SCJ students nab 15 national contest awards

By: Lindsey Wotanis, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Communication Arts

Students in the Marywood University Chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists (SCJ) have won 15 awards in the 2017 SCJ National Contest.

The national contest pits our students’ work against that of some serious competitors, including schools like NC State, Eastern Illinois University, and Youngstown State to name just a few.

The nine First Place awards included ones for Online News Website Overall Excellence for the student-run online news organization,, as well as Companion Broadcast Website Overall Excellence for TV-Marywood’s YouTube page.

The Wood Word’s Editorial Board placed first for its editorial titled “Our Opinion: Faculty cuts contradict core values.” In addition, TV-Marywood placed first in the Television News Show Overall Excellence for its Live Election 2016 show on November 8.

Students also rounded up individual awards for work produced at The Wood Word, 91.7 VMFM and TV-Marywood.

  • First Place in Photo Slideshow: Alex Weidner (’18) and Connor Moffitt (’16) for “Pennsylvania takes on heightened role of importance during 2016 primaries
  • First Place in Sports Columns: Katlynn Whitaker (’17) for “Commentary: Cubs’ World Series victory much more than a broken curse”
  • First Place in News Photography: Alex Weidner (’18) for his image of Vice President Joe Biden campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Wilkes-Barre
  • First Place in Sports Photography: Bethany Wade (’19) for her image of swim team loss to Misercordia in season home opener
  • First Place in Radio Commercial, Promotion and Public Announcement: Jessica Bonacci (’19) for VMFM 91.7 Text Request Broadcast Promo
  • Second Place in Multimedia Sports Story: Kyle Clouse (’17) and John Ferraro (’17) for Athlete Spotlight: Gabbie Bower
  • Third Place in Multimedia Series: Kyle Clouse (’17), Rachel Looker (’17), and Alex Weidner (’18) for their “Up to Pace” series for Election 2016 Northeast PA campaign stops
  • Third Place in Multi Story News Series: Rachel Looker (’17), Alex Weidner (’18), and Jessica Bonacci (’19) on their Marywood presidential search series.
  • Third Place in Sports Columns: John Ferraro (’17) for “Commentary: Colin Kaepernick is a scapegoat after National Anthem protest”
  • Third Place in Television News Package: Haley O’Brien (’17) and Anne Zukowski (’18) for TV-M package “Veterans Day 2016”
  • Third Place in Television Sports Package: John Ferraro (’17) and Bethany Wade (’19) for TV-M package “Marywood’s Women’s Soccer Wins CSAC Championship”

The chapter also picked up six Honorable Mentions, including ones awarded to Jessica Bonacci (’19), Kyle Clouse (’17), Rachel Looker (’17), and Katlynn Whitaker (’17) for work in Multimedia Series, News Stories, Breaking News, and Feature Photography.

Our SCJ Individual Award Winners! Seated L to R: Kyle Clouse, Anne Zukowski, Haley O’Brien, and Rachel Looker. Standing L to R: Katlynn Whitaker, Bethany Wade, Jessica Bonacci, and Alex Weidner. Absent from photo: John Ferraro and Connor Moffitt.

We couldn’t be prouder of our award-winning MU Comm Arts students!

The Marywood SCJ Chapter was established in 2011. SCJ is the nation’s oldest organization designed solely to serve college media leaders.

Lindsey Wotanis, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Communication Arts and director of the journalism program. She serves as adviser to the Marywood chapter of The Society for Collegiate Journalists as well as co-adviser to The Marywood Media Group and The Wood Word, the student-run online news source.

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