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The Gatepost wins three SPJ Mark of Excellence awards

By Dylan Pichnarcik 

Asst. News Editor 

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) announced the Region 1 winners of the annual Mark of Excellence collegiate journalism contest on April 20, and three awards were given to The Gatepost.

SPJ’s Region 1 is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Central and Eastern Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Leighah Beausoleil ’23, an English major with a concentration in journalism, who was Editor-in-Chief from March 2022 to May 2023, was a finalist in column writing for a series of opinion pieces regarding food and housing security. 

Beausoleil said, “You have a lot of power to make change happen” as a member of The Gatepost.

“It’s a big responsibility that we don’t take lightly,” she said. “Getting recognized almost every year for our editorials reflects the amount of energy and work we put into producing an editorial every week.”

She said writing editorials and opinion pieces while on The Gatepost gave her an appreciation for and expertise in editorial writing that she carries into her professional career as the Editor-in-Chief of The Dartmouth Week, a print and online publication. 

Emily Rosenberg ’23, a political science major and journalism minor, was Editor-in-Chief during the Fall 2023 semester. 

She said, “My time as Editor-in-Chief was definitely a moment of rebirth at The Gatepost. … It was incredibly encouraging to welcome a new class of eager, bright-eyed journalists who were willing to learn and take on big tasks.”

Rosenberg added, “Now that I’m on the other side, reading as an alum, just a couple months out of school, the issues I’ve been reading have been beautiful, and even more people have been joining and learning the ropes. Soon, I don’t even know if the staff box will be big enough to contain everyone’s names.” 

The Gatepost editorial staff was a finalist in the Mark of Excellence Award for Editorial Writing. Both Rosenberg and Beausoleil were the primary writers of the editorials that were submitted, but the voices of the entire editorial staff contributed to the content. 

Associate Editor Maddison Behringer, a junior communication media and performance major with a minor in graphic design, was a finalist in feature photography for her photograph, “Whipping up some fun,” published in the March 31 2023 issue.

Behringer said she was proud to win the award, which was unexpected. 

She said, “When you’re thinking about journalistic awards, you don’t think about photojournalism. So it’s very exciting that there is more visibility on the creative side of journalism” with SPJ. 

Behringer added that winning awards while working on The Gatepost as a photographer and graphic designer has “reassured me that the work I have been doing is being seen and means something.” 

Current Editor-in-Chief Sophia Harris, a junior English major with a concentration in journalism, said, “I am so proud to represent The Gatepost at the Society of Professional Journalists and of the number of awards  we won a couple of weeks ago.” 

Harris added her appreciation for the work of The Gatepost is rooted deeply in her passion for sharing information with the campus community and “being able to give a voice to those who do not have their own voices.” 

She said learning under Beausoleil and Rosenberg was “absolutely amazing. I couldn't have asked for better mentors and friends.”

Desmond McCarthy, advisor to The Gatepost, said, “There’s so much competition in these contests from talented student-journalists at the many internationally recognized universities in the Northeast, which makes these awards particularly noteworthy. The awards The Gatepost has won this spring reflect the commitment and the dedication of the brilliant and hardworking Gatepost team. It’s an honor to be your advisor.”

[Editor's Note: Sophia Harris is Editor-in-Chief, and Maddison Behringer is an Associate Editor for The Gatepost.]  



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