One of The Springfield Student’s own could not believe his ears at the Associated Collegiate Press National Journalism Convention in Seattle, Wash. It took a moment for senior Editor-in-Chief Justin Felisko’s body to react after his multimedia package was announced as the runner-up finisher at the “Best of Show: awards ceremony, but when it did, he shot out of his chair and briskly walked up to receive his certificate.
“It is always an honor to place at ACP. It is humbling to be recognized in front of so many other bigger colleges and universities,” Felisko said.
Felisko, who has been to the conference the past three years, has never won an award as part of The Student, but this year his individual package about the uncertain job market for college seniors beat all but one other entry at the conference.
“My sophomore year I set a goal to have The Student place at ACP before I graduated, so it’s nice to make that dream come true,” Felisko said. “I just wish I could have helped our paper place in the top ten for best weekly or best website.”
Felisko’s feat is impressive in itself, but it is especially remarkable considering the amount of colleges and students that were in attendance, a sizable portion of which submitted competing entries. There were over 100 colleges in attendance at the convention, and approximately 630 students. Felisko’s award-winning package is a positive sign for the future of The Student and SCstudentmedia.com.
“I hope that by placing second other students in our program will realize the value there is in dedicating your time towards on-campus media,” Felisko said. “We have an already tremendous newspaper staff, but I can only imagine how much more we can do if we all, myself included, continue to embrace the value of online journalism.”
For Felisko, the award made all of his hard work worthwhile. It was a testament to his dedication to the program and unshakable belief in the quality of his work, even when matching up against competition from bigger-name colleges.
“It’s been a tough road the last year and a half as I compete with other students across the nation for jobs and post-graduate internships. In many instances I felt like I was at a disadvantage compared to others coming from larger J-schools,” Felisko said. “Yet for once pure content reigned supreme. If we all put our efforts together, I feel The Student can compete with anyone out there if given the chance.”
As he tucked away his certificate in a safe spot in his luggage, Felisko also tucked away the knowledge that he has the ability to compete with anyone out there.
Joe Brown may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org