MSUM Journalism Students Honored by Professional Organizations

Campus News named best college newscast by Society of Professional Journalists for second straight year

For the second year in a row, the Society of Professional Journalists has named MSUM’s Campus News the winner in the student newscast category in their annual Mark of Excellence Region 6 Awards.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Awards for Region 6 includes the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. First place winners in each category advance to the national round of judging.

Campus News also received a Crystal Pillar in the College Newscast category in the National Academy of Arts and Sciences Upper Midwest Regional Student Production Awards. The Upper Midwest region covers Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and western Wisconsin.

The Program Director for Campus News, Aaron Quanbeck, said the awards recognize the dedication of the students involved in the program. “Putting together a half-hour newscast every week, all semester long, takes a lot of hard work from every student,” said Quanbeck, “and these awards show that all that effort can pay off in the end.”

Campus News airs weekly on Prairie Public Television at 7:30 AM during the spring semester. The winning newscast can be found at this link:

In addition, several students received individual awards from SPJ, NATAS – Upper Midwest Chapter, and the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association. In all, MSUM broadcasting students earned 11 individual awards.

Senior Tyrel Filley took home four awards, two for reporting and two for broadcast writing. His story about Concordia’s Relay for Life event was a part of all four of his awards. You can watch that story at this link:

2015 MSUM graduate Ariana Babcock also earned four individual awards, three of them for a story she shot and reported about an MSUM accounting major who performs as a rapper. You can find that story at this link:

The Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association (MBJA) Eric Sevareid Awards cover the six-state region of Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Advocate Students win 16 Awards from Society of Professional Journalists

 Students involved with the Advocate, Minnesota State University Moorhead’s student newspaper, won 16 awards in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 6 Mark of Excellence Awards. Students won in a variety of categories, including photography, column writing, and reporting. First-place winners will move on to the national MOE competition which includes winners from all 12 SPJ regions. recognized by Society of Professional Journalists was named a finalist in the Best Digital-Only Student Publication category by the Society of Professional Journalists in its Mark of Excellence Awards. is an online magazine produced each spring by the students in MSUM’s Journalism Workshop class. The winning issue is titled “One Nation Under…” Through words and images, students tell the stories of people on their journey to a life of spiritual contentment. Topics ranged from multicultural issues and atheism to the role of Christianity in Alcoholics Anonymous and finding one’s way back into the proverbial fold. The magazine can be viewed here:

Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards

Art / Graphics

Feature Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Winner: Heaven on wheels photos by Ethan DeGree – Ethan DeGree

Finalist: Church illustrations – Hans Kammerer and Kendal Christenson

General News Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Winner: Peace over violence – Onize Ohikere

Finalist: Welcome home – Kayleigh Omang

Photo Illustration (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Winner: Raising voices – Ethan DeGree,

Finalist: I’m a refugee – Ethan DeGree

Sports Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Finalist: Dragons fall to Cobbers in season-opening dual – Kayleigh Omang


Feature Writing (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Winner: The prince of Compton – Anthony Schnabel , Minnesota State University Moorhead

Finalist: I’m a refugee — Student moved from Syria at 2 years old – Onize Ohikere

General Column Writing (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Winner: Column Submission: Hunter Simonson

Finalist: Column Submission: Carrie Thayer

Finalist: Column Submission: Ashley Peck

General News Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Finalist: Unintended pregnancies decreased through Hendrix, state program – Samantha Stark

Sports Writing (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Winner: Minding media — Risks and rewards of social media in the world of athletics – Thor Thompson

Finalist: The Prince of Compton – Anthony Schnabel

Finalist: Redshirt redemption — MSUM’s all-time leading passer looks to come back after injury-plagued season – Martin Schlegel


Best Digital-Only Student Publication

Finalist: – “One Nation Under … “- Chris Walker, Adviser

Online Feature Reporting

Finalist: The power of prayer behind bars – Ashley Peck

Finalist: Journeying back to God – Onize Ohikere


Best All-Around Television Newscast

Winner: Campus News from 5-2-16

Television Feature Reporting

Finalist: Student rapper – Ariana Babcock

Finalist: Student invents 3-in-1 wheelchair – Haley Foster

Television General News Reporting

Finalist: Concordia faces budget cuts – by Jordan Schroeer

Finalist: Concordia hosts relay for life – by Tyrel Filley

Television In-Depth Reporting

Finalist: Mall Walkers: Heart & Sole – by Ariana Babcock Onize Ohikere Haley Foster Anastasia Burrill-Davidson

You can watch this documentary at this link:

Television News and Feature Photography

Winner: Student rapper – by Ariana Babcock

Television Sports Reporting

Finalist: Golf course closes for research – by Ariana Babcock

Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association Eric Sevareid Awards

Broadcast Writing

First Place – Tyrel Filley

General Reporting

Jordan Schroeer – “Kerstin Kealy’s Day at the White House”


First Place – Ariana Babcock – “Student Rapper”

Award of Merit – Nikkie Nouwen- “Concordia Hosts Relay for Life”

 NATAS – Upper Midwest Regional Student Production Crystal Pillar Awards

College Newscast

Campus News

General Assignment – Serious News

Tyrel Filley


Tyrel Filley


MBJA Awards Photo caption

MSUM students huddle in celebration after winning Eric Sevareid Awards from the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association.

left to right: Haley Foster, Haley Warnecke, Jerrod Schumacher, Betsy Harmsen, Ethan DeGree, Samantha Stark, Ariana Babcock.


SPJ Awards Photo caption

MSUM students show off all the SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards won by students in the School of Communication and Journalism.

top to bottom: Haley Warnecke, Haley Foster, Jerrod Schumacher, Betsy Harmsen, Samantha Stark, Ethan DeGree.