Posts by Connecticut SPJ

Announcing the winners of the 2024 Bob Eddy Scholarships

Each year, the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists hands out scholarships intended to foster the journalism careers of qualifying college students with Connecticut ties.

Competition was especially steep for the second year in a row, with entrants from 10 universities in five different states.

Visit https://www.connecticutspj.org/bob-eddy-scholarship-program/ to see past winners.

To support the scholarships that go to these budding journalists, visit https://www.cfgnh.org/funds/bob-eddy-scholarship-fund.

This year’s winners are:

Rachel Shin ($2,500) – Rachel Shin is an English major and Journalism Initiative Scholar at Yale, where she served as editor-in-chief of The Politic: the Yale College Journal of Politics. Her reporting has appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation and Fortune, among other outlets.

Terell Wright ($1,500) – Terell Wright is a senior at Connecticut College studying political economy and history. 

Wright is a reporting intern at The Wall Street Journal. At the Journal, he covers the American economy. Wright is also a contributing reporter for The Day, where he localizes national trends impacting young readers. Additionally, he contributes to Connecticut Public Radio as a New London reporter. Previously, Wright reported as a Dow Jones News Fund intern for the Atlanta Business Chronicle focusing on labor, economics and housing.

Wright is also a New York Times Corps member and Bloomberg Journalism Diversity Program alum. Wright is keenly interested in diversifying news coverage and mentoring aspiring young journalists.

Alicia Tang ($1,000) – Alicia Tang is a junior majoring in journalism and economics at Northwestern University. She is a producer and reporter for her school’s student broadcast, Northwestern News Network, and has published for several national publications including The Fulcrum and United Press International. In her free time, she likes to bike along scenic paths and read psycho-thrillers and memoirs. As a journalist and reader, she’s always hungry for another story.

Sara Bedigian ($1,000) – Sara Bedigian is a junior at the University of Connecticut studying journalism and political science.  She is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Campus, UConn’s independent, student-run newspaper. Before she became editor, she wrote various articles regarding news at UConn and in Connecticut. This summer, she is interning at the Worcester Business Journal, covering real estate, manufacturing, health care and other local businesses in the Worcester, Mass., area. She has a passion for writing and aspires to become a journalist to educate her community about important issues.

Savanna Yelling ($500) – Savanna Yelling is a senior at Central Connecticut State University, studying journalism with a minor in political science. She is the editor-in-chief of The Recorder, CCSU’s student-run newspaper and works as an intern at the CT League of Conservation Voters. After college, Yelling hopes to be an environmental reporter and broadcast meteorologist. She enjoys going to the gym, thrift shopping and hiking.

Connecticut SPJ 2023 Excellence in Journalism Contest judging begins

The Connecticut SPJ Excellence in Journalism Contest, which recognizes the best local journalism from the previous year, is now closed for entries.

Thank you to everyone who entered, and good luck!

Journalists from an out-of-state SPJ chapter will be judging the entries in the next month, and we’ll announce the winners in the spring.

The judging is made possible because CT SPJ receives entries to judge from other chapters.

If you’re interested in judging the other chapter’s contest this year (in April or May) email Martha Shanahan at mshanahan@connecticutspj.org.

Thanks!

Register for the 2023 CTSPJ dinner

Ticket sales are now open for the Dec. 6 CTSPJ dinner at the Hawthorne in Berlin.

Tickets for the event cost $20 for SPJ members and $25 for non-members. Ticket price includes a buffet dinner prepared by Casa Mia and non-alcoholic beverages. Cash bar will be available for individual purchases.

Payment can be made at the door by check, cash or PayPal. Please leave your email to be notified when PayPal is up and running.

Click here to register.

CTSPJ posthumously inducts two esteemed journalists into Hall of Fame

Lisa Chedekel and Denise D'Ascenzo

The Connecticut Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is proud to announce the posthumous induction of two highly distinguished journalists into its Hall of Fame: Denise D’Ascenzo and Lisa Chedekel. Both journalists made significant contributions to the field of journalism and left an indelible mark on the state of Connecticut.

Denise D’Ascenzo, an eleven-time Emmy Award winner, earned her place among the most revered journalists in the state of Connecticut. Her unwavering dedication to her craft and her incredible talent led to her election to the Silver Circle by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2013. Two years later, she made history as the first woman to be inducted into the Connecticut Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

D’Ascenzo’s career spanned an impressive 33 years as the anchor of WFSB Channel 3. Her charismatic presence touched the lives of viewers across the state, making her a beloved and trusted figure in the world of journalism. Her commitment to excellence and numerous accolades are a testament to her exceptional career.

D’Ascenzo died Dec. 7, 2019, at her home in Branford at the age of 61.

Lisa Chedekel made an enduring impact through her fearless reporting. Her work was characterized by relentless coverage of city mayoral administrations and issues affecting residents from all walks of life. As a reporter at the New Haven Register, she showcased a deep commitment to the betterment of her community through her stories.

At the Hartford Courant, Chedekel’s work was nothing short of groundbreaking. She played a pivotal role in the coverage of the CT Lottery Corp. shooting, which ultimately won the Pulitzer Prize. Additionally, her lead role in the investigation into the military’s flawed mental-health policies led to Congressional hearings and significant policy changes that reduced suicides in combat.

Chedekel’s journalism was recognized with a multitude of awards, including the George Polk and Selden Ring awards, the Worth Bingham Prize from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard, and many more. Her dedication to exposing wrongdoing and advocating for positive change was unyielding.

In her later years, Chedekel co-founded C-HIT alongside fellow Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame member Lynne DeLucia. As the lead reporter, Chedekel continued her impactful work by exposing misconduct in nursing homes, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations. Her reporting on prescription abuse among nurses and doctors in Connecticut even led to criminal investigations, highlighting her lasting influence on investigative journalism.

Chedekel died Jan. 12, 2018, at the age of 57.

The family and friends of D’Ascenzo and Chedekel will accept the honor at the Connecticut SPJ’s annual gathering on Dec. 6 at the Hawthorne, 2421 Berlin Turnpike, Berlin. At the dinner, the winners of the Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award, the Theodore Driscoll Award for Investigative Reporting and the First Amendment Award will also be recognized.

Click here for more information and to register for the dinner.

CTSPJ offering travel stipends for Vegas conference — apply by Sept. 1

Here’s the short version: If you write a good essay, you could get hundreds of dollars reimbursed for a trip to Vegas.

Details:

We’re happy to announce that the Connecticut Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is again offering travel stipends for the national SPJ Journalism Convention.

This year’s conference will take place at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas from Sept. 28-30.

Because we anticipate travel costs may be higher given the location, we have upped our travel stipends for this year.

Professional members of the CTSPJ chapter are eligible for reimbursements, with proof of receipt, of up to $1,200 toward conference expenses. Student members of SPJ in Connecticut are eligible for $750.

To apply, submit an essay of no more than 500 words about why you want to attend the conference, and how you have been, or would like to become, involved in CTSPJ events. That could include anything from helping with judging swaps to ideating and/or supporting programming.

Send the short essay, along with your SPJ member number, to Cindy Simoneau, a past president of the CTSPJ board, at simoneauc1@southernct.edu.

Simoneau will prepare all entries for a blind review by the CTSPJ board.

One professional member and one student member will be selected. The winners must be members in good standing of CTSPJ. New members are welcome to apply.

To confirm your membership status, contact membership@hq.spj.org.

The deadline to apply for the grants is 5 p.m. (ET) on Friday, Sept. 1. That’s a quick turnaround, but it’s always a worthwhile conference.

Please email the CTSPJ president at LBoyle@connecticutspj.org if you have any questions.

CTSPJ’s 2022 Excellence in Journalism Contest winners

Each year, the Connecticut pro chapter of SPJ recognizes the best in Connecticut journalism in its Excellence in Journalism Contest.

