The staff of The Rider News, the University’s student weekly, earned a total of six awards, including two first-place nods, at the 2011-12 New Jersey Collegiate Press Association College Newspaper contest.
Sean Ramsden

The Rider News earned six awards in the 2011-12 NJCPA Contest

Though they are more familiar with reporting the news than being part of it, the staff of The Rider News made headlines this month by capturing two first-place awards in the 2011-12 New Jersey Collegiate Press Association (NJCPA) College Newspaper contest. Staffers from the student weekly earned a total of six prizes in the annual contest, which is judged by active or former editors, writers and photographers from member newspapers in the New Jersey Press Association.

The awards will be formally presented at the NJCPA Annual Awards Luncheon at the Courtyard by Marriott Cranbury-South Brunswick on Saturday, April 21.

News editor Katie Zeck ’14, a Journalism major, captured first place in the News Writing category for her articles “Ups and Downs: Alcohol violations decrease, alcohol arrests increase,” and “Rider Rates: University Climbs U.S. News’ Best Colleges List.”

Advertising manager Katie Hambor ’14, a Graphic Design major, took top honors in Editorial Cartoon/Artistic Story Illustration for “Behind the Music” and Schedule Changes 2012.”

The other winning Rider News entries were:

  • Sports co-editor David Pavlak ’13, a Journalism major, who earned second place in Personality Profiles for “Diggin’ Digger: Rider alumnus Richard Phelps leads on the hardwood and in the community” and “Rider worker living the dream with Phils.”
  • Features and Arts & Entertainment co-editor Lisa Henderson ’12, a Journalism major, took second place in Arts & Entertainment Writing for “Good luck, gamers, the future lies in the past.”
  • Laura Staples ’12, a Public Relations major and Journalism minor, earned third-place honors in Arts & Entertainment Writing for “The Upside Down Wind whirls into the gallery.”
  • Assistant photography editor Nate LaBrusciano ’12, a Radio and Television major, won second place in General Photography for “Fairy King and Queen.”

Rider News co-adviser Dr. Dianne Garyantes said that the NJCPA awards reflect the dedication and tireless work ethic present among the staff.

“The staff members work extremely hard to put together the paper and website each week. The editors in particular are quite committed,” said Garyantes, an assistant professor of Journalism. “They not only assign and edit the articles, they also lay out the pages and write a good deal of the content. We’re very proud of the work that they do.”

Co-adviser Randy Bergmann ’69, an editorial page editor for the Asbury Park Press, agreed with Garyantes, adding that the awards are a reflection of an entire newsroom dedicated to excellence in reporting.

“The six awards The Rider News staffers won in the NJCPA contest are not only a credit to the individual winners, but to the entire staff, including the top editors, section editors and copy editors,” said Bergmann, a Rider News editor during his undergraduate days.  “Even individual awards are team efforts, and the staff as a whole should take great pride in the hard work, dedication and talent that are reflected in these awards.”