Category Archives: Awards


Research director wins top faculty paper award

Bruno Takahashi

Bruno Takahashi

Knight Center research director Bruno Takahashi won the top faculty paper award in the Scholastic Journalism Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference.

The paper titled “Students’ experiences in an environmental journalism master’s program: An application of knowledge-based journalism principles,” was co-authored with doctoral student Perry Parks.


Perry ParksThe paper presents a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with graduates from the master’s program in journalism at MSU. The study highlights the challenges faced by journalism students interested in environmental reporting. A main challenges is the perceived gap between communication theory, statistics and research methods, and the practice of journalism.

The paper will be presented at the AEJMC conference in Chicago, August 9 to the 12, 2017.

Knight Center researcher wins top poster award for Flint water crisis reporting project

Nissen URAAF

Jack Nissen

For the second year in a row, Knight Center researcher Jack Nissen won a top poster award at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) at MSU.

Nissen won first place in the Communication Arts & Sciences-Section 3 for a qualitative study titled: “Crisis reporting and community engagement: The role of local reporters during the Flint water crisis.” The presentation took place on April 7, 2017.

Through conversations conducted over a series of weeks, journalists intimately involved in local coverage of the crisis were interviewed about their experiences reporting. Questions focused on newsroom resource allocation, national media coverage and journalistic responsibility to the community.

A senior majoring in Journalism, this is Nissen’s second year of research under the guidance of Knight Center research director Bruno Takahashi. He’ll conduct more interviews to better understand how journalists operated during the crisis.

Environmental journalism students honored with scholarships, awards

By Kate Habrel

Students affiliated with the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism have been honored at the MSU School of Journalism’s annual Student Awards Convocation.


Steven Maier

Thousands of dollars were awarded to these students who are studying environmental journalism in a changing world and have worked for the Knight Center or taken environmental journalism courses.

Undergraduate Steven Maier was a co-recipient of the Len Barnes AAA Michigan Fund Scholarship. It honors the late Len Barnes, a J-School graduate and editor of Michigan Living, and his career in travel and recreational journalism. It was established by the Auto Club Insurance Association. Master’s student Shruti Saripalli was another co-recipient of the award.

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EJ grad students win national awards

Three Michigan State University graduate students in environmental journalism won top awards for the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts. Kate Habrel and Marie Orttenburger were part of the team that won Best of Festival for a multimedia project titled “The New Vinyl.” Cheyna Roth, a recent graduate, won the Award of Excellence with her team for a documentary directed by Professor Geri Alumit Zeldes titled “Hubert, His Story.”

Habrel and Orttenburger’s project explores the renewed interest in vinyl collecting, combining interviews, photos and video that they compiled into a website. “Hubert, His Story” followed Hubert Roberts, a former convict granted parole in 1999, as he reintegrated back into society and grew into a community leader and mentor in Flint, Michigan.

The winners will attend the award ceremony on April 24 in Las Vegas, Nevada, as part of the Broadcast Education Association’s annual convention. Recipients will have their projects screened at the convention and will receive $1,000 from the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation. The winners were selected from over 1,450 separate entries, representing 175 colleges and universities.

“I’m flattered that our hard work was recognized in such a big way,” Habrel said, “and look forward to attending what’s sure to be one of the highlights of my first year of graduate school.”