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ACP Winners

2009 ACP Story of the Year Winners
co-sponsored by The Deadline Club, New York City chapter of Society of Professional Journalists

View ACP press release

(click links to download PDFs of first-place stories)

Diversity

First Place
Amanda Woodruff
Red & Black, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, Ga.

Judge's comments: Timely, well-written piece on university-wide, multi-year undertaking to get and keep minority women faculty and staff in order to attract minority women students. Also reports efforts to assist LGBT students. Shows university-wide plan and efforts to improve diversity programs. Good lead sets up charting progress on the subject. Quotes, statistics and examples advance story. Ambitious program well-explained.

Second Place
Nicole Hill
Sooner/Crimson Traditions, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.

Judge's comments: Terse account of passage of Oklahoma law to prohibit social services to undocumented immigrants and organized efforts of University of Oklahoma Students to fight it and a subsequent bill. The importance of the story is difficult to underestimate. Well-written, good quotes, with strong examples of the negative effects on students, families and social fabric.

Third Place
Michelle Day, Angela Oliver
College Heights Herald, Western Kentucky Univ., Bowling Green, Ky.

Judge's comments: Excellent use of quotes illustrates the episode at the heart of the story — a question of racial profiling, its aftermath and what lies ahead in the near term and for society. Well-written, well-thought-out.

Honorable Mention
Jessica Fryman
The Nevada Sagebrush, Univ. of Nevada, Reno, Reno, Nev.

Honorable Mention
Serena Soloman
The Daily, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

Editorial/Opinion

First Place
Indira Dammu
Indiana Daily Student, Indiana Univ., Bloomington, Ind.

Judge's comments: Dammu tackles the serious subject of sexual assault with searing observations that took her school to task for not doing enough to protect victims and keep the guilty out of student housing. "A Culture of Rape" should be mandatory reading for every university administrator.

Second Place
Editorial Board
The Daily Texan, Univ. of Texas, Austin, Texas

Judge's comments: The Daily Texan's Editorial Board made a strong case why their student government president should step down. The president's manipulation of the student government election to ensure a particular successor, as the board so artfully wrote, "transcends the blunders of his predecessors." The editorial was a sharp call for action and a classic example of persuasive writing.

Third Place
Editorial Board
The Heights, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Judge's comments: The Heights Editorial Board took to task the anonymous callers who spewed their homophobia and misogyny on the radio while talking about a campus news story about male friendship, continuing their "vulgarity" on a local sports blog. The board blasted the comments as "beyond hateful" and encouraged campus groups to dispel the ignorance. A gutsy editorial all around.

Honorable Mention
Matt Hittle
The Volante, Univ. of South Dakota, Vermillion, S.D.

Honorable Mention
Nathaniel French
Daily Campus, Southern Methodist Univ., Dallas, Texas

Feature Story

First Place
Brad Luttrell
The Kentucky Kernel, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.

Judge's comments: The writer leads the reader by the hand from the campus to the coal field, through a family’s tragic history with the mines and to protests in Washington. The piece is well-documented with attributed facts and figures, and includes direct quotations representing all sides of the issue, all of which are to the point and contain no unneeded verbiage. It is clear that the reporting is on-the-scene and firsthand. The writing is smooth, inviting, clear and well-organized throughout.

Second Place
Amy Dempsey, Bahar Ansari
Tusk, California State Univ., Fullerton, Fullerton, Calif.

Judge's comments: That slavery is still a problem in the United States, in Orange County, Calif., (as well as elsewhere around the world) is a shocking wrong, the extent of which is well-documented in this eye-opening article. The writers built the article around the especially egregious single case of a woman who was enslaved at the age of 10 who escaped as the result of a phone call to authorities by a suspicious neighbor.

Third Place
Christian Flow
The Harvard Crimson, Harvard Univ., Cambridge, Mass.

