Keene State College journalism students all but swept the board at the New Hampshire Press Association Awards in the College Division, winning a total of 18 first place awards.
In a virtual awards ceremony on Wednesday, August 12, The Equinox was awarded Overall Excellence in Newspaper, Overall Excellence in Digital Presence and Best Use of Social Media. In addition, individual Owl journalists brought home 15 first place awards including Equinox Sports Editor and Keene State senior Claire Boughton who won three first place awards of her own.
“It’s a huge honor to be recognized by the New Hampshire Press Association for my work in 2019 with The Equinox,” Boughton said. “I am even more honored to have received these awards alongside my colleagues, Matt Holderman and Cailla Prisco. We have all put in countless hours to make the sports section the section that everyone wants to flip to when they pick up the newspaper weekly.”
Boughton won first place in Sports News for her story “Players from Around the Globe” as well as first place in Sports Feature for her story “Friendly Competition.” Claire won first place alongside her colleagues in Investigative Story/Series for The Equinox’s “Vaping: A Series.” Boughton added that the recognition for her work with The Equinox has her optimistic for the future.
“I look forward to continuing my time at The Equinox and seeing what this fall semester has in store,” Boughton said.
Close behind Boughton was The Equinox’s Multimedia Director and Keene State senior Benajil Rai, who was awarded two first place awards. One of those awards was in the category Best use of Video – News for her work on “Candlelight Vigil.” Rai, alongside recent Keene State graduate Jesse Miller, was also awarded Best use of Video – Sports for their work on “KSC Senior Swimmer Kyle Shadeck Returns to the Team.”
Miller, one of The Equinox’s multimedia staff said that his award made him feel “accomplished to a degree.” Rai said she felt “very humbled and honored to have a team that is invested wholeheartedly in The Equinox.”
“It was overwhelming to see the Equinox winning so many awards and it felt [like] a moment of achievement,” Rai said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without our supervisors who are our backbone. I personally want to thank my supervisor Julio for always supporting me and giving me constructive feedback on my work. He sees the potential in me that I was not able to see myself.”
Miller added that working with The Equinox was an amazing experience for him. “The team is friendly and cooperative,” Miller said. “Getting up close and personal with different stories was something I never thought I’d end up doing.”
In addition to current Keene State students being recognized for their work in journalism, a few alumni were granted awards in the professional division. Keene State’s own Kevin Landrigan was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. KSC alumnus and a Senior Producer at New Hampshire Public Radio Taylor Quimby was awarded first place in class one of Health Reporting for his work on “Patient Zero.” In addition, Quimby was also awarded second in class one of Crime Reporting for his work on “Bear Brook: A Break in the Case.”
The Equinox winners were also met with praise from the Keene State College faculty. The school’s Vice President for Student Affairs Kemal Atkins congratulated the journalism department as well as the students on their “outstanding accomplishments.” Keene State College President Melinda Treadwell said she was “absolutely awe struck” upon hearing the results of the awards ceremony.
“I am incredibly proud of the Equinox team and my heartfelt congratulations to the individual award winners” Treadwell said. She also praised the faculty advisors Rodger Martin and Julio Del Sesto. “You all deserve this recognition for your hard work, passion, and talent. Thank you for representing our College so brilliantly.”
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