Observer earns multiple honors at state competition

Observer staff

The Observer earned 10 staff and individual awards at the 2023 Illinois Community College Journalism Association (ICCJA) conference. The conference was held on April 13-14 in Glen Ellyn on the campus of College of DuPage.

As a staff, the Observer earned 3rd place in the General Excellence category. This category recognizes the best newspaper or newsletter issues that were produced in 2022.

The Observer also earned 3rd place in the Best Student Media category. This category recognizes the schools that had the most individual place winners.

In the News Story of the Year category, the Observer earned honorable mention for a series of stories on the pandemic last year at ECC.

Several current and recent alums were honored. Dom Di Palermo, the Observer editor-in-chief, swept the photo categories, winning 1st place for best news photo, best feature photo and best sports photo. Another of his sports photos took 2nd place.

Hannah Soukup (managing editor) and Indie Wilson (digital editor) earned 3rd place in the feature writing category for their story on sexual abuse and recovery.

Former staff and ECC alums Lina Fasihi and Gwen Sihanath earned 2nd place for their review of the Spartan Terrace.

Another former staff member and ECC alum Desiree Oliveros earned an honorable mention for her column on mental illness.

“The Observer had a passionate, talented group of students last year, and these recognitions just affirmed that,” said Nick Obradovich, Observer adviser. “I am so proud of these students who earned individual awards, and I am especially happy that everyone on staff all last year can say they contributed to these awards. Because they did. This was true team effort.

“And, personally, it was gratifying to see Dom sweep the photo awards. He is the hardest working staff member I have ever had, and his dedication to being a top notch photojournalism has been inspiring. He earned this moment. I think if you ask any current staff or anyone who was with the Observer this school year will tell you about Dom’s professionalism and character. And, anyone who read Hannah’s story or worked with her on staff would tell her what kind of admiration they have for her.”