Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Living Editor Cassie Sheridan

Living Editor Cassie Sheridan

Cassie Sheridan has won a national award for an interactive digital timeline she made for The Beacon last spring: “The History of Women at UP”

Cassie won Second Place in the category of “Interactive Graphic for Digital Media” in the Gold Circle Awards sponsored by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, which is based at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York.


The Beacon has won several national awards in recent years, but this is the first national award The Beacon has won for anything digital.

So, thanks, Cassie, for helping to bring The Beacon into the 21st century.

If that’s not impressive enough, get this: The prominent blog College Media Matters named Cassie’s timeline one of the “7 Standout Student Press Stories”



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The Beacon has won two Gold Circle Awards and a Certificate of Merit from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, which is based at the Graduate School of Journalism of Columbia University in New York City.

philip award

Philip Ellefson Beacon News Editor

Philip Ellefson 

In the category of Editorial Writing, Philip Ellefson won Third Place for “RPP Hindered Vital Inclusion Discussions.”

Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 5.48.06 PM

Megan Lester and Kelsey Thomas won Third Place in the News Feature category for “Nothing to Rave About.”

Megan Lester

Megan Lester

Kelsey Thomas

Kelsey Thomas


megan award

Lydia Laythe won a Certificate of Merit for news writing for “Chiles Incident Sparks Outrage.”

Lydia Laythe

Lydia Laythe



Congrats to all!

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The College Media Association has announced The Beacon is one of four weekly newspapers nationwide in the running for a Pinnacle Award  for “Four-Year Weekly College Newspaper of the Year.” The other finalists are The Depaulia from Depaul University, The Lasso from Texas Woman’s University and The Vanderbilt Hustler. The winner will be announced at the National College Media Convention in Philadelphia next month.


First Place: Vanderbilt Hustler

Second Place: The Depaulia

Third Place: The Beacon

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The Beacon has won First Place for General Excellence among weekly college newspapers in the annual statewide collegiate media competition of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.

ONPA general excellence 2014


This was just one of 25 awards The Beacon staff took home from the conference. Unfortunately, the event took place one week after UP’s graduation, so much of our staff had already scattered to their family homes, many out-of-state. Beacon MVP Shellie Adams literally had her hands full as the only staffer who was able to attend.

Shellie Adams, Beacon Design Editor and 2014 MVP at the ONPA awards luncheon

Shellie Adams, Beacon Design Editor and 2014 MVP at the ONPA awards luncheon

Here’s a complete list of ONPA awards The Beacon won:

First Place

  • General Excellence- Beacon Staff
  • Website www.upbeacon.com – Kelsey Thomas, John Liedtke
  • News Story- “Trouble in the Air” by Lauria Frazier
  • Series- Chiles Incident coverage and editorial by Lydia Laythe, Philip Ellefson. Assist by Sarah Hansell and Kelsey Thomas
  • Feature Story-“Nothing to Rave About” by Megan Lester with assist by Sarah Hansell, Emily Strocher
  • Spot News Photo- “Pilot Spirit (Eric Reveno) in a Kilt” by David DiloretoReveno in kilt
  • Feature Photo-“Squirrel steals an Easter Egg” by Jackie JeffersSquirrel
  • (overall) Photography- Becca Tabor
  • Best Graphic- “Syria 101” by Shellie Adams and Nastacia Voisin
  • House Ad-“This could be you” by Emily Strocher

Second Place

  • Best Section-Sarah Hansell, Megan Lester, Olivia Alsept-Ellis, Lydia Laythe
  • Special Section- “Student Media Jobs Guide” by Shellie Adams and Kelsey Thomas
  • Writing-“Don’t Get An Internship, “Remember Them,” and “Have Faith in the Harry Potter Generation” by Kate Stringer
  • Columnist- Kate Stringer
  • Sports Story- “Selfless, Touch, Compassionate” by Peter Gallagher
  • Best Graphic-“Do you know your new laws?” by Emily Strocher, Lydia Laythe
  • Best Cartooning- Ann Truong

