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Flagler students win 15 SPJ Mark of Excellence journalism awards

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April 3, 2014

Flagler College communication students won 15 awards in the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2013 Mark of Excellence Awards for Region 3, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

The Gargoyle, Flagler’s online-only, student-run newspaper, won a total of 12 awards, with five first place finishes including one for Best Independent Online Student Publication. Those first place winners will now move on to the national SPJ competition.

In addition, students from Assistant Professor Robbie Gordon’s Advanced Journalism II class took home two awards for Television General News Reporting. Sarah Worthington, Daniel Arbealez and Kristin Kownacky won one award with Kownacky earning another award alone. Sarah Williamson, from Associate Professor of Communication Helena Sarkio’s Advanced Reporting class, also won an award for Feature Writing.

The Gargoyle won 15 regional awards last year in a category for schools up to 5,000 students. This year, The Gargoyle competed against schools with up to 10,000 students such as the University of Central Florida, the University of South Carolina, the University of Miami and others. Last year The Gargoyle also won the college's first-ever national SPJ award.

The awards honor the best in student journalism, and judges chose only those entries they felt were outstanding work worthy of such an honor. If the judges determined that none of the entries rose to the level of excellence, no award was given.

“These students are just producing some terrific stuff, so it's wonderful to see them recognized like this,” said Gargoyle Advisor Brian Thompson. “It was especially gratifying to win the online student publication award, as the runner-up was the University of Central Florida. That just goes to show we had some strong competition.”

Awards included:

- Finalist, General News Reporting (Small), Ashley Goodman

- Finalist, In-Depth Reporting (Small), Matt Keene

- First place, Feature Writing (Small), Alexa Epitropoulos, Flagler College Gargoyle, Flagler College

- Finalist, Feature Writing (Small), Sarah Williamson

- First place, Sports Writing (Small), Matt Pagels

- Finalist, Sports Writing (Small), Teaira Marque

- First place, General News Photography (Small), Sarah Williamson

- Finalist, Feature Photography (Small), Sarah Williamson

- Finalist, Television General News Reporting, Kristin Kownacky

- Finalist, Television General News Reporting, Sarah Worthington, Kristin Kownacky and Daniel Arbealez

- Finalist, Online News Reporting, Alexa Epitropoulos

- Finalist, Online Feature Reporting, Alexa Epitropoulos

- First place, Online Opinion & Commentary, Hannah Bleau

- Finalist, Online Opinion & Commentary, Cassie Colby

- First place, Best Independent Online Student Publication, The Gargoyle


To visit The Gargoyle, go to