Newhouse advertising creatives dominate Graphis New Talent awards

With 74 awards in the 2021 Graphis New Talent competition, the Newhouse School led every school in the country.  Only six Platinum advertising awards were given worldwide, and Newhouse creative advertising students won three of them. Nineteen Gold, 27 Silver and 25 Honorable Mentions complete the record award total. This is up from the previous Newhouse record of 61 advertising awards won at the 2020 competition.

The impressive award-winning campaigns were created in portfolio courses taught by Newhouse advertising professors Mel White and Kevin O’Neill.

“When students start in their first Newhouse creative advertising course, Portfolio I, they’re in awe of the ads that won in this competition from our school in previous years,” White says. “Then, three months later, they end up creating campaigns that win in this very competition.”

Senior Sam Luo won two Platinum awards and recent graduate Xinran Xiao won the third. Junior Allison Scherger won a Gold and two Silver awards. Seniors Derek Rosen and Jeffery Robie both won two Gold awards.

 “Every creative in the ad business shows up every morning committed to having the next best idea,” O’Neill says. “It’s enormously valuable for the students to engage in these competitive exercises because that’s what their careers will demand of them.

Luo, art director, won his first Platinum award for his Best Damn Beard Oil print ad campaign “Tame the Animal.” To create a visual metaphor that communicates how the beard oil can soften even the wildest beards, he shows wild animals in the beards of men whose facial hair has been tamed.

“I had a lot of failed attempts and ideas with this campaign,” Luo says. “I went back to the drawing board three times, but I remember being proud of this idea.

White says “going back to the drawing board” is common and students often come back with stronger ideas. No one should feel like a failure because coming up with multiple ideas until you find the right one is part of the creative process, she says.

Luo won his second Platinum award for his McDonald’s print ad campaign “McDelivery,” which features 3-D renderings of the restaurant chain’s iconic golden arches going through city windows to represent the reach of its delivery service.

“The one thing McDonald’s has that Burger King doesn’t is its golden arches,” Luo says. “I thought of how the golden arch would work in real life and came up with the idea of it arching through windows into people’s homes.”

Xiao, art director, won the Platinum award for her Ziploc print ad campaign “Keep Fresh.” She used the insight that Ziploc bags keep food fresh to help guide the campaign.

“It was a long process to figure out the strategy, insight and visual solution before I executed it,” Xiao says. “During my years at Newhouse, I thought the creative thinking process was more important than the execution. I don’t execute every detail perfectly but will insure the insight and creative thinking behind the work are strong.”

Scherger, art director, won Gold for her Decibullz print ad campaign “Decibullz Earplugs,” one of her first campaigns ever. She says her campaign was driven by the insight that most earplugs just reduce decibels instead of blocking out sound.

Allison Scherger’s Gold-winning campaign for Decibullz

“The campaign I created for Decibullz wasn’t about blocking out sounds, but minimizing them,” Scherger says. “As an art director, most of my campaigns are visual solutions. My idea for this was to take the thing making the loud sound and actually minimize it by photoshopping it to be smaller.”

Professor White focuses on teaching students how to create visual solution advertising, where the concept of the ad is communicated in the visual, usually accompanied by a headline.

Scherger won Silver for her OFF Deep Woods campaign “OFF Deep Woods Print Ad” and Hulu print ad campaign “Hulu No Ads.” Scherger says it was an amazing feeling to receive recognition from Graphis New Talent.

“I felt like all of my hard work had paid off,” Scherger says. “I spent countless hours making adjustments to the campaigns. Professor White was very helpful in giving feedback during each round. And I spent 20 hours just photoshopping each campaign. Receiving my first three Graphis Awards made me feel like all of my work was worth it.”

Rosen, copywriter, shares a Gold award with Joyee Lin, art director, for their Burger King mobile app extension “Rumble Detector.” Rosen also won Gold for his Michelin Tires print ad campaign “Noticeable Benefits.”

Derek Rosen’s Gold-winning “Noticeable Benefits” campaign for Michelin Tires

For “Rumble Detector,” Rosen and Lin created the digital idea based on a brief from the Young Ones competition to create Burger King digital coupons to delight and surprise consumers. It rewards app users based on the growl of their hungry stomachs. The louder the rumble, the better the coupon.