Third Place

  • News Story- “Chiles Incident Sparks Outrage, Dialogue” by Lydia Laythe w/assist from Kelsey Thomas and Sarah Hansell
  • Design- Shellie Adams
  • Series- Redefine Purple Pride, Nondiscrimination Clause coverage by Philip Ellefson, Nastacia Voisin, Kelsey Thomas
  • Review- “Oregon Shakespeare Festival” by Olivia Alsept-Ellis
  • Sports Photo- “Pilot spirit (Coach Eric Reveno) in a Kilt by David Diloreto
  • Feature Photo- “Irish Dancing: Almost Like Flying” by Becca Tabor
  • (overall) Photography- David Diloreto
  • Cartooning- Ann Truong

The Beacon competed in the category of “Four-year college or university non-daily newspaper.” Entries were judged by professional newspaper journalists from ONPA member media companies.

Shellie and I also attended some valuable presentations before the awards luncheon:

1) Willamette Week Managing Editor for News Brent Walth: “Great stories are about people…provide context and perspective.”

2) Les Zaitz, Pulitzer Prize finalist and investigative reporter at The Oregonian: “If you ask general questions, you’ll get general answers.”

Pulitzer Prize finalist and investigative reporter for The Oregonian Les Zaitz shows how he "connects the dots" in his investigative reporting.

Pulitzer Prize finalist and investigative reporter for The Oregonian Les Zaitz shows how he “connects the dots” in his investigative reporting.

3) Jordan Tichenor and Chelsea Wicks,  editors from the University of Oregon’s Daily Emerald shared their behind-the-scenes stories about major stories the Emerald has covered this year including the viral “Snow Brawl” video and

UO snowbrawl


the ongoing coverage of rape accusations against three UO basketball players.

Rape presenatation UO


-Nancy Copic, Adviser to The Beacon


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The Beacon has won three regional Mark of Excellence awards from the Society of Professional Journalists:

Best All-Around Non-daily Student Newspaper (colleges under 9,999 enrollment)
(Beacon Staff)

General News Reporting:
“Cyber confessions become cyberbullying”
Reporter: Olivia Alsept-Ellis


Best Sports Writing
“Selfless, tough, compassionate”
Reporter: Peter Gallagher

The contest was open to all college media in SPJ Region 10 (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska). We’ll find out if we won First, Second or Third Place in these categories at the regional SPJ conference May 3 in the University of Oregon Turnbull Center in Portland. First Place award-winners proceed to the national SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards.

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A typical scene between sessions at the ACP convention: highly caffeinated and motivated student journalists hungry to learn tools of the trade, digital and otherwise.


Beacon Opinions Editor Philip Ellefson, Editor-in-Chief Kelsey Thomas and me before the Pacemaker awards ceremony on the final day of the convention. One of the reasons we went to the convention was that The Beacon was named a finalist.



None of us expected The Beacon to win. And it didn’t. But we were honestly thrilled just to be finalists, which entitled us to a shiny plaque. There was a small problem, though.SAM_0702

PS- Paging copy editor: Portland, Pennsylvania?SAM_0701

You can see the list of Pacemaker winners here.

Nancy Copic

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photo-16Congratulations to The Beacon’s  “designing women” + last spring’s assistant design editor, Zach Hartman for winning two Gold Circle Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association at the Columbia School of Journalism in New York.

photo-14The Beacon won Third Place (in the nation) for Overall Design of a tabloid-size college newspaper. Student newspapers from Ithaca College and Loyola Marymount University won First and Second, respectively.


This was truly a team effort. Congrats to Liz Tertadian, Shellie Adams, Emily Strocher, Laura Frazier and (designing dude) Zach Hartman.

photo-17The Beacon also won Third Place for Page One Design for this issue, designed by Emily Strocher and Shellie Adams.

caffeineThe Beacon won two Certificates of Merit for “Single Subject News or Feature Package, single page design”:

“Drugged for Success”– Story by Laura Frazier, Design by Shellie Adams:

aderallThe second Certificate of Merit was for the feature “Professors tap up the dance floor.”

Story by Hannah Kintner, Photos by Becca Tabor, Design by Rachel McIntosh

tap dance story 2013-10-02 at 6.23.31 PM-1

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