Cluster honored with Georgia Press Awards

Rebecca Mayo

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Cluster editors accept statewide journalism awards at student press conference Saturday in Athens.

ATHENS –– The Cluster nabbed eight awards at this year’s Georgia College Press Association’s 2011 Better Newspaper Contest.

The Cluster took home four first-place awards for Best Campus Community Service in News, Sports, Layout and Design, as well as third place for Best Features Section and Best Editorial Section.

The Georgia College Press Association is an organization that honors student journalists and members of the association.

The Cluster has been a source of information for both students and faculty since 1920, the year the publication debuted. The publication’s editors and staff have been committed to reporting on issues both on and off campus.

This year, the association’s conference was held in Athens, Ga. on Feb. 5. The Cluster and its editorial staff competed against universities as large as Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Mercer competed in the 4-Year College Division A category.

Morgan Riley, Co-Editor in Chief, expressed her excitement for this year’s conference.

“The newspaper continues to get better each year, and it’s an amazing feeling to see everyone’s hard work awarded and recognized by the GCPA,” Riley said. “I’m incredibly proud of the newspaper staff and honored to be a part of it.”

Senior News Editor Kathleen Quinlan and junior Entertainment Editor Eric Brown took home individual GCPA awards. Quinlan earned third place in the Best Column category for her humor column “Listen Up Nerds”, while Brown took home first place for “Best Entertainment Story”.

One of the most notable awards collected was second place in the General Excellence category.

The GCPA also held officer elections at the annual conference. Liz Bibb, The Cluster’s Co-Editor in Chief, was elected vice president for the upcoming year. Bibb said she was excited about being able to hold an executive position with the organization.

“Being a member of the Cluster staff is my favorite thing I have done in college. It is a passion of mine, and I am very excited to get to work with other college newspapers around the state,” Bibb said.

As Co-Editor in Chief of The Cluster, Bibb also felt ecstatic for her team. “I couldn’t be more proud of everyone on staff,” she said. “We work well as a team and our efforts have been rewarded. The plan now is to keep up the good work and hopefully return to the awards next year.”

Kayleigh Irby, Business and Advertising Manager, felt that the staff has seen a tremendous growth since last year.

“I feel that with these rewards we will be able to branch out into the local community and become a staple alongside the 11th Hour and The Telegraph,” Irby said.

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