This year’s entries showcase the important work being done by journalists across the state. Despite the challenges of the past few years, Connecticut journalists continue to show up, hold public officials accountable and inform the public about their communities.

This contest also supports the mission of CTSPJ as our biggest fundraiser. The board continues to support journalists through professional development programming — most recently at the SPJ Region 1 Conference we co-hosted with Roger Williams University, which brought more than 100 journalists to Rhode Island for two days of programming.

We also give out thousands of dollars in scholarships to journalism students in or from Connecticut each year, and support other efforts, such as the Legal Defense Fund, CCFOI and CFOG.

We normally hand out the certificates at a spring or summer event, Instead, this year, we are planning a networking event for the fall, so we are announcing the winners here. All certificates will be mailed to the winners’ newsrooms, unless otherwise requested.

We thank you for your support. If you’d like to become more involved in the board and our activities, please contact one of the board members.

Announcing the winners of CTSPJ’s 2023 Bob Eddy Scholarships

Each year, the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists hands out scholarships intended to foster the journalism careers of qualifying college students with Connecticut ties.

Competition this year was particularly steep, with entrants from more than 10 universities in four different states.

To see past winners or learn more, visit connecticutspj.org/2020-scholarship-program/.

To donate to the fund, click here to visit the donation page through the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Without further adieu, we are pleased to announce this year’s the winners, which are:

Madeline Papcun ($2,500) – Madeline Papcun is a senior at the University of Connecticut, studying journalism and human development and family science. Maddie is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Campus, UConn’s independent, student-run newspaper and has also worked as an intern at both the Connecticut Mirror and the Meriden Record-Journal. After college, Maddie hopes to pursue a career in which she will continue writing. In her free time, Maddie enjoys reading, rollerblading and playing sudoku.

Richard Podgorski ($1,500) – Richard (Ricky) Podgorski is a rising junior at the University of Maryland. He was born and raised in Farmington, Connecticut, and graduated from Farmington High School, where he was president of the class of 2021, captain of a state championship-winning basketball program, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and lead anchor of its broadcast, the 9:05 news.

At the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, he is pursuing a sports broadcasting degree. He has been involved in a student-led sports broadcasting group called Terrapin Sports Central for three years and right now is its executive producer. He also has worked as a crew member for the Big Ten Student U as well as with ESPN for the production of national XFL broadcasts.

This summer Ricky will be working back in Connecticut as the Sideline Reporter for the Danbury Westerners, a collegiate summer league team of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. He’ll work side by side with the broadcaster to bring a new perspective to the team’s production, and will also create feature packages for the Westerner’s social media.

Juliana Lepore ($1,000) – Juliana Lepore is a rising senior at the University of Rhode Island majoring in journalism and communications with a minor in political science. She currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the Good Five Cent Cigar, the student-run newspaper at URI. She has appeared on “A Lively Experiment” on Rhode Island PBS, as well as moderated the Rhode Island Second Congressional District Forum in October.

Stacey Addo ($1,000) – Stacey Addo is a rising senior at Eastern Connecticut State University majoring in communications. She aspires to work in journalism doing features that tell inspiring stories. When she’s not in class, she’s serving as an editor for the school’s newspaper, working with Eastern’s television station or writing for College Fashionistas. In her free time she loves to read, crochet and enjoy music and theater.

Johanna Wolkoff ($1,000) – Johanna Wolkoff is a rising senior at the University of Maryland, College Park and studying journalism and history. Johanna is focused on studio production, especially in the sports industry. This summer, Johanna is interning for SNY in New York City as a Technical Operations Intern. During the school year, she works for the Washington Nationals, the Washington Commanders, NBC Sports Washington and B1G+.

Travel grants available for national SPJ conference in Washington, D.C.

The Connecticut Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will again offer travel grants to the SPJ national conference.

Professional members of the CTSPJ chapter are eligible for reimbursements, with proof of receipt, of up to $1,100 toward conference expenses. Student members of SPJ in Connecticut are eligible for $500.

