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Vermont Cynic named Story of the Year finalist

September 4, 2015

Congratulations to The Vermont Cynic for being named a finalist this week in the Associated Collegiate Press Story of the Year competition.

Just 10 college newspapers made the list. Other finalists include The Temple News at Temple University in Philadelphia and Depaulia at DePaul University in Chicago. The winner will be announced in October at the National College Media Convention in Austin.

Sodexo investigation named national story finalist

ACP judges recognized the Cynic enterprise team for its investigation of working conditions at Sodexo, which provides food service to University of Vermont students, faculty and staff.

In the award announcement, ACP named  the entire enterprise team, which focuses its energy on in-depth stories. They were:

  • Enterprise editor Jacob Holzman
  • Enterprise reporter Sarah Olsen
  • Videographer & photographer Cole Wangsness
  • Assistant news editor JP Reidel
  • Reporter Taylor Feuss, who had returned to reporting after leaving her position as Cynic managing editor at the end of 2014.

The entire project was overseen by Cynic editor-in-chief Cory Dawson and Cynic managing editor Stu Laperle.

After learning of the story’s recognition on Friday, Dawson sent an email to the enterprise team reading: “This is amazing, congratulations to you all!”

The enterprise section came into being in late 2014, with Holzman taking the lead and supported by then-editor-in-chief Natalie Williams. Other stories have included an investigation into a Burlington, Vermont, political controversy with a former UVM student leader at its center, and a look at an obscure state law that makes UVM’s out-of-state tuition the fourth highest in the country. 

In the week since the Fall 2015 semester started, the enterprise team has started producing a series of stories looking into the past of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as he mounts his presidential run.

Nomination for this award is the highest-level honor that the Cynic staff received the Pacemaker—considered the Pulitzer of college journalism—for its newspaper in 2011 and its website in 2012.

As word of the Cynic’s finalist status spread this afternoon, Dawson took to Facebook to praise the Cynic staff.

The story, he wrote, “was put together by some of the most talented student journalists I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

“You have made positive change through your reporting and now you’re getting some much deserved recognition. Congrats!”

For more about the Cynic, go to

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