Multiple on Wayne Stater staff win Golden Leaf awards

Multiple on Wayne Stater staff win Golden Leaf awards

Alexander Retzlaff, Staff Writer

Wayne State College, among other college newspapers from across Nebraska, took home awards from the annual Golden Leaf Awards when the voting results were announced on March 28.

Liz Viall, the newspaper’s director, said the Northern Plains Collegiate Media Association puts on the Golden Leaf Awards every year to honor the best in collegiate journalism and media. She also said the association is made up of the journalism and media departments in eight colleges in Nebraska. The voting took place from Feb. 15 to March 15.

“I think it’s important that student journalists see that their work can be valued outside the immediate community,” Viall said. “It also recognizes students’ advancement in journalistic skills.”

Trey Morton won first place for “Best Sports Feature Story.” Rachel Vogt placed second for “Best Profile” for her story on a couple who opened a business in Wayne. Julia Baxter, the Wayne Stater’s photo editor, took home several awards. Baxter earned runner-up for “Best Arts and Entertainment Story” and “Best Infographic.”

Libby Dunn, the paper’s editor-in-chief for Fall 2019, won first place in the “Best Editorial” section, for her story on Legislative Bill 206. Dunn also took home third place for “Best Newspaper Front Page.” Kaitlynn Breeden and Alex Retzlaff both won awards for “Best Investigative Story.” Breeden placed first for her story on an act of voyeurism in Bowen Hall, while Retzlaff placed second for his story on drug use and an altercation in WSC’s residence halls. Breeden said she was 18 when she wrote the article during her second semester at WSC.

“It was just a situation I felt needed to have some light on it, and I couldn’t imagine someone going through something like [the voyeurism] and having no acknowledgement from the college,” Breeden said. “So, considering I won a Golden Leaf for something I wrote when I was 18 is insane, because all I was trying to do was make sure this wasn’t something that would be locked in a box that no one would ever find.”

Kadra Sommersted-Simmons, the Wayne Stater’s Editor-in-Chief, said that she is happy and proud of those who received an award.

“The Stater has been lucky enough to have had some amazing reporters, those of which got recognized for it,” Sommersted-Simmons said. “[The awards] show that the writers really care, as well as our graphic design artist. I hope we have just as good of work this year to bring home awards next year.”