UWRF Student Voice wins 7 writing awards, including best sports story

Posted April 12, 2018

MADISON – UW-River Falls student journalists picked up seven statewide awards Friday from the Wisconsin College Media Association, including a first place in sports stories for Student Voice Editor Zach Dwyer.

Dwyer, a junior from New Hope, Minn., was among the first to report in March 2017 that Falcons Dani Sibley, Carly Moran and Paige Johnson had turned down an offer from USA Hockey to be substitute players. Instead, they decided to support the starting players’ boycott of USA Hockey over equal wages and training conditions – a boycott that proved successful and instrumental in the USA women’s hockey gold medal victory in the 2018 Olympics.

The Falcons hockey players’ sacrifice was also the subject of a Student Voice staff editorial that won second place among smaller college newspapers in the WCMA Better Newspaper Contest. All of the awards were handed out Friday during the Collegiate Honors Luncheon at the Wisconsin Newspaper Association’s annual conference in Madison.

Under the headline, “Falcon hockey players take admirable stand, choose solidarity over personal success,” the Student Voice editorial said: “What Sibley, Moran and Johnson did is admirable. They could have undermined the entire effort by the national team. They could have made the decision based on their own potential personal gain. They didn’t. This kind of solidarity is amazing.”

The Student Voice also won a third-place award for a staff editorial entitled, “Students showing more interest in local and state government vital to democracy.”

Sophia Koch, a senior from Spring Valley, won two awards for public affairs reporting. She won second place for an article headlined, “UWRF student leaders may soon decide on ‘green fee’ proposal” and third for “Potential change in federal water pollution rules could have effect locally.”

Tori Schneider, a senior from Manitowoc, also won two awards: a third-place in-depth story headlined, “Numbers at River Falls food pantry tell only part of hunger’s story” and a third-place sports story, “New addition to Falcon football team brings inspiration to players.”

All of Koch’s and Schneider’s award-winning stories were originally reported as part of UWRF’s Jour 406: News Service course and distributed by Falcon News Service.