Posted at 12:47 p.m., April 27, 2015

Updated at 10:33 a.m., May 13, 2015

Wingspan triumphs at journalism competition

Flag Raising

Job well done:

From bottom left: Wingspan staffers are Jessica Dawkins, Charles Detheridge, Ike Fredregill, Tamara Rodgers, Erica Klimt, Alison Ferguson, Vycktoryja Selves, Roz Schliske, adviser and J.L. O’Brien, adviser.


Laramie County Community College’s journalism students were among only three community colleges in the nation to win nationally in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence contest.

In late April, LCCC’s student newspaper, Wingspan, had won five first-place awards, the most of any school in the competition against four-year institutions from Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming for calendar year 2014. The first-place winners in Region IX were announced at a conference April 25 in Denver and went onto national competition.

The two national finalists were Brooke A. Rogers in general column writing for a series of three columns called “Secret lives of home-schoolers,” “Grace eludes some particularly me” and “America embraces its inner nerd,” and Tamara Rodgers in sports photography for a rodeo photo called “#CowboyUp.”

The other first-place regional winners were as follows:

General news reporting: Ike Fredregill for a story on LCCC response to Colorado’s legalization of marijuana called “Marijuana policies create legal hotbox”;

Feature writing: Vycktoryja Selves for a personality feature on a student with a mysterious disease called “Strength, happiness and never-ending optimism’;

Feature photography: Rogers for a photo of a student ballerina called “Dancing Queen”;

LCCC was also named one of two finalists in the following categories:

Best all-around non-daily student newspaper;

Breaking news reporting: Fredregill for a story about possible hazardous materials in the LCCC dorm called “Students quarantined on campus; Residence Hall evacuated; chemicals determined nonhazardous”;

General news reporting: Rogers for a story about LCCC reducing the number of music scholarships called “Major regressions in scholarships cause dissonance for music programs”;

In-depth reporting: Fredregill for a story on the increasing age of students and the impact on colleges called “College students bridge generation gap”;

Feature writing: Fredregill for a personality story on retiring LCCC landscaper called “Retiree heads for back nine” and Selves for a story on the pros and cons of tattooing called “Tattoos lose taboos in workplace, hold onto stereotypes in society”;

Editorial writing: Erica Klimt for a series of three editorials called “Against their will”; “Fodder and Feed” and “Our Modern Family”;

General news photography: Selves for a photo taken in Sierra Leone as the Ebola outbreak started called “Culture Shock”;

Feature photography: Rodgers for a photo of a theatre production called “Men in maroon” and Fredregill for a photo of an LCCC tutor called “Lesson taught with a smile”;

Photo illustration: Rodgers for an illustration called “Vote” for the Wingspan voters’ guide.

Wingspan advisers are Rosalind Schliske and J.L. O’Brien.

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

Wingspan students finalists for 15 awards

Wingspan awards home

Society of Professional Journalists