The Columbia Chronicle picks up 29 awards at state convention, wins Sweepstakes

By Staff

Members of The Columbia Chronicle staff pose with the 29 awards won at the annual ICPA convention held at the DoubleTree Chicago, 300 E. Ohio St.

The student staff of The Columbia Chronicle earned 29 awards at the Illinois College Press Association’s annual convention held this past weekend in Chicago. The Chronicle won first place in seven categories, including the Sweepstakes award for its class, for points earned across all contest categories.

The 2021 awards, announced Saturday, covered work produced between Dec. 1, 2020-Nov. 30, 2021. There were 27 competing schools and 769 contest entries submitted. The Chronicle competed in both “Open” categories among all schools and in the “Non-Dailies (enrollment) More Than 4,000” competition.

In most categories, each news organization could submit two entries. The Chronicle swept the competition in three categories, earning both first- and second-place recognition in the Feature Page Design, Photo Essay and Feature Photo competitions.

Erin McCarthy, interim chair of the Communication Department, offered praise for what the Chronicle has achieved during a time of transition.

“What the Chronicle staff has accomplished this year is notable—they are a young team; many veteran staffers graduated last spring,” McCarthy said. “They had a steep learning curve as they returned to campus while maintaining their daily digital delivery and adding a return to print editions and [continuing] production of the Media Hub Minute.”

This year’s ICPA awards come from Chronicle work produced under the newsroom leadership of former editors-in-chief Mari Devereaux, Kendall Polidori and Brooklyn Kiosow and current co-EICs Camryn Cutinello and Noah Jennings.

“Being recognized for the hard work each member of our staff puts in day in and day out is certainly a gratifying feeling,” Jennings said. “We don’t do what we do for awards like these, but it’s empowering to know the work done here at the Chronicle does not go unnoticed. I am ​proud of every member of this incredibly talented staff, and I’m honored to be a part of the group upholding the tradition and standard of excellence at The Columbia Chronicle.”

Cutinello also expressed pride in the staff’s achievements and talked about the unique challenges of the past year.

“Our staff had to balance a lot this past year, with a semester of remote work in the spring and a return to in-person learning in the fall,” Cutinello said. “The Chronicle team has worked hard to continue to serve the Columbia community, and it’s great to be recognized for this work.”

The Chronicle has won the Sweepstakes award, seen here held by co-editors-in-chief Camryn Cutinello, left, and Noah Jennings, right, in back-to-back years.

The Chronicle’s Director of Photography K’Von Jackson earned two first-place plaques for best Feature Photo and Spot News Photo.

Recent graduates Chloe McMullen, Valentina Pucarelli, Paige Barnes and Summer Hoagland-Abernathy also earned recognition in multiple categories.

Current Chronicle staffers Anna Busalacchi, Jackie Elliott, Amina Sergazina, Elias Gonzalez, Justice Lewis and Lucas Martinez, along with recent graduates Isaiah Colbert and Zachary Clingenpeel, also earned ICPA certificates for their work, in addition to numerous awards honoring the full staff.

“All of the work the Chronicle produces is a collaborative effort,” said Travis Truitt, general manager for student media. “Beyond the individuals recognized by the ICPA is a full team of student editors and team members working to make every Chronicle story, photo, illustration, video, podcast, advertisement, social media post and print issue as strong as possible.”   

The Chronicle’s ICPA awards build upon the national recognition the news organization earned in October, when it received a combined 10 national awards from the Associated Collegiate Press and the College Media Association. 

This included the Associated Collegiate Press’ Online Pacemaker, awarded to news outlets from 14 colleges and universities across the country. The ACP called the Pacemaker “the association’s preeminent award.”

“We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the Communication Department and the journalism faculty who teach our students,” Truitt said, noting in particular faculty adviser Curtis Lawrence, “whose knowledge of the city and the college, plus the wisdom he’s gained from years as a reporter, is a tremendous asset to our students. We’re lucky to have Curtis in our newsroom working with the Chronicle staff.”

Truitt also expressed appreciation for the support from the Design Department, whose faculty “encourage so many talented illustrators and graphic designers to apply to the Chronicle. Our illustrations are one thing that sets the Chronicle apart from other college newspapers and news organizations.”

The Chronicle’s full list of 2021 Illinois College Press Association (ICPA) award recipients:

  • First Place – Overall Sweepstakes (non-daily newspapers, schools with enrollment over 4,000, based on points earned across all categories) – Staff
  • First Place – Feature Photo – K’Von Jackson
  • First Place – Spot News Photo – K’Von Jackson
  • First Place – Editorial Cartoon – Chloe McMullen
  • First Place – Graphic Illustration – Chloe McMullen
  • First Place – Photo Essay – Staff
  • First Place – Feature Page Design – Staff 
  • Second Place – Online News Site – Staff
  • Second Place – In-Depth Reporting – Anna Busalacchi
  • Second Place – News Story – Amina Sergazina
  • Second Place – Column – Justice Lewis
  • Second Place – Critical Review (Other Than Film) – Summer Hoagland-Abernathy
  • Second Place – Feature Photo – Valentina Pucarelli
  • Second Place – Photo Essay – Staff
  • Second Place – Front Page Layout – Staff
  • Second Place – Feature Page Design – Staff
  • Third Place – Feature Story – Valentina Pucarelli
  • Third Place – Podcast (News) – Paige Barnes 
  • Third Place – Graphic Illustration – Lucas Martinez
  • Third Place – General Excellence, Print – Staff 
  • Third Place – Special Supplement – Staff
  • Third Place – Multimedia Reporting – Staff 
  • Honorable Mention – General Excellence, Website – Staff 
  • Honorable Mention – Multimedia Reporting – Paige Barnes and Jackie Elliott
  • Honorable Mention – Editorial Cartoon – Elias Gonzalez
  • Honorable Mention – Critical Review (Film) – Isaiah Colbert
  • Honorable Mention – Editorial – Summer Hoagland-Abernathy
  • Honorable Mention – Column – Valentina Pucarelli
  • Honorable Mention – General News Photo – Zachary Clingenpeel 

2021 Pacemaker and Associated Collegiate Press Individual Awards (ACP)

  • Winner – Online Pacemaker Award – Staff
  • Finalist – Newspaper Pacemaker Award – Staff
  • Third Place – Environmental Portrait – Zachary Clingenpeel
  • Fourth Place – Diversity Story – Erin Threlkeld
  • Honorable Mention – COVID-19 Coverage, Design/Visual: Print or Digital – Lucas Martinez
  • Honorable Mention – COVID-19 Coverage, Broadcast: News or Features – Paige Barnes and Ignacio Calderon

2021 Pinnacle Awards, College Media Association (CMA)

  • Second Place – Best Special Section: More than Four Pages – Staff
  • Honorable Mention – Best House Ad – Vicki Lei
  • Honorable Mention – Best Photo Illustration – Camilla Forte and Savanna Steffens
  • Honorable Mention – Best Arts and Entertainment Story – Isaiah Colbert