UM Students Recognized for Excellence at Society of Professional Journalists Awards

June 07, 2017

MISSOULA – University of Montana journalism students made a splash during the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2016 Mark of Excellence Awards held during the SPJ spring conference. In addition to taking home a national win in the television in-depth reporting category, four additional UM journalism students were honored as national finalists.

A UM School of Journalism student-produced documentary on autism in Montana won the top award for an in-depth television piece. For more information on the national win visit

UM alumnus Sojin Josephson, a Class of 2016 graduate from Big Timber, was a national finalist in the sports writing category for her piece titled “Finding Feller: A family on and off the court.”

UM senior Michael Siebert of Billings, a member of the Montana Kaimin editorial board, was a national finalist in the editorial writing category.

Recent UM alumnae Chelsea Reichard of Stevensville and Tasha Cain of Miles City were national finalists in the television news and feature photography category for their piece titled “Slacklining Takes Extreme Heights.”

“We’re extremely proud of all our SPJ winners and finalists,” said UM journalism Professor Dennis Swibold. “The documentary tells a story that many Montanans were surprised to hear: that autistic youth face struggles in finding independent living after age 18. It was amazing work, and a wonderful example of the service our students give back to Montana.”

For more information on the SPJ 2016 Mark of Excellence National Winners and Finalists visit

Established in 1914, the UM School of Journalism has trained generations of journalists in print, broadcast, photography and digital media. The school regularly ranks among the top 10 journalism schools in the United States. Learn more at


Contact: Dennis Swibold, UM School of Journalism professor, 406-243-2230,