Rachel Rippetoe, editor-in-chief
Photo by Annika Gordon


Olivia Sanchez, managing editor for news
Photo by Annika Gordon


Owen Price, editor of the Opinion section
Photo by Annika Gordon


Hannah Sievert, editor of the Living section
Photo by Annika Gordon


Dora Totoian, copy editor & senior reporter
Photo by Annika Gordon


Julia Cramer, multimedia editor (*fall)
Photo by Annika Gordon


Erin Bothwell, community engagement editor
Photo by Annika Gordon


Sports Editor: TBD (Apply now!)

*Annika Gordon will become multimedia editor Spring semester after she returns from studying abroad.






Some photos from our Goodbye Party…


2016-17 Editor-in-Chief Malika Andrews reflects on her time at The Beacon before turning the job  (and crown)  over to 2017-18 EIC Rachel Rippetoe



Managing Editor Clare Duffy offers advice and encouragement to her successor Olivia Sanchez (right)



Rachel Rippetoe presents a gift to the new Living editor, Hannah Sievert.



Seniors with Beacon adviser Nancy Copic. L to R:  Kristen Garcia, Ben Arthur, Cheyenne Schoen, Nancy Copic, Malika Andrews, Sal Aversa, Clare Duffy



Group hug


Top (left to right): Rachel Rippetoe, Ben Arthur, Olivia Sanchez
Front row: Erin Bothwell, Clare Duffy, Malika Andrews, Sam Keeler
Photo by Annika Gordon


The New York Times has awarded 2016-17 Beacon Editor-in-Chief Malika Andrews a James Reston Reporting Fellowship. Her 10-week paid internship will begin shortly after she graduates from UP in May. She will cover sports on a national and international level.

Andrews is among several Beacon staffers who have been chosen for media-related internships this summer. Other placements include

Clare Duffy- Portland Business Journal

Ben Arthur- The Denver Post

Olivia Sanchez- The Portland Tribune

Rachel Rippetoe- The Eugene Register-Guard

Sam Keeler- Downtown Music Marketing Group (New York)

Erin Bothwell – Chamber Music Northwest

Duffy (managing editor) and Arthur (sports editor)  also graduate in May.  Rachel Rippetoe (Living editor) returns to The Beacon next year as editor-in-chief. Olivia Sanchez (Opinions editor) has been promoted to managing editor. Erin Bothwell is entering her second year as community engagement editor at The Beacon.  Sam Keeler is a photojournalist.


This Annika Gordon photo of the UP Men’s soccer team after winning the WCC title won First Place for Breaking News Photo (university with fewer than 10,000 students). In all, The Beacon took First Place awards in six categories in the regional Mark of Excellence Awards sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists.

UPDATE (May 26, 2017)

Malika Andrews won First Place in the national Mark of Excellence competition for General News Reporting (schools fewer than 10,000 undergraduates) for “Disconnected: Black students on The Bluff feel they don’t belong.”

SPJ plaque

The Beacon also had two pieces of content place as national finalists:

Annika Gordon’s photo (above) was a finalist for Breaking News Photography.

“Students dig up America’s racist past” by Jenna Rossiter and Clare Duffy was a finalist for Feature Writing.

You’ll find the complete list of national winners here.


The Beacon has won six First Place awards in the regional Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence contest, and now advances to the national SPJ competition in the following categories:


Small university (9,999 or fewer undergraduates):

National winners will be notified in the late spring and will be recognized at the Excellence in Journalism conference in Anaheim, Calif, in September.

Beacon content was also a regional finalist (Second or Third Place) in the following categories:

  • Breaking News Reporting (Clare Duffy, Hannah Baade)
  • In-depth Reporting(Clare Duffy, Malika Andrews, Rachel Rippetoe, Annika Gordon)
  • Sports Writing (Malika Andrews)
  • Best Use of Multimedia (Cheyenne Schoen, Jeff Braccia)
  • Online News Reporting (Clare Duffy,Hannah Baade)
  • Online In-depth Reporting (Clare Duffy, Malika Andrews, Rachel Rippetoe, Hannah Baade, Jenna Rossiter)

The Mark of Excellence Awards for Region 10 involved student media entries from colleges and universities in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. See complete regional contest results here.


