helped lead my staff to accomplish this difficult and amazing feat is more than I could ever ask for.”

Winowitch attributes the success to the hard work of staff members and the leadership of The Yellow Jacket advisors. The newspaper has a longstanding reputation for being professionally recognized—winning 4 awards from PNA and 11 from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2017. Winowitch is excited to maintain that momentum.

“The Yellow Jacket has a deep history of being award-winning, and by maintaining that pattern, we are further showing the world that we are very skilled at what we do,” she said. “With each award, we are putting Waynesburg University on the map, and I think that’s pretty cool.”

Sarah Bell, academic communications coordinator and one of The Yellow Jacket advisors, was ecstatic to hear about the awards. She said the accolades are testament to the hard work the staff puts into publication each week.

“I am incredibly proud of The Yellow Jacket staff for all of their work this year,” said Bell. “Winning a record-breaking eight PNA Keystone Press Awards is a reflection of how dedicated and multi-talented the newspaper staff is. Being selected to receive awards in a range of categories – from featuring writing and sports to photography and layout – speaks volumes to the quality of student journalism at The Yellow Jacket.”

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Ashley Wise, Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_6-13-YJ-national-award.jpgWaynesburg University’s student-run newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, recently won the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) 2016 Mark of Excellence Award for In-Depth Reporting, Small School Division. The award represents the newspaper’s first national-level win.

“Winning a national award for this series, which was the work of four students over the course of an entire calendar year, not only is incredible for these students and is validation of their incredible talent, but is also a reminder to the rest of The Yellow Jacket and other students in the department that hard work really does pay off,” said Dr. Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication and faculty advisor for The Yellow Jacket.

Waynesburg University was only one of two Pennsylvania universities to earn a national award in any of the newspaper categories.

The entry was a five-story series on the heroin epidemic written by Kimmi Baston, Anthony Conn, Teghan Simonton and Mattie Winowitch, and it was one of four first-place region awards received by The Yellow Jack in April, all of which were sent on to be judged nationally against the 11 other SPJ regions.

“Any time our students’ work is recognized is exciting, but to be judged the very best in the entire country is phenomenal,” said Szuminsky. “It’s hard to put too fine a point on this, but these four students wrote a series of articles that beat out every student journalist at every college and university with 10,000 students or fewer.”

All national winners and finalists will be recognized at the SPJ’s 2017 Excellence in Journalism Conference in Anaheim, California, in September.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_4-5-YJ-Award.jpgWaynesburg University’s student-run newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, has been named the Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper across four states, which is unprecedented in the University’s history. While the newspaper has been named a finalist for the award in the past, this year, the newspaper was named the first-place winner for the first time.

“This is, without a doubt, the biggest recognition in the newspaper’s nearly 130-year history,” said Dr. Brandon Szuminsky, faculty advisor for the Yellow Jacket and instructor of communication.

To earn first place, the Yellow Jacket overtook finalist newspapers at Central Michigan University and Kent State University, which have an undergraduate population of approximately 20,000 and 40,000 students, respectively.

The award is one of a series of Mark of Excellence awards, recognizing the best in student journalism, given by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). SPJ is a national, prestigious organization of professional and student journalists. Waynesburg’s SPJ region, Region 4, includes Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and part of Pennsylvania. The Yellow Jacket is therefore up against a large number of accomplished college newspapers for the Best All-Around award.

“It’s an unbelievable honor,” said Kimmi Baston, executive editor of the Yellow Jacket. “To be named, effectively, the best newspaper in the region above schools that are 20 or 30 times larger than us is true validation for the hours and hours of hard work the staff puts in.”

The Yellow Jacket received this honor when several members of the staff attended the regional SPJ conference in Detroit, Michigan, on March 31 and April 1. At the Mark of Excellence Award Ceremony, the staff also received nine group and individual awards, including their first-ever recognition for a photo illustration. In writing categories, which are divided into small and large schools, the staff swept both finalist spots and the winning spot in two different categories, General News and Sports Writing, and earned first place in In-Depth Reporting.

“This was an incredible weekend of firsts for The Yellow Jacket,” said Dr. Szuminsky. “We’ve had success in the past at SPJ but we’ve never had so many first-place awards. And to sweep all three awards in two of the categories – and key categories, like general news and sports writing – speaks volumes about the quality of student work being done at Waynesburg.”

All four of the staff’s first-place entries will now move on to the national Mark of Excellence competition and be judged against the first-place winners from the rest of the country’s regions.

