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Daily Kent Stater and Earn National Journalism Awards

Posted Nov. 22, 2010

It's not hard to find people who believe Kent State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication is the best journalism school in Ohio these days. After the latest round of awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), it's even easier to see why.

A winning entry

The 2009 National Mark of Excellence Awards named Kent State student media members and outlets as winners in several important categories. Chris Sharron (pictured, front) took the top award in editorial cartooning, and the Daily Kent Stater editorial board was named the national winner in editorial writing. Thomas Gallick was a finalist in sports column writing, and the staff was recognized for online news coverage of College Fest.

"The people at Kent State just take journalism seriously," says Gallick. "It never felt like amateur hour. I didn't feel like we should be putting out an inferior product just because we were student media."

The Mark of Excellence Awards recognize collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2009. This year, student journalists submitted more than 3,600 entries.

This is the best showing ever for Kent State in the national SPJ awards, according to Daily Kent Stater adviser Carl Schierhorn.

Sharron, who won first place for his cartoons, is now employed by Kent State as a media specialist in the Office of Student Media. He credits his editors and advisers for his success.

"Kent State as a whole has been a very welcoming, nurturing place where I was given the room I needed to explore ideas and better myself as a person, and for that I am truly grateful," says Sharron.

The featured cartoon (above, right)) was included in Sharron's editorial cartoon submission. He says it received a great deal of attention from readers.

The winners and finalists were recognized in October at the Mark of Excellence Awards Luncheon during the 2010 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference at The Planet Hollywood Hotel in Las Vegas.

By Carrie Drummond