Cal Times wins one national award and two regional awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists


Lily Gongaware

Lily Gongaware’s photo illustration was a Mark of Excellence national finalist.

Two May 2020 graduates were recently honored by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Lily Gongaware’s photo illustration, “Cal U for Life,” which was the Cal Times cover on May 3, 2019, was selected as a Mark of Excellence national finalist.

Gongaware and Samantha Kuhne’s online digital feature video, “Cal U’s Club and Organizational Fair 2019,” both earned first-place Mark of Excellence awards in their respective categories for SPJ Region 4.

The regional awards recognize the best in college journalism at schools in Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania. Awards are given for collegiate journalism in print, on radio, on TV and online. The more than 500 entries in this year’s regional competition were published in 2019.

School divisions are based on student enrollment, including both graduate and undergraduate: Large schools have at least 10,000 students and small schools have 9,999 or fewer students. SPJ was founded in 1909 and has more than 6,000 members.

Gongaware graduated with degrees in graphic design and liberal studies while minoring in marketing and fine art. She served as the Cal Times social marketing intern and graphic designer.

Kuhne, who was the Cal Times entertainment editor, majored in communication studies, with a concentration in radio/TV production and a minor in marketing.

They are pursuing careers in their graphic design and video production fields with plans on furthering their education while working.

Jeff Helsel, director of Multimedia Journalism for the Student Association Inc. and the Cal Times adviser, lauded both journalists.

“To be selected among your peers for prestigious honors by such a distinguished and big organization certainly speaks volumes of Lily and Sam and is a positive reflection of our student newspaper,” he said. ”Both of these talented, dedicated new graduates will add so much to any workplace they become a part of.”

Link to view the video: