PWPA Announces Winners of 2015 Excellence in Journalism Awards

PWPA contact: President Daveen Rae Kurutz, (412) 444-8469.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PITTSBURGH (April 27, 2015) —The Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association is excited to announce the winners of its 2015 Excellence in Journalism Awards.   The PWPA board and contest judges were impressed by the number of exceptional entries received. 
 
“The annual Excellence in Journalism contest showcases the amazing work of PWPA’s members. It’s great to see so many talented journalists competing in our contest each year,” PWPA President Daveen Rae Kurutz said.
 
Contest winners will be recognized at PWPA’s annual awards luncheon May 30 during the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association’s 2015 Pennsylvania Press Conference in Gettysburg, May 29-30. 
 
At the luncheon, the winner of PWPA’s top prize, the Journalist of the Year Award, will be named. The Journalist of the Year is the man or woman who accumulates the most points from category wins. More information about the 2015 Pennsylvania Press Conference is here:www.panewsmedia.org/Events/PNAevents/pressconference.
 
PWPA’s Excellence in Journalism Awards contest does not have divisions based on circulation or publication frequency – all newspapers and news websites compete against one another. All of the contest entries were judged by out-of-state media professionals.  This year, the contest attracted more than 250 entries from 63 professional journalists, hailing from 25 different newspapers.
 
PWPA congratulates all of the 2015 Excellence in Journalism Award winners.
 
The winners are as follows:
 
Class 1: General News
First place: “West Virginia Teen Gets 30 years in Prison for Her Role in Friend’s Stabbing Death,” Janice Crompton, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Second place: “School Upheaval,” Sarah Hofius Hall, Times Tribune
Third place: “Drug Users Being Charged,” Jo Ciavaglia, Bucks County Courier Times
 
Class 2: Sports
First place: “Cal U Quietly Added Football Players with Criminal Backgrounds,” Debra Erdley, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Second place: “Norristown Grad Brianne Hagels Battle Through Life-altering Illness,” Katie Bambi Kohler, The Times Herald
 
Class 3: Lifestyles
First place: “Shoe Love,” JoAnne Klimovich Harrop, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Second place: “Menu for Controversy,” Jamie Klein, Reading Eagle
Third place: “Table Tenets,” Lini Kadaba, Philadelphia Inquirer
 
Class 4: Features
First place: “Moving On: Emotional Trauma and Recovery After Flight 427,” Jenny Wagner, Beaver County Times
Second place: “Coaches in Heels,” JoAnne Klimovich Harrop, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Third place: “A Son Halfway Across Earth,” Sarah Hofius-Hall; Times-Tribune
 
Class 5: Editorials
First place: Liz Allen, Erie Times News
Second place: Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Third place: Kay Stephens, Altoona Mirror
 
Class 6: Columns
First place: Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Second place: Christine Haines, Uniontown Herald Standard
Third place: Stephanie Weaver, Reading Eagle
 
Class 7: Business/Consumer story
First place: “Savior of the Shipyard,” Craig Smith, Tribune-Review
Second place: “College-bank Deals Inspire Calls for Openness,” Debra Erdley, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Third place: “Hopping Ahead,” Jamie Klein, Reading Eagle
Honorable mention: “Women’s Pay Lags More in Beaver County,” Daveen Rae Kurutz, Beaver County Times
 
Class 8: Series
First place: “Pension Tension,” Terrie Morgan-Besecker, Times-Tribune
Second place: “The Cost of Sports,” Stephanie Weaver, Reading Eagle
Third place: “Sex Offender Registry Flawed,” Jo Ciavaglia, Bucks County Courier Times
 
Class 9: Interviews/Profiles
First place: “Newborn’s Refuge Shattered,” Craig Smith, Tribune-Review
Second place: “So Proudly We Geek,” Lini Kadaba, Philadelphia Inquirer
Third place: “Archives to Honor Nun,” Dana Massing, Erie Times News
 
Class 10: Page Design
First place: Mary Beth Eastman, Beaver County Times
Second place:  Kristin O’Malley, Times-Tribune
Third place: Megan Miller, Beaver County Times
Honorable Mention: Hannah Frank, Altoona Mirror
 
Class 11: Enterprise/Investigative report
First place: “Thousands of Disabled Workers in PA Paid Far Below Minimum Wage.  Opportunity or Exploitation?” Halle Stockton, Public Source
Second place: “Slaughter a Painful Reality,” Jamie Klein, Reading Eagle
Third place: “Pennsylvania Municipalities Tap Swaps for Upfront Cash,” Romy Varghese, Bloomberg
Honorable Mention: “Temp Jobs, No Votes,” Sarah Hofius Hall, Times-Tribune
 
Class 12: Health/Science story
First place: “Don’t Spare the Horses,” Elaine Vitone, Pitt Med
Second place: “What’s the Risk,” Dana Massing, Erie Times-News
Third place: “Heart of Gold,” Amanda Gabelleto, Altoona Mirror
 
Class 13: Education story
First place: “Test Score Struggles,” Daveen Rae Kurutz, Beaver County Times
Second place: “The Job Hunt,” Stephanie Weaver, Reading Eagle
Third place: “Will Changes Save Schools,” Dana Massing, Erie Times News
Honorable Mention: “Higher Ed Can Take a Major Toll,” Debra Erdley, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Honorable Mention: “Girard College Finances Handcuffed by Rate Swaps,” Romy Varghese, Bloomberg
 
Class 14: Travel, A&E story
First place: “Dogs Test Their Pipes at Audition,” Megan Guza, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Second place: “Cuba Confidential,” Patricia Sheridan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Third place: “This Is the End,” Lini Kadaba, Philadelphia Inquirer
Honorable Mention: “Long-distance Connections,” JoAnne Klimovich Harrop, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
 
Class 15: Headlines
First place: Liz Allen, Erie Times News
 
Class 16A: News/Feature photography
First place: Stephanie Strasburg, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Second place: Ellen O’Connell, Standard-Speaker
 
Class 16B: Sports photography
First place: Ellen O’Connell, Standard-Speaker
Second place: Stephanie Strasburg, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Third place: Jamie Pesotine, Standard-Speaker
 
Class 17: Multimedia projects
First place: “Don’t Forget Me: Portraits of Alzheimer’s & Dementia,” Gwen Titley, Beaver County Times
Second place: “Miss Frick’s Debut,” web team, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Third place: “Science Scores Are up for Beaver County Area High Schools,” Daveen Rae Kurutz, Beaver County Times
 
Class 18: Religion story
First place: “Christian Crisis,” Betsy Hiel, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Second place: “We Are a People,” Dana Massing, Erie Times News
Third place: “Sisters Remain Hopeful,” Caitlin Heaney West, Times Tribune
 
Class 19: Outdoors/Environmental story
First place: “The Half-life,” Betsy Hiel, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Second place: “W.Va. Toxin on Way to PA,” Debra Erdley, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Third place: “Brothers Aim to Bring Back Chestnut Trees in Township,” Nicole Chynoweth, Ligonier Echo
 
Class 20: Rookie Reporter
First place: Sarah Stemen, Erie Times-News
Second place: Olivia Goudy, Uniontown Herald Standard
Third place: Megan Guza, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Honorable Mention: Lexi Belculfine, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Bloom, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Honorable Mention: Nicole Chynoweth, Ligionier Echo
 
Class 21: Student Reporter
First place: Sara Payne, Point Park University
Second place: Marina Weis, Point Park University

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