Student photographer, news program earn national accolades

May 14, 2009

A student photographer and a series of newscasts produced by students in the College of Communications were selected as national winners of 2008 Mark of Excellence Awards, which recognize collegiate work broadcast or published during 2008.

The Society of Professional Journalists coordinates the Mark of Excellence Awards program, which attracted more than 3,600 entries in 39 categories this year.

William Colsher, a senior majoring in journalism from State College, was honored as the national winner in the sports photography category for his image titled "home plate collision." The shot, taken at a State College Spikes baseball game in August 2008, shows Jamestown Jammers shortstop Joel Staples knocking the ball from Spikes catcher Miguel Mendez's glove during a play at home plat at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

In the television newscast category, "Centre County Report" was honored as a national finalist. Students produce the weekly newscast 12 times each semester during the academic year. It airs live on Campus Cable and then again on WPSU-TV (Channel 3), whose signal enables the show to reach 29 counties in Pennsylvania and New York.

"These Mark of Excellence Awards winners are some of the best journalists coming out of colleges today," said Neil Ralston, SPJ's vice president for campus chapter affairs. I believe they represent a lot of hope for the future of journalism in America, and SPJ is honored to recognize them for their excellent work."

National winners and finalists were previously recognized by receiving first place in one of the SPJ's 12 regional competitions. Each first-place regional winner advanced to the national competition. The student journalists will be recognized Aug. 28 at the Mark of Excellence Luncheon, which occurs during the 2009 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in Indianapolis.

The Society of Professional Journalists ( works to improve and protect journalism. The organization is the nation's most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

  • An award-winning student photo shows a home-plate collision during a State College Spikes baseball game.

    IMAGE: William Colsher

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 02, 2021