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Spectrum editor in chief wins national award

Aaron Mansfield receives Mark of Excellence in sports column writing

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 00:03


Rebecca Bratek /// The Spectrum

Editor in Chief Aaron Mansfield talks to former Editor in Chief Matthew Parrino about The Spectrum's coverage of men's basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon's firing.

On March 14, The Spectrum was notified that Editor in Chief Aaron Mansfield had received a Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence award for his sports columns.

The actual place awarded will be announced at the SPJ Region 1 Spring Conference, which will be held April 12-13 at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

Jody Kleinberg Biehl, The Spectrum’s faculty adviser and director of UB’s Journalism Certificate Program, submitted four of Mansfield’s columns to nominate him for the award.

 “Aaron’s passion for sports shows in these columns and in his overall coverage,” she said. “He has a strong voice and even stronger opinions and he’s not afraid to show either. He’s not only passionate about sports, he’s passionate about writing and it shows.

“As editor in chief, he has people coming in and out of his office all the time. But when he is writing, he closes the door and finds his inner focus. That’s an amazing talent. He has it and I’m so glad it’s been recognized by national judges.”

Mansfield is a junior English major and is pursuing the journalism certificate. He has served as The Spectrum’s 2012-13 editor in chief since May 1, 2012, and he has been on the paper’s staff since the spring 2011 semester. He previously served as staff writer (spring 2011), senior sports editor (fall 2011) and senior life editor (spring 2012).

“I have big goals for my future, almost all of which involve sports or journalism, so I’m thrilled to have been honored in the sports column category specifically, but I’m also nowhere near the reporter I want to become,” Mansfield said. “The award does not belong to me. Seventy-six people work at The Spectrum. The award is a tribute to everyone on staff because they support me no matter what and always take pressure off my shoulders. We are on a mission to reverse a negative stigma around campus.”

Entries are first judged on the regional level, and first-place regional winners then advance to the national competition and are recognized at SPJ spring conferences.

The Spectrum is a member of SPJ’s Region 1, which includes professional and student publications throughout nine New Eastern states.

This award marks the sixth national award The Spectrum has won in the past two years and the first SPJ Mark of Excellence award.



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