By Rebecca Bratek
Class of 2014
On Friday, Nov. 1, the CUNY J-School hosted the inaugural Sheppy Awards to highlight student achievement across media. The contest, organized by the student-led Graduate Council, was named in honor of the CUNY J-School’s founding dean, Stephen B. Shepard, who announced in February he was stepping down at the end of the fall semester.
Over 180 submissions were received from more than 70 students from the Classes of 2013 and 2014. Four student judges and one faculty member recognized 30 students in 10 categories.
First-place winners include:
• Writing, under 500 words: “Knicks-Heat rivalry comes full circle as Tim Hardaway Jr. arrives in the Big Apple,” by Chris Dell, Class of 2013
• Writing, over 500 words: “The Guardian of the Chelsea Hotel,” by Kathleen Caulderwood, Class of 2013
• Audio, under 60 seconds: “My First Kiss,” by Kristen Clark, Class of 2014
• Audio, over 60 seconds: “Cyclists Take Nighttime Ride Through Moscow’s History,” by Susan Armitage, Class of 2013
• Video storytelling: “Apollo: The God of Love,” by Heather Martino, Class of 2013
• Video broadcast: “US Drum Circle Keeps Sense of Community,” by Kathleen Culliton, Class of 2013
• Photo essay: “Refugees in the Bekaa,” by Brock Stoneham, Class of 2013
• Photo, camera: Julius Motal, Class of 2014
• Photo, smartphone: Phillpe Thiese, Class of 2013
• Website: Irina Ivanova, Class of 2013
Julius Motal, who won first place in the camera category for a photo of the Rockettes during a practice, was surprised by the recognition from his peers. He also served as a judge for the competition. “Outside of having to rank them, it was exciting to see the range of work that my colleagues have produced,” Motal said.
Oliver Morrison, Class of 2014 and the member of the Graduate Council who coordinated Friday’s awards, plans to seek student and faculty feedback to see how the awards can be improved for years to come. “A lot of people came together to help make it a success,” Morrison said. “I was just trying to keep my eyes on it all to make sure it happened. It could be a cool event to help bring students together and feel positive about their growth as journalists.”