Dubbed MediaFest2022, this year’s conference — hosted by the SPJ, Associated College Press and College Media Association — will happen at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 27-30.

To apply, submit an essay of no more than 500 words about why you want to attend the conference, and how you have been, or would like to become, involved in CTSPJ events. That could include anything from helping with judging swaps to ideating and/or supporting programming.

Send the short essay, along with your SPJ member number, to Cindy Simoneau, a past president of the CTSPJ board, at simoneauc1@southernct.edu.

Simoneau will prepare all entries for a blind review by the CTSPJ board.

One professional member and one student member will be selected. The winners must be members in good standing of CTSPJ. New members are welcome to apply.

To confirm your membership status, contact national Membership Coordinator Caroline Escobar at cescobar@hq.spj.org or 317-361-4132.

The deadline to apply for the grants is noon (ET) on Saturday, Sept. 17.

College contest winners announced for 2021-22

Audio Storytelling

First Place

Lunchtime Legislation: Russia/Ukraine war, Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Brendan Samson, Jack Spiegel, Jack Muscatello

Second Place

Bobcat Banter, episode 6: Interview with Kyle Maves, infielder for Bobcats baseball, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Brendan Samson, Noah Epstein, Seth Fromowitz

COVID-19 Reporting

First Place

$22 million worth of CARES Act funds awarded to CCSU students, The Recorder, Logan Zdun

Second Place

Quinnipiac to install rapid test vending machine, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Nicole McIsaac

Third Place

Quinnipiac mandates COVID-19 booster vaccine to combat omicron variant as CT cases rise, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Nicole McIsaac

Editorial/Op-ed

First Place

Suicide prevention needs a new approach, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Michael Sicoli

Feature

First Place

Connecticut’s geology rocks!, Crescent magazine, Brooke Kuryan

Second Place

‘I don’t think that I can do this anymore’: Former RA breaks the silence about mental health, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Daniel Passapera

Third Place

How the QU Spirit Teletubbies tradition continues to liven up the student section, Q30 Television, Katie Coen

Feature Photo

First Place

Fairs and finding your place, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Daniel Passapera

Second Place

Rebecca Black sings at Quinnipiac’s Fall Fest, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Daniel Passapera

Third Place

Rebecca Black performs at Quinnipiac’s Fall Fest, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Connor Lawless

General Column/Commentary

First Place

Why I stopped watching football — and why other women should, too, University of New Haven Charger Bulletin, Lindsay Giovannone

Second Place

‘An embarrassment for QU:’ Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum’s closure sparks public outcry, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Chatwan Mongkol

Third Place

Wake the Giant: How SPB held its biggest event of the year amid act cancellations and budget cuts, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Ashley Pelletier, Katie Langley

General Reporting

First Place

‘A slap in the face:’ Quinnipiac nurse anesthesia program’s closure comes with unclear plan, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Chatwan Mongkol

Second Place

Minority voices of Fairfield want to be heard, Fairfield Mirror, Peyton Perry

Third Place

Hamden apartment complex fire impacts 60 residents, including QU students, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Melina Khan

News Photo

First Place

Students and faculty protest at Fairfield’s “community in action” event photo, Fairfield Mirror, Kyler Erezuma

Second Place

Hamden apartment complex fire impacts 60 residents, including QU students, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Daniel Passapera

Non-Page 1 Layout

First Place

Former QU men’s hockey player reveals life-threatening effects of ‘intoxicating’ smashmouth culture, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Connor Lawless

Second Place

Uncovering the art of drag, Crescent magazine, Everett Rende

Third Place

Rushing into Greek Life, Crescent magazine, Everett Rende

Page 1 Layout

First Place

Connecticut’s geology rocks!, Crescent magazine, Everett Rende

Second Place

The Quinnipiac Chronicle, Volume 92, Issue 12, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Connor Lawless

Sports Feature Story

First Place

Former QU men’s hockey player reveals life-threatening effects of ‘intoxicating’ smashmouth culture, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Riley Millette

