IU Southeast students take home majority of collegiate awards at local Society of Professional Journalists banquet

29th June 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For the second year in a row, journalism students from Indiana University Southeast took home the majority of the collegiate awards in the Society of Professional Journalists Louisville Pro Chapter’s annual contest.

The awards, presented at a banquet on Thursday, June 25, recognized work published in The Horizon, the student-produced multimedia news organization at IU Southeast. Students won a total of 22 awards out of the 32 presented for college journalism work.

Among the awards, The Horizon staff won first place in the best news web site category (www.iushorizon.com). Additionally, all three awards in the Best Use of Video and Best Online Feature Package categories went to IU Southeast students. Adam Maksl, assistant professor of journalism and adviser to The Horizon, said those awards in particular show effects of recent changes in the journalism program to focus on digital journalism skills.

“Our students have done an amazing job using new and emerging multimedia tools to tell powerful stories,” Maksl said.

Maksl said recent changes in the journalism curriculum – such as focusing more on online journalism, social media and multimedia storytelling – helped students develop the skills they needed to produce such quality work.

He said Horizon students build skills in collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking, and that work helps them produce such high-impact stories.

Haley Warwick, a 2015 alumna whose experience on The Horizon helped her land a job at WLKY-TV before she even graduated, echoed Maksl, saying the success is due to collaborative efforts.

“I was extremely proud and honored to see how The Horizon was recognized tonight. We did this all as a team,” said Warwick, who along with two other students won second place in the Best Online Feature Package category.

Ashley Sizemore, a 2015 alumna who works at WDRB-TV, said she was especially proud to win an award in front of her professional colleagues, who cheered loudly as she accepted a first place award for a multimedia story she and two other students produced.

“It’s a great feeling to be recognized for something I accomplished in college,” she said. “To accept an award in front of peers at the professional level is awesome. It’s reassurance knowing I made the right choice of following my passion of writing, producing and editing. I owe it not only to my professors but to my journalism peers.”

The annual awards dinner not only recognizes college students but also many area professional journalists. Professionals from nearly every news organization in Louisville and Southern Indiana were represented at the awards dinner, and students got to meet and network with them.

Also at the awards dinner, Jim St. Clair, professor emeritus of journalism, was recognized for his decades-long service to the Society of Professional Journalists Louisville Pro Chapter.

The IU Southeast Journalism Program congratulates all student award winners listed below for their work:

  • Nic Britton, journalism junior (second place, online feature package)
  • Marisa Gartland, journalism junior (first place, best use of video; second place, best use of video)
  • Mary Kate Hailer, journalism junior (second place, sports story)
  • Laura Hubrich, journalism alumna (third place, best use of video; third place, online feature package)
  • Elijah Lossner, journalism senior (third place, sports story; second place, sports photography)
  • Jims Porter, journalism alumnus (first place, editorial/column; second place, news/feature photography)
  • Erin Mann, journalism alumna (second place, online feature package)
  • Josh Medlock, journalism alumnus (first place, graphic illustration; third place, online feature package)
  • Shelby Orange, journalism alumna (third place, news/feature photography)
  • Aprile Rickert, journalism alumna (first place, news story; third place, news story)
  • Ashley Sizemore, journalism alumna (first place, online feature package)
  • Ethan Smith, journalism alumnus (second place, feature story)
  • Melissa Spaide, journalism alumna (first place, feature story; first place, online feature package)
  • Joel Stinnett, journalism senior (third place, editorial/column)
  • Adam Taylor, journalism alumnus (first place, online feature package)
  • Paige Thompson, journalism junior (third place, online feature package)
  • Haley Warwick, journalism alumna (second place, online feature package)
  • Bekah White, fine artJournalism awards 2s alumna (first place, graphic illustration; third place, page design)

The Horizon staff also collectively won two first place awards – for sports photography and for best web site.

The Horizon is a multi-platform student-run news organization that serves as an experiential learning lab for journalism majors at IU Southeast. Non-journalism majors also often volunteer for the staff. Students on The Horizon apply skills in information analysis, effective storytelling and principles of digital media.

The IU Southeast Journalism Program includes two major tracks in multimedia journalism and public relations. It is the only university in the Louisville metro that offers a bachelor’s degree in journalism. The program recently underwent a curriculum change to focus on multimedia storytelling skills, including requiring classes in online journalism, multimedia storytelling and social media strategies.

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