“We were thinking about what could make people happy,” Rosen says. “We came up with the idea that the hungrier people are, the more food they want. We thought, ‘Why don’t we give them more coupons or better ones depending on their level of hunger?’ Then we thought rumbles from your stomach was a funny way to show this and also fit into Burger King’s comedic and edgy tone.”

Robie, copywriter, won two Gold awards for his Bulldog Skincare print ad campaign “Bulldog Skincare for Men” and his Spalding print ad campaign “Spalding.”

Professors White and O’Neill are two of the five Platinum award-winning advertising instructors worldwide in this competition. White won three Platinum, 16 Gold, 23 Silver and 16 Honorable Mention teaching awards. O’Neill won two Platinum, six Gold, six Silver and 10 Honorable Mention teaching awards. According to the Graphis website, the annual competition “presents award-winning work from students whose instructors have inspired and challenged them to achieve brilliance.”

The Graphis New Talent Awards is an international competition that honors the best rising talent in advertising and other communication arts. The Platinum, Gold and Silver winning campaigns are featured in a hardcover book called the “Graphis New Talent Annual,” and the Honorable Mentions are listed. The Newhouse creative advertising winners are also featured on the Graphis website for advertising print and outdoor and for advertising case study videos.

Newhouse Winners

Newhouse creative advertising Platinum winners: Sam Luo (“McDelivery” and “Tame the Animal”) and Xinran Xiao (“Keep Fresh”).

Newhouse creative advertising Gold winners: Talia Adler (“Inescapable”), Emily Babcock and Jordanna Drazin (“Google Mind”), Maia Baptiste and Joe Cutuli (“Cashcan”), Catarina Baumgart de Melo (“Sony Sportable Handycam”), Brian Chau (“All great work starts with a sketch”), Xinyue Chen (“ Print Ad”), Rachel Hayashi (“Avoid the Mess”), Benjamin Lin (“Must’ve been a Wrangler”), Joyee Lin and Derek Rosen (“Rumble Detector”), Sam Luo (“Go Wild,” “See Bigger,” “The New E-Golf,” “Go in deep,” and “Exhale!”), Jeffrey Robie (“Bulldog Skincare for Men” and “Spalding”), Derek Rosen (“Noticeable Benefits”), Allison Scherger (“Decibullz Earplugs”), and Jennifer Suhr (“Mophie Powerstation Campaign”).

Newhouse creative advertising Silver winners: Talia Adler (“Flakes Don’t Belong in Your World”), Selin Akyurek (“It’s Better to be Taller”), Emily Bright (“Brita Filter Campaign”), Alye Chaisson (“What If?”), Addie Christoper and Jack Lyons (“Thursday Boots Co. Campaign”), Clare Coey (“Unimaginably Fresh”), Grace Curran (“Ugly Fruit”), Joe DeBlasio (“Perspective” and “24/7, 365”), Shawn Depaz and Spencer Krimsky (“Miller Genuine Draft: No Bull, Just Beer”), Sierra Fentress (“Sierra Club Print Ads”), Olivia Gormley and Sam Luo (“A Step Behind”), Rachel Hayashi (“Snack Healthier”), Benjamin Lin (“Upgrade your Home”), Victoria Lin (“Carry Nintendo Switch Around”), Jessica Mastorides (“Flamin’ Hot Cheetos”), Alex Mayeri (“The North Face: Concrete Jungle”), Sierra Outcalt (“Smells So Natural”), Jeffrey Roble (“Samsung 8K”), Derek Rosen (“Long Lasting Impact”), Allison Scherger (“OFF Deep Woods Print Ad” and “Hulu No Ads”), Lynn Seah (“Haribo”), Yuri Suh (“Evolution of Ideas with Post-it Notes”), Jennifer Suhr (“The Special Olympics Exhibition”), and Ashley Watchfogel (“Finis Duo Underwater Headphones” and “National Geographic Magazine”).

