Three Campus News Stories Move On to National SPJ Contest

Three stories from Campus News, MSUM’s student produced newscast, were named as winners in the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards. Stien Michalsen, a photographer for Campus News last spring, won in both the television news photography and the television sports photography categories. Collin Boyles, a 2013 graduate, was the winner in the television sports reporting category. The stories won in SPJ Region 6, which includes the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. They now move on to compete in the national SPJ contest, which includes twelve regions across the United States. In all, Campus News took home 10 television awards, more than any other school in the contest. Campus News also took all the awards in the television photography categories. The winners were announced at the Midwest Journalism Conference in Minneapolis.

At the conference Campus News students also won several Eric Sevareid Awards, which are given out each year by the Northwest Broadcast News Association. MSUM Senior Brian Ashburn won first place in the broadcast writing category. MSUM 2013 graduates Mat Gleeson and Ezra Van Den Einde both earned Awards of Merit. Gleeson won in the hard feature category and Van Den Einde in sports reporting.

The weekend was capped off by Campus News students earning four Crystal Pillar Awards in the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Upper Midwest Chapter Student Awards of Excellence. Mat Gleeson won in both the sports and photographer categories. Collin Boyles also won in sports reporting and senior Melissa Stephan won in the photographer category. The NATAS-Upper Midwest region includes Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and western Wisconsin.

Campus News airs weekly on Prairie Public Television at 7:00 AM during the spring semester and is repeated on the cable access channels in both Fargo and Moorhead.

You can watch the latest Campus News newscasts and stories through this link:

“College Football: In Pursuit of Success” Wins Best Documentary Award

“College Football: In Pursuit of Success,” a 2013 television documentary produced in the broadcast documentary class at MSUM and broadcast on Prairie Public Television, won first place in the student documentary category in the Northwest Broadcast News Association’s Eric Sevareid Awards. The documentary also was a finalist in the SPJ Region 6 Mark of Excellence Awards in the Television In-Depth Reporting category. The documentary takes a look at the passion and devotion coaches, players, and fans have when it comes to college football.

You can watch the award-winning documentary at this link:

“Doing It Downtown” Named Best Online Student Publication by SPJ

“Doing It Downtown,” the mass communications department’s magazine-style blog, won first place for Best Independent Online Student Publication in the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Awards. It’s published daily during Dr. Deneen Gilmour’s MC 405/Writing for the Web class. Student editor is Kayla Van Eps.

“Doing It Downtown” came to life five years ago as downtown Fargo-Moorhead morphed from a place where panhandlers hung out to a place where nightclubs, coffee houses and a vibrant music scene flourished. Besides words and images, the publication brings fresh content to readers using Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, plus multimedia apps like Storify.

“Doing It Downtown” can be found at this link: Honored by SPJ was a finalist in the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Awards for Best Independent Online Student Publication. is an online magazine produced each spring by the students in MSUM’s Journalism Workshop class. The winning issue is titled “Dangerous, Difficult, and Dirty Jobs.” Students interviewed and photographed individuals whose jobs can be challenging, and sometimes even life threatening. Some of these jobs included a firefighter, police officer, tiger tamer and welder.

This award-winning magazine can be found at:

Five Advocate Staff Members’ Advance to National SPJ Contest

The MSUM student newspaper, The Advocate had another impressive showing at the Region 6 Mark of Excellence awards. This year, 13 articles and photos were named award winners, seven of which took home first place honors.

Senior Breann Lenzimeier nabbed two first place accolades in sports writing and sports photography. Jessica Flemming, photojournalism ’13, was also a double award winner in the breaking news photography and general news photography categories. Other first place winners include, senior Brian Ashburn, in-depth reporting; senior Jessica Jasperson, feature writing and senior Meredith Wathne, general news reporting.

The winning articles and photos now move on to the national Mark of Excellence competition.

