Category Archives: Awards


Knight Center students honored with scholarships, awards

MSU environmental journalism students have won more than $21,000 in scholarships and awards for their outstanding work this academic year, including stories written for Great Lakes Echo and research projects.

The money comes from generous endowments and donations to the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and the School of Journalism. The scholarships and awardees are:

Len Barnes AAA Michigan Fund Scholarship;  Kaylie Connors, Claire Moore, Marie Orttenburger, Apoorva Joshi

Don Caldwell Memorial Scholarship;  Carol Abbey Mensah, Yue Jiang

Rachael Carson Award;   Apoorva Joshi

Donald K. and Katherine K. Dahlstrom Scholarship;  Kyle Davidson

Michael A. and Sandra S. Clark Scholarship;  Cassidy Hough

Mickie L. Edwards Endowed Scholarship;  Leigh Anne Tiffany, Kurt Williams

Great Lakes Echo Excellence Award;  Marie Orttenburger

Edward Meeman Award;  Cassidy Hough

Kyle C. Kerbaway Graduate Scholarship;  Weiting Du

Eric Freedman Award;  Indri Maulidar



The Michigan Press Association has recognized exceptional work by Knight Center students

The Michigan Press Association has recognized exceptional work by Knight Center environmental journalism students whose articles appeared in Great Lakes Echo in 2019. Here’s how they fared:

  • Investigative Reporting: Andrew Blok, Gina Navaroli, Meredith Katz & Claire Moore, 3rd place for “Coal Ash contamination common across the Great Lakes” and three related articles
  • Multimedia Reporting: Kelsi Kroll, 3rd place, for “Mowing milkweed means more monarchs”
  • Column-Review: Andrew Blok, 3rd place, for “Microscopic changes could mean big things for Great Lakes”
  • News Story: Anntaninna Biondo, honorable mention for “Poll shows Indigenous people more aware of Great Lakes threats”
  • Feature Story: Andrew Blok, honorable mention, for “Cuyahoga cleanup means it’s safer to eat Cuyahoga fish”

Andrew Blok

It is the first time Great Lakes Echo has entered the statewide competition.

The Journalism School’s Capital News Service later redistributed some of those stories to about 30 newspapers and online news outlets across Michigan.

The president of the Michigan Collegiate Press Association, Professor Joanne Williams of Olivet College, said, “It is more important than ever to recognize and encourage good, impactful journalism. That is what our college newspapers are doing, and with support and recognition from contests and professionals in the field, that will continue.”

“Sh*t” film wins an Emmy Award

Troy Hale Director/Executive Producer, Zoe Kissel Producer/Editor, and Geri Alumit Zeldes Producer.

The Documentary film “Sh*t Saves the World” won an Emmy award June 15th for it’s film trailer. Director Troy Hale, Producer/Editor Zoe Kissel, and Producer Geri Alumit Zeldes attended the award ceremony in Detroit.  It was the first time in memory that the word “sh*t” was used on the Emmy stage.  The attending audience got a real kick out of it.

The Knight Center for environmental Journalism supplied a starter grant for this project to get off the ground.

You can view the award winning trailer here:

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Outdoor writers award scholarships to MSU J-School students

Two Knight Center for Environmental Journalism students have won 2019 Toyota Let’s Go Places Scholarships from the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association.

Angela Mulka and Andrew Blok recently each received a $1,200 scholarship and a two-year, non-voting membership in the organization. The group is comprised of outdoor writers, hunters, fishers, hikers and recreational boaters.

Angela Mulka

Both Michigan State University students are reporters for the Knight Center’s environmental news service, Great Lakes Echo.

Mulka has a summer communications internship with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. She plans to apply the scholarship to college expenses as she enters her senior year pursuing a degree in journalism.

Andrew Blok

Blok, a masters student in journalism specializing in the environment, has a summer internship with Environmental Health News. He plans to use the award to buy microphones and a camera to diversify into audio and visual reporting.