Shawn Annarelli wins literary award at student achievement ceremony

Shawn Annarelli, of Allison Park, Pa., was the 2013 recipient of the Penn State New Kensington Literary Award.

Annarelli, who earned his bachelor’s degree in communications in May, was honored for his work as a contributing writer for the Nittany Pride, the student newspaper at the campus. Prior to enrolling at the New Kensington campus, Annarelli was on the staff of the Behrend Beacon at Penn State Erie, first as a reporter, and then as sports editor and managing editor.

“I started reporting for the Beacon in my freshman year, and I was hooked on being a journalist,” said Annarelli, a product of Hampton High School. “I moved on to an internship with Trib Total Media after my sophomore year. I have been regularly published by the Trib ever since.”

As a contributing writer for Trib Total Media, publisher of the Tribune-Review, Valley News Dispatch and other local newspapers in western Pennsylvania, Annarelli covers high school sports and writes a weekly feature on Butler County residents. Feature writing is of special interest to Annarelli.

“I like to really dig into a person’s life and find out who they are and what their motives are for doing what they do,” said Annarelli, who earned an Elisabeth. S. Blissell Scholarship at the campus. “You have to take the time to really find out the in-depth nature of stories.”

Annarelli’s reporting acumen was honed in the classroom. He credits the campus communications faculty -- Jennifer Wood, associate professor; Allen Larson, associate professor; and Abhinav Aima, instructor -- with molding his work ethic.

“I think a lot of my reporting skills stem from taking classes with the professors in the communications department,” Annarelli said. “One intangible that can’t really be taught is hard work, and they constantly push students to reach their potential.”

While Annarelli awaits a full-time position in his chosen field, he continues to be a stringer for the Trib. He also lined up a gig covering Penn State football for, a website that offers year-round coverage of college and professional football.

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Last Updated June 05, 2013