SCJ Awards

Seven Equinox reporters received national awards for the 2017 National Contest held by the Society of Collegiate Journalists (SCJ) for pieces they produced in the previous year

“The contest is designed to celebrate and recognize outstanding student work across all platforms of media,” according to SCJ’s website. The contest is also “judged exclusively by professionals in the field.”

Crae Messer / Contributed Photo

Crae Messer / Contributed Photo

For the category of Online Media, Equinox Multimedia Editor Sebastien Mehegan took first place in the subcategory of Multimedia Feature Story for his piece entitled “Water Protectors: The DAPL Protest.”

In response to Mehegan’s multimedia piece, a judge from SCJ wrote, “Very powerful topic. Enjoyed how there were interviews with people who were natives but also weren’t natives. This gave a look inside this protest that many didn’t even get from the mainstream media. Extremely well done and important piece.”

Six awards were given to Equinox reporters in the category of Individual Writing and Imaging.

Former Arts and Entertainment Editor Nick Tocco received first for his article entitled “Athletes and coaches speak on sportsmanship” in the Sports News subcategory.

One SCJ judge commented on Tocco’s article. “This was well constructed,” wrote the judge. “Nick did a great job by letting people share their experience and opinions.”

In the subcategory News Stories (excluding Sports), former Equinox senior reporter Jacob Barrett received second place for his article “KSC uses biofuel for heating.”

One expert wrote, “It’s not easy translating scientific processes for the public. But you nailed it. The story explained quickly and cogently what’s new and why it matters. The sooner that comes across for the reader, the more effective the story will be. This one was a breeze to read, and packed with information.”

Former Managing Executive Editor Kendall Pope received third in the category of Breaking or Hard News for her article “KSC Nursing Program approved on probation.”

One judge wrote, “Article explains issues with nursing program well and provides voice to concerned students.”

In the subcategory Features (excluding Sports), staff writer Paul Lucas and current Administrative Executive Editor Olivia Belanger were awarded first and honorable mention, respectively. Lucas’s award-winning article is “A student’s life in the CALL program at KSC” while Belanger’s is “Unreported. Sexual assault victim speaks out.”

When commenting on Lucas’ article, one expert wrote, “Really charming story; brings the reader right along for a day in the life. A very worthy subject.”

On Belanger’s article, an SCJ judge wrote, “Well written with good background and expert input. Gives the survivor a safe space to report what happened and a voice to gain her power back, which is good journalism at its core. Be careful of letting person politics and obvious feelings lea in, though.”

For the Sports Feature subcategory, former Managing Executive Editor Crae Messer placed second for his article “Living life through a different hue – Colorblind lacrosse player and graphic design major sees things differently.”

On this article, one expert wrote, “Interesting story. It’s not something you;d read every day. Good job mixing school with lacrosse to tell the whole story and not just one side.”

Alexandria Saurman can be contacted at

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