Posted on: April 8, 2021 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Glacier Staff

Moraine Valley journalism students and The Glacier won 14 awards Thursday in the state competition of the Illinois Community College Journalism Association, including News Story of the Year and Reporter of the Year.

The Glacier’s website, launched last spring a week after the pandemic shut down the college, took second place in the state. In the new all-around category of Best Media, which was based on points earned in all other categories, The Glacier took third place.

This major haul of awards comes after a revitalization of the journalism program and a collaborative effort between students in Lisa Couch’s Media Writing and Student Publications courses and The Glacier, led by student publications adviser Jan Kopischke.

“I always wanted to be a part of something that made a positive difference,” said editor-in-chief Carolyn Thill. “I’m very proud of our team. We work hard, and we have a lot of fun. Seeing The Glacier receive so many awards shows just how much good each person can do.”

I’m very proud of our team. We work hard, and we have a lot of fun.”

Carolyn Thill, Editor in Chief

Thill has been involved in the revitalization since spring 2020, when she and two other students in COM 151-Student Publications helped redesign The Glacier’s website. When spring break was extended a week due to COVID-19, these students spent the time researching other sites and making recommendations for content and design.

In recognizing the site, the judges said, “Lots of excellent news, with a lot of relevant content. Excellent reporting throughout the site. Far and away the best-looking site I saw.” 

The News Story of the Year award was for a series of COVID-related articles written last spring by Wendy McKee, Natalie Zalewski, Zachary Bertram, Payton Millhouse and Deana Elhit in Couch’s JRN 111-Media Writing course. 

“Strong package—hits many aspects of the story with impressive depth,” the judges commented.

Elhit, former features editor, also won Reporter of the Year and took second in the Feature Photo category.

“This entry easily rose to the top,” the judge wrote regarding Elhit’s package of stories. “Deana’s work is very impressive. All stories were about topics important to students at the college.”

Sports editor Ethan Holesha won first place in the Sports Column category for a story he wrote in JRN 111 about basketball coach John Chappetto and his connection with superstar Dwyane Wade.

“I feel as if I got to know the coach,” the judge wrote. “The story about Wade flying down for the game tells us something new about a superstar who has been written about a lot.

“Also, this is a story that you’re not likely to see anywhere other than the school paper, which tells readers that they’ll be missing out on something if they don’t read The Glacier.”

First place for News Story went to Mariah Trujillo for her story on Moraine’s decision last fall to begin offering more hybrid courses for spring. The judge commented that she did a good job of capturing a variety of viewpoints.

Join the fun this fall!

Click course for more information

JRN 111-Media Writing:
T/Th 12:30-1:45 p.m.

In this hands-on course, you will go out and cover campus events, practice interviewing and other reporting skills, and produce written and multimedia content. You will learn to write in a journalistic style appropriate for print, digital and broadcast platforms, as well as for other communications fields such as public relations and content marketing. Assignments can be tailored to your specific interests (e.g., sports, fashion, fine arts, travel, etc.) 

COM 154-Student Publications:
Tuesdays 3:30-4:30 p.m.

This course is a seminar, meaning your grade will be based on attendance/participation. Traditional “homework” will not be assigned. The course is one credit hour, but it can be repeated for credit. This course is essentially an “internship” as an editor for The Glacier. Students work as a team to come up with ideas to engage readers. You will gain valuable hands-on experience in planning and producing an online publication. You may produce multimedia content such as videos, podcasts, photo essays, etc.

JRN 101-Intro to Mass Comm:
T/Th 11-12:15

This course is perfect for students who:

  • Plan to pursue a communications-related field. The course is transferable under IAI guidelines.
  • Want to explore possible interests in journalism or communications.
  • Are looking for a fun, interesting elective!

Additional awards

1st place, News Photo – Isacc Velasquez

2nd place, Arts Review – Valerie Olivares

3rd place, Arts Review – Andrew Pahl

3rd place, Sports Feature – Joey Fernandez

3rd place, Page Design – Carolyn Thill, Nathaly Duenas and Ethan Smith

3rd place, Staff Editorial – Mariam Itani

3rd place, Multimedia Story – Brendan McQuinn

“Being recognized is extremely rewarding,” Holesha said. “It never would have been possible without being part of the journalism environment at Moraine Valley. This award is not just a result of my growth as a writer; it is a reflection of our collective work as a student newspaper.”