ASU journalism students continue to accrue accolades

July 28, 2014

Students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University earned awards and recognition in reporting, photography and public relations, among other areas, for work done during the 2013-2014 academic year.

The accolades included national recognition from the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, The Associated Press, Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. ASU students working on Cronkite Newswatch Download Full Image

“We are extremely proud of the outstanding work of our exceptional students,” said Cronkite School Associate Dean Kristin Gilger. “Year after year, our students are among the best in the country in national and regional journalism award contests – testifying to the dedication of our phenomenal students and faculty.”

Hearst Journalism Awards

For the 13th consecutive year, the Cronkite School finished in the top 10 nationally at the prestigious Hearst Journalism Awards. Cronkite secured sixth overall in the national contest based on student work in a variety of categories, including multimedia, television, radio, print and photojournalism.

Cronkite School students placed second in the Hearst broadcast category and fourth in writing. Individually, several students received notable recognition. Cronkite student Shayne Dwyer finished fourth in TV news reporting and traveled to the annual Hearst National Championships in Washington, D.C., where he won the television broadcast news championship.

Connor Radnovich was one of two students in the 2013-2014 competition to place in the top 10 in three separate categories – personality/profile writing, breaking news and photojournalism picture story/series.

Other top students included Molly J. Smith, fourth place for feature writing; Erin O’Connor, fifth place for multimedia news; Robby Baker, sixth place for TV feature reporting; Mark Remillard, seventh place for radio feature reporting; David Robles, eighth place for enterprise reporting; Cooper Rummell, ninth place for radio feature reporting; and Yihyun Jeong and Laura Sposato, ninth place for multimedia team reporting.

Rocky Mountain Emmys

Cronkite NewsWatch, the school’s student-produced television newscast, was recognized as the best student newscast at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recognized NewsWatch for an April 2013 broadcast covering immigration reform and the dangers of online donation scams. This is the third consecutive year NewsWatch has won best student newscast in the nation.

Kim Pestalozzi also won a Rocky Mountain Emmy in the student sports category for her story on a high school wrestler who overcame significant odds to achieve greatness. “Overcoming the Odds” aired on “Sports Watch 101” on FOX Sports Arizona. Cronkite NewsWatch is a 30-minute newscast produced by advanced broadcast students that reaches 1.9 million homes on Eight, Arizona PBS four days a week.

Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards

Carnegie-Knight News21 was a finalist in the Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards for outstanding student investigative work for a project examining the enduring battles facing post-9/11 veterans as they return home from war.

Top journalism students from across the country participated in the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, creating a multimedia project with dozens of stories, videos and photos that documented veterans as they navigate a federal bureaucracy ill-equipped to help them. ASU students Caitlin Cruz, Chad Garland, Peter Haden, Trahern Wallace Jones, Andrew Knochel, Rachel Leingang, Kay Miller, Mary Shinn, Jake Stein and Mauro Whiteman worked on the project, which was featured by national news organizations such as The Washington Post, and the Center for Public Integrity.

AP Television and Radio Association Regional Awards

Cooper Rummell secured second place in the best use of sound category at the annual AP Television and Radio Association Regional Awards. Rummell was recognized for his KTAR radio story on “Maricopa County Jail Flags,” which examined Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s penalties for inmates who deface American flags in their jail cells.

The annual AP Regional Awards represent the highest standards of professional broadcast journalism across 13 states, including Arizona.

Arizona Photojournalism Awards

Jessie Wardarski was named the Arizona Press Club’s College Photographer of the Year at the Arizona Photojournalism Awards for her captivating photos of skydivers and farming. The awards program also honors professional still and video photography in categories ranging from news to sports. Wardarski’s award, which recognizes a portfolio of her work, includes a $1,000 scholarship.

The Arizona Press Club is a nonprofit organization of professional reporters, editors, photographers and designers from publications across the state.

Accolade Awards

The Cronkite School’s Public Relations Lab won seven awards in the Accolade Competition, an awards program for new media, film, television and videography.

The PR Lab took home an Award of Excellence for public service programming and two Awards of Merit for contemporary issues/awareness raising and editing for their “Be Bold. Be Strong. Be Able/ABIL.” campaign for the Arizona Bridge to Independent Living. Annie Carson, Montserrat Camacho, Nora Merza, Michelle Rivas and Morgan Theys contributed to the project.

The PR Lab also won an Award of Excellence in content/message delivery, and an Award of Merit in script/writing for the “Where Lives Touch” campaign for the National Newspaper Association. Abby Dugan, Cristina Peralta, Alex Lancial and Kyleigh Zmijewski developed a public service announcement. Kara Burns, Valerie Nunez, Victoria Stangl and Emily Wininger developed a website and infographics, and also conducted social media outreach for the campaign.

For their work for the Arizona Broadcasters Association, the PR Lab secured an Award of Merit in public service programming for a public service announcement titled “Inform. Inspire. Insight.” Jessica Choi, Alexa Chrisbacher, Kelsey Pfeffer, Kayla Pologa and Joshua Skalniak won the award. The Public Relations Lab is a full-service public relations agency at the Cronkite School that puts students to work creating communications campaigns and strategies for professional clients.

