Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Congrats to Beacon Sports Editor Malika Andrews for placing Fifth for Sports Story of the Year in the prestigious annual Associated Collegiate Press competition.

Malika at the ONA15 conference

Malika at the ONA15 conference

Here’s her winning story.

And here is the complete list of winners and finalists for ACP Story of the Year in every category.


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Katie Dunn |

There’s moments when you sit in class and think, ‘what in the world is going on? I swear we never learned any of this.’ In those moments, I catch myself questioning if I’m on the right track in school or working hard enough to understand what’s being taught. That lost feeling never happened when we were at the College Media Association conference in New York over spring break. IMG_4429

Unlike previous years, I found myself in sessions where I completely knew what they were saying and could related to the issues they were addressing. I knew what I would do in the face of ethical issues because we had faced them already, I knew the forms that held valuable information because we had already combed through them and I knew how hard it is to face some of the challenges related to student media because we had tackled through them. At these moments, I was so proud of the work we’ve been doing and continue to do at The Beacon.

Of course I learned new things, like how to better understand analytics on the website, understanding the importance of posting at the right time and on the right medium, the rights that students and student media holds via the Constitution and a solid list of questions to consider when facing ethical issues. While I was learning practical things to implement on the paper, I never caught myself hearing the speaker say, ‘this is what you should be doing’ and thinking, ‘oh crap we didn’t do that or don’t.’

IMG_4418In my new role as editor-in-chief there are more things I have to take in to account when I’m working on The Beacon. I no longer can get personally offended because someone dislikes something we’re doing. I have to be a strong leader for my staff so they know they can’t let it bother them either. One thing I learned in a session about not being the news was that we as a paper have to recognize how other people see the paper because that can impact how they react to something we do, positively or negatively.

All of the hard work that we put in every week to make the paper great can be overshadowed by one thing a group of people doesn’t like or agree with. On the other hand, a mistake that I can’t help but see every time I look at a printed page can be ignored by everyone else reading because all they see is a powerful story that gives voice to the voiceless. I was reassured at the conference that as long as we have sound reporting, our problems can’t be that egregious. At the end of the day I know our staff works so hard to turn out content the student body wants to read.

All of the strife and late nights and last minute changes seemed so inconsequential when we were sitting in the big ballroom hearing the announcement of the Apple Award for best paper (four-year college, under 5,000 students) and they said The Beacon, University of Portland. My heart skipped a beat as I walked up to collect the award because I knew we deserved it and worked so hard for this shiny red award. We just have to keep grinding out great things and knowing what we’re doing is necessary and important.

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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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