Competing against student media at colleges and universities in five states, The Beacon has placed either First, Second or Third in the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards for Region 10 (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska) in the following categories, for a total of 13 winning entries:

Results will be announced May 6 at the Washington Collegiate Journalism Conference at the University of Washington. First Place winners will advance to the national Mark of Excellence competition.


Rachel Rippetoe – Living Editor
  1. Context is key and it’s missing from a lot of major news today. To truly do your job as a journalist you need to be reading and researching and encompassing the background of what’s happening in major news stories.
  2. You need to let your coworkers get to know you. Build your brand and it will help you gain opportunities.
  3. Identify people who have the job you want and look at their path to success !!
  4. Look at newsroom issues as a triage unit. Focus on what you can save best and trash what you need to.
  5. As an Editor- in- Chief, it’s not about being right. It’s about doing the right things for the right reason.
Olivia Sanchez – Opinion and Faith Editor
  1. Build relationships everywhere you go, you never know when they will come in handy!
  2. Teamwork is everything. No one person could keep The Beacon afloat, we are most successful when we all work together. (It’s also way more fun when we are all here for each other.)
  3. Good things come to those who hustle…. And if you want to make a career in New York, or in journalism, you have to commit and give it your all!
  4. Be memorable (but be yourself). Branding is super important. (I have been thinking about this a lot).
  5. Take a risk every once in a while! And remember that people usually want to help you succeed.
Jeffrey Braccia – Photographer/Videographer
  1. Be ready to do both (photos and video).
  2. A good photo captures and event but also make you feel emotion.
  3. Keep doing what you love. You never know what career path you will take.
  4. Networking is key.
  5. Digital is the future embrace what we have and keep making it the best it can be.

Dora Totoian- Reporter

  1. Don’t be afraid to put pressure on your college to give you information – you pay to go there! On a related note, the freedom and sanctity of the press and the importance of the First Amendment were repeated throughout the conference.
  2. Be confident and speak up! Especially if you’re a woman. One of the keynote speakers expressed her fear that an idea may seem too obvious or too dumb, when it’s usually not that way at all. In the same vein, ask questions (in any context), even if they sound stupid because they’re probably not. Joanne Lipman’s story of how she was hired for the Wall Street Journal really impressed me.
  3. Say “yes” to everything, a point Ann Shoket made in her keynote. She encouraged young people to “get a job, any job” and to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself – even if you’re scared, advice I considered really important to all people our age and especially student reporters.
  4. Networking is not that scary – it depends how you think of it. People have to know you to hire you for something, and by making yourself known, you’re letting them consider you a possible candidate for an internship or job.
  5. The Beacon is a high-quality newspaper. Can this be a takeaway? Is it bragging? I don’t really care because after hearing about and talking to people from other newspapers, I think it is.