The PR Lab also took home an Award of Merit in public service programming for a campaign for the Tempe Coalition to eliminate marijuana use among adolescents. Jennifer Borbon, Zander Buel, Hannah Lurie and Leila O'Hara did production work on a PSA. Marlee Bever, Wahida Ifat, Steven Kapoloma, Ashley Provenzano and Torunn Sinclair worked on the script, concepts and initial shooting of the PSA.

GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence Awards

Cronkite Public Relations Lab students won a GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence Award for their Tempe Coalition campaign to reduce underage drinking. The winning campaign by Cassidy Olson, Rachel Steingard and Samantha Womer included outreach at community events, a pledge program, PSAs and billboards for the Tempe Coalition, an organization working to reduce drug use and underage drinking.

The GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence Award is sponsored by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, a national organization committed to building drug-free communities.

Biotech University

Rachel Lund received top honors at the 2014 Biotech University contest. Lund captured the grand prize, an all-expenses-paid trip to Australia for her winning entry, “Milk in America.” For her entry, she produced a radio segment exploring how genetically modified organisms can be an affordable solution to feeding the world’s population.

Biotech University is a one-day spring seminar that introduces journalism students from across the country to the emerging science of biotechnology.

Global Editors Network Hackdays

Thania Betancourt, Sachit Dhal and Mauro Whiteman were part of a select group of college students who competed against professional news organizations in the Global Editors Network Hackdays, a worldwide competition that addresses the need for more collaborative innovation in newsrooms by generating new ideas and best practices.

The Cronkite team, one of only two colleges in the 13-team field, engaged in the November 2013 competition at Yahoo’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. The field included professional news organizations such as CNN, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. The judges commended the Cronkite team’s creativity and execution.

McCain Institute Sedona Forum

Torunn Sinclair and Hannah Lurie were selected to participate at the prestigious Sedona Forum hosted by the McCain Institute for International Leadership at ASU. The Sedona Forum brings together top government and private sector leaders and issue experts to Sedona, Arizona, for focused discussion around some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

This year’s event included visits from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns. Headquartered in the nation’s capital, the McCain Institute is a center for research and action in national security and foreign policy.

Reporter , ASU News


Study shows humble CEOs are good for business

July 28, 2014

Forget the stereotypes of arrogant, macho leaders who don’t care about anyone else’s opinion. A new study from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows humble CEOs significantly benefit a company and its management – likely more than the blowhards who think it’s their way or the highway.

“Humble CEOs are more open to making joint decisions and empowering others,” says Angelo Kinicki, professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business and one of the study's authors. “Their behavior positively affects both top and middle managers, who then exhibit higher commitment, work engagement, job satisfaction and job performance. We see a trickle-down effect that seems to influence the company overall.” ASU business professor Angelo Kinicki Download Full Image

The new research published in Administrative Science Quarterly comes from Kinicki, Anne Tsui and David Waldman of the W. P. Carey School of Business, as well Amy Ou of the National University of Singapore, Zhixing Xiao of George Washington University and Lynda Jiwen Song of the Renmin University of China.

The researchers interviewed the CEOs of 63 private companies in China, and also created and administered surveys measuring humility and its effects on about 1,000 top- and middle-level managers who work with those CEOs. They specifically chose China because they needed a context in which CEOs would display a wide variety of humility levels. However, they believe the findings will generalize to many companies in the United States.

“Our study suggests the ‘secret sauce’ of great, humble managers,” explains Kinicki. “They are more willing to seek feedback about themselves, more empathetic and appreciative of others’ strengths and weaknesses, and more focused on the greater good and others’ welfare than on themselves.”

Kinicki says leadership behavior normally cascades downward, so it’s likely humility at the top effects just about everyone at a company. He points out a few examples of humble CEOs making news:

• Tony Hsieh of Zappos is a Harvard graduate who helped boost his company to more than $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually. He also helped drive Zappos onto Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, with innovative customer- and employee-pleasing policies, such as “The Offer,” where new employees are offered one-month’s salary to leave the company if they’re not dedicated and happy.

• John Mackey of Whole Foods has shown concern for the greater good through his advocacy of organic food and spearheading his company’s move to become the first grocery-store chain to set standards for humane animal treatment. He also announced in 2006 that he was chopping his salary to $1, putting caps on executive pay and setting up a $100,000 emergency fund for staff facing personal problems.

• Mary Barra of General Motors has faced severe criticism for problems created at the company before she took the helm in January. However, she has been quick to apologize and maintain that she’s moving from a “cost culture” to a “customer culture” at GM. She has promised to do “the right thing” for those affected by recent recalls and the problems that led to them.

Kinicki knows some people may be surprised by the study results, but he summarizes, “It’s time we understood that humility isn’t a sign of weakness or lacking confidence, but rather, a good thing that can benefit us all.”

The full study is available at