Student Voice


December 6, 2023



Student Voice wins 8 awards in statewide contest

April 15, 2021

Student Voice staff
Student Voice staff members display the eight awards the campus newspaper won during the 2020 Collegiate Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation. From left to right are Brooke Shepherd, general manager; Melissa Thorud, editor; and Isabella Forliti, assistant editor. (Photo by the UWRF Department of Communication and Media Studies)

The Student Voice at UW-River Falls has won eight awards for its journalism in the 2020 Collegiate Better Newspaper Contest, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation announced April 13.

The winning stories were all published last year.

Brooke Shepherd, a senior from Stillwater majoring in journalism and animal science, won two awards for public affairs reporting: second place for a May 25 story, “Respecting pronouns part of gender awareness,” and third place for an Aug. 14 story, “Reaction to Floyd's death will shape class discussions, professors say.”

Shepherd previously served as editor of the campus newspaper and currently is the general manager. She also received awards for arts and entertainment coverage: third place for a March 13 story, “Gay Straight Alliance hosts drag show,” and honorable mention for a Dec. 3 article, “UW-River Falls Stage and Screen Arts produces film instead of live show this semester.”

Isabella Forliti, a junior communication studies major and current assistant editor of the Student Voice, won second place for her March 11 feature story, “Greenhouse offers multiple learning opportunities.” Forliti is from White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

Melissa Thorud, this year’s editor, earned third place for a March 12 breaking news story, “Coronavirus leads to class suspensions and alternative classroom methods.” Thorud is a senior in the journalism program from White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

Reagan Hoverman, a 2020 graduate who recently joined the weekly Inter-County Leader in Frederic, Wisconsin, earned honorable mention for his March 11 sports story, “UWRF men's baseball works to become official team.”

Finally, the Student Voice staff earned honorable mention in editorial writing for a March 11 piece, “UWRF policies may be infringing on free speech of students.”

The student-produced newspaper, which mostly published online last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is financially supported by segregated fees and advertising. For further information, contact the newspaper’s faculty advisor, Associate Professor Andris Straumanis, at or (715) 425-4645.