School Newspaper Wins Top Award at Ohio Newspaper Convention

by Emily Finlay, Public Relations Writer

Cedars, Cedarville University’s student-run newspaper, won the Frank E. Deaner Award for General Excellence in Collegiate Journalism at the 2014 Ohio Newspaper Association Annual Convention on Feb. 6.

This was the third year Cedars competed and placed in the convention and the second consecutive year it has won the General Excellence Award. Winning the award, Jeff Gilbert, Cedar’s faculty advisor, said, is equivalent to being named the newspaper of the year for competing papers.

The award is given based on the number of points each newspaper accumulates from first, second or third place wins in each of 10 categories. These categories include news coverage, in-depth reporting, arts and entertainment, opinion writing, sports coverage, design, photojournalism, headline writing, best multimedia package and best website. Newspapers submit selections from the previous academic year that are judged by members of the Ohio Newspaper Association. Cedars won 10 awards in eight categories, winning in every category except opinion writing and best website and winning two awards in the arts and entertainment and headline writing categories.

Schools were notified of some of their wins in January, but the General Excellence Award winner was not revealed until the convention. A team of four Cedars editors – Zack Anderson, Lauren Eissler, Becca Kochsmeier and Mary Miller – attended the convention with Gilbert and accepted the award before the entire convention when it was announced.

Cedars competed against nine other schools in its division, including Ashland University, John Carroll University, the University of Findlay, Malone University, Otterbein University, Sinclair Community College, the University of Toledo and Youngstown State University. The University of Toledo won seven awards and came in second place.

Gilbert said the win was significant for the students who work on the paper and demonstrates they are doing a good job. Awards like this, he said, show that there is meaning behind the work the students are doing and that they are part of something good and successful.

“Everyone involved works hard and puts in a lot of time. They don’t do it for awards and recognition, but it’s nice to get them,” he said. “It’s an affirmation that they’re doing a good job and their hard work counts for something.”

The students’ achievement also reflects well on the university, Gilbert said, and puts Cedarville’s name out in the larger community.

“I’ve been blessed to have students working that take their jobs seriously,” he said. “I’m really proud of the students involved and the integrity they’ve shown in their work and their diligence in wanting to do a good job and work as well as they can.”

First Place

Arts and Entertainment – Lauren Eissler, Fredericksburg, Va.; Crystal Goodremote, Mount Pleasant, Wis.; and Becca Kochsmeier, Cedarville, Ohio.

Headline Writing
Second Place

News Coverage – three editions, from October 2012, November 2012 and March 2013, were judged.

In-Depth Reporting – Mary Miller, Tunkhannock, Penn.; John Filcik, Holland, Mich.; and Radleigh Wakefield, Union, Ky.

Arts and Entertainment – Holly McClellan, Martinez, Calif.; Crystal Goodremote, Mount Pleasant, Wis.; and Madison Troyer, Angola, Ind.

Sports Coverage – Deanne Bradshaw, Troy, Mich.; Zack Anderson, Washington, Ill.; and Nathaniel Bond, Reedsville, Penn.

Design – a team of student staff under the leadership of Jenni Hodges, Germantown Hills, Ill.

Headline Writing
Third Place

Photojournalism – Jillian Philyaw, Chillicothe, Ill.; Madison Sternberg, Medina, Ohio; and Stephen Port, Parma, Ohio.

Best multi-media package – Crystal Goodremote, Mount Pleasant, Wis.; and Zack Anderson, Washington, Ill.

Cedarville University, located east of Dayton, Ohio, has 3,459 students in more than 100 areas of study. A Baptist university of arts, sciences, professional and graduate programs, Cedarville is recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at