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Monday, June 24, 2024
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Best of The Spectrum 2023-24

A look back on the best reporting from this academic year

<p><em>The Spectrum </em>was founded in 1950 as the University at Buffalo's independent student-run news publication.</p>

The Spectrum was founded in 1950 as the University at Buffalo's independent student-run news publication.

As the academic year comes to an end, The Spectrum would like to recognize its staff for all of the hard work, long hours, and professional-grade reporting that they contributed in 2023-24.

From breaking news, to in-depth features, to social media and photography, this year’s Spectrum staff went above and beyond to inform the UB community.

The following is a list of the best work from this year’s Spectrum staff:

Best breaking news coverage:

The pro-Palestine protest on May 1 — plus the subsequent police response, arrests and backlash — required contributions from the entire staff. Below are just a few examples of that coverage:

‘Approximately 16’ pro-Palestine protesters arrested after attempted encampment

By Sol Hauser, Grant Ashley, Ryan Tantalo, Mylien Lai, Alisha Allison, Darcy Winter

May 1, 2024

A timeline of the attempted pro-Palestine encampment outside Hochstetter Hall

By Darcy Winter and Grant Ashley

May 1, 2024

Faculty Senate passes resolution denouncing police ‘escalation’ at May 1 protest

By Mylien Lai and Sol Hauser

May 16, 2024

Arrested pro-Palestine protesters still facing day in court

By Grant Ashley

May 16, 2024

Best feature story:

On a campus as large as UB’s, there’s bound to be plenty of human-interest stories. This story from October explored a UB grad’s brushes with death as a global photojournalist.

From Buffalo to Baghdad: A decade of conflict through Daniel Britt’s lens

By Dominick Matarese

Oct 19, 2023

Best sports story:

Great stories go beyond the playing surface and explore the character and life experiences of individual athletes. This story from March did just that.

‘My heart makes up for my height’: Rana Elhusseini’s leadership on and off the court

By Evan Hilbert

March 11, 2024

Best arts story:

Art is one of our greatest tools for self-expression, communication and healing. This story explores the local art community’s response to the May 14 Tops shooting.

‘The lives stolen are not in vain’: Buffalo artists respond to the May 14 shooting

By Mylien Lai

March 11, 2024

Best photos:


Several of the arrested protesters were transported off campus on a UB Stampede bus. About 10 demonstrators inside one bus could be heard chanting “free Palestine.” 

Pro-Palestinian protesters attempt on-campus encampment, arrested

By Mylien Lai and Sarah Owusu

May 2, 2024

The 2024 total solar eclipse in Western New York

By Sixuan Li and Yuri Meng

April 9, 2024


A Stampede bus departs from a South Campus stop. The majority of the fleet is still powered by fossil fuels.

A Stampede bus departs from a South Campus stop

By Moaz Elazzazi

February 5, 2024

Best digital media:

Journalism is so much more than words in print. This video project told the story of May 1 in pictures, videos and narration, providing a comprehensive account of the events, and this series of vignettes told the stories of those fighting to prevent suicide.

A timeline of UB's pro-Palestine protests and police backlash

By Dominick Matarese

May 7, 2024

The faces of hope: UB’s first on-campus suicide prevention walk

By Alex Olen

April 23, 2024

Now let’s get into each editor's best articles.

Grant Ashley, editor-in-chief:

UB overhauls admissions criteria, ends legacy admissions after Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action

Dec. 7, 2023

Sol Hauser, senior news editor:

UB quietly abandons 2025 deadline for electrified Stampede and shuttle buses

Feb. 5, 2024

Few rules, little oversight and $242,693: Meet UB’s Council of Advocacy and Leadership

April 16, 2024

Dominick Matarese, senior features editor:

From Buffalo to Baghdad: A decade of conflict through Daniel Britt’s lens

Oct. 19, 2023

Ricardo Castillo, senior sports editor:

‘I’m gonna go pro, I already know that’: What makes Chellia Watson a national superstar

Feb. 26, 2024

Mylien Lai, senior arts editor:

Faculty Senate to vote on resolution condemning police actions at May 1 protest

May 7, 2024

Faculty Senate passes resolution denouncing police ‘escalation’ at May 1 protest

May 16, 2024

Ryan Tantalo, managing editor:

Wrestlers say UB neglected team for months before head coach’s removal

April 16, 2024

Xiola Bagwell, copy editor:

‘These are the Facebook message boards of our times’: A look at UB’s bathroom graffiti

Nov. 15, 2024

Darcy Winter, fact checker:

How the UB community rallied to honor a victim of the Challenger explosion

April 9, 2024

Henry Daley, assistant sports editor:

Why the star power of women’s March Madness is outshining the men’s tournament

April 5, 2024

Evan Hilbert, assistant sports editor:

‘My heart makes up for my height’: Rana Elhusseini’s leadership on and off the court

March 11, 2024

Rodrigo Feijão, assistant sports editor:

‘I felt like this had to be my place’: Paula Lopez on her first year as a Bull

April 15, 2024

Sarah Owusu, assistant news editor:

How one UB professor hopes to transform a neighborhood on Buffalo’s East Side

April 9, 2024

Josh Pawlik, assistant arts editor:

Meet Melissa White: UB professor and Grammy winner

Feb. 12, 2024

Tenzin Wodhean, assistant arts editor:

A history of notorious artists that you didn’t know were alumni of the arena 

Nov. 16, 2024

Alisha Allison, assistant news editor:

UB Council Student Representative candidates barred from running on advocacy

April 23, 2024

Jason Tsoi, assistant features editor:

‘I’m very proud of us’: UB student runs life-saving National Marrow Donor Program chapter

Feb. 19, 2024

Rachel Galet, creative director:

The 2024 Spectrum sex survey

April 24, 2024

Ryan Tantalo and Grant Ashley are the managing editor and editor-in-chief, respectively, and can be reached at and


Ryan Tantalo is the managing editor of The Spectrum. He previously served as senior sports editor. Outside of the newsroom, Ryan spends his time announcing college hockey games, golfing, skiing and reading.


Grant Ashley is the editor in chief of The Spectrum. He's also reported for NPR, WBFO, WIVB and The Buffalo News. He enjoys taking long bike rides, baking with his parents’ ingredients and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. He can be found on the platform formerly known as Twitter at @Grantrashley. 



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