Zócalo Public Square, ASU Cronkite School celebrate wins at SoCal Journalism Awards

June 26, 2023

Arizona State University's Zócalo Public Square and students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication brought home multiple wins from the 65th annual SoCal Journalism Awards on June 25. 

A finalist in nine categories heading into the event, Zócalo, the Los Angeles-based events and ideas journalism unit of ASU Media Enterprise, took a total of eight awards, including four first-place honors. Zocalo Public Square horizontal logo Download Full Image

The Zócalo-published articles "How Rural Schools Survived the Pandemic" by Niu Gao and "The Valley's Last Camaro" by Andrew Warren and Tim Moore secured first place in the Education Reporting and Non-Political Commentary categories, respectively. Additionally, two Zócalo panel events — "How Can Women and Girls Win in Iran?" and "What Would the End of Mass Incarceration Mean for Prison Towns?" — took first place in the Talk/Public Affairs category and the Investigative category, respectively.

Zócalo’s recognition in the Talk/Public Affairs category also extended to second-place honors with the recognition of its 2022 Book Prize event "Will Americans Ever Be in This Together? With Heather McGhee.” Other second-place honors went to the Zócalo-published pieces "If You're Latinx, Loving the Dodgers Is Complicated" by Natalia Molina in the Sports commentary category, and "When the Public Narrative Fails” by David L. Ulin in the category for Political commentary.

"Hey California, the Peafowl Isn't Your Scape-Bird" by Zócalo columnist Joe Mathews was also recognized with a third-place honor in the Humor/Satire Writing category.

RELATED: ASU and Zócalo celebrate local voices, 20 years of change

Several students from ASU's Cronkite School were recognized in the Student Media category.

Aayush Gupta of Cronkite News/Arizona PBS claimed the first-place win for Best Sports Writing — Print or Online with his piece "Rollettes wheelchair dance team empowers women with disabilities.” Vic Samuels, also from Cronkite News/Arizona PBS, secured second place in the Best Sports Writing category with the article "Olympic gold medalist Sydney Leroux redefines soccer moms across pro sports." Fernanda Galan Martinez's article "Trash talk: Los Angeles is losing its battle with litter, and neighborhoods are stepping up" earned first place in the Best News Writing — Off Campus issues. And Lauren Lively's piece "Wildfire restoration efforts bring back native plants and wildlife" was also awarded first place in Best Feature Writing — Off Campus Issues.

Presented by the LA Press Club, the SoCal Journalism Awards recognize outstanding achievements in journalism across Southern California. Winners were announced at an awards gala at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. You can see the full list of winners here

Suzanne Wilson

Sr. Media Relations Officer, ASU Media Enterprise


ASU study: How outside stressors affect those with diabetes-related distress

Research suggests importance of developing, using screening tools

June 26, 2023

For some people living with diabetes, challenges such as having enough food and a safe and stable home can make it harder to manage blood sugar levels or other medical-related needs.

That stress can have a greater impact on people with limited resources, according to an article published in the July issue of the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications. The lead author of the paper is College of Health Solutions Assistant Professor Niko Verdecias. Headshot of ASU Assistant Professor Niko Verdecias Assistant Professor Niko Verdecias Download Full Image

Verdecias said the study shows the importance of doctors and researchers creating ways to look at how everyday needs can affect those with diabetes-related distress.

“The goal is for what we learned in this study to be used to create screening tools and ways to help people living with diabetes more easily control it, lower the chance of developing other conditions, and avoid distress that can be felt while trying to achieve their health goals outside of the doctor’s office,” Verdecias said.

Diabetes distress is highly prevalent among people living with the condition, but often health-care providers don’t screen for it. Existing studies estimate that 36% of people living with diabetes have accompanying distress, which can make it harder for people to self-manage their diabetes if left untreated.

Unrecognized distress can lead to outcomes such as uncontrolled HbA1c levels. The HbA1c test, also known as the hemoglobin A1a or simply A1c test, is a blood test commonly used to diagnose and manage prediabetes and diabetes.

Verdecias said there is plentiful research on how distress impacts diabetes, but researchers know less about what contributes to the distress itself.

“Our study found that targeted distress screening efforts might prioritize people with higher HbA1c values, greater depression and worse diabetes self-efficacy,” she said. “It also provides some evidence for examining and prioritizing unmet social needs such as those related to food, housing, utility costs, child care and safety.

“The results of this study highlight the need to screen for and mediate factors that can lead to distress, thus prompting earlier intervention that can lead to improved community health and the prevention of developing longer-term worsening of diabetes and comorbidities.”

Weldon B. Johnson

Communications Specialist, College of Health Solutions