Student Newspaper Wins 14 Awards at ICPA Conference

April 22, 2015 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Elmhurst College’s student newspaper, The Leader, came home from the annual conference of the Illinois College Press Association in late February with 14 awards.

In addition to prizes in reporting, photography and sports writing, the paper won second place in the coveted General Excellence category.

“I’m happy to see us back among the high-ranked papers,” said faculty advisor and English professor Ron Wiginton. “It tells me, again, that the professional journalists who judge the contest are recognizing the professional level of work that Elmhurst student journalists are producing.”

The 32nd annual ICPA convention took place February 20-21 in downtown Chicago and included a series of workshops, panels and lectures with press professionals in addition to a Sunday awards banquet. The Leader nabbed 14 awards at this year’s convention, including first-place recognition in Editorial, Sports Game Story and Sports Photo.

“I’d say it’s really an artifact of the hard work we’ve put into the last year,” said Leader editor-in-chief Zach Bishop, a senior English and history major. “It’s definitely a sign that we’re doing our job.”

In awarding the second-place prize for General Excellence, the judges commented that Elmhurst had submitted a “well-reported, strongly written entry that shows a range of coverage, solid sourcing and appealing design.” The paper’s submission in this category comprised three issues produced in 2014 under the leadership of former editor-in-chief Haleema Shah.

Bishop said the ICPA awards helped reenergize the paper’s staff after a year of transitions. “It’s a morale boost for the staff, and especially the editors,” he said. “All the editors were new this year, and most of the staff was new. There was definitely a learning curve there.”

The staff of The Leader plans to celebrate the awards with an end-of-year blowout. The possibilities range from a night of fast-paced Whirlyball to a swanky cruise on Lake Michigan.

In the meantime, it’s back to work. “[The staff is] very passionate about telling the truths about the campus community and making sure the news is out there—not just the good news,” said Bishop.


  • 2nd place for General Excellence: The Leader, April 15, September 23 and November 4, 2014
  • 1st Place for Editorial: “How not to elect a legitimate government, as told by SGA” by the Editorial Board (Andy Prignano)
  • 1st place for Sports Game Story: “Wassenaar, Jays cap season on hot streak” by Charlie Roumeliotis
  • 1st place for Sports Photo: “EC forward Mike Emig best Yellowjackets’ defender in Jay’s victory” by Peter Flockencier
  • 2nd place for Sports Page Design: “The 2014 Leader Sports Awards” by Charlie Roumeliotis
  • 2nd place for Sports Photo: “Sophomore wide receiver Kaylon Miller struggles to avoid a tackle” by Allen Riquelme
  • 2nd place for Sports Column: “Put your eggs in Elmhurst College football’s basket” by Charlie Roumeliotis
  • 2nd place for Cartoon (Open Category): “Reiny and Neebs: First Semester Art Student” by Tyler Kerr
  • 3rd Place for Spot News Photo: “Gov. Pat Quinn announces a grant for $1.8 million” by Peter Flockencier
  • 3rd Place for In-Depth Reporting: “800 copies of The Leader trashed, $1000 wasted” by Zachary Bishop and Luis Rodriguez
  • 3rd Place for Sports News Story: “Joe Adam resigns, accepts coaching position at Syracuse” by Charlie Roumeliotis
  • Honorable Mention/4th Place for Column: “Pride has lost sight of history” by Chrissy Croft
  • Honorable Mention/4th place for News Story: “Gov. Quinn gives $1.8 million grant to EC” by Zachary Bishop and Luis Rodriguez
  • Honorable Mention/4th place for Feature Photo: “Amos Glasper chooses items from the Elmhurst-Yorkfield Food Pantry” by Peter Flockencier

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