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”

Dora Totian (’20) leads a training session at Beacon Boot Camp training in August 2019. She recently won the Snowden Ethics Award.


Dora Totoian, 2019-20 Beacon Opinion Editor and reporter, has won one of two annual Snowden Ethics Awards, given each year to select interns in the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. The Snowden program, named after a former editor of The Oregonian and Oregon Journal, places young journalists in paid summer internships in media organizations around Oregon.

Journalistic ethics are a main focus of the competitive Snowden program, which is based at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. The summer internship program accepts applications from students from any Oregon college or university who have completed a basic reporting course or worked at a campus publication. (Dora started as a reporter at The Beacon her freshman year.)

During her internship, Dora worked as a reporter at the News-Register in McMinnville, where she managed to (safely!) cover a wide variety of stories including the COVID-19 pandemic at a local level, wildfires, protests and politics. Infused in the daily challenge of reporting on community events and issues are ethical case studies that require Snowden interns to reflect on issues journalists confront in their work.

No one who worked with Dora at The Beacon would be surprised that among the 18 Snowden interns, Dora stood out for her ethical practices and reflections.

Below is video of the announcement of her award, which, due to the pandemic, occurred at a virtual reception on Zoom. Typically, this event is a catered affair at the UO Agora Journalism Center in downtown Portland.

Hear what UO Associate Professor of Journalism and Snowden Program Co-Coordinator Nicole Dahmen said about Dora:

“Her writing was excellent, her thought process and ethical reasoning were solid. In addition, she raised ethical questions for us to consider and think about.”

-Nicole Dahmen, UO journalism professor on Dora Totoian

This was the second time in recent years a Beacon staffer has won the Snowden Ethics Award.

2017-18 Editor-in-Chief Rachel Rippetoe won the award after her Snowden internship at the Eugene Register-Guard during the summer of 2017.

Update: Kyle Garcia took First Place for Best Sports Column. Dora Totoian took Second Place for Best Editorial. The Beacon engagement efforts led by Natalie Nygren, Ally Weberg, Dora Totoian and Claire Desmarais won an Honorable Mention.

Also, The Beacon received two Honorable Mentions in the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) 2020 Pacemaker Individual Awards for Story of the Year in the following categories: Ernie Pyle Human Interest Profile- Mia Werner for this story ; Sports Feature- Kyle Garcia for this story

The Beacon is a finalist in three categories in the 2019-20 Pinnacle Awards sponsored by the College Media Association (CMA).

This year for the first time, CMA invited entries for Best Campus Engagement. The Beacon is in the finals along with student media at the University of South Carolina, Texas State University and Southeast Missouri State University.

Engagement encompasses social media, crowdsourcing, events and other ways The Beacon interacts with the UP community. With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down campus last spring, audience engagement was even more challenging. But Beacon leadership rose to the occasion, leaning in to the virtual landscape.

Below is a summary of The Beacon’s 2019-20 engagement efforts led by Natalie Nygren, Ally Weberg, Claire Desmarais and Dora Totoian.

2019-2020 Opinion Editor Dora Totian is a Pinnacle finalist for Best Editorial. Other finalists in that category are from the University of Alabama, California State University – Fullerton and Auburn University.

Last year’s Sports Editor Kyle Garcia is up for Best Sports Column. Other finalists come from the University of Miami, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania and University of Kentucky.

CMA will announce the Pinnacle winners Oct. 23.

As we head into a new and historic academic year, here’s a round-up of the most recent awards The Beacon won in 2019-20.

A photo by Beacon photographer Jennifer Ng won First Place for Breaking News Photography nationwide in the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards. The Beacon competed against student publications at colleges and universities with fewer than 10,000 students.

Jennifer’s winning photo was shot during the massive Climate Strike demonstration in downtown Portland last fall.

Photographer Annika Gordon, who has won many awards for her photography, won a national award for opinion writing: First Place Gold Circle Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for her personal commentary, “I’m racist, so are you. White people, let’s improve.”

Those were just two of many awards Beacon staffers recently won for their work in those two contests. The Beacon also won:

Third Place (nationally) for Best University Student Publication in the 2020 Catholic Press Association Media Awards.

Best Website for four-year colleges/universities in the annual competition sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Association of Journalism Educators (PNAJE).

Other winners and finalists:

Society of Professional Journalists regional Mark of Excellence Awards (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska)

General news reporting –

FIRST PLACE: Madison Pfeifer – “DACA students await Supreme Court Decision”
Finalist- Gabi DiPaulo – “A City Split in two: Students travel to the border wall

In-depth reporting –

FIRST PLACE: Austin De Dios- “Tuition increases don’t tell the whole story
Finalist: Dora Totoian- “Diversity and inclusion progress report: INCOMPLETE

Feature Writing

FIRST PLACE: Catherine Cieminski- “Curb your enthusiasm: Should you really pet that dog?

Finalist: Dora Totoian – “Faculty celebrates community and leadership for F-Gen Day”

Finalist: Delaney Vetter- “More than my stature: Navigating life with dwarfism”

Editorial Writing

FIRST PLACE: Dora Totoian, Gabi DiPaulo and Delaney Vetter

Online/Digital Feature Videography-

FIRST PLACE: Elizabeth Lyons-Best- “Behind the Scenes of the Penelopiad

Breaking News Reporting

Finalist- Madison Pfeiffer- Owen Klinger disappearance and death coverage (collection of articles, updates)

General column writing

Finalists: Annika Gordon, Dora Tototian, Carlos Fuentes

Sports writing

Finalist- Jamison White: Jacobo Reyes: Broad experience, a steady presence and a tough choice

Finalist- Kyle Garcia: Mary Cain’s slam on Nike sheds light on her year at University of Portland

Sports Column Writing

Finalist- Kyle Garcia and Morgan Wahler

General News Photography

Finalist – Molly Lowney- DACA Candlelight Vigil

Sports Photography

Finalists – Brennan Crowder- Soccer team celebrates after a goal

Online Feature Reporting

Finalist: Ajay Davis, Brennan Crowder, Elizabeth Lyons-Best- “Behind the Scenes of the Penelopiad”

GOLD CIRCLE AWARDS – Columbia Scholastic Press Association

News Writing (Planned News)THIRD PLACE: Carlos Fuentes, “City Removes Unauthorized Stop Signs”

Video Feature PackageTHIRD PLACE– Erica Lavik and Elizabeth Lyons-Best, “Hip Hop Kyle”

Gold Circle certificates of merit:

Breaking News– Madison Pfeifer, “Brush Fires Set Near Campus Considered Suspicious” 

Photo Slideshow– Brennan Crowder, “A Pilot’s Inside Look at Indy Car”

Single Feature Photograph– Paula Ortiz Cazaubon, “Tanzanian Children Watch for Mass Wedding” 

Interactive Graphic– Austin De Dios, “Analysis: UP Tuition Increases Don’t Tell the Whole Story” 

2019-2020 Tuition Increases

Meal Plans

Discount Rates

Click below to see Portland Magazine (Summer 2020) article by Roya Ghorbani-Elizeh