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Mercer County Community College's VOICE Newspaper Wins 18 Journalism Awards


West Windsor, N.J. – Mercer County Community College student journalists recently won 18 awards for their work with The College VOICE newspaper.

In this year's annual New Jersey Collegiate Press Association (NJCPA) competition, students won 13 awards in the two-year college category, including the highest honor: first place for General Excellence.  Students also earned five awards in the Society of Professional Journalists Region I Mark of Excellence Awards.

Nine of the 13 NJCPA award recipients are Mercer Honors students who have taken the Honors Journalism II course offered for the first time at the college this past fall. Eight of the recipients are New Media majors.

Pictured are current College VOICE staff members at MCCC (from left): Dakota Burr, Dan Asnis, Dan Povio (editor in chief), Zac Santanello, Mariana Braz (managing editor), Stephen Harrison, Britt Curry, Brandon Castro, Emily Lukasewycz, (obscured) Abigail Schwendeman, (obscured) Dylan Vaughan, Jaqueline Goncalves and Anna Pinzolo.

Now in its second year, the New Media program has more than 40 students pursuing the major at the college. The VOICE also added a social media editor position this spring and now has more than 200 followers on Twitter and Facebook.

Mercer students received nine first place awards and four second place NJCPA Awards for work completed over the last year. Winners included: Dan Povio and Stephen Harrison, first place for News Writing; Noelle Gilman and Stephen Harrison, second place for Feature Writing; Kristie Kuschyk, first place for Personality Profile; VOICE staff, first place for Editorial Writing; Ken Napier, first place for Column Writing; Miranda Horn, second place for Column Writing; Kevin Xavier, first place for Sports Writing; Noelle Gilman, Kellie Rendina and Laura Pollack, first place for Investigative Reporting; Laura Pollack, second place for Investigative Reporting; Dakota Burr, second place for Artistic Story Illustration; and Dakota Burr and Matthew Grant Arnold tied for first place in Sports Photography.

MCCC students also placed in the Society of Professional Journalists Region I Mark of Excellence Awards, which includes students in two- and four-year colleges in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.  Award winners included Matthew Grant Arnold, first place for General News Photography; Ken Napier, second place for Column Writing; Laura Pollack, second place for In-Depth Reporting; Kellie Rendina, Laura Pollack and Noelle Gilman, third place for In-Depth Reporting; and VOICE staff, third place for Editorial Writing.

"As the New Media program has grown it has infused The VOICE with great energy,” said Professor Holly Johnson, VOICE faculty adviser. “Seasoned staffers are mentoring cub reporters and the awards demonstrate the success of that system." 

Both Johnson and Professor Michael Dalton, Photography advisor, took a contingent of VOICE students to the annual College Media Association (CMA) conference in New York City in March, which is attended by more than 1,900 college journalism students, faculty and media professionals.

At the conference, Mercer students presented a double-session workshop in investigative reporting.  In addition, Dalton led a photography session, English Professor Diane Rizzo presented three panels on LGBT issues in new media, and Johnson gave five workshops on topics ranging from viral student media to FBI strategies for interviewing.
While at the conference, the VOICE’s former editor in chief, Laura Pollack, received the Finalist Award for "Best Newsroom Leader" in the CMA Apple Awards.

Since 2008, The VOICE has been one of the highest rated and most award-winning two-year college newspapers in the nation. It is led by an editorial board of six student editors. Although the staff sizes fluctuate from semester to semester, each issue showcases the work of 15-20 student journalists.

College VOICE Website

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