SPJ banquet recognizes ULV with top honors

Megan Montalvo
Staff Writer

University of La Verne journalists cleaned up – capturing numerous top awards including second place in the “Best Newspaper” category, first place for “Best Magazine,” and first and second place for “Best TV Feature Segment,” 2005 –  in a regional Society of Professional Journalist contest last week.

Entries were from throughout Southern California and winners were announced Saturday at a banquet at the Riverside Marriot.

The banquet is held every year to celebrate the best of the region’s journalists by giving plaques and certificates of merit to both college and professional publications and their writers.

The Inland Southern California Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists also awarded two $500 scholarships Saturday – both of which went to ULV students.

The Campus Times won second place for Best Newspaper. UCLA’s The
Daily Bruin was the first place winner and Riverside Community College’s Viewpoints came in third.

“I’m really pleased,” said Elizabeth Zwerling, associate professor of journalism and faculty adviser to the Campus Times. “It’s important to know how we stack up against the other schools. Coming in second to the UCLA Bruin isn’t bad.”

The Campus Times also captured first, second and third-place in the “Best News Story” category. And Campus Times editor in chief Nila Priyambodo walked away with awards in all three of these categories for stories, which she reported alone and as part of a team.

“I always thought news writing was my strong point, so it was nice to be appreciated for it,” Priyambodo said.

Priyambodo, a senior, along with Campus Times editorial director Tom Anderson, a junior, were also the winners of the two $500 SPJ scholarships Saturday their overall accomplishments in journalism.

“The fact that both scholarships went to ULV students says a lot,” Anderson said.

First place for Best Feature Story went to Campus Times writer Jessica Warden for “Blood, cells bring quick cash,” an in-depth story on how students donate their sperm, other cells and tissues to pay bills.

Former Campus Times sports editor Steven Falls took first and second place for Best Sports Story.

Television news and feature segments were also judged in the competition this year. La Verne Community Television, won first and second place in Best TV Feature Segment for Tim Ciancio’s “Maloof Foundation” and Yesel Manrique’s “Fairview Farms.”

“It was surprising because I never expected to win anything from SPJ since I’m not a journalist,” said Manrique, a senior broadcast TV major.

For the category of Best Non-Fiction Magazine Story, La Verne Magazine took first, second, and third place.

“It was an honor,” said Valerie Rojas, third place winner for her story “The Sweeter Side of Success.” “It was a little unexpected because I would have been happy with just an honorable mention.”

Former La Verne Magazine editors Matt Paulson and Amby Sarabia won first and second place for Best Magazine General Excellence.

“I can tell them all day that they are doing a great job, but when it comes from the outside, that’s when they begin to realize it,” said George Keeler, chairman of the communications department and faculty adviser to the La Verne magazine.

“We’re like a big family in the communications department, so when one of us wins, we all win,” Keeler added.

Megan Montalvo can be reached at mmontalvo2@ulv.edu

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Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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