Wright State communications, marketing staff win four awards in Ohio journalism contest

Staff members from Wright State University’s Office of Communications and Office of Marketing received four awards — including two first-place prizes — in the 2019 Ohio’s Best Journalism Contest, sponsored by the Ohio chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Wright State employees honored in the contest are Jim Hannah, assistant director of public relations; Kris Sproles, video content producer; Erin Pence, university photographer; and Chris Snyder, photography coordinator.

“I’m really proud but not surprised that they did well again in the SPJ awards. It’s becoming a habit for them with this being their fourth year in a row to take home awards,” said Seth Bauguess, director of communications. “This recognition is proof that their tremendous effort to shine a brighter light on the successes of Wright State and its people is being noticed on and off campus.”

Hannah and Sproles received first place for Best Medical/Science Story in the Digital Media category for their collaborative story “Prairie premiere.” The story highlighted efforts by faculty and students in the Department of Biological Sciences to restore two acres of campus land into a prairie that is used for teaching and research.

Sproles received a first-place award for Best Videographer in the Digital Media category for “Prairie premiere“; “Picture days,” a behind-the-scenes look at Wright State basketball players during team photoshoots; and “Wright State women’s bowling team hitting their mark,” a feature on the club women’s bowling team.

From left: Erin Pence, university photographer; Chris Snyder, photography coordinator; Jim Hannah, assistant director of public relations; and Kris Sproles, video content producer, standing in the prairie highlighted in the award-winning “Prairie premiere” story.

Pence, Snyder, Hannah and Sproles received second place for Best Feature in the Digital Media category for “Riveting affair.” The story highlighted the work of Casey Simmons, a 2003 anthropology graduate who helped restore the historic Memphis Belle for the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Hannah, Sproles, Pence and Snyder also received a second-place award for Best Sports Coverage in the Digital Media category for “Healthy appetite.” The story featured Ivan Mendoza, a senior majoring in management and human resources who competes in competitive eating contests.

Ohio’s Best Journalism Contest was sponsored by the Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus Society of Professional Journalists chapters. The contest included entries from newspapers, broadcasters, radio stations and colleges from across the state.

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.

More stories by staff members in the offices of Communications and Marketing, the Boonshoft School of Medicine, University Advancement and Alumni Relations can be found in the Wright State Newsroom.

Erin Pence’s photo of Casey Simmons, a Wright State graduate who helped restore the Memphis Belle, was part of the university’s winner entry in the Best Feature in the Digitial Media category.

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