Judge's comments: The article was brilliantly reported and researched and brilliantly written. The article, about something the judge didn’t think he was interested in, nonetheless was engrossing from beginning to end. The reporting showed great perception and fine detail. The tone (humorous) was consistent throughout. The article would be quite worthy of The New Yorker.

Honorable Mention
Brittany Burden
The Oklahoma Daily, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.

Multimedia Package

First Place
Staff
Northern Star, Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb, Ill.

Judge's comments: Northern Star served up a compelling mix of hard news reporting on the anniversary observances, combined with a professionally assembled video sidebar, a photo gallery and even a link to an online audio file of the memorial service.  All in all, it was an excellent mix of media, seamlessly integrated and accessible from a single page, which is what multimedia online ought to be all about.

Second Place
Staff
Viewpoints, Riverside City College, Riverside, Calif.

Third Place
Sharat Ganapati, Shane Coughlan, Shahzad Ahsan, Dani Brecher, Abraham Neben
Chicago Maroon, Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.

Honorable Mention
Staff
The Baker Orange, Baker Univ., Baldwin City, Kan.

News Story

First Place
Jacob Carpenter
The State News, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, Mich.

Judge's comments: This well-organized, well-researched story explores an anguished mother’s mission to clear her dead daughter’s name of the stigma of suicide. A relevant topic, and challenging to cover. This reporter handles it with sensitivity and responsibility. Police records were researched and law enforcement officials interviewed. A thorough and well-organized investigative story.

Second Place
Arla Shepard
The Daily, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

Judge's comments: This was a horrific tragedy that took a great deal of courage to cover. The situation lead draws readers into the story. Excellent use of quotes and details throughout. Written with sensitivity, accuracy and professionalism.

Third Place
Ryan McGeeney
The University Daily Kansan, Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan.

Judge's comments: This reporter, and this newspaper, deserve congratulations for venturing beyond campus borders. The story is a comprehensive look at the issue of homelessness, with in-depth interviews and amazing details. Through solid reporting, the reader spends time with each homeless person and experiences the epidemic. The story raises awareness.

Honorable Mention
Allie Rogers
The Breeze, James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, Va.

Honorable Mention
Miles Hilder
The Flat Hat, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.

Sports Story

First Place
Matt Dollinger
Indiana Daily Student, Indiana Univ., Bloomington, Ind.

Judge's comments: The writer explores his school's sagging record of Big Ten title wins in a comprehensive fashion. This was clearly an enterprise piece, with serious analysis, numerous sources, a willingness to confront unpleasant realities and a measured tone.

Second Place
Kevin Hudson
Oregon Daily Emerald, Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, Ore.

Judge's comments: The writer paints a sensitive and inspiring portrait of a relationship between a student athlete in need of support and guidance and a firm but patient and unlikely mentor. The story can be an inspiration for mentoring relationships beyond the world of college sports.

Third Place
Mars Melnicoff
Los Angeles Collegian, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, Calif.

Judge's comments: This story is an admirable effort at investigative journalism, calling attention to apparent serious violations within a basketball program at a lesser known school. Particularly notable are several threatening quotes by interview subjects, indicative of the writer's willingness to pursue the story.

Honorable Mention
Eric Lindsey
The Kentucky Kernel, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.

Honorable Mention
Chris Weidman
The Flat Hat, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.

Form Central

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Contest Deadlines

Yearbook Pacemaker - Jan. 15, 2014

Online Pacemaker - Feb. 14, 2014

Newspaper Pacemaker - June 6, 2014

Magazine Pacemaker - June 6, 2014

Individual Awards (Story / Photo / Design / Reporter / Advertising / Cartooning) - June 6, 2014

ACP Contests/Critiques...

Upcoming Conventions

ACP Best of the Midwest College Newspaper Convention - Feb. 7-9, 2014, Minneapolis

ACP Midwinter National College Journalism Convention - Feb. 27-Mar. 4, 2014, San Diego

ACP Summer Journalism Workshops - July, 2014, Minneapolis

ACP Conventions...