CoJMC wins SPJ Mark of Excellence awards

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 11:15am

University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications students won one national Mark of Excellence award and two finalist awards in the Mark of Excellence Awards competition by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Junior Tommy Rezac of Valparaiso won the Mark of Excellence award, and seniors Chris Heady of Leawood, Kansas, and Joy Carey of Omaha won the finalist awards. They will be recognized at the Excellence in Journalism Awards banquet during the national SPJ convention in New Orleans Sept. 18-20.

“This strong finish in the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence competition is a major accomplishment,” said Maria Marron, dean of the college. “We, as a college, are exceptionally proud of these students and the work they produced.”

Tommy Rezac won the top award in the Radio Sports Reporting competition for his package “Nebraska-BYU football suspensions,” which aired on KRNU, the student radio station housed in the CoJMC. This package also won a 2016 Eric Sevareid Award from the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association.

The package aired the day of the Nebraska-BYU football game in 2015 and looked at the potential effect of suspensions and injuries on the game.

Rezac is a news and sports reporter and producer at 1400 AM KLIN in Lincoln and KRNU sports staff director. Previously, he was an intern at the sports office at KLKN-TV Channel 8 in Lincoln. He’s a member of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln chapter of the National Broadcasting Society and Friends of KRNU and serves on the CoJMC Student Advisory Board. Additionally, Rezac works with BTN Student U Productions and the Newman Center Lectors and Readers.

Senior Chris Heady was a finalist in the Sports Writing (Large) competition for his piece “Mike Riley isn’t following in his father’s footsteps anymore,” which ran in the Daily Nebraskan, University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s student-run newspaper.

The story examines Riley’s relationship with his father and why he left his position at Oregon State to coach at Nebraska. It also placed 10th in the 2016 Hearst Journalism Awards Personality Profile competition.

Heady was the editor-in-chief of the Daily Nebraskan and was previously the senior sports editor and Husker football reporter. He co-hosted a show called “First and Third” on KRNU, the university’s student radio station and served on the CoJMC Student Advisory Board. Heady was member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity.

Senior Joy Carey was a finalist in the Television Sports Reporting competition for her package “Rodeo Club,” which aired on Star City News, the college’s television news show.

The package was produced for Capital City Underground for a sports segment on lesser known sports and athletes at University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and Carey chose to feature the Rodeo Club.

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Junior Tommy Rezac, senior Joy Carey, and senior Chris Heady