Florida Tech Student Newspaper Wins SPJ Award

The Crimson Receives Mark of Excellence for Reporting

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Institute of Technology’s student-run newspaper, the Crimson, won a regional Mark of Excellence award for in-depth reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.

SPJ recognized reporters Kelsey McMullan and Allison McLellan for their story, “Cheater Cheater,” an investigative piece published in November about academic dishonesty.

McMullan and McLellan’s story competed against entries from schools in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and elsewhere in Florida. Judges for the competition were professional journalists from outside of the competing states.

“It is such an honor to win this award,” McMullan said. “I never expected our writing to have this level of impact on the campus. I knew this piece could compete, and it is amazing that we won.”

McLellan added, “I am honored to be recognized for something that we worked so intently on for so long.”

The newspaper will now compete against 11 other regional winners for the National Mark of Excellence Award to be announced in May.

McMullan and McLellan graduated in December with bachelor’s degrees in communication and premedical biology, respectively.

“These students worked hard and deserve this award,” said Ted Petersen, the faculty adviser for the Crimson and an assistant professor in the School of Arts and Communication. “I’m really proud of the work they’ve done.”

The Crimson, which has won the Organization of the Year award from the Florida Tech Office of Student Life the last two years, is staffed by student writers and editors from a variety of majors.


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