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Observer staff wins 30 awards at annual ICPA conference

| Monday, April 19, 2021

The Observer won 30 awards at the 2021 Indiana Collegiate Press Association (ICPA) awards. These include first place for Division I Online Publication of the Year, as well as two third-place ties for the Division I Newspaper of the Year and Publication of the Year in the Advertising division.

The News department won six awards, with former Editor-in-Chief Maria Leontaras and current Editor-in-Chief Adriana Perez taking second place in the Best Continuous Coverage of a Single Story category for their stories on student experiences in quarantine and isolation. Former Editor-in-Chief Kelli Smith won third place for Best Feature Story for her coverage of an Iranian Notre Dame student who was denied entry to the U.S. in January 2020 due to the strained relationship between the two countries. The department also won second place for Best In-Depth Story for former Managing Editor Natalie Weber and former Assistant Managing Editor Mary Steurer’s feature on an alumnus’ story of surviving clergy sexual abuse

The News department also won first place for Best News or Feature Series for a three-part series on the University’s mental health services written by former Talent and Inclusion Manager Zixu Wang and former investigative unit co-editor Gina Twardosz. The News staff took home first and second place for Best Breaking News Reporting Online for their reporting of the car crash that left two students dead and one injured in 2020 and University President Fr. John Jenkins testing positive for COVID-19, respectively. 

The Observer’s Viewpoint and News podcast teams won two awards, with The Sixth Seat’s hosts winning first place in Best Podcast for their episode on student reactions to COVID-19 and the reopening of campus, and The Recap’s staff winning second place for their special episode in remembrance of Valeria Espinel and Olivia Laura Rojas.

The Sports department won two awards. Former Sports Editor Hayden Adams won third place in Best Sports Feature Story for his article detailing Fr. Joseph Carey’s roles in Notre Dame sports. In Best Sports News Story, Associate Sports Editor Jimmy Ward won second place for his coverage of Notre Dame football’s win over No. 1 ranked Clemson.

The Scene department took home three awards, including third place in Best Entertainment Column for video unit leader Colleen Fischer’s column on Spencer Shay’s art, second place for Best Entertainment Story for former Managing Editor Mariah Rush and writer Emma Shea’s story on local restaurants during the pandemic and first place in Best Review for Sara Schlecht and Twardoszs’ review of “Tiger King.”

From the Viewpoint department, Renee Yaseen won third place in Best Opinion Column for her piece detailing her experience as a Muslim at Notre Dame.

The Graphics department took home three awards. Advertising Manager Landry Kempf and former Graphics Editor Diane Park won second place for Best Rate Card. Smith, Weber and former Social Media Editor Mary Bernard won first place for Best Animation/Interactive Graphic for their map of COVID-19’s impact on the tri-campus while Bernard and Leontaras won second place for their interactive charts of Saint Mary’s tuition costs and demographics.

The Observer’s staff also won third place for Best Pull-Out/Wrap Section for their Election 2020 Insider and third place for Best Single Issue for the Nov. 9 print edition, after U.S. presidential election results were announced and after the Irish victory over Clemson football. The staff also took home third place for Best Special Issue, first place for Best Special Section Front/Cover and first place in Best Overall Website.

Fischer won second place in Best Use of Social Media for her Instagram video post about students’ reactions to the confirmation of former law professor and Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Other awards included second place for Best Video for Fischer’s video about Molly Kinder, the first Irish Guardswoman, third place for Best Blog for the 2020-21 From the Archives team’s coverage of former University President Fr. Edward Malloy’s 1992 vote of no confidence and third place for Best Staff Editorial for The Observer Editorial Board’s editorial about Fr. Jenkins being maskless at Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination.

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