Staff group and individual awards include:

  • Finalist, Breaking News Reporting (Small: 1-9,999 Students): “Thomas More women’s basketball team stripped of 2014-15 title” by senior Jacob Meyer
  • Finalist, General News Reporting (Small: 1-9,999 Students): “Incoming freshmen still largely unaware of housing policy” by senior Jacob Meyer
  • Finalist, General News Reporting (Small: 1-9,999 Students): “Shanksville: Stories are shared and respects are paid at Flight 93 Memorial” by junior Shon Meade
  • Winner, General News Reporting (Small: 1-9,999 Students): “Ongoing drug issues addressed throughout community” by graduate Anthony Conn and sophomores Teghan Simonton and Mattie Winowitch
  • Winner, In-Depth Reporting (Small: 1-9,999 Students): “Ongoing drug issues addressed throughout community” by graduate Anthony Conn, senior Kimmi Baston and sophomores Teghan Simonton and Mattie Winowitch
  • Finalist, Sports Writing (Small: 1-9,999 Students): “Thomas More women’s basketball team stripped of 2014-15 title” by senior Jacob Meyer
  • Finalist, Sports Writing (Small: 1-9,999 Students): “The journey of the 2016 Women’s Cross Country team” by senior Jacob Meyer and sophomore Luke Goodling
  • Winner, Sports Writing (Small: 1-9,999 Students): “D-III sports about more than professional aspirations, students say” by senior Kimmi Baston
  • Finalist, Photo Illustration (Small: 1-9,999 Students): “’I Do’ doesn’t have to wait” by junior Shon Meade

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_yellow_jacket_logo2.jpgWaynesburg University’s student-produced newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, recently earned nine awards from two prestigious journalism organizations, the highest number of awards the newspaper has accrued in a single year.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), a national organization of journalists, named the Waynesburg newspaper as a finalist in four different categories for a total of five awards, and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA) announced three first place awards and an honorable mention for the newspaper staff.

The SPJ Mark of Excellence competition divides entrants into small schools (1-9,999 students) and large schools (10,000+ students) for some categories. For the year 2015, members of the Yellow Jacket staff are finalists in the following categories: Jacob Meyer in Feature Writing (Small), Sports Writing (Small), and General News (Small); Tim Neral in Non-Fiction Magazine Writing; and Nika Anschuetz in General News (Small).

“Being named a finalist for the SPJ awards tells us that the students took no worse than what is essentially third place in our four-state region, which is a huge honor,” said Brandon Szuminsky, faculty adviser for The Yellow Jacket.

The finalists for these awards were selected from among entrants across SPJ Region 4, which includes Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. A group of students will travel in April to the SPJ Region 4 and 5 Spring Conference in Cincinnati to learn how the newspaper placed. First-place winners in each category will move on to the national SPJ competition.

“We’ve never been selected for five Mark of Excellence awards before, and I’m honored to lead the staff that accomplished it,” said Kimmi Baston, executive editor of The Yellow Jacket. “The Mark of Excellence Awards are prestigious accolades, so I’m thrilled that Waynesburg is represented so heavily among the winners.”

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.

In addition to collecting five Mark of Excellence Awards, The Yellow Jacket received four Student Keystone Press awards from the PNA in Division II, which includes four-year colleges and universities with enrollment under 10,000.

In the Ongoing News Coverage category, The Yellow Jacket won first place for a series entitled “University bans off-campus living,” by Rebecca Burcham, Rob Longo and Jacob Meyer, and received an honorable mention for “Mather Mine: The forgotten tragedy,” by Chelsea Dicks. The series “University bans off-campus living” also won first place for Public Service/Enterprise Package. In the Sports Story category, Meyer won first place for his feature article “The hardest thing imaginable.”

“To bring in three first place awards after being compared to schools across the state is truly a testament to the incredible amount of work our writers put into each and every piece,” said Baston. “I was proud of each of these stories when we published them in 2015, and I’m incredibly proud and excited that the PNA recognized the exceptional work of the students who wrote them.”

The Student Keystone Press Awards contest recognizes high school and college journalism that provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers.
“While The Yellow Jacket staff has a long list of awards, this is the most awards we’ve ever won in a single academic year. Last year we were pretty happy to win five awards between SPJ and PNA, so to win nine this year has us ecstatic,” said Szuminsky. “These awards are confirmation that students are doing great work and are getting a high-quality journalism education at Waynesburg that will prepare them for their future careers.”

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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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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