Moon Township, Pa. -- Robert Morris University student Kevin Williams nabbed a Region 1 Mark of Excellence Award from the Society for Professional Journalists for his coverage of the September 2008 campus power outage.
The article, which appeared in The Sentry, RMU's student newspaper, was headlined “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” and offered a unique twist to the traditional newspaper article: It was published in white type on a black background.
Williams is currently a sophomore at RMU, majoring in communication with a concentration in applied journalism. He started working as a reporter for The Sentry in his first semester of freshman year. By his second semester, Williams was promoted to copy editor, and has been the news editor since the beginning of his sophomore year. In addition to The Sentry, he is also a producer for "RMU Live" and an assistant producer for "RMU Tonight" on RMU-TV.
“Our investment in the journalism program is now beginning to pay dividends. Kevin, along with many others on the staff, has worked hard to make the Sentry a solid journalistic enterprise,” said Marc Seamon, assistant professor of communications and Williams' advisor. “I am quite proud of this award, and am optimistic that it is a sign of good things to come for both Kevin and the Sentry.”
Said Williams, “This award is an honor for me. The Society of Professional Journalists is an accredited and highly recognized organization within the field of journalism, so to have my work recognized by professional journalists shows real potential in RMU's journalism program,” said Williams.
The awards will be presented during the Mark of Excellence Luncheon at the upcoming Spring Conference, April 24-25, in Philadelphia.
“One bit of advice I'd give to students is to get their hands dirty, because they can't expect to learn everything they need to know from books alone,” said Williams.