Skip to main content

 SRU Student Newspaper Takes 30 National Awards 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:


     SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's weekly student newspaper The Rocket has captured more than 30 national competition journalism awards, including first-place honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Scholastic Press Association. The Rocket was the only student newspaper in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education recognized by the Pennsylvania News Press Association.

     Except where noted, all award winners are communication majors.

The Society of Professional Journalists honored The Rocket as the top newspaper in the non-daily newspaper category and presented Liz Ellis, an art major from Mercer, and Patrick Leishman, from Castaic, Calif., first place in the photo illustration category. A second-place award went to Tracey Ferguson, from Ellwood City, in the feature photo category and Linda Trostle, from Freedom, for general news. Trostle also received the Pittsburgh Alliance for Women in Communication Matrix Award; Outstanding Student Award for her four-part series on the car industry for The Rocket and for her freelance work for the Butler Eagle and the Oil City Derrick.

In the American Scholastic Press Association Award Program, The Rocket took the First Place with Special Merit Award and received the Outstanding Sports Coverage Award for its winter sports preview.

The Society for Collegiate Journalists awarded 12 honors to the campus newspaper, including citing the on-line version of The Rocket as a first-place recipient, and Ed Anicka, from New Kensington, a first place in sports news photography. Second place in features honors went to Jessica Kelley, a therapeutic recreation major from Sagamore Hills, Ohio; Jason Hunsicker, from Emmaus, third place in sports features and a honorable mention in sports columns; Brett Weaver, a 2002 graduate from Tamaqua, earned second place in sports news photography; and Weaver and Ellis shared honorable mention in the graphic illustrations category. Chris Harlan, from New Castle, earned a third-place award and Ferguson earned honorable mention for photo essays, with the entire staff earning honorable mentions in the sports page design and the hard news page design categories.

The Pennsylvania News Press Association Keystone Awards were given with Ken Sines, a 2002 graduate from Pittsburgh, awarded second place in the column category, Trostle, in the public services/enterprise series category, and Anicka receiving honorable mention in the sports photo category. Ferguson scored an honorable mention in the news/feature photo category with Rachel Shearer, a 2002 graduate from York, scoring the same award in the public services/enterprise series category.

 This year's Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Awards drew 14,404 entries from across the U.S., with The Rocket earning the Gold Medalist Certificate along with two Certificates of Merit for Harlan's story and layout on "Groundhog Day." A Broadsheet Design Feature Approach Certificate of Merit went to Ferguson and Rebekah Renshaw, a 2002 graduate from Erie, for their work on "Face to Face." The entire staff was issued a Certificate of Merit for their work on a feature headlined "Injuries Sustained."

     Dr. Mark Zeltner, associate professor of communication, is the newspaper's adviser.





Click here to view the Economic Impact Report

Click here to view the Economic Impact Report