Several Beacon pieces from the last academic year are finalists in the Pinnacle Awards, a national collegiate competition sponsored by the College Media Association.

Best Breaking News Coverage

Last February’s multimedia coverage of the massive power outage that hit the UP campus is a finalist in the category of Best Breaking News Coverage.

Many Beacon staffers, including the editor-in-chief (Gabi DiPaulo) and the news and managing editor (Austin De Dios) had no electricity, heat, wifi or phone service at the time.

Then-sports editor William Seekamp took on the leadership challenge and moved to another location so he could coordinate news coverage, with help from Havi Stewart, Andrew Gotshall, Ryan Reynolds and Molly Lowney.

The breaking news coverage included a video by Andrew Gotshall about the Bon Appetit staff’s efforts to feed cold, hungry students in The Commons, even those who lived off campus.

The power outage coverage included many elements besides lack of electricity. One student was temporarily trapped in a dorm elevator. Pipes burst and caused flooding in another residence hall.

Best Photo Package

Molly Lowney is a finalist for Best Photo Package. Her photos accompanied Havi Stewart’s profile of a student who had undergone cancer treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Best Feature Story

Carlos Fuentes is a finalist for Best Feature Story for his piece about the challenges professors with children faced while teaching from home

Best Arts and Entertainment Story

Havi Stewart’s profile of a UP graduate student who also happens to be the “reigning world air guitar champion” is a finalist for Best Arts and Entertainment story.

The College Media Association will announce the winners at its (virtual) convention in mid-October.

To see all finalists for Online Pinnacle Awards, go here.

To see all finalists for Writing Pinnacle Awards, go here.

For the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic shut down UP’s campus in March 2020, The Bluff came alive with a full crop of students and in-person learning for fall 2021 semester.

Beacon Boot Camp training was on campus for the first time since fall 2019, but with added precautions. Whenever possible, we held our training sessions in a tent on The Bluff. It was so pleasant that many wondered why we hadn’t thought of that before.

For sessions that needed technology, we had a large classroom in Shiley Hall, which allowed for social distancing. Still we wore masks there to minimize risk.

Scenes from Beacon Boot Camp 2021

Editor-in-Chief Austin De Dios
News & Managing Editor William Seekamp
Living Editor Havi Stewart
Opinion Editor (fall) Mia Werner
Sports Editor (fall) | Opinion Editor (spring) Sadie Wuertz
Copy Editor/Sr.Reporter Carlos Fuentes
Multimedia Editor Brennan Crowder
Community Engagement Editor Brie Haro

The Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism has selected Beacon staffers Carlos Fuentes and William Seekamp for paid journalism internships this summer. The ethics-based, hands-on program through the University of Oregon places select college journalists at media outlets throughout Oregon.

Carlos will work as a reporter at the La Grande Observer.

Carlos Fuentes, copy editor/senior reporter at The Beacon

William will be a reporter at the Mail Tribune in Medford.

William Seekamp, 2021-22 news and managing editor

The Beacon will benefit from all they learn, as Carlos and William are returning in newsroom leadership positions in the fall. William is the 2021-22 news and managing editor. Carlos is copy editor and senior reporter.

The Snowden internship program has been a launching pad for several Beacon alumni now working as professional journalists.

Winners to be announced June 8. More information here.

The Beacon has won five Gold Circle Awards for digital media in a variety of multimedia categories. These awards draw entries from schools around the country, including large universities with major journalism programs. The Gold Circle Awards are sponsored by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, which is based at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York City. The entry period covered content published between Oct. 2, 2019 and Oct. 12, 2020.

FIRST PLACESingle Spot News Photograph : Ryan Reynolds for “Toxic air fills The Bluff”

SECOND PLACE Podcast: Jennifer Ng, Molly Lowney for “What on Earth?”

SECOND PLACEVideo Feature Package: Taylor Ursulum, “The Beacon reflects on Student Press Freedom Day”

THIRD PLACEInteractive Graphic: Brennan Crowder, “2020 Summer recap: Everything that’s happened since COVID-19 shutdown campus”


THIRD PLACE Photo Illustration: Brennan Crowder, “Computers get Zoom fatigue too”

The judges also awarded Certificates of Merit for the following:

First Person Experience: Mia Werner, “Anti-Semitism at UP: We must condemn bigotry always”

Personality Profile: Havi Stewart, “Isley Cachero: Fighting to be the 1%”

Sports Feature: Lindsey Warren, “A chance to get off the hamster wheel: Fall sports coaches share how coaching and their lives changed during the COVID-19 pandemic”

Photo Slideshow: Molly Lowney, “Environmental Justice Immersion brings revelations from UP’s backyard”

UP President Fr. Mark Poorman, upon recommendation of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Student Media, has appointed Austin De Dios Editor-in-Chief for the 2021-22 academic year. Read more about Austin here.

Austin De Dios, 2021-22 editor-in-chief Photo: Brennan Crowder

Austin recently scored a prestigious internship, which will prepare him well for the top position at The Beacon as well as his future career: He is among 86 college journalists from around the nation chosen to be part of this summer’s Dow Jones News Fund internship program. He will receive intensive training in business reporting through the program, and work as a reporter for the Portland Business Journal.

Austin has appointed the following staffers to next year’s Beacon Editorial Board: Havi Stewart, Carlos Fuentes, William Seekamp, Mia Werner, Brennan Crowder, Sadie Wuertz and Brie Haro.

Opinion Editor Mia Werner is graduating in December, and Sadie Wuertz will step into that role spring semester. Austin will hire a new sports editor for spring.

The Beacon has won four First Place awards in the 2021 regional Mark of Excellence competition sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). The contest involved college media outlets from five states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The following now advance to the national SPJ Mark of Excellence competition.

FIRST PLACE Breaking News Reporting* – Gabi DiPaulo for “Administrator goes public with concerns about racism and sexism within UP administration”

*colleges and universities with enrollment below 10,000

FIRST PLACE Data Visualization- Austin De Dios for his portfolio of interactive data visualizations including from this story on COVID-19 furloughs and salary cuts.

FIRST PLACE Podcast- Molly Lowney, Jennifer Ng for “What on Earth: Food for Thought” (episode 5)

FIRST PLACE Feature Writing*- Mia Werner “Chasing Ice with the U.S. Coast Guard”

*colleges and universities with enrollment below 10,000


Several other Beacon staffers were finalists (Second or Third Place) in the regional competition:

Breaking News Reporting

Carlos Fuentes – “Over 200 Bon App workers lose their jobs at UP”

General News Reporting

Carlos Fuentes – COVID-19 testing available at UP; information not so much

In-depth Reporting

Brie Haro – “Pilots on the front lines seeking change”

Feature Writing

Molly Lowney – “Going viral: UP students find fame and fortune on TikTok”

Feature Photography

Ryan Reynolds – “Stop reading this and go outside” (slideshow)

Beacon photojournalist Ryan Reynolds

Photo Illustration

Brennan Crowder – “Computers get Zoom fatigue too”

General Column Writing (team entry):

Jennifer Ng – “Why I’m not watching Disney’s live-action Mulan

Mia Werner – “Anti-Semitism at UP: We must condemn bigotry in the classroom always”

Laura Heffernan – “OCD is not an adjective”

Sports Writing

Kyle Garcia – “Chase Adams steps up as glue of the family as grandmother battles coronavirus”

William Seekamp – “I’m not going to just sit back and do nothing”