Newhouse creative advertising Honorable Mentions: Megan Adams (“Converse Renew”), Selin Akyurek (“Get. Real. Write it by hand”), Emily Babcock and Jordanna Drazin (“Talk to the Times”), Alye Chaisson (“Spotlight”), Clare Coey and Sierra Outcalt (“BLM x The Economist”), Grace Curran (“The Outcast” and “Ugly Fruit Outdoor”), Joe DeBlasio (“Any Environment.” and “The Bully Project – Unveiling ‘boys will be boys’”), Olivia DeLorenzo and Mike Gaines (“Nike+ #Shutout”), Shawn Depaz and Spencer Krimsky (“Honest Tea”), Sierra Fentress (“Herschel Backpacks Print Ads”), Rachel Hayashi (“The Only Tool You Need”), Kristen Heglin (“Calphalon – Too Slick”), Camille Lavoie (“Ketel One Print Campaign”), Victoria Lin (“Carry Nintendo Switch Around”), Amelia Lytle (“Oberon Brewing Summer Love” and “Trader Joe’s Print Ad”), Jessica Mastorides (“Windex Campaign” and “Vans Campaign”), Maggie de Poortere (“The Loss of Simple Joys” and “Concert Quality Sound”), Lynn Seah (“Adidas x Parley Ocean Plastic Primeblue Sneakers”), Eric Storms (“Ray-Ban: Timeless Confidence”), Yuri Suh (“Prevent Sweat That’s Horrifying to Go Near”), Jennifer Suhr (“This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray”), and Shaoli Yusaf (“The Bully Project – Unveiling ‘boys will be boys’” and “Calphalon – Too Slick”).

Samantha Savery is a graduate student in arts journalism and communications at the Newhouse School.

Carolyn Hedges among this year’s cohort of Kopenhaver Center Fellows

Assistant professor of communications Carolyn Hedges has been named a 2021 Kopenhaver Center Fellow.

Carolyn Hedges

As part of the fellowship, she will participate in the workshop “Women Faculty Moving Forward: Leading the Future of Academia,” which precedes the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) in August.

The Kopenhaver Center Fellow designation is given by the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication at Florida International University and co-sponsored by the AEJMC Commission on the Status of Women.

The center was created to empower both women professionals and academics in all the fields of communication in order to develop visionaries and leaders who can make a difference in their communities and their profession. The intensive workshop is designed to assist new tenure-track professors navigate academic life, learn how to achieve success in the academy and prepare for possible leadership roles.

“As an early-career woman in academia, I am looking forward to expanding my network in the greater academic community,” Hedges says. “I am most looking forward to developing my leadership skills while working with others in our discipline to innovate our teaching practices, adapt to the demands of our soon-to-be post-pandemic lives as faculty members and, most importantly, draw on others’ experiences to inform my own.”

Hedges, who earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the Newhouse School, joined the Newhouse faculty in 2017 as the inaugural director of the school’s online master’s degree program. She recently earned the 2021-22 Teaching Recognition Award for Early Performance from Syracuse University’s Meredith Program.

Newhouse School announces winners in 2021 Mirror Awards competition

Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications today announced the winners in the 2021 Mirror Awards competition for excellence in media industry reporting.

Chosen from by a group of journalists and journalism educators, the winners are:

Best Profile

Lauren Markham

The Heat Reporter

Columbia Journalism Review

Best Commentary

Issac J. Bailey

George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and One Journalist’s Painfully Honest Self-Examination on Racism

Is Biden’s Stutter Being Mistaken for ‘Cognitive Decline’?

Will This Racial Reckoning Finally Force Newsrooms to Listen to Every Staffer’s Voice?

Nieman Reports

Best Single Article/Story

Charles Bethea

What Happens When the News Is Gone?

The New Yorker

John M. Higgins Award for In Depth/Enterprise Reporting

Micah Loewinger and Hampton Stall with Brooke Gladstone and Katya Rogers

How Zello Became A Recruitment & Organizing Tool for the Far Right

On the Media Produced by WNYC Studios

Best Story on Media Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lynsey Chutel, Lauren Harris, Linda Kinstler, Tony Lin, Zainab Sultan and Stephania Taladrid

Infection and Repression

Columbia Journalism Review

Best Story on Media Coverage of the 2020 Presidential Election

Casey Quackenbush

Without a Campaign to Cover, Reporters Shift to Covering the Voting Process Itself

Nieman Reports

In addition to the juried journalism awards, the Newhouse School presented the Fred Dressler Leadership Awardto Jorge Ramos of Univision Noticias, and the inaugural Lorraine Branham IDEA Award to Brown Girls Doc Mafia, accepted by co-founderIyabo Boyd.

Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato presided over the virtual ceremony, and Newhouse alumna Michelle Marsh ’05 of ABC7 in Washington, D.C. served as master of ceremonies. 

The Mirror Awards are the most important awards for recognizing excellence in media industry reporting. Established by the Newhouse School in 2006, the awards honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit. For information about the awards, visit or email  

Univision’s Jorge Ramos to receive Fred Dressler Leadership Award at Mirror Awards ceremony June 9

Jorge Ramos, anchor with Univision Noticias, will be honored with the Fred Dressler Leadership Award at the 15th annual Mirror Awards ceremony June 9. The awards, sponsored by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, honor excellence in media industry reporting.

Jorge Ramos

Ramos’ daughter Paola Ramos, a correspondent with Vice, will present the award during the virtual event, which will be available for viewing beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Register now>>

Perhaps the most trusted figure in Spanish language television news, Jorge Ramos is known for his relentless pursuit of the truth and his commitment to being a “voice of the voiceless,” particularly America’s immigrant population.

“Jorge Ramos’ work over the course of his career epitomizes the impact journalism can have on our world,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “At a time when the news media is under scrutiny, it is important to recognize the impact of the profession. He is unafraid to hold the powerful accountable and shine a light on the pressing issues of our time.”

“Jorge Ramos’ journalism is an example and inspiration for all of us,” says Daniel Coronell, president of Univision News. “His unwavering drive to seek the truth every day has influenced the lives of millions of people who, thanks in part to his journalistic work, are able to learn and defend their rights, while finding a place for themselves in this great country.”

Born in Mexico, Ramos has spent nearly 40 years in the U.S., during which time he has won 10 Emmy Awards for excellence in journalism, including the first award ever presented to honor leaders in Spanish language television. The Wall Street Journal called him “Hispanic TV’s No. 1 correspondent,” and he appeared on the cover of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” issue of Time magazine in 2015. Said Forbes: “Ramos carries near biblical authority, at least in the eyes of his nearly 2 million nightly viewers.”

Ramos was named anchor of “Noticiero Univision” in 1986 at age 28, becoming one of the youngest national news anchors in the history of American television. His nightly newscast is seen in the U.S. and 13 Latin American countries. In addition, nearly a million people tune in to his Sunday morning political show, “Al Punto,” Univision’s weekly public affairs program. He is also the anchor of “Real America with Jorge Ramos.”

He has interviewed some of the most influential leaders in the world, including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Newt Gingrich, John McCain, Al Gore, George H.W. Bush, John Kerry, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Felipe Calderon and dozens of Latin American presidents. He has covered five wars (El Salvador, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq) and has been a witness to some of the most important news stories of the last three decades, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.

His weekly column, distributed by The New York Times Syndicate, appears in more than 40 newspapers in the U.S. and Latin America.

Ramos is the author of 14 books and has been instrumental in promoting literacy among Latinos. In 2002, he created the first book club in the history of Hispanic television, “Despierta Leyendo” (Wake Up Reading).

In his most recent book, “17 minutes; Interview with the Dictator,” Ramos narrates how he was able to unmask Nicolás Maduro while on camera, along with everything that happened before and after the meeting.

The Dressler Award is given to individuals or organizations that have made distinct, consistent and unique contributions to the public’s understanding of the media.

About the Mirror Awards

The Mirror Awards are the most important awards for recognizing excellence in media industry reporting. Established by the Newhouse School in 2006, the awards honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit.

The 2021 Mirror Awards ceremony will be held online Wednesday, June 9, at 7 p.m. ET. Lodato will preside over the ceremony, and Newhouse alumna Michelle Marsh ’05 will serve as master of ceremonies. In addition to the Dressler Award, the inaugural Lorraine Branham IDEA Award will be presented to Brown Girls Doc Mafia, and juried journalism awards will be presented in six categories. Finalists were announced last month.

