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Eckerd College student journalists win big at College Media Association Pinnacle Awards

By Robbyn Hopewell
Published November 30, 2023
Categories: Academics, Awards, Communication, Community Engagement, Creative Writing, Students

The lead photo from a recent Cat 5 magazine story depicts a Micro Wrestling Federation event in Largo, Florida. Photo by Carter Weinhofer ’23

Staff writers for The Current, Eckerd College’s student newspaper, and Cat. 5, Eckerd’s student magazine, earned several awards—including first place in two categories—at the College Media Association Pinnacle Awards in Atlanta on Oct. 31. Both periodicals are produced by the staff of The Triton, the student media organization at Eckerd College.

Recent graduates Ian Shepperd ’23 and Carter Weinhofer ’23 won first place for Best Sports Feature in Triton Publications’ division, schools with enrollment between 1,000 and 2,999 students, for their feature story in The Current and Cat. 5Micro tussle, big hustle.” Georgia Bobo ’23 also earned first place for Best Sports Investigative Story, “Fotopoulos steps down; players claim mistreatment.”

Grey Curcio, a senior creative writing student from Dickson, Tennessee, earned two second-place honors for their coverage of the protests at New College of Florida in the spring. The Current’s culture editor and Eckerd media relations assistant placed second in Best Breaking News Coverage for “Eckerd community protests at New College” and Best Breaking News Coverage of Diversity with “Transgender Eckerd students ‘carded’ in men’s bathroom at New College.”

Student smiling at camera

Senior Grey Curcio

“Honestly, it feels really incredible,” Grey says about their awards. “Not just for the benefits it will have for my career but also the validation that I am actually a good writer and not just kidding myself … It feels great.”

The Current faculty adviser, Journalism and Communication Instructor Janet Keeler, texted students on the day of the awards announcement, suggesting they check the results online.

“When I saw my name on there twice, it was amazing,” Grey says. “I wasn’t expecting it.”

For design, Atlas Chambers earned second place in the Best Magazine Sports Page/Spread for Cat. 5 magazine’s “Micro tussle, big hustle.” A senior creative writing and visual arts student from Gotha, Florida, Atlas works as the Triton Publications designer this academic year.

The Current’s social media manager, Nicole Vogler, was awarded third place in the categories Best Investigative Story (“Survey says: Eckerd Food safety, quality and variety at top of student concerns”) and Best Column (“Dear Moodle, I want to break up with you”). The sophomore creative writing and film studies student is from Allen, Texas.

Third place for Feature Magazine of the Year went to Cat. 5, Volume 1, Issue 2, and Ian Shepperd ’23 also picked up an honorable mention for Best Headline (Any Medium) for “Micro tussle, big hustle.”

The CMA is an organization founded in 1954 to support student media programs and professionals through education and community, and currently serves more than 600 member institutions. Its annual Pinnacle Awards honor excellence in print and digital journalism from student publications at similarly sized schools.

Student smiling at camera

Georgia Bobo ’23

Student smiling at camera

Sophomore Nicole Vogler

Student smiling at camera

Senior Atlas Chambers