Second Place

Troy Williams cheers on son Tyrese, Quinnipiac men’s basketball team, Q30 Television, Ross Meglin, Jack Main

Third Place

A reflection on a unique fall athletics season, University of New Haven Charger Bulletin, Tyler Wells

Sports News Story

First Place

Quinnipiac women’s basketball’s season ends after lopsided 94-68 loss to Boston College, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Riley Millette

Second Place

Monmouth leaving the MAAC, Q30 Television, Jack Main

Third Place

Quinnipiac women’s hockey develops pro talent, but divide at the next level fails to let it be seen, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Cameron Levasseur

Sports Photo

First Place

KC Ndefo and St. Peter’s swats Quinnipiac men’s basketball out of the MAAC tournament, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Connor Lawless

Second Place

How the women’s soccer team’s season started piping hot and ended in a MAAC championship loss, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Daniel Passapera

Spot News

First Place

University students robbed at gunpoint outside of campus store, University of New Haven Charger Bulletin, Samuel Weinmann

Second Place

Students ‘terrified’ after a delivery man targeting college women broke into QU off-campus housing, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Chatwan Mongkol

Third Place

Quinnipiac fails to check in with victims of shuttle crash, students say, Quinnipiac Chronicle, Aidan Sheedy, Melina Khan

Video Storytelling

First Place

Fans back in the stands, Q30 Television, Jack Main

Second Place

Costs up, employees down: COVID-19 & New Britain restaurants, Central Connecticut State University, Melody Rivera

Third Place

Hartford Hospital invites Quinnipiac students to learn about the university partnership, Q30 Television, Olivia Kettell

CTSPJ announces five scholarship winners for 2022

The Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists hosted a summer gathering on June 25 at the Ansonia Nature Center in Ansonia, Connecticut, where this year’s contest winners and scholarship recipients were honored.

Five scholarships were issued this year.

Our first scholarship recipient is Madison Langweil, a senior at Marist College who studies biology and journalism and is from West Hartford. Currently a science news intern for the Stanford University News Service, Maddi aspires to be a science journalist.

Our second recipient is Jacklyn Pellegrino, from Staten Island, New York, who is going into her second year as a journalism major in the 3+1 accelerated bachelor’s/master’s dual degree program at Quinnipiac University. She’s a copy editor at The Quinnipiac Chronicle, where she edits articles, attends weekly deadline meetings and helps with the production of the weekly newsletter. She also reports and writes her own news stories based on campus updates and university events.

Our third recipient is Anya Grondalski, a double major in journalism and political science. She will be entering her final year of the communications 3+1 program at Quinnipiac University in the fall. She recently returned from a semester studying in Washington, D.C., where she worked in the Office of Public Affairs of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She’ll spend her summer interning with Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network in radio production.

At Quinnipiac, she is the podcast producer for The Quinnipiac Chronicle, as well as a video host and assistant producer with Quinnipiac Productions. She is also a member of the Honors Program, and serves on the executive board for QU Democrats and Students for Environmental Action.

Robyn Karashik is a Ridgefield native who recently graduated magna cum laude from Quinnipiac University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She’ll be going back this fall to get her master’s degree in journalism as part of the 4+1 program.

Robyn works as a field coordinator with the Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee and hopes to become a multimedia journalist once her education is complete.

And we have a special scholarship this year in honor of the late Genevieve Reilly, a former longtime reporter for the Fairfield Citizen and Connecticut Post, and her father, John Reilly. 

The Reilly scholarship has been awarded to Michael Sicoli, a journalism major who graduated from Quinnipiac University this past spring in his third year. He was The Quinnipiac Chronicle’s editor-in-chief during the 2021-22 academic year. He also was a member of the Dean’s List for each of his six semesters at college. Next summer he and 14 other students will attend a Quinnipiac-run program to cover the women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand, another step toward his goal of covering professional sports — preferably the NFL.

Copyright 2010-2017. Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists, P.O. Box 5071, Woodbridge CT 06525