Students hold up the Eric Sevareid Awards won by MSUM broadcasting students at the Northwest Broadcast News Association banquet, while Martin Grindeland holds his Charnley Award for his lifelong contributions to broadcasting. Pictured Left to Right: Brian Ashburn, Melissa Stephan, Breann Lenzmeier, Aaron Quanbeck, Kyle Wahlberg, Kenny Buck, Jessica Gulseth, Thor Thompson, Martin Grindeland

Northwest Broadcast News Association Eric Sevareid Awards MSUM Winners


1st – Documentary Class, “College Football: In Pursuit of Success”

Broadcast Writing

1st – Brian Ashburn, “Brian Ashburn Compilation”

Sports Reporting

Award of Merit – Ezra Van Den Einde, “High Jump Research”

Hard Feature

Award of Merit – Mat Gleeson, “Females on the Front Line”

National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Upper Midwest Chapter Student Awards of Excellence


“Mat Gleeson Composite” – Mat Gleeson

“Melissa Stephan Composite” – Melissa Stephan


“Fencing Club” – Mat Gleeson

“MSUM Student Athletes” – Collin Boyles

Students and faculty hold up the numerous Mark of Excellence Awards presented to MSUM students by the Society of Professional Journalists. Pictured Left to Right: Reggie Radniecki, Thor Thompson, Martin Grindeland, Kyle Wahlberg, Melissa Stephan, Kenny Buck, Breann Lenzmeier, Brian Ashburn, Jessica Fleming, Jessica Gulseth, Aaron Quanbeck, Jessica Jasperson, Hannah Koury

Society for Professional Journalists MSUM Winners

General News Reporting (Small College)

Winner: “Ayers visit prompts backlash for MSUM” by Meredith Wathne, The Advocate, Finalist: “Higher ed legislative leaders visit campus” by Kayla Van Eps, The Advocate,

Finalist: “Science Lab becomes Langseth Hall Dec. 19” by Bryce Haugen, The Advocate

In-Depth Reporting (Small College)

Winner: “MSUM students bring suicide issue to light” by Brian Ashburn, The Advocate

Finalist: “Buyouts Fall Short, layoffs more likely” by Bryce Haugen and Meredith Wathne, The Advocate

Finalist: “MN = ©”; “It’s official: 18 gay couples marry on August 1 in Moorhead” by Bryce Haugen, The High Plains Reader

Feature Writing (Small College)

Winner: “Social work students focus on youth homelessness” by Jessica Jasperson, The Advocate

Finalist: “Student travelers stay with strangers” by Sarah Tyre, The Advocate

Finalist: “It’s electric: Physics prof builds experimental plane” by Bryce Haugen, The Advocate

Sports Writing (Small College)

Winner: “Dragon Guard Swooshes to 3-point Record” by Breann Lenzmeier, The Advocate

Breaking News Photography (Small College)

Winner: “Communication Breakdown Leads to Flurry of Tows” by Jessica Fleming, The Advocate

General News Photography (Small College)

Winner: “Controversial speaker addresses education reform” by Jessica Fleming, The Advocate

Sports Photography (Small College)

Winner: “Dragons Bring ‘Battle Axe’ Back to Campus” by Breann Lenzmeier, The Advocate

Finalist: “Men split weekend series” by Jessica Fleming, The Advocate

Television Feature Reporting

Finalist: “Handbell Choir” by Brian Ashburn, Campus News

Television In-Depth Reporting

Finalist: “College Football: In Pursuit of Success” by Broadcast Documentary Class

Television Sports Reporting

Winner: “MSUM Student Athletes” by Collin Boyles, Campus News

Finalist: “The Vaughan Brothers” by Kenny Buck, Campus News

Television News/Feature Photography

Winner: “Mechanics Competition” by Stian Michalsen, Campus News

Finalist: “Blizzard Strands Students” by Hannah Koury, Campus News

Finalist: “Gun Law Debate” by Mat Gleeson, Campus News

Television Sports Photography

Winner: “NDSU Equestrian Club” by Stian Michalsen, Campus News

Finalist: “Fencing Club” by Mat Gleeson, Campus News

Online News Reporting

Finalist: “Working in the Wild West” by Megan Havig,

Online Feature Reporting

Finalist: “It’s more than just “cat calls”: People who walk downtown often encounter street harassment” by Maureen McMullen, Doing it Downtown

Best Use of Multimedia

Finalist: “Fargo-Moorhead Filipinos feed masses to raise money for Typhoon Haiyan recovery” by Jessica Jasperson, Doing it Downtown

Best Independent Online Student Publication

Winner:, by Doing it Downtown Staff and Kayla Van Eps

Best Digital-Only Student Publication

Finalist:, by Doing it Downtown Staff and Kayla Van Eps

Finalist:, Horizon Lines