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Award-Winning Torch Student Newspaper Scores Big in MPA Annual Contest

Ferris State TorchThe Torch, Ferris State University’s student-run newspaper, won 15 statewide awards in the 2015 Michigan Collegiate Press Association annual contest. The results were announced during January’s state newspaper conference in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Torch received more editorial awards, this past year, than in any of the previous eight years. The Ferris student newspaper was under the leadership of Harrison Watt, the former editor-in-chief. The current editor-in-chief is Keith Salowich, a sophomore from Gladwin, Mich. majoring in Biology.

“The advisor of the Torch and I sat in the office for about four hours scouring the archives for submissions for the MPA awards,” Salowich said. “It was a lengthy, redundant process, but we felt like it was worth it. There was a lot of great work done last year, and it was important to us that it got recognized.”

“The design of the Torch continues to evolve and improve,” said Steven Fox, an assistant professor of English and Journalism in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education and adviser for the Torch. “The combination of a strong design staff and excellent photography really propelled the Torch to a boost in awards compared to previous years.”

Michael Corn, a former Torch sports photographer and recent alumnus, was involved in eight of the 15 awards. Five of the eight awards were first place for best photographer, news photo, and feature or sports photo. Corn and co-recipient Kaila Parent took first place for front page design. Corn and co-recipient Jordan Lodge were honored for non-front page design.

“I would like to think that photography has always been in my blood,” Corn said. “My great grandfather had a darkroom in his basement. My grandfather, my dad and uncle all shoot photos.”

Salowich earned the next big chunk of awards. He received three awards: third place for investigative reporting, second place for sports news and third place for best writer.

“I was excited to see that my articles won some awards, but it was even better to see the Torch come away with 15 total,” Salowich said. “It’s really quite representative of how great our staff was last year. Having said that, I’ve seen what our current staff can do and, without a doubt, I think we can win even more next year.”

The online version of the Torch placed third across all divisions.

“As student journalists, often Torch staff members receive negative feedback,” Fox said. “Collecting 15 awards from this statewide contest is evidence that they are doing good work and continue to improve.”

The Torch is Division 2 of three divisions, competing against other newspapers published weekly in the state. There were 671 entries total from 14 colleges.

The Ferris State Torch

PHOTO CAPTION: Members of the Torch staff meet with Gov. Rick Snyder.

Michigan Collegiate Press Association 2015-16

Editorial Contest Winners

Torch awards: 15 Total

MCPA Awards

News Story

1st Place: Devin Anderson

Investigative Reporting

3rd Place: Keith Salowich

Sports News/Feature

2nd Place: Keith Salowich

Column – Review or Blog – News or Sports

Honorable Mention: Devin Anderson

Best Writer

3rd Place: Keith Salowich

Best Photographer

1st Place: Michael Corn

News Photo

1st Place: Michael Corn, Ben Hinamanu Photo

Feature or Sports Photo

1st Place: Michael Corn, Ruben Medrano Photo

3rd Place: Michael Corn, Hockey Action Shot

Front Page Design

1st Place: The Torch (Kaila Parent, Michael Corn lead)

2nd Place: The Torch (Jordan Lodge lead)

Non-Front Page Design

1st Place: The Torch (Jordan Lodge, Michael Corn lead)

2nd Place: The Torch (Michael Corn, Richard Mead lead)

3rd Place: The Torch (Michael Corn, Sarah Force lead)

Online Newspaper: All Divisions

3rd Place: The Torch (Kira Poncin lead)

MPA Foundation Community Journalism Scholarship

Hailey Klingel, Torch Lifestyles editor