During my professional career, my writing has been honored with
a number of awards.
I have won three awards apiece from the Michigan Associated
Press Editorial Association and the Michigan Press Association.
For the awards, my stories competed with stories from other daily
newspapers with circulations up to 15,000.
In October 2004, I've received a first
place award for spot news story (with Erin Alberty) from the
Michigan Press Association for our coverage of the death of Staff
Sgt. Paul J. Johnson. I also received a third
place award in the same category for my coverage of Michigan
Tech University's dismissal of President Curt Tompkins.
Here's a breakdown of the awards and the stories that
First Place - Spot news story - 2004
The series earned a first place award from the Michigan
Press Association in the spot news story category for myself and
former Gazette writer Erin Alberty. We each wrote one story in the
early morning hours of Oct. 22, 2003 on the death of Staff Sgt.
Paul J. Johnson.
My story took a broad look at Johnson's life, including
details about the fatal attack in Fallujah, Iraq and reaction from
Johnson's wife, mother-in-law and friends. Alberty's story focused
on community reaction as well as some of Johnson's history in the
Regarding our entry, judges wrote: "The quality
of the writing and the breadth and depth of coverage made this amazingly
detailed report the winner. Strong leads, multiple sources, powerful
quotes; this package had it all."
Here is my contribution (Alberty wrote one additional
ULTIMATE SACRIFICE: Calumet native killed in ambush (Oct. 22, 2003)
First Place - Sports enterprise - 2003
The March 2003 series about the death and resurrection
of the Michigan Tech University football team earned a first place
award from the Michigan AP in the sports enterprise category for
myself and former sports writer Kevin Colbert.
The series of stories, written over a two-week period,
details the university's reasons behind the decision to ax the team
and the reaction to the decision including efforts by alumni to
restore the program with private backing.
Here are my stories for the series (Colbert wrote
one additional story):
Tech shocker: School
will drop football (March 18, 2003)
Football supporters angry MTU cutting program (March 19, 2003)
MTU alumni want football saved (March
Tech football to be saved? (March
MTU won't punt football program,
after all (March 31, 2003)
Second Place - News column - 2002
For 2002, I won a second place award for a news column
from the Michigan AP about the Michigan Educational Assessment Program
test. The state and local schools held community days where the
public (and myself) could take a small portion of the test and learn
more about the program.
Back to school:
Mastering MEAP not child's play (Nov. 19, 2002)
Third Place - Spot news story - 2004
Curt Tompkins, the longtime president of Michigan
Tech University, announced that he would leave the university in
March 2004. However, the governing Board of Control decided later
that month to terminate his contract immediately.
The package of three stories I wrote about the board's
decision for Saturday, March 27, 2004 won a third place award from
the MPA for spot news story. Details about the reporting process
can be found here.
According to the MPA press release, judges remarked:
"This report told the reader everything they could possibly
want to know about the removal of a longtime college president.
The writing is straight forward and easily understood. The detailing
shows good reporting ability."
Here are the three stories (and follow-up)
in the series:
Legacy includes new programs, facilities
MTU students, faculty react to firing
Third Place - Sustained coverage of a single news event - 2001
In November 2001, there was an attempted fire bombing
at the university. The series written by former staff writer Steve
Neavling and myself earned a third place award from the Michigan
AP for sustained coverage of a single news event. The package of
stories also won a second place award from the MPA in 2002 for spot
Here are the stories I wrote for the series (Neavling
wrote three additional stories):
suspect bombs at MTU (November 5, 2001)
Group spokesman familiar with devices
(November 6, 2001)
Researchers recall other attacks
(November 8, 2001)
No lasting effects anticipated (November