For more information, email

Newhouse senior wins first place in Hearst college investigative reporting competition

Newhouse School senior Gabe Stern has been awarded first place in college investigative reporting, part of William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program. This is the first time a Newhouse student has taken the top spot in the prestigious competition.

Gabe Stern

Stern, a newspaper and online journalism major, won for the article “In New York prisons, widespread package room complaints go unresolved,” published in The Daily Orange.

“I’m really honored that the story would even be considered by Hearst,” he says. “I’m thankful for the professors who encouraged me to apply and everyone who has been so supportive these past four years.”

“Gabe’s investigative series on conditions in New York State prisons illuminates issues that haven’t been acknowledged or discussed,” says Professor Harriet Brown. “The reporting he did took persistence and skill, and we’re so pleased these stories earned him a first place win in this category.”

Stern’s award-winning article was published in January, but he says he started reporting on prisons last summer. “Once I built my sourcing up, I was able to kind of see how things play out in a more candid way than I thought I would. There’s so much that happens within each prison across the state—much more than just package rooms—and a goal of mine was to shed some light on that. There’s a lot of open ground that’s not reported on in prisons right now, so I hope this article could help scratch that surface.”

Stern’s win earns him a $3,000 scholarship, and the Newhouse School will receive a matching grant. Stern also qualifies for the Writing Championship next month.

This year’s investigative reporting competition drew 78 entries from 47 universities.

“Good investigative journalism is critical to our democracy,” says Dean Mark J. Lodato. “We are so proud of Gabe and all of our journalism students. Winning this championship speaks to the strength of our program and the faculty who help our students succeed at the highest levels.”

Adds Brown: “We’re over the moon about winning the overall writing competition for the first time. It’s a testament to our students’ talents and hard work—especially in the middle of a pandemic.”

Stern won fourth place in the Hearst breaking news competition last year, also for work he did for The Daily Orange (DO). He joined the paper as a staff writer in the fall of his first year at Syracuse, and has held positions as assistant news editor, senior staff writer and, for the past year, enterprise editor.

The Needham, Massachusetts native has also worked as a reporting intern for the Dow Jones News Fund and the Naples Daily News. He will intern with the Tampa Bay Times this summer.

Newhouse to honor Brown Girls Doc Mafia with inaugural Lorraine Branham IDEA Award

Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM) will be honored with the inaugural Lorraine Branham IDEA Award from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications June 9. The award, presented as part of the 15th annual Mirror Awards ceremony, will be accepted by BGDM founder Iyabo Boyd.

Iyabo Boyd Brown Girls Doc Mafia
Iyabo Boyd

BGDM fights inequality in the film industry by advocating for the more than 4,500 women and non-binary Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) who are part of it. The organization’s mission is to bolster the creative and professional success of this community and challenge the often marginalizing norms of the documentary field.

“Dean Branham was a champion of diversity at the Newhouse School, and BGDM is a wonderful first recipient of this new award in her name,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato.

Formed in 2015, BGDM is made up of both emerging and veteran filmmakers from all areas of the industry: writers, directors, producers and cinematographers, as well as other industry professionals like curators, academics, corporate executives and funding administrators. They can be found in 10 countries and more than 20 U.S. states.

The IDEA Award recognizes a media organization that has worked to promote inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility over the course of the previous year. Specifically, the award acknowledges the hiring and development of leadership talent who create change, both to the organizations they oversee and the content they produce. The award was established in honor of late Newhouse dean Lorraine Branham, the first Black woman to serve as dean of the school, who died in April 2019.

“With this award, we wanted to honor Lorraine’s legacy of investing in innovative storytelling, supporting storytellers of color and serving as a role model for women of color, which made BGDM a clear choice for this recognition,” says magazine, news and digital journalism professor and chair Melissa Chessher, who chaired the IDEA Award committee.

About the Mirror Awards

The Mirror Awards are the most important awards for honoring excellence in media industry reporting. They were established by the Newhouse School in 2006 to honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit. Finalists in the 2021 competition were announced April 29.

The 2021 Mirror Awards ceremony will be held online Wednesday, June 9, at 7 p.m. ET. Lodato will preside over the ceremony, and Newhouse alumna Michelle Marsh ’05 will serve as master of ceremonies. Six juried journalism awards and the Fred Dressler Leadership Award will be presented in addition to the IDEA Award.

