2022 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award winners from left: Anthony Ruiz, Samantha Alvarez, MeiJun (Megan) Lei, Kainoa Presbitero and Flora Lennihan.
Journalism students from The City College of New York won the prestigious Region 1 Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Award for the second year in a row. Anthony Ruiz, Flora Lennihan, Samantha Alvarez, Kainoa Presbitero, and MeiJun (Megan) Lei, are the 2022 recipients of the SPJ Mark of Excellence Award for their outstanding storytelling.
Each year, the Mark of Excellence Awards honors the best in collegiate journalism from schools in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Central and Eastern Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
"I am honored to receive an SPJ Mark of Excellence Award as a finalist in the Online News Videography category. Videography and Cinematography are my passions, and telling stories that foster positive change in our communities is too. I am happy that my work was recognized as an important story to tell." said Alvarez.
Presbitero and Lennihan were both finalists for Best Online Feature Videography. Presbitero was a finalist for a story about two City College students who were eager to return to in-person learning on campus and Lennihan was a finalist for a story about Balkan Folk dancing during the pandemic.
“Thank you to the Society of Professional Journalists for this honor and recognition,” said Lennihan. “I feel encouraged to continue my work as a journalist and documentary filmmaker.”
Lastly, Lei was a finalist in the Online General Reporting category for her story about fear in the Asian community.
Lennihan, Alvarez, Presbitero, and Lei are also NBCU Academy Fellows at City College and members of the graduating class of 2022. Their stories can be viewed on Harlem View, an online publication that features work from City College students in the journalism program.
About the City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.
Elena Johnson/ Ashley Arocho