Alestle ICPA Winners 2023

From left to right: Sports Editor Bruce Darnell, Photographer Chloe Wolfe, Managing Editor Gabriel Brady, Editor-in-Chief Emily Sterzinger, Illustrator Thea Weltzin, Reporter Dylan Hembrough, Multimedia Editor Damian Morris and Program Adviser Tammy Merret.

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — The Alestle won 10 awards at the recent Illinois College Press Association’s Convention and Awards. The publication is still in the ranking of top student news orgs in the state despite moving into a more competitive division.

The state college media organization reorganized its contest divisions this year to better reflect the smaller number of daily student newspapers. Some of those very large programs still publish, but not as frequently. In the reorganization based on enrollment numbers reported to the Illinois Board of Higher Education, SIUE was moved into the top competitive category with those news organizations that are, or used to be, daily newspapers – Northwestern University, DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois State University and Northern Illinois University.

“We were up against some tough competition. So, I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last year and the awards we won,” Alestle Editor-in-Chief Emily Sterzinger said.

In their new division, The Alestle staff received honorable mention in General Excellence for its print edition – the top 3 being The Northern Star, The Loyola Phoenix and The DePaulia.

“When I knew the divisions were changing, I was a little nervous but believed in The Alestle staff’s ability to hold its own in a much tougher division,” Student Publications Program Director Tammy Merrett said. “I am so happy with the results and extremely proud of the staff members in 2022 who never stopped working hard to continuously improve and raise the bar for themselves.”

The Alestle won three first place awards – two in the open division in which all universities and colleges compete. There were 21 competing schools this year. The staff won first place for Front Page Layout.

Former Editor in Chief Alex Aultman won first place in the open division’s Headline Writing category for their headline “White tears were prioritized over Black pain” for a story about the handling of a racist and homophobic hazing incident on campus in 2021.

Managing Editor Gabriel Brady and former Sports Editor Brandon Wells won first place in the large school division’s new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Coverage category.

“We don’t do it for the awards. I haven’t won any ICPA awards specifically in my name before. So, it’s nice on my way out that my work is recognized,” Managing Editor Gabe Brady said, adding that he is graduating in May.

Many of the staff’s collaborative efforts in 2022 were recognized.

The staff won second place in the large school Opinion Pages category, third place in the Entertainment Supplement category for its Spring 2022 Metro East Eats: Donut edition and honorable mention in Feature Page Design for its Metro East Eats: Soup edition. The regular feature often does well in the entertainment supplement and design categories in state and national competitions.

The staff received an honorable mention in the large school division’s Entertainment and Culture Podcast category.

Former Alestle Photographer Clair Sollenberger won third place in General News Photo in the large school division for a photo of campus protests about racial inequity.

And Alestle Graduate Assistant Graphics Manager Kirsten O’Loughlin received honorable mention for Best Print Ad.

The Alestle competed in 32 categories against six daily or much larger student news organizations on campuses with more than 7,000 students, including Northwestern University, DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois State University and Northern Illinois University.

Almost 900 entries in the competition were judged for excellence by working journalists across the country.

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