April 6, 2010
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
The Rocket student newspaper captures 11 awards for excellence
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Rocket, Slippery Rock University's student newspaper, has captured 11 awards for content, feature writing, sports layout and photography.
The Rocket won 10 national awards from the Society for Collegiate Journalists and one state award from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. No other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education institution placed in both contests.
The latest awards - The Rocket has won more than 300 since its launch in 1934 �- come on the heels of Josh Rizzo, editor-in-chief, being named the National Student Journalist of the Year by the SCJ.
"Our staff is a group of people working hard to put out a good newspaper," said Rizzo of Irwin. "The awards are a validation of our hard work. We have a talented staff that features a lot of students who are going to go out in the marketplace and will be successful."
Carly Thomas of Homer City and Chelsey Rovesti of North Huntingdon, both communication majors, won first place for sports layout for their coverage of the men's soccer Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference victory. SCJ judges praised the package as "A nice poster page that plays on emotion-packed photos very well with a display headline treatment to match."
Thomas also won an honorable mention for sports layout for the Nov. 6, 2009, edition. Rovesti had a strong showing, winning two honorable mentions for sports and feature photography. The sports photo was of a SRU soccer player heading the ball, while the feature photo shows students tailgating at homecoming.
Jessica Moore of Ford City and Rizzo, communication majors, captured third place for their ongoing series about the budget situation at SRU. The series ran three consecutive weeks and covered the budget challenges SRU faces and how the University plans to handle them moving forward.
Rizzo won second place for a sport feature "Glory Days: The Rise and Fall of SRU men's basketball."
"In perhaps the most ambitious project among this year's sports entries, Josh uses fascinating details, valuable insight and good old trivia to recount the days when Slippery Rock basketball teams filled the school's arena," the judge said. "Especially interesting was how the two most important players of that era were recruited. The story is accompanied by a graphical timeline that pulls the whole package together visually."
Rizzo also won honorable mention for his sports feature "Bahr kicks his way into record books", third place for his news story "In the Red: SRU's budget crisis" and honorable mention for the staff editorial "The limits of satire at SRU."
He was also named National Student Journalist of the Year.
In the PNA competition, Joseph Wright, a senior Spanish major from Slippery Rock, and Jeremy Saylor, a communication major from Grove City, were awarded with an honorable mention for The Rocket Web site. Saylor worked on special banners for the holidays, while also producing digital copies of the newspaper to be placed online. Saylor was the only non-staff member to win an award.
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.