The Gatepost takes home regional awards

The Gatepost received four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists on April 9.

Editors Michael B. Murphy, Brad Leuchte, Darian O’Donnell and Alexandra Gomes were present at the SPJ awards ceremony at the University of Southern Connecticut, as well as former Associate Editor Sara Silvestro and former Editor-in-Chief and FSU alumna Kaila Braley.

FSU is within Region 1 in the small school division, and competed against colleges and universities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The Gatepost editorial staff won a finalist award for three Gatepost editorials: “Massachusetts sunshine laws more dismal than the weather,” from March 27, 2015, “What’s in a name?” from Oct. 2, 2015 and “Overcoming trauma through compassion,” from Nov. 20, 2015.

Braley recalled her positive experiences at The Gatepost and said she is “very glad to be able to look back on it and be recognized for the hard work that the group put into it because it was very much a group effort – especially the editorials.”

Silvestro won a finalist award for in-depth reporting for her article, “Towers Hall Council President resigns after controversial posts,” from Nov. 13, 2015.

Leuchte won in the category of feature photography for his photo, “A student meets a new feathered friend,” from the April 27, 2015 issue, and O’Donnell was a finalist for her photo, “Welcome new students,” from the Sept. 11, 2015 issue.

Leuchte’s photograph is now entered into a national Mark of Excellence award contest along with winners from the 12 SPJ regions across the country. The winner of that contest will be announced in May.

Leuchte said, “It’s one thing to have your photos published – it’s an honor getting published every week. When you’re recognized at that kind of level, you feel like you’re doing something right.”

O’Donnell said, “Our region is competitive and I, honestly, never imagined that my work would be honored a year ago, when I joined the Gatepost. I’m so proud of what we accomplish every week as a publication, and this event was reinforcement that what we do is important to more than just at FSU.”

The Gatepost advisor Desmond McCarthy said, “You’re in the company of students from Ivy League schools and from programs with large graduate schools in journalism or mass communication in the New England and mid-Atlantic states. Your work is being judged as exceptional by professionals in the field, which is a testament to your professionalism, talent, hard work and diligence. It’s an honor to advise such an extraordinary group of people.”

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