The DP Alumni Association recently announced four awards for excellence in writing, photography, and business during 2012. The awards were presented to DP students, each of whom received plaques and cash prizes, at the annual staff banquet on January 19.
The Herb Liss Award for Outstanding Business Staff Members of the Year was shared by Front Office staff member Laura Brown, Advertising representative Taylor Culliver, and Circulation staff member Adan Juarez.
For the Photo of the Year Award, three DP alumni who are freelance photojournalists participated as judges: Tracy Gitnick Herriott ’95, from Los Angeles, Evelyn Hockstein ’97, from Washington, D.C., and Shannon Jensen ’06, also from Washington, D.C.
The winner of the 2012 Photo of the Year Award was Justin Cohen, a Photo Editor on last year's Board, for his shot of former President Bill Clinton when visited Penn last fall.
Four DP alumni served as judges for the two writing awards presented by the DPAA: Binaymin Appelbaum ’01, Washington Correspondent, The New York Times; Rebecca Kaplan ’10, Campaign Reporter, CBS News/National Journal; Zach Levine ’07, Major League Baseball Reporter, Baseball Prospectus; and Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Ornstein ’96, Senior Reporter, ProPublica.
The Page One Award seeks to recognize the best news reporting -- either first-day, breaking news or enterprise/investigative reporting. The judges were asked to evaluate the importance and thoroughness of the reporting as well as the quality of the writing.
The 2012 Page One Award was presented to Seth Zweifler, a News Editor on last year's Board, for his article, “Skulls charter suspended by nationals” which looked at the situation surrounding the death of a student at a unregistered party in a fraternity house on campus.
Judge Binyamin Applebaum said of the winning entry: “Detailed reporting. Good job getting quotes from all sides.” Judge Charles Ornstein said of the winning entry: “The reporters showed initiative in continuing to pursue this story, even after the fraternity's charter was suspended."
The final award presented each year is the Michael Silver Writing Award, for the overall best piece of writing in any of the DP's family of publications and websites. The 2012 Michael Silver Writing Award was presented to -- again -- Seth Zweifler, for his DP story “Playing his way through blindness” about a Penn graduate student Orlando Fiol. It was the first time since the inception of the two writing awards that one student received both awards in the same year.
Judge Zach Levine said Sweifler's winning story was “pretty much the model for what our feature stories should be: a fascinating subject combined with compelling writing. In tough times with space in the paper, it shows there's still a place for good, long-form work."