IV Leader recognized with excellence awards

Hope Beelman, IV Leader Editor

Illinois Valley Community College’s student newspaper, IV Leader, won 16 awards in Division 2 of the Illinois Community College Journalism Association annual competition. All the entries were published by students in 2021.

All participating community college newspapers were “divided into two divisions that are based upon school enrollment” with all entries eligible to compete in the eight Open Divisions.

In addition to earning second-place in both Best Student Media and Mike Foster General Excellence, a category that “examines the overall quality of the publication’s media operation” and content, students won four first-place awards.

Hope Beelman, IV Leader Editor-in-Chief, earned three first-place awards in Division 2 for Front Page Design as well as Sports Game Story and Sports Feature with IVCC graduate Naomi Ochuba for their April 30, 2021 “Women’s soccer celebrates season” story.

“The writer[s] did a good job including many voices in the piece,” a judge emphasized.

Grace Spolec received a first-place award in Sports Photo for her coverage of Women’s Soccer in early November. “It’s the sharpest photo of the action,” explained a judge.

IV Leader earned four second-place awards including Front Page Design and Staff Editorial by Hope Beelman. Leah Meyers received a second-place award in News Column for the “What ‘Asking For it’ Really Means” story from April 8, 2021, which discussed a Woman’s History Month presentation on violence against women.

Brianna Sloop and Grace Sparling won a second-place award in Sports Feature for their “Lady Eagles softball team ready for season” March 11, 2021 story.

Three third-place awards were earned in News Photo by Hope Beelman for her coverage on COVID-19 testing, Sports Photo by Grace Spolec, and Staff Editorial by Justice Petersen, former IV Leader Editor-in-Chief, for her opinion story “I Quit Social Media – Here’s What Happened” from March 11, 2021.

Honorable mention awards won included Page Design by Hope Beelman, Sports Game Story by Brianna Sloop and Grace Sparling, and Editorial Writer of the Year by Hope Beelman.