Former Spectrum editors nominated as 2016-17 Pinnacle award finalists

Editors nominated for their work in breaking news and investigative journalism

Two former editors of The Spectrum have been nominated for national college media awards. The College Media Association (CMA) has nominated Tori Roseman and Mike Akelson for Pinnacle awards for the 2016-17 season.

Roseman, former managing editor, was nominated for Best Investigative Story for her work on “Isolated: International UB students not integrated.” The story looks at the social rift between international and domestic students at UB and the school’s struggle to effectively bridge the gap between the students.

Roseman reported on the story for over two years, after many additional drafts and revisions.

“I wrote about international students because it was such a clear issue to our particular campus and it was difficult to ignore,” Roseman said. “I wanted to write a piece that was UB specific but could also be applicable to other schools and that administration could feasibly resolve.”

Roseman had originally planned on creating a video to accompany her article but access to equipment made it difficult. Improved funding for The Spectrum would help support these projects, Roseman said.

The Spectrum is the only independent student-run publication at UB, receiving no funding from the university or the Student Association. In the last seven years, The Spectrum has won over 50 national awards for journalism.

Mike Akelson, former senior sports editor, was nominated for Best Breaking News Story for his coverage of UB Athletics’ abrupt decision to cut four sports teams.

The day UB made the announcement to cut the teams, Akelson said he remembers waking up to a text about the cuts in disbelief. He spent his entire day in interviews, talking with students, parents, alumni and coaches and editing into the night. He spent the following days updating the story as more news broke.

“That was probably the first time I felt that by doing my job at The Spectrum I was doing the right thing, so that’s what made it worth it,” Akelson said. “A ton of people emailed me thanking me, so I knew I had done something more important than what I was normally doing and it was worth however long it took to get it right.”

The winners will be announced at the ACP/CMA Fall National College Media Convention in Dallas, TX from Oct. 25-29.

Sarah Crowley is the senior news editor and can be reached at