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USD student journalists shine at national competition

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Serving as the students’ voice at the University of South Dakota since 1887, The Volante is a 2011 recipient of the Pacemaker Award for being one of the nation’s best weekly college newspapers. This is the sixth time since 1993 that The Volante has received this honor from the Associated College Press (ACP) and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation.

Pacemaker recipients are awarded in three separate categories: four-year dailies, four-year non-dailies and two-year newspapers, and they are judged for their coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, design, photography and arts and graphics. The Volante was honored in the four-year non-dailies category by the ACP at the National College Media Convention in Orlando, Fla. on Saturday, Oct. 29.

The Volante, which is located in the Al Neuharth Media Center on the USD campus, is available at newsstands on Wednesdays during the school year and updated daily online. An endowment established by the Freedom Forum more than two decades ago provides scholarships, training and a professional adviser for journalism students on The Volante staff.

In addition to The Volante receiving the Pacemaker Award, KYOT-TV’s “Changing Majors” was named Best Comedy of the year at the College Broadcasters, Inc. Awards on Friday. The three-part situation comedy was written, produced and directed by USD Directing for Video & Film students and aired on KYOT-TV, Channel 21 in April.

“We knew The Volante was a great newspaper and once again the rest of the nation does as well,” noted Michelle VanMaanen, chair of the Contemporary Media and Journalism Department, who thanked faculty advisers Chuck Baldwin, journalist in residence at the Al Neuharth Media Center, and Todd Mechling, adviser for KYOT-TV, for their involvement and mentoring. “Chuck and Todd both put a lot of heart and soul into working with USD students. It is rewarding to see the students honored, thanks in large part to their individual efforts,” she added.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News