Student Newspaper The Roar Brings Home Record Number of Awards
Note: This story appeared, appropriately, in The Roar, Piedmont’s student newspaper. Roar staff writer Chloe Spradiin wrote it.
The Roar earned a school record 16 awards from the Georgia College Press Association (GCPA) for work produced in the 2022 calendar year. The awards were announced April 7 at the annual GCPA Institute in Athens.
“This is truly a testament to the hard work and perseverance of Piedmont’s student journalists,” said Joe Dennis, associate professor of mass communications and advisor of The Roar. “It was such a challenging year for the staff — coming out of COVID, dealing with severe budget cuts, and switching between magazine and newspaper formats. I’m so proud of the leadership of our editors in ensuring we always had quality content.”
Overall, The Roar earned a third-place “General Excellence” designation — the highest honor given by GCPA. This is the fourth consecutive year The Roar earned “General Excellence” status after taking first place last year.
The Roar also earned third-place awards for “Overall Improvement,” “Best Website,” “Layout and Design,” “General Photography Excellence,” “Features Coverage,” and “Editorial Coverage.” It earned a second-place award for “News Coverage.” For the overall awards, Piedmont University competes against other schools in the state with an overall population of less than 5,000 students.
In addition to the overall awards, nine students earned individual honors for their journalism. Individual award categories are broken down into two divisions — one for work produced by juniors and seniors and one for work produced by freshmen and sophomores. School size is not a factor.
“For the individual awards, our students are competing against students from schools like the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech,” Dennis said. “This makes their accomplishments even more impressive. It shows that Piedmont’s student journalists are among the best student journalists in the state.”
In the freshman/sophomore category, Piedmont students earned the following awards:
- Best editorial, first place, theatre arts major Dakota Rose Chen for “G8 Station: No Weekend Accommodations?”
- Best editorial, third place, mass communications major Jessica Sconyers for “Weight Room Dress Code Overly Restrictive.”
- Best column, first place, psychology major Vanessa Manzo for “The Internal Playing Field.”
- Best photo essay, third place, sports communications majors Leo Galarza, Hailey Johnson, and Silas Sandles for “Snowed In.”
In the junior/senior category, Piedmont students were recognized with the following awards:
- Best feature story, second place, mass communications major Emma Marti for “Finding a Home Away from Home on the Court.”
- Best entertainment story, second place, mass communications major Hannah Osborne for “A Peek at Piedmont’s Production of Peter & the Starcatcher.”
- Best editorial, second place, Osborne for “The Piedmont Parking Conundrum.”
- Best review, third place, mass communications major Rowan Edmonds for “A Make Mom Proud Production: ‘Dandelion’ Review.
- Best entertainment feature, third place, graphic design major Samantha Carvallo, Galarza, and Johnson for “Photojournalism Class Reaches New Heights.”
Dennis said he is especially proud of the graduating Roar seniors who served as editors during 2022, including Marti, Osborne, Edmonds, Carvallo, Anya Olson, and news and features editor Connor Creedon.
“During their four years at Piedmont (2019-22), The Roar earned a combined 54 awards from GCPA and earned “General Excellence” designation all four years,” he said, comparing their four-year period to the 23 total awards and one “General Excellence” designation earned in 2015-18. “That’s a phenomenal accomplishment.”