Report examines COVID-19 vaccine confidence among Syracuse University students

The majority of Syracuse University students are willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a newly-released report, “Get Shot Done: Vaccine Confidence Among Syracuse Students.” Those who don’t want the vaccine are hesitant due to fear of side effects.

The report was released by student-run PR firm Hill Communications and student-run advertising firm TNH, both based in Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, in partnership with global health innovation company Real Chemistry.

The study was based on digital survey responses from 472 students, two focus groups and social media conversation analysis.

According to the report:

“The widespread impacts of COVID-19 have transformed student life,” says Jesse Nadelman, Hill Communications firm director. “Our research not only emphasizes this, but also uncovers insights surrounding the student body’s substantial willingness to do whatever it takes to ‘get back to normal.’ We hope these findings can serve as a guide for universities and colleges nationwide looking to vaccinate their student populations for the 2021-2022 school year.”

Syracuse University has mandated that students, faculty and staff must be vaccinated by the start of the fall semester, except in cases of medical or religious exemptions.

Research from the report has informed Hill Communications and TNH’s vaccine confidence campaign, “Get Shot Done SU.” With the goal of increasing vaccine confidence University wide, the campaign features an Instagram account, @getshotdoneSU, which displays lighthearted video content, memes and informational posts delving into vaccine science and how to get vaccinated.

The campaign will culminate in a virtual panel discussion Wednesday, May 19, at 7 p.m. ET. Hosted by Newhouse student Sean Dorcellus, the event will include panelists Indu Gupta, Onondaga County Commissioner of Health; Annika Engineer, practice leader, corporate strategy and crisis communications at Real Chemistry; and Allen Griffin, assistant coach of the Syracuse University men’s basketball team. They will discuss student confidence and hesitancy toward the COVID-19 vaccine and the path forward. Register online.  

For more information, contact Chelsea Stern at 856.577.0302 or

2021 Newhouse Awards

Each spring, the Newhouse School recognizes those students whose dedication, ingenuity, academic excellence and creativity exhibit extraordinary talent and effort. Congratulations to this year’s winners, and thank you for making the Newhouse School proud.

