Stella is national finalist for a Mark of Excellence Award

Lewis University student is national finalist for a Mark of Excellence Award

Published: May 18, 2013.

Rachel Stella, a copy editor and reporter for The Flyer student newspaper, is a national finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards in the category of general column writing. These awards honor the best in college journalism from calendar year 2012. The 2012 contest received more than 4,600 entries.

National Mark of Excellence Award winners are chosen from the first-place category winners in each of SPJ’s 12 regions, and the awards are judged by professionals with at least three years of journalism experience.

The Channahon resident previously earned two first place awards in Region 5, which comprises universities in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Stella earned a first place award in general column writing. She also earned a first place award in general news reporting for her April 30 The Flyer article, “’Invisible Children’ tell their stories.” Awards were presented on April 27 at the organization’s spring conference in St. Louis. Stella’s work was judged against entries from other universities with enrollment between 5,001 and 9,999 students.

“I'm honored and very happy to receive the award from the Society of Professional Journalists. As a student member of the organization, I'm happy the judges found my entries worthy of that honor,” said Stella. “I'm grateful for the reporting and editing experience I've gotten at The Flyer.”

Stella is a senior majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Convergence Journalism. After graduation in May, Stella will relocate for the summer to San Luis Obispo, Calif., where she has accepted a Dow Jones News Fund copy editing internship.

"Rachel is deserving of this recognition," said Lisa O'Toole, assistant director of communication and adviser of the print edition. “She is a skilled reporter who has earned the respect of her peers and other members of the Lewis University community."

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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