“Utterly blown away,” Echo Co-editor in Chief and senior Holly Gaskill said.
The Echo newspaper recently took home the second place award for their division of newspaper in the Indiana Collegiate Press Association’s annual contest. Overall, the team brought home 38 awards.
Taylor University’s student newspaper, placed in division three, was beaten by Goshen College’s “The Record” by one point.
“The Echo team’s recognition at this statewide level is well-deserved and pays honor to whom honor is due,” Alan Blanchard, associate professor of journalism and the faculty adviser for The Echo said. “The Echo is made up of a great team of students from a variety of majors across campus, led this year by hard-working and talented seniors Ellie Tiemens and Holly Gaskill, co-editors in chief. The students work very hard creating compelling visual and written content week in and week out. And the Taylor University community benefits from their creative skills and talents that include writing, editing, photography, graphic design and more.”
The Echo competed against student newspapers from Wabash College, Goshen College, Manchester College and Anderson University.
Along with their overall second place award, staff members of The Echo took home individual awards in a multitude of categories. In total, they received 13 first place awards, 10 second place awards and 14 third place awards. 33 of these awards were given to individual staff members and five of them to the overall staff.
Additionally, The Echo received two individual awards from the Evangelical Press Association, a national print and digital publication contest, and two awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a national journalism organization based out of Indianapolis.
In addition to her work, Gaskill is thankful for the work of The Echo’s staff during this academic year.
“This year, it’s been Ellie and I’s pleasure to work diligently and champion our staff to a higher standard of excellence,” Gaskill said. “We’ve had the absolute joy to see so many staff members absolutely exceed our expectations and goals, and now be honored at the state level for those same accomplishments.”
Ellie Tiemens, co-editor in chief, received a first place award for best opinion column in the ICPA and EPA contests, and a third place award for best informational graphic by the ICPA.
Leading alongside Gaskill, Tiemens is thankful for the hard work of her team.
“I’m incredibly proud of our staff and the recognition they’ve received for their writing, design and photography,” Tiemens said. “The Echo staff has been doing excellent work for the entire year and deserves these awards.”
Staff writers junior Will Riddell and senior Mer Fenton, along with Russell received first place for the best continuous coverage of a single story, which focused on the Dining Commons adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Journalists across the country were charged with telling the story of the pandemic, and this series did an excellent job of showing the challenges of an essential department that quickly had to adapt,” an ICPA judge said. “Good writing, research and choice of sources.”
Bostick’s co-editor, sophomore Marissa Muljat, received a first place award for best feature page design.
Junior Kaelynn Shultz, life and times designer, received a first place award for best special section/front cover.
The Echo was awarded several first and second place awards in photography and illustration.
From the EPA, staff writer and senior Lucas Bertsche received fifth place in the critical review category. Tiemens placed second in the editorial category for her opinion piece on diversity in chapel speakers.
The SPJ contest awarded Gaskill with best student editorial, senior staff writer Katie Pfotzer best column and junior designer Kaelynn Shultz with best design outside of the first page.
As junior Markus Miller, current sports editor, prepares to be co-editor in chief of The Echo next year, he is grateful for the leadership of his predecessors.
“The numerous awards that this year's Echo staff have won is a testament to the hard-work of everyone on this staff, and the values instilled by this year's co-editors in chief,” Miller said. “I can't wait to get a chance to continue this high standard with next year's publication."
The journalism department neighbors the film and media production department, who took home awards from the SPJ as well.
Seniors Faith Marsh, Franklin Snyder and Abby Goebel received first place in the student television feature story category for their film “Safe Haven.”
Seniors Gabe Burch, Anna Rodman and Ethan Ochs, alongside junior Luke Zobel created their film “Lizzi: Deeper than Water” and received first place in the student television videography category.
“The faculty were excited to learn that the SPJ had recognized the work of these four student documentary teams for their compelling storytelling and excellent videography,” Kathy Bruner, department co-chair and associate professor of film and media production, said.