Advance-Titan receives 22 awards in WNA competition

The Advance-Titan received 22 awards in the 2020 Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation’s Collegiate Better Newspaper Contest, and also took third-place honors for the overall publication.

The competition included news coverage from January through December 2020, and awards were announced April 13. The Advance-Titan, a weekly student media publication in print and online at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, covers news on campus and in the local community.

“With the pandemic, the Advance-Titan was forced to stop printing its regular edition, and went only to printing online,” Advance-Titan adviser and UWO Department of Journalism instructor Barbara Benish said. “We lost a lot of staff members who had difficulty transitioning to the online only format for classes, and that meant all of our editors took on double duties.”

Those editors continued to write and publish online from March through August. They include Editor in Chief Carter Uslabar, Fall 2020 Managing Editor Joseph Schulz, Fall 2020 Sports Editor and Spring 2021 Managing Editor Cory Sparks, News Editors Amber Brockman and Sophia Voight, Opinion Editor Owen Peterson and Fall 2020 Copy Desk Chief Kaitlyn Scoville. Other Spring 2021 editors include Arts & Entertainment Editor Lexi Langendorf and Copy Desk Chief Heidi Docter.

In addition, the Advance-Titan heavily covered the coronavirus and its impact not only on UWO, but also on the K-12 schools, the state prisons, senior living facilities and more. That coverage resulted in the Advance-Titan taking first-, second- and third-place finishes for Coronavirus Coverage.

First-place honors went to Ian McDonald and Sadie Baile for Column Writing for their article on gerrymandering, Leo Costello for Use of Multimedia on Judge Scott Woldt, and Joseph Schulz and Billy Piotrowski for Coronavirus Coverage on their stories how area hospitals dealt with the COVID-19 surge. Both Costello and Schulz have since graduated and are working, respectively, as the “Wake Up Wisconsin” News Producer at WAOW Channel 9 and as a reporter for the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

Second-place honors went to Sophia Voight for Public Affairs Reporting for her story on housing code violations. Schulz also took second place for Column Writing for his story apologizing to Chancellor Leavitt for doubting UWO’s response to the pandemic. Schulz and Greg Sense took second for Coronavirus Coverage on how the Oshkosh Public School District worked to combat opportunity gaps created with at-home learning due to COVID-19.

Carter Uslabar took second-place honors for an Arts & Entertainment Story on UWO playwright Richard Kalinoski, for a News Photo that showed the deserted UWO classrooms and for Page Design. Tatum Spevacek took second place for Advertisement Design, and Kaitlyn Scoville and Heidi Docter received second place for the Freedom of Information Award for their stories on alleged harassment by a UWO English professor. Both Spevacek and Scoville have since graduated and are working, respectively, as a graphic designer for Millenilink Digital Media Production and as a reporter for the Oshkosh Herald.

Taking third-place honors were Andrew Haese for Breaking News Reporting for his coverage on Oshkosh bars closing a second time; Voight for Public Affairs Reporting for her coverage of the Winnebago County Board voting down amendments to the health officer position; and Natalie Dillon, Neal Hogden, Schulz and Scoville for In-Depth Coverage for their stories on opioid addiction. Hogden has since graduated and is working as a reporter and live-stream producer at TriMedia.

Advance-Titan Chief Photographer April Lee took third place for News Photo of a family doing a window visit with their mother at a nursing home. Schulz also took third place in Coronavirus Coverage for his story how senior living facilities handled COVID-19.

Receiving honorable mentions were Voight for Editorial Writing for an opinion piece about sexual assault, Schultz for Column Writing for how Oshkosh mishandled the pandemic, Costello for Use of Multimedia for the Winnebago County Drug Court, and Grant Hunter and Olivia Ozbaki for Website. Schulz also received honorable mention as the 2020 Collegiate Journalist of the Year.

Students from any major from all three UWO campuses are welcome to join the Advance-Titan. The student newspaper is looking for writers for news, sports, arts & entertainment and opinion, as well as copy editors and ad sales representatives. To learn more, email .