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Loyola University New Orleans School of Mass Communication Brings Home 15 Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists

Loyola press release - April 17, 2016

The Maroon, Loyola’s 93-year-old student newspaper, wins SPJ’s Mark of Excellence for “Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper;” Loyola Student News Service wins award for General News Reporting

Students from Loyola University New Orleans’ School of Mass of Communication received 15 coveted awards on Saturday from the Society of Professional Journalists, a professional organization devoted to producing high-quality, ethical journalism. Awards were presented at the annual SPJ conference for Region 12, held Saturday, April 16, 2016 at The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. Top marks from the professional organization went to Loyola’s prize-winning student newspaper and the Loyola Student News Service, as well as individual students.

“We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of our students!” said Professor Sonya Duhé, Ph.D., director of Loyola’s prize-winning School of Mass Communication. “These awards are once again a testament to the quality of our program, faculty and staff and our students.”

The Society of Professional Journalists annually presents Mark of Excellence Awards, honoring the best in student journalism. First place regional winners move forward to the national competition and are recognized during the SPJ spring conference.

This year, the Maroon, Loyola’s 93-year-old student newspaper, won SPJ’s Mark of Excellence for Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper.

“What an honor,” said Loyola Student Media adviser and instructor Michael Giusti, B.S. ‘00 ‘M.B.A. ‘12. “These awards reinforce the hard work and professionalism these students demonstrate every day.”

Loyola Student News Service, a news wire service in which student journalists write articles for professional news organizations including The Times-Picayune/NOLA.com and local NPR-affiliate, WWNO 89.9 FM, won a Mark of Excellence for General News Reporting.

“The students have worked hard, and it’s wonderful to see that work rewarded,” said Student Services Coordinator Laura Jayne, a former editor for The Times-Picayune and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who now oversees Loyola Student News Service. “I am so pleased for them.”

Awards and recipients presented this year to students in the School of Mass Communication included:

Winner for Editorial Writing - Gage Counts and Lauren Stroh

Finalist for In-Depth Reporting - Rebeca Trejo

Finalist - General News Reporting - Marie Simoneaux

Finalist - General News Reporting - Marie Simoneaux

Finalist - Feature Writing - Zayn Abidin

Finalist - Online Feature Reporting - Burke Bischoff

Finalist - Sports Writing - Mark Robinson

Winner - All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper

Winner - Feature Writing - Louise De Vaney

Winner - General News Reporting - Loyola Student News Service

Finalist - News Reporting - Mark Robinson

Winner - Online News Reporting - Taylor Evans & Allyson Aleskey

Winner - Breaking News Reporting - Kristen Stewart

Loyola’s School of Mass Communication is fresh off a record-breaking year. During the 2014-2015 year, students pulled in 86 local, regional and state awards before The Maroon received from the Associated College Press a national Pacemaker Award, widely considered the “Pulitzer Prize of College of Journalism.”