Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

The Beacon is a winner or finalist in several awards from the Catholic Media Association.

Congrats to @Andrew Gotshall, whose 2021 video “Easter Mass during a pandemic” won First Place in the video category for Best Presentation of Faith on Campus. Not only that, the prize is worth $500 in cash to Andrew! :moneybag::moneybag:Woo hoo! 

William Seekamp took First Place for Best Writing-Sports for this athlete profile.

Andrew Gotshall, no doubt, also played a big role in The Beacon placing Third for team coverage of the massive power outage last year. Ryan Reynolds’ photos were also part of that entry, along with photography and reporting by now-alum Molly Lowney (’21). 

Austin De Dios won Second Place for Best Writing-News for his story about nursing students in the aftermath of the police shooting at Lents Park

Austin also won Third Place for Best Use of Graphics with an article for this story about last year’s Covid furloughs among UP staff.

University temporarily cuts salaries, furloughs staff as COVID-19 takes financial toll

Carlos Fuentes received an Honorable Mention for Best Writing-Feature for this story about profs parenting and working from home during COVID

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Gold Circle Awards 2022

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) at Columbia University in New York has honored The Beacon with several Gold Circle Awards for digital media publications:

First Place:

Personality Profile-Kirk Mustain: Bridge between Food and Community” by Janea Melido

Computer-generated art/illustration- “Are you experiencing social anxiety? You are not alone” by Brennan Crowder

General Humor or Commentary- “All You Never Wanted to Know About the Banjo” by Will Mulligan

Second Place:

Sports News- “The Shantay Legans Era is Officially Underway” by William Seekamp

Personal Opinion- Off-campus issues- “Jesus Would Have Been a Liberal” by Havi Stewart

Photo Slideshow- “Snow on The Bluff” by The Beacon 2020-21 Multimedia Team

Third Place:

In-depth news/feature story- “New COVID Dashboard May Not Give Full Picture” by Kate Cuadrado

General humor or commentary- “It’s Time to Rethink To-Do Lists” by Sadie Wuertz

Personality Profile- “Financial Phenom Update” by Brie Haro with additional reporting by Michael Lang

Video news Package- “Bon App Scrambles to Feed Students During Massive Power Outage” by Andrew Gotshall

Interactive graphic- “TIMELINE: On Honor of the Class of 2021, Watch The Last Four Years Unfold” by Gabi DiPaulo

Certificates of Merit:

Sports news – “UP Basketball Scouts Locations Outside Oregon After Governor Denies COVID-19 Exemption” by William Seekamp

General feature- “Battling Cancer in a Global Pandemic” – by Havi Stewart, Molly Lowney

Editorial Writing“Administration Secrecy Unacceptable During Pandemic” by Jennifer Ng and Gabi DiPaulo

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UPDATE June 21, 2022– The Beacon ended up winning First Place nationally in two categories: Breaking News Reporting and Sports Photography (university enrollment below 10,000).

The Beacon was also a national finalist for Feature Writing and Video Game Reporting.

Announcement from the Society of Professional Journalists and full list of national Mark of Excellence Award winners here.


Another year, another stellar performance by Beaconites in the regional Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Awards. The five-state competition evaluated content from the 2021 calendar year, choosing one winner and two finalists in several categories.

Beacon staffers with work in the winning column: Will Mulligan, William Seekamp, Havi Stewart, Austin De Dios, Andrew Gotshall, Ryan Reynolds, Carlos Fuentes, Sadie Wuertz, Molly Lowney. Several other staffers were finalists. Details:

Breaking News Reporting (university with enrollment under 10,000)
(NATIONAL and regional) Winner: *Massive power outage forces cancellation of classes and operations for second day + Shipstad Flooding — coverage by William Seekamp, Havi Stewart, Andrew Gotshall and Molly Lowney

General News Reporting (university with under 10,000 enrollment)
Finalist: Nursing students and faculty see aftermath of Lents Park police shooting — by Austin De Dios

Finalist: ‘I’m actually going to get home’ — by Carlos Fuentes

In-Depth Reporting (university with under 10,000 enrollment)
Finalist: New COVID dashboard may not give full picture — by Kate Cuadrado

