Wingspan awarded Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper at regional conference

Wingspan, Laramie County Community College’s student media organization, has earned 21 awards from three national journalism organizations during the spring 2019 semester.

Wingspan was honored with a first-place award with special merit for Best Scholastic Newspaper by the American Scholastic Press Association, extending Wingspan’s streak of winning either first-place or first-place with special merit in this contest to 29 years. Wingspan also was honored for Best Outstanding Feature Section and Outstanding Service To The Community.

The Wingspan staff was prized with a first-place regional Mark of Excellence award by the Society of Professional Journalists for the Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper. Jenna Piper, a past staff member, was designated as a national finalist in the General Column Writing category also sponsored by SPJ. Piper’s column, about her sponsorship of an Indonesian boy who lives in extreme poverty, also placed third nationally in the College Media Association’s annual Pinnacle awards.

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association acknowledged Wingspan in the following four categories:

  • Certificate of Merit – Photo story for news publications: Christopher Edwards.
  • Second place – Cultural feature for news publications: April Sandoval-Eaton.
  • Third place – Editorial page design for news publications – Jesi Lofink.
  • Third place – News page design for news publications – Jesi Lofink.

Wingspan won 12 other awards in the regional Mark of Excellence contest sponsored by SPJ:

  • Winner – Editorial Writing: Wingspan staff.
  • Winner – In-depth Reporting: Carolyn Tomanek, Courtney Walston, Christopher Edwards and Josh McLees.
  • Winner – Photo Illustration: Courtney Walston.
  • Winner – General Column Writing: Jenna Piper.
  • Winner – Breaking News Reporting: Courtney Walston and Josh McLees.
  • Winner – General News Reporting: Courtney Walston.
  • Winner – Feature Writing: Courtney Walston.
  • Finalist – Breaking News Reporting: Jenna Piper.
  • Finalist – Sports Photography: Will Crawford.
  • Finalist – Online/Digital Sports Videography: Irving Mercado.
  • Finalist – Best use of Multimedia: Irving Mercado.
  • Finalist – Feature Photography: Christopher Edwards.

Wingspan had four editors for the 2018-19 year: Josh McLees, Will Crawford, Christopher Edwards and Madi Overstreet. Jake Sherlock was the adviser.

Crawford gave credit to the student staff for their hard work and dedication.

“It shows that the staff are really hard workers,” Crawford said. “We know how to have fun and how to be a group that sticks together, but we also know how to get the job done and we know how to make our adviser look good.”

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About Courtney Walston (28 Articles)
Courtney Walston, a third-year student studying Mass Media at Laramie County Community College, hopes to someday become a photographer for National Geographic. Walston has already earned one degree from LCCC in Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts. Walston was the senior editor of the East High School newspaper her senior year and was involved with yearbook as well. She enjoys photography and frequently shares her work on her website, Instagram and Facebook. Walston is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa, the honors society at Laramie County Community College, and retains a position on the Honors In Action team. She’s hoping to utilize the leadership experience she’s gained from this position to assist Wingspan. Walston is a semi-professional photographer that is aspiring to transfer to the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia and receive a bachelors in Fine Art Photography. She also likes to her call herself a cat lady; as she has 3 cats at home and loves all of them dearly. To contact Walston, email her at or follow her on Twitter @Courtney42158656.

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