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UM News
April 16, 2013


The Society of Professional Journalists awarded University of Montana journalism students 14 first-place awards and 13 second- and third-place awards at the regional SPJ competition in Spokane, Wash., April 13. 

UM students won accolades in magazine, online, photography, radio, reporting and television categories. Regional winners now advance to nationals, where they’ll compete against top honorees from 11 other regions. National winners will be announced in early summer. 

The SPJ’s Mark of Excellence Awards honor the top student work in region 10, comprising Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

First-place winners are Tim Goessman of Gallatin Gateway; Megan Jae Riggs of  Idaho Falls, Idaho; Samuel Wilson of Brush Prairie, Wash.; Keele Smith of Roanoke, Va.; Jonathon Ambarian of Frazier Park, Calif.; and Brin Merkley of Anaconda. The Montana Kaimin, Montana Journalism Review, Native News Honors Project website, Footbridge Forum and Student Documentary Unit also took first place awards.

 Second-place awards went to Nick Gast of Billings; Sam Lungren of Freeland, Wash.; Jessica Murri of Boise, Idaho; Allison Mills of Washburn, Wis.; Erik Anderson of Helena; and Keele Smith, of Roanoke, Va. Made in Montana also received a second-place award.

Third-place award winners are Sally Finneran of Crescent, Ore.; Morgan Sparks of Tenino, Wash.; Jessica Roden of Tahunanuis, Nelson, New Zealand; Kelly Conde of Boise, Idaho; Abby Redfern of Missoula; Cody Proctor of Grand Coulee, Wash.; and the Montana Journal.

For more information call Denise Dowling, interim dean of the UM School of Journalism, at 406-243-4143 or email



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Contact: Denise Dowling, interim dean, UM School of Journalism, 406-243-4143,