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April 26, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU student newspaper earns 18 SCJ awards; 1 ASPA honor

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -The Society for Collegiate Journalists has presented The Rocket, Slippery Rock University's weekly student newspaper, 18 awards, and the American Scholastic Press Association has presented the newspaper a First Place with Special Merit Award and named it as one of the three Most Outstanding University Newspapers in the nation for 2012-13.

The ASPA is based at College Point, N.Y.

The SCJ awards include an Honorable Mention in the Newspaper Overall Excellence category and a third place in the SCJ "Companion Newspaper Website" category for the online edition.

The Society for Collegiate Journalists is the nation's oldest organization designed solely to serve college journalists. SCJ was formed when Pi Delta Epsilon, which was founded in 1909, merged with Alpha Phi Gamma, which was founded in 1919.

SCJ has approximately 80 active chapters nationwide and 800 members.

Individuals cited for honors by the SCJ were:

Will DeShong, a communication major from Falls Creek and this year's editor-in-chief, earned a first place award in the Editorials category and a second place in the News Page Design category for his "Presidential Campaign" layout;

Alex Mowrey, a communication major from Pittsburgh, and the newspaper's photo editor, earned a first place in the Photo Essay category for his "Year in Sports" page, a second place for his "Frame by frame victory" photography in the Multimedia Sports Story category, a third-place honor for "Getting Inked" in the Feature Photography category and an honorable mention for his "Humans vs. Zombies" story in the News Photography category. He also earned a second place for his coverage of the "Mac Miller Concert" and a third place for his coverage of "SRU vs. Univ. of Michigan," both in the Photo Slideshow category;

Courtney Nickle, a communication major from Butler, took first place for her Editorial Page Design in the March 23, 2012, edition and second place for her work on the paper's March 2, 2012, edition in the Front Page Design category;

John Janasik, an English major from Mechanicsburg, took second place in the News Stories category for his "Student jumps out window to evade fire" in the Continuing News Coverage category and a WHAT PLACE AWARD for his work on "APSCUF prepares for strike authorization vote."

Madeline Williams, a communication major from Mercer, earned second place for her "One & Done" story in the Sports News category; and

Tim Durr, a communication major from Beaver Falls, earned an honorable mention for his "Junior Twirler" story in the Sports Feature category.

The SCJ awards come on the heels of The Rocket winning four, first-place awards and three other honors in the Region 4 Mark of Excellence Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists.

"I am extremely proud of this year's student newspaper staff. They have worked very hard to cover the campus and provide the students and the campus community at Slippery Rock University with a quality student newspaper," said Mark Zeltner, an associate professor of communication and adviser to the newspaper. "These awards show how hard out students worked and point to the quality of their reporting and photography."

"To see a student newspaper take 18 awards and seven awards from the Society of Professional Journalists certainly speaks to the quality of that newspaper. SRU Rocket 25; PASSHE schools 0. I congratulate all of those involved with the newspaper," said Thomas Flynn, SRU communication professor and department chair.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.