Three student projects honored by SPJ

Three groups of W&L students received awards in the Region 2 competition of the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards March 31 for work they did in a journalism course on covering courts and the law.

Four students received second place in the online in-depth reporting category for “Prescription drugs easy to access, easy to abuse,” a fall 2011 project published on, a website that showcases the work of students enrolled in Journalism 280. They are: Melissa Powell, ’12; Eleanor Kennedy, ’12; Caitlin Doermer, ’13, and Robert Grattan, ’12.

Stephen Peck, Brooke Sutherland, Anne Vesoulis, Caitlin Doermer and Kelly Mae Ross attended the SPJ awards ceremony March 31.

The other two groups placed second and third in the television in-depth reporting category.

Anne Vesoulis, ’12, Ben Petitto, ’12, Findley Merritt, ’12, and Wit Robertson, ’11,  received a second-place award for their project, “UVA murder exposes flaws in access to protective orders,” which was published on The Preliminary Hearing website during the winter 2011 term.

That term, all of the students enrolled in Journalism 280 also reported, wrote and produced a broadcast news magazine, “The Preliminary Hearing,” which placed third in the television in-depth category.

The news magazine appeared on Channel 18 in Lexington. Brooke Sutherland, ’12, Stephen Peck, ’13, Kelly Mae Ross, ’13, and Tory Dickerson, ’12, joined Vesoulis, Petitto, Merritt and Robertson in its reporting, writing and production.


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