Hannah Sievert- Reporter/Copy Editor

  1. Be aware of fake news.  I went to a session about fake news and how to identify it, called “Fake News in the Age of Trump.”  I took away from this that in this age we need to be aware of what news we are reading, if the news is legitimate, and the amount of fake news that is now on the internet.  The woman speaking recommended use of newsliteracyproject.org.  She also said we should be teaching students in middle and elementary school about how to read news and recognize fake news to help the problem of fake news in our society today.
  2. Mara Schiavocampo (ABC News) taught me that it’s important to build a network while in journalism.  She suggested to be yourself and be persistent in building relationships with others.  I took away from her that building a network comes from being consistent in reaching out to the person, every three months or so.  IMG_7363
  3. I went to a session on feature writing, and I took away that it’s important to be passionate, motivated, and interested when being a writer, and your basic mission as a news writer is to be a storyteller.  At the session, I took away that when feature writing, start the story by focusing on a person, scene or event that illustrates the main point of a story.  The lead should go from specific to general, and the ending should refer back to the lead.  My favorite thing the speaker said was, “Don’t lead a story with a quote unless it’s from God.”  He recommended that you give readers a sense of place from the very beginning with writing a feature piece, which comes from taking a small thing about the person that gives a sense of place. The feature writing session also taught me a lot about how to get freelance magazine assignments.  The speaker said to start small, and know the voice of the magazine thoroughly.  He recommended that you “come up with the best idea you’ve ever had” when thinking of what to submit to a magazine.  I also took away some good examples of feature writing, like “The Young Man, The Myth, The Legend,” by Wright Thomson.
  4. One of my sessions about multimedia was taught by a woman who was getting her PhD in multimedia, and she said that the written word part of a story is often the last thing people look at when looking at a story.  An audience first looks at the photography and media, and then reads.  She said to treat photography, multimedia, and visuals that accompany a story as equal importance to the writing of it. She also said the layout was important to having a person keep reading.
  5. Ann Shoket and Joanne Lipman spoke about the importance of getting a job when you’re young, learning how an office works, and learning how to run and be a part of a real business meeting.  They said you should initially not get hung up on a 1st job, but it’s important to get any job in the industry that you want to be at out of college.  She also said that she sees a lot of women and young people being in meetings sitting off to the side, thinking their opinion doesn’t count and not saying much.  She said it’s important to sit at the table in a meeting, and don’t be afraid to speak your mind.  She said “force yourself” to speak up, even if it’s not your personality.

Annika Gordon- Multimedia Editor

  1. Networking is about forming and keeping up RELATIONSHIPS.
  2. Twitter is a super important tool for all journalism (including photojournalism) and I NEED to make one.
  3. I need to go into a situation with the mindset to take video AND photos.
  4. Use jpeg instead of raw format if you’re somewhere where things are happening pretty fast because this format, while of slightly poorer quality, is faster.
  5. When you have a job interview, make sure you have a war story to talk about, a challenge that you overcame.


Speaking of networking… One of the joys of advising student media is connecting current students with former Beacon staffers. In New York, we met up with Kate Stringer, a 2014 grad living in New York and working as a reporter/producer for The 74, an online publication focused on education issues.Thanks Kate for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with us!


Former Beacon reporter and Living Editor Kate Stringer (’14) holds current Beacon staffers in rapt attention with her tales of working and living in New York as a young journalist.

Throwback: March 2013 as then-Beacon reporter Kate Stringer was serenaded by a singing waiter in New York during The Beacon’s trip to the College Media Association conference,


The Beacon bond stretches across generations.

The Beacon’s transition from a weekly newspaper to an all digital 24/7 news outlet has turned into a model that student media organizations at other colleges and universities apparently are watching. CMA invited The Beacon to lead a session on the subject at the New York conference.

Beacon adviser Nancy Copic leading “Diving into Digital” session.

Malika, Clare and I worked as a team in telling our counterparts from other schools how we changed our approach to our work, overhauled our workflow and implemented rolling deadlines, incorporated multimedia and inforgraphics in our storytelling and how we use analytics as a motivator.

Beacon Editor-in-Chief Malika Andrews talks about the transition from weekly newspaper to all-digital campus news outlet.

Clare new york download 1

Managing Editor Clare Duffy describes the big change in Beacon workflow since going all-digital.

The Beacon’s Dynamic Duo

Watching Clare and Malika, I felt nothing but pride at their leadership over the past year and their professionalism during the session itself. Throughout the rest of the conference, we were all approached with positive feedback and questions about how we do what we do. Because Malika is also headed to the New York Times to be a James Reston Fellow after graduation, she was also asked to be on a panel about successfully moving from college media into the professional world. She was the talk of the conference after that.

Group text from Beacon photographer Jeff Braccia:

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-Nancy Copic