2021 Newhouse Award Winners

All School Awards

Class Marshals

Dean’s Service Award

Mary Zoretski Award

Newhouse First Year Achievement Award

Graduate School Masters Prize

Catherine L. Covert Research Award

David Rubin 1st Amendment Prize

Oh, the Places You’ll Go Award

Advertising Awards

Deborah Fink Green Award

Harry D. Meyers Memorial Prize in Advertising

Most Promising Advertising Student

Newhouse Advertising Department Award for Academic Excellence

Newhouse Advertising Student of the Year

Bandier Awards

Bandier Program Leadership Award

Bandier Program Innovator/Operator Award

Broadcast & Digital Journalism Awards

Beth Mowins ’90 Award in Broadcast & Digital Journalism

Don Edwards Broadcast Journalism Award

The Radio-TV-News Power Producer Award

Magazine, News and Digital Journalism Awards

Bob Heisler Award for Excellence

Heather L. Fleishman Memorial Scholarship

Henry J. Leader Memorial Prize in Editing

Henry J. Wolff Prize

Lauretta H. McCaffrey Journalism Prize

Maria Riccardi Scholarship

The Charnice Milton Award for Excellence

The John Mitchell Award for Sports Reporting

The Samuel V. Kennedy III Award

The Magazine, News and Digital Journalism Graduate Achievement Award

William Glavin Award for Excellence

Public Relations Awards

Julie Mendez Diversity and Inclusion Award

Public Relations Certificate of Achievement

The Public Relations Department Chair Award for Leadership

The Public Relations Public Service Award

William Doescher Outstanding Public Relations Master’s Degree Student

William P. Ehling Award

Television, Radio and Film Awards

A. William Bluem Award

Armondo Doreste Award

Edward L. Hersh Award

George Plavocos Award

Glenn Steinfast Award for Excellence

Gordon J. Alderman Memorial Prize

Irene M. Sholkin Prize in Script Writing

Stan Alten Excellence in Audio Award

Zach Trifone Love of Life and Music Award

Visual Communication Awards

Bertram J. Davis Scholar Award

Dr. Frank Meola Photography Prize

Kodak Professional Photography Scholarship

Jeff Licata Photography Award

Society for News Design/Marshall Matlock

Visual Communication Department Prize in Graphic Design

Visual Communication Department Prize in Immersive Media

Visual Communication Department Prize in Motion Graphics

Visual Communication Department Prize in Video Production

Newhouse senior revives SU’s only LGBTQIA+ magazine

Patrick Linehan
Patrick Linehan

When Patrick Linehan, a senior studying newspaper and online journalism, heard that the campus LGBTQIA+ magazine, The OutCrowd, was in danger of folding in the fall of 2018, his initial response was sorrow.

Melissa Chessher, chair of the magazine, news and digital journalism department, had invited Linehan to speak to first-year students about his Newhouse experience, and mentioned that unless someone re-registered The OutCrowd with the Office of Student Activities, that was going to be it for the only campus magazine serving SU’s LGBTQIA+ community.

Linehan, who had an honors thesis idea due within the next couple of days, was struck with inspiration. “I was like, ‘Here we go. This is falling into my lap,’” he says.

Linehan personally connected with the magazine, which combined his passion for journalism with his personal identity. 

“A lot of my college experience was a coming to terms with who I am and stopping fighting against my own interests and my own personality,” he says.

The first step was recruitment. Linehan sent out invitations to work on the magazine through several listservs and gathered about 50 students who showed interest.

“The second stage was, ‘What is this magazine going to be?’” says Linehan. “I didn’t want to rush into producing a magazine, so I decided to wait until the spring to publish.”

Linehan wanted The OutCrowd to be primarily about community.

“It’s interconnecting. It’s a community of LGBTQIA+ and ally creators who are trying to share art for people on campus who exist outside of a heteronormative world.”

Linehan and his team talked to professors in LGBTQ studies, members of Pride Union and people who worked on the magazine years ago to get an idea of how to define the content in ways that would best serve that community.

Once they got their ideas together and went over several drafts, the first revived issue of The OutCrowd, Queer in Quarantine, was published in March.

“It’s really great that we have so many young people involved in the magazine,” says Linehan. One of the first-year students from Chessher’s class is now the managing editor of the magazine.

“I hope that it continues to grow as another space for queer people to hang out,” says Linehan. “One thing I discovered as we were going through this is that there are spaces that exist, but there’s always room for more. I think [there are] a lot of queer people in Newhouse.”

Now that Linehan is graduating, he hopes students will continue to take risks and join publications that may not be as well established.

“I’m super inspired by people who are willing to take a risk and try to forge something new,” says Linehan. “I thank them and hope they can continue that sense of entrepreneurship and willingness to do something because you really love it.”

The OutCrowd is open to everyone regardless of their identity. Those interested in joining can apply online.

Adrianne Morales is a senior in the broadcast and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.

Deconstructing the Divide student reporting project explores inequity in Syracuse

Last fall, more than 100 Newhouse School students set out to examine inequity in Syracuse by telling the stories of people and communities affected by disparities and their hopes or efforts to improve their circumstances.

The result: Deconstructing the Divide, an impressive reporting project comprising more than two dozen student-produced packages featuring photos, videos, illustrations, data visualizations and interactives.

“This is the most ambitious news experience project yet in size, scope and topic—and that’s not even factoring in a global pandemic,” says Jon Glass, professor of practice in magazine, news and digital journalism (MND) and executive producer of The NewsHouse, which hosts the project.

This is the fourth year Glass and a team of professors and students have led a student reporting project, with past initiatives examining the legalization of marijuana, issues along the U.S.-Canadian border and the March for Our Lives protests in Washington, D.C. and Syracuse.

Sydney Gold at WAER
Sydney Gold discusses her reporting on lead poisoning with WAER news director Chris Bolt.

This year’s topic, identified by MND assistant professor Greg Munno and developed last summer by a core team of faculty members and students, was informed by the unrest following the murder of George Floyd. When the academic year began, Glass put out a call and ended up with a team of students from virtually every program at Newhouse. “The topic drew a lot of interest,” Glass says. “We’ve all been affected by social justice issues, and it was heartening to see so many students want to join and take part in this because it’s an important topic.”

