The Decaturian, Millikin’s student-run newspaper, wins 13 ICPA awards
by Matthew Flaten
DECATUR – Millikin University’s student-run newspaper, The Decaturian, recently won 13 awards at the Illinois College Press Association (ICPA) annual award ceremony.
The ICPA honors work from across the state of Illinois submitted by college newspapers. For the 2023 awards, submitted work had to be published in print or digitally between Dec. 1, 2021, and Nov. 30, 2022.
"As the editor-in-chief, I am very proud and pleased to see how the Dec performed. We are committed to being both ethical and effective," Decaturian Editor-in-Chief Carin Houser said. "There have been numerous stories that myself and my peers have written where the topic was extremely sensitive. There are moments in journalism where you need to step outside of your head to see the bigger picture."
The Decaturian’s 13 awards came in 11 different categories.
Former Decaturian Editor-In-Chief Sydney Sinks '22 won two first-place awards, including for her editorial , “The Role of a Journalist” .
Sinks also received a third-place award for a featured photo she took in the University Commons of the Clothesline Project.
Decaturian Sports Editor Caleb Buehrle won first place in the Sports Column category for his piece, “Taking Time to Root for a Family Friend”.
Buehrle also received a second-place award for his Column, “My Cousin the Major Leaguer: Following in Mark Buehrle’s Footsteps and an honorable mention for his Multimedia Column, “Taking Time to Root for a Family Friend.”
Houser received a total of four awards. She won two second-place awards for her editorial, “Stepping Up,” and a Spot News Photo from a car accident near campus.
Houser also received a third-place award for her layout design for the sports page of the printed version of the Decaturian. Additionally, she received an Honorable Mention for redesigning the Decaturian’s website launched in the Fall of 2022.
Reporter Cristina Borunda received a third-place award for her review of Taqueria La Perlita.
Former writer Lauryn Kenney ‘22 received a third-place award for her column, “Grief During Graduation.”
Millikin women's basketball player and writer Miranda Fox received an honorable mention for her sports story, “Millikin Women Savor Underdog Role in Sweet Sixteen.”
The Decaturian’s awards were in the non-daily publication category with enrollment under 3,000 students.
Despite the Decaturian's successes, there were several categories that the paper did not submit submissions. Houser believes these are the areas that the Decaturian can expand upon and hopes that students in underrepresented areas consider joining the staff.
"A common misconception around campus is that we are just a newspaper. While we are a newspaper, we present multiple unharvested opportunities for students on campus,” Houser said. "Some of these include opportunities in art, photography, podcasting, videography and much more. As we work our way through this year, we hope to grow the Dec in each of these disciplines."
Houser's goals for the upcoming year include expanding the paper's digital newsletter and expanding the paper's editing staff.
"No job at the Decaturian is small or insignificant. Some jobs go unnoticed and unseen from the public eye. This semester, we have implemented a new team of copy editors whose only job at the paper is to edit articles to follow AP format guidelines, and ensure we are publishing quality work," Houser said "These individuals do not see awards directly, but their work is award-worthy. Without copyeditors like them, the Decaturian's quality of work and speed would easily suffer."