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The Montage Honored by Society of Professional Journalists with Mark of Excellence Award

March 23, 2009

Montage Staff and Winning Design  

From top: Amanda Keefe, Brett Lohmeyer and Nick Schnelle.

Winning design: The Endangered Smoker.

Three staff members of The Montage, St. Louis Community College-Meramec's student newspaper, have been awarded a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Annually, the Society of Professional Journalists presents the Mark of Excellence Awards honoring the best in student journalism. The awards offer 39 categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism.
Amanda Keefe, Brett Lohmeyer, and Nick Schnelle qualified as regional Mark of Excellence winners for a May 1, 2008 photo illustration entitled “The Endangered Smoker.” All three students will receive honors at the April 25 SPJ regional conference in Clayton, Mo.

National advancers will be announced at the April conference. The first-place winning entries from each region will go on to compete at the national level, with different panels of national judges selecting one national first-place winner in each category. These winners will be honored at the SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in the fall.

“It is a prestigious honor for our students,” said Shannon Philpott, faculty adviser of The Montage. “The staff members work diligently to produce a solid newspaper that is creative, fair, balanced and accurate. Recognition from professional journalists is not only an indication that they are on the right track but also confirmation that our students are producing content that meets and exceeds the standards comparable to prestigious four-year journalism schools within our region.”

All three STLCC-Meramec students honored plan to pursue a career in journalism. Schnelle, a 2008 graduate, is currently attending the University of Missouri-Columbia majoring in photojournalism. Schnelle served as the photo editor and graphic design editor for The Montage from August 2007 – December 2008.

Lohmeyer, a 2005 graduate of Webster University, returned to STLCC-Meramec June 2007 to enhance his skills in journalism. He joined The Montage staff as the asst. art & life editor, later moved into the sports editor position and currently serves as the online editor. In June 2009, he plans to continue working in the journalism field.

Keefe has served as the art & life editor since June 2007 while pursuing a general transfer degree at STLCC-Meramec. She has been accepted at Webster University for the fall 2009-2010 academic-year.

Each year, The Montage competes nationally against several other two-year and four-year school newspapers from across the country. This is the first time that staff members from “The Montage” have placed in a SPJ competition.