Partners on this year’s project included The Stand, Syracuse’s South Side community newspaper, and local NPR affiliate WAER. The Stand published a special edition featuring South Side stories from the project and, together with WAER, produced a four-part radio series with newspaper and online journalism junior Sydney Gold discussing her reporting on lead poisoning in Syracuse children.

Other notable stories:

Kayla Johnson Deconstructing the Divide
Local social justice activist Kayla Johnson, photographed by Renée Deemer

Another aspect to the project, Visualizing 81, explores the fraught history of Interstate 81 in Syracuse using immersive media tools. Headed by Dan Pacheco, Peter A. Horvitz Endowed Chair in Journalism Innovation, and Amber Bartosh, assistant professor in the School of Architecture, the project uses 360 photos, 3D models and photogrammetry to help users visualize the highway’s past, present and future. A dedicated team of students—led by senior advertising major Sonny Cirasuolo, senior photography major Molly Gibbs, junior NOJ major Amanda Paule and junior architecture major Lawry Boyer—continues to work on this project, which will see new iterations moving forward.

Professional Experience

About a third of participating students had worked on previous reporting projects, but there was also a lot of interest from first- and second-year students who hadn’t yet been involved with in-depth reporting efforts, Glass says.

Students were divided into teams headed by student coordinators: Senior NOJ major Patrick Linehan was content director, senior graphic design major Kevin Camelo was design director, senior public relations major Frankie Sailer was social media director and senior photography major Laura Oliverio was visuals director.

Students developed story ideas and pitched them to the team of project coordinators before dedicating their entire fall semester to reporting.

TJ Shaw photographs local Syracuse residents
TJ Shaw photographs a group of Syracuse residents on the day of the Derek Chauvin verdict (Mike Greenlar | The Stand)

Linehan, who has been involved with NewsHouse reporting projects since 2018, says his work on this year’s project helped him develop invaluable skills: team and workflow management, content strategy and practice line- and copy-editing, writing display copy and working with a content management system.

“I am extremely proud of the stories that highlight the people doing the work in the community,” he says. “A story profiling several community leaders and history makers, and a series on Syracuse activists shows how much people are already talking about issues of inequality and the amazing work being done to help.”

For Oliverio, the visuals director, the project represented her first time in this kind of leadership role. She says it provided her with a more in-depth understanding of the duties of a photo editor, giving her more confidence as she begins her career. “I discovered I love organizing big projects and assigning specific photographers to certain stories,” she says. “I’m happy with the end result. It took a lot of time and effort but I think we really made a difference and did great work. Plus, it was my first time in the position of a photo editor and I discovered I enjoy that type of role!”

Unique Challenges

Executing the project in the middle of a pandemic was a challenge, of course. Students met via Zoom rather than in person, reporters and photographers had to quarantine on occasion and some sources were not comfortable with in-person interviews, Linehan says.

But the obstacles also led to a more creative approach, with graphic design playing a more central role that in past years. “With a team of seven illustrators, we were able to overcome some of the challenges that came with COVID,” says Camelo, the design director. “Sometimes we weren’t able to photograph an event. In that case, a member of our design team jumped at the chance to encapsulate the message of the story in an illustration.”

Camelo says one of his favorite pieces is an illustration by Nina Bridges, in which she represented a history of women’s efforts to close the wage gap.

Nina Bridges illustration for a story on the wage gap
An illustration by Nina Bridges for the story “New Glass Ceilings”

“Too often, society views things like racism or sexism as something that just magically happened. With the design of the project, The NewsHouse took the word ‘deconstructing’ to heart,” Camelo says. “Visitors will see a system of puzzle pieces that aim to reinforce our project narrative: we’re piecing together the history of inequality in Syracuse. This system works hand-in-hand with the fabulous work of contributing photographers and illustrators.”

Glass served as project coordinator. Content coordinators were Munno, Shelvia Dancy, professor of practice in broadcast and digital journalism, and Ashley Kang, director of The Stand. MND associate professor Seth Gitner served as site developer and design coordinator. Rawiya Kameir, MND assistant teaching professor, was editing coordinator, and Amy Toensing, assistant professor of visual communications, was visuals coordinator.