Finalist: University of Portland faces staffing issues beyond labor shortages — by Austin De Dios

Feature Writing (universities with enrollment under 10,000)
Winner: Yuri Hernandez Osorio: Past and present — by Will Mulligan

Editorial Writing

Finalist: 3 Editorials by Jennifer Ng and Mia Werner

EDITORIAL: Student voices will persist

EDITORIAL: There is safety in surveillance; it’s time to test the unvaccinated

EDITORIAL: Flexible is fair

General Column Writing
Winner: Columns — by Sadie Wuertz and Carlos Fuentes

Finalist: Columns — by Austin De Dios

OPINION: A good walk spoiled: It’s time to abolish golf

OPINION: Find your magic

OPINION: It’s time to rethink to-do lists

Sports Photography (universities with under 10,000 enrollment)
(NATIONAL and regional) Winner: Men’s team celebrates with fans — by Ryan Reynolds

Video Game/Tabletop Game Reporting
Winner: Keep chasing bonfires — by Austin De Dios

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The Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) has awarded The Beacon a Silver Crown. The Crown Awards “are the highest recognition given by the CSPA to a student print or digital medium for overall excellence,” according to the CSPA website.

The ceremony was streamed live, and featured an audio recording by current Beacon Editor-in-Chief Austin De Dios:

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letter from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA)

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The Beacon has won First Place in several categories, including Best Website, in the annual Pacific Northwest Association of Journalism Educators (PNAJE) Awards. The winning content is especially noteworthy because the students produced all of it from a “virtual newsroom.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the campus to shut down and moved classes online in Spring 2020, Beacon staff doubled down on reporting, relying heavily on Zoom, Slack, Google Docs and phone calls to collaborate. Although campus partially reopened for Spring Semester 2021, classes remained virtual and so did Beacon operations.

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic was (and continues to be) such a looming presence that there was a COVID-19 angle in many of the stories The Beacon did in the 2020-21 academic year.

Scroll to see The Beacon winners in the PNAJE awards.

First Place:

General News Reporting“What did I just eat? “ – Kate Cuadrado

Feature Reporting- “Zoom fatigue and all-nighters- Online learning takes a toll on students’ mental health” – Carlos Fuentes

Personality Profile “Battling cancer in a global pandemic”– Haviland Stewart

Sports Feature Reporting“I’m not going to sit around and just do nothing” – William Seekamp

Review- Megan Rapinoe’s ‘One Life’ tells a story of wins, losses and finding the balance” – Carlos Fuentes

News Photo “Toxic air fills The Bluff” – Ryan Reynolds

Headline writing “If COVID doesn’t take you out, can I?” – Haviland Stewart

Best use of multimedia storytelling“Interactive Graphics: Pandemic brings salary cut and furloughs to UP” – Austin De Dios

Best websiteThe Beacon

Second Place:

Comprehensive CoverageVP blows the whistle on ‘racism, sexism and tokenism’ in upper administration -Austin De Dios and Gabi DiPaulo

Individual Commentary What the pandemic has taught me about loneliness” – Mia Werner

Photo Illustration“Computers get Zoom fatigue too” – Brennan Crowder

Best Use of Multimedia Storytelling-

Timeline: In honor of the Class of 2021, watch the last four years unfold” – Gabi DiPaulo

Third Place

Personality Profile“From UP student to Pilot landlord” – Brie Haro

Sports Photo “Miles Robinson fight for the ball” – Molly Lowney

Honorable Mention

Personality ProfileArlene Goetze: Past and present” – Sadie Wuertz

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Pinnacle Awards 2020-21

UPDATE 10/19/2021– The College Media Association has announced the Pinnacle Award winners, and The Beacon placed in several categories:

First Place – Best Feature Story (Carlos Fuentes)

Second Place- Best Arts and Entertainment Story (Havi Stewart)

Second Place- Best Photo Package (Molly Lowney)

Third Place- Online Breaking News Coverage (William Seekamp, Andrew Gotshall, Havi Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Molly Lowney)


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.

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Winners to be announced June 8. More information here.

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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”

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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”

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